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The Katibah.

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Islamic Dress Code

All praise is due to Allah swt, the lord of the worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

Assalaamu’alaykum.w.w.

For sometime now I have been discussing modesty in my (As my students call it) “Life lessons”. It is a lesson in which we generally talk about anything and everything related to Faith. So as part of this general study, we did the question – ISLAM IS IN THE HEART. THE WAY I DRESS DOES NOT COUNT. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? YES OR NO, EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER.

My students asked for my opinion on the subject. I thought I would share my opinion. You may agree or disagree, but please bare in mind everyone is entitled to their own opinion. :).

I do not agree with this statement. Allah swt sent Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as an example to mankind. As mentioned in Surah Ahzab, Ayah 21:

لقد كان لكم في رسول اللہ اسوة حسنة

Definitely, for you in the Messenger of Allah is the best of examples…

So if He sallallahu alayhi wasallam is the best of examples and it was said about him that he was more shy, more modest than a woman on her first night of marriage, then following his example it would be logical to dress modestly as well.

Yes, it is up to each individual to dress as they please within the right setting. However, I believe that when a person steps into the outside world or rather into world where the injunctions of Islam must be obeyed, then the person should set an example of the religion they follow and in doing so, a person’s intention should not be to please others, but rather it should be to remind people of Allah swt. The way a person dresses should be a reminder that sacrifices have to be made in order to please Allah swt and to attain the Akhirah.

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has mentioned in a hadeeth:

الحياء شعبة من الايمان
Modesty is part of faith.

If modesty is a branch of faith as mentioned in the hadeeth and each branch of this faith, Islam, can lead a person to Jannah, then why is it that we as Muslim’s go against it?  It should be remembered that the world was made for us but we were made for Jannah and in order to gain entry into Jannah we MUST sacrifice our desires and go in accordance to the limits permitted by Allah swt. That would be the greater struggle. If desires were made permissible in all aspects of life then Jannah would lose its value. There would be no point of us being in this world to attain what is to come in the hereafter.

Spiritually, what the senses feel or touch, become embedded in the heart, soul and mind. So, if wearing tight, see-through clothing is immodest- then immodesty will be embedded into our hearts. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said in a hadeeth:

اذا لم تستحيى فاصنع ما شئت
when you have no shame then do as you please.

Humankind has been created with desires and seeing immodesty will lead him to sin. The mind cannot then comprehend how a person can be so thoughtless and selfish. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has said in a hadeeth:

All of my Ummah will be forgiven except those who divulge their sins. And part of divulgence is when a man errs at night, and after Allah conceals his sins, in the morning, he says, I did such and such last night, removing Allah’s cloak after He veiled him. [Al-Bukhari]

Therefore, thoughtless because Allah swt hides the sins we do in private yet a person does not think about how he or she openly sins in front others by dressing immodestly. How is it logical to make others a witness for your own sins?! And selfish because a person dresses against the guidelines outlined by Shariah, hence sinning and then allowing the wrong type of attention being directed towards them, therefore giving weight to their own sin.

It is much more logical to dress appropriately in a time where immorality and shame is so common that the fashion industry is bringing back the style of the Stone Age. It is more logical to dress in accordance to the unique dress code Allah swt has provided us with because it frees us from the slavery of the fashion industry, where a person needs to change their wardrobe in accordance to the fashion of the time.

In my opinion, the Islamic dress code gives a person respect, dignity and honour. It gives a person a sense of pride in the fact that he or she is not judged based on what they dress like. A person cannot say “Who are people to judge? I will dress as I please” because to the nearest meaning in the words of Umar ibn Khattab (rd), “During the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam people were judges by Allah swt and his Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam because revelation came to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. But after the demise Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, people will judge in accordance to what they see.” It is not even really a matter of who judges and who doesn’t because the person who is judging will not be accountable for another person’s deed. It is in fact a matter of dressing in the appropriate manner which we have been blessed with by Allah swt. A person’s clothing or rather outer appearance should be such that an example could be made to those around them. It had been narrated in Tirmidhi (r) that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said:

“If anyone gives up fine clothing, which he could wear, out of humility in front of Allah, Allah will summon him on the Day of Judgement in front of the entire creation to give him the choice of wearing whichever clothing of Imaan he wishes to wear.”

