Tuesday, June 7, 2016

RAMADAN RANT #1: Asking your coworker to wear hijab just for Ramadan

Now people who know me, know I am decently strict with my own hijab. My personal style prescription:

1.) Scarf has gotta cover the chest completely (who cares if that is a granny style here in the Sultanate, I don't wear hijab to be part of Khaleeji fashion as much as I love the designer abaya scene). Hair also isn't purposefully showing.
2.) Stuff (clothes) are loose.
3.) They are not see-through.
4.) They aren't overly expensive beyond what people I encounter day-to-day could ever afford.

I'd wear a face veil if I realistically could without also taking it off. I admit, compared to the strictest schools of thought, I don't think lipstick is sinful but if I were wrong, a face veil would solve all wouldn't it?;). I also am of the school of thought that hijab should be an overgarment (be worn over regular clothes that don't have to be modest).

At the same time, hijab (modest Islamic dress code) isn't a pillar of the religion. Belief, prayer, fasting, charity, and preforming pilgrimage, those are.

So my first Ramadan rant this year is that some guys asked another Muslim girl at work to wear hijab "just for Ramadan".

Now, my first problem with this is they mean, a headscarf by hijab. Hijab in Islam is a lot more than that. Obviously, this is their meaning, since there are five other women (all Muslim) in that office, and almost none of them actually wear Islamic hijab. They wear Omani cultural hijab (scarf over most of hair, over one breast, abaya closed but fitted in one area or another (usually waist) or open with not always modest clothing underneath.

Asking another Muslim woman to wear cultural hijab has what benefit for anyone? I mean, so the guys don't see her whole head of hair?! But they can still see the hair (poking out the scarves) of the other women, the shape of their chests through the fit of their abayas, the curve of their hips? I don't get it...Don't get me wrong, I am still Western, but when I live in Oman as long as I have, I still see a woman with hair and go "Hairrrrr!!!" in my head and stare, but come on. Hair is everywhere. If you are gonna be like that, please don't have internet or a TV at least. Serriously. Hair isn't the point of hijab.

I mean, would they ask the other Omani girls in the office to wear better/looser/more covering hijab, or ask the boss to tuck in her bangs (just for Ramadan?).

Second problem is, hijab is akin to fasting, although it is a much lesser requirement for Muslim women. You have to fast or you are not Muslim. [By this I mean, if you had no excuse not to fast, and died suddenly, it is a sin that you risk not being forgiven for, not that any mortal being can judge what they cannot know---Allah is pretty famously forgiving and understanding].

You are still a muslim if you don't wear hijab so long as you wear it to pray. You might not be doing what you should, but you are still a Muslim. Wearing hijab Islamically is a declaration for yourself and to Allah/the Creator, it isn't for society. It says "I am a believer of the Islamic faith". It goes beyond just being a Muslim...If you wear it for the right reasons, that is.

Third problem is, what is the point of "just for Ramadan?". The Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upong him) told Muslims that the best acts they can do are the ones they can do often, not the greater acts they do rarely.

Fourth problem is, people who asked her, obviously don't know the requirements of fasting themselves, which worries me. About them, not her. They told her "what is the point of fasting if you don't cover your hair?".

Number one, fasting isn't invalidated by not covering the hair (so long as she prays, and wwears Islamic hijab to pray her fard (required) prayers).

...They seemed not to know that. So they probably don't know the point of fasting in general, or what invalidates it. Worrying...

End of rant. I told her don't worry. ...And if she is gonna wear hijab, wear it for the right reasons, not other people.


StylishMuslimah said...

It's a very cultural thing - my dad used to always tell me to wear a headscarf during ramadan and I hated it. People look at the exterior and they like to judge based on that. But of course praying and fasting is much more important than appearances, unfortunately though from a cultural perspective this isn't always the case.

It's great to see you're still blogging by the way! I've been away for a while but I want to get back into it now! Ramadan mubarek, I hope it's all going well for you and your family. x

*~ Just Sharing Islam ~* said...

Allah the Almighty knows best. Wearing the hijaab (and niqab or face veil for those who believe that it is wajib/mandatory) is obedience to Allah's orders for women to cover up and dress modestly when amongst non-mahram males and when outside. It also distinguishes the subservient Muslimahs from the disobedient ones and clearly differentiates a Muslim woman from an unbeliever. Of course a Muslimah is still a Muslim even without the hijaab but wouldn't it be better to show that one is not ashamed of identifying oneself as Allah's believing servant and righteous friend while doing another good deed that leads to Paradise :)
MashaAllah thank you for sharing some of your knowledge sister in Islam I've been visiting your blog for many years now probably even while I was a resident back in Saudi Arabia.
Ramadan Mubarak sister remember all Muslims in your sincere du'as :)

Wasalaam from the Philippines,
Mariam JustSharingIslam.blogspot