Eleven years ago, World Hijab Day was marked for the first time, on February 1st, in recognition of millions of Muslims who choose to wear hijab and modest clothing.
Since then the day has become an annual event that allows non-Muslims to support Muslim women, in addition to understanding and experiencing what it is like to wear hijab for a day.
At AboutIslam.net, we decided to ask our female audience what hijab means to them. The vast majority of them maintain that hijab is a command from Allah.
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The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your 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 recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” Al Qur’an, 33:59. Allah has given us specific instruction to dress modestly and to hide our beauty to strange men.
Hijab is seen as a sign of oppression to many in the West. This is how the media wish to stereotype Muslim women: weak, oppressed females who are submissive to the men in their family. This is not correct whatsoever. When one takes the time to research and look into Islam, they will find that Islam gave women their rights over 1400 years ago.
What’s more, men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah. They have different roles and responsibilities in society and in the family. Yet, they will be rewarded equally for the good deeds that they do and the piety they show.
Hijab in Other Religions
Covering is an act of piety in all religions. Think of Christianity, think of nuns, think of how they cover. It is no different to Muslim women who wish to cover their bodies and their hair in hijab.
Siobhan O’Brien, a member of our About Islam Supporting Convert’s group makes this point perfectly: “I tell Muslims how hijab makes me think of the Virgin Mary. I know wearing hijab makes a lot of sisters feel close to Maryam who was the greatest woman of her time.”
Maria Green, another member of the group also reflected on how she loves covering herself for her own protection.
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“My hijab is me not only for modesty but my protection from the world of preying eyes, for Allah yes and also for me. I love covering and wouldn’t have it any other way now. Islam is beautiful.”