The more I wear (or the less---you dunno because I don't flash it all at you under my robes) gives rise to the guise "extremist". As if you could tailor me into the slim suit of your narrow understanding. Violence for the sake of making one's self heard is extreme. I can be heard without violence. I can speak without words.When I wear hijab I get that I am wearing a brand that reads "Muslim". One who practices Islam. That's why you stop me in airports. Why you ban me from schools. Hope you will not have to hire me. You who created or were born of the consumer generation, seed of this capitalistic market, the "Muslim" is a brandname that threatens your own innovations. You lack the creativity to compete with Islam. You designs do not have the same quality---they just don't hold up. Atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Budhism, capitalism, communism, liberalism... Whatever brand you apire to...Islam is tailored. Individual, universal truth, beautiful and inspired, between the Creator and the Created, Haute Couture. You're just speaking off-the-rack. I'm not buying.
And you can't sell it---if you don't own it. Sure, you can buy one or two of "us" off... at the price of this world. But you know you don't have enough assets in all your corporations and banks that exist and have existed and will exist, to buy Islam out. Because every "Muslim" owns a share in Islam. Those who have lived and now do not. Those born, those being born, and those yet to be be born. Don't hire us. Ban us from school. And then go on and talk of "freedom" all you like.If "Muslim" is my brand to you, know that I wear it prouder, prouder than the flag of any nation, and God-willing will carry it longer...than a Chanel bag.
No interlocked CCs, no fancy Gs, no LVs, no Nike check, or a crown or a halo or a martyr's wreath are a better logo, give me better status and recognition as a Muslim, than my hijab. It expresses the fact that I believe in One God, la illaha il Allah, and am trying to a better person, humble, always examining myself. It says: "I want to be recognized for that, and not the vogue of my physical appeal or the devices of my worldly station".If you strip me naked, and prevent me from all clothes or the means to them, I will still be wearing hijab in my heart, but if I have the clothes, and I do not wear them for the fear of being recognized as a Muslim or the wish to please and obey others over what is pleasing and commanded by my Creator, I do not have the hijab in my heart.
Hijab is the thread of truth that is wove by our heart's understanding, to the cloth that covers our minds, our ears, our tongues, and our hands, from committing evil actions, out of sincere love for what is good and beautiful beyond us. The cloth that we cover our bodies with is called hijab but it is only the expression of that. The expression I make is the garment that covers the evil actions of others'.That isn't to say I don't believe the clothing that expresses my beliefs and intentions prevents the evils of others, nor do I believe men are incontrollable beasts who will hump any woman they happen to see uncovered. I mean after all, rapists usually take off some form of clothing in order to be able to rape, so an uncovered woman isn't any superior to a covered woman in my own mind. The expression I make is the garment that covers the evil actions of others isn't meant for prevention, it is deeply personal but at the same time, an example. I deeply believe in street fashion so to speak. I believe simply by living my own life as a good example and striving individually for success in this life and in the next, others will want to do the same: cover themselves from evil. One's sense of style in Islam to continue on this long-winderd metaphor, is indivdual and thought-provoking. I am lowering my gaze from things that might hurt me. Hopefully I am reminding you that you should too, not that I think that you are a rapist, or a hoochie mama if you aren't Muslim or don't cover.
I can wear a maxi dress over my breasts and my hips and my legs. I can wear a cardigan on my shoulders and over my arms. I can wear a scarf around my neck. And you will call it beautiful. But cover my arms and shoulders, my breasts, and my back, and my legs, and lift that scarf up so it is on my head and covers my hair (or my face) and suddenly I am "forcing my religion on you" or am being an "extremeist". I don't know if you've ever worn a niqab (soft Gulf fabric) but it is more comfy than high heels and skinny jeans (which you sweat in in the heat just the same). You express your feminity in a different way than I do. Does that mean my way is wrong? Or maybe we just cut from a different cloth?You wear straw hats to protect yourself from the sun--- I in my shayla do the same, and you ask me, if my scarf traps the heat on my head?! My clothing was made of fabric suitable for the desert heat and you in jeans and a t-shirt is gonna ask me if I am hot?! You say you prefer me in colour when I choose to wear black (because I like it not because its Islamic) but I bet you would never have the nerve to go up to Catherine Zeta-Jones or Angelina Jolie in their black evening Oscar dresses and say the same). Who are YOU to tell me what colours to wear? The muttawa?
I can wear yards and yards of fabric in an eveing dress but I wear less fabric than that in my abaya and you think that suddenly, I can't walk? I am suddenly "a safety hazard" and "suppressed" and you even dare to call me an "extremist" when I just say what the Qu'ran says and that is, that an overgarment is fard.
You have no sense of fashion or the sunah, obviously, when you, a brother or sister, begin to label me, your own very sister. I feel the needle prick the skin. Because it is not the kafirun who sew the labels into "Muslimah". They are only misusing the labels YOU are already using, because you do not know or are not practicing your deen. "Extremist" "Niqabi" "Salafi" "Wahabi" "Hojabi" each as innacurate as the next to describe something as beautiful as the Islam that is expressed by a Muslim woman obeying her Creator by wearing hijab. You label those who WEAR labels.
(This post is reminder for us all, I wrote it in the I/you but don't worry I am not really feeling this ansy today).