September 20, 2020

My Beard, Her Hijab

Quoting Quran, Allah Tallah says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59). “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”(Quran 24:30). There is also a Hadith in Abu Dawud “Simplicity is a part of faith.” I also once wrote in Kashmiri:
پردٕ گژھِ آسُن دِل صاف آسُن
ننیر میے أزؠ کِس حِجابس وُچھم
Piousness lies in ones heart,
I saw today’s Hijab revealing.
The misnomer about Hijab is that in general meaning most of the people have misunderstood it as headscarf or a piece of cloth which covers the women’s face but in its true Islamic sense it means “curtain” or “partition” or “barrier” or “screen.”. Hijab in its broader meaning it means principle of modesty and includes behavior narrowing down this meaning to the mere dress worn on face or head by women. Hence it can be associated with both men and women. The basic motive of Hijab is behavioural modesty. Therefore, from above Islamic scriptures, it becomes quite evident that the purpose of Hijab is to cover and modesty in behaviour. Although from one point of view the girls in jeans and a head-covering may be “covered,” the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once mentioned that there are women who are kasiyat `ariyat, meaning they are both “covered and naked at the same time.”This refers to those who wear clothes that are too tight or short or transparent and therefore reveal their bodies, thereby completely missing the point of Hijab. Islam is a religion that has a culturally diverse composition. In today’s time the style of Hijab is influenced by anything but modesty. Women wear Hijab in different countries in different styles and the trending form the Hijab takes is more influenced by culture than anything. Some wear it very long and some wear it shorter. Some layer different scarves together to achieve a certain look. Muslim women now try to fit in as many different styles and combinations within set parameters and guidelines through color, fabrics, and style of wearing the Hijab.
We want to look fashionable, sexy or formidable. If for the looks we grow beard and follow the fashion trends of mushrikeen thereby finish the difference, there remains no point of following the Sunnah. If the motive (here the difference ) is lost everything is lost.
During some seasons certain colors will be in fashion while in other seasons different colors will be more “in.”The story of a non-Muslim Dutch designer who has dedicated a lot of her time to produce “fashion-friendly” Hijab is of serious thought. “Cut the moustache and let the beard grow; be different from the mushrikeen.” (al-Bukhaari, al-Libaas, 5442; Muslim, al-Tahaarah, 382). “Among young Saudis, the beard all depends on the mood at the time” says Mohammed Alsaeedi who lives in Qatif in Saudi Arabia. “When I go out with my friends, we bet on who’s hiding behind what beard” says Selim Ben Cheikh who teaches plastic arts in Tunis, Tunisia. Today, the beard is fashionable, particularly among young men. We let it grow for a few days, shave it off and let it grow again. It’s not about religion; it’s just about aesthetics. We as Muslims should trim and fix the beard as long as there remains the difference mentioned in the above Hadith. However, these days we actually keep the beard for fashion reasons. We want to look fashionable, sexy or formidable. If for the looks we grow beard and follow the fashion trends of mushrikeen thereby finish the difference, there remains no point of following the Sunnah. If the motive (here the difference ) is lost everything is lost.
(The author is presently pursuing Masters in Financial Economics at Madras School of Economics, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Views are his own) [email protected]

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