Fashion - I

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Seeking to follow fashion is a serious social problem that faces Muslim societies in the shade of their economic and social deterioration. The human soul always longs for beauty and admires it. Beauty is a bounty from Allah The Almighty who Grants it to whom He Wishes. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) informed us that beauty is an attribute of Allah The Exalted as he said: "Allah is Beautiful and He Loves beauty" [Muslim], with all the implicated meanings of the word beauty.

Allah The Almighty ordered His slaves to adorn and beautify themselves without extravagance while affirming that the clothing of righteousness is the true apparel of a person. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.} [Quran 7:26]

Permissible Adornment:

A Muslim gives importance to his outer appearance according to his energy and capacity. This is permissible and no blame is cast for it as long as it does not transgress the restrictions of the Sharee'ah which ordained concealing the 'Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered) of men and women. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?"} [Quran 7:32]

Beautification with moderation and decency is favorable and praiseworthy. Nevertheless, extravagance and blind imitation of whatever is invented by the enemies of Islam, that is blameworthy, is not Loved by Allah The Exalted nor does He Accept it for His slaves. Unfortunately, we see some Muslim women who endeavor to follow fashion trends, as it is referred to, and consider this to be civilized and advanced (behavior).

The Source of Fashion:

First of all, we need to know that fashion is exported from the Western Crusaders to the Muslim lands. Fashion is a collection of misguiding tastes and desires imaged for the naïve as if it constitutes the essence of civilization. It is portrayed as if those who do not follow it are uncivilized and have not caught up to the modern age.

The Vicious Circle:

It is very strange that this fashion changes according to time, place, seasons, months, tallness, shortness, obesity, thinness and old and young age. This makes the follower of fashion revolve in a vicious circle that would not end until her ruin.

Before discussing fashion, a Muslim should take into account some Sharee'ah principles in order to understand how to deal with it. Allah The Exalted ordered the believers not to follow the desires of those who went astray as He Says (what means): {…do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way.} [Quran 5:77] Furthermore, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) cursed the women who imitate the masculine traits of men and men who imitate the feminine traits of women. [Al-Bukhari]

Women's Fashion:

We see that women – in particular – in our Muslim communities have been swept in the flow of fashion. If the west orders that the dress should be long, the Muslim woman obeys and if it ordered that it should be short or that she should wear tight clothes, she is the first to hear and obey. She who follows fashion trends seems to be hollow inside; she cannot help but surrendering and obeying those who only follow their own desires. If the west orders her to wear trousers under the pretext that it facilitates her movements, helps her in sporting activities and going to work, she listens and obeys without any awareness or reflection on the matter.

The same applies to the choice of accessories and colors of makeup which must match the color of the dress or her complexion in addition to accurately choosing the appropriate haircut and style so as to follow the latest international hairstyles, and so on.

Men's Fashion:

In spite of the fact that fashion is more directed towards women, the enemies of Islam did not leave out men. The imitation of westerners and others from among the wicked of this Ummah has appeared in the youth. Thus, they cut their hair in a certain way imitating a music artist or athlete. They wear gold chains on their necks and specific style clothing to imitate people who – because of their immorality – are not even equivalent to the wing of a mosquito in the Sight of Allah The Exalted.

Those Who Benefit the Most:

Those who benefit the most from fashion are the companies that trade in the products serving these trends such as the companies that produce cosmetics as well as the media that promotes these products. It makes a person's greatest concern to follow fashion trends and to be up-to-date with everything published about it in the media. This is intended to distract him from the main purpose for which was created which is worshipping Allah The Almighty and building the universe with righteous deeds. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.} [Quran 51:56]

Dangerous Effects of Fashion:

- Unveiling the adornments of women in public triggers temptations which lead to corruption and immorality. This, in turn, leads to the fall of society and the disintegration of good ties and relationships between people.

- The spread of arrogance and pride between people; as men and women boast and brag about their clothing and care more about their elegance rather than society. Islam has forbidden wearing garments for fame.

- The media is very busy serving fashion as it is the most important means in spreading fashion trends and making the people aware of it, be it visual or audible media, or through pictures in books or immoral magazines. Media, in its pursuit of material gain, does not care to preserve moral values. Therefore, instead of being a means of spreading awareness, the media becomes a means to distract people from handling the affairs of the Islamic Ummah and serving the interests of Sharee'ah.

