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Hijab - Chador - Burqa - Veil - Khimar - Litham - Jilbab - Niqab


To cover or not to cover? That is the question.

Every day, either in person, on the television or in the newspapers we see Muslim women wearing the veil in its various forms.

This website is designed to show that, as an absolute rule for all Muslim women, the use of the headscarf or hijab or veil is not obligatory in Islam. Most Muslim women in societies where the headscarf is not habitually worn will not be pursued, pestered and harassed in the street by strange men for showing their hair.

The place of the headscarf in Islam is overblown by its hardline supporters.

It would very much seem that, if anything, the headscarf issue ought essentially to be directed towards the persona of the beautiful/good-looking (Muslim) woman. This category of girl forms a relatively small minority but is still numerically significant. By covering their hair in public the gaze and attention of men will be considerably reduced, as the allure on display is diminished. It benefits the peace of mind of the man in reducing temptation and the recurring distraction of a good-looking woman in the impersonal arena of public space. But so as not to discriminate between the beautiful and not so beautiful woman, the approach has developed in the Muslim world that all women should cover their hair in public even if the majority of them would invite little or no attention. Many attractive women in Muslim countries will not voluntarily cover their hair, so in some quarters the attitude is to try to convince them that it is a religious obligation for all women to cover their hair. And in some cases to enforce the wearing of the headscarf.

In non-Muslim countries the good-looking girls who are not Muslims will never cover their hair. Such girls invite perpetual attention from men. Given the sexualisation of society today even the average-looking girl, purposely tarted-up and with flesh on display will attract attention. The temptation at all levels is considerably magnified. This is a state of affairs that will be with us, with varying degrees of intensity, until the end of time.

Forcing children as young as four to don the headscarf is done to get them accustomed to wearing it - so that by the time these girls have reached womanhood the expectation is that they will regard themselves as inseperable from the garment.

In evaluating this subject comprehensive use is made of Quranic text. Thorough academic analysis is provided including contributions from the renowned Sheikh Dr. Zaki Badawi (former chief imam at the Central London Mosque, Regents Park and later principal of the Muslim College, London), Muhammad Asad, author of The Message of the Quran, (and a personal friend of King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud and King Faysal of Saudi Arabia) and Abdullah Yusuf Ali, author of ‘The Meaning of the Holy Quran’ published in 1938. With full press commentary.

There is also an extensive Egypt section in Part 3