Some hijab role model Muslim sisters in Blantyre feels that despite the Ulema preaching vigorously about the importance of hijab in Masjids every Friday, our Muslim women are not forthcoming when it comes to implementing this injunction of Allah and that while it is a common site nowadays to spot quite a number of Muslims sisters putting on a hijab in the streets, That is not the case in schools and at work places and that the garb itself leaves a lot to be desired.
Therefore, these sisters in Blantyre have come together and are calling themselves Hijab Muslim Sisters Association. They are currently organising a fashion show to be held in due course at Comesa Hall in Blantyre where they will showcase suitable and recommended hijab outfits.
Speaking to Malawi Muslims Website at Limbe Islamic Information Bureau on Sunday May 8, 2011, where they were conducting an audition for the fashion show, the Chairperson for the grouping Sister Catherine Kunje was optimistic that the project will come to fruition.
“Of course, the total cost of the event is budgeted at 2 million Malawi Kwacha but we want to teach our fellow Muslim women on what is the Islamically accepted office wear, evening wear or casual wear. These are some of the areas that we shall showcase on that day, so the door is open for well-wishers to come and support us.” said Sister Kunje.
In an interview monitored on Radio Islam’s Bwalo La A Chinyamata (youth corner) program aired on Sunday May 8, 2011, one of Hijab Sisters member Sister Shameem Chakwana explained that the hijab attire has been largely misunderstood and people think that it is expensive.
“A long sleeved blouse, a long skirt and head scarf is enough for a hijab.” said Sister Chakwana.
According to the Islamic Shariah, hijab is any clothing that covers a woman’s entire body save for the face, palms and feet. Sheikh Ahmed Chienda, the Coordinator of Limbe Islamic Information Bureau clarifies this description that the cloth itself should not be transparent and should not be too tight such that it exposes the full contours of the woman’s body. Allah Taala says in the Quran:
“Say to the believing women…that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; and that they should draw their veils over their bosoms… and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.” (Quran 24:31).
The Quran here particulary demands from our women: –
1) That they should not adorn themselves and display their beauty and jewellery to the outsiders,
2) That their veils should not end by the ears but that it should go as far as their bosoms.
3) That they should walk humbly so that people cannot hear the cranking sound of ornaments that they have put on.
However, when we see what our Muslim sisters are putting on as Hijab nowadays one wonders whether the modern garbs and the long heeled shoes put up by our Muslim sisters qualifies as hijab as laid down by the Quran and shariah.
Sister Catherine Kunje says that at the end of the fashion show they will crown Miss Hijab who shall become as a role model to the Muslim girls.
“We want one who knows what a hijab is all about, always puts it on and is able to express herself. She shall be our ambassador and a role model for the Muslim girls.” Said Sister Kunje.
Hijab Muslim Sisters was formed in February 2011 to champion the culture of wearing hijab among Muslims women and have since pooled in Muslim designers from across Blantyre for the fashion show. The 15 Muslim girls who are expected to parade at the fashion show are expected to part away with 10,000 Malawi Kwacha as participation fee payable by installments in arrears .