- The spread of many diseases especially dermatological disorders among women as a result of using some creams, shampoos and other cosmetics. In addition, various psychological stresses are spread among women such as envy, grudge and disappointment as some of them cannot find the means to keep up with fashion trends.

- A woman goes out to work seeking money to help achieve her goals by being able to purchase the latest fashions. She does this instead of assisting her husband with the living expenses that increase day after day. Rather, she spends what she earns only in order to satisfy her desires. This stirs up her husband's feelings against her which constitutes the beginning of the disintegration of the family. Moreover, because of the extravagant spending by his wife, the husband may begin committing dangerous practices such as stealing, bribery or embezzlement.

The Role of Islam:

In the face of these hazardous and devastating effects, Islam stands as a protector and defender of the Muslims so that they do not fall into the proverbial gutter. Islam ordained adornment and beautification but urged that this should be done justly and with moderation. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {O Children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.} [Quran 7:31] Furthermore, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Eat, drink, dress and donate without extravagance nor arrogance." [Al-Bukhari and Ahmad] Islam also prohibited arrogance as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "While a man was walking, proud of himself, his garment and hair well-combed, suddenly the earth swallowed him up and he will continue to sink in it until the Day of Resurrection." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Islam safeguards women and set rules to preserve them from abuse and humiliation. The Muslim woman is being mentioned in particular because she is more prone to the threats of fashion according to the Hadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ): "There are two types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: (The first are) people having flogs like the tails of oxen with them with which they would beat the people. And (the latter are) the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked. They would be inclined (to evil) and make others incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht camel inclined to one side. They will not enter the Paradise nor would they even smell its scent even though its scent (is so great that it) would be smelt from such and such distance." [Muslim]

So which path is more worthy to be followed and which of them represents civilization and advancement? Truthful is Allah The Almighty who Says (what means): {And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 6:153] Islam is keen on the Islamic identity of its followers and that they should have an independent character. This is so they do not follow every trend nor listen to every speaker as their religion preserves their character and distinction from all other nations.

Tabarruj and Hijab:

The disastrous phenomenon that has spread in many Islamic lands is clear to everyone. Many women expose their beauty, do not cover their faces nor veil themselves from men and display their adornments which Allah The Exalted Has Forbidden to be displayed. There is no doubt that all these practices are among the greatest evildoings and clearest of offenses that justify punishments and curses. They also lead to the emergence of indecency, the perpetration of crimes, lack of modesty and spread of corruption.

Tabarruj (impermissible exposure of women's beauty) is an act of disobedience that carries a very heavy weight in the scale of sins. Through Tabarruj, women fall into the hands of Satan to become devils apparent to all eyes and they surpass Satan himself and his followers in their corruption and their ability to corrupt.

What is Tabarruj?

Tabarruj signifies a woman's exposure, to non-Mahram men, of her adornments and beauty which the Sharee'ah deems obligatory to be covered. Examples include displaying seductive parts of her body or tempting them with her walk, poses and seduction.

Tabarruj is not an individual sin rather, it is a social sin. Both the woman displaying her beauty and her guardian who allows her to do so without preventing her are partners in this sin. Moreover, members of society who choose not to advise her and deter this corruption take part in this sin. That is why she deserves to be cursed and deprived from entering Paradise or even smelling its fragrance.

The Ruling on Tabarruj:

Tabarruj is forbidden by virtue of the Noble Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of scholars of the Ummah. Displaying beauty and adornment by the women of this age is nothing more than announcing disobedience of Allah The Exalted imitating the disbelieving women and stirring up temptations. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance….} [Quran 33:33] Besides, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "There are two the types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: (The first are) people having flogs like the tails of oxen with them with which they would beat the people. And (the latter are) the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked. They would be inclined (to evil) and make others incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht camel inclined to one side. They will not enter the Paradise nor would they even smell its scent even though its scent (is so great that it) would be smelt from such and such distance." [Muslim]

Reasons of Tabarruj:

There are many reasons for Tabarruj, including:

1) Weak faith in one's soul so that it prefers evil and dislikes good then it views good deeds as evil and evil deeds as good.

2) Refraining from performing the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

3) The lack of knowledge, the spread of ignorance and the shortage of scholars who apply their knowledge to action and act as role models for their societies.

4) Lack of proper discipline, instruction and education on the part of the parents as well as educational institutions.

5) The dangerous role played by the media in encouraging Tabarruj, Sufoor (uncovering the face) and mingling between the sexes.

6) Imitating the Europeans and the Americans and considering them role models of civilization and advancement.

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