Bint us Salaam – Opinion | 01 August 2014/04 Shawaal 1435
Hijab has become a sensitive topic to write about. Many women will only open themselves to reading an article with the word “Hijab” if it has the words “latest trends” in its title. But when we open our eyes to the violation of Hijab and the growing immodesty amongst our Muslim sisters, there is an even greater need to give out good advice for the pleasure of Allah SWT.
After it was posted, part one of Corrupting Hijab (maybe the link to that article can be linked here?) raised a few comments from readers. Part two is an effort to respond to those.
The most typical was, “why do we always focus on the outside? It’s what’s inside that count.” This retort is indulged in so often, by both men and women, people don’t realise they express a lack of reasoning and little knowledge of Hijab.
Sister, if it was what was inside that only counted then why would the All-Knowing and All-Wise Allah SWT command women to cover themselves, in the revelations in the Qur’aan? Why would Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) command Hijab? Why the many other obligations we are meant to uphold? It is obedience to Allah SWT. To obey to the commands of Allah SWT and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is part of worshipping Allah SWT.
When we love someone, a spouse, a child or a parent, our love drives us to express it openly. Love is never kept in the heart in these cases. There is a desire to declare that love either physically or through action and loyalty. Why then should the love for Allah, the best love, be something just for the heart.
Frequently this argument is coupled with, “just because she wears niqab doesn’t mean she’s pious.” Please note that donning the dress of Hijab has nothing to do with making a mark of piety. Piety is what is in the heart and this is what is between each person and Allah SWT.
People who don the correct dress might disregard other obligations commanded by Allah SWT behind closed doors, but not dressing according to the principles of Hijab in public is an open violation of the commandments of Allah SWT. It is a sin we practice in front of countless of people. It cannot be measured against her Salaah and whether she prays Tahajjud as some would argue. In fact the advice given by scholars to encourage adopting the dress of Hijab is to work on correcting and perfecting the salaah.
Then there is the other unfounded assertion that a woman should be able to wear what she wants, men shouldn’t look, and she is dressing for herself not others. Lowering the gaze is incumbent on both men and women. And people do dress for others hence the importance placed on trends and the time wasted in front of the mirror before going out.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that there will be numerous women who used to wear garments on earth but will be naked on the Day of Qiyaamah. Once Ali RA and Fatima RA went to Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and found him crying uncontrollably. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said he cried recalling a moment during the Miraj when he had seen six categories (maybe the link to this new summary can be attached here) of the females of his Ummah being subjected to severe forms of torment.
It is narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had seen women hung by her hair, suspended in the depth of Jahannam. She walked outside freely exposing her hair to strange men. “Oh Fatima, this is the condition she will suffer on the day of Qiyamah,” said Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The woman who was hung by the upper portion of her chest was an immoral and unchaste woman who smiled and went out with strange men.
This narration is not intended to instil fear but should be regarded as a blessing as it teaches and encourages us to be wary and make efforts in securing ourselves from the anger and punishment of Allah. Some say they don’t want to be bound to Hijab out of fear but fear is what we use to teach a child not to touch a hot plate. In our daily lives, fear compels us to stay away from some things and to take precautions when doing other things.
Fear of Allah’s punishment is what keeps us away from Haraam, why should it not be a motivation in fulfilling an obligation. This fear changes into willingness and then joy and wanting to attain the pleasure of Allah SWT over time.
Another widely propagated fallacy is that the Purdah is from an Indo-Pak “ideology”. Allah explicitly commands Purdah in The Qur’aan. Where is the origin of the Qur’aan? Purdah is explained in many well known books of Ahadeeth and Fiqh which were not authored by Indo-Pak Ulama. The experts in Islamic Jurisprudence dating back from the period of the Sahaba (Radiallahu anhum) right through the pious predecessors of the ages were not Indo-Pak.
The first degree of true Hijab for women is to remain in the home and conceal themselves and their beauty from the fitnah that is present outside. The second degree is women concealing themselves by means of the Jilbab when they have a need to leave their home. The Jilbab is a piece of clothing large enough to cover the entire body from head to toe.
The third degree deals with the covering of the face. All four schools of thought agree that it is impermissible for women to expose their faces in front of non-mahram men.
Some sisters in Islam have a sincere intention to cover properly but then they are exposed to YouTube and Facebook tutorials. They are misguided and taught how they should wear their headscarf. These videos aim to teach sisters how to beautify the headscarf so that she looks more beautiful in it than she does out of it.
If your headscarf looks good it is not part of the Islamic Hijab. If this aspect of Hijab draws attention and beautifies then you have contradicted the very essence and purpose of Hijab. The purpose of the dress of Hijab is to divert the site not draw it.
The purpose of the laws that deal with separation between men and women is to protect a woman’s chastity and to establish a society wherein all doors leading to immorality and indecency are closed off right from its roots. Similarly, the Hijab is also a mechanism used to further these ideals by becoming an instrument that hinders zina in all of its evil forms. It is a sign of honour, dignity, and Iman that brings to light the revered status of women in the eyes of Allah SWT. It is about building the qualities of shame and modesty within.
One of the things that the Shari’ah preserves and protects is the honour and dignity of people. Our entire society is built upon removing this honour and dignity, either in the name of liberalism, freedom or women’s rights. There is no honour and dignity in what is being propagated as the rights of women. And there are Muslims speaking against Hijab and the role of the Muslim women given to her by Allah SWT.
Love for Allah SWT is a love that triggers you to want to do everything He has commanded you to do in order to attain His Pleasure. It is striving not displease Allah SWT and yearning to be safeguarded from the shaytaan and the evil of our nafs.
There are many excellent women who have fallen into the trap of denying or rejecting Hijab. Some because they aren’t ready and others because their views are distorted. But Allah SWT makes easy for everyone things that are seemingly difficult, if their hearts are inclined to it.