Hijaab is an Attitude, not a Fashion (and it's for Men Too!!)

Muslim tourist wearing a headscarf

Muslim tourist wearing headscarf
Muslim tourist wearing headscarf.
Fawzia Malik

Wearing the Hijaab isn't just a matter of simply putting a piece of cloth on your head, it is an attitude, a way of thinking and behaving, and accepting yourself for who and what you are. Basically it constitutes an Islamic way of life, it is a statement which indeed should portray a certain attitude.

A woman may indeed wear a long skirt and a scarf, but if she flirts constantly, then she can't be really described as wearing the Hijaab (Indeed clothes should be long, loose and not see through, after which any style of clothing is applicable).

The whole idea involves conducting oneself with dignity at all times (that means running for the bus and boisterous behaviour in public is not a good idea!!). As previously mentioned, the Hijaab depicts a statement, and that is something one should be continually aware of. It identifies you as a Muslim, and ultimately people will judge Islam by you, and that is a heavy responsibility!!

Yet sisters, we must also be thankful that by wearing the Hijaab, we go a long way in fulfilling our duties of Dawah. Curiosity prompts people to question us, giving us the opportunity to show the non-muslims the beauty of our religion. O.k., so we may get the stares at times (to which one rapidly becomes immune), but it is amazing how many are sincerely interested, oh and not to forget the redoubtable old British ladies on the Tube ("Oh I do like your headdress, my dear!!!").

Hijaab isn't meant to restrict you from doing the kind of things you want to do, it is a blessing because it makes us check our behaviour continuously, preventing us from doing the things that muslims shouldn't be doing anyway. Anything (with the blessings of the Almighty, is possible) -studying, working etc. etc. -provided it is within the bounds of Islam (Halal).

Sometimes, however the decision to wear the Hijaab can become extra complicated through external pressures, notably family and friends. Unfortunately, even some muslims nowadays look upon the Hijaab as being too "extreme", and the like and when these attitudes come from members of your family then the decision becomes all the more difficult.

Speaking from experience, things do change, because ultimately, you are doing this for Allah (s.w.t), and he will make it easy for you, by "softening" the hearts of those that may not be all that encouraging. Eventually they themselves will want to follow you because deep down they know that it is the right thing to do. If that doesn't help, then this should convince you:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said : Allah the Almighty says:

"I am as my servant thinks I am...If he draws near to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him an arms length; and if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes walking, I go to him at speed."

On the other side, it is important to ascertain the motive for wearing the Hijaab. If you are thinking of wearing it to please your husband, to impress people at the mosque, or just as a change, then please think again. Hijaab (as with everything else) is to please Allah (s.w.t) only, any other motive will not sustain that conviction.

A word also to our brothers; Hijaab may seem to be merely a woman's issue, but that is not so. Muslim men have to follow a dress code too, no matter if it isn't as extensive as for women it still exists! The men, like women, should also wear loose clothes -so no tight fitting jeans please!! Their attitude to all women should also always remain respectful and business like, as the women's attitude to men should be.

Finally, all of the above pales in significance to the words of our Creator (s.w.t):

Say to the believing men
That they should lower
Their gaze and guard
Their modesty: that will make
For greater purity for them:
And Allah is well acquainted
With all that they do.
And say to the believing women
That they should lower
Their gaze and guard
Their modesty: that they
Should not display their
Beauty and ornaments except
What (ordinarily) appear
Thereof; that they should
Draw their veils over
Their bosoms and not display
Their beauty except
To their husbands, their fathers,
Their Husband's fathers, their sons,
Their brothers or their brothers' sons,
Or their sisters' sons,
Or their women, or their slaves
Whom their right hands
Possess, or male attendants
Free of sexual desires.
Or small children who
Have no carnal knowledge of women;
And that they
Should not strike their feet
In order to draw attention
To their hidden ornaments.
And O ye Believers!
Turn ye all together
Towards Allaah in repentance that ye
may be successful.

(Al -Quran, ch.24:30-31)