I am a Muslim women and I have chosen to wear the hijjab.
I am always excited to answer questions about why I have chosen to follow this rule of Islam, but these days no one asks me anymore. This is probably because I am currently based in the muslim majority country of Bangladesh. (Weirdly and as a matter of fact, we muslims who chose to wear the hijjab also need to be reminded of it’s purpose from time to time). I was super happy when a fellow friend of mine sent me a direct message on my Instagram asking me about my hijjab. I thought instead of explaining to her in a hurry I should write a blog to help her understand.
Thank you Kimmie, this one’s for you 🙂
We know hijjab as the scarf head covering women wear around their head and following with it covering their body with loose clothing. Basically, not exposing their skin except the face,and hands. Hijjab does not stop there. Hijjab does not only mean a head or body covering. Actually, hijjab is a code of conduct for muslims to follow. For men and women both. Yes men have a hijjab as well!
First, we have to understand what the hijjab is in the context of the religion of Islam. We all have our opinions and what not, but that doesn’t define the true meaning of hijjab – or anything for a matter of fact. I could give a thousand explanations of what outer space contains but we have more correct information when we learn correct details of the subject matter.
Rules and instructions of Islam are found in two primary sources – Quran (word of God) and Hadith (collection of sayings of the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, which have been scientifically authenticated). Both of the sources mention Hijjab.
What does the Quran say?
Guess what guys, the Quran mentions the Hijjab of the men BEFORE it mentions hijjab of the women. Hijjab, code of conduct, is first emphasised for the men in the following verses of the Quran :
- Surah Nur, Ch. No. 24, Verse No. 30, it says to the believing man, that… ‘He should lower his gaze and guard his modesty’
After it speaks to the men, then it speaks to the women :
- Surah Nur, Ch. 24, Verse No. 31, says… ‘Say to the believing woman, that she should lower her gaze and guard her modesty and display not her beauty, except what is that necessary of, and to draw a head covering over her bosom, except in front of her father, her son, her husband’.
This is also followed by a criteria that women should follow and helps us to know where we can be without hijjab (head / body full covering)
So what’s the purpose?
- Mind over matter:
Ok guys, you know how we don’t want to be judged by what we look like? You know how we have all those movements on instagram calling for body positivity and recognizing all shapes exist? You know how we all want to help our sisters around the world love our bodies and appreciate what we have? THIS IS IT.
Islam teaches women that your body, what you look like underneath should not a criteria on which you are judged. Islam teaches us to see the intellect first. Islam teaches us to not become obsessed with what we look like but rather work on our mental strengths. This is the essence of hijjab. Hijjab is our reminder that our body is a temporary asset, we should keep is healthy and maintain a healthy relationship with it. Instead of being materialistic and self centred, we should focus on working on becoming better versions of ourselves.
2. Protecting dignity:
Going along with what I said above, when we don’t make our looks our first priority we protect our dignity and modesty. When we all learn that bodies are not a basis of judging people, we truly learn to love each other for what we are.
Trigger warning : rape, and abuse.
I want to talk about something important – rape and abuse. Remember how the Quran mentions hijjab of the men before hijjab of the women? Well, what would our world be like if men learned to control their gazes, guarded his modesty and behaved like a gentleman should? Tell me how many rape, abuse, stalking and other heinous crimes we could prevent? I am just gonna leave this here for you to ponder about. Irregardless of what the women is wearing. It doesn’t matter if she is in hijjab or not. Muslim or not. A man is first supposed to be a gentlemen and guard his modesty. Period.
We have a very unrealistic and wrong thinking of hijjab, thinking that it is forced on women and all muslim women are subjugated. Well, that is an entirely wrong picture. The hijjab of the women is a cautionary procedure for her to follow to make sure she is protected from the idiot men who choose not to follow their own hijjab. Hijjab of a women is her choice just as hijjab of the man is his choice. Men are protectors of women. Islam sees women as the foundation society. In this sense, the hijjab was given to women to protect them from people lack the skills to respect women.
Sad to say, in today’s time, we still have ignorant and illiterate men who chose to troll, mock, harm women and make their lives worse. Shame on them.
My choice !
I love wearing the hijjab. It helped me to make my mind stand out before my looks. It helps my intellect to leave an impression. It allows me to gain mental strength over my physical strength (one of the main reasons I lift heavy is to work my brain). It reminds me not to hoard physical possessions like clothes, shoes, makeup etc. Hijjab reminds me that body’s are a asset, and we are the soul inside the body. Hijjab reminds me that the body is temporary and I want to keep it healthy, fit and strong as long as I live. Hijjab has taught me to see a persons mind and never judge by the cover. No matter your religion, nationality, race, looks, age, occupation, skills – your mind, soul and heart is what makes you. A body is just a materialist thing we inhabit for a temporary time.
Hijjab has helped me to not worry about bad days too , lol.