Thursday, 12 April 2012

Why Wear Hijab?

Okay, so Alhamdulillah, most of us girls do wear Hijab. And by Hijab, I don’t just mean the cloth on our heads, but everything; full sleeve tops, long dresses, the baju kurung (had to look up the spelling of that!). For the boys, it means loose clothing and covering at least the area between the navel and the knees. It’s something nearly all of us have grown up with, seeing our mothers, aunties, sisters etc. all abide by the aurah covering rule. But have we ever stopped to ask, while making last minute adjustments to our hijab, before running off to that class we’re always late for, “Why on Earth am I putting all this on???”

There are some really good answers to this, but before we go into all of that, I want to kind of emphasize the importance of asking this question. There’s a famous Hadeeth, “Actions are based on intention, and every man shall have what he intended” We’ve probably all heard this hadeeth quite a few times. So we have to think and ask ourselves, “What is my intention behind wearing hijab?” Am I wearing it because it’s a university rule, and I sooo don’t want to get into trouble? Or is it because all my friends wear it and I don’t want to feel left out? Or is it because wearing hijab is expected of me; I don’t want to disappoint my family. Or maybe we’ve never thought about why we put on hijab, it’s just something we have always done, no questions asked. We need to know why we put on hijab, and we need to have the right intention. Imagine wearing Hijab your entire life, but never getting any reward for it, because of doing it with the wrong intention.

Why do we wear Hijab? Because Allah has commanded us to do so.

"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." (Qur'an 33:59)

This is our Creator we are talking about; if He orders us to do something, we do it. Full stop.  He is the one who made us, gave us our mothers and fathers, and blessed us in uncountable ways. We are totally dependent on Him for everything. He is our Master, we are His slaves.  He knows what is best for us. Our intention while wearing Hijab should be to please Allah alone.

The question still remains, “What is the point of Hijab?” Pretend for a moment that you have tons of money. Are you ever going to walk about on the street, waving it about, pinning to your clothes, and generally displaying it for all to see? Of course not! Now why wouldn’t you do this? The answers:

i)                    You value your money; it’s precious to you.

ii)                  You don’t want anybody to steal your money.

iii)                You don’t want anybody to be tempted to steal your money.

iv)                You don’t want people you meet to treat you differently because of all your money.

In the same way, we Muslims (men and women) value our bodies. Our bodies are very precious to us. We don’t display them for everyone to look at. We don’t want people to harm us, or be tempted to harm us. We want people to treat us based on our moral character and intelligence, not on our physical appearances. Hijab is also a distinguishing feature of Muslims. It’s our identity. You go out to any mall and you know immediately, based on the way that they dress that, yes that person is my sister/brother in Islam.

We wear Hijab to preserve our chastity, to be modest.  Our modesty should not just be in the way we dress, but in the way we behave and talk to others. There is no point in wearing Hijab if it does not reflect what is in our hearts.  We can’t be wearing modest clothes, but then go around with boyfriends/ girlfriends, or purposefully try to attract members of the opposite sex. This defeats the very purpose of Hijab. A big part of Hijab is to lower our gaze i.e don’t stare at that really pretty girl/handsome boy in your class! We should also be careful of the way we wear Hijab. Hijab, for men and women should be loose coverings, covering what needs to be covered, and not the kind of thing that will cause everyone within a one mile radius to stop and stare at you (p.s excessive use of makeup falls under this category!)

I know there are times when we wish we could dress the way we want to dress, with no restrictions. We may look at the non-Muslims and perhaps even envy them. But we have to remember Allah at these moments, and be grateful to Him, that He has guided us and chosen us. Inshaallah, whatever hardships we endure in this world; we’ll be rewarded for them in the Hereafter if we are patient. Please do ask yourself, “What’s better: a short eighty years or so of pleasure, or a waaaay longer eternity in Jannah?”

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1 comment:

  1. “What’s better: a short eighty years or so of pleasure, or a waaaay longer eternity in Jannah?” = killer statement