Home Quranet Chapter 3 How can we encourage wearing of school uniforms?
How can we encourage wearing of school uniforms?
Chapter 3

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ (سورۃ الاعراف, آية 31)

O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. (Surah 7, Verse 31)

Maram, a ninth grade student, does not usually wear uniform to school. When she comes into the building, she tries to hide so that the principal won't see her. When she is caught, she starts making excuses: "My uniform is dirty and in the wash, I spilled food on it this morning..." The principal is tired of all these stories.. She has summoned Maram's parents several times to ask them how they can permit their daughter to go to school dressed like that. She wears revealing clothes which are not suited for school and inappropriate for their culture and second, she openly resists wearing the uniform. The mother told the principal that Maram likes buying clothes and there are arguments around this issue. She covets any new and fashionable garment she sees, her mother says. She simply pursues fashion and squanders money. The principal recently decided to summon Maram and her parents again. She knows what to quote to Maram: "O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters." In other words, Maram may come to school in clean tidy uniform and be well-groomed but she must not exaggerate when buying new clothes and wearing them to school.

Explanation: The purpose of school uniforms, and sometimes work uniforms as well, is to blur individual identity to some extent and to encourage identification with a place or role. That is why each army has its own uniforms. In the army, differences between individuals are undesirable, and what is important is carrying out missions as ordered. Some boys and girls feel inner resistance to uniforms because they experience them as obliteration of their unique identity. These are usually the boys and girls who want to emphasize their uniqueness and are afraid of being swallowed up by the group. The establishment cannot accept this because all the other pupils would immediately ask: Why is it that he is not obliged to wear a uniform and I am? The principal was right to compare the school to a mosque and to quote the verse which permits us to dress well and appropriately in order to preserve our unique identity but without overstepping the mark in order to be conspicuous, as Maram does.