What is the Hijab? The word itself comes from the arabic word “hajaba” meaning to conceal or hide from view. Hijab is the modest covering of the head and body of muslim women.
Who has to wear it? All muslim adults are supposed to wear the appropriate hijab for their sex.This is one Hadith related by Abu Dawood: “Ayesha(r) reported that Asmaa bint Abu Bakr(r) came to the Messenger of Allah(swt) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: ‘O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this.’ He pointed to the face and hands.”
Why do they have to wear it? Muslims must wear the hijab because Allah(swt) ordered it. Muslims have two sources for guidance. The first and most important source is Qur’an, the revealed word of Allah(swt). They may then use Hadith which is the sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) who was chosen by Allah(swt) to be a role model for mankind.
Here are two passages from the Qur’an that order the hijab.
“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…” (Qur’an 33:59)
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah (swt) is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty to their husbands…” (Qur’an 24:30-31)
An Iranian school girl is quoted as saying, “We want to stop men from treating us like sex objects, as they have always done. We want them to ignore our appearance and to be attentive to our personalities. We want them to take us seriously and treat us as equals and not chase us around for our bodies and physical looks.” Refer to 1st section of THIS PAGE for a debate on Women & Islam
What do they get out of dressing like that? By covering our beauty, we are evaluated for our intelligence and skills instead of looks and sexuality. Many women who cover are filled with dignity and self-esteem and are happy to be identified as a muslim woman. By wearing hijab the woman is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to shine. Aside from that, it is pleasing to Allah and in return we earn blessings from wearing it.
What is the “dress code”? Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that muslims must wear. There are however, some requirements that must be met. These include:
Body must be covered
Loose Clothing-The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the body.
Thick Material-The garments must be thick enough to hide the shape of the body and the color of the skin.
Modesty-The dress should not be ragged or fancy. It should be clean and dignified looking.
Suitability-This is another Hadith from Bukhari “Ibn Abbas narrated:
‘The Prophet(saw) cursed the men who appeared like women and the women who appeared like men.'”
Clothing is only one facet of hijab. It is also behavior, manner, and speech. Women who wear the hijab do not find it inhibiting, impractical, or interfering. We should wear the hijab to show our identity as muslims. More importantly, we should wear it to show our love and respect for Almighty Allah and his instructions.