It never occurred to me. I never thought of it. I never realised it until I accidentally, briefly heard a conversation between some two muslim women – one in an all-covering hijab, the other in a head-to-bosom hijab. I really did not know the genesis of the dialogue. But I was doubly sure that one thing must have led to the other, culminating in expression of fulfilment and flexing of muscle.
“Wearing a khimaar (referring to a long hijab as they usually differentiate it) is no joke. No be small thing o, ummu. Hmm! If you don’t have cool cash, you can’t afford yourself a khimaar. Each of my khimaars gulps not less than 4k. I mean #4,000, and I have got them in quantum that I cannot lose count the number in my wardrobe. That even depends on the quality and make of the material, the tallness of the wearer, the style desired, and of course, the seamstress’ reward. So who says covering oneself is actuated by penury? Who says khimaarites aren’t sociable? Such a fellow must be dosing on standing position.”
If hijab alone gulps such a wowing amount, what about the garments underneath – the gown, the skirt, the blouse etc? It implies indisputably that the hijabite’s just one outfit is much more costlier than the one whose attire ends at a gown – a blouse on a skirt or on the ignominious ‘tight-fainted’ pencil-jean which has lamentably led to the exorbitance and/or dearth of men’s trousers in the market. Go shopping to buy just a pair of jean-trousers, what you see hung all over or packed therein are the ones for ladies. The ones for the male gender are either unavailable or scarcely expensive.
There is nothing good (Islamically) worn by the non-hijabites that is not worn by the hijabites. They wear gowns, hijabites do. They put on skirts, hijabites do. They are clad in blouses, hijabites do ditto. But hijab users queenly attire themselves in an all-protecting naira-consuming garment, non-hijabites do not. Who then is richer?
There is no shortcut or short-run to the acquisition of khimaar – no bend-down-select, no bo si koro, no fairly-usued, no tokunbo etc. If you must wear it, you must buy it brand new. And if you must buy it, you must have handsome penny on you. This is unlike other garments whose fairly, badly-used can be found anywhere. Sometimes, the entire attire (skirt, blouse including shoes) of a non-hijabite may not exceed #2000 or even less. If any muslim lady wears same and tops it up with her divinely prescribed cocoon, the worth of her outfit is calculated at #6000 or more. Who then is richer? If the non-hijabite is the type who patronises big boutiques, her gown or skirt and blouse with a fascinating pair of shoes may be worth #10000 or more. Any muslim lady who dresses similarly and tops it up with her distinguishing cover automatically becomes richer than the former.
Putting on a lengthy, wide hijab is by no means a show of zero civilisation, neither does it render the adherents as social apes. It worries that some muslims cheaply fall for such a fallacious, hallucinatory distortion orchestrated by ignorant and ignoble allies of the Lucifer – the chief enemy of Islam. What do they consider as civilisation? Cladding in cloths such as: bumper, jumper, backless, frontless, breastless, leggings, mini-skirt, pencil-jean. I even heard that there is one which mustn’t take a pant. They say it is uncivilised to do so. Chai! People really have pains in their heads. All the skimpy dresses that are used to portray the big-girl syndrome are casually, informally worn by hijabites within the shores of their houses, and only to be seen by their kingly husbands. For them, it is senseless, preposterous, pathological, psychiatric, psychotic, neurotic to roam the streets undressed as such.
Some people, muslims inclusive, say the all-covering hijab is usually accompanied by heat. Therefore, wearing a khimaar is like deliberately chastising oneself. That is why some muslim ladies remain static and have never grown out of their dressing level. Meanwhile, these same people will enjoin adherence to the English corporate dress, where a man or even a woman wears a round-neck undergarment, places a shirt on it, tops it up with the usually thick suit and then knots a tie round the neck. The wearer may be in the office or on the field for several hours without having a touch on the tie or pulling off the suit, as may be statutorily, obligatorily required, even if his body rains sweats on account of heat. Who then should be lampooned? Who is punishing himself? The suit wearer or the khimaar user whose garment is light and takes no rope.
Khimaarites are queenly. Even in this age of hyper-civilisation and modern jaahiliyyah, queens do not dress in skimpy cloths. Even if they used to be champions of beauty pageantry, immediately their hubbies are crowned king, the short, tight-fitted dresses they were used to will become anachronistic, antiquated, antediluvian, archaic i.e. outdated.
In the days of yore, covering the whole body including the face was a peculiarity of queens and highly revered female personalities. In Rome, Persia, Arab, Asia etc., it was unforgivably and punishably sacrilegious for the queen to step out of the walls of the palace without the body properly covered alongside the face. Doing less of this was considered roaming clothless – naked.
Sanni K. Yusuf (Abu Royyan) @ knowislam.com.ng