SHAFAQNA- Today, February 1, is called World Hijab Day, and this day is celebrated every year in different countries, and its purpose is to recognize the millions of Muslim women who have chosen the Hijab and adorned their lives with the Hijab. On this day, many conferences are held around the world and many articles are published about the Hijab and the challenges facing Muslim women who intend to wear the Hijab.
Cynthia is one of the new Muslims who adheres to Hijab. She converted to Islam at the age of 17 and has been wearing the Hijab since the very beginning.
Speaking to IQNA, the American Muslim woman from Arizona said about the reason for her tendency towards Islam and wearing Hijab: “I became a Muslim at the age of 17 and immediately used the Hijab because I felt it was what God wanted me to do.” Describing the Hijab as a commitment to God, the American Muslim woman added: “I define the Hijab as a commitment to God and a time to follow God’s commands. I think it is important to celebrate this day (World Hijab Day) because it is good to do so in order to follow God’s commands and inspire others to follow them too.”
Regarding some Western anti-Hijab views, she said: “It is very painful to think that someone finds a piece of ritual clothing cruel. Just as you never say that covering the heads of nuns is cruel, you should never say this about a woman wearing a Hijab in a Muslim country. In non-Islamic countries, governments have to come to terms with the Hijab among Muslims.” Katherine Reyes is another young American Muslim woman who spoke to IQNA about the Hijab and its importance. Born in 1991 in Los Angeles, she converted to Islam in January 2014 at the age of 23 and wore the Hijab in March of that year.
The American lady on her definition of Hijab and Ifaf (Chastity), referred to Surah Al-A’raf (7:26) “O children of Adam! We have provided for you clothing to cover your nakedness and as an adornment. However, the best clothing is righteousness. This is one of Allah’s (SWT) bounties, so perhaps you will be mindful,” and said: For me, Hijab and Ifaf (Chastity) go beyond the physical covering and physical protection of a Muslim. The Hijab is the spiritual guard as well as the duty of the believer. Hijab is the real indicator of submission to God and knowing God. Hijab and Ifaf (Chastity) help a person to get out of worldly issues.
In response to a question about whether the Hijab is only for women, she said: If you look at the Holy Qur’an, Surah An-Nur (24: 30-31) God says about the Hijab for men and women: “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.”
The Muslim lady continued: The outer garment that protects women’s ornaments and mentioned in the above verse is special for women. There is no denying that male and female anatomy are different. God has prescribed this for all women with His infinite wisdom. In my opinion, the verse of Hijab is a deeper concept of Ifaf (Chastity) than it refers to physical covering.
Asked whether the hijab was a religious value or a social behavior, the American Muslim woman stated: “Modesty (Haya) is an honor (blessing) that God has not bestowed on any being other than man. God has given us the grace to maintain our Modesty through these physical garments, just as God’s mercy that protects us from inside.”
She added: “According to Imam Sadiq (A.S), your best garments are those which do not distract you from God, those garments, in fact, which bring you closer to remembrance of God, and gratitude and obedience to God.”
Regarding the efforts of Muslim women to realize the right to wear Islamic dress in non-Muslim societies, the American Muslim woman said: Most people in the West are respectable people. From time to time you may be commented on or viewed negatively (as a veiled woman), but remember that people do this because they are afraid. You should know that this (fear) comes from not knowing. The best way to defend your rights in wearing Islamic clothing is to first understand why it is your duty to wear the Hijab and secondly to know the necessity of enjoying basic human rights in every country where you live.
This news is originally published by Iqna Persian and translated by Shafaqna English