Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Dreaded SwimSuit Season-----Ahhhhhhhhhh: Islamic Swim Suits

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weenie, yellow polka dot bikini....

Um yeah right. Even in my non-muslim days I didn't feel like showing off my body in front of men in anything stringy and "teeny weenie" "itsy bitsy". I know very very very few non-muslim women (I can count ONLY ONE on my pinkie) who are confident enough in their bodies to feel comfrotable enough wearing a string binkin in public without excercising or dieting frantically in an attempt to "earn" the love and affection of men through sexual attraction. Most of the women we do see confidently flaunting themselves are actually flaunting a product, flogging a beer, a calendar, a car, a music video...

Muslim women in general (if they come from a very Islamic household [or are married to such a good practicing brother] where a woman's mind and piety and natural beauty are more stressed than a public-held impossible ideal) do not suffer from the same body images. In fact, muslim men are often attracted to all body types, IF they haven't been bombarded by media screwing with their mental image of what a woman should look like. That's why hijab makes swim suit shopping so easy for us (inshaAllah I WILL explain how easy very soon) and why a man's hijab (lowering his gaze) is so beneficial for his health. In the United States and Europe (where sexuality is highly publicized and skin actually hard to avoid in public interactions) men's potency [their ability to egage in sexual relations] is actually decreasing at a younger age than it had in the fifties. Men are losing their ability to have sex, as they are bombarded more and more by images of it, and are not just leaving it in the halal role of marriage. The good practicing Muslim brother consequently, isn't going to have to use viagra as much as his non-muslim counter-part, and he is more likely to be satisfied sexually in his marriage than a man who does not lower his gaze. And a woman who wear hijab and has a gaze lowering husband, is MORE likely to feel sexual empowerment within the marriage, than a woman who doesn't cover.

As a Muslim woman, I will not be wearing any bikini in front of anyone but my husband. I don't want any man BUT HIM leering at me in the disgusting manner of this young tool, pictured below. But of course, with my husband, it is not disgusting:D cuz I love him!
So what does a gal that believes khimar should cover the chest and an overgarment is fard do to go swimming? Does she buy one of these pretty but sketchy way too tight Islamic swim suits?
Nope. These TOTALLY fall into the category of clothed but naked, especially if one is lounging around the pool in them. This is as bad as skin tight jeans and a skin tight long sleeved thermal t-shirt and no hijab coverage (the khimar has GOTTA cover the chest if it to Islamic hijab). At least IN the water these babies would be modest, so I guess if someone hands you an abaya to slip into WHEN you get out it'd be okay...but not ideal. This bathing suit is too tight that it is too risky for even a split second. Your mermaid moment leaves you one big spandex body sculpture, and lounging in this baby would be haraam for myself. If someone can make out my cup size and see my thigh fat..... IT AIN'T HIJAB.
So what is a girl who is as active as I am to do? Buy a looser fitting "Islamic" swim suit" like this one from http://www.jelbab.com/Product.asp?prdID=400419 for $84.99 USD? It is modest enough to wear in one's home, LOL (though who'd be doing that?), I mean, one could preform salat in it since it is loose, non-see through, and covers the necessary parts, but it isn't a jilbab (which is necessary for a muslim woman when she leaves her home) and the hijab part doesn't cover the chest. I own a swim suit like this is one, and this is what I do. I wear a big comfy (and better than a towel) terry cloth bathrobe over top of it as my jilbab, and I wear a loose light shayla hijab. As I wade into the water, I lift the robe, and when I am fully and modestly immearsed (meaning none of my body is visible over the top of the water but my head) I toss the robe on the side of river bank, pool, or beach. If I am with any children, I have them carry it to the side for me. I do the same with my shayla, lifting it till my chest is covered. Once it is covered, I through the shayla to the side of the beach/pool ect. And I enjoy my swim. If I am only staying in the shallows, I just wear an old abaya, but if one has some serrious swimming, I go the bathrobe (plus loose Islamic swimsuit) route. When getting out of the water, have someone available to bring the robe and khimar wrap for you. Kids often do, or husbands, or non-swimming sisters. Once out I am swaddled in my towel of a robe, wrap my dry khimar for neck coverage, pile on a big floppy hat, and let myself dry in the sun. If I am at a friend's beach cottage, I am enjoying sipping pink lemonade and drinking cream soda Jones soda. Mmmmm. Yum. This works for a strictly jilbab and khimar girl like me. Someday inshaAllah, I might also wear niqab. Um Travis, from Tea Break Thoughts, did a post on how to go swimming with niqab here http://teabreakthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-thoughts-on-swimming_06.html

16 comments:

Pixie said...

oh i forgot to add, here is a link for some nice bathrobes http://www2.victoriassecret.com/commerce/onlineProductDisplay.vs?namespace=productDisplay&origin=onlineProductDisplay.jsp&event=display&prnbr=CM-229853&page=1&cgname=OSSLPRBEZZZ&rfnbr=5942&atb=B

keep_it_up said...

Assalamu alaikum wa barkatuh,

Hey Pixie,

I can't seem to find your e-mail address anywhere in your profile so I thought I will just leave this message here. Just wanted to say masha'allah ukhti. You are very balanced in your views and I love the way you say it as it is even though others may not agree with you.

Keep it up and may Allah preserve you.

Ammoorraah said...

As salaamualaikum warahmatuaallah!!
Good post pixie, to me loose or tight the water is gonna make it stick to u, regaurdless so unless ur in a pool with all women then how about just not getting in a pool lol.

