Monthly Archives: January 2017

Hijab – A Covering And Islamic Concept

At the outset, let us understand what is covering within its sanctity and modernity. In legality, there are different meanings of word ‘cover’ under various situations and usage. Cover as a pretext means camouflage, subterfuge and mask. Cover as a protection means to safeguard and veneer. However, the word ‘cover’ in associated concept means covering one’s assets, and woman’s asset is her overall body. Therefore, it is significantly beyond reasonable doubt and conspicuous in its entirety to protect it.

In modernity, the meaning and concept changes and continues to do so to suit political, social and commercial interests. In Islamic concept, it is safeguarding the modesty of women and upholding her dignity. Analyzing women’s dress code from ancient times to present-day, one can notice the volatility in fabric and style. It is unequivocally established that women are exploited to serve the vested interests of societies. In the bargain, the dress style and type of fabrics are used to stimulate the lust and passion of men of any class.

In olden days, men and women wore the dress fully covering their bodies. However, with progress of time, human dwellings and their conduct are altered dramatically. They acquired knowledge and wisdom and continue to do so in every aspect to their lives. Their journey, during the respective period, was continuously being modified keeping pace with the commercial and social aspects of life. Thus, the mindset has also changed accordingly, and it became more pronounced in twentieth century. By the turn of beginning of twenty-first century, the dress code took a volatility of unpropitious dimensions. Women are wearing less and less clothes as compared to men making it more voluptuous to on-looker.

The dress style and fabric become a sign of fashion in a few privileged classes of people. Thereby, it leaves a lasting impact among common masses, who blindly imitate them. They do it to tide over their inferiority complex. This is the crucial point which makes all the difference between affluent and average people. The poor or middle class tries to follow the footsteps of rich endeavoring to keep pace with their lives’ style. In the bargain, they suffer objectification, sexual harassment, and relationship aggression.

An important aspect of Hijab is not restricted to covering of women’s head by scarf only. The use of cloth to cover head alone and revealing body’s contour are significantly short of Hijab’s definition. The wearing of loose garment is obligatory for covering the entire body. There may be quite a lot of objections, criticism and ridiculing of the women wearing Hijab by media and other organization. The following paragraph substantiates concept and meaning of Hijab within the context of modesty and dignity.

Professor of psychology of Nebraska university, Dr. Sarah Gravais’ research focuses on woman’s issues. Her research on women and men of modernity specifically outlines the areas of observation with respect to them. Her research unequivocally establishes the fact that people look at men as a whole entity, whereas, women are observed part by part. Examining the dress women wears surely becomes the point of attraction to their body’s revealing contour. Therefore, the lustful mind and mentality of men irrespective of any class will look at women with vicious intentions. The rich will become the victim of exploitation within their class of people in disguise. However, the poor or fewer privileged women are exploited by every class of people.

The Islamic ethics and laws specify the dress code and their conduct of men and women in a more matured and logical way:

(1) The Quran says, “Say to the believing women that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts” (by being chaste).

(2) It also emphasizes and specifies the dresses as well. It says, “and not displays their beauty except what is apparent, and they should place their khumur (a loose cloth) over their bosoms.”

Both these Quranic verses establish the importance of casting down gaze towards opposite sexes and wearing loose garment.

A healthy outlook, practical aspect and logical thinking will establish the importance of Hijab within the Islamic and modernity concept. What conspires and transpires in the commercial and business circle is totally opposed to women’s dignity and chastity. Women are exploited to an extent that it falls to level of being an insignificant entity. The women’s dignity and respect are camouflage unabated to fulfill the desires of men. Undoubtedly, Hijab prevents such immorality and protects women’s dignity.

Hijab – Islamic Clothing for Women

Hijab primarily refers to head covering, veil or modest religious dressing used by Muslim women. Hijab is an Arabic word which means a cover or a curtain. In present times the term refers to an article of clothing used by women.

The Quran has used this word to refer to a dividing curtain that provides privacy. The Holy Book instructed Muslims to address the wives of the Holy Prophet (SAW) from behind a hijab, hence giving the term the status of a curtain or a divider. The concept of hijab as an article of clothing developed later through fiqh and hadith.

The Quran has used other words synonymous to hijab such askhimar andjilbab. Muslim women must not reveal their beauty in public and must dress up modestly. According to the Quran they must “draw their khimar over their bosoms” and keep themselves covered. The concept of wearing hijab however, has evolved with time, and its importance, style and use varies according to the cultural variations in different parts of the world. In some parts of the world hijab retains its religious importance while in others people have restricted the practice of wearing hijab to a few selected situations. For instance, Hijab is strictly required for women in public in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, in Turkey and France it is banned in educational institutions.

