Hijab and Muslim Women



What is Hijab?

 Hijab is an Arabic word meaning a cover or a barrier. In a broader sense, the principle of hijab applies to both men and women. Men are required to lower their gazes in front of women who are not their mahrams* and women to cover their body from the gazes of men to guard their modesty. There are different types of hijab but our focus today is on the most popular and visible form of hijab; Head Covering. 


Hijab is a headscarf that covers the head and upper neck but exposes the face. It is an act of obedience to Allah. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said:

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ father, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons. Or their women, or their slaves, or male attendant who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness.”           [Al-Qur’an 24:31]


Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has made adherence to the hijab a manifestation for chastity and modesty. Allah said:

 “ O prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed(molested). Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful”   [Al-Qur’an 33:59]


At what age should should a girl start wearing hijab?

A girl should start wearing hijab once she get her first period. After puberty, a girl is obligated to pray, fast and wear hijab. However, some parents start at an early age to help their daughters to get used to the practice and make it easy for them when they grow up.


Are there any benefits to wearing hijab?

Yes, hijab represents a woman’s submission to Allah and her connection with the faith. It is a form of obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). A women who wears hijab liberates herself from vain and selfish desire to show off or compete with other women. She dose not have to live up to societies’ expectation or use her beauty to obtain recognition or acceptance from people around her. Wearing hijab protect muslim women from the ideals of the fashion world of what to wear and not, and how one should look.


Is hijab a form of oppression?

Hijab is a symbol of modesty, it empowers you. It forces people to go beyond your looks and see you for who you truely are. If you chose to wear hijab everyday, do it for the sake of Allah, no pressure from family, friends or societies. Hijab is not a form of oppression, the western beauty standards and over-sexualisation of women is the oppression.









* Mahram is a member of one’s family with whom marriage is prohibited (haram)


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