The Hijab Revolution Series Part 2

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Part two of the Hijab revolution series by guest writer Khadeejah Islam.  Read Part 1 here.

In the previous part, I mentioned certain praiseworthy qualities of the hijab revolution. In this post, I will continue from where I had previously concluded. I will mention the shortcomings of this revolution (remember as mentioned in the earlier section, the shortcomings are of the revolution and not of the hijab because hijab is free of faults). It is highly recommended to read the first part before proceeding to read this one.

Disadvantages

Fashion trend: Sadly, some sisters have adopted the hijab only because it is trendy now – “Everyone is doing it! It’s the in-thing to do.” Therefore, many observe other hijabis keenly from head to toe and compare themselves with them – “Is she looking prettier than me?” Apart from engaging in these competitions, a few well-to-do sisters have the habit of purchasing more khimaar (headscarves) than they actually need. Some are obsessed with branded hijab items. And of course, many sisters enhance their hijab with heavy make-up and strong perfumes. Now these are developments which should make us worried. Dear sisters, we should be prepared to observe hijab even if we may be the only one doing it. We may feel out of place, but that is what we should expect.

Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Saheeh Muslim].

Furthermore, moderation is an integral part of Islam. Therefore, owning a few exclusive, branded hijab materials for special occasions is nothing blameworthy. But do not turn this into a habit. And when you are tempted to indulge in extravagance,please remember that 1.4 billion  people live in extreme poverty. [1]  Many sisters use heavy make-up and strong perfumes because they want to appear presentable and not clumsy. Yes, Islam encourages us to appear fresh and clean, but that does not mean we need to appear attractive, distracting the men. It is sufficient for us to maintain proper hygiene, grooming, spirituality, and a healthy diet, such as taking a shower everyday, consuming a balanced diet, smiling (as this Sunnah act of worship gives a glow to the face), keeping our garments clean and ironed, etc.

Pillars of Islam: There are many Muslims who are prioritizing the hijab more than the five pillars of Islam. Instead of seeking knowledge about Tawheed (asserting the oneness of Allah), they feel more attached to hijab. Some non-Muslims are even observing hijab nowadays to avoid a messy-hair day, to conceal the minimal amount of branded clothes or expensive jewellery they own, to avoid being recognized, and to protect themselves from potential threats (although this latter reason is quite noble and something that Islam enjoins). One MuslimIndian brother aptly said: “It is more important to be a Muslimah than to be a hijabi.” A lack of understanding and practising these pillars and hence, a lack of Taqwa (God-consciousness) are also reasons for some sisters taking off thei rhijab at parties or taking it off after observing hijab for a couple of days. Dear sisters, before anything else, we need to fix our knowledge and implementation of the basics of Islam. Shirk (associating partners with Allah) is something which will land one in Hell-fire permanently. Therefore, we must know the intricate details of this important aspect of our Deen first and foremost. Moreover, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’an,

“Prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.” [29:45].

Therefore, chances are that you will not be giving up hijab, delaying it, or observing it half-heartedly, if you pray regularly and properly.

Innovation in hijab: Yes, the next target of Shaytan for bringing innovation in this Deen is the hijab. Many sisters are still highly misinformed about the concept of hijab. They consider it a mere “rectangular” or “square” headscarf. No wonder we get to witness hijabis who are “in a relationship” or sisters who combine the scarf with revealing or tight-fitting clothes. Dear sisters, hijab has certain conditions attached to it which we need to be aware of. It is meant to preserve chastity. Therefore, we cannot go around having boyfriends. In addition, even if you are married, you cannot engage in public displays of affection which may cause embarrassment to others. Moreover, hijab is also about the way we talk and present ourselves. We cannot have an enticing attitude, or afford to be of the women the Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has described:

“Women who are clothed yet naked, astray and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side.” [Saheeh Muslim].

Furthermore, be careful of men who quote different ayahs and ahadeeth, and claim that they respect Islam, yet do not offer their salaah (prayers), or do not implement what they know. Seeing that more and more girls are turning towards hijab (the number of girls for dating, available to these men decrease) and that many of the hijabis are also dating, these men try to be sweet just to get their chance. Sisters, if they really respected Islam, they would have offered their salaah at least, and would haveapproached your wali (guardian) – not you – for marriage. Also, if you maintainyour hijab in its truest sense, these men’s lowly intentions will be backfired.

Misrepresentation of Islam: This extends from the aforementioned point. By indulging in activities which are contrary to Islam, we are actually misleading others and perhaps, stopping others from taking any genuine interest in Islam. One Muslimah used to observe hijab and practise other aspects of Islam quite diligently. However, she used to fall short when it came to refraining from plucking eyebrows. Therefore, others who used to look up to her for her keenness to practice Islam reacted: “You pluck your eyebrows? Oh, so it must be okay for me to do itas well.” We are indirectly making a forbidden acts appear as permissible. Now this is something very grievous.

Dear sisters, I conclude this series here. Again, I must remind you that the shortcomings mentioned here are not for discouraging you. Instead, these are mentioned so that we recognize and rectify our errors. As mentioned before, if we fortify ourselves with the knowledge and implementation of the basic pillars of Islam, we will be able to improve greatly insha’Allah. Other aspects of Islam, like the hijab, will happen quite quickly thereafter because the basis of it all will be a very strong Eeman (faith). May Allah protect us all, Ameen.

Footnotes:
[1] Rural Poverty Report issued by the International Fund for AgriculturalDevelopment (IFAD): http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2010/12/2010127101119119276.html