Why Hijab?


It’s the old and oft-repeated question of “Why?”

Why, when there is so much else to talk about? Why, when there so many other crucial aspects to Islam? Why, when there are whole pillars, at the very center of religion, that go neglected? Why: why the emphasis on hijab?

Talking about hijab is not a denial of all those other important aspects and topics. But hijab is a command from Allah, and a wholly practical aspect of worship that plays into the lives of  individuals, and into the purity of society.

Besides, hijab is something more. Hijab is a flag for Islam, like every nation and society has its flag.


And every flag is “just a piece of cloth” that waves high above the land and its people in pride. It’s a piece of cloth that is honored and respected; in some nations, dishonoring the flag is akin to treason. And while it’s “just a piece of cloth,” ask any country to swap its own flag for the flag of  another…  and it will never comply.

Why? Because a flag is more than a piece of cloth: it’s a symbol of all the values and spirit of a society. And hijab is the flag of Islam.*

We wear hijab as an act of obedience to Allah, as a means to protect our modesty – but its value as a flag still stands. And it’s interesting to turn the question around, and examine hijab closely. Because, why indeed:

— Why is it that our revert sisters often face the most opposition from their families only after they begin wearing hijab?

— Why is it that sisters in hijab are victims of the law in countries that proclaim freedom?

— Why is it that some countries will fight everything related to Islam, but fight most fiercely and most openly against hijab?

— Why is it that when France banned the hijab “all conspicuous religious symbols” from public schools, “all conspicuous religious symbols” only the hijab was affected?

And there are many more “Whys” where those came from.

So what flag do you hold up? And why hijab?

[*Taken from the words of Sheikh Abu Ishaaq al-Huwayni, hafithahu Allah, who asserts that both the beard for men and the hijab/niqab from women are flags, etc.]