Sep 3, 2011

Tips to Overcome the ‘Modern Hijab Syndrome'

Assalamu Alaikum!

Contrary to what some people assume, the following article is not telling women how to wear hijab, subhanAllah . That is not my place, nor anyone else’s. Only Allah tells us how we should behave and sent us Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to explain it through his Sunnah. I have not written this with an intention to force the “right” way of hijab, but rather I have written this intending to educate our sisters through elaborating that some methods of wearing hijab these days are actually controversial to what the Qur’an and Sunnah state. My hope is for us to redefine how we wear the hijab so as to purify our intentions and thus our appearance will inshaAllah reflect our rectified intentions. My background information is solely based on the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Tafseer of Ibn Kathir. I also used some humor to lighten the mood, but to also put some emphasis on certain issues. Some people might find some points I made quite harsh and opinionated. In the end, I am not here to enforce anything, but rather I am here to simply advise my beautiful Muslim sisters.

Please continue to read this with an open mind; I am not judging anyone, I have my own flaws. May Allah forgive and bless us all.

Author. Serine Yamout

Sifting through photos of good times with your friends, you notice each one has a signature style of wrapping her hijab, color theme, and fashion. Think about the way you dress. Is it to please others? Or is it to please Allah?
Islam, the name of our beautiful religion, simply means “submission” to Allah alone. He is aware of our intentions, which must be aimed to be done for Him, simply due to that fact that He is our Creator and He has ordered it. As is said in the Qur’an,
“And He is Allah, [the only deity] in the heavens and earth. He knows your secret and what you make public, and He knows that which you earn .” (6:3)
This demonstrates how Allah knows what thoughts run through our minds and sees what presentation we put out for others, only emphasizing the importance of purifying our intentions, so that they match the purpose of how we represent ourselves on the outside.
How is the hijab supposed to be worn? Allah clearly illustrates how a woman should wear it properly in the Qur’an,
“And say to the believing women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to expose their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their headcovers to cover their chests, and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or what their right hands rule (slaves), or from the men who have no physical desire, or the small children who are not aware of the private aspects of women, and not to stomp their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments (jewelry). And turn to Allah in repentance together, Oh Believers, so that you may succeed.” (24:31)
Therefore, the front of our hijabs should come down low over our chests, not wrapped tight around our necks as is the current style. Imam Abu al-Fida ibn Kathir clarifies how and why:
“Extend their headcovers to cover their bosoms’ means that they should wear the headcover in such a way that they cover their chests so that they will be different from the women of the Jahiliyyah (time before Islam) who did not do that, but would pass in front of men with their chests uncovered and with their necks, forelocks, and earrings uncovered.”
This explanation also denounces three other current styles that have been prominent these days:
1. Naked Neck. Exposing the neck by pinning the scarf to the back was the exact way women before Islam wore their scarves. Some would even wear heavy and glittering jewelry around their necks to emphasize the look. Islam came to wash away the unnecessary customs and prohibit the harmful actions of our forefathers, so why reintroduce what Islam has already ruled against? Islam has ordered that our necks are considered part of what the hijab must cover, so please bring the ends of your scarf to the front of your neck if you do prefer to pin your scarf in the back. Or you could simply pin your scarf to the front under your chin and let the ends fall loosely over your neck.
2. Sneak Peak. The title given when hair bangs are allowed to fall out from under the scarf to the front over the foreheads and sometimes eyes. It’s grown pretty common to have the bangs styled, cut, and highlighted just so that they have a pleasant appearance when they ‘accidentally’ fall out of the scarf. We see the photos of models for clothing lines everywhere. If the model doesn’t have her hair tied back, then her bangs are falling over her eyes, giving her a seductive look. With that said, it’s easy to keep bangs from slipping by wearing headbands or hairclips, which can be found at the super market. Undercap-pieces specifically designed to be worn under a scarf can be used to keep the bangs from falling out as well.
3. Dumbo Ears. This happens when ears and earrings are peeking out from the sides. Earrings are flashy in general, and in this specific case, the earrings are usually huge and sparkly. There is no other intention for displaying earrings outside the scarf besides wanting to add a more attractive look to what is worn. Tuck them in please.

