First & foremost Hijab is a command by the Creator of the worlds to His servants who wish to submit their will to the will of God (Allah). He is Most Wise, The All Knowing… He created mankind and knows what is best for us, just as parents mostly know what is best for their child.
HIJAB: cover, conceal, screen, barrier, partition
Beautiful Precious things in this world are concealed
Diamonds and precious gems lay hidden in the earth… deep in mines
Pearls lay at that bottom of the sea…. protected within a rock hard shell
People use bank vaults and safes to protect treasures of great worth
The fruits that provide us with sustenance & nutrition come all wrapped up to protect their life giving qualities from external elements and worldly predators.
ISLAM seeks to provide harmony and security to children, the family unit, and society. One of the ways this is achieved is by keeping the relationship between a husband and wife together. One of the ways this is facilitated is by taking steps to make it difficult for either one of them to commit adultery or for their hearts to fall for another. Men & Women (with the exception of those permitted by family ties) should not be alone together. Men & women should lower their gaze – no oggling or perving at others. Women conceal their ‘sexiness’ in public, so as not to look enticing to strangers. I would ask you to reflect on this – you don’t have to agree 🙂 but give it some thought.
Womens beauty is potent in society. Everywhere we turn we see gorgeous women enhanced on billboards, magazine covers, shop windows, in bikinis, sexy underwear, mini skirts. We have a society that has a new ‘diseases’ – anorexia and bulimia, low self esteem simmers within many women.
Whilst people are dying of starvation; people are spending money on plastic surgery, to make their nose smaller, their boobs bigger, their thighs thinner, their face tighter. Many young girls desire a career as a model – not to use her mind, intelligence, her talents to contribute something of value or do some good or creative in the world, but just to use her body & beauty to look good for the whole world to see, to stir envy in the hearts of others with a false and unattainable image, and to help companies sell products for profit.
Everyone knows that the Mary mother of Jesus wore hijab, as most likely many women of her day did. And think back to even 100 years ago; women wore long skirts and big hats, not ripped off denim hot pants and a clinging singlet top. At the beach they wore long garments, not bikinis. But as time has passed, society has become more and more permissive and clothes have shrunk. Now on the beach we find what is the equivalent of our underwear or less. Would you like to go to work and sit at your desk in front of you boss and colleagues in your bra & knickers? How is it we can go to the beach wearing the equivalent in coverage but different by name?
What will it be like in another 50 years?
In Islam, Gods command doesn’t change automatically with the passage of time.
Imagine – and just imagine (I’m not saying it would happen – but it could I guess, but unlikely) that every woman in our society decided to cover her shape, her beauty, her cleavage from the general public. When a woman left the house, she would be judged by her mind, her ability, her talent, not her looks. When a man went out of the house, he would not be swamped by images of beautiful women at every newsagent, or find himself walking behind someone in high shoes and a miniskirt. No cleavage would be visible to anyone. Billboards and magazines displayed kitchen wear and clothing, or a car without a semi-naked woman draped over it. Now our bloke goes home to his wife – who in Islam is encouraged to beautify herself for her family, would she not be one of the most beautiful women in the world to him?
Now think how life really is. Women get all dressed up – hair, makeup, heels, short skirt and head off to work, looking their best for every Tom, Dick and Harry in the street. Looking good for the boss, managers, co-workers. Now she comes home. On go the trackie pants (sweat pants) and old shirt to relax and chill. Dressed ‘down’ for the people that matter most (her family). Kind of back to front don’t you think?
The Muslim woman – when she goes out (work/shopping/errands etc) – throws on hijab – goes about her business, unnoticed, attracting little or no attention, no wolf whistles, no heads doing a double take (next time you see an attractive woman walking down the street observe the men around her). Then home to her family – where she is not only free to but encouraged by her Creator to enhance her beauty for them. In Islam the beauty of women is for her home, her husband, her family… not every one else.
Why don’t men cover I hear you say?
Well they do have to cover from the navel to the knee as a minimum. But the problems that affect women greatly do not affect men in the same way or to the same degree. There is no great numbers of men getting raped by women, or suffering bulimia, anorexia, suffering low self esteem on account of their physical appearance. God built men and women differently. Equally, but differently. Also – men – well they build the world we live in – buildings, roads, bridges, schools, our homes. Our places of shelter and learning and sustenance. The overwhelming majority of all the worlds infrastructure has been physically built by our blokes. It wouldn’t be very fair and just of Allah (God) to expect them to do all this wearing hijab, sweating away and getting their fabric caught in stuff.
Muslim women do not see their hijab as a symbol of oppression – in fact – just the opposite – its a symbol of freedom and protection, granted to us by no less than God Himself. Freedom from being judged by our figures, our looks, our hairdo’s. Protected from unwanted attention. When you walk down the street in hijab, no man gives you second glance. (As a non-Muslim teenager I always dreaded the sports days and swimming carnivals which meant we had to show much of bodies in front of our male peers).
I am not here to dispute or argue the case in great detail; just present some thoughts for reflection for those who would like some. All I hope is that you have a more reasoned understanding of the long forgotten benefits of modesty.
Have a great day.