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A question regarding a husband his wife and the Hijab
Why Wear the Hijab?
A few common reasons why Muslim women wear the Hijab? Why do these women conceal their bodies and hair? Isn’t showing off our beauty and attracting others towards ourselves the norm? Has anyone ever seen their hair? What about on hot days, don’t these girls pass out when the sweltering heat accumulates all around their heads? Has anyone ever seen their hair? Oh no, how do they shower with that thing on?!
A few common reasons why Muslim women wear the HijabSo you’re a non-Muslim and have no idea why the oddball hippie and/or possibly emo girls have started dressing like nuns. All right, we’ll give you some credit. We know you don’t live under a rock, so the minute you see a woman wandering in the shopping mall with a scarf covering her hair, you think: Muslim! (Or if you’re easily persuaded by the media, you’re probably thinking more along the lines of the T word which has more or less become our nickname since 9/11, although we assure you we have no more idea than you do about where bin Laden is currently hiding.)
Still feeling a bit weird, nervous, and of course awkward for even being in the same mall, let alone walking close to or talking to this covered lady, you discreetly observe her from a distance and watch her every move – you know, just to make sure she’s pulling out your favorite brand of tissues out of her purse.
She comes your way and you try eavesdropping on anything and everything that comes out of her mouth. Surprisingly, the scarfed woman seems relatively sane and politely spoken. Hey, she isn’t so bad after all!
Okay, so now we have established who Muslim women are: school-goers, stay-at-home mums, your child’s kindergarten teacher, your neighbor’s babysitter – basically, ordinary women! Yet the questions remain unanswered: why do these women conceal their bodies and hair? Isn’t showing off our beauty and attracting others towards ourselves the norm? What about on hot days, don’t these girls pass out when the sweltering heat accumulates all around their heads? Has anyone ever seen their hair? Oh no, how do they shower with that thing on?!
Literal Meaning of Hijab
The word Hijab literally means a curtain or veil and is best understood by exploring the Islamic concept of modesty. Muslim men and women are required to be modest while mingling with unrelated members of the opposite gender. The content of our speech, the way we communicate, the way we laugh and joke around, our behavior and social etiquette in general should all be transmitted to the other party in a way that attracts the least amount of the wrong form of attention. Additionally, we are required to “lower our gazes” and respect other men or women by not eying them from head to toe (i.e. checking them out). Similarly, the physical Hijab establishes healthy distances of physical contact (not even a handshake with the opposite gender!). Lastly, this modesty must also be manifested in the way we dress.
In order to appear modest, Muslim women are required by their faith to observe the most visible form of the Hijab in public – the headscarf to cover our hair and full-length clothing to conceal the shape of our bodies. Non-Muslims often ponder how it is possible and why a woman would ever voluntarily want to conceal what every other woman takes pride in revealing – her beauty. From a very long list, presented below are the most common reasons why Muslim women observe the Hijab.
To Please Our Creator
Muslims recognize God Almighty as the grand creator and supreme authority over the universe, and hence the religion He has sent – Islam – is a complete way of life for us. Accordingly, Divine law is followed at all times, and submitting to God’s commandments is in itself a form of worship. After telling Muslim men to lower their gazes, the Holy Qur’an reminds women: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments, except what (ordinarily) appear thereof.” (24:31) In line with this Qur’anic verse, we do not display our beauty simply because it is the command of our Lord!
Taking a Stand against Female Exploitation
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