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?
6712
views

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

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
35547
views

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Freedom Of Dress Includes Muslim Head Coverings

A recent Hoodies ad doesn't seem to understand that freedom looks different.

124
views

Hoodies, an Israeli clothing brand, recently aired an ad depicting a famous Israeli supermodel wearing a niqab with the subtitle, "is Iran here?" After a moment of reflection, she rips the piece of clothing off and jumps around the screen in different Hoodies clothes before a voice-over at the end claims that "Freedom Is Basic." While some have celebrated the ad for calling out Iran's human rights abuses and its compulsory hijab laws, most have critiqued the ad for Islamophobia.

A second ad has replaced the first, depicting many niqab-covered faces that look out of the screen without any subtitles before the niqab is ripped off and the first Israeli supermodel, as well as other models (including a hijabi athlete and a Jewish man in a skullcap), jump around the screen before declaring that "Freedom Is Basic."

Some may think that the second ad makes up for the first, especially because it is inclusive of a hijabi woman, but I am hesitant to agree. The removal of a niqab being equated with freedom, regardless of who else is in the ad, shows a blatant misunderstanding of Muslim modesty.

The Quran calls for modesty in men as well as women, something often overlooked, and that modesty has nothing to do with freedom. Men are told to "restrain their eyes" in order to stay pure. They are told to cover their "private part," which officially refers to the region from the naval to the knee. The Hadith tradition even tells men what fabrics to wear, how long their beard should be, not to wear gold, and more. Restrictions like this do sound oppressive, the very opposite of freedom, but they are for protection and purity. After all, freedom without rules is anarchy.

Muslim women's modesty is similar. Covering oneself is a choice that comes out of the desire to please Allah, for it was Allah who gave the command for modesty. Covering is part of worship, for Muslims are called to life worshipfully in all areas of life, including how they dress. Many women explain that covering themselves gives them freedom from other people's desires and worrying about other's perceptions. It is also a reminder to not dress for men or worry about the external, but focus on the internal.

With this understanding, both Hoodies ads make no sense. The only logical explanation for them is that in some parts of the world, hijab is required and in those scenarios, hijabs and other coverings are tools of oppression used by those in power. Removing them in those contexts would be a display of freedom, but niqabs by themselves do not represent oppression. Tearing them off does not automatically represent freedom. By showing such a simplistic view in their ad, Hoodies stereotypes hijabs and other covers as negative.

I've experienced a sliver of those anti-hijab stereotypes during my involvement in World Hijab Day. I'll never forget when a man made eye contact with me, ran his eyes over his entire body including my headscarf, made eye contact with me again, and then walked away with a look of disgust on his face. When I rode the bus on my school's campus, my friends told me about a group of girls that kept staring at me (which I didn't notice). I've had genuine questions from good people and I've had people ask me why I'm wearing "that" in a tone that sounds like I'm wearing the dirtiest thing they can imagine. But nothing I was wearing was dirty-- I freely choose what I was wearing so that I could better understand what hijabi women go through every day. It was no different than my freely made decisions about what I wear on other days.

Hoodies should remember that freedom does not look one way. Freedom implies choice and sometimes people choose differently than others. Those differences are good and should be encouraged by fashion brands, not stereotyped like in their recent ad.

Related Content

Facebook Comments