Evolution of Hijab styles

The dress code for women in Islam is completely different from all other religions of the world. Islam gives importance and respect to women which was never given before and it is also depicts form the dressing of the Muslim’s women.

As stated in Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ, قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَ بَنَاتِكَ وَ نِسآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ: يُدْنِيْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلاَبِيْبِهِنَّ..          

“O Prophet tells your wives and your daughters and women to draw their veils (cloaks) all over the bodies. That will be better , that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed (Quran 33:59).

The above verse interpret that Muslim women should cover themselves so their appearance could be distinguish among others and save themselves for being harassed. Therefore it can be said that veiling is a sign of respectable women as if we take a look on the background of practicing hijab we will be able to understand that hijab and veiling has been practices from ancient civilization, the elite women in Byzantine, Greco-Roman and pre Islamic Iranian societies practiced “hijab” at the time when veiling was not a preferable in Ottoman Empire. Later on in the 16th century , Hijab was raised as a sign of social status in Africa and then after a long period of 3 centuries in the 19th century, According to the study of Hood far (2003) Muslims have embraced that veiling is not only an Islamic practice it is also a cultural practice.

Veiling can be classified in to different types described below:

    • Hijab or Veiling:

      Hijab is basically an Arabic word which means cover. This is the very first type of veiling which is most commonly used by the Muslim women of west. It is actually a square piece of cloth which covers the neck and head but left face clear.

      • Amira:

      It contains two pieces, one long piece and one cap strip, this is mostly used in Arab countries and known as AL-AMIRA hijab.

      • Esarp:

      In local language it is known as scarf, it can be a triangle of square pieces of cloth used to cover head and neck along shoulders.

      • Chador:

      It is a long piece of cloth like cloak which covers the entire body from head to feet. It is mostly used in dark colors and  open down front.

      • Khimar:

      It is the same as a chador, a long  scarf which is used to cover the head along the chest and left face clear as in a hijab.

      • Shyla:

      It is a rectangular piece of fabric that can be worn loosely around the head and pinned up on shoulders.

      • Niqab:

      It is a square piece of fabric like a hijab which along with head and neck also cover the face and leave the eyes clear.

      • Abaya:

      It covers the entire body from head to feet and can also be known as  Bhurqa. This type of veiling only left eyes clear through which women could see.

      Women adopted this practice for various reasons like some women wears for only religious obligation some wears as they consider it social symbol but true Muslim women adopted veiling due to their believe on ALLAH as ALLAH instructed women to wear it as mean to fulfill his commands of ALLAH for modesty.