Fashion & Islam.

Tuesday, February 28

Over several months ago I've made one of the best decisions for my life.

I started to wear the hijab.

You know, I was aged 16 when I decided to wear the hijab and started off to slowly to cover my aurah and sorta this. So I took a leap of faith and then moved a step forward. Today I am at peace with myself and I am grateful to God for making what I once thought was impossible, possible. To be frank, I did wearing the hijab at the first place because of the pressure I'm getting since I entered the boarding school that filled with mostly a people with strong religious. Indeed, I felt left out at first, and some of them slowly taught me about how important us, as Muslims, to cover up our aurah and to perform our five times prayer a day. Some of them are being supportive, but yet still, there's still some of them even banned me.

I actually have been meaning to write this post for an incredibly long time, however, the words didn’t seem to flow. There is so much to be said but at the same time I didn’t want to turn my story into something overrated. Words are powerful. They can take something meaningless and translate it into something more meaningful. They can also do the complete opposite. So let's make it as simple as it is.

One of my biggest fears about wearing hijab was that people would judge me based on the negativity they had know about me from my pasts, before getting to know me for themselves. It's not that I am not 100% ready to make a change for myself, it's just I am afraid of what people out there (aside of the people in the boarding school) would think of me. And all of the thoughts that have played in my mind was right !

I didn’t know that I was in for a big surprise.

I've been received both positives and negatives feedbacks from everyone I've known and my followers. Not to bother and take serious into negatives feedbacks, my experience as a hijabi in the last two years has been a very positive one, alhamdulillah. From the first day I started wearing hijab was the day I slowly started to leave behind my old lifestyle and bad habits. It wasn't easy but I realised I had to start somewhere. The essence of modesty is how you feel and not just what you do. Modesty truly begins on the inside and it upsets me whenever I hear people saying things like,

"If you don't wear hijab, you're not a good Muslim woman."

"If you wear jeans and make up with hijab, you look like a clown." (Oh trust me readers, this has been said in a couple of khutbahs (sermons) in our masjid)

Just like Elaiza wrote in her blog, saying that to people is just arrogant and ignorant. That's not how you educate people about Islam. You don't attack them by making them feel bad about themselves. You're suppose to inspire them so that they will take the steps that they need to understand why modesty is required in Islam. Surely when modesty is sown and nurtured in one's heart, it will blossom and branch out into actions that are beautiful in God's eyes.

So back then, when I've been asked about my first intention to wear the hijab in this "modern" world, about the time until when I can still survive by covering my aurah without being fashionable. The question itself is irrelevant to me, "Why do you have to wear the hijab in this modern world?" To answer your question, this is what I would say:

There are many misconceptions about the hijab. Firstly, I only have to wear hijab or cover my awrah in front non-mahrams. So that means when I'm at home or when I'm only surrounded by women I don't have to cover my hair or other parts of my awrah. Secondly, there's no point in trying to be "progressive" if it means sacrificing peace of mind and a relationship with your Creator. Fashion trends don't last but what has existed and will always exist is Him. The pursuit of pleasing people is like chasing pavements whereas the pursuit of pleasing God is never fruitless.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed." Hadith Qudsi, Sahih Bukhari.

What is deemed modern is only modern for a moment in time but Islam was sent through the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Final Messenger of Allah swt. In Surah Al-Anbiyaa, God revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), "And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind" {21:107}. Allah swt didn't say he was a mercy to the people of the 14th century but to all mankind. This means the message of Islam is to last until the end of time.

Furthermore, Islam will always be relevant because the Holy Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad's sayings (hadiths) address the issue of the human character and human nature. Cultures and social standards have evolved but human nature has remained the same throughout centuries. The human character and soul are aspects of the self that will always require help. Yes, the Qur'an was revealed over 1400 years ago but if you think about it people are still dealing with the same issues that are discussed in the Qur'an. Issues such as identity, family relations, social relations and lifestyle. So when Allah swt tells us something in the Qur'an (i.e. to dress and behave modestly) there is surely wisdom in it that will benefit not only us but our grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren and so on. Let's not forget that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said,

"Every Deen (religion) has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty (haya)."
{Abu Dawood}

Islam is a way of life, a way of thinking. Its principles have been established by Allah swt to transcend all trends and eras. Women of the 21st century are as deserving of respect, dignity and honour as women of any point in time. Most importantly, while people may define beauty in terms of aesthetics, Islam advocates that true beauty lies in good character (akhlaq) and part of having good character is inner modesty which usually translates into physical modesty.

And I still believe the issues of covering aurah in this modern era but yet still have the element of modesty is relevant now. Just to make it as a highlight, Islam never hold up us to be fashionable. Just like what Anna told us - seeing the trend these days, myself included, I feel that we are drifting further and further away from the core reason of the hijab. It's not only about covering the hair on our head, but all other parts of the body as well. I'm pretty sure all Muslim girls/women understand the concept of covering your aurah.

Unfortunately we do not apply this concept as a whole. We only take bits and pieces which we feel are convenient. We customize according to our own tastes and desires. Why? To look beautiful of course. Is it wrong to wanting to look beautiful? No. But, perhaps the things we do, in this case, the things we wear might not be quite appropriate.

Those who claim, "I know what I'm doing.. I do it for Islam. I do it for the love for Allah.." DO WE REALLY? I'm sure that is somewhat our intention but I believe we mainly do it for ourselves or perhaps the society who tend to be so judgmental, or maybe for the facebook likes, or feeling good about yourself when people compliment your look, e.t.c..

It's not easy, but it's possible. Now, let's all try to by better a better Muslimah. Allah loves us,how about we show Him that we do too! So let's wear it right. This entry was inspired by this video done by this one lovely lady, Adibah.

I agree with every single word she says. "Just put Islam before fashion"