The Reality of Hijaab, The Muslim Woman's Dress
[Article taken from ‘Invitation to Islam’ newsletter, September 1997]
Ever since the appearance of Hijaab in the west, there has been a constant crusade against this noble act.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of a teeming metropolis, a solitary figure traverses. She moves steadily in her black garment which shields her against the tyranny of this life. Whilst others around her rush frantically, she move with tranquillity and ease. The peace which she achieves beneath this veil of hers, is immense. It is a liberation beyond measure. Is this a princess of royal blood? No. Is she a head of state? No. So who is this woman of serenity? This is a woman of Hijaab. A woman amongst many women. A Muslim Woman.
The site of a woman covering from top to bottom, is not so rare anymore in the major cities of the West. For many Westerners it represents the oppression which Islam imposes upon women. For Muslims however, it is the realisation that Islam will eventually reach every corner of this planet. This is not surprising, considering that Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth. What is surprising, for Westerners, is that 7 out of 10 (70%) people who become Muslim are Women! It is these same women who then go on to willingly observe the Hijab without coercion or force. The women of Hijaab in the cities of London, Paris, New York etc, are not all immigrants who have just stepped off the boat, as many people think. Rather, many of them tend to be women of high intellect and education. Women who have experienced the bitterness of western oppression. Women of diverse nationalities and races, who are brought together as one, under the banner of Islam.
An Islaamic Duty
About the words "..except that which appears ordinarily thereof..", then the scholars of Islam have explained that these words refer to the hands and face of a woman. This is supported by the hadith of the Prophet (saws) : "Aisha reported that Asmaa, the daughter of Abu Bakr, entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allaah wearing thin transparent clothing, So the Messenger of Allaah turned away from her saying : ‘O’ Asmaa, when a women reaches the age of menstruation, it is not allowed that any of her should be seen except this’ – and he pointed to his face and two hands." The Hijaab is therefore something which MUST cover the entire body of a woman, except her face and hands. It is NOT a simple headscarf which many women wear, because a piece of cloth on the head does not conceal the parts of a woman’s body, which when exposed, are the result of much strife. Besides covering the entire body, the Hijaab also has other conditions, such as not being tight, transparent, too colourful or resembling the clothes of a man. These conditions are also proven from Islaam.
The Benefits of Hijaab
-Obedience- Whilst other women are subjected to the pressures and slavery of modern society, the Muslim woman is truly free from this. In the west, women are expected to conform to the liberal fashions which appear daily. These fashions and expectations are often shaped by men. In this way, women become the slaves of society and man. Hijab is the liberator of this slavery. It takes women away from the obedience of man, to the obedience of the Most Perfect, Allaah. This obedience will only bring about good, because we believe that Allaah is the Most Kind and the Most Just. Slavery to the one with such characteristics, is a slavery of reward and contentment. It is not a slavery from which your fellow human (the woman) is exploited and oppressed, just because your desires and lusts run wild.
The result of these obedient actions will be an everlasting reward. A reward which all Muslim women aspire for. A reward called paradise :
-A Shield- Allaah says :
One of the greatest benefits of Hijaab, is the natural protection it gives to a woman. By wearing Hijaab, a woman shields herself from the rampant desires of man. By his very nature, man is a creature of intense desire. The Hijaab controls this desire and thus not only protects the woman, but also the man. Sexually motivated crimes in the west are on the increase. Rape, molestation and harassment are reaching epidemic levels. Undoubtedly the clothing of a woman has something to do with this. When women walk around with literally nothing on, some men see it as a signal to do as they please. This results in the honour of a woman being scarred for life. The Muslim woman does not have this problem. She knows that when she walks on the streets, the men will not look at her. Why? Because there is nothing for them to look at!! She feels like a princess who is shielded from the savages of her domain. Peace and security is felt beneath the veil. The woman of Hijaab does not have to reveal her body in order to gain respect. She does not have to have her ‘bits’ hanging out so that men can drool over her. If a man desires her, then it has to be for her religion and intellect. The Hijaab gives him no other choice. She is a woman who is truly shielded from the nature of man.
-Nature- The nature of a woman is fundamentally different from man. Women are more timid, gentle and caring then men. This is the reason why they have been chosen (by Allaah) to be the perfect rearers of children. The Hijaab reinforces this nature of the woman. We praise Allaah that he has ordered this Hijaab, for the world that we live in seeks to change our very nature as human beings. Men try to be women and women try to be men. People are being led into confusion by the political correctness which is so popular in our societies. Many women have jumped onto the bandwagon of feminism and lesbianism, shouting how evil and oppressive men are. But when one looks at these sad creatures, their delusion is clear. While claiming to hate men, their attire suggests otherwise. Short hair, bomber jackets and steel toecapped boots, are the vogue for these women. Their hatred for men is so much, that their very appearance resembles the enemy!! Some of these women have even gone to the extreme of growing masses of facial hair. The hideous site of these bearded ladies, is enough to put anyone off their dinner!!! Such depravity is far from natural. The Hijab on the other hand, enables the woman to stay as a woman. Rather then being a monstrosity, a woman in Hijab is like an oyster with a beautiful pearl inside it. Her femininity has stayed feminine, without being altered into masculinity. There is no doubt about it, this is a TRUE WOMAN.
-Honour- Contrary to the tales of the media, the Hijab provides an honour for the woman like no other garment does. For many women, a dress designed by Versace or Armani is all the honour they need. But the Hijaab carries far more honour then these worthless clothes. Whilst the dresses of the catwalks are designed by mere mortals, the Hijaab comes from the one who is immortal, Allaah. Through it a woman is held with the utmost respect. True Muslim men are obliged to keep their Muslim sisters away from the corruption of this world. Thus a Muslim will not allow for someone to ogle his wife, chat her up or harass her. The honour of a Muslim woman demands that this does not happen. How contrary this is to life in the west. Men in the west feel no obligation to protect women from the harms of society. This is why a man will allow his wife to be a stripper, call-girl and even a prostitute. Honour knows no place in the west. This honour will only be achieved from Islam and its Hijab.