Can there not be fashion of tasattur (hijab)? Can Fashion be Associated with Hijab?

The Details of the Question

Can there not be fashion of tasattur (hijab)? Can Fashion be Associated with Hijab?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Tasattur or hijab (covering the head and body) is a necessity, boon and worshipping that has existed with man since Hz. Adam. That Hz. Adam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) ate the forbidden fruit, noticed their nudity and tried to cover their private parts with leaves is significant since it points to the connection between committing haram and dressing immodestly.

In the Quran, words like the following about clothing and dressing are mentioned in the Quran: thiyab/ thawb, libas, zeenah, rish/ornament, khumur/khimar, jilbab, hijab, sarabil/sirbal, tazammul, tadaththur and their opposites tabarruj, awrat, saw'at.One of the meanings of this difference of expression is that dressing may have different functions.

The word tasattur we use in Turkey is not mentioned in the Quran. The word hijab is used instead of it. Therefore, the other Islamic countries use the word hijab.

We can say that the basic functions of dressing are as follows:

- To hide one's private parts or sexuality, which needs to be protected as something entrusted to us by Allah.
- To protect oneself from incidents of nature like heat and cold. 

- To declare and show one's chastity and Muslim identity, and to be decorated.

They are all deeds that Allah regards as boons, that man is to or wants to do at least some of them naturally.

Two of these functions are important in hijab: They are to hide sexuality and show that a person is a Muslim and chaste.

Something like this can be understood from the phrase 'that they should be known (as such) and not molested' in verse 59 of the chapter of al-Ahzab. It is also understood from the verse that a person, whether male or female, does not have the right to display his/her sexual attraction or to appear attractive to non-mahram people.

In the Quran, zeenah (beauty; being ornamented or decorated) is not forbidden fully for people especially for women. Zeenah is an inborn feeling in people especially in women. Something that is inborn and natural is not forbidden fully. The Quran points to this nature of women's. The Quran describes her as “one brought up among trinkets, and unable to give a clear account in a dispute…” (az-Zukhruf 18)

Then, zeenah is a natural right of a woman; hijab is a duty and worshipping as a means of hiding her zeenah from non-mahram men. Then, that clothes are themselves zeenah may form a contrast with this function; therefore, it becomes more difficult to associate hijab with fashion.

In fact, the private parts being opened and their being covered with leaves in Paradise were in question for both Adam and Hawwa. However, when hijab is mentioned, women generally come to mind. There is also hijab for men.

The reason for this may be the fact that a woman is more attractive than a man in terms of sex appeal. From this point of view, when hijab is mentioned, the first gender that comes to mind is women, not men. The property of men's clothes being ornamented is something that is wanted less than those of women due to the difference of their nature. 

In the Islamic tradition, the properties that need to exist or lack in the hijab of women are mentioned more than its form.

Islamic scholars seem to agree on the following properties for the dressing of women:

- The clothes of the women must cover all parts of her body; according to Hanafis all parts of the body except her hands and face.
- The outer garment must not be made a means of ornament and tabarruj.
- It must not be so tight and transparent as to show her body outlines.
- Their clothes must not resemble the special clothes of non-Muslims.
- They must not be like men's clothes.
- They must not wear attractive perfume in the places where non-mahram men are present.
- They must not wear clothes of fame.

Tabarruj means the effort of attracting attention of non-mahram men.

The clothes of fame are in question for men too; it is a phrase mentioned in a hadith. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade wearing very luxurious and radiant clothes that attract attention and shabby and ragged clothes that attract attention.

The issue is whether hijab having the properties above can be associated with fashion?   


We can understand to what extent can hijab, with all of its conditions that are agreed unanimously, and fashion be associated or cannot be associated, when we consider them side by side with their properties:

In hijab, what is essential is not to look at non-mahram people and not to make non-mahram people look at you. That is, the dressing style of a woman in hijab says, 'Do not look at me!' However, fashion says, 'Look at me.'

'Tabarruj' in hijab is haram. Tabarruj means the effort of attracting attention. Fashion is tabarruj from head to foot.

Hijab is the continuation of a tradition dating back to Hz. Adam. However, fashion means casting old clothes away and to experience now what will change tomorrow.

Fame in hijab is something that is not wanted. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) damned 'the clothes of fame'. Both ends of fame are reviled.

Hijab is the product of an idea and need in which wasting is haram. However, fashion is complete wasting.

Hijab symbolizes a personality, identity and belongingness. However, fashion is a product of emulation and imitation.

The main dimension of hijab is its spiritual aspect; it is a kind of worshipping; as for fashion, it is show-off, hypocrisy and appearance.

In a sense, fashion is an inevitable outcome of the appearance of women, who are told 'to make their houses their places of settlement', in social life and active business life, not based on a necessity but only in the name of freedom.

Hijab in the form of fashion and show-off is a manifestation of modernity and secularization.

Due to the reasons mentioned above, it does not seem possible to associate hijab with fashion. However, A person can dress in a way that has become customary among Muslims so that he/she will not attract attention by dressing differently.

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