The Qu'ran says that Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala likes to see the signs of His subhanhu wa ta'ala kindness on His servants. He is beautiful, and loves beauty.
The Qu'ran also says that the best garment we can wear is one of God-consciousness (which is, to dress in awareness of the Creator, and to dress with the soul aim of pleasing Allah subhanhu wa ta ala).
When I used to pray at home, I would forget this, and throw on a beat up old sheet and cover my body with it, but I would never think of doing da'wah work at my workplace in that same sheet. Yes, my goal in dressing well in hijab in my daily routine, is to make Islam a more approachable subject for non-muslims. If we can start a subect that leads to Islam on the grounds of, "I love your ring" or "that's pretty embroidery on your head-scarf" or "I didn't know Muslims could wear colour" than alhamdulilah!!!!!!!! I got to tell them about Aisha R.A wearings rings and more important conduct of the Sahabiyat than that one issue. I got to explain how I became a Muslim and how hijab is freedom. I get to tell them how Muslims themselves often confuse culture for Islam.
These are all good things, but I shouldn't forget to dress well when praising Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala (when I can, I mean, between scrubbing the bathroom with bleach and doing the dishes I'm sure my Creator is fine with a clean modest sheet), but when I have the time, why don't I dress in my prettiest jalibiyia and hijab? At home, why don't I put on my glittery caftan, and line my eyes with kohl, (AFTER WUDU ALL) and do my hair under my hijab, and put that hijab on neatly styled, and spend a bit of time on my salat. It isn't a condition upon women, that we do sunnah and nafl salat and dress in beautiful modest clothes in the process, but why not? There is reward for dressing beautifully for our husbands. There is the MOST reward for dressing beautiful and modestly and praising Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala during salat.
If I am praying at home, I try to put away ten minutes for dressing for salat in the evening (which is when I have the most time). I put on my jalibiyia (if I were going out in front of non-maharam men I would choose clean modesty over brilliant beauty), I make wudu, I put on make-up (if I were going in front of non-maharam I wouldn't do defined makeup), do my hair, style my hijab, and then I try and spend at least the same ammount of time or x3 in salat. We would put this much effort in for visiting our friends, so I see it important for me to call on my Creator.
The Qu'ran says "... Say: 'What has My Lord to do with you if you do not call on Him?'" (Surat al-Furqan: 77) I really feel that if I call upon My Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the One, with as much effort or hundred times more so, then put forward for people. I never, never want to be asked if I cared for the opinion of a person more than I did for Allah`s.
Here is a dua that is good to recite whenever getting dressed, but is very specific to the puting on of new clothes. It may be recited in English, but the sunnah is to do so in Arabic. Both are good and valid:
Allaahumma lakal-hamdu Anta kasawtaneehi, asàluka min khayrihi wa khayri maa suni`a lahu, wa a`oothu bika min sharrihi wa sharri maa suni`a lahu.
Oh Allah, Praise be to You. You have clothed me. I ask You for its goodness and the goodness of what it has been made for and I seek Your protection from the evil of it and the evil of what it has been made for.
(Reported by Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhee)
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