Hijabi Fashion: A Controversy Among Muslim Women Themselves
Bismillah. In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Beneficent.
Since the term Hijabi Fashion has boomed via the World Wide Web, opposition against it has caught up just as fast. Coming from an online magazine that forwards the Hijabi Fashion, let me give my two cents about it.
They say “Hijab is not a fashion. Don’t try to make it one.”
True. I concede that hijab is indeed not a mere fashion. It is a way of clothing ourselves that is prescribed by Allah (SWT). However, the thing is, what the hijab should look like is debatable. There are scholars who say it should be in this way and another group of scholars says another thing. Moreover, with the modernization and Western influence creeping on us with subtlety and persistence, there are an increasing number of Muslim women who reject the hijab. Mass media has portrayed the Muslim woman as oppressed, that she cannot have a choice on what to wear because men has forced on her the hijab, the jilbab, or the burka. Mass media has got women thinking that hijab is a symbol of oppression.
Thus, Muslim women who celebrate the hijab have picked up the need to fight this misconception. One way is to make the non-Muslims understand hijab. How do we make them understand? By using the language and the concepts that they know. When we talk about clothing, fashion is what they understand. Thus, we say Hijabi Fashion for them to understand that being a hijabi is our fashion statement, that we wear the hijab out of our own choice. We show the world that despite wearing modest clothing, we can achieve our goals and be an asset of the Ummah. That even if a woman covers herself, she can be a good citizen. That even if a woman does not mix freely with men, she can be a partner in nation-building.
BUT—all caps for emphasis. But there are conservative Muslim women who are against Hijabi Fashion. They even go as far as name-calling the hijabis. I have seen famous Hijabis being bashed in their Instagram accounts. Some receive harsh comments through Ask.fm.
Sister (I am addressing you who does the bashing and name-calling), you are not helping theUmmah in what you do. Number one, you do not know the intention behind why a hijabi projects herself in a fashionable way. You do not know that all her life she is used to wearing “regular” clothes and Hijabi Fashion is her way of easing herself into wearing more and more modest clothes. Please do not judge. Her intention for forwarding the Hijabi Fashion is between her and Allah (SWT). You do not know that it is, for her a way of dawah. She may think that young girls will look up to her way of wearing modest yet beautiful clothes instead of emulating the models on magazines who are as good as naked. You do not know that it is her way of enticing non-Muslims into the faith. Because you see, dawah can be of many forms. Mufti Menk, for example has been successful because he is open to innovation. He used the social media. And he is accepting of the modern world, sees the challenges, and adapt to them in a way that is effective yet still Islamic.
Sister, every one of us has a struggle in our faith. As Muslims we know that we constantly are being tested. Instead of putting a sister down when in your opinion, she is committing a mistake, try to see deeper than what the eyes can see. The Ummah cannot stand strong if we cannot be united. Let us not discourage the efforts of others. Instead, contribute to the Ummah through POSITIVE acts.
May Allah guide as all.