Fashion and distortion of concepts, values

Q198 :"Children of Adam, dress well when you attend any place or worship. Eat and drink but do not be wasteful. Surely He does not love the wasteful. Say, who has forbidden the adornment Allah has produced for His servants, and the wholesome means of sustenance? Say, in the life of this world, they are (lawful) to all who believe - to be theirs alone on the day of resurrection. Thus do we make Our revelations clear to people of knowledge. Say, my Lord has only forbidden indecencies, be they open or secret, and all types of sin, and wrongful oppression, and that you should associate with Allah anything for which He has given no authority, and that you attribute to Allah anything of which you have no knowledge. For every nation a term has been set. When their deadline approaches, they can neither delay nor hasten it by a single moment." the Qur'an "Al-A'araf" or "the Heights" - Surah 7 verses 31-34: Commentary by Sayyid Qutb


A198 : The pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic period insisted that people from places other than Makkah could only do their tawaf around Ka'aba either naked or wearing clothes made in Makkah only. When Muslims stopped that practice and did their tawaf wearing ordinary clothes, those pagans ridiculed them. This twisted logic finds echoes in every ignorant society, as we see in the contemporary ignorant societies. Those pagan Arabs received their notions concerning their nakedness or the condition for clothes from their false lords who fooled them and manipulated their ignorance to ensure that their supremacy in Arabia remained unchallenged. Later societies followed the same pattern and received their notions from their priests and chiefs. The same applies to the non-believers of today who cannot challenge the conceits that the false lords are keen to establish. The fashion houses and designers are the lords who present the designs which is blindly followed by the men and women in the societies of today. Those lords have only to come up with their fashions and they are slavishly observed by the multitude throughout the world. Whether this year's fashion or the cosmetics in vogue are suitable to a particular person or not, it must still be adopted, or they would be subjected to the ridicule of others who have no say in their own affairs. The verses quoted remind of Allah's grace when Allah puts this question: "Who has forbidden the adornment Allah has produced for His servants, ..." At the same time Allah forbids indecencies, be they open or secret. In following the fashions blindly, when indecency creeps, we are guilty of following a forbidden practice. The question of dress and fashion is not separate from Allah's law and the way of life He laid down for mankind. Hence, it is linked in this Surah to the question of faith. There are indeed several aspects linking it to faith and the divine law. It has a direct relationship with the question of Lordship and the authority which has the power to issue legislation in these matters that have a profound influence on morals, the economy and other aspects of life. Fashion and dress have direct bearing on enhancing the human qualities in man and giving prominence over carnal qualities. Ignorance distorts concepts, values and tastes, making nakedness, which is an animal quality, an aspect of progress and advancement, while considering propriety backward and old-fashioned. There can be no clearer distortion of human nature. We find some people advocating ignorance and protesting: What has religion got to do with fashion, cosmetics or how women dress? This is only the twisted logic that is characteristic of ignorance everywhere and in all generations. This question, which often appears to be only a side issue, has such a great importance in the Islamic view. Since it relates to the question of faith and to promoting sound human nature and preserving proper human value, the surah concludes its discussion with a very strong and inspiring comment that is normally used with major issues of faith. These comments remind human beings that their term on earth is limited, and that when it draws to a close, they cannot delay or hasten it at all. This is a basic concept of faith which serves here as a reminder so that dormant hearts wake up and realize that they must not let themselves be deluded by the apparently unending life.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )