No seriously, I actually do.
One of my hands down pet peeves when it comes to my sisters, Allah forgive, is the Hijabi Police. All over the world, We, as Muslim women, let men dictate so much that the Qu’ran says not to. And then to have fellow women join in on that? It’s like we’ve forgotten that back in the 7th century, WE were the radical feminists. ISLAM was the religion that said women were spiritually equal to men, accountable for their own actions before God, and no one else’s.
Now I know it’s initially done in the spirit of being helpful. And goodness knows some sisters need some help. But my general rule of thumb is as long as a sister makes a reasonable effort to maintain Hijab (Not the headscarf, the whole attitude) I’m not going to jump down her throat about wearing jeans.
My religion is not tied around my head. It is tied around my heart. MY hijab is not a scarf. It’s an attitude, a mode of behavior that draws a subtle line between me and the rest of the world. It’s not rude. It doesn’t chastise anyone else for not maintaining my standards. My Hijab is respectful. It is polite. And I can maintain it just as easily in a shirt that leaves my forearms bare as I can in a full abaya.
So it breaks my heart to see my sisters gather in groups and snicker and point at other women because they don’t wear an abaya. The Abaya is a cultural garment. It is NOT religious. The word “Abaya” isn’t in Qu’ran anywhere.
Actually lets strip all this stuff out and look strictly at the Qu’ran, and how it defines that Hijab as an attitude:
[7:26] “O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD’s signs, that they may take heed.”
Lemme break that down for you here. We have clothes, not just to cover ourselves, but as luxuries. So, looking stylish? Not a sin. But the Best coverage? Is the attitude. If we didn’t have clothes? We’d still have that attitude. It’s polite, it’s respectful and it’s reserved. It’s not invasive. But you know what? It’s also NOT SILENT. There are billions of topics, thoughts, ideas that have nothing to do with sex or gender relationsions. And empowered by that Hijab Attitude? I can talk about them all with the ease and comfort of not being judged for my gender.
The whole headscarf thing is a tradition far older than Islam. And it’s done thousands of different ways around the world. The Amira double wrap is NOT the only way to handle it. I respect a woman for making the choice to cover her head for the sake of her faith. Inshallah she has thought this out, made the decision after careful consideration of her options, and does it out of her choice to do so. And I can respect that. But Do we dare say the Pakistani loosely wrapped Dupatta that usually shows some bit of hair is somehow LESS then the Niqab we see in Saudi? If anything, to me? It’s more. Because women in Saudi are listening to men tell them how to dress (instead of God which is like wrong on a whole other level), and women in Pakistan can choose to wear it or not wear it as they see fit. Always, Always the CHOICE is what gives the value. Take away my CHOICE to cover or not to cover? And not only do you oppress me, but you diminish each every hard struggling intelligent thoughtful woman who has made that choice for herself.
And That’s WHY Hijabi Police get to me. Peer pressure is a heavy weight, a great whispering device of Shaitan. You THINK you’re doing the right thing, helping a sister out, letting her know she’s making a mistake. But who the heck are you to judge? Strip it down to the Qu’ran. Is her chest covered? Is she making a reasonable effort to cover her body? And most importantly has she got the “Attitude”? Good. Your generous services need go no further.
Now when you have the sister who shows up in the bra, and the see through miniskirt and the profile that solicits men’s attentions who is working at a strip club to make Lindens? Guess what? Still doesn’t give you license to scream after her with Hellfire. Besides, honestly? That stuff never works anyways.
The better approach? The Wiser approach, is to approach her with respect. To lead by example. To offer her an alternative, and you know what? Not to hate on her if she chooses not to take it.
Sakinah offers an alternative. I work to provide Mainstream style and quality clothing that maintains that sense of modesty. That Hijabi Atiitude that’s intended. But no matter what pixels you make yourself into, none of it, none of it means anything without that first rule.
Tell you what? There’s this great article Here that talks about it with cohesion and intelligence and respect.
Scarf – Sakinah – Keffiyeh Hijab (Not released yet)
Top – Sakinah- Ahmed in Blue
Bracelets – Mandala – 7luck Bracelets
Jeans – Sakinah – Ahmed Jeans