By Fadia Bint Ismail
Hijaab and Culture The average woman, from Indo-pak culture, do not wear Hijab nor do they wear clothes to suit this purpose. They wear clothes that are traditional from that area but are now more ‘modern’ and as a result are completely inappropriate. For a Muslim sister to wear Hijab she has to look at the clothes, the tightness, if they are see through and if they protect their modesty. Just because the majority of people wear certain clothing does not mean it is acceptable.
Culture also encourages women to wear see through scarfs that move and or you can see hair underneath the scarf. New Muslim women have to think about their clothes and slowly examine the way they have dressed all their lives, up until the point they wore the Hijab. Born Muslims have to really examine what Hijab is …and then proceed; looking at the average practice of the Muslim women in their areas may not be enough. They have to look deeply into their styles and mode of dress, thus consider all the factors that would make their clothes appropriate. This is not easy for sisters who has started to wear the Hijab or are about to wear the Hijab who are new Muslims or confused by their culture. Any woman who begins to wear the Hijab, in the current climate, must be a special lady because it is really difficult.
I am not just talking about the weather. I am also talking about the external circumstances that are beyond our control. Muslim women have to face all those typical stereotypes about the Hijab. For example a common stereotype is that they have been compelled into wearing it by male relative. Most women who wear the Hijab do so out of choice, is this so hard to believe? Islam cannot be forced and obedience must stem from the heart and not the limbs. We also have modernists who attack the Hijab who claim they it is not necessary in these times which is a complete lie. The Hijab has been handed down to us by the means of mass transmission from generation to generation from the prophetic period until now, therefore cannot be rejected.
Aisha reports that when her sister Asma came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in immodest clothing, he said to her, “O’ Asma, when a girl reaches puberty it is not proper that anything on her should remain exposed except this and this.” And he pointed to her face (or head) and the palms of her hands. (Abu Dawud)
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