Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday's Wraps - #RabuRok

I have been a tomboy in my pre-hijab days. I have been wearing hijab for more than 12 years, but  sometime I still dress up in androgyny style: boots, straight leg/boyfriend jeans, cargo pants. Some things are hard to let go. 

On any work days, you would see me in shirt-pants combo. To achieve self-improvement, I do try to set some rules and boundaries on dressing up (or down), though. For example, (1) I buy wide-leg pants, (2) pair straight-leg pants with knee-length or at least thigh-length shirts, and (3) wear skirts once a week (I pick Wednesday, because it's the least busy day in a week). Other rules include: (4) only wear cargo pants and other utilitarian pants when I travel/go to the field/do some nature sightseeing, (5) wear my boots with skirts, which is the least I can do to reduce its masculine vibe.

M dislikes the boots and has been trying to change this tomboy girl into a ladylike woman, quoting a hadith that forbids women to dress like men, and vice versa. We have been arguing on this issue. In my defense, I do not wear boots to resemble men, but rather to anticipate the rain.

I have checked Islamic clothing requirements, and so far found several rules as the following:
  • Clothing should cover body parts that should be covered. For women, the standard of modesty calls for clothing that cover body, except face and hands, with headscarf should cover chest area. As for men, the minimum coverage area is between navel and knees. However, bare-chested men in public space (unless it's public swimming pool area, I suppose) would be frowned upon.
  • Clothing should be loose, not skin tight or body-hugging
  • Clothing should be thick enough, of opaque color and fabric, not transparent
  • Overall appearance should be dignify and modest, not flashy/shiny/attract public attention
  • Clothing should not imitate people of other faiths
  • Clothing is just one aspect, but beyond clothing there lies more important purpose: what you wear should reflect what is in your heart.  
Apart from the boots issue, I do try to improve each day. But I also want to do it in small steps, making the efforts ingrained in my daily habit, instead of a forced habit. 

A friend once asked my opinion on whether she should wear hijab after she performed umrah (short time pilgrimage). "Girl, you'd be damned for not wearing hijab, and you would still be damned if you're wearing it. Also, if you ever decided to wear and then you took it off, you'd be even more damned than ever," I told her. I didn't say that to discourage her, but rather to show her how the society, including the Muslim communities, always judge other people. Reading this interview with Australian young ballerina Stephanie Kurlow on wearing hijab and being a ballerina has been quite humbling. 

Here are some of my Wednesday's wraps or #RabuRok in Bahasa.

If you are like me, a woman struggling to wear skirts, I would love to hear your story :).

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