Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Our shield, our identity

Hijab is an act of worship, and as an act of worship, it will be rewarded.

Part of our commitment to Allah SWT is to trust that He knows what is best for us and that what He has commanded is what is right. If we find ourselves disliking the way that He has set for us, our challenge is not to ignore or to try to change His command, but rather it is to seek for ourselves the wisdom in the command and to surrender to His will. If we don't like what He has commanded, we should try to change ourselves not His commands. We should try to find reasons why His command is right and will be beneficial for us, and we should try to motivate ourselves through this to obey the command.
We look to the Quran and Sunnah to find what Allah SWT has commanded. Neither one can be taken alone but they both go together.
"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, [a list of relatives], or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss."
Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 says:
"O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outergarments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle."
The reason why Muslim women should wear an outer garment when going out of their homes is that they may be recognised as "Believing" women and differentiated from streetwalkers for whom sexual harassment is an occupational hazard. The purpose of this verse was not to confine women to their homes, but to make it safe for them to go about their daily business without attracting unsavoury attention.
Together, these two ayat lay out seven commandments for Muslim sisters:

1. "to lower their gazes"
2. "to guard their private parts"
3. "not to display their beauty except what is apparent of it"
4. "to extend their headcoverings to cover their bosoms"
5. "not to display their beauty except to their husbands or their fathers..."
6. "not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide"
7. "to draw their outergarments close around themselves"

Lowering the gaze means not looking at what is forbidden to be seen of others. Guarding the private parts means that only the husband is allowed to see or touch them. Not giving knowledge of what is hidden means not posturing or strutting around so as to jangle hidden jewellery or make men think about hidden body parts. All of these are part of what Allah SWT has commanded in regard to hijab.

What is apparent are the hands and face, it is clearly stated that the hair should be covered and extending to cover the chest, this includes the ears and the neck, and outergarments should be drawn around, not showing the figure of the woman which could lead to unlawful gazes, and encourage male desires.
The purpose for clothes in the west is beauty, for attraction. On the subject of attraction, two sure things exists, one in a woman and one in a man. That which exists within a woman is the desire to show herself off, it is a part of her nature. That which exists in a man is an inclination towards looking, not just looking but flirting and receiving pleasure from it. By dressing in a way that Allah (swt) has asked of us, it will prevent the showing off as there will be no means for one to do so, and hence men will not be inclined in looking or behaving in an unlawful manner that would put himself and you at risk.

As you must be aware, women walk the streets virtually naked these days. But this nakedness may not be the actual revealing of skin. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) spoke about times that would come where women are clothed but naked (i.e. her clothes will be tight fitting, transparent) this is amongst the signs of the Day of Judgement.
We should not fall into this trap. Wear hijab for the sake of Allah, it is only of benefit to us in this life and the next.

We should be known as chaste and virtuous women not mere puppets of media. A statement of truth and liberation, not a means of profit and subjects of abuse. A sight of honour- a believing woman following the way of the Ummahat-al-mu'mineen, not followers of these celebrities.

Sisters who wear hijab, I'm sure you feel very safe and shielded, and at the same time you know your representing Islam and this reinforces you to observe proper Islamic etiquettes. Its wonderful to see Muslimahs who are not afraid to wear hijab :) our bodies are beautiful so only our husbands have the right to see them, not every man who walks past. Biiiggg high five to the Hijabi's :D

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