Sunday, February 1, 2015

World Hijab Day (WHD)


Indeed, the best guidance is the guidance of our beloved prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) for in this guidance lies our success in both this world and the next. Leaving and neglecting the guidance of Muhamamd ibn Abdillah will only lead to lost causes and utter failure. So, O you who seeks success, follow the Messenger of Allah!

Nowadays, it seems as though the Muslims are only drowning in further ignorance and corruption as never before. In these tough times, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) advised us to stick to our Deen very strongly, "A time will come upon the people where the one who is holding strong to his Deen will be like the one holding on to hot coals!" [Sunan at-Tirmidhi]

This hadeeth tells us that things will only get stranger as the masses further away from practicing the Deen properly. Those who follow the sunnah and call to it will be seen as either backward or extreme, the deviants will increase in number and many will follow them not knowing who they really are and what they are calling to.

We wish to meet the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) at al Hawd on the Day of Judgment and to drink from it. Do we not? We ask Allah to not make us of those who will be turned away from the prophet (saws) when he calls out to Allah, "O Lord! My companions!"  and it will be said to him, "You do not know what they innovated after you."[Sahih al Bukhari]

This post is meant as an advice for my sisters in Islaam concerning World Hijaab Day or WHD. WHD has become a worldwide phenomenon since it first started in 2013 by sister Nazma Khan of New York and takes place February 1st of each year.

So what exactly is World Hijab Day and why even discuss it?  Well, firstly I am choosing to address WHD because Hijaab is a part of our Deen. In fact, it is Ibadah. Allah swt has ordained for the Muslim women to cover her body with the proper islamic jilbaab (outer garments). So our Hijaab is not just a piece of cloth or garment we wear for the sake of modesty. NO. Firstly, we don this hijaab out of obedience to the order of Allah swt and fulfilling this obligation. Secondly, we know that the hijaab represents the modesty of the muslim woman. Another main reason I wish to address World Hijab Day is because nowadays the proper islamic hijaab has been neglected.

The hijaab has been reduced to a "headscarf". The conditions of hijaab are not explained or discussed as they should be and this is a big issue. There are some who give da'wah and give the perception that anything can be hijaab as long as you are "modest." Which Deen are they referring to when they say such things? The Quran and Sunnah have made the conditions of the hijaab very clear and the scholars have explained these in every era.

So WHD as explained on the website was established:

"in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty."

After reading these words, I ask myself what basis does a Muslim have in Islam to establish such an annual event? What is the difference between this and lets say Father's Day, Mother's Day, International Women's Day, World Cancer Day, and so on? Do we really need an annual event to recognize women who wear the hijaab? Isn't this a form of imitating nonbelievers in their events? Is this helpful and good for the Da'wah? Will more good than bad come out of it?

As Muslims, we abide by the Quran and Sunnah and not by our own thoughts and reasoning for such matters. Now sister Nazma Im sure had the best of intentions in starting WHD but when delving into such matters, it is absolutely necessary that the Muslim refers back to the sources and principles of the Shari'ah. We can't just "do" based on our intentions and as they say "run on barakah." We must know the ruling of what we are doing, meaning if it is permissible or not.

The main issues with WHD are as follows:

1. WHD: A form of imitating the kuffar.

World Hijab Day is a good da'wah effort and I won't deny this. In a time where many western countries are banning the hijaab and niqaab ( now more so the niqaab), WHD helps educate non-muslims on hijaab and Islam. Some non-Muslim women have looked into Islam after attending a WHD event. May Allah guide these women to Islaam and keep them firm on it. May Allah guide them to wear the proper shari' hijaab as well and may Allah reward sister Nazma for her good intentions.

I have no problem with WHD if it is done according to the correct islamic guidelines for da'wah and if it is something permissible(i.e. not having it on a specific day of the year). This is the main issue, the correct guidelines are not followed. You have issues such as unnecessary gender interaction, promotion of an incorrect hijaab and lack of true education on Islaam and its fundamentals.

