Hijaab and the real beauty(What Beauty, what freedom, this is prison)

Published: Friday, 15 February, 2008, 02:06 AM Doha Time
By Aboo ‘Abdul-Fattaah Salaah bin Bernard Brooks
IT often occurs to me that many of our sisters in Islam are not properly encouraged once they begin to observe the requirements of hijaab. It may be that a sister has been obliged to wear the hijaab without truly pondering over its superiority. Perhaps she has reached the age of puberty and her parents have instructed her to wear it. Perhaps she has recently accepted Islam and her close companions have told her of its obligation. Or, perhaps her husband has commanded her to wear hijaab.
A sister who does not truly know the superiority of hijaab will always remain envious of disbelieving women. Why? Because they observe these misguided disbelievers attempting to look beautiful for all to see. Hence, the Muslim woman then compares herself to that woman which causes her to feel ashamed of her own hijaab. May Allah protect our women from that. Therefore, what follows is a reminder for my sisters in Islam. It is a reminder of the true status of these so-called beautiful women. It is a reminder of the excellence of the women who wear hijaab.
Excellent Qualities of Those Who Wear Hijaab
It is well known that the Muslim woman is a creature of modesty. Allah loves for our Muslim women to be shielded by their hijaab. It is their outer protection from the decadence of this life. Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said (what means):
“Allah is modest and covering. He loves modesty and privacy.” (Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa’ee al-Bayhaqee, Ahmad – saheeh).
Thus, as modesty is a quality that is loved by Allah, our sisters must take comfort in knowing that they are modest and that they are not like those women who show themselves off to the world. Such women will not be shielded from Allah’s Wrath. Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her husband’s home, has broken Allah’s shield upon her.” (Aboo Daawood and at-Tirmithee)
Therefore, we see that the hijaab of the Muslim woman is indeed part of modesty. Modesty accompanies eemaan (faith). That is why Allah’s Messenger said:
“Modesty is part of eemaan and eemaan is in Paradise.” (At-Tirmithee – saheeh).
“Modesty and eemaan are companions, when one goes away the other one goes away.” (Al-Haakim and others) 1
My dear sisters in Islam, know that the disbelieving women who beautify themselves for the world to see possess no modesty, thus, they are void of any eemaan. Instead of looking to the latest fashion models for guidance, you, my dear sisters, must look to the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Look at the regard for modesty that our mother, ‘Aa’ishah Bint Aboo Bakr possessed even in the presence of the deceased; she said:
“I used to enter the room where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and my father (Aboo Bakr) were later buried in without having my garment on me, saying it is only my husband and my father. But when ‘Umar Bin al-Khattab was later buried in (the same place), I did not enter the room except that I had my garment on being shy from ‘Umar.” 2
My dear sister in Islam, I know that it is quite different for you to go out wearing hijaab in a society that mocks and torments you. I know that you, indeed, feel strange and out of place. However, if you knew the status of those who are mocked by the disbelievers, then you would continue to wear your hijaab with dignity. Allah says in His Book (what means):
“Verily! the criminals used to laugh at those who believed. And whenever they passed them, used to wink at one another. And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting. When they saw them, they said: ‘These have indeed gone astray!’ But they (disbelievers, sinners) had not been sent as watchers over them (the believers). But on this Day 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?” (Al-Mutaffifeen: 83:29-36)
Allah’s 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 ‘alaihi wa sallam) said (what means):
“Islam began as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange, so good news is for the strangers.” (Muslim)
The Characteristic of the Exposed
Instead of practising the hijaab (covering), the disbelieving women expose themselves, making a dazzling display of themselves for others. Such display is an attribute of ignorance. Allah says in His Book (what means):
“And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves as you used to during the times of ignorance.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:33)
Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“The best of your women is the affectionate, the fertile, the comforting, the agreeable – if they fear Allah. The most evil of your women are the those who expose and display themselves, and those who strut (to show off) and they are the hypocrites. Those who enter al-Jannah (the Paradise) are like the red beaked crow.” 3
My dear sisters in Islam, we see from the above aayah and hadith that displaying oneself is indeed unlawful. 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 Paradise. There is nothing in your hijaab to be ashamed of as  it is the garment of the righteous and pious female worshippers of Allah. In order to truly show you how evil those women who expose themselves are, let us ponder over the following statement of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
“Of the people of Hell there are two 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 the camel. These women would not enter Paradise, nor will they smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be sensed from such and such a distance.” (Muslim)
Sisters in Islam, these women who expose themselves are common among us today. These are women that even the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not see! Look around you and you will see those women who are clothed but naked! Look at the hair styles of the women who, expose themselves – are they not high like the camel’s hump? My dear sisters, perhaps we are the first generation since the time of Aadam to witness such women. If one ponders over photos taken thirty to fifty years ago, one will see that the disbelieving women did not make expose themselves in the manner that their offspring today! These women are among the people of the Fire! Thus, how can you envy them?
My brothers, how can you desire the people of the Fire over your modest sister? Such lewd women will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise. How is it that you’ve chosen the exposed over the veiled? May Allah guide our brothers back to their senses – those who have abandoned their modest beauties for those who are astray. Another lesson from the above hadith is that it confirms that what the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came with is indeed the truth! This is a prophecy that has come to pass in front of our very eyes. Hence, will we continue to envy these evil women, or should we be grateful to our Lord for the hijaab which brings modesty which leads to Paradise? May Allah cause our sisters to abandon all of the ways of the exposed, and to adopt the ways of those who modest through their love and practice of the proper Islamic hijaab, aameen. Whatever I have written that is true is from Allah alone while any falsehood is from myself and shaytaan.
1 It’s authentic according to the criteria of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, as agreed by ath-Thahabee, and al-Albaanee.
2 As-Simt ath-Thameen fee Manaaqib Ummahaat al-Mu’mineen by Ibn ‘Asaakir. Al-Haakim brings a similar narration which he says meets the criteria of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, Ibn Hajar mentions it in Fath al-Baaree – saying that it is recorded by Ibn Sa’d and others. See the book of the Virtues of the Companions, the eighth chapter.
3 Al-Bayhaqee in his Sunan. The mentioning of this kind of crow is to show that those who enter Paradise will be as rare as this kind crow is rare and Allah knows best. See as-Saheehah no. 1849 for a discussion about the wording and authenticity of this hadith.

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