Thursday, March 17, 2011

Style Evolution: My Own

I think it is especially neat [yeah... I couldn't come up with a better word than 'neat', I'm lame I know] how we evolve as Muslimahs, in both wisdom of the deen, and of course, our hijab style. This blog has of course, been a place for both for me, and I want to thank you all for sharing that journey with me. In thanks, I am trusting you with the closest glimpse into my life as of yet [unless, of course, you've met me in person], some photos of me in niqab, and some of my face, though usually obstructed by something, and my surroundings.

Or photos some particularily nasty I-hope-not-a-sister computer saavy person stole off my FB that are already floating around on the net. And of a sister they thought was my sister-wife. Watch out Aalia, lol. That pic had a virus anyway so they couldn't use it. And Aalia is not my sister wife. Or Boxie. My sister wife is an Arab sister, my age, with children. Both Boxie and Aalia are younger than me, and not Arab. And not currently entertaining being co-wives with anyone.

This person also managed to lift photos of me without my hijab from emails that got hacked (some people have alot of time on their hands). Anyways, to the anonymous who cheered me today with the comment "Lady, nobody cares about your life in Allahuackbar land" lol X:D, well obviously some creepy folks do, so I am gonna blow it off, and say peace to ya'll. Know if you see some photos of me in tight clothes with makeup and blonde hair, well, that was taken in my home around maharams, so don't think I've left Islam and taken my hijab off like this weird person tries to say.

Back to the original reason for this post... I wanted to do it....Because...

I was just discussing with another sister how hard a struggle it was without the means for shopping sprees and lack of halal clothing in the West as a new Muslimah, and why alot of non-muslims see Muslim women as suppressed, and why women & young girls hesitate to wear hijab sometimes.

When I first started wearing hijab I had the problem first of not knowing it was supposed to be loose fitting, after that, that jilbab was obligatory when a woman leaves her home [yet not INSIDE her home, there loose fitting clothing suffices], and after that, trying to find clothes that did and were everything they were supposed to be Islamically and a. did not make me look like a grandma, b. did not look like a thrift store heap [hey, thrift store stuff can be waaaaaaay cool but shopping on a budget and with time constraints can be hard], and c. did not in any way resemble the death-eaters from Harry Potter cuz that freaks non-Muslims right out.

After a few years I'd saved and splurged and got enough clothes that fit their Islamic purpose to feel confident I started to realise why it seemed non-muslims percieve us as suppressed. They often see hijabis jilbabi and niqabis walking around in ill-fitting (and sometimes frankly, uuuuuuuugly [but it was the only thing available]), and uncomfortable clothing. #1 that makes a woman feel like crap, and is probably less confident as a result of it. I know from personal experience, when I were cheap niqabs with elastics that cut into my nose or dig in my eyes, I'm a tad confrontational to boot.

After I got over the stages of struggle, and gained confidence, I had to learn to diffientiate culture from Islam, and fight the pressures to Arab-ize, or less islam-ize my wardrobe. I like alot of Arab things still, so they fit into my personal style, but I don't just follow one culture over others at all times, and even if I like something, like gamboo3a hair clips, I don't follow the trend if I learn and become convinced it contradicts my Islam. To my fiqh, gamboo3a do. To each their own fiqh so don't hate on me for that! Sisters through fiqh and thin remember.

Since then I've had fun experimenting, arguing, and shopping all over the map, but it comes down to to these few style rules universal for Muslimahs who want to wear hijab as stated in the sunnah and Qu'ran:

  • Loose fitting---non see-through (and not perfumed) clothing around non-maharam men
  • Around non-maharam men cover your chests with your khimars (and your neck and hair!!!!)
  • Jilbab is worn when you leave the house and know jilbab may be any overgarment that allows you to wear clothing fit for salat underneath of it.
  • Don't loose your personality and the things you like, such as a design, a colour or a pattern so long as it doesn't change the conditions listed above
  • Islam is your nation when you are a Muslim so any clothing that meets the Islamic conditions should not be made fun of by you, we are defined by our faith and good deeds not our national dress
  • Do not wear something that another Muslim of a moderate income could never afford to buy
  • Do not dress in clothing that makes people feel bad for you, like they think you are dirty or poor, if you can afford better
  • Remember that Allah loves beauty, and that the best garment is rememberance of Allah: hijab is more than the clothes on your back.
I want sisters to know, in that journey, you are not alone. I too, at times, due to lack of modest clothing available, was "a little grandma" or "too thrifty". Better than disregarding Qu'ran right? Yep. So I can live with and smile and share that journey all with you.
So here goes (I'll let the pictures speak for themselves):

And those are the last of the photos I will be posting online of myself anywhere, lol, including FB.

