Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hijab Obsession - Part I

I often will hear Muslim sisters (and brothers) say:

“I can’t stand to see sisters wearing niqab (the face veil.)”

“I can’t stand to see sisters wearing all black.”

And on the contrary, other sisters say…

“I can’t stand to see sisters wearing pants.”

“I can’t stand to see sisters wearing brightly colored clothes.”

Few Muslims would argue that the correct hijab for women is to cover everything except the face and hands, and not to wear anything that draws attention or flatters the figure. There might be some who will dispute this, but most Muslims and scholars subscribe to this understanding, even if they do not choose to adhere to it.

That being said, why is it that Muslim sisters are actually disgusted with one another and claim they can’t stand to see their fellow sisters dressed a certain way? We should be uplifting our sisters, instead of beating them down with our judgments and backbiting. Do you want to know what I can’t stand?

  • I can’t stand to see sisters in cliques; whispering and giggling while making other sisters feel alone.

  • I can’t stand to have a conversation about outer modesty, without considering also the inner modesty.

  • I can’t stand to see the Muslim community divided over something as simple as dress code.

Some of you will read this and say, why is she saying these things, is she undermining the importance of hijab? Quite the opposite, my sisters and brothers. I am simply trying to promote empathy and humility. When we make judgments of each other, we are creating a divide, and that is the last thing the Muslims need to do when we are living in a society that dislikes all of us, no matter how we dress.

I am also encouraging sisters and brothers to use proper adab (manners) when it comes to correcting each other. We are supposed to pull the misguided person aside and teach them the correct way. But before that, you have to check your own intention (why are you really correcting them?) and also check your own correctness (different schools of thought believe in different things, so just stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah) and have proof of your correction. However, I find many times we can lead by example, correcting our own misguided ways before approaching anyone else. If you talk about your sister/brother to others or say sarcastic remarks, your sin is worse than theirs.

Here is some fruitful guidance from the Qur’an:

And when they hear AlLaghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say: “To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not the ignorant.”
(Surah Al-Qasas: Verse 55)

There is much more I’d like to share on this topic, so please check back for part II and perhaps part III, God-willing. Any good you can extract from this article is from Allah, and any bad from me. I pray that my intentions are good and that Allah will guide us on the straight path. AMEEN


jin said...

As salamu alaikum uhkti. Mashallah this article was wonderful to read. As muslims we must not have any divisions amongst us when there is" hatred" to Muslims because why? People fear what they do not understand. Hijabs are for modesty for us sisters and who are we to say which is the right way as long as we follow the sunnah. I am greatly anticipating part 2. Jazakallah khair for this article.

Muslim Mommy said...

Yesss Jin, JazakAllah for your comment! Sometimes we are so judgemental! And for what? How is that making us better human beings? It's not. We just need to stay positive and encourage positivity, inshaAllah.

Mariyah said...

My thoughts on this subject exactly