An Opportunity to Learn about Hijab, Clear Up Misconceptions about Islam

15:21 - February 05, 2023
News ID: 3482355
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Have you ever seen a Muslim woman wearing a head covering and wondered what it was? Or, more important, why she was wearing it?

Muslim woman wearing hijab


Did you know there’s even a day that recognizes women who wear it and encourages other women to try it, as well?

The head covering is called a hijab, and Wednesday, Feb. 1, was the 11th annual World Hijab Day. This is a day that recognizes women who wear hijabs and encourages other women of different faiths to experience it. The day also raises awareness about hijabs and fights against Islamophobia.

The hijab worn by Muslim women and girls covers their hair, ears, neck and chest. It can also be worn with a face covering called a niqab. A hijab is usually worn with loose clothing such as long dresses called abayas.

The Quran, the holy book for Muslims, teaches that Muslim men and women should dress modestly and lower their gazes when around each other. A hijab is worn by Muslim women and girls to maintain modesty and privacy from any males who are not close relatives.

World Hijab Day all started with one woman named Nazma Khan, who faced a great deal of discrimination as a young girl in New York City because of her hijab. From being called names like “ninja” to “terrorist” after 9/11, she suffered from countless years of bullying over a piece of fabric on her head.

After learning about women around the world who wear hijabs and had to deal with racism, Khan decided she had to do something. Hence, Feb. 1, 2013, became the first World Hijab Day.

Khan believes that people can only truly understand another’s struggles and beliefs once they’ve walked in their shoes. In other words, the day is rooted in the belief that the best way to combat discrimination and Islamophobia is by encouraging other women from around the world and from every faith to try on the hijab on Feb. 1.

Today, there are many bans and restrictions in non-Muslim countries regarding the hijab. It’s difficult to understand why some people would be so against a simple piece of fabric on someone else’s head. In fact, we see head coverings worn by women of various faiths. Catholic nuns have always covered their hair. In portraits of the Virgin Mary, she is always wearing a head covering as well.

Head coverings are also part of various cultures. Not all head coverings are similar to a hijab. A simple hat is a head covering, isn’t it?

The hijab isn’t a new concept, but unfortunately women and girls all over the world have had to face discrimination — and are continuing to do so — because they choose to follow the teachings of their religion.

You don’t have to wait until next year if you want to try on a hijab and see what it’s like. I’ve felt a great sense of confidence and pride wearing a hijab. I’m happy World Hijab Day was started because now we have a chance to teach others about the hijab and clear up some misconceptions about Islam.


By Maham Khan (A sophomore in West Valley Virtual Academy in Washington State, US)



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