In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficial.
February 1st of every year is now marked world hijab day. This was created to raise awareness about hijab and clear misconceptions regarding it. The question now is whether that aim is really being met? or is it just doing more harm than good?
Every deed in islam has to be done in accordance with the shari’ah and sunnah in order for it to be accepted, and the hijab is no exception. It also isn’t any coincidence that in both the two places the command of hijab was mentioned in the qur’an, they were coupled with its conditions. And the same goes for the many ahadiths about the hijab. Allah (swt) said:
-And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) And not to show off their adornments except only that which is apparent (outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), 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(Q24:31)
-O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful. (33:59)
We wear the hijab because its a command from Allah so therefore it has to be in accordance with how He (swt) said it should be it. In the first verse, it is said not to show off your adornments. We all know adornments are those things that beautify &decorate us. This includes our beautiful clothes, jewelries, make-up e.t.c The second condition which appeared in both verses was ‘to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks and bosoms, etc.)’ This refers to the outer covering, which is not adorned, to be drawn all over our bodies.
The hijab we see all over the net in the name of ‘creating awareness” and encouraging women to wear it” by world hijab day event has nothing to do with this. I wonder where on earth they got their definition of hijab. Apparently what they consider to be a hijab is a scarf over the head, and for some, a scarf plus some beautifully decorated body fitting long clothing which is considered the ‘covering’. Subhanallah! How is it that a man-made definition of hijab is created just so we can suit our desires? Who are we wearing the hijab for in the first place?
If it isn’t obvious, just the action of wearing a covering with big bold and beautiful eye-catching patterns in different colours is in of itself ridiculous. The main purpose of the hijab is not to draw attention to ourselves as Allah (swt) said: ‘That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed’ (annoyed by people staring and flirting with them, the reason why the verse was revealed). And likewise, a covering that is body clinging cannot cover our bosoms, thighs, figures e.tc but can only reveal them the more.
Now, not only does world hijab day advocates this wrong type of hijab to the world, it also promotes the the act of women displaying themselves.
Muslim women take pictures of themselves wearing the supposed hijab and show it to the world in order to prove to others they are not oppressed. As muslim women, displaying ourselves totally goes against the teachings of islam. How is it that we actually call people to look at us (i.e by displaying our pictures) and we say we wear the hijab to divert attention from us? How can we help men to lower their gazes by displaying ourselves to them? Allah (swt) referred to such people as those copying the women of the time of ‘jahiliyyah’!
“and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” (Q33:33).
Futhermore, lets be true to ourselves when answering this question: does the hijab really need any more awareness? What more awareness does it need since it has been the subject of controversy all over the media and the world at large for many years? And for goodness sake, the hijab is a command of Allah not something we choose to do or not. The main event on that day is that women, both muslims and non-muslims try the hijab and experience how it feels for a day. Subhanallah! Duhh? its a command of Allah? How is it that we call muslim women to try wearing the hijab for a day? We should only consistently remind them to fear Allah and judgement day and abide by its command. In another ayah, Allah (swt) says:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error ” (Q33:36)
The whole concept of world hijab day as we have now seen is of no signifance but rather doing“more harm than good” as quoted earlier. Lets call our sisters that have already fallen into this trap before its ill effects spread beyond our control. The mere act of insisting to wear the hijab despite all the odds is enough to clear any misconception people have about it such as women been oppressed, no need of going about displaying ourselves.
We don’t need any special day to celebrate our hijab. Its a command of Allah, and that’s enough for it to be special.
Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam having said this, “Their are two groups of people destined for the fire of hell. First, those officials who would carry with them whips looking like the tails of cows and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite being apparently clothed. They themselves will be inclined towards men and lure them as well. Their heads will be tall like the humps of Bukhti camels, bent onto one side (their hair will be styled in a bun). They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of Paradise which can be detected from great distances.” (Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth # 2128)