Did you know there are many types of Veil, Misconceptions and all, in this article, you will get to learn all of it?
A Brief History of the Veil in Islam
To this day, head coverings play a significant role in many religions, including Orthodox Judaism and Catholicism. Islam began as a small faith-based close-knit community in the well-known Arabian Peninsula. This community was established by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the 570-632 CE (century). From there on, it spread through the Middle East to countries like Africa, South/Central Asia, as well as many other societies around the Arabian Peninsula. Shortly after Islam was established in those countries, it made significant progress into Europe too! Long before Islam came into existence, scarves and veils of different cultures were customary in countless cultures in the seventh century. Since the seventh century, Islam grew to be one of the most wide-known religions across the globe – incorporating local veiling customs and influencing others at the same time. Recently only did some Islamic states like “Iran,” began to incorporate and require wearing the veil (in Iran it is called “Chador.”)
What is the Hijab?
The hijab is a piece of material mainly worn on the head of Muslim women across the globe in Muslim and Non-Muslim countries. Although the hijab seems as though it is just material or cloth, it has a significant role in the teachings of Islam. Its role is to play as a religious dress code that governs behavior. The hijab is also a form of submission. It symbolizes modesty and self-respect. The word “hijab” is derived from the Arabic language meaning, “barrier” or “partition.” In Islam, however, it has a broader meaning. It is a principle of dignity and “Haya” (Arabic word) meaning – shyness. The hijab is a command from the Most-Merciful Lord, “Allah.” It is also instruction and a required form of worship. In addition, the hijab is explained in the Quran (as an order from God and a way to seek his pleasure) as follows:
The Prerequisites of Valid Hijab
Once a Muslim woman accepts God’s call to wear the Hijab, she should be aware of the following guidelines to seek God’s pleasure:
The veil should cover all the body except the face and hands.
It should not be transparent or revealing.
It should not be decorative, and very colorful so that it attracts attention.
It should not be attire that men only wear.
Reason: It is forbidden for women to imitate men in styles of clothing, how they walk or look like. This is mainly forbidden in order to avoid spreading vice and immorality.
- The garment (or clothing) should not be flashy.
- There should be no perfume.
Reason: Abu-Musa Al-Ash’ari (companion of Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him)) narrated:
Types of Hijab (Veil)
Hijab is one main term used to name a variety of headscarves. It is the most common and popularly worn headscarf in the Middle East and West. [see image below]…
A type of hijab that covers the entire face, only leaving a narrow slit for the eyes. [see image below]…
A full-body-length hijab held at the neck by hand or a pin. It covers the head and body but leaves the face visible. They are often in black color. It is commonly worn in Middle Eastern countries like, “Iran.” [see image below]…
It is a type of hijab where a person’s entire body is fully veiled (covered), leaving no room or visible areas to be seen. With this hijab, one sees through a mesh-like screen over the eyes. [see image below]…
Misconceptions About Hijab
As human beings, we are aware that the clear enemy of mankind and virtue is Satan (The Devil). Satan influences humans through two main entry points: lust and misconceptions. These two points are the opposite of compliance and obedience. It is crucial to be cognizant about what could come from these entry points. The following scenarios depict some common misconceptions about the Islamic veil:
- First misconception:
Scenario: A sister may say, “My virtue and chastity are in my character, not in wearing Hijab. On the other hand, there are many women who wear Hijab, yet they commit major sins, and there are, on the other hand, many women who do not wear Hijab, but they live their lives with good character and high standards of morality.”
Answer: Hijab is not the main ordinance by which virtue and chastity are fulfilled. Chastity is a must in the Islamic law and both genders are to comply with this order in the teaching of Islam. Whereas, the Hijab is an outer appearance required only for Muslim females.
- Second misconception:
Scenario: A sister may say, ‘“Hijab prevents me from participating in the advancement of the growing and modern social, intellectual, and educational systems of our era, as men do. It makes me feel that I am cast in a cage called, “Hijab,” and I hate that.”’
Answer: Hijab does not prevent a Muslim woman from playing a role in all facets of her society. For instance, intellectual growth and life alongside men. In the course of Islamic history and contributions, there are luminous papers on women who have combined both the Hijab with knowledge. Here is “one” example of the role of a woman wearing Hijab:
The Queen of Saba, who is also known by her forename, “Balqis” (Arabic name) was famous for her leadership and wisdom. Due to these characteristics, her name was always mentioned whenever Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) name is mentioned.
- Third misconception:
Scenario: A sister may say, “I am not convinced of the importance of wearing Hijab.”
Answer: When a Muslim woman is pleased with God (as her Lord), Islam as her religion and code of life, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) as her Messenger, and with the Quran as her constitution – will be able to feel convinced in wearing the hijab and follow Islam appropriately. Islam means complete submission to God, (Exalted and Glorified is He) and His orders. Therefore, wearing the Hijab is a matter of belief and obedience accompanied with love for the Creator. It is highly significant to bear in mind that no Muslim female is required to intellectually be convinced of everything that she is ordered to do. So, one should know that Islam is an individual whole religion. Meaning, that no Muslim woman can achieve belief in Islam unless she embarrasses herself in practicing all its segments.
How can we attain God’s pleasure? One way to attain God’s pleasure is to evaluate ourselves by reproaching and turning back to God in the form of repentance as well as taking into consideration what God’s says in the Quran (as follows):
This verse is a good way to remind the Muslim woman that it is high time to take the decision to wear the Hijab. Do not put off making this decision until next Ramadan, New Years, or even next Eid. These are all ways of deceiving yourself and are the insinuations of Satan. Make haste! Start your new life with a sincere intention to start afresh and begin wearing the hijab.
The Hijab is a significant aspect of a woman’s faith and is worn in various both Muslim and Non-Muslim countries across the world. To date back in history, the hijab was known by other religions as a form of custom. It is a way to trace back to her submission to God and a way to honor and please God. Without Hijab, her faith would not be genuine. It is essential that Muslim woman know the prerequisites about the hijab, the various styles out there, misconceptions her fellow sisters might face, and being heroic and proud of the decision to wear the veil now. Do not delay any minute. Hasten and run to the way of your Lord as He is always happy and accepting of your decisions. Wouldn’t you want to be a true and obedient slave of God?
Wouldn’t you want to be a true and obedient slave of God?