The term hijab literally translates to cover and can be more accurately described as a set of codes that represent modesty, privacy, and morality. The most common form of practicing this belief is by wearing a headscarf or veil to cover one’s hair; but overall, the concept is pretty subjective and can be open to interpretation.
Peoplehave different views and beliefs on hijab. Some of the thoughts of some hijab-wearing women are listed here:
Ifat Gazia is from Kashmir who recently graduated from the University of London. “After the Paris attacks of November 2015, I faced an assault-like situation on Oxford Street in London when a group of boys and girls pushed me to the ground and started abusing me. I didn’t understand what they were saying because I was startled and they didn’t speak English. I was new to the city and the only obvious way of identifying that I was Muslim was by my hijab. There was a strong wave of Islamophobia in European countries in those days, and I was among those who faced the brunt, but it cannot change a place entirely and there is no doubt that the UK is a very tolerant country; London even has a Muslim Mayor.
"I wear hijab not because it represents my morality, intellect, backwardness, or modernity, but because it makes me feel complete. I choose to wear a hijab and it represents my pride in being a Muslim and somehow makes me fulfill my duties to my religion, but it doesn’t give me the liberty to judge those who don’t wear it. Wearing a hijab in no way makes me a better Muslim than those who don’t wear it. But I have chosen this piece of cloth, not as an obligation or as a sign of oppression, but as my own choice of freedom.”
Azeenarh Mohammed is from Abuja in Nigeria says,” I really liked the sense of freedom I felt from wearing the niqab – freedom from people’s gaze, comments, and judgment. And wearing it also came with respect. In northern Nigeria, when people see a woman in a niqab, they assume you’re a very pious person.”
Aziza Paula Di Bello, an Uruguayan psychologist, converted to Islam five years ago. She started wearing the hijab, and from the first moment started to feel the benefits of it. Wearing the hijab is not just about covering the hair … It also includes an attitude of modesty. She says,” Only after experiencing it did I realize that my hijab gives me an identity as a Muslim woman, devout and respectable. It protects me – not only from the eyes of men but from anyone who can value me and evaluate me based on anything other than my ability, my intellect, my heart. It elevates me in status by choosing to submit to my creator and not to his creation. And I’m not submissive, on the contrary. My hijab is for me a rebellion against the consumerism of the flesh; it frees me from submission to others to satisfy their needs. It is an act of mercy between men and women because it forces the other not to distract themselves in superficialities, and things that can affect a marriage, a family, and therefore society. Therefore, its benefits reach the social sphere. My hijab makes me feel that my interlocutor is focused on who I really am."
“Hijab is the identity of a Muslim woman. Yes, but then almost all religions mandate a woman to cover her head. Christian nuns use headscarves and Hindu women wear ghoongats. Even women who do not adhere to these customs daily, cover their head with the ‘pallu’ or a scarf when entering places of worship”, said Samina Yasmin, educationist.
Yasmine Simone, 21, Beauty content creator and a student says,”As difficult as it can be for people who are unaccustomed to the concept of the hijab to understand, it makes me feel so empowered and gives me agency. I have control over who can see special parts of me.” Former actress Sana Khan says about wearing hijab, “Hijab on your head has thousand times more beauty than a crown on a queen’s head.”
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