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Hijaab and Misconceptions

Tuesday 24-01-2012

Many misconceptions related to the concept of Hijaab (Islamic covering) are the result of false customs and traditions, due to the absence of sound Islamic Creed that lead to many baseless...

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Many misconceptions related to the concept of Hijaab (Islamic covering) are the result of false customs and traditions, due to the absence of sound Islamic Creed that lead to many baseless worries and obsessions. These misconceptions include:


•       Hijaab is worn when the woman gets old: When the woman reaches a certain age and all her children are married, she starts paying attention to herself, performs Hajj, and adheres to the worship of her Lord. It is as if she knows in advance when she will die! It is as if she is certain that during that period she will be able to perform acts of worship that she was not used to performing before! It is as if she is certain that she will be able to do what she did not do before. How true is this proverb which says: "What has always been, always will be." 

•       Hijaab stands as an obstacle before a woman who is looking for a husband: According to popular belief, most suitors prefer a woman who exposes her adornment over the woman who is veiled. Even if the suitor is somewhat observant, he hopes to urge his fiancée to wear the Hijaab after marriage so that he would attain the reward. However, this is not a general rule, even if it occurs in some cases. A woman who looks for a husband should know that "Birds of a feather flock together." When she abandons the Hijaab, those who propose to her will not have the required level of religiousness and piety. In a Hadeeth (narration), the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "When a person proposes to you (matrimonial guardians to marry women under your guardianship) and you approve of his religiousness and morals, you should marry him; otherwise, there will be a temptation on earth and widespread corruption." [At-Tirmithi]

•        Hijaab prevents the woman from finding a suitable job: Many institutions refuse to employ veiled women as employees. When an employee wants to wear the veil, she exposes herself to dismissal. Even if this practice takes place in some institutions and by some persons who look for the opportunity to take advantage of an employee's charms, a Muslim woman who wants to wear the Hijaab must be certain that Hijaab does not prevent the sustenance provided by Allaah The Almighty. There are many women who do not wear the Hijaab but they cannot find jobs.

It is the responsibility of men to financially support women. If a woman is in dire need and has to work to support herself or her children, then the delay in finding a suitable job is from the fate of Allaah The Almighty and His Divine Decree and a trial from Him to know how sincere that woman is. When a woman is patient, she will ultimately find a suitable job in a suitable place. An employer who looks for a veiled woman is actually looking for an efficient employee whose lifestyle is in consonance with his own values.


•        The idea of adhering to Hijaab is sometimes met by some apprehensions and fears: Some women are afraid to confront their families with this wish because they know in advance that they would oppose the idea. Some women are also afraid of confronting their surrounding environment which mocks Hijaab as well as women who wear it, and considers it an "uncivilized" phenomenon and a sign of "backwardness" and "regression".
We say to our believing sister: remember the Hadeeth (narration) in which the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, says: "Indeed! Obedience (to people) is only in good matters." You should also remember that neglecting the Hijaab under this pretext does not absolve you of guilt. Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained.} [Quran 74:38]


So, you should hasten to follow the Commands of Allaah The Exalted and truly rely upon Him and have faith in Him. Allaah The Exalted Says (what means):


    •   {And when you have decided, then rely upon Allaah.} [Quran 3:159]
    •   {And whoever relies upon Allaah - then He is sufficient for him.} [Quran 65:3]


When you do so, Allaah The Almighty will support you in your task because people's hearts are controlled by Him. He is able to turn rejection to acceptance and disobedience to obedience.
As for those who mock you, you should remember that Allaah The Exalted Says (what means) concerning them: {Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allaah are above them on the Day of Resurrection.} [Quran 2:212]
•        Hijaab prevents women from being stylish and this is an important issue to many women: They believe that it makes them lose their beauty and makes them look older than their age. We remind such women of the verse in which Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {Say, "Indeed, the death from which you flee -- indeed, it will meet you.} [Quran 62:8]
Islam does not completely prevent the woman from adornment and exposure of beauty; rather, this is limited to the husband. This is forbidden before the eyes of the intrusive and mischievous people who seek temptation and corruption to be widespread on earth.
Finally, there are various reasons why women neglect the Hijaab and these reasons differ from one woman to another based on each one’s psychology and social circumstances. They are the result of following fancies in most cases and this is forbidden by Allaah The Almighty Who Says (what means): {But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.} [Quran 79:40-41]

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