Hija’ab & I
January 21, 2008
Somehow, somewhere, on the path to hayaa, perfection & completion of aadhaab, of putting on the hijaab, protecting yourself, your privacy, and most respectably your honour- Hija’ab turned into a fashion sense, a look, a style, a persona. It became about what hijaab fit your face shape best and which didn’t, it became about stopping shopping for regular clothes but doubling efforts to find longer, sleeker clothing.
Somewhere along the line, hayaa became a thought at the back of my head, and finishing the look to my outfit came to the forefront, and if that meant foresaking a tight spot here and there, then so be it.
Subhan’Allaah, where I have come to? Where have I landed myself?
Just the other day, a young girl looking to start hijaab said to me, Insha’Allaah I’ll be starting as soon as I find the right hijaab, that looks best and gives the right compliments to my face shape. I just stood there, dumbfounded, blank in mind, silence on my tongue. I couldn’t bring myself to say; When, Y’Allaah!, when did this peice of cloth turn from a symbol of honour and self-respect, of the ultimate protection, into just another fashion symbol?
When did it become just another persona and style in the massive sea of fashionistas and designers? How we have demeaned hijaab, starting only with myself, reflecting only on my own thoughts and desires, how I have watered it down to such an individualistic style, to representing the value of its’ designer and the shape of its’ cut. How I am only fooling myself, how my nafs has driven me head under water, blind to the world, blind to myself, thinking I am dressing to please Allaah, while all I’m doing is pleasing the people.
Why, why? Again and again we blind ourselves, though our intentions start pure and strong, if we don’t take our precautions and listen to our hearts, everything becomes distorted, falsified, blackened by the shiny world of endless designer names, patterns, styles, abundant supplies of clothing upon clothing, hijaab upon hijaab.
What’s wrong with dressing well in proper hayaa and modesty, you may ask? Nothing, it seems on the surface, but look a bit deeper and the troubled waters will hit you, surely they did for me. From the defintion of hayaa to the defintion of hijaab, to the limits of exuberance, being cautious of ostentation. You tell me, what’s that cloth on your head doing? Attracting less attention, or more? You cover up and then add glitter to your coverings, what does that do? Nothing.
Let me define somethings for myself, as a servant of Allaah azawajaal, a human just trying to fulfill my purpose in pleasing my Lord, how should I present myself to the world, to the people? I think, humility is the first trait that comes to mind, I want to be humble before Allaah first, and second, my people. Humility within hayaa, hayaa defined by simplicity, modesty and moderation.
I am nothing but a servant of the All-Mighty, everything I have is in all thanks and Hamd to only Him, and every blessing I can count is only due to His mercy, so what do I have, to prove to anyone? I really don’t have anything.
Now, hijaab starts off as a protection of me from the world, with a cloth that shrouds beauty and clothing that must obscure the curves and angles, the hijaab defines you primarily as having hayaa, secondly of humility, of not showing off. Thus, all it should do is cover you with a sense of modesty and moderation, simplicity of style, with grace of adhaab to polish it all off.
This is how I should be representing myself, not more, not less. Hijaab to me is a purpose, not just another style to dress up and conform to the latest seasonal trend. Then I think, what do other uncovered girls see in a fashionable hijaabi? Do they see that sense of purpose, or do they see another sleek, chic style that they might warm upto for its sense of fashion, its mere materialistic form. They start desiring it for its’ look, not for its true purpose of hayaa.
Listen, all I’m saying is, don’t ruin such an honourable purpose, such a noble intention, with base desires for dunya, for material nothings, when you know, and I know, at the end of the day both of us will have to be satisfied with a white shroud and six feet of dirt, six feet of Earth. Who gave me the right, the right, to debase and degrade such an invaluable symbol of humility and protection and turn it into a materialistic desire with a pricetag?
I take refuge, I take refuge, I take refuge in the Only, Perfect One, from the accursed, from myself, and from my perenially unsatisfied nafs.
Allahumma Innaka Afuwun Tuhibul Afwa Afu Anni.