Saturday, March 7, 2009

Faith is Dearer to me than Fashion

I made this design a couple of months ago for my cafepress store. I'm the only one that bought anything with it on it! :) The Arabic word hijab actually translates to curtain or cover. Hijab to me, and to many Muslims is not just a scarf that covers your hair but a whole way of dressing modestly which includes wearing loose clothes that don't show the shape of your body. The dress 'code' for Muslim women is as follows:

1. Clothing must cover the entire body.

2. The material must not be so thin that one can see through it.

3. The clothing must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not apparent

4. The female clothing must not resemble the man's clothing.

5. The design of the clothing must not resemble the clothing of the non-believing women.

6. The design must not consist of bold designs which attract attention.

7. Clothing should not be worn for the sole purpose of gaining reputation or increasing one's status in society.

What I have noticed a lot of recently is the 'fashion' of hijab. Now before I start, I want to say that I don't think that everyone has to wear an abaya or jilbab all the time, but I do wonder about some of the clothing choices that sisters (and brothers) make sometimes. I have no problem with a floor length skirt and a top, but the skirt has to be wide and the shirt has to be loose. I see a lot of sisters that will wear a skirt with that mermaid shape and a shirt that has long sleeves but clings to their arms and chest. This does not conform to the modesty standards that we should adhere to.
I'm not really sure what the point is of trying to be 'fashionable'. What is the reason of trying so hard to make mainstream clothing work as a part of a Muslimah's wardrobe? It wouldn't be so bad if people would buy things a few sizes bigger so they didn't cling, but I get the impression that a lot of sisters think that if it covers their skin they are ok.

So, what is it for really? Are you trying to fit in? Impress someone? Feel beautiful? All 3 of these things have issues. Why do you want to fit in with the non believers? As #5 above says, we should not try to resemble the non believing women. The next reason I came up with was that perhaps we are trying to impress someone. Now who do we need to impress anyone other than Allah (swt)? He is the one that we are here for. We don't need to meet up to anyone elses standard but his. Finally, do we want to feel beautiful? Now this is difficult, because by nature, women feel better when the feel pretty. BUT as Muslim women, we need to remember that our beauty is only for our husbands and our family.

admit that when I first became Muslim I tried really hard to make things work in my wardrobe. I remember going to the masjid wearing pretty tight jeans with a tight zip up sweater.... oh and of course I put on a scarf. At the time, I was still new to Islam and thought I was doing ok... and for the time being I was. It was a step in the right direction. I gradually changed my way of dressing more and more. I would wear skirts and long sleeves shirts (somewhat clingy) and then I moved onto completely loose things, and then finally I just wore an abaya everyday, and let me tell you, that was the best choice ever. Its so easy. You just throw it on and go. You can be wearing anything under it.. it doesn't matter. And you are conforming fully to the modesty guidelines put forth by Allah.

Again there is nothing wrong with not wearing an abaya as long as you still follow the rules. I've seen some sisters really put some nice modest outfits together from clothing bought all at mainstream stores.

One other thing that I dare to bring up is the dreaded high heel shoe. I was a total addict to heels. I loved the way they looked, and they way I walked when I wore them. They made me even taller than I already was and it felt powerful! This all came crashing down when I heard someone at the masjid mention that they had read that we should not wear heels out of the house. I quickly went home to do some research and there it was!
Is it permissible for women to wear high-heeled shoes?

This is not permissible. It involves resembling the disbelieving women, or the wicked women. It has its origins amongst the Jewish women before Islaam. When one of them wanted to attend a gathering where her lover was present, she would wear a pair of high shoes for him to see her, being taller. Then after a time, those became high-heeled shoes. Further, that type of shoe changes a woman’s way of walking, causing her to tilt from left to right, and therefore, the wicked and unbelievers choose this type of shoe. Therefore, a Muslim woman following the Sharee’ah (Islaamic Law) should not wear high-heeled shoes; especially since many times it causes her to fall!

shaikh albani
Once again, this makes perfect sense. Why go through all the trouble to dress modestly only to wear a shoe that causes you to walk in a seductive way, but imitates the disbelievers. Inshallah I don't ruffle any feathers. I'm just making observations, and pondering upon them. May Allah swt guide us all to the straight path.


Noshi said...

LOL at sheikh albani's last comment.

thumma ameen to your dua.

I had this transition too, although I was never really fond of high heels. I went from tight clothes, to loose clothing, to skirts & blouses/jeans and kameezes, and then finally abayah. And it is the best. I can wear my pj's under if I'm running late and no one will ever know! =]

Sacrifice4Allah said...


Good post and i really like the lucid way in which you write!

I agree about hijab being loose and not form-fitting. There's no need to imitate the disbelievers. The Prophet(May Allah's Peace & Blessings be upon him) said:

“Whoever imitates a nation is but one of them.” [hadith Abu Daawood]

Safa said...

Love the post! Great reminder. Yeah, I never get the high heel seems so obvious to me for several reasons why this flies in the face of modesty...anyway, great post.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post.

Pixie said...

I know about the high heel thing! I heard that and stopped buying heels that made me taller. Jazzakallah kheiran for posting the hadith. LOL, I still buy pretty high heels though. I just wear them in my home, for myself. I know that sounds stupid, but that way I can tell Allah subhanhu wa taala I wasn't doing it any way to resemble any one bad or look sexy. I think that's okay:D

Sarah Plain And Short said...

yes this is exactly how i feel about clothes. although i havent been the best , i know ive followed the idea that if my skin is covered its okay but alhumdulillah i'm working to build up my abaya wardrobe.