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The Hijab

Historical information indicates that Hijab existed before religions, and in the Code of Hammurabi, the first king of Babylon. But it was prohibited for bondmaids and restricted only to honorable women. And reading the religious texts before Islam (the Torah and the Bible), you notice indications about wearing the Hijab.

Hijab between religion and fashion

Q: Some believe that Hijab, which constitutes a legal cover up, is restricted to the cloak (chador or abaya), mostly used in ancient times, and that the modern veil is not adequate. What is your Eminence’s view?

The social costs of wearing a headscarf

A research conducted by Professor Yasir Suleiman, Project Leader and Founding Director of Prince Al waleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, examined the cases of 50 British women who have converted to Islam. Published by the University of Cambridge, the research constitutes an inclusive assessment and analysis of the status of British Muslim women who are from different ethnicities, nationalities, and faiths. The research tackles the dress code converts have to commit themselves to, the relationship between the convert, the heritage Muslim communities and wider society.

The first veiled woman ever to give a speech at the British Parliament

Sumayya Karim, a British citizen from a Pakistani origin and the very first veiled Muslim ever to give a speech at the House of Commons last week. The speech was given at the historic hall of the House of Commons, right from the dispatch box from which the prime minister addresses the MPs as part of the annual session of the British Youth Parliament, attracting everyone’s attention by her speech and veil alike.

“More than just a veil”

“A lot fail to grasp the concept of Hijab. It is not a mere cloth that we use in order to cover our hair. Hijab is rather a choice. It is part of my identity” believes Esraa Haydar. The 24 year old Lebanese young lady was asked to change the way she dressed so that she would get the job she had earlier applied for. Esraa was simply inadequate for the position in a marketing company; her Hijab made her “un-presentable.” Ironically, the employer’s wife herself wore Hijab, Esraa learned as she met her by chance after some time.

Social and mental Hijab

Hijab, or veil, is a religious obligation as stipulated by the Holy Quran. Allah says in His book: “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms.” (24:31)

Hijab: A Historical Recount

The word “Hijab” is derived from the Arabic word “hajaba” meaning to hide from view or conceal. Nowadays, the context of Hijab refers to the modest covering of a Muslim women; which also constitutes abstaining from wearing apparent makeup, lowering her gaze, and speaking modestly.

The Archbishop of Canterbury advocates the right of veiled women

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said that the Muslim women in Britain enjoy the right to wear the veil (Hijab) that helps them assert themselves. Speaking at The Sunday Times Literary Festival in Oxford, the Archbishop said that some feel that the veil has become more like a stereotype and not an expression of commitment to the religious teachings, pointing that his views were influenced by a recent encounter with a teenage veiled Muslim pupil who takes courses on Christianity at a Church of Wales school. He said: “She told me how she would wear her veil and yet take part, too, in some of the school's Christian lessons. It gave her an understanding of Christianity and yet wearing her veil was also very important for her to assert herself and her religion…”

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