Friday, January 23, 2009

Is Muslim Hijab a Head Covering?

"Do Headscarfs = Hijab?"
By Humza Mullick, in the SaudiGazette.com

Many times we will read of Muslim women and the headscarf, as if their head covering is a similar thing to a Jewish hair covering or Christian headcovering. But except for the similarity of materials and how we wear them, and the fact that it is worn in obedience to God (and not merely some overbearing male mandate), there is a wider meaning behind the term "hijab" than just "head covering". First, it is not merely a sign that she is Muslim; anyone can wear a head scarf and even tie it up in a certain way. Nor is there a particular requirement for a sort of style in the Quran to mark her as a follower of Islam. What marks her faith here is that she obeys the concept of "hijab" - a veiling or sheilding of her self - all of her self, including her head and hair. You can read more of an explanation of this at the article linked above. Including these comments below:

. . . A major mistake many make is restricting the term ‘Hijab’ to mean a flimsy scarf that covers the hair only; in other words, a ‘headscarf.’ Some Muslim women in the West wear tight jeans, t-shirts and a headscarf while going out and think they are adhering to the Islamic dress code. This is incorrect.
. . .
Hijab is for all times and all places, not restricted for Muslim lands alone. Some wear Hijab in Muslim lands and switch to headscarfs in the West. We have to fear Allah everywhere we go and this dysfunctional practice is a direct result of our weakness in our understanding of Tawheed (monotheism) and a deficiency in our Aqeedah (belief). Hijab is a protection of Muslim women’s honour and respect.

I remember an occasion when I was working in the UK. A co-worker was showing his wife’s picture to the staff, who were gloating over her and making obscene comments. They then approached me and started asking me about my wife and her looks. I obviously didn’t pull out a snapshot of her.

Instead, I told them that she was my honor and explained the concept of Hijab to them. I asked them that if they had 10 pounds, would they show and wave it around for everyone to see? They all replied in the negative. I then questioned if the 10 pounds were more precious than one’s wife? Our Muslims sisters are our honor!
Islam is about submission to the Creator in all aspects of our lives. When we are instructed to do something by Allah, we should just “hear and obey.”

I found the photo above in this article

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For a more indepth discussion of these things, you may also be interested in these very informative articles at "Seeking His Pleasure Through Patience":

"The Issue of the Veil Pt 1- Khimaar"
"The Issue of the Veil Pt 2- Jilbaab"
"The Issue of the Veil Pt 3 - Hijaab"
"The Issue of the Veil Pt 4 - Niqaab"


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And in the news:
- Albania to allow headscarf ID photos
- Though Taliban's out, headscarves remain a tradition
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