Thus in the words of Sufyan Ath-Thwari (r) “Do not take a small sin lightly; instead, think about Who it is that you are disobeying.” It should also be remembered that what is concealed is more precious than what is revealed.

To conclude I would like to say that I think the statement “Islam is in the heart” is slightly hypocritical because if Islam is truly in the heart and Islam is the perfect religion, it is a complete way of life and a Messenger of Allah swt was sent to show us how to live in accordance to its laws then why has it not had an effect on the outer appearance? The basic fundamental of Islam is to believe in the heart the Kalimah, La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah, and to utter it with the tongue. If the indication of the Kalimah is to believe in the oneness of Allah swt in the heart and to follow the teachings and practices of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam in our daily lives and we went in accordance to this, then a person can say with conviction that “Islam is in my heart” otherwise this person is deluding themselves as much as everyone else.

All praise is to Allah swt at the beginning and at the end.

May you be rewarded for visiting my page and may we all benefit. Ameen.

The Katibah.

Modesty Never Goes Out of Fashion!

All praise is due to Allah swt, the lord of the worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

Assalaamualaykum.w.w.

Rasulullah  sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said, “Every religion has a characteristic. The characteristic of Islam is modesty.” (Ibn Majah)

I pray you are reading this in the best of health, wealth and Imaan. Ameen. What you are about to read is a subject that i feel should be very important to each and every one of us.  Compiled together by my collegues and i (on a very short notice i might add) and delivered to a female audience. I shall let you read on. :).

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has mentioned in a hadeeth:

الحياء شعبة من الايمان
Modesty is part of faith.

(Saheeh Al-Bukhari & Saheeh Muslim)

Imaan has many branches and of its most important branch is modesty.  Modesty gives a believer fear within one’s own self. It saves a person from sin. It helps a believer to make a judgement on how they should behave, how they should dress, the tone they should use within their surroundings, regardless of where they are or who they maybe with, amongst other things.

The term modesty according to the English dictionary means behaviour, manner or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.

However the original meaning of modesty according to a believer’s nature refers to a bad and uneasy feeling accompanied by embarrassment, caused by ones fear of being exposed for some unworthy or indecent conduct.

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has stated: Verily, modesty and faith are inter-related.  Where one is taken out, the other diminishes simultaneously. (Bayhaqi)

We learn from this hadeeth that modesty plays a very important role in the life of a Muslim. One of the things Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam feared Most for his Ummah was lack of shame and the sad fact my sisters, is that we have succumbed to the ways of those who are against the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. We are living in a time where we are constantly exposed to shamelessness. When we first see something lewd and vulgar, if our Imaan is intact we feel disturbed. However when we see the same thing over and over again, we don’t even realise what the big deal is. Then when we begin to ask ourselves “what is the big deal?! what is the issue here?!”, understand that we are becoming spiritually bankrupt. Our Imaan is weakening and thus we are becoming distant from Allah swt. Allah forbid.

In this day and age due to our surroundings and environment we can easily be misled. Let us take the example of our young brothers and sisters who wear football T-shirts of the team they support, with the name of their adored player printed on it.  Without saying a word, simply by their dress code, they show the world who or what they value and support. Without doubt, it causes people to look and see. It turns people’s attention towards something which is not necessarily halaal.

Your question may be how is this possible? My answer, is quite simple. The purpose of clothing is to cover our awrah, not to reveal any form, shape or size. It is not in any way a means for the opposite gender to turn his or her neck or raise their gaze.

The purpose of the fashion industry is NOT to cover the body. It believes that the main purpose of clothing is sexual attraction. We are living in an age where showing more skin is in and leaving the house without make up is a no-no! As a matter of fact, the image, this fashion Industry has tried so hard to show is the less you wear the more freedom you gain.

My words, my sisters, may seem harsh, but in truth whether we are ready to admit it or not this is a reality many of us have fallen prey to.

Our beloved Habeeb sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said in a hadeeth:

اذا لم تستحيى فاصنع ما شئت
when you have no shame do as you please.

(Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

This hadeeth speaks volume when it comes to the fashion Industry. Sadly, we, as believing women are allowing ourselves to be swept away by the western culture. Why have we, as believing women, abandoned modest clothing? Have we really thought about the consequences? Do we do this to ourselves so that we may feel or look attractive?  Is it because we feel insecure? Do we feel we need to fit in and be accepted?

