Anonymous asked: I'm really confused. I was raised in America, but my parents always brought me up to think that as long as I was somewhat covered (jeans andr t-shirt, nothing revealing, no cleavage) that I should be fine. That's the culture of the US where I live and, frankly, I'm pretty comfortable with it. Is that wrong? I don't wear the hijab because it would draw attention and I don't think I'm devout enough, but is it wrong? Have times changed?
Oh boy. You are asking all the wrong questions, anon. So eager to please, you are. And for what reason? So Muslims will accept you? Why should you care whether they accept you? They may be your Ummah (I am assuming here that you are Muslim), but they are not the one who you will face on the Day of Judgement.
But really - is it wrong? Who on earth can tell you that? This isn’t a rhetorical question, seriously - who? Well, not me, I can tell you that. Maybe a female scholar who understands hijab and it’s purpose. Maybe even a male scholar who’s studied under women and has a better understanding of it than most men. But certainly not me.
The Qur’an tells us many things. It says we must draw our head coverings to cover our chests, it says this is better for us, it says this is so we will not be troubled… it doesn’t say this makes us Muslims, or better Muslims, it doesn’t give details about the required dress… the underlying theme in it is that we are meant to be modest. And you are making an effort to be modest. Don’t discredit that.
Hadith gives us even more information. Once Aisha actually covered a woman in a sheet. One time the Prophet corrected a woman and told her nothing should be uncovered except her hands and face… without covering her with a sheet. That’s all he did. Seriously. So I guess we have a few options to pick from - we can cover our sisters in a sheet or we can inform them. Nicely. Gently. Which do you think best fits our society? Hint: I’m not carrying around any sheets.
Personally, I don’t know that hijab should be based on iman or whether you feel devout enough. If it was, I wouldn’t wear it a lot of the time when my iman is subterranean. Which it is some days, let’s all be honest here - no one has perfect iman 24/7. Even the Prophet stumbled. But this is about you. You decide what you are comfortable with and you do it for you and absolutely, positively no one else. Definitely not so you will be accepted. Definitely not so you will feel “more Muslim”. If you want to wear tight pants and a scarf, or tight pants and no scarf, or an abaya and niqab, that is your decision to make and you should make it for you.
Times have changed immensely. Muslims now feel entitled to put limitations on their acceptance and even their respect. We act as if we know best for other people, without understanding their stories, their histories, their emotions. We are required to inform. I don’t believe we are required to make their decisions for them. Especially in such a complicated situation as we have. Modesty in our society is not an abaya and khimar, which actually does the opposite of “so you will not be troubled”. For us Westerners, modesty is basically keeping your butt and boobs inside your clothes. So it’s really up to you to decide which modesty you choose. I am not going to be the one to tell you which is right or wrong. I’m only going to give you information to decide for yourself. And love you fiercely no matter what.