Nine 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.
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.
“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.”
Hijab is a journey for sisters in Islam. For some, it is easy to wear and feel comfortable with. For others, it can be a challenge and many have obstacles that they have to overcome. But it is a test for all Muslim women.
I Love Islam from our Facebook page, highlighted how hard it could be to wear in a non-Muslim country. “I find it to be difficult sometimes when you live in a community that have no Muslims or few Muslims Alhamdulilah for everything ya Rabb!”
Nia Rankin from our About Islam Supporting Convert’s group has started to feel a sense of pride identifying as a servant of Allah over time.
“Over time I’ve started to feel a sense of pride in publicly identifying as a servant of Allah and in doing my best to be a good representative in my interactions with Muslims and non-Muslims. I’ve discovered that hijab is not only for us but also it’s a great opportunity to let our Akhlaaq be a form of dawah.
“May Allah bless all of our sisters who are in varying stages of this journey and make it easy for them. Ameen.”
We live in a world that is full of hyper-sexuality, where the perfect woman has to be slim, with a good figure, showing off that figure, hair and her beauty.
And whilst many believe this is a woman’s choice, if she wishes to do that, Muslim women strongly believe that they are entitled to cover their beauty and body. This should not be demonized by the press as being oppression. On the contrary, just as it is the right for a woman to wear little, it is the right for a woman to cover.
There is something so beautiful about covering one’s body. It empowers the woman to choose who she wants to see her beauty and her body and who she doesn’t. That is not oppression. That is a blessing. Hijab is a blessing.
Hijab makes people know the women behind the veil rather than what her body looks like or how beautiful she is.
At the end of the day, many of our sisters in our audience feel that hijab is a blessing to them and they are proud to wear it.
Karima Foster from our Facebook page feels proud that it identifies her as a Muslim: “I wear my hijab proudly. It identifies who I am as a Muslim.”
Maha Azam from our Facebook page states that wearing hijab was her best decision. “Wearing hijab was my best decision.”
These are the opinions of a few Muslim women, but many others will identify with these comments. Hijab is not a sign of a weak, oppressed woman. On the contrary, it is sign of a strong woman, proud that she is a Muslim and proud that she is following the command of Allah.
Link to our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1042622805875439