I am now going to highlight a few more unneeded styles of today to the list.
4. Conehead. This can be achieved by wearing a cushion above the head or ponytail and wrapping the scarf over it. Other styles include adding a large flower to the top or intricately twisting the scarf into a bun and pinning it to the side. Just don’t do it. All it does is create a sign above the head displaying the words “Check Me Out!”
5. The Drop-Top Scarf. The scarf simply slips off to the shoulders whenever it gets too tired at the top and exposes luscious locks of hair. Wear a scarf with not-so-silky material that would have more friction and prevent it to come loose or slip. Pinning the scarf at the top or side is usually helpful too.
6. Speedo Body Suit. This look occurs when skinny jeans, tights, or body-shirts are worn. It also takes place whenever other clothes, such as dresses, are skin-tight as if they’ve been painted on. This image completely contradicts the whole standard of modesty, which is the purpose of hijab. What the woman is doing is putting her figure on display. Even if a long blouse is worn on top of the body-shirt and skinny jeans to cover her chest and thighs, her arms and shins are still emphasized. Looser clothing should be worn instead.
7. The Clown. Eyeshadow, colored lipstick, blush, and foundation are all products of the make-up industry. However, we’re all already beautiful products of Allah’s creation, so why use tools of society to demean ourselves in the process of submitting to what society claims should be beautiful? Put them away. If people don’t appreciate the way Allah created you, then they don’t deserve your efforts to abide by their judgments.
The reason this advice is being repeated is for the simple fact that we as those who cover, are not only representing ourselves, but the entire population of Muslim women who wear hijab. So if we don’t wear it properly as stated in the Qur’an and displayed in the Sunnah, then we would be giving those who are not educated in Islam and hijab the wrong image of how it should be worn. We must always be conscious of our appearances and actions, since we carry the image of our Ummah. This is a call to remind yourselves and I, that we are responsible for how others perceive us if we may be at fault for dressing inappropriately. Besides that, we would be letting ourselves down when we declare Allah as our Lord as we recite the Shahadah every time we pray, but the way we may be dressing is the exact opposite of what comes out of our mouth?
Basically, the easiest way I think of it when getting dressed is: Keep it simple, Serine.

Whatever I have said that is correct comes from Allah, and if I have made any mistakes, then I take full accountability and ask Allah to forgive me.

Courtesy: Sis.YM.


  1. Dear sister Annu,
    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
    Jazakkallahu kheir for sharing this usefull important information !!!
    Nowadays, we need some call to remind ourselves...
    Today, in my contry, most of hijabies wear it as a fashion product, hope that after reading they will change their mind...INSHA'ALLAH...


  2. wa alaikum as salam wa rahmathullaahi wa barakathuhu Shamee,

    Yes. Not only in France, but even in US, UAE, UK and in some other parts of the world it has become a fashion accessory. La hawla wala kuwwatha illa billaah. May Allah save us all from that notion.

    Glad on your visit here, though :)

    wa Salam.

  3. Mr.UniverBuddy,

    Thanks for dropping by my site. I apologize, but due to the blasphemy/profanity/malign nature of your comment, I wont publish it. All the questions raised by you are valid yet, they are meaningless. I mean, if one wants to keep on questioning and not understand, we cant appoint someone and waste their time and effort, by answering your questions. The ability to question is given only to the mankind, for thereby they may understand the concept, the essence of whatever they are questioning. But if they seek to show off their ignorance and establish their prejudice through thoughtless questioning, then there is no point in wasting our time for them, you see. Ina nutshell, Veil for women, is to make them understand and avoid, the turbulance they can cause on earth by showcasing their beauty... not only for hair but the whole body; And for men, the veil is to alert them that they need to safeguard their eyes, lower their gaze and keep their temptations under control, kinda a self training. But.... if anyone is provoked just by the word 'female'... then he is certainly ill and should be treated in NIMHANS like :). I know you can understand why. All the best.. :)

  4. It's really a common issue that muslims women are using hijab as their fashion accessories. It's all about because we've forgotten the teaching of Prophet Noor-e- Mujassam (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). I really appreciate your information regarding hijab and I believe hidden beauty is more beautiful then obvious. If we follow the modest hijab then we can be the modern too and spread the right teaching of Islam to all.