Muslim women must wear loose dresses that cover their body completely so that they do not draw sexual attention. They must cover their heads with a scarf, khimar or shaylah. Many scholars differ on how much of the clothing is required to fulfill the needs of hijab. Some agree at covering all parts of the body including face, hands and feet, others allow women to expose their face and hands while keeping the rest of the body covered. The laws for hijab are flexible for young girls as in many regions they must practice wearing it from puberty onwards.

There are different styles of hijab. Differences mainly are due to the differences of region and culture. Muslim women in the subcontinent, India and Pakistan, wear Burqa which is a two piece veil consisting of a head covering and a gown. Burqa is primarily black in colour but women use other colours to suit their taste and style. Women in that region also wear Niqaab – a veil covering head and face and falls down to bosom. Another kind of hijab is Abaya – an outer garment that covers women from head to toe and is usually made from black caftan. Abaya worn in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East is often embroidered and bedazzled. Another two piece veil for women is Bushiyya – a well-fitting cap prepared from cotton with a tube-like scarf. Bukhnuk is another veil which is shaped like a raincoat but falls down to the bosom only. Its edges are often embroidered to look beautiful. Afghan Burqa covers women from head to toe and has a grille over the face to help women look through. Iranian traditional hijab is Chador – a large semicircle of full-length fabric to cover women from head to toe.

Like women, men are also advised to dress up modestly and keep their heads covered. Muslim men cover their heads with scarves or turbans. Kuffiyya or Ghutra is one such checkered head scarf. Taqiyah a crochet cap is also worn by many Arab men.

Modern trends have changed the approach of many men and women towards Hijab. Men dress up modestly and a majority of them refrain from covering their heads except for prayer times. Many women have taken up more trendy ways of observing hijab. Some do not wear traditional robes but cover just their head and face with nicely printed Shayla or scarf, others enjoy wearing embroidered and beautifully designed Abaya to the traditional black robe.

Why Hijabs Can Be a Great Accessory For Women Facing Hair Loss

The significant symbol of a Muslim woman, the hijabs can also help non Muslim women who are facing temporary or permanent hair loss. The hair loss could be due to a number of reasons including health problems and medical treatments as well as post partum. The way to hide it is simple and easy with the help of trendy and stylish hijabs worn in a fashionable way to hide the obvious signs of hair loss.

Hijabs have been worn by Muslim women for centuries in order to keep their heads covered for modesty and decency. Although they are considered to be a religious icon specific to the followers of Islam, recent times have seen a change in this assumption. Certain non Muslim women also opt to wear these chic styled hijabs in order to keep their hair covered during times of hairlessness, whether for a short time or for prolonged use.

Hijabs available in lightweight fabrics such as 100% organic cotton and pure silk can be worn all year round due to the breathable material. Whether wearing them indoors or outdoors, this weightless material made scarves offer the perfect solution. During the summer time they are delicate enough to wear without feeling over heated. In the wintertime these gentle hijabs can be supplemented with woolen or polyester under scarves in order to keep the head warm.

The hijabs can be worn by women suffering baldness issue in more unconventional and untraditional ways than those used by Muslim women. The rectangular ones can be loosely draped around the head to cover the hair, or the square shaped ones can be folded into a triangle and pinned under the chin after placing upon the head.

A majority of women facing hair loss problems try different methods to hide it from others. Hats, caps and shawls all are options which they tend to explore. However, after trying various different alternatives, women like the look and feel of the classy hijab style headgear to solve their dilemma. The caps, hats, bandannas and shawls do not offer the flexibility of using your own choice of fabric as they are available in pre fabricated materials. The convenience of choosing the fabric and material which suits your skin type, weather conditions and other environmental factors are a big plus when it comes to opting to wear hijabs. All these reasons add up in favour of the Islamic headgear, which becomes the obvious choice of non Muslim women suffering from hair loss.

The Hijab Facts

What is a Hijab? This will be a strange question if one is not a Muslim. Hijab is the modest dress for Muslim women, which most Islamic legal systems define as covering everything except the face and hands in public. There is always a misconception among people that the Muslim women are forced to wear Hijab. This thought about Hijabs is absolutely wrong. To make you understand the fact, I have explained the real meaning of Hijabs here. Just keep reading on to discover the truth.

