It often occurs to me that many of my Sisters in Islam are not properly encouraged once they begin to observe the requirements of Hijab. It may be that a sister has been obliged to wear the Hijab without truly pondering over its superiority. Perhaps she has reached the age of puberty and her Wali (Guardian) has instructed her to wear it. Perhaps she has recently reverted to Islam and her close sisters have told her of its obligation. Or, perhaps her husband has commanded her to wear Hijab. A sister who does not truly know the superiority of Hijab will always remain envious of the Non-Muslim Women. Why? Because they see these misguided women looking beautiful for all to see. Hence, the Muslim woman then compares herself to that woman which causes her to feel ashamed of her own Hijab.
Therefore, what follows is a reminder for my respected Sisters in Islam. It is a reminder that Hijab will always reign supreme and that the true man (i.e. the Muslim man), will forever be dazzled by the beauty of the Muhajjibah (woman who wears the Hijab), for her inner beauty, modesty and true worth.
Some Excellent Qualities of Those Who Wear Hijab
It is well known that the true Muslim woman is a woman embodied with Hayaa' (modesty). Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) loves for our Muslim women to be shielded by their Hijab. It is their outer protection from the decadence of this life. Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has said,
Since possessing Hayaa' is a quality that is beloved by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) our sisters must feel comfort in knowing that they have this Hayaa' and that those women who show themselves to the world are devoid of this beautiful characteristic. Such women will not be shielded from Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta'aala) Wrath. Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said,
Therefore, we see that the Hijab of the Muslim woman has a quality that comprises Hayaa' (modesty). Hayaa proceeds from Imaan (faith). That is why when Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) commands the women to observe Hijab, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) says, "And tell the believing women..." (Surah An-Nur :31)
Allah [subhanahu wa ta'ala] also says, "...And the women of the believers..." (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:59)Furthermore, Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Al-Hayaa (modesty & bashfulness) is from Imaan (belief) and Imaan is in Al-Jannah (the Paradise)." (At-Tirmidhi - Saheeh)
He (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said, "Hayaa (modesty and bashfulness) and Imaan (belief) are fully associated together, if one is lifted the other follows suit." (Narrated by ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Umar; related by Al-Haakim in his "Mustadrak")
My dear sisters in Islam, know that these women who beautify themselves for the world to see possess no Hayaa' and hence are void of any true Imaan (belief and faith). Instead of looking to the latest fashion models for guidance, you, my dear sisters, must look to the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). Look at the great amount of Hayaa 'that ‘Aa'ishah bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) possessed even in the presence of the deceased!
'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said,
"I used to enter the room where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and my father (Abu Bakr) were buried in, without having my outer-garment on me, thinking, ‘It is only my husband and my father’. But when ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiallahu 'anhu) was later buried in (the same place), I did not enter the room except that I had my outer-garment on being shy from ‘Umar."(As-Simt Ath’ameen Fee Maniqib Ummahat Ul-Mu’mineen by Ibn As-Sakir. Al-Haakim brings a similar narration which he says is "good according the conditions of Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim.")
My dear sister in Islam, I know that it is quite difficult for you to go out wearing Hijab in a society that may mock, ridicule, look-down and even torments you for it. I know that you, indeed, must feel strange and out of place. However, if you knew the status of those who are mocked by the kuffaar (disbelievers) as well as the status of the strangers, you will continue to wear your Hijab (i.e. to cover with a Khimaar (a head cover which covers the hair, neck, ears and chest) as commanded (24:31), as well as with a Jilbaab (the outer garment worn above the garments worn in the house) (33:59).
Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) says in His Book: "Verily! (During the worldly life) those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. And whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another (in mockery); And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting; and when they saw them, they said: ‘Verily! These have indeed gone astray!’ But they (disbelievers, sinners) had not been sent as watchers over them (the believers). But on this Day (the Day of Resurrection) those who believe will laugh at the disbelievers. On (high) thrones, looking (at all things). Are not the disbelievers paid (fully) for what they used to do?" (Surah Al-Mutaffifin :29-36)
Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta'aala) words should serve as a support for you my dear sisters. Also, take comfort in being a stranger among these lewd and sinful women. Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said,
"Islam began as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange, so good tidings for the strangers." (Narrated by Abu Huraira and Reported Saheeh Muslim)
As-Sufoor and Its Characteristics
As-Sufoor means to expose or to uncover. Therefore, instead of practicing the Hijab (covering), the disbelieving women practice as-Sufoor. As-Sufoor is sinful as it leads to At-Tabarruj (i.e. to make a dazzling display of one’s beauty). Displaying oneself is a attribute of one who is Jaahil (ignorant). Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) says, "And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves (At-Tabarruj) like that of the times of ignorance..." [Surah Al-Ahzab :33]
Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "The best of your women is the affectionate, the fertile (in productivity), the propitious (favourable), the consultative if they fear Allah. The most evil of your women are the Mutabar’rijaat (those who do At-Tabarruj), the Mutakhayelat (who strut/swagger), and they are the hypocrites. Those who enter Al-Jannah (the Paradise) are like the Cough Crow [i.e. few]." (Al-Bayhaqi in his "As-Sunan")
My dear sisters in Islam, we see from the above evidence that displaying oneself is indeed haraam (impermissible). Further, it is a quality of the most evil of women! Therefore, do not be envious of the disbelieving women. They only have this life to enjoy while the believing women will have Al-Jannah. There is nothing in your Hijab whatsoever to be ashamed of as it is the garment of the righteous and pious female slaves of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). In order to truly show you how evil those women who do as-Sufoor and at-Tabarooj are, let us ponder over the following statement of Allah’s Messenger [sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam],
"Of the people of Hell there are two types whom I have never seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an Ox and they flog people with them. The second one, women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others. Their hair is high like the humps (of camels). These women would not get into Al-Jannah (the Paradise) and they would not perceive its odour, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such a distance." (Saheeh Muslim)
Sisters in Islam, these women who practice at-Tabarruj are common among us today. These are women that even the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) did not see! Look around you and you will see those women who are ‘clothed yet naked’! Look at the hair styles of the women who practice tt-Tabarruj - are they not high like the camel’s hump? My dear sister, perhaps we are the first generation since the time of the Prophet Adam ('alyhisslaam) to witness such women. If one ponders over photos taken thirty to forty years ago, one will see that the disbelieving women did not make at-Tabarruj as their offspring do today. These are women who will be in the Hell Fire, save those who Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aala) has mercy on by guiding them to Islam! Thus, how can you envy them? Why do so many sisters suffer from an inferiority complex? My brothers, how can you desire them over your women of Hayaa’ (modesty)? Such women will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise!