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Hijab Beginners Guide

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 Hijab means to cover, screen or curtain. The real term used in islam is satr, which is why you sometimes don't hear a reference to the term hijab, however essentially it is the same.
  • Within Islam we have a concept of modesty, morals and interaction between different genders. Within the Quran there are two verses that Allah swt has defined hijab for us.
     
  • “Say to the believing men that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste). This is better for them.” Surah an-nur verse 30.
     
  • Men are required not to look lustfully at women, and to prevent that, they should cast there glances downwards.
     
  • “Say to the believing women that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste)…”
     
  • Women are also commanded to protect there glances...
     
  • “...and not display their beauty except what is apparent, and they should place their khumur over their bosoms...”
     
  • Khimar, a covering over the head also widely known as a scarf used to cover the head. In the pre islamic era, women used to put the khumur over the head, however tieing it behind the head, therefore exposing the ears and neck. The verse commands to place the khumur over the bosoms, so that they conceal their ears, neck and part of the bosom.
     
  • “O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers that: they should let down upon themselves their jalabib.” al-ahzab – verse 59
     
  • Jalabib is a loose garment, that is worn as a shirt or wide dress. Therefore the dress code includes the head covering, but also the overall clothing. Therefore tight fitted clothing does not fit into the criteria for hijab.
     
  • As muslims and followers of the Prophet saw, we also look at his sunnah. Under all schools of thought, which covers ALL interpretations of sunni Islam, the entire body of a woman is awrah, and therefore it should be covered except for the face and hands.
     
  • What is important to understand is that islam is a religion for humankind, for all of insan. Within the quran there is an acceptance that we do have different cultures and this is part of our ummah, to have these different cultures. The requirement for hijab has to cover the elements discussed, but it does not have to fit into one such dress code from a singular culture. The style, colour, material, design etc can and will continue to differ for the different cultures that wear hijab. In south east asia we have salwar kamiz, in arabia we have jilbab or abaya, and in western cultures we have garments which do the same job, but styled differently, these can be skirts, with loose tops, and the wearing of the head covering. This is an accepted form of hijab.
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