Hijab: Liberation or oppression?
It is a myth that women in today’s society are liberated. From the stone age through to the space age, women have been incarcerated in a prison of oppression and discrimination. Advancements in the fields of science and technology have failed in unearthing the true status and value of women. We have transcended and penetrated the peripheries of space, yet fallen short of emancipating women from the bounds of exploitation and mistreatment.
What kind of freedom can there be when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being “checked out”? What kind of freedom can there be when a woman is just an ‘advertisement’, employed only to boost the revenue of voracious, self centred and greedy men? Would you define being subjected to a mirror daily for hours on end as liberty? Today’s culture resonates and echoes the values and notions of the civilisations in the shadows of history, where women were nothing but a tool or a toy.
Reading popular teenage magazines, you can instantly find out what kind of body image is “in” or “out.” and if you have the “wrong” body type, well, then you’re just going to have to change it, aren’t you? After all, there is no way that you can be overweight and still be beautiful. Look at any advertisement, is a woman being used to sell the product? How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be no older than her early 20s, taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing.
In the sphere of this unjust culture, only that woman is beautiful if she has the ‘looks’, whereas in the scope of islam, every woman can be beautiful. Beauty isn’t what the eyes behold, true beauty is good character and morals. Where the sight of this culture ends, the vision of islam commences. In this culture, eyes are glued to the exterior, whilst Islam’s spotlights are beamed at the interior.
In Islamic principles and belief, a woman is likened to a precious jewel or to a sweet smelling and attractive flower, everything about her radiating rays of beauty. Islam shields her by enjoining her to wrap herself in the hijaab, so that this fence wards off the swamps of flies and impure creatures to pinch and steal the nectar of this exquisite flower.
This small piece of fabric labelled as a hijaab has salvaged and rescued women from the tyranny of hollow concepts and opinions. Ladies dressed in the hijaab have been liberated from the hungry and judgemental eyes of onlookers. They have rocketed from the world of toys and tools to float freely in the galaxy of value and significance. Women who were once submerged in the dark oceans of peer pressure and ……… have surfaced in the submersible known as hijaab, breathing in at will the air of freedom.
This fabric is a safety blanket, if lost all is lost. A woman revels in the realm of this fabric, where she has no worry regarding how people will judge her exterior. She is appreciated for her gentleness and soft nature, praised and treasured for her modesty and piety. The hijaab extends the promise of happiness and serenity in a time when women are hoping for salvation from depression and dejection.
Islam has valued women with such a figure, that the money of this world can’t match. They aren’t toys for men to drool over, but the backbones of society. The hijaab ensures that women aren’t a commodity available on the market or on an auction waiting to be sold cheaply to the highest bidder.
The hijaab has gifted women with a new purpose of life. They are now free from the shackles of worrying about the view of the creation, and now can truly turn their attention to their Creator.
This simple piece of clothing inhibits extravagance and lavishness, thus crowning a lady with simplicity in this life and prosperity in the life to come. The hijaab shelters women from the tidal waves of fashion, women dressed in hijaab can never be ‘out of date’. This in itself dissolves so many worries and concerns of clinging onto the ‘trend of the time’.
Women can now walk into a room stripped of the fear of rivalry and competition in appearance. Whereas those deprived of the hijaab are prone to jealousy and rancour as their only objective is to outclass and exceed peers in appearances and looks, which in itself structures a hypocritical social order, wherein friends are venomous snakes, lurking in the dark awaiting the moment to strike. The hijaab advocates equality, hence sowing the seeds of love and mutual compassion amongst female cotemporaries and friends. The hijaab unites the hearts of women by weaving a common thread of modesty and chastity through their souls.
It is a reality and a fact that women are the icons of liberty and freedom in the Islamic global village.