Stripping and Islam

 

 

 

One question I hear fairly regularly is “How can you be both Muslim and a stripper? Is that even possible?” In short, yes. You might not be a very good Muslim of course, but that is up for debate. For many, their idea of a Muslim girl is at most covered by a burqa, at least in a hijab. In other words, very covered! For the most part that is me also. When I’m not “Henna” in my local gentleman’s club, I dress and (for the most part) act like most other Muslim girls. I doubt anyone at uni apart from Anushka would even believe me if I came clean about my night job. Not that I have any such plans to do so.

I think we can all agree that the act of getting your bangers out in exchange for cash is indisputably haraam or forbidden where Islam is concerned. However, I highly doubt it would be enough to send someone to hell on its own. There are many, many different ways in which we can all sin. My guess would be that rape and murder would be somewhere at the top of that list and other acts that cause grievous harm to others. There is a reason why being a stripper is legal in many countries (not many Islamic ones I will admit) and being a rapist or a murderer is not. While exotic dancing is considered amoral by many for various reasons, it does not inflict harm on anyone. It is simply a guilty pleasure, on my part and for my customers. It is something that makes me feel alive in the most bizarre way.

Nowhere in the holy Quran (or Bible for that matter) does is explicitly state that stripping itself is bad. It does however state that women should cover their all but their face and hands, so in that context stripping is indeed bad considering most remove all but their shoes. As far as I can see, this is the only so called crime being committed when someone takes part in public nudity.  I’m sure that must be fairly low on the list of Things that may get one sent to hell. Premarital sex is clearly a no-no and yet many Muslims of the younger generation (especially boys) are guilty of that on numerous occasions. Assuming that there are no “extras” going on in the club, stripping does not actually include sexual acts of any kind.  Sex is certainly implied, that is the nature of the business, but the point is that there is no actual sexual activity going on. Or at least of course there shouldn’t be. I myself haven’t shagged anyone yet and so am in the clear on that one issue.  And yes, being a virgin and a stripper is a very odd combination. The other girls often ask what the hell I’m doing here. And no wonder.

Engaging in sexual acts for money, at a strip club or elsewhere, makes that person a prostitute. Not that I have any issue with prostitutes, so long as they do what they do willingly. It’s just not my cup of tea. You find people in that profession all over the world, including all over the Islamic world. While what they do in considered sinful, I certainly do not believe they should suffer for all eternity for it. After all, a fair exchange is no one’s loss.

There is one particular thing I find confusing.Despite being incredibly modestly dressed nuns are often widely sexualised in pop culture (for the record, I’m a fan of the sexy nun outfit).  Not only is their dress is much the same as modestly dressed Muslim women, but their reasons (i.e. religion) are more or less the same too. Now, I realise that nuns are made sexy simply because it was considered ironic. They are meant to be celibate after all. Yet Muslim women are for the most part are seen as being completely sexless beings, despite the fact that it is certainly easier to find sexy Muslim girls than you would nuns. I find it funny how such a similar dress code has such polar results.

 

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In any case, I do wish that there was less stigma associated with the stripping industry no matter what one’s religious beliefs. Ultimately, strippers (not so much the boys mind) and others in similar positions get a disproportionate amount of crap for what they do. There are some places where a woman who likes being nude in public (causes no harm) would cause far more outrage than someone who beats their partner (does cause harm) or mutates babies’ genitals for a living (causes a lot of harm) for no logical reasons whatsoever. Women have been fired from their respectable professional positions after being found out that they used to be exotic dancers, despite it having no effect on that position (see Diary of an Angry Stripper by Sarah Tressler). It’s not as if she had been partaking in illegal activities such as drug dealing her way through college.

Regardless of any morality issues, it’s certainly a job that will be staying off my C.V.

 

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6 responses to “Stripping and Islam

  1. Really interesting read 🙂
    I have put stripping on my CV before – I used a skills based CV and highlighted the ability to take rejection and communication skills. The only thing is I found it only gave me sales jobs but it is doable.

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    • Thank you for your kind comment 🙂
      Interesting, I suppose it could work for sales positions. After all, stripping is essentially a sales job! If I didn’t care about people I know finding out, I’d be tempted to try it out myself and see how people take it.

