…So, a female classmate posted her pictures with an apparel revealing her cleavages . I would have just tapped and ignored, but she claimed to have posted it for advertisement for her elder sister who circumspectly and proficiently made the gown. The lower part of the cloth was so baggy and not tight at all. But the part of the cloth that often rest on the collar bone was lowered to the arm level. Whether it was purposely done for the advertisement or not; that, I cannot say, but for what tangible reason should that have been done?
I deliberately asked again, ‘what are you advertising’? She replied, ‘The Clothe’. I asked again ‘the clothe or the chest’? She got furious and told me that she knew where I was driving at and she didn’t appreciate someone tampering with her ‘decency’. I would have foregone it at that moment, but she ruined the whole matter saying “those wearing big hijab (perhaps, jilbaab and khimar inclusive), do you know what they wear underneath?” I was smiling because had it been she knew she was refuting herself, she wouldn’t have said that confidently. Moreover, didn’t she just say “underneath”?
You heard me say she refuted herself? Yes, she did! How? The fact that what the hijabites wear doesn’t reveal what they have underneath is the beauty behind the wisdom of Hijab, and also the actual definition of hijab. Linguistically, hijab means a barrier; a wall between two things i.e. female awrah and public gaze. It shows that no man on the street can just glance or stare at the sacred part (all parts of the body with hands and face, having difference of opinions among scholars) of her body anyhow. It shows the prestige she has conferred on herself by not making her body available for public glance and sight.
Facing the reality, we are now in a world where females are mostly conceived to be the only ones who can fetch huge money for a product through advertisement. Who have made us dump? Pornography of sight is prevalent almost everywhere in the world. Sex sells. We live in a hypersexual era. Like the occurrence I narrated; I would have asked if the advertisement could not be done without exposing the bosom.
Something attractive is indisputably used for advertisement. The producers show the advantage of using the product in the advertisement. The producers will advertise with a style that correlates with the public perspective of reasoning. That means, it has been envisaged that public will only go for something immoral and vicious to our mental and psychological wellbeing. The commercial world has been made to believe in promotion of nudity before increment of profits.
So, the above fashion designer would have believed that her products would not have attracted customers, and fetch money if the chest or any delicate part of the body was not exposed and advertised. She would have reasoned that many ladies of today cherish show-me-your-front attire. That a husband will love to buy her wife a dress that attracts male sexual consciousness and, to boast to his friends that he has got a sexy and hot wife. Idiocy or absurdity?
This drives us to the reasons for wearing Hijab; the wisdom behind it.
‘Hijab is a form of oppression’, they say. Yes, they are right! An oppression to those who are fond of sight pornography, to those who have seen women as objects of sexual gratification only. A responsible Muslimah must wear hijab to bar and oppress lustful mind that instigate males to unlawful sexual desires. A female appearance sprouts male perspective of seeing her. Hijab is not a barricade to achieving women worldly goals and careers.
Hijab as a form of worship: any prayer without covering the sacred part of the body is invalid. Imagine praying five times daily, tahajjud, nawaafil and only to find that one’s good deeds have been leaking away on the day of recompense. Hijab is a commandment made by Allah. Punishment for disobeying the most High is not something we are oblivious of. Imagine you receiving rewards for preventing males from committing sin out of seeing your nudity. Imagine receiving rewards for obeying your Creator.
Hijab as a form of freedom: A hijabi feels free from all kind of sexual molestations and gazes. She is free to sit normally in public unlike someone with skimpy skirts. She is free to bend down and pick anything that falls from her without minding who is looking. The power of modesty makes one feel stronger. Lustful approach is another thing a hijabi is free from because she is not seen as someone ready to sell herself cheap. If she was ready for that, she would have exhibited it for mass attraction.
Hijab as a code of conduct: Before I proceed; I will like to highlights some criteria for proper hijab then we observe the wisdom and beauty that lies in them. They are:
1. Length (extent); that it must cover all parts of the body except the face and hand. Even though, some scholars agreed these parts must be covered too.
2. The clothes worn must be loose and must not reveal the figure.
3. The clothes worn must not be transparent such that one can see through them.
4. The clothes worn must not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
5. The clothes worn must not resemble that of the opposite sex.
6. The clothes worn must not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.
Fulfilling the above criteria hijab also includes the moral conduct, behavior, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijab’ of the eyes, ‘hijab’ of the heart, ‘hijab’ of thought and ‘hijab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way she behaves, etc.
Hijab as a form of upliftment: Western society has claimed to have uplifted the status of women. They claimed to have bestowed women with liberation. On the contrary, the supposed ’liberation’ is just a camouflaged form of exploitation of their (women) bodies, degradation of their souls, and deprivation of their honors. Islam has established and restore the honor or women 14 centuries ago given the Arabia, Roman, Greek and Babylonian forms of women treatment. These were eras when women were regarded as the object of lust, sign of evil and bad luck. Now, western society is keen on snatching the honor and uplift that Islam has bequeathed women so as to restore them back to those ignorance and sinful period in exchange for their own sexual satisfaction. Which era would a responsible woman want to live with; era of sexual gratification or of honor?
Hijab as a form of crime extinguisher: Imagine a society where all women observe full hijab, where men too, observe the hijab of lowering their gazes, what effect will it have on the society? Reduction of crime, if not eradication! A society where a man feels remorseful of committing sind upon seeing the female nakedness, a society where women do not make their nakedness available for men to stare at. We will record lesser rate of crime. These are the minor things that prompt people to pornographic addiction. Someone who sees a woman’s nudity will want to see more of it and this triggers people to Zina (fornication and adultery). May Allah save us from such trials. Aameen.
Hijab as a solution to social vices: My dear sisters, would you like these daily social vices like porn, rape, etc to continue trending in our societies?. How about helping some brothers from committing sin out of sighting your nakedness. Men are not the only victims of these indecency; women too. A reason why lesbianism exists, and still prevailing among the youths. This is the extent at which the atrocities borne has gone in the society. How about earning more rewards by preventing some from sins.
… And Allah says
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Qur’an 33:59]
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons…” [Al-Qur’an 24:31].
Abdullah Al-junayd Ogungbemi @ knowislam.com.ng