Friday, 18 April 2008

We, Myself and I

By Ruth La Ferla
Published: April 5, 2007

For Aysha Hussain, getting dressed each day is a fraught negotiation. Ms. Hussain, a 24-year-old magazine writer in New York, is devoted to her pipe-stem Levi’s and determined to incorporate their brash modernity into her wardrobe while adhering to the tenets of her Muslim faith. “It’s still a struggle,” Ms. Hussain, a Pakistani-American, confided. “But I don’t think it’s impossible.”

Ms. Hussain has worked out an artful compromise, concealing her curves under a mustard-tone cropped jacket and a tank top that is long enough to cover her hips.

Some of her Muslim sisters follow a more conservative path. Leena al-Arian, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, joined a women’s worship group last Saturday night. Her companions, who sat cross-legged on prayer mats in a cramped apartment in the Hyde Park neighborhood, were variously garbed in beaded tunics, harem-style trousers, gauzy veils and colorful pashminas. Ms. Arian herself wore a loose-fitting turquoise tunic over fluid jeans. She covered her hair, neck and shoulders with a brightly patterned hijab, the head scarf that is emblematic of the Islamic call to modesty.

Read the rest here.

I think one of the women mentioned, Tam Naveed, is the same lady in this clip about hijab from the Today Show. What did you think of the article?

7 comments:

pink_marshmallow said...

asalam alaikum

i love the article as well as the video.

i had a few problems with my dressing and thinking like those sisters did, i was told i was acting badly actual words haram and kuffar. and i have lost so mnay sister friends because i am not into the whole jilbab everyday thing, espcially where theres no other muslims in the area except 2 of us.

so i would like just like to say im pleased that i am among some sisters where being fashion consciuos does not make me bad a person, and i am covered so my whole body is covered, apart from hijab as im still working on that part, inshallah i will have the strenght soon.

ammena said...

salam one comment... from the article "Many younger women seek proactively to shape that identity, adopting the hijab without pressure from family or friends, or from the Koran, which does not mandate covering the head." hmmm ;) must be a new quran

kima said...

Ammena! That is the thing that bugs me the most... When sisters tell the media that the hijab is not mandated in the Qur'an. I've seen this done on Oprah, The Tyra Show, and other programs of course.

If people only understood the tafsir of the Qur'an and learned about the situations that were going on when certain verses were revealed, they would clearly understand that we are required to cover our hair.

As I said in "7 Questions...", many of the women back in Prophet Muhammad's (s.a.w.) time already were covering their hair (even non-Muslims). The problem was that they let their scarves hang down behind their backs so they were exposing their cleavages. In Ayah 24:31, Allah instructed us to draw those veils over our bosoms. If there was no veil on our heads, what would we "draw over our bosoms"?

That said, I still enjoy seeing Muslimahs featured in a positive way in the media through articles like the one Hayah posted... I just hope that sisters stop spreading their personal (and naf-based) ideas in the newspapers because it can bring confusion to situations where Muslimahs are trying to defend their right to wear hijab for religious reasons. (wow! This was a long comment... sorry... lol) :-)

Hayah said...

pink_marshmallow, woah that's such an awful attitude! They didn't want to be friends just because you didn't wear jilbab? Then they're not friends worth having. What's the use of covering themselves when they are so arrogant as to feel others are not worthy of their friendship! Inshallah you will have the strength to wear hijab soon! You'll be in my duas inshallah :)

ammena, kima, I'm not sure if the women actually told the reporters that, or if it was something they decided to add themselves (a lot of newspapers do that). they forget that no where in the Quran does it say to pray 5 times a day.. but we get that from the Prophet's (s) example!

But it's good they're normalising Muslim women, instead of the usual poor thing you're so oppressed..

Jasmine said...

Salam Alaykum
It is good that the media is starting to recognise that the Hijab is the choice of women and looking at fashion instead of writing articles about oppression, usually with a cliched title like "Beneath the veil" lol.
Hayah, I was wondering if you have any tips that you could blog about hijab friendly styles for shorter women? Like petite style hijab? :) thank you

Hayah said...

Jasmine, don't you jsut hate the 'beneath the veil' titles? It's like please... what do expect there to be underneath there for goodness sake!

As for petite style, join the group! I'm on the small side so I know just how annoying it can be to find stuff that fits. Which is the most important thing, you must get trousers that are the correct length! I always buy mine from Dorothy Perkins because they do short options for all their designs, as well as a separate petite section. If you wear them with heels, make sure that the hem of the trouser falls to the bottom of the heel.

And when wearing skirts, don't wear tops which are too long over them, they'll only make you look shorter. I usually go for something that reaches the top of the thighs. So you'll need a skirt which flares out at the hips, so it won't be clingy and show your shape. Oh yeah - and avoid horizontal stripe prints!

Hope that helps!

Jasmine said...

Thank you Hayah! I'll keep your tips in mind, your blog is great by the way, I'm kind of a new reader and it's just what we need :)

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