In Muslim and non-Muslim countries, Hijab is carried out primarily by most Muslim women. The tradition of wearing the Hijab is about religion, culture, politics, and even fashion. It is mainly a personal choice if she wants to wear it based on her connection with the above points.
Not so long ago, Christians, Jews, and Muslim women practiced the veil as per their religious duties; however, in today’s world, it is often related to only Muslims as it has become a representation of being a Muslim. Did you know that Hijab is not the same in many Muslim countries?
Different Types of Hijabs
The type of Hijab depends on various factors that can be different in every country. These factors include customs, ethnicity, politics, and geo-location.
- Hijab is a headscarf on the head and neck but exposes the face.
- The niqab is to cover the face; however, the eyes are still visible.
- The burqa protects the whole body but leaves the eyes to see through crochet.
When did the Hijab start?
The word's literal meaning is to separate or make something invisible, and it dates back to the pre-Islamic era. Many images from the 7th century CE showcased women wearing veils, and this tradition is likely to be as old as 3000 BCE. In the 13th century BCE, there are references to Assyrian women who were married and had to wear a veil in public, whereas the other women, including enslaved people, were not allowed to wear one. This practice defined that only a married woman can wear a veil to symbolize that she is married.
There are references to women wearing a veil on their heads in the bronze age. This practice was in the Mediterranean people, and only the most elite class women were allowed to wear it. In the 3rd century of the BCE, there are references that Jew women covered their heads when they got married, as it represented that they only belonged to their husbands now.
Hijab in Islam
When it comes to Quran, there is no clear point about veiled being used in everyday life as originally the verses referred to the wives of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W wearing a face veil that will set them apart. It was needed to let people know that they have a special status and ensure that people are coming to visit them maintain a distance. After the death of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, the concept of veil was spread all across regions where Islam was practiced.
Is Hijab a part of Law?
It is not common for countries to force their women to wear a Hijab in today's world. Saudi Arabia was among the only Muslim countries that made it mandatory for women to wear a Hijab when they go outside. It included both Muslim and non-Muslim women.
Hijab, when to wear?
The age of the Hijab for women depends on their culture, as in some parts of Islamic countries, wearing a veil is only for married women; however, in other details, it can be worn by girls that have started their puberty age. Most women stop practicing it once they get married, while others continue wearing the Hijab their whole lives.
Many styles and varieties are available for women who look to wear the Hijab at parties and other functions. The classes are very colourful and bright, and they match the modern trends while keeping the tradition alive. Some women wear a simple scarf around their head and neck while others cover their whole body and even wear gloves.
When to wear Hijab depends on the norm of families and certain religious groups, if the woman is attached to such religious groups. As per government and legal pressure, women don't get forced, so it depends on their preference to know when to wear it.
What is the religious order of the Hijab?
Three prominent religious texts in Islam mention:
- The Qur'an, which got completed in the mid-seventh century AD, and its notes (tafsir).
- The hadith, a collection of short eyewitness accounts of the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers, is considered a practical legal system for the community.
- Islamic jurisprudence is on the interpretation of God's Law (sharia), as described in the Qur'an.
However, none of these texts finds a specific language that says women should cover up and how. For example, in most uses of the word in the Qur'an, the Hijab means "separate" one of the most famous verses about the Hijab is 33:53, which refers to having a curtain between the men and wives of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
And when you ask his wives for any object, ask them from behind a curtain (Hijab); that is cleaner for your hearts and theirs. (Quran 33:53)
Why do Muslim Women Prefer to Wear Hijab?
- Some women wear the Hijab to fulfil their practices related to culture and religion. It is also a way to show that they are a modest and religious wife.
- In some parts of Africa, women wear to remember their ancestors who got forced to expose and auctioned off as enslaved people.
- Many Muslim women wear it only want to be identified as Muslim.
- Hijab can be a sense of freedom for some women, as it gives them the freedom to choose the clothing of their heart and mind that will help them get through the day.
- Many Muslim women wear the Hijab after seeing their family, friends, and other relatives do it every day. It helps them to make a representation with them.
- Many Muslim women wear it to showcase they are serious and mature with their lives.
Identification of a Muslim Women
In Islam, the Hijab is the primary identification of a Muslim woman. However, it is the right of women to wear the Hijab when she is at home or with family members. Islam also provided many other valuable privileges to women, including the right to earn their own money, buy and own property, education, the right to family inheritance, the treatment of grace, votes, the preservation of one's maiden name, and mosque services and divorce. To conclude, the Hijab has become a symbol of the identification of being a mature woman and taking her steps under the limits set by Islamic rules.