Muslim Women Can Be Fashion Forward But Must Be Mindful Of The Islamic Teachings

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The local fashion scene is instrumental in the rise of ‘hijabista’ as hijab-donning fashion enthusiasts channel their creativity to create varying style for head covers.

While the multitudes of hijab styles and brands have positively encouraged some women to start donning the hijab, a Facebook post shared by Muhammad Shafri, which went viral recently, reminded Muslim women not to get carried away with fashion and revert to the Islamic teachings.

Women in Islam are regarded as a “precious jewel”, hence as part of an overall dress code and behaviour, Islam prescribes that their aurah (intimate parts of the body) which is not only limited to the hair, must be covered in modest clothing, leaving only her face showing.

“Women are willing to spend hundreds of ringgit on the trendiest hijab, at the price of not (fully) covering their chests.

“My dear sisters, when you don the hijab, please cover your aurah perfectly,” he reminded, while emphasising that being trendy is not wrong, if it is in the correct mannerism.

A question he posed which surely struck a nerve amongst majority Muslim women was, “Do you don the hijab because of Allah the Almighty or to follow the latest fashion trend?”

What Is Forbidden In Islam, Remains Forbidden

While Muhammad Safri’s reminder for women to abide by the modest dress code drew mixed reactions from netizens, upon speaking with an ustaz who has been preaching for more than four decades, he emphasised to Malaysian Digest that what is regarded as forbidden by Islam, is forbidden.

“I won’t deny that fashion has helped encouraged some women to start donning the hijab, and that some women require more time (and stages) before they fully embrace the hijab.

“But the issue arises amongst women who are indecisive – one day they don the hijab, and the next they don’t; one day they properly don the hijab, and the next we have a peek at their baby hairs, neck and ears,” the ustaz lamented.

The ustaz further advised women who improperly don the hijab to rethink their intention, as their demeanour can be regarded as belittling and degrading the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“Please do not think that I am belittling those who are fashion-savvy, or that I deduced those who improperly (or do not) don the hijab as lesser than their hijab-donning sisters.

“What I’m trying to say is that, Islam teaches its female believers on the essence and importance of modesty and why would you want to tarnish it for your love of fashion?” he emphasised.

The religious preacher also quoted surah An-Nur [24:31], a specific verse of Quran that mentions the head covering as follows:

“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 therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers…and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.”

And in surah Al-Ahzab [33:59] it is stated: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”

Before the interview came to a halt, the ustaz also reminded Malaysians who are outspoken and preach such issues on social media that Islam does not teach its ummah (community) to ridicule others, but instead encourage its ummah to always guide and advice one another.

“In this age of social media, I’ve observed how vicious some people can be. So please remember, a true Muslim will give advice in private and out of the sincerity of their hearts.

“They do not hurt another soul with their words.”

May this piece be a reflection for all Muslims to refrain from what displeases Allah and may He guide us and never let us lose sight, for surely He knows best.

- Malaysian Digest