Saturday, June 6, 2009

Different Stages in Hijab?: my own early attempts

People sometimes, when you tell them about correct hijab, accuse you of judging the sister that isn't properly covered, saying we are all at different stages in our hijabs. I don't think that is a valid excuse to cancel out nasiha, and I understand different "stages" of hijab more than most born Muslims. I think I can speak on the subject. But before you get all huffed up on me:D please read all that I have to say in its entirety.

Before I even became a Muslim and made my shahada I covered my hair with hijab. It is a command for all women who believe in God, Christian, Jewish, Muslim... so as I learned about Islam I knew it applied to me before I even made my shahada. Every idiot out there knows Muslim women cover their hair so even if I didn't know why beyond the Christian reason for doing so, I did cover mine. Unfortunately, that meant that I did things in my hijab that I regret still. But I made clear to people I was thinking about becoming a Muslim and hadn't become one wholly yet. Even as I took my hijab on and off (no shahada yet ladies) I never told people it wasn't a religious requirement. I wasn't qualified to speak on the subject so I didn't try and be an authority on the matter. I wish others did the same.

Anyways, when the time came and I did make my shahada, (I had only read an English translation of the Qu'ran through once) I stopped taking my hijab on and off and though I did have some trouble learning how to wrap it so it did not slip off my head and so that it covered the chest (I only read the Qu'ran once but got the " cover the chest part"), I managed okay. What I DID struggle with was learning how to make my existing clothes and limited financial means "cover". I understood from reading the only existing online real hijab fashion blogs and (both African-American sisters running the sites---one a convert and the other a born Muslim) that all the skin had to be covered and the clothing not too tight but I didn't have much to work with. I mean, as a former classroom teacher, my clothing was more modest than most of my non-muslim friends, but it wasn't hijab. The best I could come up with were button up tops (I had a red silky taffetta one and a white oxford), a pair of white trousers (not overly wide but not skinny-cut), a pink brocade pencil skirt, a white bubble mini skirt, a long beige mermaid cut skirt, more stillettos than Carrie Bradshaw, a classic beige trench, and a white trench. I also had my grandma's vintage diamond clip on earrings which I wore as hijab pins before I was introduced to stick pins. I wore the pants under the skirts (white bubble mini and pink pencil skirt) and wore the button up untucked in on top. I realized my butt showed like this and started wearing the trenches over top. Even in the long skirt, the shape of my bottom hung out, so I started wearing the trenches as an overgarment. Even with a long top I still didn't feel comfortable without the extra layer of the trenches.
Men (non-muslims) still tried to ask me out though, even when my clothing was satisfactorily loose and what most hijabi style bloggers consider pretty flawless hijab such as below: loose fitted top, modest fitting skirt, hijab covering the chest (just not in this shot cuz it got stuck on the coat)... It would have been hijab to me even now if the trench were closed but since it isn't I don't consider it hijab, having read the Qu'ran more than nine times now the whole way through, alhamdulilah and subhanallah who'd ever have thought I'd manage it? I def. couldn't have without the aid of Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala. Anyways, the second reading came up with a command to wear jilbab, and though it took me a while to research exactly what jilbab was, I started wearing an overgarment as soon as I understood. Alhamdulilah. As soon as you understand something you should do it. If you don't understand it, and you are doing it anyways, be sure not to give advice on the subject of any kind or you risk misleading people. If you understand it and feel is an obligation, but are not strong enough to do it, explain that to anyone that might ask, and ask them to pray for you to do what is right. Dua always helps.

There are no "different stages" in hijab besides lack of knowledge and if you lack knowledge you don't have Islamic hijab yet unless you were raised with it. Once the knowledge is there the only option you have besides applying that knowledge is asking Allah for the strength to. It doesn't excuse you for not making up the obligation, but it certainly is more helpful for you and if you ask for help instead of making excuses to everyone out there. Hijab gets easier and easier, the closer you are to wearing it according to the sunnah. May Allah make it easier on all of us to wear the correct hijab, ameen.


Pixie said...

BTW that pic of me in the trench is not correct hijab unless the coat is closed:D

Lisa said...

Hi Miss Pixie and Salaam!

Great post as always!

I had no idea you were a former school teacher, where have I been??

Walahi, you said something so profound to me tonight that I am going to do it. "As soon as you understand something, you should do it" regarding jilbab.

I really love you Pixie, and how you came to hijab. I love that your Grandma's vintage diamond clip was replaced with stick pins, that had to be hard, but she would admire you.

Pixie, I cannot imagine anyone arguing with you on this made you're case sweetie. Love you endlessly!

Pixie said...

Lisa: school teacher as in ESL teacher:D Not formal education like Miss Michelle.

Pixie said...

Or my MIL.

