The Significance Virtues of Clothes

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The Significance of Clothes:

Each living thing has its own way of surviving. We, humans, are a different case. We are the most developed species on earth w.r.t brains. We can think rationally and can make the best use of our surroundings. we by nature are intelligent. We are continually refining the clothing.

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The History of Clothes:

There is an interesting story here. clothes are made of organic material which means they degrade very fast, hence why no one can find much evidence from the past. Clothing was probably invented some million years ago because there is a conflict not an exact number anywhere, different people have different opinions.

The Religious History of Clothes

Religion is a set of beliefs, symbols, and practices based on the idea of the sacred (which people define as extraordinary, inspiring a sense of awe and reverence) and unites believers in a socio-religious community.

people also believed that God wanted them to cover up.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have individual forms of dress that visibly identify members of the religion and that help maintain the traditions, customs, and hierarchies of the religion.

Christianity:

Christians believe that the body is a gift from God, thus it should be treated with respect. They also believe that there is a relationship between the thought system and the body. They believe that an idle body is free and easily manipulated by the devil. They believe that the body withers away and the soul that was in the body goes back to God after the death of an individual. This might be the reason why they believe that the body is a temple of God because it holds the spirit, which is the breath of God.

7 Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2:7 (ESV)

In the Bible, the first clothes are made by Adam and Eve after they have eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and realized that they are naked. They sew themselves aprons of fig leaves. Later, God himself, before ejecting Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, makes them coats of skins presumably very nice ones! God himself, therefore, is portrayed as the first tailor, and he works in leather (maybe so that their clothes will last).

ISLAM:

Islam gives guidance about all aspects of life, including matters of public decency. Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some minimum requirements must be met. Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings: the Quran which is considered to be the revealed word of Allah, and the Hadith or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who serves as a human role model and guide.

You will neither be hungry in it nor naked. ( Quran 20:118)

Satan knew that if they eat from the tree their private parts would be exposed and they would be expelled from heaven:

Then Satan tempted them, to expose to them what was hidden from them of their nakedness, and he said, ‘Your Lord has only forbidden you from this tree lest you should become angels, or lest you become immortal. ( Quran 7:20)

So Adam and Eve ate from the tree, their private parts were exposed, and God made them descend to earth. This verse is from surah A‘rāf. In the same surah, God says the following in the Quran about clothing:

O Children of Adam! We have certainly sent down to you garments to cover your nakedness, and for adornment. Yet the garment of God wariness — that is the best.’ That is [one] of Allah’s signs, so that they may take admonition. ( Quran 7:26)

This beautiful verse states that we must cover our nakedness with our clothes as it is a sign of modesty and also an adornment and something to show to others for beauty. Then, God uses a metaphor and says the garment of God's wariness is the best. That is, what is even more important than covering our body from nakedness, is covering and shielding our soul from sins and wrong deeds.

‘O Children of Adam! Do not let Satan tempt you, like he expelled your parents from paradise, stripping them of their garments to expose to them their nakedness. Indeed he sees you — he and his hosts — whence you do not see them. We have indeed made the devils friends of those who have no faith.’ ( Quran 7:27)

This verse points to the stark fact that people are tempted by Satan not to cover themselves and expose their bare bodies to others, whether male or female. Therefore, we must not listen to the temptations of Satan so that he strips us of our garments, whether it is physical or spiritual.

The Purposes of Clothes:

The clothes that we wear have serves many practical purposes. We wear clothes for many reasons but the most basic is for self-respect in society and for comfort. Reasons as to why we wear clothes will depend from person to person with age, gender, location, and personality being major factors. There is no single reason it is a mix of various reasons and every individual would be at their own unique point in the continuum between the factors.

Let’s see if we can put these together to explain clothing and a few other things.

However, the ideas above try to explain why humans started wearing clothes.

In the modern complex society, there are many other reasons why we wear clothes because Clothing can serve various functions and have more than one purpose:

1. Protection (Physical Need)

  • From Weather
  • From Environmental Dangers
  • From Occupational Hazards
  • From Enemies

2. Adornment (Psychological Need)

  • Creates a positive emotional reaction in the viewer
  • Most psychologists believe beauty is essential to human life
  • Decorative clothing makes us more attractive
  • Decorative adornment can be found in various cultures throughout history
  • Beauty varies from culture to culture and person to person

3. Modesty (Social Need)

For the longest time, civilized society asks us to be clothed, whether this is right or wrong is a debate I do not want to get into but it is a major reason why we wear clothes.

  • Covering a person’s body according to the code of decency of that person’s society
  • Dictates the proper way cover the body for social acceptance
  • Standards of decency are molded by our culture and social system
  • The event you are attending influences your amount of modesty
  • Humans like to indulge in the aesthetic aspects of clothing, this can be observed not only in posh societies but also in tribal ones and humans have always used clothes or accessories for purpose of vanity.

4. Personality

  • Total characteristics that distinguish an individual, especially his or her behavioral tendencies
  • Certain ways of dressing give clues about personality traits (ex: people who wear very decorative things are usually very sociable)
  • Human folks are always very communicative and expressive, they often use clothing as a means to express individuality, mood, and views.

5. Representing cultures and groups

  • Sometimes by wearing certain clothing we confirm being a part of a group. For example, An Indian female Celebrity Wearing a Saree at a film festival she attends, thereby uses her clothes to represent the group she identifies herself with, in the given example it suggests her Indian roots.

6. PRACTICAL & FUNCTIONAL

The invention of pants was created so that men (who went to war) could ride horses with ease. I mean, my skirt gets caught on the seat even when I try to get off a bicycle. Imagine going to war.

  • Underwear has become lighter and less itchy
  • Pockets in jackets and pants
  • Fabric (denim, flame retardant, etc. ) for durability
  • Lycra, neoprene, mesh for high performance (swimwear and all sports)

7. STATUS & JOBS

Kings, emperors, samurais, and soldiers, are titles and ranks that to this day present the persons' role and where they come from. In current times, it makes sure that I don’t mistake a fellow shopper as a shop assistant, or it creates trust when I see uniformed personnel.

  • At one point, the color purple was reserved for kings and queens because it was a sign of nobility. The purple dye was very expensive to produce at that time too.
  • High heels were first made for a man King Louis XIV of France- for added height (equals higher status).
  • A soldier's uniform, scouts, school prefects, and sandwich artists in the subway, all help us identify quickly who to turn to.

8. FASHION TRENDS

Now, this last one is a grey area in terms of need. Dressing up to the occasion (dress codes) shows respect. Dressing like the people around you makes you more relatable, and trend also communicates what is attractive at that time or era. Different cultures also see attractiveness differently. So part of being in trend also means survival. To be accepted in a community, to be liked, and to land you a job. That’s a major need.

In the past, clothes were simply a way of covering their body to protect it against dirt, and dust and to aid in protecting the body against the weather such as a cold. Throughout history it has evolved, it has gone from being a protective element to a symbol of status.

There is also the taste for embellishment. Humans in all cultures and weathers have decorated their bodies in all kinds of fashion.

Final Thoughts:

Dressing in an Islamic way attracts a few remarks but also a great deal of respect. Dressing Islamically also allows one to be easily recognized wherever one goes. We should be proud of being Muslims. It also allows Muslims to know one another and greet each other with ‘Assalamu-Alaikum’, or ‘Peace be upon you.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and make us part of the group who is among the most righteous! Ameen.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

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Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous