Honor and Modesty

Had to take a break from writing writing writing and do some reading. Jumped ahead to Lila Abu-Lughod, Veiled Sentiments, which I’ve been wanting to read for two years and finally it’s been assigned.
“The sentiments of ordinary discourse are congruent with the ideology of honor and modesty. The sentiments generally expressed in poetry suggest a self that is vulnerable and weak, a self moved by deep feelings of love and longing. These are not at first glance the sentiments of proud and autonomous individuals, nor are they the sentiments of chaste individuals” (34).


“Being free (hurr) implies several qualities, including the strength to stand alone and freedom from domination. This freedom with regard to other people is won through self-assertiveness, fearlessness, and pride, whereas with regard to needs and passions, it is won through self-control. Failings or weaknesses in any of these areas disqualify one for positions of responsibility and respect and put one in a position of dependency or vulnerability to domination by others” (87).
“The stoic acceptance of emotional pain is another aspect of self-mastery. To weep is a sign of weakness…regardless of the intensity of their grief…Mastery of needs for and passions toward others – the true sources of that dependency so antithetical to honor – seems to be related to the development of ‘agl, a complex concept, fundamental in most Muslim cultures, from Morocco to Afghanistan, that can be glossed as reason or social sense” (90).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *