Being a Muslim woman, that I am, covering up is something of the essence, it says ‘hey, I’m a Muslim and I’m proud’. In Islam, modesty is a characteristic that is highly required and commendable, both for men and women, dare I add. Now, modesty is a trait that obviously has to do with one’s physical appearance but just as important is the mental and spiritual modesty.
Mental such that one should not think of themselves as too important or relevant, because in the grand scheme of things, and life, we are all such small, insignificant facets existing in this dunya (world) until our time is up. Not to say that life shouldn’t be enjoyed or experienced, but only mindfully. So please, by all means, live, but don’t take yourself or this life too seriously.
Modesty relating to the body is the most common and popularly understandable aspect. It simply means ‘I’m modest and it’s obvious’. However, one thing that is easily forgotten is that true modesty, yes, involves covering up the body, and hair. But it also transcends beyond that into the mind and soul. The genesis of the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. In Islam, we as women are required to cover up, not because we are allegedly “oppressed”, “suppressed” or lack freedom, no, quite the contrary. We are to cover because your body is regarded your temple and is sacred, undeserving of the gaze of this very temporary world. We are truly considered, queens. Based on my personal experience, I actually find that women that cover take it up as a personal choice and don’t consider it as a burden by any means. They are the most free (in the deepest sense), and at peace with the aim of pleasing their Lord. This brings me to the last aspect of modesty, the soul.
Modesty relating to the soul is a more spiritual relationship between an individual and Allah (GOD). This type of modesty has little to do with the outside world, and the trivialities of this life, but simply what is in the heart. This, to me, is the most powerful form of modesty, it is from within and cannot be moved by any force. This is between the person and his or her Al-Khabir (The All Knowing).
Inshallah, may we be able to attain all complete forms of modesty, and may Allah Strengthen our Iman (Faith). Ameen.