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

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Some Brief Islamic-History (the Origin of the Hijab of the Man & Woman in Islam):

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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 Hijab at Hudson County Community College, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, whenever the subject of Hijab comes up, it’s basically always gyno-centric-It’s always concentrating upon the Hijab of the Muslim woman & not enough or at all upon the Hijab of the Muslim man. I personally view this bias, when it comes to only mentioning the Hijab of the woman, as very unfair, for the following reasons: It gives a lot of Muslim women the impression that men can wear whatever they want without reservation, which makes the mandates of Hijab seem very misogynistic. Also, the rise of a feminist mentality among Muslim women has established the very  radically deviant opinion that women don’t have to wear Hijab, at all, because it’s something that puts women back, as opposed to putting them forward. Then, there’s the whole fallacy that the Hijab is just an Arab thing, or something which predated Islam in Arabia.

Firstly, the ordinance of the Hijab originates not from Islamic-Arabia, but rather, according to “Stories of the Prophets”, written by ibn-Kathir, the Hijab was initially an established mandate for our Human parents, the first Muslims from among Mankind, Adam & 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 under the navel & to the knees is an `Awrah [private-area].” [Sunan ad-Daraqunti & al-Bayhaqi]), and made clothing for Eve, which covered her entire body from head to toe (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 reaches puberty.” [Sunan Abu-Dawud])-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, thus proving that the Hijab for both men & women possess roots in Islamic antiquity.

In all reality, the purpose of the Hijab 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 promotes general/full-scale immorality via over-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 Islamic context & this has caused Muslim men & women to have developed demented ideological religious stances as to how to practice Islam on an individual level as well as a social level. For now, let’s just stick with the individual aspect of practicing Islam.

The Feminist-Community has basically blacklisted the obligation Muslim women to cover properly as something archaic & savage, meant to demean women. On the contrary, the Hijab of both men & women was established to uplift both respective genders, never to debase them. However, because Secularism has become the ideological king of our society, people like members of the Feminist community have actually supported various movements to get the Hijab for women, specifically, banned in as many places as possible. Basically, they want our Muslim sisters 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’an: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your wives, daughters & the believing women to cover themselves with their garments. This is ensure that they be recognized & not be harassed. And, Allah is all-forgiving, most-merciful.”.(Chpt.33, V.59) In all actuality the purpose of the Hijab is not to make us miserable, rather to separate us from the rest. 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 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 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 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 every aspect of the anatomy of a man is not 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 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 legislation in countries that are attempting to legally eradicate the Hijab, for women specifically, are truly people who are hell-bent on establishing Secularism everywhere, and are on the side of the Shaytan to attempt to extinguish the Light of Allah (i.e. Islam). This is systematically being allowed because Islam is the only force that stands in between those who wish to see the world immersed in complete desire-driven corruption, and their goal of a world without any divine guidance established anywhere.

Gareth Bryant/2012