So, recently "National Hijab Day" has just passed. I've seen posts on here about the hijab being oppressing to women. But my question to you is how many people on here know the true meaning of the hijab? By the looks of some of the opinions I have seen on this website, not many if any at all. That is not their fault though. It's only been portrayed to them in one light and I understand that. That's why I'm writing this MyTake, so you can see the hijab in another way.
Now when you read the word "hijab" a piece of clothing like this probably came to your mind:
And yes, that is a form of hijab. However, that piece of clothing is not only what a hijab is.
In the language of Arabic the definition of the word "hijab" is:
1. A veil
2. Barrier or partition
In the religion of Islam, the definition of the hijab is the principle of modesty in all ways. That includes behaviour, intentions, actions, dress and in every other way imaginable.
So, even though you don't cover your head you could still be metaphorically wearing a hijab. If I'm not covering my hair but acting in a modest way, I am wearing a hijab in another form. Say a woman or man covers their hair, but they're using foul language, and being disrespectful, then that eliminates the idea of the hijab. Not covering your head, but being modest.
So why do Muslim women cover their hair then?
Is what you may now be thinking. Well, as said before Islam promotes modesty, the idea of the hijab is modesty in all ways. One of those ways is dressing modestly. And different people have different perceptions of modesty. For some people covering their body is enough, for others, they feel the need to cover their hair because that is what makes them feel most modest.
Many people highlight Muslim women covering their hair with the hijab. However, many people do not tend to highlight that also Muslim men cover their hair too. Muslim men cover their hair by wearing a taqiyah. This is a cap. But not like a baseball cap kind of cap, a cap which looks more like this:
Like not all Muslim women wear the hijab, not all Muslim men wear the taqiyah. Muslim men who do wear the taqiyah will wear it for the same reason as the women wear the hijab, it is what makes them feel most modest.
Now, I'm not going to deny it, there are Muslim women who are forced to wear the hijab in all around the world. I do not condone that, nor does Islam. Islam does not promote force, this is shown in the verse:
"Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."
— Sunan Abu Dawood, 14:2676
So if force is forbidden in Islam, then why do some Muslim women forced to cover their hair against their will?
Because many people are misinformed about what the hijab truly is. Did you even know the hijab was just more than a piece of clothing to cover your head before you read this? Many people today, will think of hijab as a head covering and nothing more, the first thing is misunderstanding.
Secondly, ignorance. Muslims are only human after all. Some humans are ignorant. So they will only focus on verses which suit them. And be ignorant to ones which don't. They may ignore them, or may only be taught certain ones, and the be ignorant in the sense they aren't willing to learn any further- or see alternative opinions.
Making women cover their head against their will is wrong. It is not Islam and not humanity and it does need to stop.
Yes, it is a requirement, it is compulsory for any follower of Islam to remain modest. And that's where confusion occurs. Because sometimes instead of modesty the word 'hijab' is used. When the word hijab is used it is a synonym for modesty. Yet people believe hijab refers to just covering one's hair. It doesn't have to mean the head covering, yes a woman or a man can cover their head out of choice, but forcing them to do so is forbidden.
Thank you for reading this MyTake! Hopefully, this has made you more aware of what the what hijab actually is. Feel free to comment on this MyTake but be respectful and mindful. I felt the need to share the MyTake so people are more aware of what they do not know. Hope you found this helpful :)