Our clothing is a symbolic language we speak to those around us. Our clothes are a form of communication, a message. Our appearance speaks values; many times it speaks louder than words. Our clothing should be a sense of Islamic identity. There should be no doubt that WE are believing women. We should not be mistaken for anything but a Muslim woman. Most definitely, when we cover as we should, we will be recognized as respected Muslimaat.

Allah swt so beautifully mentions in surah Ah’zaab ayah 59:

O Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! Tell your wives, your daughters and the women of the Mu’mineen that they should draw down their ‘jalaabeeb’ over themselves. This is best for their recognition so that they are not harmed. Allah is oft forgiving, most merciful. (33:59)

The words “this is best for their recognition” refers to Free women because slaves are not required to cover themselves in the manner that we are.

As for The words “so they are not harmed” here means so that the women are not teased or made fun of like the slaves in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.  This shows that through our outer garments Allah swt is providing us with a means of preserving ourselves for whom we are halaal i.e. the husband. Men by nature are jealous and do not wish for others to “check out” their respective wives. We should want to preserve our beauty from others and share it with our husband only.

WE should acknowledge that we are following the example of the “best generation” of Muslims. The wives and daughters of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as well as the wives of the companions covered completely. They were the most pious of women who we should try to be like. Undoubtedly if we dress appropriately we will be treated with respect as a human being. People will be forced to listen to the words we speak. Rather than concentrate on what we look like and this, my sisters is Freedom, because it is our speech that is heard and not our body language.

My sisters! Let me end with something we can all think back to.

Stated in Saheeh Al-Bukhari And Saheeh Muslim, Aishah rd says: One day we were sitting with Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam and Faatimah rd came.  She used to walk exactly like the Nabi of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said “Oh my daughter come and sit down. Then he came close to her and whispered in her ear. Faatimah rd began to cry profusely. When Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam saw her grief, he whispered something for the second time and she calmed down. When Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stood up and excused himself. Aishah rd says, i said: “Oh Faatimah! what was the secret between you and your father?” Faatimah rd replied “I will not disclose the secret”.

When Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam passed away, Aishah rd said “Oh Faatimah! now tell me, the Nabi of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is gone”. She said “Let me tell you now. When I came and i sat down, he whispered in my ear and he told me “Faatimah! Listen my daughter! Listen my daughter! Every year Jibraeel comes and he recites the Quran to me once. This year he read the Quran to me twice. I think my time is up and i will be moving onwards from this world. Faatimah hold on patiently. Be patient and make sabr! Make sabr, Oh Faatimah! When he saw that i became emotional, he whispered in my ear again and he said “Faatimah you will be the first to join me after i have gone”.

Six months later, Faatimah rd comes to Asma bint Umais rd, who is the wife of Abu Bakr rd, the former wife of Jafar ibn Abi Talib rd. She says to her “The time has come.  I will be leaving this world. Oh Asma! I am going to pass away but i have observed in funerals, the women’s organs are slightly exposed. I am very worried. After i die, please see that my body is covered”. Asma rd breaks some branches. She makes a coffin and she says “I observed this practice in Abyssinia”. She then takes a Cloth and she covers it.  Faatimah rd says “This is what i want to do”.

She passes away six months after Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. During these six months she does not smile once. But when she was told that decent arrangements can be made so that her body will be covered totally after her death, she brings a smile to her face. She said “Oh Asma! I am leaving this world, I entrust you to give me a shower”.

My sisters, what was the Modesty of Faatimah bint Muhammad?  Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam told Faatimah rd “On the day of judgement, when humanity will assemble, Faatimah rd will also stand up and an announcer will announce. Oh people lower your gaze, Faatimah bint Muhammad wants to cross. Every man will drop his gaze and Faatimah rd will cross.

My sister, modesty is a sign of a person’s closeness to the creator. How many times have we heard of the word haya or modesty? Have we really thought over what it means? I pray that my words have given you something to think about and I pray to Allah swt that he first gives me the ability to act upon what I have said and then to all of you. Ameen.

All praise  is for Allah swt at the beginning and at the end.

May you be rewarded for visiting my page and may we all benefit. Ameen.

The Katibah.

Resources used:

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