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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do we need a dress code?

Most school districts have a dress code, or uniform. Sadly, in our part of the world, the dress code is not enforced. Kids come to school in clothes that are too short, tight, and revealing. Unfortunately our modern world has accepted this behavior as acceptable. Does that mean we should do the same? Does modern life demand of us to expose our bodies instead of concealing them decently?

The more I think about it, the more wisdom I see in the dress code Allah has given us out of his Infinite Mercy. If and when we abandon it, we will see the consequences, as every evil deed leaves its imprint on the soul, on society. When we get dressed we are thinking about how we want to present ourselves to the world, to our family. It is a statement that announces our personality without us uttering a word. We cannot claim to dress in a revealing manner and think our hearts and minds and those of others will remain pure. On the other hand, when a boy or girl, man or woman dresses up in modest clothes, making sure the body is covered appropriately, taking special care to cover the hair and chest in the case of the women, he or she affirms faith by doing so. It is a great opportunity to translate faith into action, to turn a simple ordinary act into obedience and gratefulness to the Creator. It gives us a chance to honor our bodies, to strengthen our souls, to affirm that we are much more than a body, a shape, a size.

And yet this dress code seems like a burden, oppression to so many. It is only when we dress at the calling of our nafs, our lower self, that modesty is a burden.

If we dress to please people instead of our Creator, can we truly say we love Him?
Modesty has its own style, is a fashion statement based on faith. If we think we can choose how we dress without following the clear guidelines of Allah, does this mean we know better?

The problem in abandoning the Islamic dress code is that every person will have a different idea of modesty and without any limits or standards, our standards will fall like the people of other faiths around us.

Do we really want their problems?
Not really.
But if we follow their footsteps, what can we expect?

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