Has the Hijab Lost its Value?

This month (April 2019), three hijabi models made it on the front cover of vogue Arabia. Their heads wrapped neatly in headscarves, their eyes lined and faces perfectly polished. But isn’t the term hijabi model contradictory?

In September, a young muslimah made it to the Miss England beauty pageant finals 2018, if she wins she’ll make it to the Miss World competition later to be held in China. Many will celebrate her success and cheer her on as she battles for the title.

All eyes are on her pretty face and graceful figure. She catwalks, smiles, and sways her hips. But she’s not like other girls; or is she? She dons a ‘hijab’.

Her faith makes her better than others, yet she said to the BBC, ‘I am just like the other contestants.’

They are not the first of their kind. Muslim influencers have been rising to the top on social media sites such Instagram and YouTube. They promote the image of a ‘modern Muslim woman’; unrestricted and free, breaking down ‘so-called stereotypes’ as many of them wear a headscarf.

The Hijab is fast becoming a universally recognised mark of a Muslim woman. Though some countries have banned it, other people dislike it and others would go as far as forbidding their daughters and wives from wearing it, even though they are Muslims themselves; it is widely worn by Muslims from all walks of life.

Sadly, the Hijab is also being worn away. What was the Hijab worn by the wives of the Prophet, is now mocked as being a letter-box! And the Hijab of today, is a turban, wrapped effortlessly round the head, with bangs exposed, necks adorned with a statement piece, ears pierced with fancy gems; all sported with the familiar cake-face.

What makes these Muslims girls different from the thousands of other girls who line the catwalks in beauty pageants? What makes them recognised as Muslims? Are they truly embodying the ‘modern Muslim woman,’ true to their faith? Or are they succumbing to the pressure of the West; falling into the trap of trying to ‘fit in’ and be like other girls?

Eroded and eaten away, the Hijab they wear is barely recognisable. It’s often paired with form-fitting trousers, body-con dresses or the braver opt for mini-skirts and tights.

It’s such a shame; we have forgotten the real hijab and it’s purpose; to cover our modesty and beauty, and protect us. So now, is the term hijabi-model correct?

How can a headscarf and clothes, which are more revealing than covering, possibly guard us and not be a cause of temptation? Has the Hijab become sexualised? Are we desperately trying to look attractive to the opposite gender and get noticed? For sure, with the ‘modern’ Hijab, cat-calls, staring, and winks, are not uncommon. Such girls are even asked on dates, and many happily indulge going beyond the point of repair.

Are we ashamed of our religion?! Why do we feel the need to ‘modernise’ it? Is it ‘modern’ to undress and remove our veils? Why do we want to ‘blend-in’ and tone it down? Are we afraid?

What once made women special, shy and modest, now makes them enticing. What gave Muslim woman their identity, now makes them blend in with the rest. We have lost our true muslim identity. we have lost our inner beauty. We are losing ourselves to the chants of the Shaytaan.

Admittedly, among us are those who are struggling, who have just begun their Hijab journey and are transitioning from their former dress-style. For these women, I ask Allah to give you the strength to go the whole 9 miles.

However, the vast majority of sisters who dress inadequately are those who know the proper Hijab, who once upon a time, wore the abaya or jilbab but have stripped it off. Allow me to advise you, that you are in danger of incurring greater sin than those who are unaware of the requirements of hijab. The concept of hijab is to cover your awrah, and so it must be done properly.

I haven’t written this article to condemn my sisters to a life of doom, but rather to call you back to what is right. It’s an issue that is getting worse, and perhaps one day future generations will not even know what Hijab is because of the mistakes this generation is making. I hope that perhaps someone will be motivated to come back to the proper Hijab, insha’Allah.

May Allah aid us all in wearing the proper Hijab, as He prescribed, as taught by the Messenger, and worn by the Mother of the Believers. I ask Allah to help us all to come closer to Him through our Hijab.


Bint Mohammud

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