For a better understanding, the word “HIJAB” can be explained letter by letter. To start with, the word ‘H’ stands for headscarf. Most people out there think that having a face veil is mandatory for proper Hijab. The truth is that, for a Muslim woman to follow proper Hijab, it’s enough to cover her hair, neck, and bosom. Covering the face is not mandatory and in fact, there are absolutely no evidences to suggest that Muslim women are to cover their faces.

The second letter ‘I, goes for intentions. What do you think is the reason behind Muslim women wearing a Hijab? Compulsion? No, the absolute reason for this is their belief in GOD. They believe that God (Allah in Arabic) tells them to follow the principles of clothing. When wearing Hijab, it literally means that we are pleasing God (hopefully) and we are guarding our modesty, and we are respecting ourselves and our communities by not showing off body parts that nobody should see unless that person is our husband or very close relative.

However, Hijab is not just a headscarf. It is the complete way of covering your body. The only parts of a woman’s body that can shown to the public are her hands, face, and some say, feet. The third letter ‘J’ of Hijab stands for Jilbab which constitutes the outer garment. It describes a garment that we wear on top of our underclothes. The underclothes can be anything like a long dress, a shirt and pants, a jacket and long skirt, etc.

It is well known that a Muslim women’s attire must meet the requirements like: Her clothing must not be tight, her clothing must not be sheer, her clothing must not reveal the shape of her body, and her clothing must not resemble clothing that is primarily worn by men. So the letter ‘a’ stands for ‘attire’.

As already said in the beginning of this article, people have a misconception that Muslim women are forced to sacrifice their beauty by wearing the Hijabs. Muslim woman can do things to make herself feel beautiful and look presentable to the outside world. She can wear clothing that is colorful (although it shouldn’t be extravagant), she can wear jewelry like Hijab pins that pleases her (although she should make sure that her jewelry isn’t so noisy that it attracts attention), and she can use beauty products that give her a polished look. A Muslim woman should always look neat, clean, and beautiful.

A Blend Of Fashion And Modesty

Every religion has its dress code. The Islamic tradition requires the women of its community to be modest in their dress. As such, the abaya and the hijab define a Muslim woman’s attire. Although the abaya is an example of conservative clothing, it need not lack luster. Modern designs and styles have made it possible for women to showcase their personal styles without showing any disregard for their beliefs and religion.

For those of you unaware of what an abaya is, it is a long-sleeve, loose-fitting robe designed to be worn over regular clothing. It resembles a caftan in its design. It is paired with a head scarf called a hijab. This cloak-like garment has different names depending on the country such as ‘Burqa’ in South Asia and a ‘Chador’ in Iran.

Color options

Traditionally, all abayas were made in black colored fabrics. Black is still the preferred color in most Muslim countries; however, they are also available in an array of other colors as long as they do not attract unnecessary attention. Women prefer earthy tones over bold colors. Along with solid colors, women have also started experimenting with printed fabrics.

Fit and Style

The abaya must cover the entire length of the arm. Thus, although designers cannot do much with the length, they are tailoring sleeves in different shapes. They are also available in a range of basic and luxurious designs. While most are made in a straight fit from top to bottom, a few are more fitted at the higher and lower waist. They either come stitched in that style or feature a separate sash or belt that fits tight around the waist. There are designs with high collars and a flare fit too.

Fabric Choices

They are made in a variety of light fabrics such as cotton, crepe, georgette silk, chiffon and rayon. Silk and chiffon give the best looks owing to the rich and luxuriant fabrics. You can choose one that offers the highest level of comfort.

Embellishments and Embroidery

Modern style abayas also set themselves apart from traditional designs by means of the accents they feature. Embroidered cloaks are becoming increasing popular in Islamic and non-Islamic countries. Simple embroidery is done along the sleeves and around the neck. A few also features embroidered designs along the seams and the edges. Jeweled embellishments and sequins look elegant and impressive against the backdrop of solid colors. Others also feature lace embellishments and sashes.

Experimenting with the Hijab

Another way to spice up your abaya outfit without compromising on modesty is to play with the style and design of the hijab. You can buy a range of hijabs in solid colors and printed fabrics and pair them stylishly with your abaya. You can add some bling with a jeweled pin or a broche. You can also tie the hijab in different styles.

The industry for abaya fashions has indeed matured over the years. There are haute couture abaya designs too available exclusively at designer stores. Often they are made in a single piece; the designs are unique and not repeated especially for women belonging to the elite classes. Many designers show case their designs at fashion shows in different parts of the world.