The Hijabi Women

The Hijabi Woman Hijab: 
By Sumayyah 
a religious head covering adorned in public by some Muslim women in the presence of males outside of a woman’s immediate family (Lexico). When one thinks of the Hijab, oftentimes it is the above definition that comes to mind, one in which the physical, outward parameters of this head covering are defined. And although the literal meaning of the word “Hij√§b” in the Arabic language translates to “a veil, a barrier, or a partition” (Hijab), Hijab serves a much deeper purpose than solely protecting women from the unwarranted gazes of the opposite gender; rather, through the understanding of its true values, Hijab aims to liberate and empower the females who choose to embody its principles. Contrary to what many others may perceive, Hijab is not a form of oppression. Instead, through the covering of a woman’s most beautiful aspects of her body, she has forced others to truly see her for who she is. She has inherently attracted respect based on her abilities and character, rather than due to how others may benefit from her outward appearance- and it is here that the beauty of the concept of Hijab is revealed. Despite the fact that Hijab is indeed a physical covering that many Muslim women have chosen to wear, its significance extends to promote an attitude of humbleness and modesty, empowerment, and self respect to all those who partake in it. 

 Perhaps one of the most outwardly visible virtues of a Hijabi woman is her modesty, her covering of the most valuable facets of her beauty (such as hair and body figure). In literal terms, the concept of Hijab includes the concealment of the majority of a woman’s body, with the exception of her face, hands, and feet. In the Holy Quran, however, it becomes apparent that Hijab is not synonymous with the term “modesty”; although many people perceive this covering of the body to be solely due to the principle of modesty, modesty in Islam instead refers to the feeling of shyness towards exposing one’s intimacy to others, and is rooted in dignity, honor, and self respect. Therefore, the decision to clothe oneself in the Hijab is one based on the precepts of what Islam believes to be an innate humility, and is both a physical and character manifestation of the essence of modesty as a notion.

Religiously, and most importantly, Hijab does not merely refer to the covering of one’s awrah, the intimate parts of the human body that Islamically must not be showcased. Instead, this term embodies modesty in all aspects of life- shyness when it comes to one’s achievements and successes, humility in one’s religious affairs, and humbleness in one’s relationships with others. In essence, one should succeed in private. Oftentimes, Hijabi women are looked down upon, and are seen as incapable of achieving the same standards as their non-Hijabi counterparts; they may be severely doubted and incorrectly perceived due to the religious covering that crowns them. However, because an important factor of Hijab consists of remaining modest and humble, one should expect Hijabi women to excel in the same manner that others do, albeit that they may do so privately. They may surprise others by their sudden presence of being on top, due to the fact that they remained modest in their affairs. Hijab promotes an air of excellence, and proves to others that the Hijab is not a hindrance; rather, it is the means of encouraging women to break boundaries, and achieve immense success while visibly representing their beautiful faith. 

 This outwardly visible symbolization of Islam by a Muslim woman wearing the Hijab allows it to serve as a means of empowering the women of Islam to ensure that they are receiving the full extent of their rights, thus promoting the concept of creating strong, confident women. It has become a common thought that the Hijab is a form of abuse for women, and denies them of the freedom that other religions seem to allow; however, in Islam, women and men are equal in the eyes of God. The adornment of the Hijab elevates the religious status of women, and Islamically women are given very specific rights that must be implemented; these include the rights of equal education to males, of retaining one’s identity after marriage, the right to divorce, and the right to work and keep one’s own money, even in a marital relationship. It is forbidden to force a Muslim woman to marry a man that she does not wish to pursue a relationship with, and in opposition to many other cultures worldwide, a man must pay his bride a dowry as a means of symbolizing her worth. It is important to note that the equality of females to males was not a common practice prior to the revelation of the Quran; therefore, it is incorrect to assume that the Hijab’s purpose is to subjugate women to the control of their male counterparts. In Islam, women are extremely valuable, and the Hijab emphasizes this concept. The Hijab beautifies a woman, both outwardly and in character; perhaps one of the most alluring aspects of a Hijabi woman is her ability to inspire

 other girls to follow in her footsteps, which alone is a significant means of empowerment. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Hijab serves as a way of ensuring that all women understand their self worth and value, and with that comes the development of great self respect. Hijab establishes the idea that a covered woman will not be taken advantage of for her body, that instead she will be viewed by her temperament, her manners, and her abilities. By removing the focus from physical appearance and instead redirecting that attention towards what a woman is capable of, more value is placed on who she is as an individual. She is now appreciated for the manner in which she treats others, she is admired for the ways in which she contributes to her work/school environment, and she is loved for her character. By explicitly attracting this type of positive regard towards herself, the Hijabi Woman is now forced to view herself in the same heed; with immense respect for who she is and what she is apt to achieve, and with great recognition towards her worth and value in the eyes of God. In conclusion, the Hijab is not solely an article of clothing worn by the women of Islam; rather, it is a lifestyle, a means by which one should conduct one’s affairs. The Hijab easily becomes a large factor of one’s identity, and allows for women to recognize that their presence is indeed valuable, that their decision to crown themselves in this manner is one based on humility and great self respect. By taking the characteristics of humbleness and modesty, strength and empowerment, and the acknowledgment of one’s own self worth and implementing them into one’s life, Islam teaches women that they should stand out. That it is encouraged to do so. The Hijabi Woman will not be impeded by her Hijab; rather, she will be remarkably different, and she will achieve the goals that she is pursuing while representing her faith in the brightest light in the process.

“Hijab English Definition and Meaning.” Lexico Dictionaries | English, Lexico Dictionaries, 

“Religions - Islam: Hijab.” BBC, BBC, 3 Sept. 2009, 


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