Nigeria Scholars Encourage Girls to Don Hijab

CAIRO – Amid recurrent calls to ban the Islamic headwear in Nigeria, Muslim scholars have encouraged Muslim women to don hijab as an act of faith and obedience to their Creator.

“Hijab is an injunction from Allah. It does not diminish your intellect, instead, it enhances your beauty and dignify you as a Muslim woman,’’ Prof. Kamil Oloso, Head of Department, Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, told Premium Times.

Oloso, who doubles as the Chairman, Board of Religious Affairs (BORA) of Bodija Estates and Environs Muslim Community (BEEMC), said it was surprising for anybody or institution to be antagonizing or legislating against divine commandment.

He was speaking during a lecture organized by Bodija Muslim Youth Forum at the Islamic Centre in Ibadan on the topic: “Hijab: Why the Controversy”.

The lecture coincided with the celebration of World Hijab Day event marked each February 1st across the world.

Oloso encouraged Muslim girls and women wearing it not to despair or be intimidated as they are protected under both the divine law and Nigerian constitution.

A similar opinion was shared by Abdulhakeem Ishola, an Ibadan-based Islamic scholar who was the guest lecturer at the occasion.

Ishola traced the origin and types of hijab, saying it is a dress code prescribed for female Muslims who have reached puberty.

He added that hijab is an “act of liberation, purity and most importantly, belief. Respect for women is an important aspect of Islamic teachings, and this is illustrated through the use of hijab”.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Anti-Hijab tirades have increased recently in Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari said that the nation might consider a ban on hijab, if terrorists continue to use women in hijab to bomb innocent citizens.

The comments were vehemently rejected by leaders of Islamic groups; leading to announcement from the President that hijab would not be banned, contrary to his media chat.

Muslim women protested security forces’ harassment that followed the suggestion to ban hijab.