Men are “Hijabis,” Too!

Salaam, and happy Friday!

Don’t worry, I know you are looking at the title and stressing a bit, but no, I’m not advocating men dressing up like Muslim women or some such (that’s not even Islamically allowed).

What I do want to talk about, however, is the fact that we never really talk about how men dress. Everybody can go on for hours about how the sisters need to fix this, that, and the other. They need to stop doing this, they need to start wearing this, and on and on. Imams talk about it in the khutba, men talk about loudly on the street, women whisper about other women.

But what about the standards of modesty for men? Why do we all seem to think that they can run wild and free, wearing whatever?

Were not men mentioned first in the verses of the Qur’an that specifically refer to modesty?

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head-covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women […]”

Qur’an 24:30-31

This is such an understated issue in the community, that when I first converted, I actually thought that there was no specific awrah for men, except the actual “private part” area. But really, men should be covered at all times, from navel to knee, in front of anyone except their spouse. That includes their parents, their kids, their siblings (something I also didn’t know for a long time). And if they have the means to cover further, than that is encouraged.

Plus, the same standards apply as for women’s clothing: it should be loose and not show the shape of the area to be covered, and be opaque so that you can’t see through it.

So what exactly is going on in our ummah with the skin-tight jeans, the sagging pants, kids at the age of puberty still running around naked as the day their were born, shorty shorts, and all of these camel/sheep emulating haircuts that I see on pretty much every man (at least here in Algeria)?

Even here in a Muslim majority country, basic standards of male modesty are not often observed.

Everywhere, men in pants so tight it leaves literally nothing to the imagination.

I went to an extended-family member’s house just recently, and a bunch of kids were sitting around playing video games. Normal enough, until one of the boys stands up, a cousin of my husband around the age of 13, and I find that he is not even wearing pants, just tiny little boxer briefs (that one was a bit traumatic).

The pants sagging is still a thing too; I recently saw a guy with super tight little jeans, and the waist came up to just above his knee. Under those he was wearing slinky athletic shorts, and the waist of those came up to just under his bum. Under those he was wearing the most bright and decorated underwear I have ever seen, and the waist still barely came up to his hips. Ummmmm, what?

Thank goodness my husband has seem my mouth open, I-can’t-even-process-what-I-am-looking-at-right-now face so he knows I’m not looking at some guy for my own enjoyment…

And that isn’t even to mention all the men I see walking around with their hands doing who knows what, and staring women up and down.

These are, coincidentally, the same men who lecture their mothers and their sisters on how to dress, and complain that there is no properly covered woman to be found for marriage.

Which is why it is such an important topic to bring up: Islam makes modesty of both dress and conduct a main branch of piety for both sexes, but unfortunately in our day and age the spotlight (and intense pressure) is directed at only one side of that.

I think there needs to be a gentle reminder, and a call for abandoning the skin tight jeans, for belts to hold  pants up at the right height, for t-shirts that don’t have profane slogans or sexy women on them, for haircuts that don’t look like a work of abstract art, for clean, neat appearances while upholding standards of modesty.

And just like with women, that doesn’t take one specific, cultural shape. My husband personally likes to wear a thobe around town, but a three piece suit can hold to the same standards. A salwar kameez or just loose jeans and a t-shirt, it is up to your personal style.

And, even before the external appearance is taken care of, I think there is a lot of work to be done on the internal aspect of practising hijab: the lowering of the gaze, the softening of the speech, the respect towards a woman not as “your mother or your sister or your wife,” but as a fellow human inhabitant of this world, and your sister in Islam.

“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so—for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”

Qur’an 33:35

post-signature

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Men are “Hijabis,” Too!

  1. Great post. I think, and feel free to disagree, that men who don’t dress properly – but pressure women to do so and censure those who don’t – are basically saying “oi, dress right so I can stare at you for longer without feeling as bad.” Because there’s no social pressure on men to control what we look at and how we look at it. Books of fiqh address the different legal rulings of, not only what women expose, but what men view; too bad imams don’t do the same.

    And yes, the tightness has got to stop. The sooner Turkish şalvar make a comeback in the Muslim world, the better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose I can’t judge intentions! I have always just figured that these men are literally ignorant of the fact that there is any standard of modesty for them like there is for women…which means they dress however and then expect women to uphold the hijab exactly to their expectations

      Like

  2. Alv

    Two things.

    From my own cultural perspective, a lot of argument begins with something along this line, “they do it too!”
    And secondly, perhaps some people are doomed to drown in ignorance. Leave them be.

    Like

    1. ashleybounoura

      For me it isn’t so much of a “they do it too,” but more of a “one of us shouldn’t always be chastising the other, instead we should be growing and improving together,” but I do appreciate your perspective. Thank you for the comment!

