The Veil in brief

I am not after controversial topics per se, but for some time I wanted to present the arguments for and against the veil. I tracked down discussions on mailing lists, articles, discussions,,, etc. I will try to present briefly what I have collected so far, and in another page (here) I will put a more detailed study.

Pro Hijab:

  • It was dictated by God in the Quran, and the prophet (PBUH) talked about it in some ahadith.
  • In all religions (Judaism and Christianity), the veil was decreed.
  • It is a sign of discreetness, in order not to get attention from staring eyes.
  • It is a sign of belonging to the nation of Islam
  • It is a tool to spread the ideas of Islam (when a veiled woman sits with a crowd, most probably they’ll watch their mouths)
  • Putting a Hijab is essential in prayers, the same goes for everywhere else.
  • “You do not have to look western to be modern.” The veiled woman defies the sexual mores of the west, with its strange compulsion to “reveal all”.
  • Where western men and women display their expensive clothes and flaunt their finely honed bodies as a mark of privilege, the uniformity of traditional Muslim dress stresses the egalitarian and communal ethos of Islam.
  • Discarding the veil in the late 19th and early 20th century was an expression for gaining women rights and fighting male dominance, now women enjoy a better environment (in elections, work, media,,,etc), consequently, this intrepretation for taking off the veil is not valid anymore.
  • Wearing the veil doesn’t affect marriage proposals, koloh esma we nassib. “if a man wants to marry me for my beauty only, beauty will fade. And he will look for a prettier woman later on“. “El tayeboon lel tayebat = the good men are for the good women. If he doesn’t like my veil, then he is not good enough for me“.
  • How could you postpone wearing the veil till you get older? Do you have an insurance against death?” 

Against Hijab:

  • There are no roots in our culture for veil; it is the results of the return of Egyptians workers from the Gulf countries (with all the Wahabi’s ideas)
  • It is a sign of oppressing women and limiting their choices
  • Sometimes we should go along the western regulations (example avoiding religious signs in public facilities) in order to be developed, learn in western institutions and work in western enterprises.
  • It became a symbol of terrorism; veiled women are harassed in the west. There is no need to go through this hassle.
  • The veil may constrain the girl from certain activities (ex: sports), as it might strangle her by accident.
  • It covers the beauty of women, a beauty that God has given her; this means that she is hiding the present of God.
  • The Quran verse doesn’t mention covering the head; it just includes covering the bosoms.
  • Until the late 19th century, veiling was neither a central nor a universal practice in the Islamic world. The Hijab was traditionally worn only by aristocratic women, as a mark of status, not as a religious obligation.
  • Many women, whose mothers had happily discarded the veil, adopted the hijab in order to dissociate themselves from aggressively secular regimes. That’s why it is a political expression, not necessarily a religious one.
  • it is an outdated dress code and a sign of going backwards and self-isolation
  • The advocates of Hijab are more business oriented, it became a trend in the Egyptian society, not a moral issue.
  • a veiled girl has a limited chances of getting married from a well established groom because he will need a freer girl to enjoy his youth with.
  • The majority of working opportunities need an unveiled woman. So veil will limit the girl’s chance of having her dream job.
  • Wearing a veil doesn’t mean that the girl is religious, and vice versa. Many veiled girls are displaying their beauties in tight clothes and sit on the Cornish with their boyfriends. There is no relation between being religious and wearing a veil.
  • Enjoy life while you are young, get married, and then wear the veil when you are more mature“.


9 responses to “The Veil in brief

  1. mmmm nousha ,

    i think u should read what u wrote against hijab , and re-think it,,, You ll have a so big surprise , its all subjective thoughts and nothing objective, or just some misundrestanding u can find only in the mind of the un-veiled woman, or in the mind of a westeners
    , like ;
    -The majority of working opportunities need an unveiled woman
    -it is an outdated dress code and a sign of going backwards
    -The veil may constrain the girl from certain activities
    -It is a sign of oppressing women and limiting their choices
    -It covers the beauty of women
    -The advocates of Hijab are more business oriented

    and some of the fault thoughts are also big mistakes in reading history or Quran like :
    -There are no roots in our culture for veil
    -The Quran verse doesn’t mention covering the head; it just includes covering the bosoms.

    please rethink them, re read Quran, look at women in Egy through history , ( PS. here I ll tell u a big secrete, Women in Egypt are not the women of Cairo and Alexandria, and not the women of the elite soceity u can meet in al gezeera club, nor the women in Mohammed karim or Inas al-deghedi films

    welcome to discussion

  2. My point from listing the arguments is that wearing or refusing the veil ceased to be a spiritual decision, it became a sophistic debate, whereas a person with some knowledge in psychology or NLP can definitely alter the girl’s opinion towards it.

