A hijab is both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general. The Hijab, is considered to be an important aspect, of Islamic teachings, which many Muslim women adhere to across the world, The ways Muslim women wear the hijab’s, and the materials used, are often influenced by their cultural backgrounds, and personal preferences.
Hijab has undergone a tremendous transformation, and its popularity in the Muslim world has dramatically increased, over the last 10 years. More and more Muslim women have adopted the Hijab, after re-discovering their faith, and understanding the importance it holds, many women began to recognise, that their traditional dress, did not always follow the correct requirements of hijab, and have therefore adopted the full head and neck coverings, and were sometimes met with fierce opposition as some where banned from schools (Tunisia) Or from taking specific courses and jobs such as TV presenting (Egypt). Despite this the women continued to fight for their rights to follow their religious beliefs and be accepted in to society, and many Muslim women lead successful careers and have achieved their hopes and dreams, not inspite of hijab but because of it. The hijab is now fully welcomed, as well as encouraged in the Muslim world.
Similarly due to the popularisation of hijab in the east and the rise of more scholars many young Muslim women, feel further connected, to their faith, and difficulties in their lifestyles, e.g. recognising drinking, and partying has not been a fruitful lifestyle, has lead them to understand the reasons behind many of the teachings of their faith and investigate until they have come to the conclusion that Hijab is a definite requirement of their faith. It saddens many Muslim women, who have understood the liberating message behind a cloth which proclaims that similarly to men, women have the right to be judged on their thoughts, and ideas, not on their looks, has been met with such fierce opposition, in the western world, as the west claim to be champions of freedom and equality for women. However in an attempt to silence Muslim women, who adopt the Hijab some European countries, have risked going against their own constitutions by banning the hijab (France), whilst claiming to be a force fighting for the freedom of females. The sad and immediate assumption that women, who wear the hijab, are forced and have no voice of their own, or no thoughts about their lifestyle further burdens the Modern Muslim woman, as this contributes to resentment, and frustration, as well as mounting misunderstanding between multicultural societies.
Many Muslims believe in Modesty and self respect, and the hijab is a religious duty, which promises to fulfil those important ideals, and has become a beautiful way, for women to liberate themselves, from societies which demands of them to appear “sexy” and “hot” in order to be well rounded individuals. In the modern world today magazines and posters, encourage young women to be thin, and body image, is emphasised. The hijab represents freedom from these social norms, and in a world where many women are solely judged on their appearance hijab provides a haven, promising that they will be judged on intellect rather, than a beauty which is only skin deep.
Personally the hijab has been an enlightening experience for me, as I strived to fulfil a religious requirement by God, in an effort to be a better Muslim and in turn a better person , perfecting my religious beliefs, and aspiring to please my god and attain a heavenly reward in paradise through following Quranic requirements.
The Hijab, only represents, freedom, to me, freedom of Appearance, and freedom of Faith, as well as freedom from the sometimes cruel world of “fashion”.
By naz from Somalianarab.blogspot.com