Written by an anonymous sister
Bi ‘ismihi Ta’ alah
Smokey eyes: check
Nabila admires herself in the mirror as she gets ready to leave the house. Bright green piercing eyes stare back at her. Her make up is perfect, her scarf is perfect, her niqaab covers the lower half of her face, her abaya is on trend. Designer handbag and killer heels; now her look is complete.
A selfie posted on her Instagram page. Check
Yes, I cover my face; yes, I cover my hair; yes, I cover my body. So, yes, I am modest and fulfilling the commands of Allah Ta’ala. My hijab is my covering , my prerogative. My licence to leave feminist footprint.
But is this what hijab really is? Is this the Hayah that Allah Ta’ala has commanded of us in the Quraan ?
وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ
“And say to the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment.” [Surah Ahzaab]
We have covered our faces but our eyes attracts the gaze of others more than even our clothes. We walk with our camel heads held high, our gait swinging, our feet tapping as the heels hit the floor; safe in the knowledge that my face is covered so I am in hijab.
My dear sisters this is not hijab!
Attracting the gaze of men and drawing attention to ourselves is not hijab. Laughing loudly with our heads thrown back and bangles jingling is not hijab. Swinging our handbags and walking with a dancing stride is not hijab.
Scarves with layers and colours draped to high fashion standards is not hijab. Open abayas with tights and jeans exposed is not hijab. Throws and turbans is not hijab. Do not be deceived, this is the reality that muslimahs of our times have succumbed to.
Wearing a niqaab is not an excuse to display ourselves. It does not gives us the right to socialize with men, to engage in unnecessary conversations with the opposie sex and to flaunt ourselves. It does not give us the right to post selfies on social media and to upload hijab tutorials. It does not give us the right to look down on those who are not wearing hijaab and pat ourselves on the back for wearing the niqaab.
To cover ourselves is the command of Allah Ta’ala not a choice that we made.
The Quraan says:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا
“And do not even go near fornication. It is indeed a shame and an evil way to follow.” [Surah Isra]
It is forbidden for a women to adorn herself for anyone accept her husband. Beautification for others is the path to zina. A lustful glance cast your way is a sin compounded in your books. You are responsible for every admiring peek and flirtatious glimpse that is thrown your way.
We find ourselves facing the mantra that, “I’m doing it for myself.” If this was the case why do we not beautify ourselves while lounging at home? Why is makeup and mascara removed and the leggings and heels replaced with trackpants and slippers? Why is the casual attitude adopted for our spouses and the smart look reserved for going out?
This hijab is the deception of shaitaan. He has led us to believe that we are doing right. In this way we will not be able to even repent for our wrongs. We have fooled ourselves into believing that we are being rewarded when in actual fact we are accumulating sins.
We have been blinded by media and fashion houses that is the modest muslimah of the 21st century. We are trying to find a balance between modern and modest, but my dear sisters Islam has no grey areas. The commands are clear.
Hijab is concealment. It is the natural desire to cover oneself. Hijab is avoiding the limelight and walking in the shadows. It is lowering the voice and loosening the abaya. It is making yourself least attractive as possible when leaving the safety of you home.
Hijab without Haya is merely a piece of fabric. Haya is the grain of social and personal behaviour, morality and values. Haya has to come from within. The desire to be modest, bashful, sincere and humble has to come from the core of our character. When this is achieved then only have we understood the meaning of true hijaab.