Hijab or ḥijāb (حجاب,)

20 08 2009

The term Hijab or ḥijāb (حجاب, pronounced [ħiˈdʒæːb]), as commonly used in the English-speaking world, refers to the types of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women, but can also refer to modest Muslim styles of dress in general. The Arabic word literally means curtain or cover (noun), based on the root حجب meaning “to cover, to veil, to shelter”. Most Islamic legal systems define this type of modest dressing as covering everything except the face and hands in public.[1][2] According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality;[3] the word for a headscarf or veil used in the Koran is khimār (خمار) and not hijab. Still another definition is metaphysical, where al-hijab “refers to the veil which separates man or the world from God.”[2]

Since the 1970s, hijab has emerged as a symbol of Islamic consciousness. Muslims differ as to how “hijab dress” should be enforced, particularly over the role of religious police that are enforcing hijab in Iran and Saudi Arabia


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