Pixie said...

and i think they will disagree so arguements will be inevitable. Sigh. Opinions make the world more interesting and force us to study harder and try to be better so it is all for something, alhamdulilah.

Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakato sister. I love you so much. I want to visit you and Youssef and take you both out to dinner one of these days inshaAllah.

Anonymous said...

I love ur blog and I love u for the sake of ALLAH
Some ppl are just difficult :)
They try their best to twist the truth.....I just wonder why they make so much effort doing it....its plain stupid.
May Allah guide us all InshAllah
Btw why cant i view ur other pages like the bridewearhijab?

Anonymous said...

Badorra: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto, ahhhhhhhh you're so sweet. May Allah guide us all, ameen.

Don't worry about my other pages, I am slowly integrating them here onto ILOVEHISHMA. Evetually I will delete all the old bogs when all the content is here on this one.-Pixie

Habibti said...

assalamu alaykum i still dont understand what i can wear as jilbab from normal clothes because i dont have the means right now to the a whole wardrobe change. so i just have modern clothes i try to keep myself covered in. im doin progress alhamdoulilah but i still dont know. like can you show me with a skirt? a dress?

Milda Spin2liux said...

I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and opinions, especially bringing to attention that hijab is an OVERGARMENT and not the garment itself. That explains so much!!I completely feel hijab now, unlike before. I always knew hijab is right, but i couldnt make sense of its essence...Now i feel it on a much deeper level, alhamdulilah. I dont believe you need to go through certain stages in hijab, perhaps hijab is practised in parallell with the knowledge one has and the strength of iman. And may we all succeed insha Allah :)

Anonymous said...

cool sister .....
I love ur page...
InshAllah ill get a good tailor to sew me some new abayas (ur page is an inspiration)
and say goodbye to my old abayas

and habibti...
the hijab has certain prerequisites
1- not see through
2- does not describe the shape of the body (loose)
3- isnt too attractive that it wud attact attention to
Allah knows best =)

Habibti said...

assalamu alaykum i know all those three points. but im talkin about the jilbab part

Habibti said...

but i think i understand it now. when i go out i have to check if i can wear that clothing to pray with. if i cant its not correct

Inspired Muslimah said...

I love the way you wrapped your hijab :)

Mina said...

Allah's peace, mercy and blessing be upon you,

I humbly disagree. I believe our sisters, especially those who have converted, should be embraced with compassionate understanding…warts and all… no matter how far along they are on their journey.

I do agree, once you have knowledge of a subject, you ought to be obedient. However, the Quran also says Allah makes some excel faster than others, that everyone must conduct themselves according to their ability and that every Muslim, regardless of being a convert or born and raised, must seek Truth and develop their own faith. Knowledge is the first step in acceptance but you cannot have obedience without acceptance. We are all born Muslim whether we know it or not and it is the progression of our faith that leads us to enlightenment. We cannot judge our sister’s faith no matter how strong our opinion because Allah alone knows her heart and by assuming we do only stunts our growth. To illustrate, in your heart you knew Allah wanted you to cover your hair even before you accepted Islam. It is fair to say you knew the Truth and with the help of Allah succeeded in achieving complete acceptance. That is, of course, the only reason a person should become Muslim… conversion must never be an act of coercion, but of acceptance and compulsion. Better to be a learning Muslim than not a Muslim at all! Much like your high heel page, you were once giving out bad advice and made the correction when you became aware of it. In time, with Allah’s help, you will accept that high heels are for your husband’s eyes only (since he knows how tall you are, wearing them will not mislead him) and won’t need to use them as examples in your blog. It is very difficult to be a convert living in the Western world, can you imagine how much more difficult that would be if others knew our every mistake and sin like Allah does?! Thankful for us Allah is the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving because the son of man hardly ever understands!

I praise Allah for you, not everyone can jump off the deep end or as quickly. I pray Allah grant you more knowledge and a blessing in the Hereafter. Now I ask your prayers for me sister, though I’ve accepted hijab, jilbab and vain hair removal, I still struggle (regardless of giving away my entertainment mediums) with movies, music and the use of the Internet.

p.s. Your dusty rose ensemble is soooo beautiful

monalisa said...

salams dear sister..

i haven fallen in love with your blog.. i have read so many posts that i'm almost up to may =)
~wishing you all the best from saudi arabia

Rebekah said...

as a follower of the One True God I greet you as a sister, and want to compliment you on your beautiful site.

Well, and also to share a quick text from our Biblical scriptures with you for the sake of being correct ;)

"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."

so you see Sister, most Christian woman do not in fact cover their heads, tho I do know a select few who do.

Anonymous said...

beautiful blog!!!
being a doctor,can we wear our labcoat as jilbab?plz reply