It’s the 1st of February and it’s officially World Hijab Day!
About World Hijab Day
World Hijab Day is the brainchild of Nazma Khan, a social activist from New York, originally from Bangladesh.
Nazma began ‘World Hijab Day’ as a means to foster personal freedom of religious expression and cultural understanding by inviting women from all walks of life to experience Hijab for one day.www.worldhijabday.com
When Did World Hijab Day Begin?
World Hijab Day began officially on 1st February 2013, in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the Hijab and live a life of modesty.www.worldhijabday.com
For more information, feel free to browse the World Hijab Day website
World Hijab Day can be used as an example of enlightening many people of different backgrounds and faiths about the modern interpretation of Hijab, aka the headscarf, that many Muslim women wear to cover their hair.
To many of us, wearing the hijab is not just about covering your head, neck and chest area, but it’s a part of our life and lifestyle.
It’s an outward expression of our religious identity, and as such a link to the spiritual practices that we do daily.
In the Qur’aan it is mention in Surah Noor, verse 31:
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women…Al – Qur’aan, Surah Noor, Verse 31
In this verse, came the order for women to essentially cover up themselves, and only display, their beauty, ie: show their hair, face, arms, hands, legs and feet, to the men and women in their family only.
Islam has spread so widely throughout the world, to so many diverse nations and cultures, and as such, the hijab has been adapted to fit the lifestyles of the ladies that choose to wear it, while still keeping it inline with the rulings within Islam pertaining to modesty.
As a South African Indian Muslim woman, I have had my own journey with wearing the hijab.
At the age of 7, I was fortunate to attend a private Islamic School and part of the uniform included wearing a hijab during school hours.
As the years went by, wearing a headscarf became a part of my everyday wardrobe. When I was in my 20’s I began wearing expanding my wardrobe to include wearing an Abaya daily as well, and just before I got married, I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to begin wearing the Niqaab. It had been something that I wanted to do for a very long time.
Wearing the Abaya, Hijab and Niqaab does come with its own challenges. Being a woman that works in a largely male dominated field, means I have many challenges, such as the heat of summer that I have to contend with.
However, my dressing has never prevented me from achieving or excelling in what I do. I am also amazed at the kind of respect I get from clients, colleagues and acquaintances from different faiths.
I would love to hear about your journey regarding Hijab in the comments and feel free to ask any questions as well, if you have any.
For now though, Happy World Hijab Day! May all who participate in wearing the hijab, be pleasantly surprised and may it become a source of education as well as understanding for all.