By A.Q. Siddiqui
The Hijab or wearing of headscarf by a Muslim girl is in news time and again. From UK, France, Netherland to India’s Supreme court, headscarf is discussed and frowned upon as a malaise. But Hijab is attracting more young girls everywhere than what the practice was a few years ago. It is not that Muslim girls are coerced by fundamentalists at home or lured by an aged old practice. It is a trend coming through the lanes of higher education among Muslim girls in modern society.
What is new about Hijab? What is the real story behind Hijab? The real story or reason behind wearing a Hijab is not much known among non-Muslims or even among Muslims. All we know about Hijab isthat it was a dress code for girls from an early age in Muslim societies. And now it is a subject of disdain in today’s non-Muslim world.
But little is known that Hijab or covering of head by a woman was a practice among world’s oldest religion, Hinduism. Even today, covering of head in presence of elders or other than husband is a practice among many Hindu women. The Jewish women also like to cover their heads in presence of men. And it was a Biblical requirements or sign of modesty among Christians.
So why so much fuss about wearing a Hijab by a Muslim girl. Not all Muslims or non-Muslims know the real reason behind wearing a Hijab. The real story of Hijab will reveal that it is like a soldier’s armor in this age of rape and molestation of women.
The real story of Hijab occurred much earlier to the revelation of Quranic verse. It was when Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) first encountered with Angel Gabriel who brought the message of God to him. Prophet(pbuh) first saw Angel Gabriel in Cave Hira and he got scared. He left the cave and rushed for home. On his way to home, the Angel appeared before him again and Prophet turned his face. He was so scared that he confined himself in his room. At first, he did not share his fear with his wife Khadeejah. But she noticed the change in him. Next day he saw the Angel again and got scared. When Khadeejah enquired about it, he shared his fear that an evil spirit or devil is harassing him. Khadeejah asked him to call her when he would see that Devil or Angel again. That afternoon, Prophet(pbuh) saw the Angel Gabriel again near his door. He called his wife Khadeejah and told her about him. Khadeejah could not see the Angel but she sat near to him and asked him to sit on her left thigh and asked him, “Do you see him yet?” Prophet said, “Yes.” Then Khadeejahtold Prophet(pbuh) to move to her right thigh and asked him again, “Do you see him yet?” Prophet(pbuh) affirmed that he was there. Then Khadeejahasked him to sit in her lap and he did so and confirmed that he could still see him. Then Khadeejah removed her headscarf and asked him, “Do you see him yet?” Prophet(pbuh) said, “No he vanished.”Khadeejah smiled and said to Prophet(pbuh) that it was not an evil spirit or devil, he was an Angel indeed. “Only an Angel will not stand in front of a woman with her hairs exposed.”
This real life story about Hijab is not just meant for Muslim women, it is more relevant for this age of women molestation, rapes, and sexual abuse.
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