Friday, 1 July 2011

Hijaab - the covering for Muslim sisters

It has been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. Sincere apologies to my readers (if i have any:P) for the long gap in between. A very good friend of mine motivated me to write something on this topic so here goes.
Before saying anything on this topic I regretfully claim to be a hypocrite since I know the entire concept of Hijaab, its practicalities,reasoning, logic and benefits yet I do an incomplete Hijaab- just a headscarf.
I start off with some evidence from the Quran and Sunnah regarding Hijaab.

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:31]

“And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allaah is All‑Hearer, All‑Knower”

[al-Noor 24:60]

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Ahzaab 33:59]

“O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allaah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allaah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allaah that shall be an enormity”
[al-Ahzaab 33:53]

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4481. The following version was narrated by Abu Dawood (4102):

May Allaah have mercy on the Muhaajir women. When Allaah revealed the words “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)”, they tore the thickest of their aprons (a kind of garment) and covered their faces with them.

there are quite alot of misconceptions about Hijaab in our society:
1. Firstly people are of the belief that its completely fine to just cover the head and then dress in fitted clothes, jeans etc. TOTALLY WRONG. Islam instructs us to dress modestly not just cover the head. Dressing modestly includes the entire body and it a modest dress fulfills certain conditions:
  • the dress should be loose
  • the cloth should be thick and not see through
  • it should cover the whole body
  • and it should not resemble the dress of men
there has not been any specification on the style or type of cloth to be used. Any dress which fulfills the above conditions is a hijaab.

2. people believe that its completely okay to wait for a good proposal and getting married before starting off with a hijaab. WHY?? Would the guy reject you if he gets to know you observe hijaab? If he does then lucky you that you were saved from a bad marriage and a poor husband. If he calls you beautiful when you dont observe hijaab and calls you "an old fashioned aunt" when you cover yourself then he was never worth marriage in the first place.  We the women of our society fail to realize that if a man likes to see us dressed provocatively and that becomes a factor for his marriage to us then tomorrow he would be oogling at other non-modestly dressed women in a similar manner. Marry a guy who respects you for who you are, encourages you to cover yourself up when you go out and respects you for your hijaab. If your hijaab embarrasses him or stops him from marrying you then your better off without him.

3. People are scared to observe hijaab because they feel people would ridicule them and treat them as outcasts. I wont sugarcoat my words but honestly people would definitely do that. but in the long run does it really matter? If we please Allah with this one deed then would the taunts and jeers of the stupid people bother us? I dont think so..No one ridicules others for no reason at all. there is always a reason behind every humanly action and behind this act its mostly insecurity and envy. They know we are doing the right thing they just dont have the guts to do it themselves. hence they try to dissuade us as well with their remarks and taunts.

4. some people believe that its only in the Muslim country where a Hijaab is required otherwise "when in rome do as the romans do". such people need to understand the logic behind hijaab. Hijaab saves a woman from committing sinful acts, it also helps the men in averting their gaze and guarding their modesty. A hijaab of a woman saves both the man and the woman from regretful acts performed by eyes . wearing modest clothes in Pakistan but going abroad to shed that very dressing and emerging in fitted jeans, sleeveless and fitted tops, no dupattas?? is that really the concept of Hijaab? that its applicable only in Pakistan? why? are the men in america or london or canada etc pious or angels? the worst part is that we even try to justify this act by saying " everyone wears such clothes there so the men have so many other women to look at why would they look at us" or they say " we would be outcasts here if we dress like we used to in Pak". Today all we care about is being accepted by the society we live in(which by the way is hardly ever happy with whatever we do) but I hope we realize this soon enough that its the acceptance of the Creator that matters more than the acceptance of His creations.

5.Our parents discourage hijaab because they feel a modestly dressed girl would not get good proposals. No guy would marry her and frisk her off to dubai and london. That is the dream of most mothers isnt it? their girl settling in canada and europe and america so she has to dress 'appropriately' to get the 'appropriate' proposal. Do i really need to say anything here?

the saddest part of our society is that we dress for the non-mehrams of our society, we dress to please them, we dress for their compliments. After marriage the women of our society dress up only when they are going out (i.e. for outsiders) while at home she may be dressed in pajamas or rags who cares - with no ornaments to decorate her, no flashy clothes no makeup. WHY? Time we realize that dressing up and looking good for the husband saves him from many evils of the society (he stays satisfied with his wife and doesnt feel the need to look elsewhere) and makes the wife feel good about her resulting in a happily married life.  for those who are unmarried that doesnt justify non-modest dressing either. So what if they dont have husbands to dress up for and to look good for. They have the best complimenter up there observing each and every move they make, feeling pleased to see the women act on His Commandments:).

the first step towards hijaab is to end the misconception that only "Abayas" fit the description of a Hijaab. any dress looosely stitched from the top to the bottom,and thick enough is a hijaab. Islam doesnt define a uniform for muslim women rather define the kind of dressing a muslim women should have. Get anything made as long as it fits the criteria of a hijaab it doesnt necessarily have to be an abaya.

someone who lives abroad recently asked me about the ankle length shirts that are in fashion these days. She asked if they fullfill the criteria of hijaab. I dont think they do.. they are fitted to the body from the top even if not from waist down. the shape of the upper body is totally visible so the argument of them being are ankle length are futile. Her second query was that what if we wear a headscarf on it. Again, the headscarf covers the hair and maybe some part of the front body. what about the rest of the body and the back where once again the fitted dress makes the shape of the body obvious. the dressing should be so loose that the shape of the body is not visible at all.

May Allah grant each of us the Hidayat to act on His commandments without hesitation especially myself since I am the one who knows all this, writes it for others to gain knowledge yet do not fully observe the proper Hijaab as yet. May Allah give me and all of us Hidayat.Ameen.

God Forbid if i misquoted anything please correct me.

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