When pseudo-feminists want us to take off our hijab, they give us several reasons for the emergence of what we know as the veil and conclude that according to several modern factors, there is no need to practice the Islamic Hijab anymore.

Some people heed what they say and take off the ‘traditional, useless rag’.

Others, like you, try to seek answers for the numerous questions churning in your head. I personally give you a nod of encouragement. Well done!

Now, on to the reasons provided:

Reason 1: Barrier Against Women

“In the past, more famously in India, there came a segregation between men and women due to the practice of asceticism. Another reason was that the unveiled women stole the focus of men and segregation came into being in the fear that the lack of work will make the society fall behind. Other minor reasons include sudden repulsion syndrome of men after excessive please-seeking and the rivalry of men against women after they conspired against men. All of this doesn’t exist in the modern life, and thus the veil is not needed.”*

To know whether or not the Islamic Hijab stemmed from the same reason, one of the questions we must ask is, “Does Islam approve of the reason mentioned for the appearance of Hijab?”

Islam does not approve of asceticism and in fact, is quite against it. Numerous times has the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them all) have promoted to utilize God’s blessings. Thus, if Islam doesn’t approve of asceticism, then something that stemmed from asceticism must not be the reason of the creation of the Islamic Hijab.

Reason 2: Insecurity

“There were times in history when those who were in power used to seize the property, wealth and women from the less unfortunate. The women used to cover themselves to prevent being taken away by those powerful personas. In the modern era, no such thing occurs, thus there is no need for the hijab.”*

In case of the traditional veil which is not related to Islam, this fact might be true. You are allowed to take off the veil, then, because security – at least a kind of it – exists now.

But if you’re talking about the Islamic Hijab, then absolutely not, you’d first have to ask, “Did the Islamic Hijab come because of the insecurity?”

The answer would be no, because the levels of security differed from place to place. While this case of women and wealth seeking was rampant in the pre-Islamic Iran, the opposite was the case in the Arabic lands. Women were protected by their tribes and were safe to an extent. If the tribe lost to another tribe, not only the women would be taken, the wealth and the men and the children would be too – and wearing or not wearing a veil won’t make a difference.

Thus, this is not the reason Hijab came into being, and the solving of this problem in the modern era does not prove to be a good enough reason to take it off.

Reason 3: Men’s Domination & Economic Exploitation of Women

“Men dominated over women and women were seen as instruments to get work done. As men owned the women, they kept them covered and for themselves. This economic reason was to exploit women and now, in the fourth era of gender equality, there’s no need for it to exist.”*

This might have been true if the motive of Islam were the economic exploitation of women. Islam encourages a woman’s economic independence, her right to refuse work offers, her right to work, her right to keep what she earns, her right to every legitimate thing related to economy and this proves that the Islamic Hijab’s roots do not lie in the economic exploitation of women.

Something that does not conform to Islam cannot be a part of it. As simple as that.

Reason 4: Men’s Jealousy

“In the past, men wanted to keep their women exclusively for themselves such that the other men wouldn’t even look at the women they kept. Their jealousy led to the creation of the veil and thus, now in the age where no such thing occurs, the veil is not needed.”*

Jealousy is a personal and individual affair and stems from a series of spiritual beliefs but zeal is an emotion and a sensitivity which relates to the human species as a whole.

While zeal is accepted, Islam clearly rejects jealousy. Hence, this is not the reason for the Islamic Hijab either.

Reason 5: Women’s Inferiority Complex

“The women in the past felt that they lacked something organic in their body in comparison to men, due to the menstruation and childbirth bleeding. This led to women thinking that they are inferior which led to them staying in the house and covering themselves when they go out.”*

It is not determined whether this fact is historically acceptable or not, but if it is to be considered, then it must be said that Islam does not see women as inferior to men and thus, this is not why the Islamic Hijab came into being.

Now, what exactly is the Islamic Hijab about? Umm, for that, you’ll either have to refer to one of Shaheed Motahhari’s books about women, or like, pray for me to get the tawfeek to write a follow up article. JazakAllah in advance!

Featured image via Mehr News.

*All the claims are well resourced in the book ‘The Islamic Modest Dress’ by Martyr Morteza Motahhari.

About the Author

Zoya Ibrahim

Staff writer

Zoya Ibrahim aims to give a voice to the voiceless by writing stories that the mainstream media hesitates to cover. When she's not writing, she likes to study sociology and discover ways to improve the Muslim community's life and awareness to better suit their religion.

View All Articles