Tag Archives: Women in Islam

February 1: World Hijab Day


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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World Hijab Day - 2

Today, February 1, 2014 is “World Hijab Day”

More than 50 countries of the world celebrated “World Hijab Day” on February 1, 2013.

A New Yorker Nazma Khan born in Bangladesh founded the World Hijab Day. It was organized almost solely over social networking sites. Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world have been attracted by it.

Nazma Khan came to the United States from Bangladesh at the age of 11. She was the only person in her Bronx school to wear the Hijab, the traditional Islamic veil or scarf that is worn by many post-pubescent Muslim women to cover the head and chest.

Her classmates and schoolmates ridiculed her for wearing the Hijab and called her names. They tormented her throughout her time in the middle school and high school for wearing the Hijab. She suffered many hardships when she entered City College of New York, especially after the four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in New York City and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. At that time, some New Yorkers wary of Muslims made her a target for ridicule and suspicion.

Nazma said: “I was made to feel like a criminal, as if I was responsible for 9/11 and owed an apology to everyone.”

However, Nazma, true to her religious beliefs, steadfastly wore the Hijab, shrugging off the rancorous comments and venomous stares.

Nazma Khan (Source: language.chinadaily.com.cn)
Nazma Khan (Source: language.chinadaily.com.cn)

She launched the website worldhijabday.com on January 21, 2013 with the mission to make non-Muslims understand the virtues of wearing the Hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf.

Through her website, Nazma Khan has gained many Muslim and non-Muslim friends. Many of her Muslim followers are immigrants themselves, and have all experienced similar pains like her. Nazma has inspired many Muslim students to wear the Hijab.

World Hijab Day

In a message, she appealed to women across the world to wear the Hijab for just one day on February 1, 2013, to support the personal freedom to wear clothing of one’s own choice.

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I have listed and described the names of some common clothing worn by the Muslim women – from the least to the most conservative such as the Hijab, Khimar, Shayla, Abaya, Chador, Niqab, Yashmak, and Burqa, in my post titled, “A Muslim Woman’s Veil.

Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK with and without her Hijab (Source: bbc.co.uk)
Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK with and without her Hijab (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Even though there is no basis for celebrating World Hijab Day, Muslims in more than 50 countries of the world celebrated the day on February 1, 2013. However, there are detractors too among Muslims who are against celebrating the so-called World Hijab Day. Umm Ibrahim (https://www.facebook.com/umm.ibrahim.56) living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, vehemently says:

✦ Please know there is no BASIS for Hijab Day, Mother’s Day, etc etc. Neither the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) nor his sahabah and none from the pious predecessors ever celebrated such stuff! Our scholars have warned us clearly against innovated festivals/occasions. Muslims should avoid initiating or encouraging innovated occasions in imitation to those of the kuffar, such as Mothers’s Day, the day of the Earth, etc!

✦ DAWAH starts with TAWHEED not HIJAB! Hadith of Mu’adh, when Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) sent him to Yemen, he said, “O Mu’adh, you aer going to a nation from the People of the Book, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the TAWHEED OF ALLAH.” (Saheeh Bukhari (book 93, no 469)

✦ This is making fun of Hijab by asking support of non-muslims to wear for a day! Allah alone is sufficient for us. More reward for sisters who are struggling more to continue their hijab in west! IF possible, migrate from their lands which ban/mock Islam. Otherwise, just stay firm and be sincere and ask Allah to help. We know many sisters who wear Niqab in the West, Alhamdulillah! So, in future do we expect World NIQAB DAY, too?

✦ Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), who said: “I urge you to adhere to my way (Sunnah) and the way of the rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashidoon) who come after me. Hold fast to it and bite onto it with your eyeteeth [i.e., cling firmly to it], and beware of newly-invented matters.”

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A Muslim Woman’s Veil


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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Traditionally, Muslim women dress modestly. A friend of mine from Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India teaches in a school, in the Maldive Islands. Though a Christian by faith, she wears clothes like her Muslim colleagues. Today I saw a lovely photograph of her in Islamic attire sans the veil. This made me wonder what terms I should use for a Muslim woman’s veil.