    In the Egyptian society, I am not a saint if I wear the veil, nor a sinner for not wearing it. Other than my own personal (and spiritual) satisfaction, this decision’ll just affect my social activities (u can’t expect a veiled girl chilling out with her buddies in After Eight at 2 am, or an unveiled girl celebrating a veiled girl’s only partys). So I don’t care if my friend wears it or not, and I’d hate it if someone judged me for wearing or not wearing it. It’s just a personal choice.

    But in a western society, I would definitely not recommend it. There is enough prejudices against arabs and muslims, there is no need for further misunderstandings.

    What about you?

  3. Thanks EgyTarek for ur comment

    I am not listing arguments that I personally beleive in (even though some of them make sense), these are some of the comments I hear. I can tell u all the supporting arguments for both of these stances as if I was the originator (which I am not), but it will make this conversation just like all the rest.

    I know that not all Egyptian women are like Cairo’s or Alexandria’s. I also observe women living in the countryside, they don’t wear the typical hijab we have. Bedouins (men and women) wear a special kind of head scarfs (because of their weather).

    Once again, I thank u for ur input. I don’t want to solve the issue once and for all here, I just want to show in brief what both sides are saying.

  4. hi nousha again

    there s no what can be called a typical shape of hijab , hijab can take any shape as long as it attain the goal behinde it, and the the talk about bedouins wearing head covers only for climate reasons , s again a debatable thoughts,

    thanks nousha , plz also have a look at
    and share thoughts with me , i am only started it few days ago, and will happy to read ur comments

  5. That was interesting, Nousha. It is also excellent that you didn’t mention your personal opinion. Most of the people who write under this topic are biased due to their personal choices.
    Well, you might already know my stand on that issue. But I like your way of presenting both sides of the argument. Although you mixed and mingled the religious with the ideological with the social, it is still good to have both point of views in front of you.

  6. Thanks OmLuji for ur comment.
    Well, I’m just trying to stand in their shoes without categorizing the argument by its nature. (I just hope that both parties won’t be offended 🙂 )

  7. “Wearing a veil doesn’t mean that the girl is religious, and vice versa. Many veiled girls are displaying their beauties in tight clothes and sit on the Cornish with their boyfriends. There is no relation between being religious and wearing a veil” – i do believe that this is a true fact we live in Egypt.
    Very nice post Nousha, and i’d like to say that when you feel that you are doing the right thing infront of yourself and ALLAH, then you’ll be feeling content deep inside and this will be reflected in everything you do, in your way of living, and even in your opinions.
    Back again to Veil, for me, it is a base for Muslim Women, yet each woman is totally free to put it on or not.

    Thanks again dear Nousha!

  8. hello guys i really like this discussion i have been looking for opinions against and with hijab i have read some books and would like to share what i have read with u some people like dr ekbal baraka say it is not a fard some like dr sleem el 3awa say it is a wageb if u read dr ekbal’s book u’ll find the history of hijab briefly it says that it first appeared in erak long time ago were the men were very tough and dispised women and this was a way to humiliate them in ksa around the time of our prophet moh. women used to wear it to protect them from the sun as men wear the ghotra now and then prophet moh. ordered the free women since there were slaves back then to wear it when they go out of their tents so that men would know they r free women and not to be horrased but they used to wear it and their neck collars were so wide u could see their breast cleavages so the qur2an ordered them to cover it as this is a very sexually atracting part of the female body to a man u’d have to read the book to get the whole picture the way i c it is that a woman should cover her body properly by wearing wide long cloth not just cover her hair besides hijab has very bad effects on ur hair and scalp believe me i have been wearing a vail for 4 years now and i really want to take it off hijab has burned my scalp i suffer from chronic nuerodermatitis which is an inflamation of the scalp because of the lack of areation of hair which flares up during the summer causing me to suffer from gr8 discomfort and pain add to it the seborrheac dermatitis behind my ears believe me i have tried everything to fix these conditions but it just keeps gettin worse causing me nothing butskin, hair and phsycic troubles

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