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11/22/05

Dressing Modestly


Salam and peace to all...

One of the biggest debates and controversy in the life of a Muslim woman is the debate
about Hijab and all aspects of it! I found it very funny that after my reversion that the
questions I was getting from other Muslims was not about 'how are your prayers
going, or have you been to the mosque to pray...but rather
' are you wearing the hijab' ? Image
Now don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that Hijab
(not just the headscarf - but the entire dress) is not a very important fact in any
Muslim woman's life...in fact it plays a very big role indeed...
but having said that is that is Hijab more important than establishing prayer?
Well here are my 2 cents worth of ideas.

I do not wear the headscarf (ok shock, horror, weak at the knees...gotten over it now?Image)
It is not that I do not believe that it is a commandment but I am still too 'new' I think to
digest all these things... when I read this verse in Quran:
"And say to the believing woman that they should lower their gaze and guard their
modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what
(must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their
bosoms and not display their beauty 24:31

I see this verse as covering their bodies... it does not say head? Basically to dress
modestly and not show your body outside.
Ok, I also have seen this hadith:

"
Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba 'Aisha used to say: "When (the Verse):
"They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms," was revealed, (the ladies)
cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces."
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 282
But then if we take this then we should all be wearing the face veil (niqab) -
we all know about the debate for and against that!

"
Narrated Umar: I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Good and bad persons enter upon you, so
I suggest that you order the mothers of the believers (i.e. your wives) to observe veils.
" Then Allah revealed the Verses ofAl-Hijab.
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 313:

Now from the above, would this not imply that the 'mother's of the believers'
(wives of the prophet) are the ones who had to only observe the veil?
Does it necessaritly imply us as well?
Look at this next hadith:
"The Muslims said amongst themselves, "Will she (i.e. Safiya) be one of the mothers
of the believers, (i.e. one of thewives of the Prophet ) or just (a lady captive) of what his
right-handpossesses" Some of them said, "If the Prophet makes her observe the veil,
then she will be one of the mothers of the believers (i.e. one of the Prophet's wives),
and if he does not make her observe the veil ,then she will be his lady slave."
So when he departed, he made a place for her behind him (on his and made her observe
the veil
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 524: Bukhari.

So does that mean if that woman was not a wife but believed in the message
of Islam that she did not need to observe the veil?
A bit confusing I must say...needs further investigation...anyone have any thougths on it?

So that is my reason for not wearing the headscarf - confusion - but that is not
the only reason. Another is the fact that nobody in the 'real' world knows about
my reversion. I work in an office and its just not an option to show up one day
and be wearing a headscarf, I do dress in long skits and long sleeves.

So this blog is about my confusion about the Hijab issue... but I am giving
myself time to adapt to things. I need to concentrate on my Salah and get
that done well... it is one of the pillars we all need to adhere to
I've said it hundreds of times but Islam was revealed in a period of 23 years,
I think we can give ourselves some time to seek knowledge and make
things clear to ourselves. I want to know the reasons I'm required to do the things
I am doing, it has to make sense to me - right now the headscarf does not.
Inshallah I will be able to make sense of things!

I must also add that I have great admiration and respect for those out there that
start to wear the headscarf right away, it takes a level of faith that I may not have
right now. It takes courage to go out and proclaim "I am Muslim",
I pray that we all are kept on the right path!

All comments are welcomed...I really like this topic and feel its important
to talk about it in a good way!
Image

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said! I understand what you are saying. Btw, how are your prayers? ;)

Aalya said...

My prayers are coming along well...still have to learn more verses from Quran but I want to be able to know what I am reciting... so I'm holding off until I memorize the entire translation of the Salah ( have the arabic part memorized but I need to know what all of it means) Thanks for reading my long blog - I think its important for women to have good knowledge in all matters. I mean just because everybody is doing something does not mean that I have to do it as well...I need to have proof and a good backing before I do anything. I mean coming from a Catholic background I got sick of the 'just believe, we all believe so you must also believe attitude' Nah uh...no more of that ! And with Islam I have always so far gotten my answers even if I don't always agree with it I at least get an explanation of why and how something is done.
Take care all

Anonymous said...

