Dressing Well

I had a conversation with my neighbor Jenny, the other day that got me thinking. So what happened was that she happened to come out of her house in her Pj’s which I’ll admit I did not notice on account of forever living the PJ life 🤣 But she started apologizing profusely! That I’m so sorry I just came out in my PJs.

I looked at her funny, then pointed at my own Pj’s peeking through from underneath my Irani Chador and said oh that’s perfectly all right! I’m always in my Pajamas! And I’ll be honest, I’m in my mid 30s now and already at a point where I’m comfy in my own skin. I am, for the most part, past the age of peer pressure and having the need/desire to dress up for anyone or any particular outing.If i dress up, it’s for my own self. If I put on makeup it’s for myself. If I don’t. Again, it’s for myself as well.

But this conversation and Jenny’s fervent need to apologize for her dressing, DID make me pause! And then a couple of days later I hear this talk where the speaker mentions how beautiful Allah swt is and how He loves beauty, how Muslims, historically have always been people of Ihsan, that dressed well, that made the most beautiful mosques, paintings, carpets and what not.

In a profound Hadith, the Prophet (s) is reported to have said:

-قَالَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ

وَسَلَّمَ: أَصْلِحُوا رِحَالَكُمْ وَأَصْلِحُوا لِبَاسَكُمْ حَتَّى تَكُونُوا كَالشَّامَةِ فِي النَّاسِ))

[ أحمد، أبي داوود ]

Clean your yards, wear beautiful clothes until you become a beauty mark in the people.In fact Imam al Mawardi in his book Adab ad Deen wa Dunya says:

-مخالفة العرف اللباس من الحماقةوسفها

To go against the custom of a people in their dress is from amongst foolishness.

This means that within the confines of Shariah, it is encouraged to blend in with people in order to win their hearts! If you’re in a place where Hijab is rare or in a place where Muslims themselves are a minority, this would be a silent form of Dawah!

The Prophet sws was beautiful, he spoke beautifully, eloquently! He appreciated the beauty of language! He cried over poetry! Imagine!

Unfortunately, we’ve lost that. Imagine coming from a tradition where our elders were so obsessed with just beautiful handwriting that they invented an entire art form i.e Calligraphy and we write l!kE tH!$. Where if you’re in the West you’re familiar with the stereotype that “if a yard is beautiful, Desi ka nai hoga”. Where we cannot be bothered to dress up for Jumuah.

So this got me thinking, had I really gotten comfortable in my own skin or was I just being lazy? Had I allowed the daily grind of multitasking, motherhood and work get to me and started slacking off on maintaining myself? Could I not make an effort to be a better ambassador of my Deen and my Hijab?

More importantly, could I at least, once in a while moisturize? 😂

So in hindsight, I’ve realized that I might have blurred some lines. It takes courage to don Hijab, to stand out, to be comfortable in your skin, to shun society’s expectations and norms. But one must continue to re-examine why one is doing something. Am I still doing it for Allah? Or has this become an act of rebellion instead? Our Hijabs are not an act of rebellion, however cool that may have sounded to a younger me. Our Hijabs are an act of submission. To Allah swt. And therefore, they are not an excuse to dress shabbily.

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