Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bismillahi Al Rahamnir Raheem from Pixie of Beautiful Muslimah

As salaam alaykom ramatullah wa barakto,

My nickname in the blogger world is Pixie, and I am a Western convert/revert to Islam. You may remember me from my old blogs, "Beautiful Muslimah", and "The Bride Wears Hijab". I started my very first blog "Beautiful Muslimah" because I wanted to present to the world what hijab was to me, and anything else in my Islamic journey that interested me. Why, of all Islamic subjects, did I start with hijab? It isn't one of the most important things to learn, you know, when it comes to the order of things one should know in Islam. Tauhid, and prayer, and modesty of actions are certainly more important.

I started with hijab, because it is the first thing that identifies us as Muslims. It shouldn't be, because piety isn't contained in fabric (I'd rather be known by praying five times a day and giving sadaqah). But as a convert/revert with non-muslim parents and co-workers I can say assuredly that hijab is often the first thing people see as a change in you, when you become a Muslim and start to fulfill your religious obligations. They don't seem to care so much if you pray five times a day, but a headscarf, even if worn incorrectly, make it ironically obvious that yes, you are a Muslim, for better or worse.
 
I am a proud Muslimah, and I am proud of my hijab. I chose the subject of hijab to be the first subject I studied in depth in Islam because it was the most obvious to non-muslims, and one of the most misunderstood among Muslims themselves. Going to any particular Masjid, one will see various ways of wearing a headscarf to fulfill the Islamic obligation of "khimar", girls with or without abayas, and different opinions on the obligation of face covering, and the wearing of high heel shoes, socks, and gloves. Muslimahs themselves seem a bit of a mess, in what is or what isn't Islamic hijab, confusing it with cultural interpretations, rather than clear-cut Islamic ones. Some of the cultural interpretations lead to non-muslim impressions of hijab being an oppression, rather than the right and the freedom that hijab is for the Muslim woman.
I love the peace, liberation, and beauty of my hijab because I had the freedom to choose it. My religion is Islam and the Qu'ran asks of me to dress in loose fitting clothes that do not speak of social or economical status so that I will not be judged for my appearence, or so that others will not judge their own negatively by a standard I could set to make them feel ashamed, and to pull my headress down so that it covers my chest so that I might be recognized as a believing woman. I do not support extremists who would force women to veil or hijab who do not love Allah subhanhu wa t'ala or feel the freedom of it, and who would have us be voiceless shadows in world where it is illegal to laugh in public. Nor do I wish to compromise my hijab into what might pass for fashion in this life, compromising my morals and values, and selling my appearence before the ideals of my intelligence and beliefs to other people. There is a balance. Allah subhanhu wa t'ala is beautiful and loves beauty. Hijab isn't supposed to uglify a woman but its essence is that true beauty is sought after, not flaunted, and first and foremost hijab is an obedience and testament of love for Allah subhanhu wa t'ala. Just as we would dress to please those that we love, we should dress in a way that pleases our Creator, for if we love others, surely we should love more the One who made those that we love, and brought them into our lives, and made us in a form that would love them? Love for Allah subhanhu wa t'ala is embodied by a love and understanding of hijab. I guess one could say.
"I moved back to Oman, after a short stint in UAE, only to notice that sometimes it is harder to wear Islamic hijab here than abroad. Your're shunned occasionally due to your beliefs because of the movement that "everything needs to be more modern and open". ALso, due to a lack of modest clothing other than a particular style of black abaya women, many GCC women are growing more restless and are opting to remove the veil or act without hijab in their actions even if they DO wear the abaya/niqab. It was disheartening. I would like to show thtere is a middle-ground, and a truly Islamic life doesn't mean being restricted in the slightest". -Pixie
That has been my goal with previous blogs, "Beautiful Muslimah" and "Bride Wears Hijab" and so I will continue to use this blog as a place for us to share style advice about Islamic dress. It will also be a place for to share anything that interests me, from Islamic to personal topics. I'd ideally like this blog to be a place to help those who struggle to keep hijab on their heads and in their hearts, but those, and take people beyond a piece of fabric, to the more important issues facing the ummah, and indeed, all mankind. Together we have to fight the stereo-types of suppression and terrorism with patience, understanding that Allah subhanu wa ta'ala meant for us beauty in balance with our modesty, and hearts to teach. Beauty that is faith in everything beautiful, and noble and good. Beauty that is embodied by those characteristics, and expressed through modest Islamic dress. Of course, practically speaking, as I am a disorganized and constantly evolving perosn, and I don't expect this blog to ammount to anything greater than an amalgamation of my own journey in learning, and likes, dislikes, and personal experiences.

Love you all for the sake of Allah subhanu wa ta'ala

-Pixie