how important is it to "cover" and what does it mean to do so?
personally, i have an issue with the phrases - "she is covered/ she needs to cover" and cringe every time i hear them used, especially to describe Muslimahs. just because she isn't covering her hair/ face, it does not mean she is not covered.
there is a huge difference between people who deliberately dress provocatively, and those who wear modest clothing but choose not to/ are not yet covering their hair or face, and i just think this difference should be noted.
and as a matter of fact, there are some women who are managing to "cover" better without covering their hair. i'm sure you all know what i mean, so won't bother going into too much detail, especially seen as there is an interesting discussion about it on unique's blog, (warning: pretty girl alert on the post for any brother's wanting to save their eyes. hey they could still exist!) but i'm not judging anyone here, especially as i was one of those people that started off wearing "hijaab" with my neck and earings exposed, but let's not delve into that phase too much (please!)
a student the other week suddenly whipped off her hijaab, brushed her hair and then put it back on again for some random reason during the class! i had to bite my tongue, as i didn't want to embarass her, but talked to her after the class, and she said "oh it was just the guys though, it's not as if my dad was here or anything!"
(weird Pakistani mentality- you should wear your headscarf in front of elders, even if they're mahram, as a sign of respect).
it just made me think. wearing the hijaab (as in headscarf) is so much more common here now then when i started doing it, but do people really understand why they are doing it? because it's a dangerous game to force/ pressurise women to do it for the wrong reasons.
on the one hand i do recognise that it is our duty to advocate what we belive to be right, and in partiular some fathers/ husbands want to ensure that their daughters/wives are obeying the Laws, but at the end of the day, it is a personal choice that a woman makes, and she needs to do it if/when the time is right for her. i see people trying to force/pressurise women to wear hijaab more than they encourage prayer, charity, fasting etc. surely this issue can't be more important than the fundamental pillars?
i'm not saying wearing hijaab should not be encouraged. it makes sense to me on so many levels. and, with the niqaab i would never say "never" as there is something very attractive and liberating about walking down the street feeling completely invisible.
i'm just saying i think we need to stop judging a person's piety levels on how much of their body they choose to cover. i'ts disheartening when i hear muslim women looking down on their sisters, with phrases like "she deson't even cover so what right does she have to tell me about Islam". there are other things that are more important than outward appearance. isn't there?