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  2. Burqa is a funny word. I’ve never ever heard a Muslim use the word, but the media seem to love it, probably because it sounds like berk, which is great for writing alliterated headlines. Somalis would use the word khimar, wouldn’t they?

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    • Yes we do, but a Khimar really another word for a headcovering, whereas a burqa from my understanding is something used in Afganistan to cover all of a woman including her eyes. It is a funny word isn’t it. Since I was talking about how non-Muslims see Muslims and “burqa” is seen quite frequently in Western media, I thought it would help to make my point. Somalis for the most part wear either a baati, dirac or a guntiino with a khimar.

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  3. So I googled hijabi pole dancing, to hopefully find a private class where I could do this as a form of exercise, and your blog is the first thing I came across.

    I appreciate your stance on this topic, even views among Muslims vary and we all sin differently and I’m glad to see that you bluntly acknowledge this as a sin. One thing to consider is the discretion regarding sin, it’s something to keep close to your chest- between you and Allah- excluding few situations in which you are seeking counsel. Noted, many Muslims may not follow this by bragging about sins, still as Muslims we are to refer to the Quran or Hadiths, rather than other people. This leads onto public stripping as a Muslim woman. I respect that we are all different and may have unusual desires or wants, that do not align with accepted societal conduct for Muslims. As you mentioned, many Muslims engage in fornication and the like nowadays, without so much resistance when compared to stripping. Although fornication is haram- sex and relationships are recognised as primitive wants for most people and therefore, falling weak in this area (although this is sinful) is a concept easier to logically grasp. Fornication can lead to a halal outcome, if both people involved repent and get married they can attain a halal marriage. In situations where one is fornicating with many people, as is common nowadays, again there is still ways for them to outgrow this behaviour and attain a halal outcome- after the haram that they have indulged in. On the other hand, publicly stripping at a gentlemans club is not a socially recognised standard of behavior in any context, other than for inciting and enhancing sexual desires. In many ways you are glorifying your sin in front of many, showing no discretion as this is the nature of the business. Aside from the physical act of stripping, there are numerous major sins that surround this environment and in being there you are forming some agreement with these. For example, the money earned is completely haram and everything purchase with it will be from a haram origin; nudity is commonplace and encouraged; alcohol (possibly drugs too) are actively ingested at such venues; the use of indecent music that does not align with Islamic principles; the free mixing of men and women; negligence is Islamic obligations such as prayer is highly likely; zinna is commited (even if you are not physically having sex, there are many levels of zina that you are engaging in); you are encouraging others (namely the clients) to engage in haram activities by performing for them (even if the client is Non-Muslim, since you are a Muslim this a sin upon you) etc.

    I can understand that engaging in such wild activities, may feel liberating to you under secrecy. Yet given that you know it to be wrong and are cautious to avoid being caught, this will remove genuine peace from developing within you. We can die in any place at any time without any warning, therefore you should be mindful of where, how and with whom you spent your time. God forbid, if something serious (severe injury, incident or death) was too happen whilst your stripping, you’re family would be completely shattered by the truth of your secret life. You too, based on what you’ve explained, would feel humiliated and by that point the allure of this wild secret would disappear. Instead you’d have to confront the complete severity of the implications associated to you being a stripper. There is no wrong in pole dancing, in the privacy of your home or for your husband. Engaging in this with multiple men and women watching you, with no regard for who you are but mainly sexual intent, will gradually affect the way you view your own self, based on the religion you believe to be true. The intention behind something is very important, and unlike other sins, in the situation you’ve described there is no good intention behind this lifestyle- rather its a thrill chase and adrenaline rush. I pray you’ve found your way since this post, because as a believing Muslim, there is only so long that you can justify or downplay this sinful way of life, before the guilt of it catches up with you. Or worse you distance yourself from your faith to avoid the guilt only to land in an hollow place, without true purpose. I believe that you can be completely forgiven for all your sins, given the great mercy of Allah, still this is not reason to become complacent in committing sin as repentance too must be demonstrated through attempts to walk away from sin. I hope these words find you in the best of ways and you appreciate the intent behind them, even if you do not agree.

    All the best sister! 🙂

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