I have been joining a few Facebook groups to do with "fashion hijabs" lately. Some of the groups are truly inspiring as to how their styles are Islamic and 'Halal'. Yes, you'd presume when it's Islamic it has to be Halal too, right? However, nowadays people claim so many things to be 'Halal' and yet when we do thorough research, it's not as Halal as it is claimed to be. I'm not talking about food but more to "fashion" and clothing. The word Halal has been thrown around aimlessly in the beauty world just to attract Muslim women. There is also 'Halal' make-ups being introduced. Question is, how is there such a thing as Halal make ups? Could they only mean the ingredients? As far as my knowledge goes, I am sure it is not permissible for Muslim women to wear make ups in public. So when the word 'halal' is being used, I would instantly think "OH! It's Halal to wear make ups!" That is where the confusion begins which will accumulate our sins.
I haven't been a true hijabi myself. No doubt I used to wear skinny jeans, almost tight fitting tops and etc etc. Until one point when I was in town an 'Alim' brother stopped me and said "Salaam Sister, could I just give you some advice?" That instant, I knew what it was going to be about but hesitantly I said "yes, go on then." The Alim brother started telling me hijab is not only about covering your hair, it's about dressing modestly etc etc. You know the typical statements you hear even after years of being a hijabi! I just nodded and thanked him for the advice. I walked away feeling so furious and thought, "how dare he stopped me and started preaching all those stuff?! Isn't there an ayah in the Quran that he should be lowering his gaze or something like that??!" And yes, there is. "(O Prophet), Enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Surah al-Nur verse 30.
I got home and told Iskandar about it, of course he felt uncomfortable but not towards what the Alim has advised but instead for letting me go out in that attire. Time and again Iskandar has told me to dress loosely but I take it very lightly. Iskandar doesn't wanna repeat himself over and over again since if I don't commit to it, I'm just committing sins. So, in a way he was glad someone else stopped me and told me off, because sometimes it just take another to make me realise. Alhamdulillah, that person has made me realise how wrong I have been dressing all along. About the ayah I mentioned above, well, apparently we ladies we just want to read and know what we want to know! True enough. If we read further that ayah, there's another advice for us ladies.. “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” Surah Al-Nur verse 31
After reading that, I questioned myself "should I be angry with that person for advising me?" Indeed he has to lower his gaze but have I done my part and dressed modestly? He might have lowered his gaze but the way I was dressing was rather appealing and made him want to say or do things to me. So, it is partly my fault for inviting him to look at me. Ever since then, I have tried my very best to wear loose skirts and if I do wear jeans, to make sure my top covers most of my revealing parts. It was hard at first, but Alhamdulillah. I have managed to do it.
I will write another entry about our common practice/mistakes where we pick and choose our "knowledge" just to suit our lifestyle, Insha'Allah.