Do I lower my gaze with all men or just interacting with Muslim men? Do I wear the hijab properly or do I cover in-front of all men Allah requires me to cover or do I make an exception as per my accord?
I had not really thought about this ahkam in much depth until I had gone through the Daura-e-Quran last Ramadan. When you have been brought up in an “open” environment such things are said to be “unconventional” or backward. Yes we pray, fast but this we don’t need to do because we have more control on ourselves. BUT I realize how wrong an attitude it is. We may trust ourselves but we can never trust the shaitan who will always be on the lookout to help us get a little too comfortable in a given situation especially where the opposite gender is concerned. This is to be practiced with all men whether muslim or non-muslim.
This openness has led our society to accept all the wrongs and change our acceptability level as per the West and no longer as per what Allah has commanded us and made it obligatory as the beginning ayahs of Surah Nur clearly state. For example, society or at least the “more affluent ones” have accepted to their practice of “it is alright to hug a non-Mahram because he is family or hang out with a male cousin alone saying “ we are just going for an ice-cream, ” the latter more spread out across our upper as well as the large middle class.
During the Daura, we were told that once a study was conducted where 2 people of the opposite sex were seated across each other for a few minutes in conversational experimentation. Teams were made and a certain sample of them blindfolded. Some teams’ eyes were left uncovered. The studies revealed that those people who were allowed to keep their eyes uncovered reached a higher level of comfort with each other in the given time as opposed to those whose eyes were covered. So we see how even real experimentation just proves what Allah has ordained us to do – lower our eyelids so that they almost touch each other. Subhanallah.
I believe hijab is the first and foremost deterrent for men to “get any ideas.” If they see a woman wearing a hijab, they try not to get too friendly. But even while wearing a hijab even a jalbab we can get too comfortable with the opposite sex and forget the hukum and put our guards down. We are told to guard our thoughts, our behavior along with the physical exterior. So in wearing the hijab, we also get carried away with making exceptions to our own accord. We need to be CONSCIOUS AT ALL TIMES.
Main events such as weddings and parties are especially trying for me. I justify my clothing with the fact that my head is covered and a large dupatta of the suit falling in front and also back makes up for an outer covering requirement. But then I learn that the colorful sparkly clothing is also not allowed. We learn the correct definition of zeenah. And it goes beyond having the head scarf fall over the next, shoulder and chest.
May Allah give us the taufeeq to implement correctly and also the supportive environment of segregated gatherings and righteous company to help us practice these ahkam in a more appropriate manner. May Allah help us change our wrongs and replace with the right for us as well as our family practices.
A Student of the Quran
When it comes to lowering my gaze when interacting with all men, I rarely do it. I usually lowers my gaze when it comes to interacting with religious muslim men or some specific people out of respect. Now that I’ve learnt the correct way of interacting with muslim men I hope to inshAllaah implement this hukm.
I realized just today that my hijaab is not proper. I do wear my hijaab but it doesn’t always cover my shoulders. One of my abayas has some sort of a sequins on it.
Alhamdulillah I do cover in front of all of those whom Allah asks me to cover. Once I started doing niaqaab I would make exceptions like not covering in front of my brother in law or in front of my cousin at home. However, now I do cover in front of all my non-mahrams. Initially it does become difficult to do, but I guess we have to keep in mind that we’re doing it to please Allah and then inshaAllah it won’t seem so difficult after all.
A Student of the Quran