In The Beginning
In this blog, we will talk about one part of our identity and appearance. That is the Veil or as it is called in Islam: the Hijab. The veil is an article of clothing that is intended to cover a part of the head or face or an object of significance. Thus, veils are usually to cover something or someone of significance. Hijab in Islam is mentioned in the Holy Book of Muslims: The Qurán,
and to wrap [ a portion of] their headcovers over their chests...”
Many Muslim women, choose to wear Hijab for religious reasons. They wear it for modesty and faith although in some countries that would pose a challenge for them. However, in some cultures, Hijab and covering are a form of adhering to customs and cultural traditions.
Hijab in History: Other Forms and Cultures’ Adoption
In history, people of high importance would use veils. This appears in how brides, for example, put on veils. Originally it was believed that evil spirits would attack brides while they were walking down the aisle in their ceremonies. That was to make brides unhappy and stop them from completing their events. Brides had to hide their identity by covering their heads and faces with veils to protect themselves. Then, brides’ veils became a tradition, and new meanings were associated with them.
Veils are known for protection. Even its meaning in the dictionary like in Collins is “not openly or directly expressed” which means it has elements of protecting and hiding.
As noticed veils have been mainly for women due to the meaning attached to them like in Christianity for example that of submission to the love and care of Jesus and spouses. While in Islam women were mainly known for veils where it is called hijab. Hijab in Islam is associated with faith, modesty, piety, and submission to Allah s.w.t.
Although veil is for women, some normed tribes like Tuareg, men cover to protect themselves from the dust and heat of the desert. One used to see veiled women in Europe, Asia, and Africa historically. Muslim women have not been the only women who worn hijab, but this practice was clear for women in Christianity and Judaism.
The veiling and covering in the West dated back a thousand years ago; and it was for different purposes like beautification, religion, social status, and anthropological reasons. In Greece for example, married women were expected to cover as a sign of modesty and respectability. Also, in other parts of Europe in the early modern age veiling continued to be a code of clothing of marital status.
Hijab and Veiling Continue to Exist as an Article of Clothing for Women
However, at the beginning of the twentieth Century, the change of lifestyle and economic and belief systems in the West caused the cease of veiling except for mourning where veiling kept itself to represent sincerity. Moreover, the movement of women's liberation in the West changed so many things in Western women's lives. Hijab among Muslim women, nevertheless, registered an obvious increase, especially since the seventieth of the twentieth century. The hijab in Islam although was stated in the Holy Book of Muslims, the Qurán, not every Muslim woman adopts it. This is because everyone has her journey that she would adjust to, and there are views on the matter she would choose to adopt differently among them.
Modern Age Hijab: Modesty Meets Trends
The increase of Hijab and hijabies among Muslim women caused a flourishment of hijab styles and fashion. Nowadays we have modest fashion that incorporates different hijabies styles, tastes, weather, occupations, and budgets. Hijabies’ fashion in modern life started to follow trends and engaging & interesting lines. The fabrics used in this fashion have undergone so many changes and they were carefully selected to provide comfort and ease during and for putting on to enable hijabies the freedom to accomplish work.
Freedom of Commitment and Choice in Islam
Despite the fashion and different styles that hijab declares itself among Muslims, it has remained a non-ambiguous manifestation of Islamic identity. The fact that hijab is recording an increase shows how it is of value that it poses so many challenges to stop it like what happened in other religions and cultures, but it strives and resists to continue in existence. Nevertheless, to go on in its path and life journey, we cannot ignore the importance of freedom that Muslim women should have in their choice of wearing it as they will undergo a lot to keep it on, particularly in the West.
Freedom and the ability to choose are very honored in Islam in every commitment Muslims have to make. Consequently, they will be accountable for the results and the incurred events and actions. No one has the eligibility to erase this right which was given by Allah s.w.t. even at the crucial matter of adopting Islam and believing in Allah or choosing other than that
”وقل الحق من ربكم فمن شاء فاليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر”
Hijab and its Lessons for Muslim Women
Freedom goes hand in hand with beauty. Beauty in everything, nowadays fashions of hijab help Muslim women to choose being hijabies and at the same time enjoy their longing for being themselves on all occasions and circumstances. Modernation in every aspect of our life aims at making our lives easier and modest fashions and industry are no exception; they support our journey of glamour, confidence, and faith.
Hijab even goes deeper than that. It assists in supporting women in their journey of having their rights and contributing to the society. Being modest and pious instill the Muslim woman with inner strength and encompass glamor and confidence to hold her head high. Furthermore, she would be humbled with gratitude for the blessing to be able to do that which would fill her with love for humanity.
The hijab teaches Muslim women to concentrate on the inner beauty which, on the contrary to outer beauty, increases by years that pass. With hijab we learn to choose, we learn to decide, and we shine with confidence. These are the elements of success and when we succeed, we become more attractive.
Also, when we concentrate on inner beauty we turn into more interesting individuals. The hijab shows us how to choose to cover our physical beauty to let our souls shine from within and continue shining over the years. With Hijab we can enjoy our Deen and Donia at the same time.
All in all, hijab is common among us all despite different religions and cultures. Some wear Hijab for religious reasons while others put it on for traditions as a form of modesty even for non-hijabies.