Attractive Hijabs & Shari’ah

On the streets of London, Amsterdam and other big cities in Europe we witness various types of un-Islamic hijabs. Tight Jeans (also known as ‘skinny jeans’), long leather high heeled boots and tight shirts with a head scarf are all typical representations of the kind of hijab that is now being promoted by many young and middle aged Muslim women.

Living in the west, the hijab has become a potent indicator of identity with many non-Muslims viewing it as a political statement. However, it is pertinent to note that the hijab is, first and foremost, an act of worship that women engage in, and an act undertaken to seek the pleasure of one’s Lord.

The definition of a hijab is fiercely contested by many Muslims, and unfortunately most of those who engage in the topic are unaware that it is very much defined by Islamic law, the Shari’ah, and not cultural habits or one’s idea of what modesty is, or should be.
In discussing the hijab, Islamic jurists have stipulated a number of conditions for it to be a hijab in the Islamic sense. In brief, these conditions are that one’s clothing must cover the entire body in a way that the shape of the body is not apparent and the material must not be so thin that one can see through it. Clothing should not resemble that which is specific to men nor the disbelievers. It should not be attractive to men, nor should women be perfumed in public. The main aim of hijab is to stop fitnah; females who are attractive by nature attract the gaze of males which then leads to other greater sins such as fornication and adultery. Allah commanded women neither to display their adornment nor to display any form of behaviour that might attract the attention of men. Allah says,
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands fathers, their sons, their husbands sons, their brothers or their brothers sons, or their sisters sons, or their women, or the female slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.”[1]
The Shari’ah also prohibits women from speaking softly for essentially the same reason – to prevent fitnah. Allah says,
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salat, and give Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger.”[2]
As the verse states, Allah forbids the wives of the Prophet to incite the desires of weak men, and given that this effective cause (illah) is to do with desire which is found everywhere, then this command should certainly be applied to all other women as well.
In fact, scholars from various schools of thought prohibit women from raising their voices in public, even if it be the utterance of the talbiyah during hajj or the adhan (call to prayer) between females. The Shari’ah also prohibits men to visit lonely women and to stay alone with them. It also prohibited men to look at women. Allah says,
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”[3]
On the streets of London, Amsterdam and other big cities in Europe we witness various types of un-Islamic hijabs. Tight Jeans (also known as ‘skinny jeans’), long leather high heeled boots and tight shirts with a head scarf are all typical representations of the kind of hijab that is now being promoted by many young and middle aged Muslim women. Fancy scarves are also a form of covering that is seen as a ‘Shari’ah compliant hijab’. Indeed, the way many Muslim women adorn the hijab defeats the whole purpose of hijab itself. Furthermore, western women are very fond of attracting the interest and attention of men. It seems that many of our Muslims sisters have been influenced by this and have started to wear clothes to attract the admiration of “brothers” in an enticing way.
One of the main problems is limiting the hijab as being a manifestation of female Muslim identity. When France banned the hijab they looked at it as a religious symbol unable to understand the meaning of ibaadah (worship). However, it is unfortunate to see many Muslims treating it as merely a form of identity, and once the symbolic representation has been accomplished the necessity to perform it in a way that meets its conditions laid down by Allah is overlooked. This is one of subtly reprehensible values that many western Muslims have unknowingly adopted. We have to understand that Islamic practices including observing the hijab are actions of ibaadah. They are meant to please Allah, avoid being disobedient, and earn hasanaat in order to attain a high rank in paradise. Allah says,
And (remember) when it was said to them: “Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, (O Allah) forgive our sins; and enter the gate prostrate (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrong-doings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.”[4]
In misunderstanding the fundamental aim of entering paradise, we lose in this life and the hereafter as any other aim is considered by Shari’ah as a worldly one. The reward of worldly aims is given in this life and no reward will be given after death. Allah says,
Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.[5]
This is a major mistake that many Muslims fall into when undertaking many Islamic practices. Having the correct aim in wearing the hijab is the first and main step towards a solution for this problem. It should be noted that projecting concerns about this non-shar’ii form of hijab does not imply discouraging Muslim women from observing a limited form of hijab which they have chosen, but instead it serves to encourage Muslim women to progress to observe the correct method of hijab. The intention of this article is driven by the desire for improvement and progress and not to incite women to withdraw from the hijab completely.
Some Muslims posit that we should not be strict in calling for the proper observance of many Islamic practices in the west, and as such, we should encourage Muslim women to do as much as they are, without criticism, even if some do not complete such observance. Undoubtedly we agree to encouraging Muslim women to do as much as they can, but correcting wrong or incomplete Islamic practices is an obligation upon those who know.
It is indeed the case that many sisters are completely ignorant about the conditions of the legally valid hijab, and hence it is incumbent upon us to raise awareness of the legal conditions and features of a correct hijab. Knowledge is the cure for many of our mistakes. Advising sisters who undoubtedly wear the hijab out of good intentions as well as educating their parents is another way towards solving this issue. It might be a good idea to print and distribute some leaflets that describe the authentic hijab in a way that goes beyond merely a head covering.
[1] 24:31
[2] 33:32-33
[3] 24:30
[4] 7:161
[5] 11:15
 source: islam21c

About theCall

“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
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2 Responses to Attractive Hijabs & Shari’ah

  1. bint Yusuf says:

    assalamu alaikum,

    Unfortunately, we as Muslims live during a time when there is no Islamic State to stop the Munkar we see on a daily basis. It is an obligation on Muslims that we try to stop the different Munkars we see. It is one of the biggest challenges a Muslim has to endure to stop a Munkar when there is no support from the Islamic State.

