What The Hijab Really Is

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:

What The Hijab Really Is

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:

What The Hijab Really Is

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 :)


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Most Helpful Guys

  • I like that u have explained what the hijab and the concept behind it but and i need to clear something that girls are asked to wear hijab but men were not asked to wear taqiyah moreover Islam dont force u to do a thing and there is a text in the Quran insists on no forcing in the islam. In addition to that i like to say that moslems say salam instead of hi or hello which means peace and islam is a peaceful religion and they dont harm people unless they got harm and ISIS is far from islam they do there crime and say that is islam. And back to hijab i remember something that even Christian nun wear hijab which mean it is present in Christian religion also but in the latest years most people free themselves from it

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  • i'll ask the next arab i see tomorrow if she feels she's wearing a hijab. should be interesting.

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    • well, you taught me something. thank you for that. i thought this was a myTake because it was a longer question.

    • You are welcome. It was a MyTake by the way, and if you have any further questions, feel free to PM me, I may not answer straight away- but I will answer to the best of my ability.

      It feels good knowing I've taught someone something, thank you for willing to learn :)

Most Helpful Girls

  • "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."

    How true this is! Thank you for sharing your view on this.

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  • Wow! This was very informative! I guess I never really understood it, but now I think I understand a little better. I love the points you made and how you addressed a lot of things that people believe about hijab that are misguided. Great Take! :)

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    • Thank you! If you have any questions about it feel free to PM me! :)

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    • Yeah, if you look stuff up on the internet, you won't get the best answers, it's a good thing to be able to ask somebody who knows what they're talking about, (aka, you)

    • I agree with you. The internet can be a reliable source sometimes, but not all the time. Sometimes it can just get confusing :)

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Hey thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter. I still have to say I largely disagree, but I understand to you it means something different than it does to me. I actually was in something of a debate with a feminist friend of mine on this topic recently as they seemed to be advocating the hijab as a symbol of feminism. I disagree with this. While I think women should be allowed to wear what they want, that needn't mean I think what they're wearing is good or indicative of what they think it is. One example I gave was of the Hindu's usage of the Swastika. To them it's a sign of austerity and luck, but to us it's a symbol of terror, hate, and genocide. Just like I wouldn't recommend that a Hindu wear a Swastika here (although I would support their right to wear it) I wouldn't recommend that a woman wear the hijab (note I said the) as in much of the world it's a symbol of oppression. I'm sure that you know, as you referenced here, that in many Islam dominated societies a woman can be raped, beaten, molested, or otherwise suffer some grave attack for being in violation of purdah with the attackers having impunity. Even beyond that I must say that I find Ayan Hirsi Ali's statement, “The veil deliberately marks women as private and restricted property, non-persons, the veil sets women apart from men and apart from the world; it restrains them, confines them, grooms them for docility. It is the mark of a kind of apartheid, not the domination of a race but of a sex.” seems to resonate far more with my understanding of the requirement for women to wear a veil than the happy "I'm doing it because I want to be pure" version. Just so that I'm not coming across as particularly opposed to Islam I say the same thing about the Bible's call for women to be covered. There's only two particularly noteworthy points on that. The first is that almost no Christian adheres to that standard besides the few nuns, and a small number of groups like the Amish and orthodox Jews. The second is that I'm aware of no similar case in recent history where a "Christian" nation forces woman to wear them, nor am I aware of at least half a dozen videos of women being brutally attacked for not wearing them.

    For these reasons instead of "National Hijab Day" celebrating the Hijab I'd be far more in favor of a movement that sought justice and equality for these poor women. That's at least my two cents. Whew, sorry for the length.

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    • I must say I disagree Ayan Hirsi Ali's statement. That is how some people decide to treat the hijab, and I disagree with that and those people are incorrect in terms of religion as well. Many women wear it, not only because "they want to be pure". Firstly, no grown human can be "pure", that is impossible. So it's not purity, it's modesty. The two are different.

      Here are all the definitions for "pure": https://www.dictionary.com/browse/pure
      Here are all the definitions for "modest": https://www.dictionary.com/browse/modest?s=t

      See how the two are different? Wearing the hijab for some women can also be a sense of identity- like saying you're Muslim without actually saying it. Women and girls have been attacked for wearing the hijab. One pregnant woman got kicked in the stomach repeatedly for wearing the hijab and her baby died. Many women put on the hijab to stand up against these attacks, to stand up to this kind of oppression.

      I'm not denying the fact that women in certain countries are oppressed and are forced to wear the hijab. I don't agree with that. But that isn't the hijab's fault. It's the mentality those people (mainly the men) have. Rather than blaming the hijab, blame their lack of education.

      I humbly disagree with you but thank you anyway.

    • Ayan Hirsi Ali is the last person you should be quoting and getting information from. She is anti Islam and nevery truly practised is. She is a completely biased resource.

    • @InTimoreDei she grew up in an islamic country, believed in Islam, came from an Islamic family who cut off her clitoris at the age of 5 because they believed it was in keeping with the rules of islam. etc.
      I do find people who say that she was not Muslim to be really funny though, it's like the Christian version of Matt Dillahunty or some other no true scottsman XD

  • This doesn’t say anything but modesty and her covering her hair
    Ya that’s what it is and that’s what we always knew about it... that’s what Muslims tell us

    So where’s the part that explains what the hijab really is? It’s nothing more than her covering her hair for men

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    • Haven't you understood this MyTake?
      The hijab is not for covering one's head for men, that is just a rumour.

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    • Yes your family if teaching you the right way. Giving you the true choice to wear it or not. Because they tell you it’s ok not to wear it

      But many Muslim women have been told they must wear it to be a true Muslim. So they feel they must cover ever strand of hair or they are doing something bad

    • "But many Muslim women have been told they must wear it to be a true Muslim. So they feel they must cover ever strand of hair or they are doing something bad "

      Yes, I know and that is exactly my point! I've seen young girls at my school being forced by their parents to wear it and I know that is not correct.

      Why do these people never look at the verse:
      "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."
      — Sunan Abu Dawood, 14:2676

      It says it in black and white- no compulsion. My point is these people have a twisted view of religion which may or may not be at fault of their own but I'm just pointing out my alternate view.

  • The world is a big place with many different cultures, traditions and religions, and no religion. To enjoy the world, and it's peoples, we need to accept and be tolerant of the differences that culture and traditions we find wherever we come across them. We are all entitled to believe and worship according to what religion we follow or belong to. Or none for that matter. We are not entitled to use either as a stick to beat others with.

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  • You said that the hijab is not forced or required, yet there are large numbers of Muslim men who will beat a Muslim woman for not wearing one, while they themselves don't wear ANY kind of head covering. They just assume that a woman who is not completely covered is a whore, and therefore a target for rape.

    You say this is a wrong attitude of Islam, yet no other Muslims EVER challenge these 'wrong Muslims", they just say, "Well, that's too bad", and look the other way.

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    • Covering your head is only compulsory during worship. And that goes for both genders.

      " You said that the hijab is not forced or required, yet there are large numbers of Muslim men who will beat a Muslim woman for not wearing one, while they themselves don't wear ANY kind of head covering. They just assume that a woman who is not completely covered is a whore, and therefore a target for rape. " You're right. That does happen in some places, but not all Muslim men do this, my father never forced me into wearing anything I don't want to wear. The men forcing women to wear the hijab, need to stop, and I'm not denying that. If they're forcing women to wear the hijab then they clearly do not know the religion properly.

      "You say this is a wrong attitude of Islam, yet no other Muslims EVER challenge these 'wrong Muslims", they just say, "Well, that's too bad", and look the other way. " Saying it's the wrong attitude is challenging these men's views. I can't go up to one and start telling my views because I don't know any Muslim men like this. There are other Muslims which do challenge these types of Muslims, you just don't know any.

  • No, I'm sure you're talking about my question.. but the hijab was pushed by Muhammed in the 7th century to cover women because those who are not covered will be taken as SEX SLAVES. If you take of the hijab you'll be jailed or stonned in Iran.

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    • Okay, please send me your source of wisdom or authority which proves that.

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    • I'm not saying they aren't as they're written.

      I'm saying look beyond what it is at face value.

    • I don't get what you mean

  • These clothes have no place in our European countries. We are justified in the defense of our culture by making these illegal.

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    • Defence of your culture?
      Nobody's forcing this culture upon yours. Are people out there forcing your family members to wear these items of clothing? I didn't think so.

      These people are wearing these items of clothing between themselves, what is it to you if they do so?

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    • The people of Eastern Europe are not biased against Islam, they understand that they are justified in their defense against Islam. Islam has historically repressed the East of Europe tremendously, equally so, Eastern Europe has a history of defending the western part against against Islamic invasions. Hungary was oppressed by Islam for 150 years and over a million Hungarians were killed in that time by the Ottoman empire. Do you think they will let their country be oppressed again? I dont think so. Most European countries dont have open borders policy so migrants are not going to these countries, they are going to the countries with open border policy. 5% Muslim population in Europe will not dominate us, if the population of the countries with open border policy increases, there will be civil war. The Eastern European countries will come to liberate us from Islam because they know how bad it is to live under it.