How has your hijab evolved over the years? And if you are a newbie to hijab, what is your biggest struggle?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures and the story of your hijab style evolution. Very interesting.

did not in any way resemble the death-eaters from Harry Potter
this is hilarious lol maybe because there's truth in it. Recently I watched some film, where a satanist was performing occult rituals wearing a long black cape. With his face hidden in the shadow of the hood, his sinister figure had a lot in common with how many Muslim women dress in GCC.

Once, I saw a boya in the mall here. She had short messy hair, no make up, t-shirt and capri jeans, sneakers under her open shortened abaya which was flying behind as she walked. At a first glance she reminded me of wizards from HP.

Ducky said...

So I can see that there is commentary/writing on the photos but I can't embiggen the photos in order to read it...unless that's intentional? In which case oh okay nevermind :)

Hijabi Panda said...

I think the hardest part for me is finding clothes that can be proper jilbab. Being a broke teenager living in the west does not help that situation either.

also: what do the captions on the photos say?

Convert_chica said...

Assalaamu alaikum Pixie :)

Thanks for doing this post! I know it'll help new muslimahs and old muslimahs alike. And its nice to see the progression of a fellow sister :)

I guess my style changed pretty similarly to yours. I started off wearing tunics and dresses over pants without hijab, and then later added hijab it to my wardrobe (I think it took me a couple of months to get there). Then a short while after, I added jilbabs and abayas. And now my style is simple abayas/jilbabs paired with bright, patterned scarves and different colored flats.

My biggest struggle, initially, was finding suitable clothes on a student/ newlywed's budget...and trying to keep some semblance of my personal style.

I forgot to comment before, but congratulations on your pregnancy! Insha'Allah it goes well for you and you deliver a healthy baby :)

Gail said...

Assalaam waliekum. I have been wearing hijab for four years, alhamdiallah. I'm learning to sew my own clothes because I can alter, fix and create the style I want. My style is mostly stitched khimars and abayas. The most challenging part of creating my look is my size.

NeverEver said...

salam pixie,
The pictures are small so I can't really read the words or see the outfits and stuff :/
but I know what you mean about the evolution of our hijab. I did a series on my blog about how I changed

Shameem Khan said...

Salaam sister...hope all goes well in your life these days, and will go well in the future too. InsyaAllah, you will be blessed with the strength to overcome all challenges in life. Thank you for all the advice online! Love them!


Anonymous said...

Salam Pixie,

I think I have read almost every post on your blog. MahsaaAllah it you are a good writer. You should write a book or something, maybe a topic like historical fiction. I love those,lol.
Anyways, thank you for sharing your photos I can see you have tried maaaany styles. My hijab changed alot in the beginning at high school and then stayed pretty much the same after that. I do remember complete flop attempts though, and now when I look back I think "why was I let out of the house looking like this!"
Eventually it was a mix of comfort, ease and a tidy practical style I settled for. I think it depends what job or degree u go into.


Anonymous said...

Asalaamu alaykum

My style has gone from mostly skirts and long sleeved shirts with hijabs wrapped like khimar to black/brown ababyat with colorful patterned scarves to mostly pastels and whites with an occasional pop of brighter color thrown in.

I'm in the process of transitioning to niqaab. I very VERY rarely wear any sort of prints, fabric woven in such a way to make stripes and lace is about as close as I come and I don't wear black if I can avoid it. I like al-amira hijabs and khimar with half-niqaab. I don't wear makeup while in hijab ever and I don't wear jewelry or any sort of "extras" (ie, flower clips, sparkly hijab pins, broches). One exception to that is my wedding ring and my nose ring but Insha'allah that'll be covered up soon!

Thank you so much for your blog, Pixie, you have given me so much to think about and so much style inspiration!

Also, I wanted to make one point about Shia's. You mentioned in another post that Shia's focus more on the lives and trials of the progeny of the Prophet Mohamad more than on the prohet himself (may peace be upon them) and that Shia's pray to the Imam Ali (may peace be upon him). I didn't want to write about what I didn't know, so my husband and I contacted the Grand Iyatola al Sistani and asked him about this as well as a local religious official. (My husband did this while away at work so I don't know who he was, exactly.)