I agree you should def. take your time and learn WHY you do something- rather than just do it- I personally wear hijab- but at first I was like "Ok I'm muslim- but that scarf- huh uhh- no way" I didn't think it was necissary at all- but I made du'a and asked Allah(swt) what I should do and I came to the conclusion that I did infact need to wear it. But I will also say don't do anything you aren't ready to do- I tried to go from tank tops & low rise jeans to full out hijab- and it was a complete overload for me- way more than I could take- too much of a change. But about hijab- even if I wasn't completely sure it was an absolute thing- I still think it would be better to be safe than sorry- ya know? I've read some different things about how at that time women did wear something on their head and that that ayat was telling them to take their garmet (that they already had on) and rap it over their bossoms.. But I really don't have any source for this at the moment- if I find it I'll let you know insha'Allah. But yeah although I do think this is an importaint issue- the clothes you wear won't get you into Jannah- People do focus on this issue FAR to much when we should be focusing on things like prayer or zakat

Aalya said...

"People do focus on this issue FAR to much when we should be focusing on things like prayer or zakat"
Exactly - that is my point, why is that small piece of fabric going to determine what type of Muslim I am??

Thanks for the reply!

Anonymous said...

Wow you have memorized vocals of another language!
That is amazing!
I accepted Islam on what was almost my death bed. Right before I had gotten so sick that I could not go about daily activities,I had come across the Quran. I read it everyday and slept with my hand on it.
I knew it spoke the truth.
Really,I wore a covering more beore I converted than I do now.Anyway, back to what I wanted to say.
I wear a covering when I think I will be in a challening situation. For example, this past summer I met some one I liked bunches. When ever I would go around him I had my covering close by me if not wearing it. It kept me really focused.
I do think,in a way, the scarf has come to symbolize Islam in the same way as the moon and star.When I wear a long scarf tied on to my out fit in some way,to me, it is a reminder that I am Muslim. Matter of fact I keep a long scarf hanging on my mirror in my car. lol. I might never know when I might need a scarf.
When I accepted, I met my first flesh and bone muslim friend because she wore hajib.I had been seeing er and another lady in coverings, but would always be just missing them. Finally, I had a oppertunity to speek to her. I was a tad nervous. I thought "Do I put a cover on too?" She was getting in her car to go and I did not want to miss another time meeting another Muslim so I did not worry about my cover.She was and is a nice lady. I am glad I did not hesitate(at least for long).
So,in some places,if you wear a covering you should expect to be the only Muslim person many people meet knowing you are Muslim.
At first, I did not think that I had enough knowedge to wear the hajib. And if I wore it people would ask me questions I would be unsure of the answers.
Now, I want a chance to talk to people before they have a prejudged idea of me and Islam.
I wear my covering for me. In ways that streagthen me and helps me in challenging situations.
I was talking to a brother and he was saying that a full covering(burka) should not be allowed, but I thought about the many times I wished I could be in full cover and knew that many woman would never give up thier right to wear the full cover.
When I want to wear a full cover best I get here is a baseball cap,hoodie and sunglasses. That is so ugly compared to my full cover I created .

Aalya said...

"I wear my covering for me. In ways that strengthen me and helps me in challenging situations. "

That is so nice to hear...truly I admire those who are able to be strong in faith - I hope I can be one of those one day!

Just as an aside...I saw a program on saturday where they were interviewing a muslim woman about how she had started a montosori school... I just sat there and waited when the topic of hijab would come up ...and sure enough a bit into the interview the man asked 'so has hijab been a hinderance to you?" Well the woman answered that she had taken up the hijab 4 yrs ago and had not affected her badly in any way. This was nice to hear...but I just was amazed that of course that topic about covering came up. At least they did talk more about the actually school and what her struggles and strenghts were..or else I would have been a bit 'steamed'

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum!

Mmm...I'm wondering...*wink*...did you read this? http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2005/11/just-rantand-co-ranton-h-word.html

Or maybe this one...http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2005/11/hijab-in-workplace.html.

I like your blog Habibti!

Ma'Salaama,
~Aishah

Aalya said...

Aishah, actually the 'hijab' issue has been on my mind for a while now - after my blog I some how came across yours :)

It always facinates me - these 'hijab' issues are so common everywhere - take care

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