Your Hijab Questions Answered
What do you want to know about the way Muslim women dress, the headscarf, and the hijab? Beliefnet answers your questions here.
The hijab, or headscarf, is one of the most noticeable and misunderstood badges of Muslim women. But there’s much more to the Islamic dress code for women than the hijab. It’s a total package that deals with clothing, behavior, and demeanor. For some hijab means pairing a headscarf with Western-style clothes. For others it means wearing loose robes as well. Still others add a niqab, or face veil, to their ensembles.
What do Islam and the Qur’an exactly say about modest clothing for women? What does Islamic dress exactly entail? Why do some Muslim women cover up while others don’t? Are there any dress requirements for Muslim men? Check out our Muslim clothing FAQs for the answers to your burning questions.
What is hijab?
The word "hijab" comes from the Arabic "hajaba," which means to conceal or hide from view. In general terms, it refers to Islamic modest dressing for women. But it has come to signify the headscarf, which is the covering many Muslim women use to hide their hair, neck, and often bosom.
What does Islamic dress for women exactly entail?
Islam has no fixed uniform of dress for Muslim women. But there are two requirements, which come from the Qur’an andhadith
(verified sayings of the Prophet Muhammad): First, a woman’s body should be covered such that only her face, hands, and feet are revealed. Secondly, the clothing must be loose enough so that the shape of a woman’s body is not visible.
Other parameters (as stated in hadiths) are that women shouldn’t dress so as to look like men, women shouldn’t dress in a way similar to those who don’t believe in God, and the clothing should be modest, neither ragged nor overly fancy.
It is important to remember that Islam teaches Muslims that the concept of modest dress doesn’t just mean covering the body, but it also has to do with behaviors, manners, speech, and public appearance. Modesty is a total package, with dress being one part of it.
Why is covering the head important?