    We have been brought back to a time when the kuffar in Mecca used to order the Muslims to stop carrying the da’wah and not to worshipping publicly. As the ayah stated;

    وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ

    “Let their arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), commanding al’Ma’ruf (good) and forbidding al’Munkar (evil)” [Al-Imran, 3:104]

    One type of Munkar that we see is the new trend of hijab. Hijab is not a fashion statement and never was meant to be. It is an act of obedience that has been clearly defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There is no debate on what is allowed and what is prohibited. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has clearly defined the meaning and as time goes on it should not meet the new trends of society. Unfortunately, we now see the hair bangs showing from the veil, the earlobes showing their earrings, tight fitting clothes, sandals displaying their feet. The neck is shown because the veil is tied at the side or from the back, the huge barrettes to make a hump like style under the veil. These are all types of tabarruj (revealing the beauty), which Islam has prohibited. We see women in public wearing tight fitting clothes even though the awrah is covered, that is under the category of Tabarruj.

    A hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم stated that, “Two categories of people; have not seen them (yet): some people who hold whips like the tails of the cow by which they lash people. And women who wear (clothes) but (are) half -naked, bending (their bodies) and bending the sight of men to them. Their heads are like the tilted humps of the camels. These women will not enter the paradise nor will they experience its smell (odor), though its odor is felt at a distance of so and so.”

    It is disturbing to find hijab fashion magazines and websites to teach fashionable hijab styles. It gives Muslim women the Western style format of how to match the veil with the shirt, pants, and purse. One magazine steered clear of the idea of the jilbab and only introduced Western clothing to go out with. This is intentionally done to steer the Muslim sisters away from what Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed. This has weaved doubt among Muslims with their religion. Hijab should not merit discussions on what is allowed or prohibited. Allah has defined his laws about hijab.

    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ

    “Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (Jalabeeb) all over their bodies.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:59]

    Did the Muslims forget when Umm Atiyya (ra) asked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, “Oh Messenger of Allah, what about one who does not have a jilbab?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, “Let her use the Jilbab of her sister.” This clearly states that if her excuse is that she does not own a jilbab, she is to borrow one from her neighbor.

    The West is trying to redefine the meaning of hijab in order for Muslim women to break ties with Islam. Discussions about hijab were generated by the colonialists to corrupt the Islamic Aqeedah. The West realized that Muslim women all over the world implemented the standards of hijab. The West gradually started to place ideas of fashionable hijab. The West makes the women feel that the idea of hijab is an oppressive and constraining form of dress. They are using so-called scholars to give another meaning to the jilbab and distort what certain ayat mean. The West purposely is encouraging scholars to change the meanings of hijab to steer Muslims away from Islam. It is clearly stated in several ayat what happens when proofs from Allah سبحانه وتعالى have been revealed. One being,

    وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

    “And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” [Al-Imran, 3:105]

    The West mocks the Muslim woman for wearing hijab and tries to disgrace her. The West has succeeded in passing laws banning the hijab. Tunis and Turkey restricts the wearing of the headscarves in government buildings and public schools, and discourages women from wearing the hijab on public grounds. France has banned the wearing of any religious symbols, including the hijab in public schools and government buildings. On June 22, 2009; the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, said that “burqas are not welcome in France,” commenting that, “In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity.” Belgium passed a law that banned face-covering clothing in public as seen when a Moroccan immigrant was fined due to wearing of the burqa. Some states in Germany have also banned the hijab in public schools. This clearly shows that the West is threatened by the hijab and Muslims in general.

    Why are some Muslims then trying to fit in with a regime that is trying to destroy Islam in all aspects? We need to stand together as one Ummah fighting this Munkar we see on a daily basis. We as Muslims should not try to fit into a regime that is man-made but a regime that was sent down by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. We need to forbid this Munkar we are seeing and be strong in fighting for the cause of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. We should not fear any laws that were man-made but only Allah سبحانه وتعالى. It is crucial that we as Muslims join together and call for the Islamic ideology to lift this oppression on all Muslims and decrease the Munkars we see. This cause needs perseverance, steadfastness, and patience. As many ayat show the importance of patience as such,

    أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ

    “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were so shaken and that even the Messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘when will come the Help of Allah?’ Yes certainly, the help of Allah is near!” [Al-Baqarah, 2:214]

    May Allh guide us to the right path (amin)


  2. ruqaya says:

    My fellow Muslimah, KNOW your WORTH. Know that you are a RAHMA from Allah and a jewel in the eyes of a Muslim man. You are a MERCY for man kind and you beneath your feet, lies paradise. Do not EVER feel as though you are not worth MORE than the world. Do not forget the STATUS that Allah has given you, and never fail to remember, that you are BEAUTIFUL in every way imaginable.


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