Understanding the Hijab



People tend to know and follow Islam based on certain behaviours and traits of Muslims who might not entirely follow Islamic teachings, and they judge the religion based on those people’s behaviors and traits.  I will surely say that Islam is perfect but Muslims are not. This column will reflect on some of the Islamic teachings so we can  learn and know Islam better through its teachings from the scriptures (Quran, Hadith and Fiqh).

Understanding Hijab

Hijab is a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which covers the head and chest. For some, the hijab is worn by Muslim women to maintain modesty and privacy from unrelated males. According to Islam, modesty concerns both men's and women's "gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia".

The word Hijab describes the act of covering and it is often used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women.

The Hijab and Scarves come in many styles and colors even the clothing materials are different. 

The Covering in Islam is defined in categories like Niqab which covers everything only leaving the area around the eyes clear.

The Burka this is the concealing of all Muslim veils, it is a one-piece veil that covers the face and the body only leaving a mesh screen to see through.

The Al-amira this is a two-piece veil which consists of a close fitting cap and it is a tube-like scarf.


The Khimar this is along cape like veil that hangs around the waist and it covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely but leaves the face clear.

The Shayla is the rectangular scarf wrapped around the head and tucked or 
pinned in place at shoulders.


The Chador, this is a full body cloak, it is often accompanied by smaller headscarf underneath.

The Qur'an instructs Muslim women to dress modestly, and Islam defines this type of modest as covering everything except the face and hands up to the wrists.


These guidelines are found in texts of hadith (stories of the Prophet) developed after the revelation of the Qur'an verses (ayahs) referencing hijab in the Qur'an.
Surah 24:31, instructs women to guard their private parts and draw their khimār over their bosoms.
It says:  And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof (Hands, feet, and the face); the Quran instructs believing women and not to display their beauty except to their husband,  their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention

 Surah 33:59 The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is commanded to ask his family members and other Muslim women to wear outer garments when they go out, so that they are not harassed

To be continued...