Hijab or Not Hijab?

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When Is Hijab - "Not Hijab?" -
Umm Muhammad (Muhammad's mother) explains all . . .

Posted byshak on Wednesday, February 21 @ 02:26:05 EST
Contributed by shak


By: Umm Mohammad


    I come originally from the western society of American, in which almost to the letter, anything goes. By that, I mean that nearly any style of dress-or undress perhaps a better term-is common to see nearly anywhere you may go. In view of my own background and personal past, I find no shock in seeing women clad in tight or scanty clothing.

    But what bothers me-not shocks, but bothers-is to witness Muslim women donned in garb which is not conforming with the Islamic ruling of the hijab. I am not talking about young teenage girls who perhaps because of their tender and impressionable age do not yet know any better. I am speaking about full-grown adult women with husbands and children in accompaniment with her in her travels. Women who have lived long enough to gain this very basic knowledge of their own religion and it's teachings. Women who were born and raised in Muslim families, in a tight-knit Muslim society.

    It never ceases to amaze me, as well as sadden and anger me, to witness women getting on a plane on Muslim ground, bound for some destination overseas, clad in her normal customary hijab of the flowing black over-garment, scarves, and face veil, only to discard it the moment the plane is in the air. Then, upon their return to their Muslims countries, there is this sudden rush for the plane's bathrooms 15 minutes preceding the landing, in order that these women can re-do their hijab in haste before making their touch-down. I mean, they could not have possibly donned their hijab at the airport before boarding the plane. They needed to fit in every last moment before arriving to savor the opportunity to remain hijab-less. It is as if there is some sort of unwritten law that says a woman is supposed to observe the rules of proper hijab only while resident inside the boundaries of their relative Muslims countries. It is as if this unwritten law tells the women that the observance of and adherence to a proper hijab is not necessary when traveling overseas.

    And it is one thing for the woman to remove the hijab altogether, leaving no trace for the onlooker to know even if she is Muslim or not. But it is another thing altogether for the woman to make some sort of a sad and rather sick mixture of the hijab and non-hijab.

    My latest experience in this was on a recent trip to Dubai, a neighboring Arab and Muslim land. There were two women in front of me, both family women (their husbands and children in tow), and both in the state of half-hijab soon after the take-off. I noticed them still in their seats in front of me, both clad in seemingly proper and modest head-gear for the hijab. And as I was noticing this, I was making this mental note to myself of how I was happy and satisfied that they were retaining their hijab while traveling, even if they did discard the face covering. Well, when the plane landed at Dubai airport, and we all stood to disembark, I was saddened to notice the remainder of their apparel, only to find that they were both wearing short (above the hips) and tight-fitting shirts over terribly skin-tight hip-hugger jeans. I mean, there was nothing left to the imagination of the figures of either of these women for any onlooker to notice.

    Sure, the color of their midriff skin and even their arms and legs was concealed. But that was the only thing that was concealed. I mean, their whole figure was obviously outlined in exactness due to the tight fitting of their clothing.

    That is truly not hijab. The Arabic term 'hijab' is an all-encompassing term which indicates to conceal, hide, shelter and protect the object concerned. And in the case as it is mentioned in the Qur'an in this respect, it is referring to the need for women to conceal and cover themselves not only for protection, but as well that they should be known to any onlooker as a believing woman. And, as per the verses which are concerned with the hijab in giving it's order and explaining and defining it, it is clear that it is not proper that a woman reveal herself to any non-mahram man. That means her shape and figure as well as her skin.

    My sisters (and brothers who are responsible for women)-the observance of the hijab is not a matter of choice. It is rather a matter of commanding obedience to the divine laws of our Creator!! If you are a Muslim woman, it is your duty to cover properly in obedience to His Command. And if you are a Muslim man, it is your responsibility to support your women and instruct them in obedience to their Creator.

    The matter of hijab is a matter of obeying Allah's command. And when we ignore this important aspect of our religion, we then fall into disobedience of His commands. Allah said (translation of the meaning):

'O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely). That will be better, that they should be known (i.e. as free believing women), so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.' (Qur'an 33:59)

    Upon recalling the revelation of the hijab, our mother Aisha (RAA) has been recorded as praising the women of the region at that time, mentioning that when they first heard the revelation directly from the beloved Prophet (pbuh), that they immediately went into their homes, and did not come out again except that they were covered from head to foot, appearing as the black crow. Apparently nothing showing but their eyes. As we all know that the black crow is completely black, and nothing truly apparent of it other than it's eyes. So were the women of that time, in covering themselves so that nothing of their bodies was revealed.


And this was the description of the female companions of the Prophet (pbuh).

The women who were present in his (pbuh) time, who learned directly from him (pbuh).

    But what about the women of today? Some wearing a hijab which is not truly a hijab which conceals. But rather, a hijab which merely covers by simple definition that it is a piece of cloth which covers the skin, but does not conceal what lies underneath. Hence, it is not truly a hijab. For the basic definition of the term hijab is that it is something which conceals and protects, not attracting attention to look and notice and to know what lies underneath.

    Oh, my sisters-fear Allah as He should be feared! And find in your hearts the strength to discard any of the passing pleasures and temptations of this life. Do not lose the hope of eternal salvation at the price of being weak in this life and grasping the temptation of discarding your hijab. Put your sights on what lies ahead for you after this life, and you will then find the strength to adhere to Allah's commands and directions in all your endeavors and practices in this life. Live and practice the teachings of Islam in your every day life, and you shall then be worthy of Allah's mercy and compassion on the day when even those most close to you in this life will desert you.

    And my brothers-do be strong yourselves and support and guide your women lovingly towards implementation of Islamic teachings in all your interactions in life. Remember that as you see your wife or your sister or your daughter outside in public, so other onlookers are seeing her as well. And as you gaze and follow the actions of other women, so your own women are being watched as you watch others. So, beware of your gaze and where you guide your eyes to look and see again and again. And beware to guard your own women from the gaze of others as well.

    My dear brothers and sisters-the verses of the hijab have no mention in them of adhering to the covering of the hijab only in such and such land. No, rather, it is for all times of the world, and all places of the world. So then, why is it that so many people, as they take off from their Muslim countries, they are so quick to discard this hijab?

    Allah is ever-presently watching over the whole world, not over a particular land. And there is intermingling of people the whole world over. Hence, the necessity to adhere to the laws of the hijab anywhere we travel and at any time.

    I pray that each and every one of us will find it within ourselves to obey our Creator seeking His pleasure and becoming deserving of His never-ending mercy. I pray that He will shed His light and mercy upon us all to instill in our hearts the fear and love of Him enough that we shall all not only learn, but as well implement the teachings He has given us in His Book of Guidance, into our daily lives. He has been so gracious so as to give us this guidance. It is the very least that we can do to implement this guidance into our daily lives.

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