      Like

  3. such a good reminder. yeah it’s true. aurat of women always be the main topic compared to the men. in malaysia, this issue is typical. judging the women’s attire. women should wear this and that but truly the one who is commenting about the aurat is wearing attire that are not cover his aurat. muslim men in Malaysia nowadays mostly teenagers wearing the short pants outside the house as a trend. they tend to wear that everywhere. in mall, at the park, in the restaurant and so on. so i hope men’s outside should notice this. both muslim male and female are required to cover the aurah based on the quran. follow the sunnah not the society. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Miss Yuhanis

    Thank you sister for sharing your thought with us. Sometimes we often overlooked this issue as we didn’t seem to bother how our men are dressing out there. Our main concern is always on our fellow sisters. Covering aurah is indeed everybody duties and we can expect it to come only from certain gender. With the growing trends these days, I believe most of our men and women would want keep up with it as well especially the teenagers. They should be exposed to this thing so they would be able to weight the outcome of this. Having a person like you who is willing to shed light on us upon this issue would be very helpful. Keep on writing and sharinh your thoughts. You would not know how many hearts have you touch just by reading this. Peace yow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      Aw thank you for your comment and kind words! It is always so good to hear that people are being moved by my writing alhamdulillah 🙂

      Like

  5. Syahirah

    I personally think that one of the solution for this problem would be for parents to start educating their children regarding the importance of modesty (in appearance, action, etc). They should be firm and fair towards their daughters and sons. For instance, it’s common that daughters have to obey a curfew whereas sons are able to roam outside till late at night. Therefore, the curfew has to be applied to both genders. No bias whatsoever. Practicing the modesty itself is a way to show examples to their children. They should work on covering aurah, lowering the gaze, softening the speech and showing respect towards others. Their children have to realize that modesty is applicable to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      I very much agree! I don’t have children yet but in shaa Allah this is one thing that I really hope I can set an example for them, and instill in them a love of modesty from an early age. I find that in many societies, especially here, there is no talk of modesty for either gender until a girl turns 15 and gets told “here, put this on your head now!” And that is that…

      Like

  6. Romeyseh

    I like the article that critisizeing the practices of the men which is becoming norm , and there is no significance differences between Moslem men and non Muslim men, which is not accepted by Islam and the prophet has encouraged us to be some how different from other religions, but the most I liked about the article was the part suggesting to emphasis on internal aspect however it was better to clearify it by giving Hadith , because the prophet has mentioned the case and by advising his follower to have pure eyes and not look at the women so women feel comfortable regardless of the type of hijab they wear

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      Thank you for the comment. I don’t know that Hadith, do you know which of the books it is in? I would love to look it up so I could include it in shaa Allah 😊

      Like

  7. Mohd Zulfithri

    What a great spiritual oriented blog! Something refreshing to read. New media for me to spend my weekend instead of Youtube. Dont stop posting! Keep nourishing people’s soul! 🌹

    Great Job.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sidik

    😱😱😱 Wowww! This is wonderfulll 😍! And I just love the topic! Men should realize that they too need to drees up appropriately 🤔🤔🤔. We need to change our socitey’s mindset. It’s okay to break the norm for the betterment of ourselves, as long as we didn’t go against the Islamic rulings 😃👍🏼. Keep on sharing ❤️👌🏼.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Che Nab

    I agree with you sister. We always concern about how women need to dress but bot the guys. I once saw an Arabic couple (husband and wife), the wife covered everything from head to toes including jilbab, somehow the husband just wore a short pants (above the knees). How could it be that way, this is because we always think only women need to cover up, but in Islam, Allah told men and women to cover up. The double standard mentality need to be removed from all Muslims. Perhaps, all of us should deepen our understanding in Islam and change the old perceptions that we still hold. Parents should tell their sons to cover up since they were kids and of course to the daughters as well. I think the root of this problem is the lack of understanding in Islam therefore we should all together increase our knowledge in Islam. Insya Allah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Pink Dress

    Thank you for a great article, Sis. Just to add, I think just like how we often associate most of the sexual things with “WOMEN’ like body parts, porn, prostitution, rape culture etc that is also the reason why we tend to ignore ‘the elephant’ in the room, in this case, men, perhaps due to media portrayal,cultural, patriarchal society, human nature. But it should not be an excuse considering that Allah told us about these rules for both men and women way way before we were even born. The fact that sins are equal for everyone in Islam, you break one rule, you will be punished no matter what is your status in the world. So you need to be aware of the rules and live accordingly. I personally think it all comes down to your spiritual self and the people around you. It just that I really dislike it when some people that are all covered up from head to toe but still ill-mannered, rude and too proud of themselves. Respect each other and live by the rules, insyaAllah all is well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter. I’m 100% agree with you. some men tend to tell women to cover their awrah but at the same time are not covering theirs. I believed that we should remind each other about this matter. thanks again! assalamualaikum 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleybounoura

      Wa alaikum salaam 😊

      I agree, my husband and I are always both helping each other, alhamdulillah not just him telling me what to wear

      Like

  12. We should remind each other. That’s how Muslim community should behave. No sarcastic reminder, just nice and straight words is just enough.

    The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The deen (religion) is naseehah (advice, sincerity).” We said, “To whom?” He (ﷺ) said, “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” [Muslim]

    Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If Allah wants to do good for somebody, he makes him comprehend the Religion (i.e. Islam),

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s