Muslim Girls Answer Top 10 Basic Questions About Hijab

Muslim Girls Answer Top 10 Basic Questions About Hijab

Do you have a burning question as to why or how Muslims cover?
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Have you ever come across a covered Muslim woman, and a ton of questions popped up in your head? Well then, here you go!

Here are the most common questions covered Muslim women are asked, along with all the answers to you've been wondering about the hijab (headscarf), the abaya (full body covering dress) and the niqab (face veil). Don't see your question here? Post a comment to this article to get a response to your queries!

*Names have been changed for confidentiality purposes.

10. Why do some Muslim women cover while others don't?

Some Muslim people say they're afraid of being discriminated against and harassed for looking "too Muslim" in the western world. Others may totally deny that Muslims have to cover at all.

Contrary to what those people might say, covering oneself and dressing modestly is mandatory in Islam. Being a Muslim means you constantly strive to strengthen your iman (belief) and religiously improve yourself. It's OK to take your time, struggle and mess up, as long as your intentions are sincere, and you continue trying.

"Everyone is at a different level of spirituality and some follow more than others. Everyone has their own definition of modesty, and they follow their own opinion of what it entails. Some women are at a very high level in their religion whereas others slowly work their way up." – Aisha, 24 years old, teacher

9. Are there any modesty requirements for Muslim men?

Yes! Muslim men must keep the area from their navel to their knee covered at all times, no matter what. If there is a need to remove his shirt, a Muslim man may do so, but otherwise, it's not appropriate to be shirtless. It's also expected of Muslim men to raise or fold their trousers above the ankle, if they are not wearing such pants that already show the ankle. And of course, all clothes must be loose-fitting.

"As a Muslim man, I act modest by lowering my gaze and not staring at what's impermissible. We must also be humble by not showing off our bodies, our money and other things of such nature." – Abid, 29 years old, Engineer

8. Isn't it hot when you're all covered up?

Yes, of course. But just like all other clothing, once you're used to wearing it, then it becomes second nature and doesn't bother you anymore. Some hijabs, abayas and niqabs are made from thin fabrics like crepe, jersey and kashibo, which can be worn during hotter temperatures. In colder weather, heavier fabrics like polyester knit and denim help keep warm.

"This is my personal favorite question, and I usually respond with, 'No, because I have an AC under here that keeps me cool.'" – Virgina, 19 years old, GSU student

7. Do you always have to wear black?

Nope! Any style, color and pattern of hijab, abaya and niqab can be worn as long as it's loose-fitting and doesn't attract stares (besides, you know, the stares we already get). This means that the clothing should not be so excessively attractive or deviant that it defeats the purpose of dressing modesty all together.

"I wear normal clothes underneath my abaya. It really depends on the weather, like it's hot right now, so I wear light materials like t-shirts, and in winter, I wear layers. Yes, there are days it gets really hot, but it's not a big deal. Everyday people work in hot weather and sweat. It's normal." – Sarah, 24 years old, teacher

6. How do you put on a hijab?

There are many ways to wear a hijab. Some you can slip right on, while others you fold over your head and pin. Some girls wear an under-scarf or hijab cap under their hijab in order to help the scarf material stay put on their heads.

"I use straight pins to fasten my hijab. Sometimes I accidentally poke myself with a pin, and yes, it hurts. But after with some practice, it doesn't happen as often." – Tayaba, 21 years old, GGC student

5. Doesn't covering your face impair communication?

"The niqab is a pretty thin cloth, so it doesn't really impair the physical aspect of communication. I could see how some people would think niqabis are unapproachable, but that's probably rooted in some sort of fear and lack of understanding towards those who wear one. Overall, every niqabi I know is really nice and friendly and willing to talk to anyone if approached in a respectful way." – Louisa, 21 years old, GSU college student

"The niqab does kind of impair communication, but a lot of people aren't scared to communicate with me. It's more like, I'm the one who feels like it might impair it but it turns out to be an irrational fear." Nina, 17 years old, Agnes Scott student

"Personally, I think the only block to communication that comes from the niqab is becuase of the shortcoming of the person who is not used to the niqab. People may have trouble listening when they feel uncomfortable, and that's understandable, but they should never blame their discomfort on someone else's choice and expect them to change it. In general, if the person wearing the niqab has a clear enough voice, then you should be able to understand the niqabi." Vienerra (non-muslim), 18 years old, UGA college student

4. What's the point of covering up?

"Being covered does affect communication, and that's kind of the point of it – to help women keep distance while out taking care of necessary stuff and safe from unwanted attention." Mercedes, 27 years old, stay-at-home mom

"I was at the grocery store with my husband when a lady at the counter asked me, 'Why is it that you cover yourself and your face? Are you forced to?'

My husband and I smiled and explained that, no dear sister, there is nothing like that. I am not wearing it for my husband, rather I am doing it for the One who created me, the One whom I have to return to and the One to whom I am answerable to, as we have to return to Him sooner or later.

Then I also told her, 'Have you ever thought of meeting Queen Elizabeth?'

'No,' she said. 'Only the ones who are close to her have the permission to meet her.'

I said it is similar in my religion. My religion treats me like a queen, and not everyone has the authority to meet me or even look at me. It's only the ones who are really close to me who can meet me or even look at me. She smiled.

Then I also gave her the example of Mother Mary. I asked her, 'Do you believe in her?' She said yes. I said, 'We also believe in her, hence we dress this way. Have you ever seen her hair uncovered or even any part of her body for that matter?' She said no.

Then I gave her an example of a precious diamond. I asked her, 'What would you do if you have a precious diamond with you? Would you keep it in a safe place or keep it open in the hallway?' She said that of course, she would keep it safe. I said that is the way my religion treats me. I am very precious in my religion – much more precious than a diamond. Hence, I am protected.

Then I gave her an example of two candies: 'If you had two candies, and I take off the wrapper of one and keep the other one covered and throw both on the ground, which one would you prefer?' She said, 'Of course the covered one.'

I said, 'This is exactly why I am covered.'" – Maryam, 28 years old, doctor

3. Doesn't wearing an abaya limit how move?

Your mobility depends on the style of the abaya. If the abaya has a wide skirt, you will be able stretch your legs farther, as needed for horseback riding or running. Muslim women can swap an abaya for modest trousers and shirt for physical activities like gym class.

"In my opinion as a Muslim guy, I've noticed niqab will make girls less fearful and that people focus on what is actually being said, rather than looking at a woman's body. It's not easy to wear it, so it also helps women be more courageous." – Squall, 30 years old, Quality Assurance Manager



2. What kind of discrimination do you face?

Between all the usual name-calling, cold glares and subtle forms of discrimination in public and online, there's not a day that goes by for Muslim women without them having to prepare themselves to face judgemental society.

"When I wear the niqab, I do feel a little weird because people react differently, but at the same time, I feel so protected and confident when I wear the niqab." – Nabila, 18 years old, GPC college student



"When it comes to the Muslim coverings, I wouldn't mind if everything but the eyes are covered, but I feel more involved and confident if I can look at someone in the eye when I'm talking to them." – Mish (non-muslim), 19 years old, UGA student

"I never had a friend who wore a niqab before this past year. I feel the niqab affects communication between me and my friend purely through the fact that I don't know what her face looks like. I don't think it affects our relationship in the slightest, but I noticed something throughout the year. Whenever I would talk about her with other people, I didn't have a face to put to her name. I don't see this as a negative as much as it's just unique to me and my norms." Maddie (non-muslim), 20 years old, GPC student

"People may not be familiar with the principles of Islam or may have preconceptions about Muslim people because we're fed inaccurate or disorientated statistics by the media. Muslim people are often put in a position where they have to advocate for reforming people's view of Islam and Muslims in the U.S. and around the world. In a better world, Muslim people shouldn't be forced into the position of needing to explain themselves and constantly carry that burden. The non-Muslim population needs to be more accepting of views other than their own and educate themselves (to a certain extent) about other people." M (non-muslim), 20 years old, NU student

1. Once it's on, can you take it off?

Only a Muslim woman herself or her mahrams may see her without a hijab, abaya and niqab. If there's no non-mahram around, a Muslim woman can remove her coverings. So no, we don't shower or sleep with our hijabs on.

For Muslim women, no one may force you to cover yourself, because your body is in your control. So whether you make the choice to start or stop covering yourself, it's all in your hands. We should not judge the choice of others, for the intention harbored in your heart is only apparent between you and Allah (SWT), and it is Him who you will answer on the Day of Judgement.

It is better to continue with what you have started, even if it's a small step forwards, because taking it off means backtracking on the progress you've made so far which undermines the struggles you had and the effort you made to reach that point. Remember, things may be difficult here and now, but there's a purpose to everything we do as Muslims.

Ask yourself, what do I hope to achieve by covering myself? And from your answer, you can identify the values that define you as a believer.

Cover Image Credit: NK News

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Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

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7 Things Every Person Fasting For Ramadan Can Relate To

We're well into the month of fasts, fried foods and falling asleep anywhere and everywhere.
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Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, has started which means that Muslims around the world are fasting from dawn to dusk. The month can extend to either 29 or 30 days depending on the moon sighting since the Islamic calendar is lunar. Before Muslims celebrate Eid, the religious celebration that marks the completion of the month of fasting though, there are some widespread sentiments that Muslims can relate to, whether they are fasting in England, America or Saudi Arabia.

1. Time seems to be involved in some sort of conspiracy against us doing Ramadan

Sure, it seems like a pain to close the fast at 5 in the morning but the real struggle is realizing that sunset isn’t till 8:15. Fifteen hours can seem close to an eternity especially in the last few hours before sunset when the sole purpose of existence seems to be staring at the clock and wondering why it seems frozen. Of course, then we get reminded of how some countries have 22-hour long fasts and we get to be grateful we live in Houston, which has relatively normal timings.

2. Food becomes even more important than usual

I don’t know if it’s the fact that starving stomachs thrive on any talk of food or just a cultural hand-me-down but food is even more a topic of conversation than usual. If we aren’t thinking of what to make for Iftari (the meal that breaks the fast) we’re actually making it. This may be the month of fasting, but it’s also the month of samosas, kababs, rising cholesterol levels and a kick to healthy habits.

3. There is no such thing as a proper time to sleep anymore

The days I manage to get an hour of sleep before I have to wake up again is still something of a miracle. And my power naps have become frighteningly odd and frequent. I can grab a 20-minute power nap at six in the afternoon and be down for another one an hour later. And never mind the sleep of the dead we all sleep after we close our fast. I swear, I haven’t neglected my alarm clock this much in years — I’d be better off not setting it because when I sleep after sunrise, I don’t plan on answering to anyone for at least the next seven hours.

4. You’re forced to remember that not everyone in the world is fasting — or even understands the concept

“So you can’t eat? Like at all? Or even drink water? Dude, how are you alive?” Ah, there’s the killer question. The way I see it, there are two ways to answer that: either I’m actually a camel-human hybrid glamoured to look like a person or I was born with a miraculous anatomy as a sign from above — whichever one makes you happier. And of course, it’s easy to go around carrying a grudge at random strangers because you see them having lunch or drinking water and you think, “Respect the fasting people, you uncouth oaf!” Really though, that’s just hunger making me hangry.

5. You try to be healthy and hydrated by chugging down as much water as you can in the morning

I always feel especially satisfied if I’m able to knock out three cups of water before I start my fast in the mornings. In fact, the in the last 15 minutes, our family is devotedly passing around jugs of water as if we plan on embarking on a trip to the desert. I’m not exactly sure how much of that actually sustains us throughout the day though because when I wake up in the morning, I’ve already emptied myself out in about three bathroom trips and feel as thirsty as ever (so maybe the human-camel hybrid isn’t the best self-identification).

6. It’s the one month where everyone reconnects with their royal roots

As if we aren’t bad enough during the rest of the year, during Ramadan we all swagger around as if we’re entitled royalty. Never mind that sleeping in till four in the afternoon is generally a sign of extreme laziness — we’re fasting. And don’t even think about asking anyone to climb the stairs for something — everyone’s fasting. Also, it’s best that you don’t antagonize, tease, hurt, lie, or even accidentally prod a fasting person.

7. We realize that the moon is actually very fickle

We were up till one the tentative night of the moon sighting this month as the entire community battled out whether the moon had been sighted and when the first fast was. The end result — half of Houston was fasting on Wednesday and the other half remained thoroughly convinced that the moon hadn’t been sighted and fasting would start Thursday. The pressure is double as the month ends and everyone tries to decide if Ramadan is over or there’s one more day. It makes you wish the moon would make up its mind and show itself properly if it had any intention of letting itself be sighted because all that confusion is enough to drive a person into confusion. But when we do sight that Eid moon, it's a bittersweet feeling because as much as we all love to par-tay, Ramadan has its own charm and the blessings of this month are always missed.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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