Al Kuwaitiah  

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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Of style and modesty: The different kinds of hijab
As a non-Muslim Filipino who grew up in Saudi Arabia, I had to wear the hijab whenever I was outside my home. I would nonchalantly put the scarf over my head, throw each side over the opposite shoulder, and that's it.
But there is more art and effort to wearing a hijab, as one GMA News Online reporter turned-temporary-hijabi discovered last year.
To a Muslim like Zura Zulkifli, a 21-year-old Bruneian student, wearing and styling a hijab is akin to styling your hair.
“I can't deny that it's more fun to style a hijab than styling my hair,” she told GMA News Online. “It comes in different forms and (styles). You can wear it whichever and however you like.”
While they come in various colors and styles, some of the most popular ones are the Al-Amira, Shayla, and Khimar, all worn in different places in the world.
Apparently, the hijab I used to drape over my shoulders back in Saudi Arabia is called a Shayla —a large rectangular piece of cloth that is popular in countries in the Gulf region—Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
Some women prefer adding volume by using huge scrunchies or oversized clips before wrapping the head with an underscarf or a cap. The Shayla scarf is then wrapped around the head which can be done in a myriad of ways. Pins, clips, and headbands are used stylize the scarf and keep it in place as well.
An Al-Amira hijab is a tube-like fabric that frames the face when worn. A snug, elastic base cap can be used to cover the hair before putting on the hijab. A one-piece Al-Amira is arguably the easiest hijab to wear. Since it is already made to frame a person's face, all a girl has to do is wear it over her head.
A Khimar likely falls under the more conservative side of the conservative. It is a large piece of cloth that almost looks like a cape. Like an Al-Amira, it also frames the face, but instead of draping a few inches below the shoulder, the Khimar also covers a woman's arms and most of her torso.
While the word 'hijab' usually refers to the veil or scarf worn by Muslim women, it also refers to Islam's standard for modest clothing of both men and women. Wearing a hijab (scarf) while wearing shorts or skirts is considered disrespectful.
“It (should) not contradict what you're wearing (from) top (to) bottom,” Zulkifli said when asked about the rules of wearing hijab. “(For example, wearing) hijab and short skirts or short pants is disrespectful.”
When it comes to hijab fashion, modesty and style should come hand-in-hand. Muslim women from different parts of the world still keep in style while adhering to the Islamic code of modesty. But in its core is still obedience to God.
“I prefer wearing hijab because it makes me feel closer to my God, not because I want to have a change in my sense of fashion. Some might do so because of the latter reason or because of peer pressure. I wear them because of God,” Zulkifli said.
“Hijab is prevention from being accosted by ignorant minds who only judge a woman by the clothes she wears and the skin she shows. A woman’s body as you know is sacred and this is why Islam encourages women to strive to cover and protect it,” states in the World Hijab Day invitation.
 
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