I'm not going to lie, since I recently joined instagram, something has been bothering my mind for quite some time. I see a lot of beautiful Muslim girls all covered up, looking so stylish and chic, yet somehow, something just doesn't feel right. Most of the time it's about the modesty that I feel is decreasing(be it appearance or even acts, speech or manners). I feel like the HIJAB doesn't serve it's true purpose anymore, that to many it's just a piece of cloth that they put on their head simply to cover their hair when the truth is, hijab is so much more than that. The hijab embodies a sacred metaphysical dimension whereby it acts as a 'curtain' to guard one's modesty and beauty as well as providing protection to women against the evil eyes. Hijab is also about guarding one's modesty in dressing, acts, manners and speech. But the reality of what's happening now is I scroll down to the comments section and bam! So many arguments about the fashion that these girls are portraying. So I came up with a few categories of types of people who usually comment on these kind of photos:
The Haram Police.
This particular group of people are the kind that love to point out was is haram and what is not by saying things like 'Sister your shirt is too tight, this is haram!' or 'This is not hijab!' or 'You shouldn't be showing your arms, Allah doesn't allow it'. While almost 100% of what these people state are actually TRUE, but I have to disagree on HOW they are said. Why I don't agree with this method is because I've personally had people say things like that to me in public and not only is it embarrassing to be corrected in public, I feel more angry towards the person commenting than actually feeling guilty of wearing something that I actually know is wrong in my dressing. Imam Syafie says "If you tell your brother his faults privately, then you have carried out your responsibility well. But if you tell him his faults in public, then you have stripped him naked in front of people.." I couldn't agree more. And MasyaAllah I've had sisters who personally email me correcting some of the ways I dress or just to share what they read on a certain ruling on Islamic dressing. These are the kind of healthy ways to actually CORRECT someone and to make them clear of what they have done wrong. Also it is the best way(in my humble opinion) to make people want to better themselves. Comments like 'The Haram Police' will only lead to online debates and nasty arguments because each party will end up commenting with more emotions than actually what was their initial intention. When seeing someone doing wrong, it is essential(and I couldn't stress this enough) to always remember: hate the ACT, not the PERSON. So if people still want to comment in public, they should address the hadith/advice TO ALL MUSLIMS, and not to address the wrong-doer directly. It's fine to state what is haram BUT it should be done without personally attacking anybody. Especially if the person is new to hijab. They might not know that a certain way of dressing is not permitted in Islam. Therefore, it is our duty to EDUCATE them. Educate here does not mean by simply commenting. How about emailing them to explain why a certain trend is not allowed or maybe suggesting to them books on the proper ways of wearing hijab. Now wouldn't that be much more nicer and show better akhlaq to our newly hijabbed sisters? :)
While I agree that we should never judge people based on their appearance or what they wear, because at the end of the day, only Allah knows whats inside their heart, I've found that many girls(especially that have worn hijab for a long time or since baligh) have actually used that statement only as an excuse to stay in ignorance. They know what their wearing is completely wrong yet they get comfort in thinking that you know what, 'It's ok even if my clothes are super tight, at least I'm wearing a headscarf, and you know what, only Allah can judge me' Again yes, only Allah will judge you, but do you honestly think He will be pleased that you're still not covering properly even though you already know the Do's and Dont's in Islamic dress code? I'm pretty sure He won't. So think about it and reflect back to the very basics. That being said, it's still not acceptable to judge and say things like 'This is the kind of dressing that will drag you to hellfire'. C'mon girls, you can do so much better than that:( Take the positive and try to give contructive critisism rather than blindly judging that someone will for sure go to hell. And vise versa. Don't JUDGE, instead GUIDE.
The Plain Rude
This unforetunately is the most shocking of all for me. Only on instagram have I seen such behavior from our Muslim sisters (and brothers too). It's like watching a hijabi version of 'Mean Girls'. There are comments like 'Those jeans are so ugly, did you raid your brothers closet? haha' or 'WTF' 'Yuck!' 'ewww her tan and her lips' 'Are those mom jeans? LOL. they're the ugliest I've ever seen'.. How can
Now I have mixed feelings about this group. Usually they are very one-sided people. They tend to defend one side without any substance by saying things like 'Well at least she wears hijab' or 'That is not your concern' 'You should mind your own business' or 'Shut the hell up' Astaghfirullah..For one thing, yes, we are all still struggling to better ourselves. But in Islam, is that all we're going for? to be just 'at least' people? Is that 'at least' attitude going to encourage others and ourselves to be better Muslims? To me it's like saying, it's ok if I don't get a good KPI at work, at least I go to work and get money. Or its like seeing a huge diamond and stones together but you only take away the stones(if that makes sense). Secondly, if you know the comment will only ignite more arguments, debates (and even swearing!) I think it would be best to not say anything at all. Last but not least, the 'mind your own business' mindset should immediately be put to an end. In Islam, we all have the duty of doing dakwah no matter how small or how insignificant we might feel it is to others. Because contrary to what most of these people are commenting about, we will be accounted for the wrongdoings we see done by our fellow Muslims but did not have the slightest effort to stop, correct, advise or pray for them. We were sent to this world as khalifahs, and part of our responsibility is Amar Maaruf Nahi Mungkar. Dakwah is an invitation, and like any other invitation, people might accept or decline. And that's not what is important. What is important is that on the day of judgement when Allah asks, 'What did you spend your youth on did you convey the message of Islam?' You don't want to answer 'No, I said it's none of my business'..
The Politely Positive
Now this is what I expect to see more of in the future InshaAllah. Masyallah I think these girls have a good understanding how to correct someone in the akhlaq that truly represents Islam. These comments are not defending any side or any particular person, but more to how we can all improve as a better Muslim ummah.
I'm going to be completely honest, when I started blogging back in 2011, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I started the blog just as an extension of sharing my personal style, and that was it. I never really thought that this humble blog of mine would one day mean something so sentimental and so dear to my heart as it does now. I realized that people(Muslims and non-Muslims) all over the world actually read my blog and the poof is that I get tons of emails from blog readers (I appreciate every single email I've received even though some emails are simply just to say Hi!) Sometimes I don't get to reply them all because of other commitments but I always try my very best to attend to the questions and experiences shared by my blog readers. Anyway, my point is that when we put ourselves out there, we all have a responsibility of setting the best examples not only for our fellow Muslims, but for our non-Muslim friends too. For instance, if there is a non-Muslim who is actually intrigued to learn more about Islam, then she sees a Muslim women in a turban that doesn't cover the chest and neck, the non-Muslim's idea of hijab would be that ' Oh, i guess Islam allows women to show the shape of their bosoms and neck'
I know to some it all seems like a small matter, but collectively if all Muslims don't care about what kind of example their setting for the public, than that's a HUGE problem for the Muslim ummah. Our akhlaq and appearance itself is a form of dakwah. Dakwah isn't about joining protests or proving to non-Muslims we can be fashionable too. We are so much more than that. We are a reflection of Islam. A physical embodiment of what Islam is, if you will. And yet we still wonder why so many people have Islamofobia.
At the end of the day, truly the best way to defend our religion is to actually PRACTICE it the proper way. Wallahualam. All that is good comes from Allah s.w.t and all that is bad from my own weakness.