- What is hijab?
- What are the basic requirements to observe this practice?
- Is it sufficient to say that a woman is observing hijab when her hair is covered or are there requirements beyond the covering of the hair?
- What are the requirements of a mans hijab?
- How does hijab enhance our social lives and protect our nafs from decay?
- Why do women have to wear hijab but not men?
- What does “true” hijab look like? Does the hijab oppress women or liberate them?
- What purpose does hijab serve in today’s world?
For starters, the term “hijab الحجاب” literally means a cover, curtain or screen. It is not a technical term used in Islamic jurisprudence for the dress code of women. The term used in Islamic jurisprudence that denotes the conduct of unrelated men and women towards one another, and their dress code, is “satr or satir—الستر، الساتر”. [Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad, Hijab – The Muslim Womens Dress (Islamic or Cultural?)]
Islam being a well defined system has set criteria for observing practical laws ordained by God. Hijab, being one of those laws, it is no different. Similar to all practices within the fold of Islam, there are basic criteria which must be observed for an act to be in its complete form. These basic criteria are not determined by way of our opinion, rather they are taught to us by way of Islamic scholarship via the teachings of The Holy Quran, and the words, teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad [s] and His Holy Progeny, The AhlulBayt [as]. In addition to the basic criteria, there are acts which are considered recommended as well as those which are advised against. Similar to the way we vaccinate our bodies to prevent disease, Hijab can be understood as a primary method of preventing many of the social evils we observe today.
It is rare to find a term as polarizing, powerful, inspiring, and insightful as hijab. To the non-Muslim observer, it is a symbol of Islam. To the Muslim woman, it is her stance against being judged for her physical appearance. To the advocates of female progress it is the silent symbol defeating magazine perceptions of beauty. Each female that begins the journey of wearing hijab embarks upon seeking God’s approval over that of His creation. The hijab is powerful because so many have found security and piety through it while shattering the stereotypes and double standards found in society towards females and their appearance.
Millions of women around the world each day engage in wearing the headscarf. These women have chosen for themselves to be judged on divine criteria of modesty, piety, intellect, and compassion. However, even amongst very practicing Muslims there are just as many questions as there answers about the concept of hijab in Islam.
The purpose of this campaign is to encourage men and women alike to ask themselves these questions, and honestly evaluate themselves against the criteria provided by God and not by the latest fashion magazines and societal trends.
The Awaited One Foundation, as a servant organization of our living Imam [aj], wishes to educate and promote hijab as it was intended to be practiced and help restore the balance to society that Islam so lovingly imparts in its teachings. Our hope is that these efforts will help challenge Muslims to represent themselves in the highest of conduct and outlook as Islam so beautifully has allowed for them.
In an effort to promote hijab locally, The Awaited One Foundation will also recognize sisters who have accepted their religious responsibilities (Takleef) by taking the steps to observe hijab. Our hopes is that these sort of efforts will help change believers to represent themselves accurately as Islam dictates, and help as we prepare the grounds for His [aj] reappearance.