Hijab: Suppression Or Liberation?

By Syeda Zartashia Azmat

“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…” [Noble Quran 33:59]”

Unfortunately, Satan and his cohorts are calling the Muslim woman to enslave her to the creation, and to forget about her servitude to her Creator. Chastity, modesty and piety are deceptively marked as shackles on personal freedom.

What the Hijab is…
An act of Obedience to The Creator. An Act of Honour & Dignity. An act of Belief & Faith. An act of Modesty. An act of Purity. An act of Bashfulness. An act of Righteousness. A Shield.

What the Hijab is NOT…
It is NOT something new. Muslim women follow the example of righteous women in the past such as Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is NOT a symbol of oppression. It is NOT required in non-public places where there are only females and close male relatives. It is NOT a means to restrict a woman’s freedom to express her views and opinion, or to have an education and a career. It is NOT an act of defiance, confrontation or protest to non-Muslims. It is NOT a portable prison.

Where to now? We have Muslim sisters left, right, and center who (for one reason or another) are in this very situation of being a “non-Hijabi” well above the Baligh age, in their teens, youth, adulthood, and possibly even going onto the elderly side of the age spectrum. The Hijab is something that we could have so easily adapted to and accomplished, yet it now seems so difficult and impractical. But is it really that hard to finally submit to the commands of our Creator and attain the promised rewards of such noble practices in this world and the next?
So the big question is: are YOU ready to start wearing the Hijab and demand for the highest status of self-respect a woman could possibly ask for while serving as a role model for future generations to come, irrespective of society’s un-Islamic pressures?

Just because some of the sisters have their head covered, they think that the requirement of Hijaab is fulfilled. They don’t realize that wearing a Hijaab requires much more than just covering your head.

Actually, if you think about it, Hijaab is the way you talk…..the way you walk….the very way you carry yourself. In fact, Hijaab is an attitude in itself. Its a whole way of life.

Sorry….tight jeans and short shirt just don’t cut it

You can’t wear tight jeans and a short shirt with a piece of cloth on your head and think this is Hijaab. Nor can you wear anything else that is tight, describing the shape of the body in any way, even if it is long. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“In later (generations) of my ummah there will be women who will be dressed but naked. On top of their heads (what looks) like camel humps. They will not enter into paradise or (even) get a smell of it.”

The Hijaab shouldn’t attract attention

The dress should not be such that it attracts men’s attention to the woman’s beauty. Allaah clearly states “not to display their beauty (zeenah).” Yet, Subhaan Allaah, some Hijaabi sisters are dressed in such a way that they attract more attention to themselves than they would if they didn’t wear Hijaab!! How could such zeenah be concealed if the dress is designed in a way that it attracts men’s eyes to the woman? It beats the purpose of Hijaab.

No laughing, joking, or hanging out with non-Mahrams

Some sisters assume that since they are properly covered, its okay for them to sit around and talk, laugh, joke, etc. with the men, but that’s not right, even if he is ‘the Shaikh’.

Those who reject Hijab and wish to attract men are suffering from inferiority complex. They believe men are superior and in order to overcome this feeling, they use their feminine charms. But why should a Muslim woman have such a feeling when she is fully aware of her equality with men?

Hijab is equally compulsary for men.
Prophet Yousuf – the Perfect Example

On a final note, it is said that when Zulaikha, the wife of the Aziz of Egpyt, tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), she covered the face of the idol placed nearby. When Prophet Yusuf inquired, she said she did not wish for it to witness her commit a sin. Prophet’s Yusuf’s reply to Zulaikha encompasses the true essence of the Hijab for men and can serve as the perfect benchmark for us to judge the appropriateness of our actions at all times. He said: “If you exhibit shyness and modesty before a stone that does not see, it is more befitting for me to exhibit shame and modesty before the One Who sees and Who is aware of everything that is manifest about me and everything that is concealed within me.”

People usually only discuss Hijab in the context of women. However in the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) first mentions Hijab for men before Hijab for the women.

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: That will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do”
(Surah Noor, chapter 24, verse 30)
Mens are required to lower their gaze strictly and not look up to women in public places intentionally.

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: That will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do”
(Surah Noor, chapter # 24, verse #30)
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
In accordance with this reality of attraction, we see that Islam also forbids acts such as sodomy among men and lesbianism among women because each of the two decrees has its own subject and background like other legal decrees which rely on certain backgrounds necessary for them.
These are the true centres which addresses in order to build this positive edict; the blessed islami hijab.