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Arab Societies - Essay Example

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It can be an expression of creativity when people integrate into their wardrobe some special item that reflects something about them. However, in Arab society, one’s dress is…
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Arab Societies
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The Implications of Wearing theTraditional Dress Fashion in the modern world today de s a person’s style, personality and status in life. It can be an expression of creativity when people integrate into their wardrobe some special item that reflects something about them. However, in Arab society, one’s dress is indicative of more things, usually coming Arabian perspectives and interpretation of the Qur an, or scared book that tells them how they should live in the way Allah would have wanted.
Since Islam is very conservative, worldly values and practices are prohibited in their society. The Al-Ziyy Al-Islami or Islamic dress is something that distinguishes them from others because such dress should reflect the cornerstones of the Islamic belief system of privacy, humility, piety and moderation. Such simplicity of dress reminds them that luxury and leisure await them in the next world. Thus, embellishment of one’s dress or body is not seen positively unlike in other cultures. The qur’an, it says that the Prophet Muhammad admonished men’s clothing should be modest especially during worship and women’s clothing, not attracting any attention and men’s lustful desire to themselves.
The Qur’an gives specific rules as to socio-moral behaviour of Islamic believers. It tells men and women to “lower their gaze and cover their genitals” when they interact so that any sexual tension will not build up. Islam accepts sexuality as normal for humans but it restricts it to matrimony. Outside marriage, behaviour between men and women in interaction should be desexualized. There should be control and regulation body and interactive space and all interactions should be in public. The Islamic dress is one kind of desexualizing control.
In more contemporary times, the Islamic dress code for men and women were full-length opaque and austere-colored gallabiyyas which are loose-fitting clothes that conceal the body. In addition, men wore trousers and sandals and grew beards and women wore al-khimars, headcovers which cover the hair and extends low to the forehead, goes under the chin to conceal the neck and falls down over the chest and back.
In some Arabic societies, wearing of such traditional garb has become quite controversial. The government has discouraged the wearing of such clothes in an effort to westernize their culture. However, some Islamic revolutionists want to keep the tradition going and insist on wearing it. It came to a point where the wearing of “the veil” which represents Islamic dress was seen to be a rebellious action.
It is amazing how something as simple as one’s clothing can represent so much about what a society holds valuable. The teachings of one’s religion in terms of how believers should conduct themselves may be interpreted in how they should dress. The Qur an gives specific guidance to its readers in staying on the right path in terms of socio-moral behaviour. However, the influences of modernity may confuse believers on what to do. Modern values may justify the shift to a new system of dressing. In following such system, much of the indigenous beliefs may disappear. One example is the wearing of more revealing outfits which is totally against Islamic faith. This puts Arab people in a dilemma… should they stick to traditional values or adopt modern changes that go with a changing value system? Although evolution of society is considered good, it may also bring about the distortion of traditional values that people have historically held dear.
El Guindi, F. (___) The Veil Becomes a Movement, Arab Society and Culture, ___. Read More
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