I have noticed that desi Hijabi women in Britain have a habit of acting very precious; as though every men is into them.
My second observation that just as some styles suit certain races; does the Hijab suit desi women when one of their prized assets, luxuriant thick hair, is all bundled up?
Finally if the point of the Hijab is to make a woman unattractive then isn’t that something to be discouraged; Model minorities should always put their front foot forward.
ps: Oh My Lord! I had literally just posted this article when my wife prompted me that this is World Hijab Day. That is so shocking like within 2 minutes of this article being published I found that out; quell coincidence!!
8 thoughts on “Does the Hijab suit desi women?”
Love the Koran and everything. Fortunately the Koran doesn’t specify that woman should wear the Hijab; and is completely consistent with fashionable colorful traditional south Asian clothing such as Saris or Salwar Khameez. Yay!
Koran versus relating to female modesty are nicely summarized here :
Wearing the hijab is a fashion choice at the complete discretion of woman. Woman need to be free to mix it up day to day based on their preferences.
I think people misunderstand modesty. The reason for modesty is the avoid the evil eye or jealousy. And there is a strong case for this.
Any male who is so mentally ill, dysfunctional, weak and incompetent that he cannot handle being around immodestly dressed people needs to be institutionalized for medical treatment:
Or be forcibly handled the way Mohammed, may peace be upon him, handled Al Fadl bin Abbas when he had a public mental breakdown and behaved like a loser male misogynist.
I can’t participate in any debate connected with Islam, as I cannot spell “piece be upon him”.
I don’t think the point of hijab is to make women “unattractive”. It is a sign of modesty. There are certain parts of their bodies that women are only supposed to show to their husbands or family members. In Islam, the head and chest area are considered to be such parts.
In traditional South Asian culture, the duppatta is worn with shalwar kameez, to cover the head and chest. Hindu women used to wear the ghoongat, which is kind of the same idea.
Women should be free to wear hijab or not, depending on their personal and religious preferences.
The purpose of modesty is not to make people unattractive and applies equally to both genders.
My understanding is that the focus of modesty to to avoid the evil eye, which means jealousy. This is why woman shouldn’t show off their wealth with expensive clothes and jewels; or show off their knowledge, education or wisdom; or show off their spiritual achievement. Or show off their health, youth or appearance. Showing off in any way is the issue. Immodest dress is less important than immodesty in showing off spiritual wealth, wisdom, knowledge and material wealth; since these can generate even greater jealousy. Humans are powerful beings and can curse others with negative thoughts without being aware of it. These thoughts have consequences:
Yes, modesty applies equally to both genders. Muslim women are supposed to cover themselves and Muslim men are supposed to lower their gaze when interacting with a “na-mehram” woman (i.e. a woman whom it would be permissible to marry). Too often the “lowering your gaze” part is forgotten and all the onus is put on the woman.
I don’t think hijab has anything to do with the evil eye. It is much more about controlling sexuality. Islam frowns on premarital and extramarital sex and hijab and the lowered gaze are part of controlling relations between men and women. Sharif Muslim women dress in a way that shows that they are not sexually available and Sharif Muslim men don’t stare lustfully at women. At least that is the idea in theory.
In a conservative society like Pakistan, any woman walking around without a dupatta (not necessarily a hijab) is assumed to be a prostitute. Not justifying this assumption at all, but it is a common assumption. Of course this doesn’t apply to the upper-classes who do whatever they want within four walls.
In south India, Hindu’s celebrate the first menarche of their female child. They hold a function to Celebrate the same. Go figure …
That is not unusual among matriarchal societies. North Indian culture is much more patriarchal–at least that is my impression.
@Prashant: How celebration of menarche is related to the topic, “does the Hijab suit desi women”? I did not get the snark behind “Go figure” either. This is a dignified family celebration among women folk in the community, akin to bridal shower or baby shower in today’s Western society.
@Kabir: I suppose, some rural agricultural societies do this as part of coming of age signaling of the girl child. South India where this is prevalent is predominantly patriarchal except for the state of Kerala.
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