"What do you think?"
I see a tall, pretty girl holding up a green, gauzy dress for her friend's inspection. The friend nods approvingly and smiles.
Perfect? I muse to myself. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the perfect clothing nowadays.
"And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms..." (Qur'an 24:31)
I walk out of the store and take a look around me. I am surrounded by Muslim girls wearing hijab. One wears a scarf that is carelessly draped over her head. It dutifully covers every strand of hair but it terminates above her bosom.
The shirt she wears is tight and short sleeved. Her legs are not exposed in the least but there is no guesswork as to their shape since the jeans she wears outlines them clearly and unambiguously.
Another girl walks past me. She is more modestly dressed in a flowing robe. Unfortunately, her hijab exposes her bosom for every male eye to see.
Hijab is derived from its arabic root word hajaba meaning to cover, hide behind a veil or curtain. A hijab in its entirety should serve as a barrier between a man and a woman in all respects. Hijab makes the muslim woman aware that she should restrict her interaction with males with whom she can marry.
Hijab serves as a veil that hides the muslim woman's adornments from being seen. The true purpose of Hijab is lost once it is merely considered as a trend and tradition and the real reason why it is worn is lost.
In the west, the women take pride in showing off the latest creations from their favorite designers on the red carpet. They eagerly strut their 'stuff' in front of the cameras, adoring the attention. Millions of photographers crowd in front of the so called stars and snap away.
One starlet smiles. Turns, poses.
The most daring of the lot is applauded for their iconic fashion sensibilities when what they are really doing is showing off a bit more skin than their counter-parts.
And it is said, the women towards the end of the world will wear clothing but it is as if they are naked. In a popular reality tv show where groups of designers compete against each other for the ultimate prize to work under a world-famous fashion label, the motto that prevails sends out the message that less is more.
One designer went to such an extent as to wrap all the loose parts of the cloth around his model, delineating the shape of her body. The judges absolutely beamed!
In another show where beautiful girls vie for a place as top model, the hostess encourages the girls to not look 'frumpy' by adjusting the loosely draped cloth around the body tightly, and shortening it in the process. Is it not degrading that women are looked upon solely based on the shape of their bodies, the flawlessness of their complexion, the fullness of the lips?
Whereas the character and integrity as a living, breathing, capable human being is seen as secondary compared to the above?
Is it not then, absolutely beautiful that Islam honors the women by prioritizing and preserving their character and dignity through the act of covering their beauty and charm from unwarranted attention?
"If one chooses to dress as one of a group of people, they are of that people"
Muslim women should be aware that they carry the identity of Islam. The trendsetters in the West only serve their hedonistic needs. They care nothing for religion or God.
In their blind enjoyment of this short worldly life, they only serve our greatest enemy, the Shaitan. Why should we dress up so degradingly, showing off every curve? To what end? To attract male suitors? To garner a loyal following of boyfriends? So that we are not the last one standing when all our friends are out on dates?
What is this purpose but to satisfy our nafs and to create and even greater sin that can lead to fahishah (immoral sin)!
"And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect." (30:21)
Know that Allah's promise is true. Surely for every believing woman, there is a believing man for her, insya Allah. Remember when The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), full of praise for virtuous and chaste women, said: The most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman.