Tag Archives: Islamic-Dresscode

My Fashion-Week/2013 in Pictures & Why my Love for Fashion matters:

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This year, I’ve decided to do something a lil’ different, referring to my many Fashion-Week exploits (…um, I mean adventures…HA HA HA…) via pictures that I’ve taken throughout the week of the Fashion-Week Fall/2013 extravaganza…And, there’s a lot of photos that I’ve taken…

Varsity Flow I

Photo-Shoot in Brooklyn: Photography by Aaron Mark

…The main reason why I’ve taken a sudden, some would dare say, an unusual,  non-conventional interest in Fashion, generally, is simply because, this is one of the main reasons why I was treated negatively, by so many other Muslims…

…Just to give you some background about myself: I’m Gareth Bryant, a 30-something, well-put-together, Muslim, of Afro-American descent, whom was at one point, in his life, a Salafi. In other words, I was a Saudi-Cheerleader (another post for another time to explain what that means). Anyway, according to the Salafi-Movement, the Salafis deem anyone/everyone whom doesn’t share their particular fashion-sense, based upon sectarian/culturally influenced standards is religiously off-the-mark…

Suit and Tie pic

Photo-Shoot in Manhattan: Photography by Alan Mildor

…And, there was even one time, when I was attending a Masjid/Mosque,  the Imam, at the time (by the name of Mustapha George), encouraged people to “boycott” me, as a result of not conforming with Arab-Dress, as the standard for Islamic-Dress, because I was wearing jeans, tees, dress-pants, shirt-and-ties, track-jackets, etc., I was considered & even called, by many, a “Deviant”, “Innovator”, “Heretic”, etc….

…So, instead of conforming, under-pressure, I fought back & enhanced my interest & love for fashion, despite the cruel antagonism of my peers, in this particular Muslim-Sect. And, this experiences encouraged me to look even deeper into the Islamic allowances of fashion elements. And, when I found all of the information that was necessary to fortify the validity of my fashion position, I was able to combat those whom deemed me a religious outcast, just because I wanted to be an individual…

Suit and Tie II pic

Fader & The GAP Opening Fashion-Week event: Photography by StudioBooth

…I’m actually very grateful to Allah, for testing me with these types of people. This trial of mine actually strengthened me in ways that I could’ve never perceived or imagined. It empowered me with the integrity to be different, and not just different -but that being different is okay. Allah didn’t create us to be the exact same people, or to eat the same foods, wear the same clothes,  or to enjoy watching the same sports, etc. Rather, he simply created us to use our minds, to come to the conclusion that He created all which exists & that He is the only one whom is worshipworthy…

501 Union V

501 Union Brooklyn Magazine Launch-Party: Phtography by WeLovePhotobooths

…Now, with all of this being said…Fashion is awesome, and it is my hope to make an even greater presence of Muslims, particularly Muslim-Men, within the Fashion World, because there is a very derogatory stereotype, among Muslims that Muslims cannot thrive in the Fashion-World, unless they’re Homosexual. Yes, it’s a very lame stereotype. Unfortunately, one that is very dominant within the Muslim-World, especially within Muslim communities in the West.

My take on Fashion, and any other secular arts, is this: We, as Muslims, for the past 5-centuries, have been told to conform to the artistic, fashion, standards of others, without any say of our very own. Now, is our chance, to reclaim rightful ownership over how we express ourselves, as Muslims, via art, fashion, etc. And, as long as we stay true to our Islamic principles, with whatever we do in any industry (whether it be Fashion, Finance, etc.), we owe it to Allah, the Creator of the Universe, to define ourselves for ourselves.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Some Brief Islamic-History (the Origin of al-Hijāb/Islāmic-Dresscode):

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Hijab and Niqab pic

Author’s-Note:
This Article has been written as a Result of a Previous-Lecture that I had given about al-Hijāb/Islāmic-Dresscode at Hudson County Community College, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, whenever the Subject of Hijāb comes-up, it’s basically always Gendercentric/Gynoentric-It’s always concentrating upon the Hijāb of the Muslim-Woman & not enough, or at all, upon the Hijāb of the Muslim-Man. I personally view this Bias, when it comes to only mentioning the Hijāb of the Woman, without including the Hijāb of the Man, as very unjust/unfair, for the following reasons: It gives Lots of Muslims&Non-Muslims the Impression that Muslim-Men can wear whatever they want, without Reservation, which makes the Islāmic-Mandates of Hijāb seem Misogynistic. Also, the Rise of a Feminist-Mentality (amongst Muslim&Non-Muslim Women) has established the very Radically-Deviant Opinion that Muslim-Women don’t have to wear Hijāb at all, because it’s something that puts Muslim-Women back, as opposed to putting them forward. Then, there’s the whole Fallacy that the Hijāb is just an “Arab-Thing”, or something which predated al-Islām in “Pre-Islāmic Arabia”.

Firstly, the Farīdhah/Islāmic-Ordinance of al-Hijāb originates not from “Pre/Post Islamic-Arabia”, but rather, according to “Stories of the Prophets”, written by ibn-Kathir, the Hijāb was initially an established Islāmic-Mandate for our Human-Parents: the 1st-Muslims from amongst Mankind, Ādam/Adam&Hawwā’/Eve (Peace be upon both of them)-Ibn-Kathir has clearly explained, in his work, that when they disobeyed Allah & ate from the Tree which Allah told them not to go near in the Paradise: they were evicted from the Paradise itself. When they were subjected to live upon the Earth, Allah had thus commissioned both of them to wear Clothing, to cover their private areas. So, Adam had made Clothing for himself, which covered him, from his Navel to his Knees (which coincides perfectly with the Statement of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] when he described the `Awrah [Private-Area] of the Man in which & he said, “Whatever lies between the Navel & to the Knees is an `Awrah/Privacy.”.[Sunan ad-Dāraqtūnī & al-Bayhaqī]), and made Clothing for Eve, which covered her entire body from Head2Toe (which also coincides perfectly with how Muhammad [Peace be upon him] described the `Awrah [Private-Area of the Woman] when he said, “A Woman is is to cover her Entire-Body & reveal nothing except her Face&Hands, once she becomes pubescent.”.[Sunan Abū-Dāwud])-Now keep in mind that they were the only Humans upon the Earth at this time. So, the Fact that this was ordained for them, when there were no Other-Humans around, except them, is very important & significant. This proves undoubtedly that the Hijāb for both Men & Women possesses Roots via Islāmic-Antiquity.

In All-Reality, the Purpose of al-Hijāb is to maintain proper Etiquette & Decency between Men & Women, that they treat one another with Respect, and not to merely view one another nor themselves just Sexual-Objects. But, unfortunately, we all live in a Modern/Secular-Context, which pintificayes/promotes General/Full-Scale Immorality via Sexualization of our Global-Society. Also, we live in an Age where these disgusting Misogynistic&Feminist-Ideas of what Men&Women are outside of an Islāmic-Context & this has caused Muslim-Men&Muslim-Women to have developed Demented Religio-Stances as to how to practice al-Islām on an Individual-Level, as well as a Social-Level. For now, let’s just stick with the individual aspect of practicing al-Islām.

The Feminist-Community has basically blacklisted the Islāmic-Obligation of Muslim-Women to cover properly as something “Archaic/Savage”, meant to demean Women. On the Contrary: both Masculine-Hijāb & Feminine-Hijāb was established to uplift both respective Genders, never to debase either of them. However, because Secularism has become the Ideological-King of our Modern-Societies, People like Members of the Feminist-Community have actually supported various Movements to get Feminine-Hijāb banned in as many places as possible. Basically, they want Muslim-Women to shame themselves before Men, as well as Other-Women, by exposing Parts of their Bodies which Allah has ordained to be covered & concealed from Public-View, as Allah says in the Qur’ān: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your Wives, Daughters & the Believing-Women to cover themselves with their Garments. This is to ensure that they be recognized & not harassed. And, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”.(Chpt.33, V.59) In all actuality the purpose of al-Hijāb is not to make us miserable, rather to dignify our Humanity. I mean, really: do you want a bunch of Horny, Ill-Mannered Men who don’t believe in Allah & the Last-Day or Disobedient-Muslims to drool over the sight of your Body?!!! We need to seriously think about this!!!

Now, there are those who would argue that Men should have more Self-Control, or that Women shouldn’t have to cover just because Men are Lustful. Well, from a Human-Perspective: that’s a very Good-Point. But, we’re not the ones who make the Rules; rather, the Creator/Lord of the Universe has ordained how Men & Women are to worship, behave, act, and dress…not us-The Whole-Reason that Allah has ordained that Men&Women cover Different-parts of our Bodies is because by our very Human-Nature, which He has created us with: Men&Women are Anatomically-Attracted to Different-Things. Let’s be very honest here: we all know that, even anatomically, Women are more attractive & possess more to offer Men than the other way around.

The reason why Women are required to cover their Entire-Bodies is because every Aspect of the External-Anatomy of a Woman is attractive to some Man in some Way. And it’s not normally the Other-Way around. Meaning that every Aspect of the Anatomy of a Man isn’t attractive to a Woman. Women are attracted to very Specific-Things on a Man’s-Body, while Men are attracted to a whole Number of Things on a Woman’s-Body. The Islāmic-Ordinance for both Men & Women to cover their Bodies a Certain-Way is actually a Mercy from Allah, for all of the Reasons that I already mentioned previously. The Whole-Notion of supporting Secular-Legislation in Countries that are attempting to legally eradicate Feminine-Hijāb are truly indicates that there’s People whom’re hell-bent on establishing Secularism everywhere. They’re the Aides of ash-Shaytan/Satan…his Shayātīn/Satanists. Their Aim/Goal is to extinguish the Light of Allah (i.e. al-Islām). This is systematically being allowed, because, al-Islām is the only Force that stands in between those who wish to see the World immersed in complete Ego/Desire-Driven al-Fasād/Corruption, and their Goal of a World without any Morality via Divine-Guidance established anywhere.

Gareth Bryant/2012