Hijab should not be the CAUSE of angst!
I got to talking to a dear relative of mine tonight on the phone. We were talking about taking a trip to Atlantic Avenue to go hijab shopping, when she admitted that she doesn't need anymore hijabs because she has four already. I asked her to repeat herself because I thought I heard she was happy with four hijabs.
Yeah. I'd heard her right the first time.
So apparently, someone in Pakistan told her that while it was good that she was beginning to wear abaya, that it would have been better if her particular abaya didn't have the decorations on it. That got her to believe that it's not hijab if you're wearing something that makes you look good.
Oh my Allah, if that is true that I'm destined to burn in hell! Astaghfirullah.
I want her to understand that it's ok to not want to look frumpy when you wear hijab and go out. Allah's ordinations and Muhammad (s.a.w)'s recommendations defined what is to be covered, how today's muslimah covers is mostly cultural. Iran uses black, Afghanistan's color was that bright sky blue, Pakistan's is often white, African muslims use solid colors, and the list goes on.
If all Muslims were to stay inside their cultural and geographical boundaries, the fashion of covering would never change from country to country. However, since Muslims DO travel so much especially seeing each other and discovering new cultures during Hajj, it is to be expected that fashions will collide and travel back with the pilgrims to their countries.
The last time I was in Pakistan, I got a few sleeve-less jilbabs tailored (because I didn't like wearing shalvar kameez), and started wearing those with long sleeved t-shirts and jeans underneathe, and a well spread out scarves. A cousin of mine then commented "if you were to stay in Pakistan for a few more weeks, everyone would start wearing the same thing."
I know this is becoming a long post, but I just can't stop having this internal discussion with myself where I know my intentions of hijab are only to wear it to please Allah subhana wata'Allah, but also that like every other action in the world, our actions when we cover come with worldly consequences.
The worldly consequences of my wearing hijab can be
a. Appearing as a sad, blank person, who can inspire other people once they begin listening to her reluctantly, or
b. A vibrant, lively person with a charisma that commands respect from the na-mehram opposite sex and inspires the sisters to believe that hijab does not mean they have to live down their personalities and for that reason they'd rather wait till their 65 years old to put on hijab.
After all, there is a reason my sister originally thought that if I put on hijab I'll never get married. And I know she's not the only one who thinks this way.