Saturday, February 28, 2015

Muslim Headscarves1-2
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

History of the Veiling of Women[1]
The first reference to veiling dates to an Assyrian text in 13 BC. In the text, the practice of veiling was described as reserved for "respectable" women or women of the elite; prostitutes and women of lower-classes were forbidden from veiling. Likewise, elite women in ancient Greco-Roman, pre-Islamic Iranian, and Byzantine societies practiced veiling. It was not until the reign of the Safavids in the Ottoman Empire, an area that extends through the Middle East and North Africa, in the 16th century that the veil emerged as a symbol of social status among Muslims. Since the 19th century Muslims have embraced veiling as a cultural practice rather than simply an Islamic practice.

Miniature sculpture of a seated woman wearing a head veil, dated around 2350 - 2250 BC. The veil drapes over the shoulders and back and may have been typical for women of status in ancient Syria. Recovered from the Ebla Palace at Tel Mardikh and now held in the Idlib Museum, Idlib, Syria.

One of the most frequently cited Qu’ranic verses used to defend the wearing of the hijab is the surah 24:30-31:
The believing men are enjoined to lower their gaze and conceal their genitals and the believing women are enjoined to lower their gaze and conceal their genitals, draw their headdress to cover their cleavage, and not to display their beauty, except that which has to be revealed, except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or eunuchs or children under age; and they should not strike their feet to draw attention to their hidden beauty. O believers, turn to God, that you may know bliss (Qur’an 24:30-31).

In the year 610 AD, Muhammad ibn Abdullah of Arabia is said to have received divine revelation from the God of Abraham, through the representative Archangel Gabriel. These recitations, being incrementally revealed over a 23 year period, are known as the Qur'an.

In the following verse, Muslim women are encouraged to draw their jilbab around them in public, as a means of distinguishing them from others and as a way of avoiding harassment:
Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed (Qur’an 33:58–59).

There are various interpretations applied to the reading of these verses. There are also several hadiths, or narrations describing the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, believed to clarify and supplement the Qu’ranic description of the hijab.


Seven Types of Muslim Headscarves for Women[1]
The word hijab comes from the Arabic for veil and is used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in a myriad of styles and colors. The type most commonly worn in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.

Hijab.
Courtesy of reference[2].

The al-amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and an accompanying tube-like scarf. The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.

Al-Amira and Shayla.
Courtesy of reference[2].

The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear. The chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underneath.

Khimar and Cador.
Courtesy of reference[2].

The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf. The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It covers the entire face and body, leaving just a mesh screen to see through.

Niqab and Burka.
Courtesy of reference[2].


Modern Muslim Headscarves

Turkish Women Wearing Modern Headscarves.

Bridal Headwear

Arabic Scarf Collection 2013-14

Arabic Scarf Collection 2013-14 - Cashmere Scarf

Hijab Fashion Trends For Muslims Women, 2013.

Abayas Jilbabs Hijabs Scarves Shawls Jackets Skirts Sets (combined sets of upper and lower clothes and head scarf).

Printed Headscarves For Teenage Girls


References:
[1]http://arabsinamerica.unc.edu/identity/veiling/history-of-the-hijab

[2]http://twentytwowords.com/not-all-headscarves-are-burkas-7-types-of-muslim-headwear-for-women