Choose to Stay Beautiful

There’s an ongoing discussion about what hijab is, what it means to women, and whether it oppresses or liberates them. This debate is a totally separate issue from the real-life, everyday struggles that Muslim women go through when choosing to cover or expose their bodies.
Women generally face two separate kinds of pressures on a regular basis. The first is that, in order to be feminine, you must reveal your body and look, dress, and act a certain way. For the most part, people are aware of how women’s pictures are thoroughly airbrushed before appearing in magazines and other places, and how an increasing amount of females are undergoing cosmetic surgeries, but that doesn’t reduce the expectations they have for women to match that flawless ideal image; you must constantly meet an impossible societal standard of beauty in order to be accepted.

The second kind of pressure is from the inside: the kind that Muslims themselves put on their women, when they make them feel like they’re “less Muslim” for not covering their bodies in a certain way, or that they’re extremists if they dress “too modestly.” Either way, whether you’re being pushed to look gorgeous all the time or you’re pressured into maintaining the perfect, “moderate” level of hijab, you end up giving up your right to dress for yourself and Allah, not for anyone else.

Take a moment to step back and connect with your Creator. Are you happy with the way you dress when you go out, while knowing that He sees you? Are you trying to improve yourself? How does your behavior reflect your inner hijab?

Regardless of what level of hijab you’re practicing- whether you’re consciously covering your legs, wearing longer sleeves, choosing shirts with higher necklines, buying looser clothes, wearing a headscarf, or covering more than that- it’s not easy. There are other women who understand how you feel when you look in the mirror and think your legs look really nice, but still pull on that long pair of jeans or full length skirt anyway, instead of going for something shorter. Or when you want to show off your curves, but hold yourself back. Or when you’re pinning your hijab on while knowing that your hair looks perfect underneath- or wanting to put one on, but losing the battle against your fears once again.

And He knows. He knows when you see another girl who’s dressed in a more revealing way than you and is getting more attention from men for it, and you struggle to push out the thought that crosses your mind about wanting that as well. He knows when you stop yourself from flirting with the guy you’re talking to. He knows when you’re going through one of those days when you want, more than anything else, to just blend in and look like everyone else- and the days when you’re proud of standing out, and wish everyone who stares at you would know how content you are with what you’re doing.

Never stop trying to improve your relationship with Allah through your inner and outer hijab, no matter what people think or say. Don’t let anyone else define your hijab for you, besides Allah; if you’re striving to please Him, nothing else matters. The Prophet (saws) said, “When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective, and when haya is a part of anything, it becomes beautiful” [Tirmidhi].

Never stop trying to improve your relationship with Allah through your inner and outer hijab, no matter what people think or say.

Choose to stay beautiful.

“Tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts, and to not expose their beauty except what’s obvious of it, and to throw their headscarves over their chests, except in front of their husbands, or their fathers, or their fathers-in-law, or their kids, or their step-kids, or their brothers, or their paternal nephews, or their maternal nephews, or their women, or what their right hands possess (of the females), or the men who don’t have desires left for women (due to old age or illness), or the young children who aren’t yet attracted to women. And they shouldn’t stamp their feet so that what’s hidden from their beauty is exposed. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you (altogether), so that you may be successful.” (24:31)

One comment

  1. That was just beautiful! I absolutely loved it. You nailed it with all the temptations and thoughts that go through the mind. Everyone is at a different level in terms of their ‘hijab’. For some the hardest thing is to wear full sleeves and pants while for others it might be wearing a hijab or an abayah. Like you said, we need to remember who we are doing it for. At the end of the day, who’s pleasure are we seeking? I’ve come to the realization that we can never please people, you get labeled as too conservative or too liberal. There’s always some sorts of criticism, but with Alrehman it’s a different story. And you know SubhanAllah, THE most beautiful thing to me about our religion is that He swt knows! He swt knows the exact struggle. Someone might think oh so you wear hijab, what’s the big deal? But He swt knows how hard it is when it’s 98 degrees outside and you’re the only one covered head to toe with a scarf in a PE class and getting stares from classmates.
    Anyways, Jazak-Alalh Khairen for sharing! I enjoyed reading it 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *