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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Being Busy Does Not Give Your Life Meaning, Having Imaan (Faith) Does

How many of us even care to ask Allah (swt) what He would like to see from us?
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Recently, I turned 21, and for the first time ever in my life, I felt that during the 20th year of my life, I truly lived. I experienced so much more than I ever thought I could, but I've been so busy making plans and coming through for them that by the time my 21st birthday rolled around, I realized... I haven't really accomplished my life's purpose. My ultimate life goal is to become a better Muslim, but with each passing day, I have pushed the purpose of my life aside for "new" experiences, like driving to weekly campus events, weekend outings with friends or working hours on end as the Editor-in-Chief of the Alpharetta Odyssey community.

I felt like an independent adult who didn't need anyone or anything. So, unconsciously, I lowered my standards of living in pursuit of these side quests to quench a thirst for fun with whatever pleasure life can offer. But purpose is imbued in ambition and success, so one without the other topples the entire foundation upon which life is structured. I lost sight of my purpose to become a better Muslim, and in turn, my life lost meaning.

There were many points throughout the year that I felt depressed, whether due to personal struggles or external conflicts. These issues went on for quite some time, and I never really resolved them so much as waited for them to somehow resolve themselves. I didn't reach out to Allah (swt) or raise my hands in dua for help, for strength, for guidance, and because of that, I made some decisions stemming from my own crude feelings of inadequacy with situations, myself and others.

I distanced myself from people, because suddenly, there was no clear standard I could confidently judge our relationships by. I busied myself instead, upping my goals for what I wished to accomplish my final years of college but I have yet to follow through all of them despite multiple attempts. I have pushed and prodded myself to overcome silly fears, but I couldn't find a tether of rope to hold onto or any point to direct my feelings at.

I was lost. What was I doing? Why was I doing these things? What was the point? What did any of this accomplish?

Then, I realized, the tether to our lives is Allah (swt). He never let me down all these years, yet since I felt cocky and independent, I loosened my hold on the rope of imaan. And in doing so, I lost myself.

I created lots of memories of little things that have not built me into a better person. I amassed lots of stuff that will be dumped into the trash, sooner or later. I've traveled so many new places yet always left feeling like something was missing. That something is still missing. Every new morning I open my eyes, I continue to feel like my life lacks a purpose, because I've been ignoring the very reason I was born: to love and follow the commands of Allah (swt).

He handpicked where I would be born, which time I would first open my eyes to the world and to whom I would call my mother, father, brother and sister. He has woven fate in my favor, slid chances to repent under my door and has always been present during every ugly and beautiful moment I've experienced. From that, I've realized, all the life moments I have been most attentive and loving of Allah (swt) are the best memories I have. These are the moments I recall when I want to soothe my soul of loneliness or cheer myself on in times of joy. These surmount to the reasons I cling to my imaan desperately in times of need and reach out to grasp it more tightly in times of success.

SEE ALSO: 3 Astronomical Revelations Of The Holy Quran

But, despite that, I have yet to climb higher...

Because as Muslims, we pray five times a day, but how many of us continue to sit after prayer to raise their hands in due and just talk to Allah (swt)?

How many of us go to Allah (swt) first when we have a problem, rather than ranting and backbiting to our friends?

How many of us think of how Allah (swt) would feel about something before we decide to do that thing?

How many of us even care to ask Allah (swt) what He would like to see from us?

Instead, we turn to the physical manifestations besides us. We ask people what they would like to see from us. We change ourselves so others will love and accept us, have fun with us, become close to us. We turn away from Allah (swt) the second we forget our purpose in life.

And what's worse is, we assume because we can't see Him or hear His reply that He's somehow irrelevant. That all the things that make sense because of Allah (swt) don't matter anymore because you don't really care. It doesn't concern you. And then we wonder, why don't I get along with so and so? Why don't I care about this person or that thing? Why does my life look so happy on social media but right after the moment ends, I feel empty and like something is missing?

Your life may look busy and fulfilling from the outside. Your life can be chock-full of amazing people or just a handful of close friends. Your life can be Gucci galore or countryside cottage. Your life can be complex or simple. But either way, each life lived with feel the same: meaningless — without imaan. So don't let go of the tether that ties you to Allah (swt). Hold on tight, and keep pulling yourself close, step by step.

InshAllah, your efforts will pay off.

Allah (swt) says, "For every step you take towards me, I will take 10 towards you. Walk towards me, and I will run towards you. — Hadith Qudsi
Cover Image Credit: WikiMedia

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31 Thoughts Muslims Have While Praying In Public

I really wish this floor was carpeted.
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1. Alright here we go, Dhuhr ends in an hour.

2. Pulling out my portable prayer rug, heck yes, we ballin today fam

Places You'll Pray, @ummbelaal

3. Okay focus, we’re going to make this one count.

4. Qibla, where is the Qibla. Compass says it’s this way but MuslimPro says it’s the opposite way??

5. I wonder if people will think I’m leading a yoga class like the dude on Twitter6. I really hope no one decides to harm me or start yelling at me

7. JK, the plant I’m praying behind is pretty big, so I should be hidden

8. Wait, why am I relying on a plant for protection, Allah will protect me

9. How did I fit behind this plant?

Places You'll Pray, @selhii

10. FOCUS

11. Deen over Dunya

12. Wait is someone playing Taylor Swift

13. Aw heck no, I am not praying to the tone of Bad Blood

14. Why is this song such a bop

15. FOCUS

16. Wait what rakat am I on?

17. Oh no

Places You'll Pray, @shahid_o_

18. OK, we’re reading Surah Ikhlas, Bismillah

19. Can’t wait to finally use the bathroom after this

20. Wait will I get home before Asr ends?

21. FOCUS

22. I really wish this floor was carpeted

23. Sujood, here we go

Places You'll Pray, @farah_harith

24. Should I put my prayer mat in the wash?

25. IS THAT DUDE STARING AT ME

26. I can’t look, I really hope not

27. It’s OK, we’re good, have faith in Allah

28. You are stronger than this

29. Allah created you strong

30. Dang, I am so proud of myself

31. But next time, we’re going to find a bit more a secluded place


*All pictures taken from Instagram account @placesyoullpray (check them out, they're super cool)

**These are taken from my own stream of consciousness. All Muslims have different experiences and level of focus and this was done purely for entertainment purposes.

Cover Image Credit: Places You'll Pray, @a_wayfarer_//Instagram

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