Friday, 20 August 2010

Shield or unshield yourself

Credit image to graur razvan ionut /
In one of my previous entries, I've discussed about wearing the hijab. In this entry I would like to express my views about exposing the skin publicly.

During my past experience, people usually advise about covering oneself to avoid from getting harassed but I would like to take a different angle on this. Instead of reminding one to cover themselves, I would like to pose some questions to make one think about their intention of exposing their skin or hair.

In the world we live in today, it becomes a norm that most of us, regardless of our gender, expose a large part of our body. My question is WHY? Is it really important in this 'new age' that we expose ourselves? Is it really necessary? What benefit does it gives us? Should we be inside this 'box' of mentality that it is okay to expose our body?

I'll start off by mentioning about females exposing their bodies. Females most of the time expose more of their body than guys when they have actually more to cover. Compare the common male and female work attire for instance. Guys wear shirt, tie, pants and shoes. The girls will USUALLY wear skirt (short or tight), a tight shirt and occasionally a blazer on. These sort of dressing is normally called the 'career woman' attire. Why is it a 'career woman' attire? Apparently, it is because the 'career woman' attire shows high level of confidence. Is this really true? Does a person needs to expose more to show their confidence? From my personal experience and point of view, I've seen a lot confident ladies covering from head to toe. Sometimes their level of confidence are so high that they may look tough and stern. So does one attire really shows the character of confidence? My opinion, definitely not. Ones attire does not necessarily reflects ones character unless in certain cases. A rich man or woman can dress up moderately in spite of their status.

Let us now look at the casual attire. Women's tops are usually tight and there's the low cut, the bare back and etc. Why do most women want to dress this way? Most women, of all sizes dress up this way... to show off? To gain attention of a man? The ones who are single hopes to gain the attention of a man by exposing themselves, but those who aren't single why dress in this way? So that other man are attracted to them??

There are many different guys that have different preferences. Some like big sizes, some small, skinny and so on. Is it really important for a women to show off her exact figure? By showing off the figure, wouldn't it hurt those who are slightly unfortunate? Should we be selfish and not think about those who are unfortunate?

Most women who are used to this dress up lifestyle will argue that they have the right to wear what they want. But I don't think its a good idea to make other envious, jealous or hate one another by just not dressing up properly. We should strive to create a more peaceful community. These women will also argue that any person who doesn't like the way they expose their body is narrow minded, backward and traditional. They will say that those who criticise their dressing are perverts and socially lost! Is this really true?

If a husband and wife were to make love, isn't it normal for the couple to expose their flesh to each other? By exposing each others flesh it will make the couple more aroused to each other. So why should one expose their body publicly if they are not trying to arouse or to have sex? Clearly these women who are exposing themselves are confused and are caught in this 'reality' where this trend/modernism are acceptable.

This also applies to men. Lately it is the trend where guys work out just to show off. Apparently when one work out, it boosts their confidence to approach the opposite sex. Why does it have to be like such in this case? Taking care of health is different than making your body go through a tough routine and ending up not using effectively. Sportsmen or one who does labour work, they need to work out so that they can be useful. I'm not trying to say that working out is not good, but working out to show off is. Sharing good health with one's married partner is good.  

I've read somewhere that apparently it is good to wear a red shirt for an interview because it shows confidence. Why do we have to be stuck in this normality? We are too 'inside the box' by thinking this way. Our minds have been trained to follow this norm. Try to imagine what other norms can be created that we would blindly follow them.

In my point of view, we shouldn't be too tied up to this phenomenon where if it is acceptable in the eyes of the society we should follow. We should always stick to what Allah tells us to do. Certainly Allah knows what is best for us for He is the creator of the universe and all the laws and physics in it. So why should we rely the eyes of society rather than Allah Himself?  Here are a few verse on hijab

“O Children of Adam! Indeed We have sent down to you a garment which covers your shame and provides protection and adornment. But the finest of all is the garment of piety. That is one of the signs of Allah so that they may take heed.” Surah Al-A'raf verse 26

"(O Prophet), Enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Surah al-Nur verse 30

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.”
Surah Al-Nur verse 31

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw a part of their outer coverings around them (when they go abroad). It is likelier that they will be recognised and not annoyed (harrassed). Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Surah al-Ahzab verse 59

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