I was browsing The Hijablog a couple of days ago and I stumbled upon a post that was written about Raquel Evita Saraswati and her hijab styles. I loved her colourful scarves and I thought she looked great as a hijabi. I was happy for her until I saw some of the comments.
"First of all. Thats not hijab.
If any of you have seen “Ask Baba Ali”’s videos, you’ll know what a hijab is. You’re not supposed to make it attractive, wear earings and 10 kg of make up. What is the point of hijab? You make yourself even more attractive. Thats Haram. The point of wearing Hijab is to cover your hair so that you become less attractive, ie get less attention. But I think you guys haven’t got the point of it?
A hadith says “If you want to know how much haram you keep doing, start counting the people that look at you” meaning for every person that looks at you, you get haram for it because if you were covering yourself properly, not 10 kg of make-up and not make urself attractive you wouldn’t get peoples attention. Fashion is fun, and its very much fun to match and kind of be a part of the fashin world, but to a certain degree.
I myself wear necklases, bracelets, rings mix and match my hijab, but I dont wear as much make-up because it is haram. Even a little is haram, but I wear little so it looks very natural. Remember that you alone will be lying in your grave, and all of this will be a part of your judgement."
Well if we get looks with bare faces, then you know it’s your own natural beauty that attracted them and you can’t do anything about that. But when you wear make up that makes you even more beautiful and in an even more attractive way, there will be more people staring at you and most of them in a non-decent way.
Yes sister, Allah swt is merciful and he knows our intentions. And even though your intentions are clean, that doesn’t mean people’s intentions are clean, the more attractive we are, the more dirty looks we will get. And we can at least prevent a little of that, by not looking sooo attractive in public.
My GOD! So who's doing the judging, these ladies or the Almighty? First of all, men will look at anything that moves that's why some women cover their faces and even their eyes. Being modest and covering oneself must come from the heart for it to mean anything. Secondly, Raquel already mentioned that it wasn't her intention to attract dirty looks and even if she did, she probably wasn't aware of it but that's no excuse to start attacking her with judgemental comments. If you really cared about her being sinful perhaps send her a private e-mail or message instead of humiliating her so publicly.
You see in her mind she wasn't wearing make-up or colourful scarves to create attention to herself but others have perceived it that way. Why assume the worst of a woman who's already covered from head to toe? Give her the benefit of the doubt and approach her kindly if you feel she is making a mistake. A really dear friend of mine stopped wearing the hijab because something similar happened to her. She is a revert and instead of providing her with emotional support some of her Muslim friends started to correct her each and every move. She felt like everything she did was wrong and not good enough so she saw no point in wearing it anymore. Nobody likes to feel inferior or unaccepted but I think that's how their comments made her feel.
When I was working a few years ago, I once asked a colleague about what the rest of my officemates thought of me. Maybe he gave me a very male-biased answer but he said, "They think you're sexy." His response surprised me because I've never thought of myself that way and it was never my intention to look sexy especially in the office. As a very young woman who was working with a bunch of older people I always wanted to be taken seriously thus I never tried to look sexually appealing. I just dressed in a way which I thought was considered as looking nice. The media had a bigger impact on my image than my family did. I'd watch TV and thought, "Oh so that's how we should dress to look good." Because whatever is on the media is in other words socially acceptable.
Today, I'm speaking from my heart as I always do. Lately, I'm not quite sure what has happened to me. After my return from Singapore I guess I had an epiphany. I never really understood what it meant to be modest when it comes to my body. When I'm getting ready to go out the intention of creating attention has never been there but when I wore some of the dresses I brought with me to Singapore I didn't feel comfortable. For some reason, I don't feel comfortable showing my arms and legs in public as I did before. It has nothing to do with my self-esteem. I just felt so naked. I also felt that it's unnecessary to expose my body. Sure enough, I can wear anything I want at home when I'm with my family but I just don't want to do it outside. I find it so mind-boggling myself because my friends know me as the 'sexy one' but today I just feel conscious about exposing myself to the public eye. Now I'm careful with what I wear when I go out.
I guess I used to dress up to the nines when I go out because I wanted to look beautiful. However, at the moment I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel beautiful on the inside thus I no longer feel the need to dress a certain way to look or feel beautiful. I've always tried to do what I feel is the right thing.... be the bigger person and forgive others, give people a second chance, etc. Right now this feels so right and if this is indeed a step closer to Allah, I must thank all those who didn't judge me. My Muslim friends in New Zealand have never told me to change who I am (well if I drank alcohol and dated boys I'm sure they would've said something) and they befriended and accepted me without passing judgements. That's possibly why I loved Islam even more after moving to New Zealand. And to those whom I've had the pleasure of getting to know through blogging, thank you so much for reading my my blog. You've indirectly offered me the support I've always been looking for by commenting and sharing your views with me. I appreciate your kindness, I really do.
As Muslims we should be sincere with the friendships that we form. When my revert friend told me how miserable she felt when some people gave her a hard time I couldn't help but feel bad as a Muslim. Reverts need guidance not harsh criticisms from the fashion police. And most of the time, all they really need is a sincere friend. I wish I had reached out to her sooner so that maybe I could have eased her pain a little bit. Alhamdulillah she is a strong person and I've promised myself to be there for her as much as I can. After she said her shahadah we had our first real conversation together and we clicked right from the get go. MashaAllah she's one of the sweetest and intelligent girls I know. She deserves all the love and support in the world, as do other Muslim girls out there, and that's exactly what I'm going to give her.