What is a hijab?
Hijab does not mean hiding your beauty nor does it make you less beautiful in any way. It gives a sense of security to a woman and it’s not used to disgrace her.
At the same time, it is strongly advised that she starts dressing modestly. In Islam wearing a ‘black burka’ or headscarf is not the main requirement as most people like to associate the ‘hijab’ with a black cloak covering. Some even go to the extent and ask why do Muslim women dress like ninjas? Covering the face is not mandatory and some women simply do this for their own self contentment.
The clothing should be loose, so the body shape is not revealed. Some cultures have specific clothing for females and may be offended by some of the types of clothing available in the western world. A Muslim woman is free to wear any kind of modest clothing, as long as it meets the standards and is not too revealing.
Although there are many benefits of Hijab. It is first and foremost a commandment from Allah. Therefore, wearing it is an act of faith and obedience to the creator, as mentioned in the Quran :
‘’TELL THE BELIEVING WOMEN TO DRAW THEIR OUTER GARMENTS AROUND THEM.’’ QURAN 33:59
Hijab does not mean that you are not like other Women. It means that you choose to save yourself from other social evils. Hijab provides a sense of security to a woman. It increases her confidence because she knows that she is well covered and can move around easily in areas which are congregated by male counterparts.
IDENTIFICATION OF MUSLIM WOMEN
Hijab in Islam in some sense is the main identification of a Muslim woman. However, Islam gives women rights in the home as well as in society. The other valuable privileges they have are the right to earn their own money, to buy and own property, to be educated, entitlement to family inheritance, to be treated with love, to vote, keeping their maiden name, to be able to worship in a mosque and to divorce. One might have observed that Muslim women are gaining the finest education.
When the weather is hot people will recognize a Muslim lady due to their attire and may think that they are at risk due to to the way they are covered up. However, there are plenty of ways around this and the hijab can be adjusted according to needs as long as it follows the basic principles.
WHY DO MUSLIM WOMEN WEAR HIJAB
Women have been given the utmost respect and highest status in Islam. Hijab is not just a dress code, it signifies something deeper. For Example, it is a barrier between a man and a Muslim woman. In essence, Hijab provides the Muslim woman with both spiritual and physical peace and harmony.
Types of Islamic Veils
Hijab: The term tends to be used as a catchall in the West for all Islamic head coverings, but is mainly used to mean a headscarf. For Muslim women representation in media and popular culture, this is the most commonly used word. However, there is no uniform style for what hijabs look like or which are worn across the Muslim world. Hijabs come in many patterns, fabrics, colours, and styles. In more liberal societies, it is up to personal preference to determine the type most commonly worn and referred to that covers the head and neck but leaves the face unobstructed.
The word “hijab” means many different things in Arabic as well, as evidenced by this screenshot of Google Translate. The end of this article outlines a number of trends for how to style and wear a hijab.
A Shayla is a long, rectangular scarf, wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders. It is popular in the Persian Gulf. It is often used int
erchangeably with the word hijab, but this specific term designates a garment that leaves the face uncovered, where hijabs do not always imply that. There are a variety of fashions, colours, fabrics, and styles that constitute this fashion style.
An Eşarp is a silk square scarf that is worn by women in Turkey. It is special for its material, but ranges in many different designs and colours.
A Tudung (also spelt tudong) is the most popular head covering for Muslim women in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia and Brunei, the tudong is worn for religious regions in accordance with Islam. Usually, there is no distinction between the tudung and hijab as it covers the hair, ears, neck while leaving only the face exposed. It is part of the standard dress code for many offices, school uniforms, and formal public gatherings. In Indonesia, a tudung is slightly different and is a veil that has a sewn-in curved visor to shield the wearer from the harsh sunlight.
A chador is a semicircle of fabric draped over the head like a shawl. The chador has no fasteners and is generally held together in the front under the neck by hand. In some cases, there are added pins or ties to keep it steady. Black is generally the most popular public colour, but women often wear colourful versions at home or at the mosque. Chadors are popular mostly in Iran or countries with large Shia populations. Occasionally, it is worn with a smaller headscarf underneath.
the Al-Amira (sometimes spelt Ameera) is a two-piece veil made of a close-fitting cap, usually made from cotton or another lightweight material, and a tube-like scarf.
The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down further than other veils, generally to just above the waist. Khimars often cover the hair, neck, and shoulders completely, but leave the face clear. However, some khimars go all the way down to the knees, as is popular for some Egyptian women. Historically, khimar refers to any article of clothing that promotes modesty, covering the chest and protecting her from the gaze of unrelated men.
The battoulah is probably one of the least known or recognized articles. It is a mask that generally is made out of a thick fabric occasionally considered a type of niqab because of the modesty it allows its wearer. The battoulah is worn by women in certain areas of several Gulf countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, and additionally in southern Iran. It is typically worn by Bedouins and older, married women more specifically. In rough terrain of the desert, it is credited with keeping dust out of one’s nose and mouth. The tradition is dying out with the younger generations so it is not experiencing an emergence in the fashion sphere as others on this list, but many are choosing to adopt the cultural practice in order to keep the tradition alive.
