Misconceptions about Islam: The Hijab:
So what exactly is hijab? To observe the hijab, Muslim women are required to cover their body with modest clothes that don’t reveal their figure in front of male strangers. However, hijab is not just about outer appearances; it is also about noble speech, modesty, dignified and righteous conduct. It goes without saying that these manners are also required of men.
There is nothing in hijab that restricts a Muslim woman’s freedom to express her views and opinion, to own property, to have an education and a career, or to choose a husband. The hijab is an act of honour and dignity, an empowerment, and a guarantee that a woman will be judged according to her inner spiritual beauty rather than her outer superficial appearance. The hijab liberates and raises a woman’s status, and demands that she be judged according to her intellect rather than her sexuality.
The reason Muslim women observe hijab is simply because Allah (God) made it a compulsory act of worship for them, and Allah knows what is best for His creation.
The hijab gives women the freedom to be active members of society, while maintaining their modesty. The hijab is meant for the public as women do not have to observe hijab when they are at home with their family!
The hijab does not symbolize suppression, oppression or silence. Rather, it is a shield guarding against degrading remarks, unwanted advances and unfair discrimination. Of all converts to Islam, 75% are women! Would you enter a religion that oppresses you? So the next time you see a Muslim woman, know that she covers her physical appearance, not her mind or intellect!
O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be chaste women) and not abused…” Qur’an 33:59