    • We're not trying to take over.
      You're just paranoid.

      In that case, why do British people go to India? India was colonised by Britain do you think Indians liked that? Why don't Indians stop British people from living there?

      And if you're so against different clothing from different cultures, and I've seen you be against immigration too- you know what? Only eat your food which was founded in your country. Only wear clothes which are made in your country. Only buy products which are made in your country. And why are you even on G@G if you're against this all? Shouldn't you go on a website which only has people from your country registered?

      You can't hate the people, but then wear clothes which they make, eat food which comes from their countries, go on global websites. You don't want them, remember? Protect your culture, no?

  • People like you are really keen on lying. 'Men cover their head too' part is just a blant out lie.

    That hat you put the photo of is neither a thing of Islam enforces on men, nor it serves to cover the hair.

    'Oh, it isn't about just covering your hair, it's about modesty, well acting, being nice'

    Which are actually, sauced words to cover the fact that Islam indeed oppresses them. What does it suggest to immodest (which is quite vague) women? Soft kisses and whispers of love?

    'Not all women wear hijab', because A, not all of them are religious, B not all of them are members of overly religious societies.

    Not because Islam is understanding or anything.

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    • Lying? That's incorrect. Your view of Islam has been tainted by my MyTake so it's lying?

      'That hat you put the photo of is neither a thing of Islam enforces on men, nor it serves to cover the hair.' - Is it not? I guess this is just a non-Muslim man then... en.wikipedia.org/.../File:Indian_Muslim.jpg

      I have pictures, family members, sources of authority to back up my claims. What do you have?

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    • You're just ignoring the point I've made.

      Quran just promotes oppression and call it modesty.

      Hitler was calling what he did 'justice', you know. Doesn't make him particularly just.

      And I am so sick of this islamist who constantly claim that the texts mean something other than what they say, whenever they're faced with something they dislike

    • An Islamist and a Muslim aren't the same things either. It just goes to how far your knowledge goes.

      Modesty does not equal oppression. Modesty is a way of life, and it is more than just the way you dress.

      You're seriously comparing following Islam, to a massacre of people?

      "And I am so sick of this islamist who constantly claim that the texts mean something other than what they say, whenever they're faced with something they dislike "
      I'm not an Islamist I'm a Muslim.

      Here is a video from a person explaining the difference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB534izD9ng

      I'm explaining my interpretation of it. You know the Qur'an was originally written in Aramaic translated to Arabic, then you're reading and Arabic to English translation. Some words are lost in translation. Some words have different meanings in Arabic than they do in English. So it may look like one thing in English, but mean something else, considering it's translated from Arabic.

  • It's basically no different to a hat or a hood, it's what it represents that makes people loose their shit

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    • Exactly! I couldn't have put it into any better words than that :)

    • But what I do have to question is: What do you mean by what it represents? What do you think it represents. I couldn't agree more with the hat/hood thing, - but the second part of your answer just makes me curious as to what you mean?

    • The idea that it represents and helps to maintain modesty and privacy from unrelated males (traditionally speaking) is perfectly fine and understandable as a religious concept, but it's when that idea gets bought around people that don't subscribe to keeping covered up is when people can't handle it and view the hijab as something hugely oppressive.

  • I understand it's your religion, but I still disagree because it is no different than Catholics oppressing women by forcing nuns to cover their faces.

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    • I can't really speak much about Catholicism because I don't know much about it.

      But I clearly stated above the hijab is not forced upon anybody.

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    • Except the ratio of nuns and regular women is really small. Whereas the ratio of head covered Muslim women vs regular is far higher

      Clearly
      Not the same as nuns. Nuns also live in specific places. Hijab women parade around amongst everyone else

    • @TripleAce it's the same thing. Quantity doesn't matter. by the way nuns are degraded just as badly.

  • The original idea was to protect from insolations (solar strokes) But since too many people neglected it, they made it a religious command and fathers and priests gave it it a different sense.

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  • I know plenty of Muslim women who don't wear it. I've met Iranian Muslims who move to the West and immediately take their hijab off! haha.

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  • Interesting mytake and I have learnt something new today! thanks!

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  • This is a good take.

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  • good take

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  • I never knew this. Thanks.

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  • Good take

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  • its based off the watchers

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