Eyes Steady

May 26, 2014

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My eyes were glued to the fashion magazine ‘Elle’ as a kid. I loved the fashion spreads, the fashion trends, the beauty reviews. I would fold down the pages of magazines for the clothes and accessories I wanted. I saved fervorantly for a ‘Louis Vuitton’ bag (though I never had the guts to make the purchase). I paid almost a hundred dollars for a ‘coach’ umbrella that broke the week I bought it. The best gift I ever received was a ‘Tommy Hilfigher’ sweater from my oldest sister.

Sometimes a Kanye West song plays in my mind, this line always stands out: “She’s been dealing with some issues that you couldn’t believe single black female addicted to retail”. Consumerism certaintly isn’t a ‘black thing’ but I was definitely that girl. I wanted name brand things, I wanted luxury clothes, and when I had the money I would pay for it. Fast forward to now I can’t remember the last time I drooled after designer digs and though I still shift through the latest runways of my favorite designers the abundance of practically naked women in fashion magazines repulses me.

For a bit I was anti- fashion. None of it matters. It had no value. Now, I think, I have a more balnced approach. It is importance to recognize that for many people fashion is extremely important because it represents there sense of self. I’ve also come to the realization that tuning out from the world, though it may save you, doesn’t save the world. If everyone with modest sensibilities rebukes fashion, fashion will be left to the indecent and they will perpetuate their aesthetic on to the masses. I want the world to know that modesty is beautiful and I need to know it for myself.

I want to walk in to a room and have my clothes be a representation of who I am, to the degree it can, as much as I may dislike it the clothes you wear helps you relate to others before you ever say a word. I started a tumblr called themodestedge.tumblr.com just to showcase fashion that is both modest and “edgy” (whatever that means). For me when I look at this space on the web it makes me happy. It’s like I’ve created a little world were modesty is the norm. Many dislike the hijabi blog movement, and I myself have been a critic (here) but they are doing a service to the world by showing that you can be beautiful, attractive and modest. Of course we all don’t agree as to what modesty is but we can agree that these bloggers are more modest/ more covered/ and show an outwardly Muslim appearance -and appearance that says “I love fashion but God comes first”.

I believe in having zuhud (abstinence/ renunciation) as an end goal so the idea of buying and having a lot of clothes makes me uncomfortable. Everything we have is from God and we will be questioned as to how we used his blessings so in some ways its easier to have less to be accountable for. I go back and forth with fashion and the value that should be placed on it. I only have a few thoughts, no conclusion -how about you?

3 Comments

  • Zaakir Abdus-Salaam

    I am of two minds Nuriddeen. On one end, I think too many of us put far too much attention, time, and energy on fashion, or our outer appearance in general. But I also think it is important to present yourself, “at all times” in the best way possible. We as Muslims represent the magnificence of Allah, so that should be reflected in our appearance. In a famous hadith someone once approached the Prophet (SAWS) and asked: “What if someone likes that his clothing and his shoes are beautiful?” The Prophet (SAWS) replied: “Allah loves to see the affects of His grace upon His servant.” So while I try to avoid the mall like the plague, I believe that it is important to focus on being optimum both inwardly and outwardly. May Allah make it easy for us to be balanced in this world.

    Masalaam

    Zaakir

    • Nuriddeen Knight

      I think that makes a lot of sense, ma sha Allah may Allah reward you for your input

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