Saturday, May 20, 2006

Islamic Jeans

It was only a matter of time after Islamic finance and Islamic cola to see the latest item described today on Al-Jazeera: Islamic Jeans. The jeans, which the news article says was designed in Italy (just like "Islamic finance" is designed in London) has features that make it easier to pray while covering one's backside and safekeeping personal items in appropriate pockets. It has a green trimming (!), and has the word al-Quds (Jerusalem) written in arabic on the change pocket (!!).

The article goes on to say that Jamat-i-Islami had declared in the 1980s that jeans were unacceptable as a dress form.

The funniest part of the report is in the last paragraph, where Grand Mufti Rafi Usmani is quoted to have praised the new jeans, and which states that his only reservation was that its name "al-Quds jeans" (or "Jersualem jeans") was not appropriate (would he favor "Islamic Jeans"?).

Come to think of it, this jeans may actually provide value to customers, unlike Islamic financial practices. The Islamic-finance-style jeans would just cut a couple of inches off the bottom to make it shorter, add the green trim, and cost 20% more than the original jeans (while continuing to expose them to the same or more backside-risks :-).


Blogger ney_reed said...

its good to redefine our space according to our ideals. this is not something new.

but the process by which contemporary muslims go about doing, which is by having every output being called as "islamic this" and "islamic that", is really idiosyncratic.

let me contrast it with how traditional muslims did it. let me pick one example. batik is a form of fabric which is used on a daily basis for male and female clothes in indonesia up to today. its more than a 1000 year tradition. this textile is handmade with lots and lots of intricate designs. before Islam reached indonesia, batik designs were all Hindu or pagan icons namely eagle, dragon, dieties, etc. When Indonesians became muslims they were unable to use it. so instead of giving it up altogether, they redesigned batik by making it a-iconic using motifs and geometric shapes as designs. till today both types of batiks exist where iconic batik is donned by non-muslim indonesian minorities and a-iconic batik is donned by muslim indonesians.

where i am coming to is this, till the transformation 800 years ago up till now, the a-iconic batik is only known as batik and not Islamic batik. should a contemporary muslim today have redesigned batik today he will inevitably call it Islamic batik.

the traditional muslim then was seeking perfectionism(ihsan) while the contemporary muslim today only seeks puritanism. the former was through his approach remain integrated with the rest/others while the latter remains isolated.

the traditional muslims were also not lagging behind the rest/others while the contemporary muslims continue to play the catch up game with the rest/others.why? in the process of perfectionism its an endless, continous strive(the real jihad that is) while in the process of puritanism its an adhoc strive as and when something less than pure is identified.

9:24 PM  

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