Thursday, April 22, 2021

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Finding Strength In The Hijab

The word hijab today expands to accommodate most types of headscarves worn by women, usually those belonging to Islam. There are many types of clothing that are indigenous to the Islamic tradition, and they each have their own names. 

But the general population usually classifies all headscarves that don’t cover the face as a hijab. While this is technically correct, the chador is another garment that doesn’t cover the face. Generalizations aside, the hijab-wearing might be a custom, but it is also a fashion accessory today.

Many countries, organizations, and groups speak openly for and against these traditions and customs for various reasons. For example, certain European countries wanted to ban the burqa and the niqab because they felt that it threatened national security. 

They reasoned that the veil provided a legitimate means for a person to hide their identity. Certain other countries and organizations speak for these garments arguing that they cover women’s modesty and are for their protection. But for or against, these voices are overwhelmingly male.

On the other hand, women have mixed views, but they are largely unified on one idea – “women should decide what women should wear”. Several people expected women to stand firmly against the hijab as it was thought to be an act of submission. 

But today, many women find strength in the hijab. The hijab is oppressive only when thrust upon women, but not if they wear it willingly. A major move in this direction was bringing the hijab online

Designers and fashionistas everywhere began making the hijab a universal trend and a sign of the contemporary Islam woman. She has faith in her god and abides by her religion, but she is a woman in her own right. 

Bringing the hijab online also had other consequences – stylizing it. While the hijab started as a garment to cover a woman’s modesty, it is a style statement today. The modern hijab comes in various designs and embellishments, which makes fashion one of the reasons to wear a hijab.

Today there are several types of hijab to choose from; they come in various materials with glitzy embellishments like rhinestones or beaded hems. The hijab is now a cultural and fashion statement of the empowered woman. 

A variation of the hijab is the turban that certain women don. This turban is especially popular amongst African Muslim women. These turbans come in various colors and patterns, adding a pop of color to their outfit.

Websites that sell hijab online also sell these turbans and other traditional clothing like burqa, niqab, chador, etc. There are offline shops that cater specially to Muslim women as well, even in non-Islamic countries. 

Women can select and buy from a plethora of styles on online and offline shops for hijabs. These shops keep up with the latest trends in hijab fashion. For example, a popular trend is the ‘necklace hijab’. 

This hijab is worn traditionally the same way, but there is necklace-type beadwork in the front where there should be a cowl. Essentially, this hijab has enormous beads and discs like medallions in the middle and the traditional scarf on both ends. 

The beaded work is just as long as the average woman’s neckline. The scarf part is in complementary colors to the beadwork. Several women can be found wearing the hijab occasionally for grand events or functions, while other women prefer this type over the other hijab and wear them regularly.

Another trendy addition to the hijab is the inner cap. This cap follows the same structure as the beanie but is more intricate. The inner cap covers most or all of the foreheads, and the hijab is worn over it to make it look like a single piece. 

This inner cap, too, comes with embellishments, like cloth roses, beaded hems, rhinestones, etc. Specific designs of the inner cap can be worn as a single piece. This style covers the head, forehead, and neck, leaving the face open. 

Another variation of the inner cap has layers on it and is big enough to be a turban. This cap usually has intricate designs like fabric roses or other flowers and exotic embellishments. These embellishments are placed towards the edge, so they are visible even if the hijab is draped over them. 

The hijab is the style statement of the modern woman. It pairs well with jeans, a dress, and any dress or outfit. The range of colors, patterns, designs, and prints available in a hijab makes it an excellent addition to any woman’s wardrobe. Women have a lot of options to choose from when they shop online for hijabs, making it less of a compulsion and more of a choice.

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