Sunday, December 19, 2010


Neither abstinence from fish nor flesh, nor going naked, nor shaving the head, nor wearing matted hair, nor dressing in a rough garment, nor covering with dirt, nor sacrificing to fire, will cleanse a man who is not free from delusions. - Buddha Gautama
It's weird to quote the Buddha when I want to talk a bit about hijab. However, it makes sense [I think] as a hijab is just a piece of clothing that one put on to cover up one's aurat/awrah, intimate parts of the body. I need to remind myself about that fact each time I see women in hijab who are talking or acting in such way that I find them as a disgrace of the hijab.

I believe, hijab is a tangible reminder for us to be modest, because it is more difficult to 'cover up' our heart and mind than just wearing a piece of clothing over it. I guess the general public, of course, disagree with my notion, as most people are more into ritualistic side of any religion anyway.

Nowadays, there are more and more Indonesian women who wear head covering in any kind than ever before. The one with 'full pressed body', the one that looks like a tent, the one that you can see their palms and face, the one that you can only see their eyes, and lastly what I find the worst kind as it is contrary to what the Koran said: the one that you cant see anything but a massive flowing clothing with presumably a woman underneath it. Mind you out of all kind of covering, I really think the last one needs to be banned for the sake of security (ours and hers as often she couldnt see clearly underneath that thick black clothing).

One of my friend asked me what's the deal of Indonesian women wearing jilbab (that's what Indonesian called for that piece of cloth). I said, there are women who are doing it because they really believe that it is written in the Koran, but there are plenty who are wearing it because it's a trend. Yupe, it's trendy to wear a hijab and people would thing you are a good religious person because of it. Some would say you look much prettier in one, eventho honestly I think very few Indonesian women have the facial bone structure to wear this look but I digress. Some elderly ladies wear them because they just dont bother to take care of their grey hair. Kids wear them because the school or their parents told them to. Some wear them because everyone in her circle is wearing them.

I've met enough women with hijab whose mouth & mind are as dirty as, if not more than those who are not wearing one. Some steal other women's husband and even resorted to use black magic to get what their want be it work, love, or money. I didnt see the point why they need to wear that kind of clothing under this weather while not improving their mind and mouth. Perhaps it's their way of setting a new 'improved' image of themselves. After all in this place anything remotely religious is deemed good.

That being said, a good friend of mine wears hijab. She used to be one of those anak disco, a reveler (perhaps more than I ever did), until one day she went to Haj pilgrimage and decided to wear one, and never took it off. At home she still wears short pants around her husband and kids tho. What I love and respect about her is that she is consistent, in her acts, talks, dresses as one unity. She doesnt curse, no matter how hurt she was nor said anything bad or with sexual connotation about or to anyone, she is ever so polite, and helpful. She never said anything implying her way is better than mine. In fact she told me that I need to be consistent in what ever path I choose. Each time I look at her, I know she's not wearing hijab just for other people's sake, but she's really wearing it inside and out. As I think it should be.

But hey, it's just my bias opinion.


colson said...

A beautiful, instructive ( at least to me,), detached and balanced small essay i.m.o.. On a topic which creates wild arguments in this part of the world.

Apart from the burqa, the garments Muslim women want to wear, are not worth all the attention they gets. If the girls and women want to make a statement by it: let it be. If they do it to please their family or husband: they should know better, but then it's okay with me. And, yes, sometimes, given the right facial bone structure :), they are gems of beauty and look sexy with the rest of their bodies in tight clothes.

triesti said...

Thanks. Your last sentence made me smile, because those who preaches about hijab would tell you that hijab 'protect' women from lusty eyes of men. :D