Friday, February 29, 2008

Good Hijab, Bad Hijab?

Is it haram or not preferable to wear colorful ornately decorated hijabs? Should one stick to solid colors? I have oftentimes heard different views. I was told that wearing solid, colored, undecorated scarves is "good hijab" because it is more modest. On the other hand, I have heard others argue that wearing beautiful scarves is being modest enough, and that although the ornate scarves are obviously more pleasing to the eye than the solid colored scarves, that is acceptable because women should not look horrible either. I am confused. What then really constitutes good hijab?

One of the most famous hadith proofs for hijab is the following, "A'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that Asma?, the daughter of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asma?! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands." [Abu Dawud]

These are the evidences for hijab. As to what form the hijab takes, that can vary depending upon local custom. Scholars are unanimous that the hijab must cover every part of the woman's body, except for the face and hands. Some Hanafi scholars say that the face, hands, and feet are all exempted. The clothing used to cover the body should be opaque and loose-fitting. In other words, the color of the skin and the contours of the body should not show through the clothing. The head should be covered with some form of a khimar or head veil. The head veil should cover the hair, neck, ears, and bosom. Furthermore, women should not make themselves up or use perfume when they go out. Using makeup and perfume would defeat the whole purpose of hijab. It is easy to see how the West has built a whole industry revolving around making the female as seductive as possible with makeup, perfume, revealing clothing, and constantly changing hair styles. This is not an image that we Muslim women want.

As to what fabrics, colors, or styles of clothing you use, that is up to you, as long as you have satisfied these basic requirements. It is recommended to wear a jilbab, or over-garment. However, a long, loose-fitting tunic with a long skirt also satisfies the requirement for covering the body modestly. If you look at styles in the Muslim world, you will see everything from an Arab abaya to an Iranian chador, from Afghani burqas to Malaysian skirt and tunic sets, from smart business suits to Indo-Pak shalvar qamiz. You will see a diversity of fabrics, colors, and designs. All of these can fulfill the basic requirement of hijab, which is the modest covering of the hair and body. As far as color is concerned, a lot of that is cultural. While wearing black in Iran or the Arab world is customary, in Africa and Southeast Asia it is customary to be colorful and this is not inappropriate.

Diversity is one of the strengths of the Umma. I don't think it's appropriate for people to tell you that if you wear a black hijab, your hijab is good, but if you wear a hijab with flowers on it, your hijab is bad. As long as you are modest and have not dressed in a way that will attract attention to yourself, you are fine. You can tell if you are wearing something that is showy or flashy. What colors you wear are entirely up to you. Just use discretion.

Check this link to read the full article.


Anonymous said...

Hello Neanne!

I think the answer to your question is that hijabs should be solid colours, without patterns or pictures on them, without any kind of adornment.

The purpose of hijab is to create an aura of modesty and to remove all artifice, all adornment and all ostentation from a woman's appearance and her soul.

Wearing a hijab that is decorated or in bright colours or patterns does the opposite. By emulating or depicting patterns in nature, the woman is trying to play "god" and imitate the greatness of Allah, who created all things.

We must remember that all the colours and patterns we see in this world, and in the universe, are the creations of Allah, and for a woman to show them on herself means she is trying to associate Allah's creativity with herself, trying to take some of Allah's beauty and glory.

We must remember that all good things, all beauty comes from Allah and not from ourselves.

Therefore it is haram for a woman to show off with bright colours, patterns or flowers, or other types of designs on her hijab.

Hijab must be for modesty. It is not designed so that others (onlookers) can enjoy it or find pleasure in it.

Hijab colours should be solid and preferably be dark, such as black, dark brown, dark grey, a charcoal colour, a dark navy blue, or maybe a solid dark green colour (green is the colour of Islam).

The only thing that patters or designs on hijab do is to allow the woman to exercise her own mortal ego and pretend to be God, and to attempt to steal some of Allah's glory.

All glory should ONLY be for Allah, and all those Muslims who attempt to compete with Allah's brightness and glory, by being flashy or ostentatious with their clothing, with Allah should be considered sinful and should receive whatever punishments must be meted out on sinful people. They should be reformed and reeducated to become good Muslims.

All women who wear bright colours and decorations should have those clothes taken away from them, and be severely disciplined and kept inside the house until they voluntarily renounce such egotism, and renew their firm commitment to God!

Abu Mazar

Modestkini said...

I just came across this blog and found it very interesting indeed.Thanks for sharing

Qurratul said...

I disagree with Abu Mazar, women do not try to imitate Allah or take away some of his glory.

Islam never discouraged appreciating beauty or beautifying things. Also, using ornaments and looking good IS in fact encouraged for women, but they MUST be modest and abide by the Islamic dress code. And they can make themselves as attractive as they want for their husbands.
For example, wearing silk fabric is haram for men, but women can wear it. Wearing gold ornaments is haram for men but women can wear it. Also, men are restricted to some specific color and fabric in terms of dressing but women have no boundaries on that, provided they do not violate the dress code.
And besides,wearing beautiful things means appreciating beauty or loving them. People who believe in Allah will know who created all these beauty in the world and be grateful to him, not steal away his glory.

Qurratul Ayeen

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article but after reading some of the comments on here I'm sorry but who are people to decide what's haram and forbidden in Islam? Before you say what's haram please provide a Hadith or ayah from Quran. Further more if a sister is covered and her hair is covered aswell as her body and she's behaving modestly I don't think the colour of hejab matters. Black hijabs attract more attention and some brothers have also admitted that seeing a woman in all black is fitnah for them. If a sister wears a brightly coloured extravagant hejab with the intention of attracting men then that is WRONG but if a sister wears
a coloured hejab because she likes wearing colours then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. People need to stop blowing small things out of proportion and making the deen difficult and lowering a sisters Imaan. Islam is an easy religion, people need to keep their pathetic opinions out of it. Masalaam

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.715
...'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil ...

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.733
that he had seen Um Kulthum, the daughter of Allah's Apostle (saaws), wearing a red silk garment.

Anonymous said...

aslamo alaykam , according to abu mazars comment he is right whether one agrees or not, there is however evidence on sum colours firstly we dont know if they were bright as the colours you see today secondly we live in the times of jahiliyyah and times where sex and nudity and peversion is more rampant then ever, therefore if you look at the ansar women of the days of the prophet pbuh they wore black it is said like crows on their heads, now in this day and age a glimpse of a woman is captured beautified and made of gold from shaytaan , in these times woman have been made a object of advertisement,and display , where ever you go, magazines , posters adverts , selling anyhting like this a woman is made an object of sale and attraction, we live in the times where haram sex, n perversion is so much so rampant that even the good of us are weakened at times by it, there fore modesty in itself must not attract any attention, it is obvious a bright colour captures ones eyes even from a distance beautifying a woman and bringing ones attention to her , we must guard ourselves , if 2 women walking down a street and one wearing black and one weaing bright clothes who will be spotted and looked upon , therefore it comes under adorning and allah knows best insha'allah we preserve ourselves in our modesty, and lastly if sisters want to wear bright clolours etc and want to adorn themselves than do so for your husbands, i mean ask youreslf who are you looking good for when it is only your husband that you should adorn yourslef for , may we all be upon the correct sunnah ameen