Imitating the disbelievers in their holidays is something the Shariah does not allow and WHD is just that. There are numerous ahadeeth and sayings from the companions and scholars of Islaam on this issue.

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood (4031) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood. ]

WHD is a form of Eid as is very clear. It carries the characteristics of a Eid:

1.Eid is something that comes  on a specific day, whether weekly, monthly, or annually.
2. The people gather together in such an event/it has now become an international phenomenon
3. Acts are done in order to celebrate this event whether the acts are acts of worship or not.

The Muslims should realize that establishing such an event should not be done if it contradicts the Shariah of Allah. The scholars and callers to good in the West should have given advice regarding this issue but instead you have some of the figureheads of the Da'wah in Western countries and the Muslim world promoting this! How sad and unfortunate. These callers are absolutely wrong and only Allah knows if they are truly ignorant themselves of the rulings on this issue because there are scholars who have rejected WHD and have given their proofs or if they are too cowardly and ashamed to speak the truth. May Allah guide them and forgive them.

2. The kind of hijaab that is being promoted is NOT the correct hijaab

Dear sisters, the hijaab is a fareeda (obligation) from The Most High for the believing women. It has conditions and it is not just anything thrown over the head and body. WHD fails to spread the true message of the hijaab and inviting sisters to it. 

The hijaab is addressed as "the headscarf" by WHD founder herself ( and others from the website (hijaab stories). Is the hijaab really just a headscarf? The WHD is meant to educate Muslims and Non-Muslims alike on Islam and Hijaab yet those who conduct WHD do not seem to look into the true meaning, ruling, and conditions of hijaab.  The scholars and callers to truth need to call to the correct hijaab in such a time when it is being misinterpreted like this but what can we do if those who are referring to the hijaab as "headscarf" are in fact "scholars" and knowledgable people? And there is no power and might except with Allah. May Allah swt rectify this ummah's affairs. 

What is necessary upon the Muslim women is to refer back to the Quran and Sunnah according to the correct understanding. It is not right for us to set up a day for hijaab and yet not call to the correct hijaab or educate others on it! This is in fact a contradiction.


3. Do we really need WHD?

Do we really need hijaab day? Many of those who support WHD say it is a good effort because in a time where the hijaab is being banned in many countries and the media is portraying the hijaab as oppression and subjugation of the Muslim women, we need something like WHD to clarify matters and educate non-Muslims on the true meaning and spirit of hijaab.

Well, this is a good idea but the hijaab is not just a cultural thing, it is ibadah. It is a form of worship. Therefore, in something like this, one needs to follow the Islamic guidelines. Our intentions may be good and I am sure the intention of sister Nazma Khan (founder of WHD) was a good one but we are not a people who act on our emotions and thoughts alone. We have 2 guiding sources that we need to stick to in all that we do. Al Quran and the Sunnah of our Beloved (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam).

Finally, I advice WHD founder and supporters to look into the matter well. We are not being extreme by being against WHD. In fact, we love this Deen and care about it just as you do. We are concerned about the Da'wah and the war being waged on the hijaab just as you may be concerned. But we choose to refer back to the Shariah in this issue. We do not support WHD because it does not care to really explain the correct hijaab or call to it. We advice the sisters to learn what is the ruling on hijaab and its conditions and to follow it. The hijaab is the true mark of beauty for the Muslim woman. When you go out in public whether to school, work, market, or anywhere public in this correct hijaab, remember you are representing Islaam so you should represent it well. Allah swt is rewarding you for any trial you may go through with this hijaab. It is your jihaad so be sincere to Allah and remain strong and firm. Do not let the barking of the enemies of the hijaab get to you. You are bringing to life the ayah,

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. [Surah al Ahzaab ayah 59]

and the ayah,

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. [Surah al Noor ayah 31]

May Allah guide the Muslim women to stick to the correct hijaab and may He keep them firm on it and we ask Allah to protect all our sisters from harassment and fitnah. May they be rewarded for there struggles and may Allah shower them with patience!