Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Muslim Chic

Two cultures collide, and a new kind of style is born
By Vinnie Rotondaro

June 26, 2007

"WHEN non-Muslims think of Islamic fashion, they usually imagine stark black dresses and plain white head scarves, or even burqas - uniform outfits that afford little room for originality.

But Saubia Arbab, like many of the city’s young Muslims, defies stereotype, making the look her own with a unique blend of old and new.

Arbab, the daughter of immigrants from Pakistan, went to an orthodox Muslim high school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and now majors in social work at New York University. The 21-year-old must balance the world of tradition, religion and family with the fashion-oriented world of American pop culture."

Read the rest here.

What do you think of her style?

20 comments:

Lili said...

Um...I like the inset picture.

suhaima said...

I like her style. Her being a hijabi bigger girl, she's found a medium to work with. I'm not sure about the ear exposing hijab though.

InshaAllah99 said...

From this picture it seems to me her clothing is very tight, the belt on her waist seems to define it, and her ear is showing. All of those do not seem to be completely modest to me :/ I love how she does cover her chest with her hijab though, and she's used bright colors and fun polka dots. I don't mean to critisize the ear showing and the tighter clothing, we all have aspects of our own self to work on, but I hope no other new sisters come to think that's exactly hijab as I initally did.

Organic-Muslimah said...

I love her colors. But I seriously think that every person needs to look at their figure and decide what will work best, all while remaining modest.

Alixianna said...

Too booty-liscious for me but masha'Allah. MuslimGirl magazine also had a section encouraging curvy girls to belt up their coats: this is a hijab no if you got curves and I do so I know. There's lots of alternatives, alhamdulilah, but high waisted skirts and belts are absolutely rocked by our beautiful bodied sisters (at home and parties)/I do this look all the time with a long belted jersey dress (pants underneath when I go out so the jersey doens't suction to my butt), belt (inside) and thigh length sporty raincoat and pretty polka dot hijab. Works well for me. Keep your belts in ladies: a modest belt (they do exist) makes you look like Queen Amidalla from Star Wars, so if you look fly, you should probably keep the belt underwraps. The Star Wars extra look doesn't look too great either, alas.

Naeemah said...

Unfortunately I'm not curvy, but I still don't wear belts that define my waist.
@ Alix: Queen Amidalla!?!?! I'm cracking up!!!:D

rieaane said...

She looks good but not modest at all, the clothes are very tight!

Sofi said...

I must admit I'm slightly disappointed with the comments here.

I personally think she has her own individual style as do most of us humans and its all good. She's cool and comfortable; that’s really what matters ;)

Anonymous said...

Sofi: We all have our own personal style, but tight clothes aren't allowed in hijab outside of the home. Just because your skin is covered by cloth, doesn't mean your breasts, butt, and aurra is. Men can see this sweet sister's butt and it WILL turn them on. They should have more taqwa than that (it's their fault if they can't manage to look away from my face and I'm in an abaya that hides my curves) but even I AM checking out this girl's curves. My husband always says, I am not going to tell you how to dress because it isn't a man's place to rule a woman's clothing (advise her yes, that the pink salwar kameez might draw some eyes yes but...) he says since there are other Muslim women in my community, it is their duty to advise me first if there is something wrong with my dress: and since so many sisters here feel that there is, that is probably a sign that the clothes ARE a little snug. Try trousers instead of skinny jeans. Try a cute coat over top or an empire waist top and then draw the hijab over the breasts. She'd still look hot (islamically speaking).

Fatima & Ali said...

It's such a shame but this kind of hijab fashion is becoming more and more popular these days and i totally agree with the sister who wrote the last post. It is our duty to guide sisters and help them understand the true meaning of hijab. I really do believe that the kind of beauty a muslimah exudes by dressing modestly is incomparable to any other style. Often our intentions might be true but we lack proper knowledge and fall short. I truly pray and hope that Allah swt guides us all and enables us to seek the right knowledge so that we can please him to the best of our ability.

Hayah said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone. I'm in the same vein as Anon and Fatima. I can't help thinking, if only she'd come to Hijab Style, she'd have figured out how to truly dress modestly and in style ;)

On a more serious note, unfortunately this is giving the wrong idea to non-Muslims about hijab. When they see this they think 'hey as long as the arms and legs are covered that's ok'. And since this girl went to an Islamic high school, she should know better.

Sofi, I must disagree, what really matters is that we dress in a way that pleases Allah swt. And Islam clearly lays out what is acceptable and what is not. Hence I do not feel that what she is wearing is correct hijab.

This girl could have easily made this more appropriate by wearing wide leg jeans, ditching the belt, and buying her top in a bigger size. It's not difficult all.

May Allah guide us all to the way which pleases Him!

Naeemah said...

Very well said Hayah:)

Sofi said...

aaargh, so frustrating!

Its pretty evident she feels she is complying with what she believe are her islamic requirements while at the same time feeling cool and fashionable enough to be able to integrate with the wider community, on a long term basis. capiche? sorry to put it bluntly but sometimes i just want to say stop being so frigging judgemental and focus on your selves or smething..

Hayah said...

Sofi,

There is no need for that kind of attitude here. If you can't accept that what she is wearing is not correct hijab, that is your problem. Please do not accuse me or anyone else here of being judgmental, because had you read my essay posts, you would know my attitude, and that of most of my readers, towards issues like these.

The reason we critisize what she is doing, is because she is openly telling non-Muslims (and Muslims) that this is what being 'fashionable' is about, i.e. wearing tight-fitting clothing. It is giving the impression that one must give up the basic principles of hijab to 'look good', which we know is not true.

If that is what she wants to wear, fine. Just don't go around telling people that it is hijab, when it doesn't fulfil the most basic requirements.

Sofi said...

just to clarify: i did not intend my previous post to be persoal to any particular person, i was referring more to the general judgmental attitudes that sadly govern and overshadow our social stucture and i do apologise to you, hayah, if you misunderstood.

Hayah said...

Point taken sofi, and thanks for the email.

Alixianna said...

I personally do not judge the faith of another sister by her appearence (as one cannot judge me by mine) but I do judge her body if I see it (it is human habit). Men do the same. If I see your body in public I really do see your beauty and flaws, and truly believe hijab is a great equalizer from my experiences wearing it. I first wore hijab that was quite fitted (out of necessity) and my curves were visible (a new Muslim I had no wardrobe). Every ounce of my skin was covered by fabric but my form was still naked. Men continued to hit on me until I started wearing something a bit looser. They saw the hijab as a fashion statement until the rest of my clothes mirrored the modesty of the hijab. Hijab should start with the soul, move to the heart, touch the character, cover the skin, and top off the hair. It doesn't start at your roots and end there: it covers every aspect of your life. I love my hijab. It is not a hindrance, but a tool that lets me judge the world more accurately, and allows the world to do the same to me.

Just a thought: if hijab is a tool, wearing skinny jeans and tight thermal tees with it is like wrapping a hammer in bubble wrap, and making a nail out of glass.

Just some words of wisdom from a girl whose been there, done that. A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise one learns from the mistakes of others..... Allah SWT knows I am still working on the last one, lol...

Hayah said...

Thanks Alixianna!

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the tight jeans, considering it's actually more important to cover your thighs than anything else

SaubiaArbab said...

These pictures were horrifying. The clothes were not thought through before being work.. I know because this is Me on the pictures. Not to mention, the editor was suppose to show me the pictures before they went into the paper. The NY post did a horrible job in representing me. Just to clarify the largest picture with the skinny jeans is absolutely a bad representation of Hijab 100%. I ask Allah to forgive me for that.. inshallah

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