As far as the suits it self goes, being a swimmer, i was on the swim team years ago, i think all that fabric is too dangerous for a swim pool esp if ur not skilled. swim suits are desinged they way they are for a reason same with swim caps, in most pools u cant even wear T shirts because the watter weighs u down and could A possibly drown u, or B cramp you up so that u cant swim.

Buttt good efforts none the less lol!

Adventurous Ammena said...

ooh.. that niqabi ladies arm looks like a mannequins arm... eeewww.. so you get your robe soaked is that right? interesting :D thanks for the post pixie

Habibti said...

as salamu alaykum lmaooooooooooooo reminds me when a kid i wore bikini but sat hdiing my body. and everybody was like comeeeee onnnn when i went to swim, i ran like crazy haahahaah but unfortunately when you get old, you lose that sense of pudeur lol

Amber said...

It's funny, not long ago my reaction to the picture of the guy oggling the women from his camel would have placed all the blame on him. Now, it's 50/50. Heh. He shouldn't be looking, but if women are going to run around nearly naked, people are going to look.

Unfortunately, 'bikini season' lasts all year down here! There's no escaping from naked people (men and women). I've given up going to the beach because of it, and because it's so hard to keep modest and swim.

I saw a picture a while back, with a bikini clad woman and, I think it was a niqaabi, but (at least) a woman in hijab, and the contrast is extreme. I'd much prefer a place where the modesty reflected in hijab is prevalent.

Luckily, being Florida, almost everyone has a pool at their house, so I can swim at my girlfriends' places when we're alone.

Pixie said...

Ammena: Actually, LOL, my robe never gets soaked, I lift it as I go in.

Ammoorrah: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto. In the water no one can see my body so that's all good (I don't swim anywhere where men are snorkelling:D)---I don't worry about looseness but functionality. But coming out, having the robe to drape about one's self completely solves the problem:D Since that is loose fitting, so no one sees the shape of my body. I also we drape a dry loose hijab or towel over my chest.

Amber: Lucky you. I just saw your email sweetie. Will write back ASAP since I've got a virus on the page where I can access that email and don't want to spread it.

Habibti: I bet you were a cute kid.

Keepitup: Jazzakallah kheiran.

Amirah said...

Salam walaikum,
I have seen that picture of the niqabi swimming so many times, but I always think it's so cute!!

Kadija said...

Asalamu Alikum Ladies and Pixie(luv da name by the way): anywho, i totally agree with u Amber about that whole entire picture being blamed on both the man and the women, I mean u cant really complain about how men stare if ur goin around half naked (Thank Allah us Muslimahs have hijab!) I mean I luv the water and all but I can't possible imagine myself swimming around in a bikini in front of most women much rather the men!!
To Pixie: FYI i absolute ADORE ur site, its not only helpful but fun to look at all the beautiful fashion u post, it really helps me better "hijabify" my outfits while still feeling good:) Thanks a bunch for ur efforts and probably the long hours u put into this blog, but PLEASE KEEP IT UP!!!
----Asalamu alikum my beautiful sisters and know no matter what life throws at you Allah s.w.a.t is ALWAYS there for us:)!!!!!(hi and best wishes to ur families!!!!)

Inspired Muslimah said...

Sis this was a really nice informative post. I do not know how I feel about the bathing suit and I just figure I will never swim again :( ...but its ok.

Boxie said...

Ahiida is a great swim suet place for muslim girls. http://www.ahiida.com/ They have a wide range of fits and as you are getting out of the water a little tug at the bottom Prevents it from sticking to you. I own one and they work really well. Most pools will not let you swim it a T now-a-days. So this is a grate bypass. http://www.ahiida.com/index.php?a=results&subcat=65 Modest fit is good, and there is a tie inside the top and a loop on the pants that allows you to attach the to so as you swim it does not float up. I have the active fit, witch is for the sporty end (surfing) of water stuff and life grading (mm I should go out for that again). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4OLgOGyrQI

lockhaus said...

Salam,

a good writing and i salute your firm standing on issues of aurah, what can be seen and what cant be seen. it is a shame that some ppl use the term 'Muslimah' to sell their swimsuit and the suit does not even conform to the syarie.

However, i have found this zikky swimwear http://www.slide.com/r/rDEI07pezD8RMi1WA58WKpBocTAvELkP?previous_view=lt_embedded_url which i found to be quite reasonable as the suit wont stick to ur body when it's wet, it is fairly loosefitting and the hijap is long covering your chest. it has pairs of strings to tie the suits on each piece so that it wont flip up when you dive or make swimming strokes....

HijabChic said...

As salam alaykum!
Great tips, thank you so much for sharing :)

Modestkini said...

I just came across this blog and found it very interesting indeed.Thanks for sharing.

http://www.modestkini.com/

Anonymous said...

Ideally, that is exactly what should happen. But realistically, men are not like that. As westernization becomes more prominent in the east, the generations of guys get worse and worse. I do not know exactly how to describe their state, but for lack of better words, they are incredibly thirsty and to be quite frank, it is pretty scary. They do not know how to respect women at all and make lewd comments towards females in hijab as well as those without. I am not generalizing, I am speaking from experience.

Anonymous said...

Goodness as a western woman this is a very interesting post. I forget how much as a person you are defined by your upbringing and what you are taught to believe. My own cultural teachings are rooted in a strong atheist feminist viewpoint. I realise I still need a lot more education on why Muslim women want to cover themselves as I still see it being solely for the benefit of men through fear of being ostracised by her family. I would greatly appreciate if anybody does know of any website which better explains the cultural benefits for Muslim women covering the body in this way. I would very much like to see it better from your point of view. Thanks for the post...