I found that the name given to the veil depends on the shape of the veil, the style, colours, the country and the region where the wearer lives, how much of the head the veil covers, and whether the veil integrates with her main clothes.

I have listed and described the names of some common clothing worn by the Muslim women – from the least to the most conservative such as the Hijab, Khimar, Shayla, Abaya, Chador, Niqab, Yashmak, and Burqa.

Hijab

The term Hijaab usually describes a Muslim woman’s modest dress – the least conservative form of a woman’s veil. A headscarf secured around the head, covering the neck, ears, hair, the entire head except the face, and fastened under the chin. It usually reaches down to the shoulders.

The word Hijaab derived from the Arabic word for curtain or cover, and according to Islamic scholarship, has a wider meaning of modesty and privacy.

Khimar

A long piece of cloth that drapes over the entire top half of a woman’s body, from the head all the way down to the elbows, hands, knees or feet depending on the chosen length.

Shayla

A small or short Hijab that covers the head and neck. Some women prefer to wear the Shayla as everyday casual wear.

Abaya

In contrast to the Hijaab, the Abaya worn over other clothing extends to the rest of the figure. To put it simply, an Abaya is a Hijaab-dress combo.

The Abaya usually made of black synthetic fiber, sometimes decorated with colored embroidery or sequins may be worn from the top of the head to the ground (like the Chador described below), or over the shoulders and may be combined with a headscarf or face veil.

Traditional in the Arab Gulf countries, Iranian women commonly wear Abaya. Saudi women also wear Abaya, complimenting it with a Niqab.

Chador

An enveloping cloak worn by women, covering the wearer from the top of the head to the heel. Iranian women wear the Chador without a face veil.

Niqab

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A piece of fabric that covers the face, nearly every part under the eyes. Most often the Niqab proceeds all the way up to the hair line. The Niqabworn almost exclusively with Hijaabs and Abayas, provides a slit for the woman’s eyes; however, her face stays concealed.

Yashmak

A piece of cloth that combines the lower half of a Niqab, namely, the part below the eyes, with a partial Hijaab so as to cover most of the hair. Hijaab and Hijaab-Niqab wearing has come into vogue overtaking Ysahmak that was once popular in Egypt.

Burqa

The most conservative garment, modeled on the Abaya. However, instead of leaving the face exposed, the Burqa covers the entire face. A mesh replaces the upper part of the face so that the woman can see the world around her. The Burqa conceals the woman completely, isolating her from the surrounding humanity.

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Western Christian Society Okays Bikini or G-string but Abhors Women Wearing Veils or Head-scarfs.


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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One of the problems Saint Paul had to handle in Corinth was how to persuade the women to dress properly in the assembly.

In Paul’s period, women had been participating in worship at Corinth without the head-covering as was normal in Greek society. Paul’s stated that his goal was to bring these women into conformity with contemporary Jewish practice and propriety. In order to convince them, he put forward arguments from a variety of sources, though he had space to develop them only sketchily and was perhaps aware that they differed greatly in persuasiveness.

Man and Woman – 1 Corinthians 11:3-16

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ.

Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head.

But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.

For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off.

But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.

A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord.

For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled?

Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been
given [her] for a covering?

But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God.

Twenty years ago, in India, all Christian women, especially Catholic women, when they entered the churches covered their heads with a veil or the fold of their saree. But now it has become a fashion with women not to cover their head in church but wear coiffures in different styles. These women and young girls scoff at those few who cover their heads labeling them as old fashioned.

Even nuns belonging to certain orders wear sarees and do not cover their heads even while dispensing Holy Communion.

What bothers me and most Catholics is the fact that our clergy express pleasure by admiring the uncovered heads of our women folk in churches, be they saree clad nuns or lay women.

So, as Catholics and Christians why not, why can’t and why don’t our women folk, whether they are nuns or not, cover their heads in churches?

Recently, I came across the following video excerpt and was impressed by what Sheikh Khaled Yasin says.

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Question: What’s With Female Head Coverings? (thewayeverlasting.com)Add this anywhere