The burka (also spelt burqa) is the second most conservative and body covering of any of these styles on the list after the following boshiya. This veil covers the entire face, with a crocheted mesh grill over the eye area. The burka is worn mainly in Afghanistan, as it is enforced by the Taliban. It has been worn traditionally throughout Central Asian countries and has been made out of a variety of materials, including horse hair. In Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, most burqas are blue, but in other parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, they’re brown, green, or white. The politics around the burqa are interesting and invokes many questions about politics, religion, and social status.
The boshiya (also called a bushiyyah or ghatwa) is the most conservative style on this list. It is similar to the burka, but does not have even an opening for the eyes and instead fully covers the face. It consists of a large square of thin, cotton gauze material with ties at the top. It is fastened from the top of the forehead and shrouds the entire face as the cloth falls down.
A dupatta is part of the customary Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi outfits. It is a long rectangular veil that is usually made of light material and is beautifully embroidered on the edges. Muslim women may also use it as a headscarf as well. This term encompasses a wide range of materials from very light and transparent to heavily detailed, elaborate embroidery and patterns. It is not uncommon to see very shiny gold and silver dupattas.
Also mentioned in the Quran, the term Jilbab generally refers to a protective article of clothing, not a specific garment. In North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, a jilbab usually means a long dress or tunic. However, if you are in Indonesia, it refers to any style of modest dress, especially a headscarf, that covers head to toe.
A niqab is a veil that is worn in conjunction with a headscarf to covers all of a woman’s face with a slit for the eyes. It is normally a black piece and is worn with a loose body garment that covers the rest of the woman. There are generally two main of niqabs:
The full niqab covers the face and head fully, besides a cut out for the eyes. This garment is popular in many of the Gulf states.
The half niqab leaves the eyes and the forehead unobstructed. It is worn frequently in South Asia and North Africa.
Doa Guan directly means “dress for praying.” This versatile clothing article slips over the clothing of women in two pieces: the gown and the headscarf. The doa gaun is brought along with women to facilitate proper praying at all times. With the convenience of this, women can stop in the nearest mosque, quickly slip it over the clothing they are wearing and take it off post prayer to continue the day.
As portrayed on the Sports Illustrated cover with model Halima Aden, a burkini is a modest swimsuit designed for women. The burkini intends to cover the whole body except the face, the hands and the feet while being comfortable and light enough to swim. The design is intended to honour Islamic ideals of modest dress while allowing the wearer to participate in aquatic activities.
More specific veil styling and fashion:
As stated throughout this article many times, there are numerous differences in Islamic veils ranging from style, to modesty, to colour, to design, to pattern, etc. As a result, there has been an increasing trend in modest fashion that is receiving a platform like never before with social media. Many different websites have headlines and articles such as the following at fustany.com:
Here are some of the most recent trends in hijab wear:
Although less modest than other forms of veils, there is a strong fashion movement that is emerging with this head covering. An article written by author Afia Ahmed says, “The turban has become the symbol of the New Muslim Woman. A marker of success, liberation, and modernity.” However, many hijab-wearing Muslim women do not think that turbans are a legitimate religious expression. They argue that a hijab is supposed to cover the entire head and neck instead of merely just the hair. Turbans leave much skin in the neck, ears, and chin area uncovered. It has been an interesting public debate but it is undeniable that they are a large trend and industry.
There has been a recent trend to style different accessories on top of the hijab such as hats, beanies, and earrings. Here are some examples:
There are also trends to hang jewellery and other fancy accessories off the hijab to give it some sparkle.
The three following hijabs give an idea for all of the different things you can do with a hijab. There are many ways to give it some sparkle, add some texture, and express yourself and your personal style.
Hijabs with volume:
A popular trend in many Gulf Countries is to make the hijab as big as possible. This is achieved by piling up their hair in high ponytails and buns and then proceeding to wrap large scarves around. The end result stands out in a crowd for sure. Within this larger category, there are many different tricks and tips people use to diversify their hijab looks. Techniques regarding the folding, tying and pinning all have an impact on the way the hijab looks.
There is no consensus about how old you should be before you start wearing a hijab. Thus, it is not uncommon to see a young girl wearing one. However, the discipline to wear a hijab in terms of the heat, the scratchiness, and the unfamiliarity has deterred many young children from wanting to wear them. As a result, there has been an emergence in decorative hijabs to entice people to wear them.
Wow, there really are a lot of different types of veils!
Yep, absolutely. It is important to understand that there are numerous variations. The mere term “hijab” is not enough to describe all of the broad range of options. These veils can be anything the wearer wants them to be. Whether it is elaborate smokey eye makeup combined with a bold shade of lipstick or dangling earrings or the combo look with the skinny jeans. Whether it is a black Chador or a colourful, clashing print neon Tudung in Indonesia. Whether it is the blue Taliban enforced burka in Iran or the family tradition of a Battoulah passed through the generations, there is so much to learn about this topic.