Both were of the unanimous decision that while these are wide-spread practices in some pockets of Shia Muslims it is very, very wrong (in relation to point #1) and completely blaphemous and forbidden (in relation to point #2). I'm sorry that you came in contact with a set of people who seem to have been lead astray, but neither I nor my husband nor any other Shia Muslim I have ever been in contact with has ever partaken in these highly suspect practices.

. . . You knew it was coming . . .


:)))))))))))))) <3 Anna

American Niqabi said...

My style has changed a lot since I began wearing the hijab. The very first time I ever wore a hijab, I was wearing jeans, an amira hijab (which didn't cover the chest) and a long sleeved t-shirt. Granted, that was before I really understood what hijab meant. I knew that the clothes should be long and loose and I thought well, my jeans are long, my sleeves are long, i must be dressed correctly! Of course now I know that is incorrect. After I began to understand hijab a little bit better, I began wearing dresses over jeans instead of regular tops. I eventually started wearing abayas only because I didn't have a lot of dresses at the time but now I wear abayas because in the Quran it says to wear an overgarment. I also make sure that my chest is covered and I am tranistioning to niqab. Since becoming a hijabi, my style has changed a lot.
I tend to wear a lot of brooches or pretty pins with my hijabs and pretty/colorful cardigans and jackets over my abayas because I live in an area with only 180 Muslims and only 6 niqabis. I feel like if I go around dressed in all black, then people might be afraid of me and other Muslims, but if I make an effort to look stylish and nice, maybe people will look at me and think well, maybe Muslims aren't that bad. A lot of people say that you shoudln't dress stylishly because it'll draw attention but once again, there are only 6 niqabis here. No matter what color I wear or whether or not I have a pretty flower hijab pin, people are gonna stare! THat argument (the stylish stuff draws attention argument) doesn't work in Montana! lol. :)

ayesha bint mohammed said...

As Salaamu Alaikum, my dear sister in Islam =)

I cannot begin to explain to you how helpful and inspirational you have been to me on my own hijab journey. When I first wanted to understand what exactly hijab meant, I turned to your blog; and Alhamdullillah, ever since the first time I read your blog, it has always been the first place that I turn to when I need guidance in matters of dheen. I have (Alhamdullillah!!!!) through the mercy of Allah, and the clear direction your blog, been able to go from being a distinctly “clothed-but-naked” kinda girl to becoming a full time munaqabah (lol! I guess you could say I’ve switched my skinny jeans for a flip, string niqaab =P ). Whenever things were tough (with getting my parents to accept my changes) I was able to draw strength from your articles. I don’t live in a Muslim country, so people often ask me why I wear hijab, your articles have taught to be proud of being a Muslim woman and helped me find answers to give them. Even my most recent (far more trivial) dilemma has been resolved with a level of guidance from your words of wisdom (how to swim in niqaab, Alhamdullillah, I did it!!!! =D ).

I think I’ve gotten a little side tracked, what I was actually trying to say is that, you and your blog have been a pillar of strength in my life over the last year. I feel as if you are almost a part of my family ;) JazakAllah so very very VERY much for making my journey smoother and being my airbag and seatbelt.

Lots of love and duas for the pleasure of Allah
Ayesha from South Africa =)

Ps: I was so happy when I heard that you are expecting that I actually got teary =P my hubby and I have been trying for almost 2 years, and your story has really given me hope (tons of it). In Sha Allah, your child will be the coolness of you and your spouse’s eyes (and vice versa), and In Sha Allah your pregnancy, birth, and raising him/her will be filled with ease and joy. May Allah (S.W.T) make it easy for all of us to find and cling to the straight path Ameen.

Yasmin (Umm Zayd) said...

Alhamulillah that you have found the style that fits you. I realy enjoyed this post. My style has been a rollercoaster ride from just conservative, to completely forgetting about the rules of hijab, to wearing abaya and niqab. The hardest part for me is just having my family accept my choices even though I try to ignore them.You just gave me a good idea for my next blog post, shukran :)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your lovely blog! Even though I am a non-muslim it is a great inspitation in understanding why and how to cover and dress modestly. I have never been one of these half-nacked girls, but staying in an arab counrty (KSA) has made me realize how sexualized our western world has become and how uncomfortable it made me feel all the time. So i will definitely not follow this trend any longer as soon as I am back in Germany. So thank you again and keep on posting such interesting articles!

Anonymous said...

salam aleikoum

We can't embiggen the photos in order to read it :(