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World Hijab Day is celebrated on 1st February to bring awareness about the importance of the Hijab. Despite that, most people are unaware of its main purpose, and it is often subjected to criticism.
This is a common phenomenon with non-Muslims and some of the Muslims who are unaware of history. The Hijab is more than a piece of clothing worn by Muslim women. It has a certain amount of ingrained history at its roots that make it a symbol of modesty.
Read along and understand the purpose behind wearing a Hijab on a deeper level.
History of Hijab
Before we comprehend the purpose of the Hijab, it is necessary to form a solid foundation by knowing its history. Hijab is mentioned in Quran in verse 24:31 that says, “Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do.”
Quran dictates that men are supposed to keep their gaze lower and avoid looking at private areas of the women.
It is also presumed that Hijab was prevalent even before the advent of Muhammed in Syria and Palestine. With his increasing influence, more and more visitors were invited to stay at his house, which was then a mosque. However, he noticed that they used to sleep only a foot away from their wife’s quarters. This was depicted in Sura 33:53, stating, “And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts.” It was mainly to protect his wives from the looks of non-mahram.
Besides that, Hijab was also used to denote high social status.
Purpose of Wearing a Hijab
Hijab is considered to be an Islamic necessity, but its purpose and benefits are manifold. The following are some of the main intentions behind wearing a Hijab:
The foremost purpose of wearing a Hijab is to depict the woman’s religious beliefs. It is a modest way of pleasing the Creator. Besides asking the men to lower their gaze, the Quran has also asked Muslim women to guard their modest and simply display their beauty. As this is a command of the Creator, Muslim women around the world have accepted it as their lifestyle.
Hijab is a beautiful way of telling the world about your faith and culture. It is a subtle way of accepting Islam in our everyday lives. As clothing denotes our personality, a Hijab helps in building up a distinctive characteristic that is highly noticeable in a crowd. It assists one in recognizing fellow Muslims in unknown places. It gives a feeling of reassurance and oneness.
The literal meaning of Hijab is “partition”. It is a way to create a barrier between non-mahram and Muslim women. In other words, it is a means for Muslim women to dress modestly without attracting the evil gaze of strangers. Hijab is a piece of clothing that covers the head, shoulders, as well as chest. Such a veil helps in protecting women from foul sight.
Focus on Inner Beauty:
As the world is focusing on material beauty and appearances, a Hijab helps in empowering the women in showcasing their true selves. It helps in showing the world their real personality, rather than mere outer beauty. In a way, a Hijab is a form of liberty and self-respect. It is used as a medium to tell the world to focus on their nature and not their looks. Their beauty is only reserved for the people who deserve it and not every other man.
Hijab is often presumed to be a sign of oppression. But it is a way of protecting women from the sinful gaze of men. As more and more women are focusing on their careers (as they should), they are subjected to harassment in workplaces. A Hijab helps in demanding respect and safety. It is a way of creating a barrier between them and strangers and protecting them from such atrocities.
Everybody deserves respect in their lives, including Muslim women. It is often seen that Hijaabis are subjected to criticism and harassment as Islam is wrongfully considered to be unabashedly correlated with Islam. But in reality, Hijab is just a way to show their love and respect for the religion and the Almighty.
Even though it has a negative connotation to it, Hijab is a form of liberation that allows Muslim women to go move about as per their liking. It shows her purity and makes way for mental peace.
So, do not shy away from accepting your culture and religion and flaunt your Hijab without any hesitation.