Dress Code: Background

example of head scarfThere are all sorts of items of dress which are worn by Muslim women, and these vary all over the world. Sharia (Islamic law) does not require women to wear a burqa (Arab.:بُرقع; Persian: پرده ;Urdu: also known as chadri or paranja in Central Asia; transliterated burkha, bourkha, burka or burqu') is an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover their bodies when in public. Burqas belong to particular areas of the world, where they are considered normal dress. In other parts of the world the dress is totally different. The rule of dress for women is modesty; the word hijab(حجاب) means "cover," "screen," or "curtain,"and refers to both a specific form ofveilworn by some Muslim women and the modest Islamic style of dress in general.Muslim women are required to observe the hijab in front of any man they could theoretically marry. This means that hijab is not obligatory in front of the father, brothers, grandfathers, uncles or young children.Hijab does not example of traditional dressneed to be worn in front of other Muslim women, but there is debate about what can be revealed to non-Muslim women). Modesty rules are open to a wide range of interpretations. Some Muslim women wear full-body garments that only expose the eyes, although there is no Quranic text requiring this extreme. Some cover every part of the body except their face and hands. Some believe only their hair or their cleavage is compulsory to hide, and others do not observe any special dress rules.

decorative bar

Subjects Headings [Topic Tags]:Clothing and dress > Religious aspects (clothing and dress)Islam (clothing and dress)* Hijab (Islamic clothing) * Purdah *Veils > Religious aspects (veils)> Islam (veils)***Muslim women > Clothing * Burqas (Islamic clothing) -- Islamic clothing and dress - Veils....

cornell icon Books on this topic from the Cornell online catalog cornell icon

Definitions (Coverings)

Choice? Who Decides? (Statistics)

How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress [.pewresearch.org, 1/2014].

What style of dress is appropriate for women in public? chart

Preferred dress for women in Muslim countries [The data was gathered as a part of the "Middle Eastern Values Study" conducted by the Michigan Population Studies Center. Q&A with author  of the U. Michigan study.

Dress Codes

infographic of different headgear worn by Muslim women. Burqa: full veil traditionall worn by Pashtuns in Afghanistan. Covers the head and the body and has a grill which hides the eyes. Enforced by the Talibans fighting US forces in Afghanistan. Niqab: a veil that entirely covers a person, including the mouth and the nose. It has a small opening for the eyes. It's use is widespread through the influence of Wahabi Islam, especially in urban environments. Hijab: a headscarf, not a veil. Hides the hair, ears, and neck. Only the oval shape of the face is visible. Widespread use in the Muslim world. Championed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Chador: traditional garment worn by women in Iran and Afghanistan. Full cloak that covers the body and the hair, open at the front. Not obligatory in Islamic countries, unlike the veil.

The Islamic veil across Europe - BBC News

floral divider

List of Hijab Styles by Region The hijab, a religious headscarf, is worn by Muslim women to cover their hair and neck. It is an expression of their faith and personal relationship with God and it symbolizes modesty and privacy in Islam. Ultimately, it is the woman’s choice whether she prefers to wear one or not. Arab America's contribution writer, Caroline Umphlet, lists popular hijab styles from some Arab countries, varying by region. As a disclaimer, these are generalizations and of course, women from any country can wear the hijab as they prefer.


Dress codes for women in Muslim countries map of required dress codes for women in the Middle East

Required Dress Codes for Women (Islamic States) scaled 2008. womanstats.org/

World map of hijab requirements

Hijab (Islamic scarf) by country [800x355] www.reddit.com - Search by imag

The 'Veil'- Titles from the Cornell online catalog


Hijab campaign tweets pulled by Council of Europe after ...

“Aren’t you pretty? Unveil yourself!” Colonial poster (1958) enjoining Algerian Muslim women to stop wearing their veil, playing on double meaning of the word “unveil.” Similarly, the phrase “Aren’t you pretty?” is ambiguous in whether it exclaims “you are pretty!” or asks “are you hiding the fact that you’re not?”

Frantz Fanon’s first chapter of his book L’An V de la Révolution Algérienne (“The Fifth Year of the Algerian Revolution,” translated into A Dying Colonialism, 1959), entitled “Algeria unveiled.”

sun and moon banner

The Islamic veil across Europe - BBC News

More on this story ...

decorative bar

contemporary Muslim fashions

Mediating Faith and Style: Museums Awake to Muslim Fashions

decorative bar

tweet by Maryam shariatmadari reading: Maryam Mirzakhani was the first female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal. She didn't wear Hijab when receiving the medal, so the IR photoshopped her picture for their own propaganda. Now Nike has done the same! After leaving Iran, she never wore a Hijab in public. #IWD2019Nike condemned for putting hijab on Iranian mathematician who chose not to wear one. Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win the Fields Medal, opted not to cover her hair

Recommended * New

The Quran says that Muslim men – not women – should be the first to observe hijab / QASIM RASHID [30 March 2017] The Independent, U.K.

Men, please stop mansplaining the hijab to Muslim women Yasmin Choudhury.  independent.co.uk​

As Muslim women, we ask you not to wear the hijab in the name of interfaith solidarity The authors argue that the Koran does not require women to wear a hijab, but that they are being bullied into covering themselves by conservative Shiite and Sunni sects. By Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa   washingtonpost.com @.

Seljuk and Ottoman Women: Women and the Arts; Clothing Styles.

Turkish women unveiled [2006?] Video 1 videodisc (52 min.) New York, NY : Women Make Movies, [2006?] In English and Turkish with English subtitles  "In this thought-provoking documentary, veiled and unveiled women explore relationships between Islam and secularism in present-day Turkey, where millions of women, many of them educated and urban, wear the headscarf or hijab."--Container.

Audiovisuals - Accessible

How do Muslims Think Women Should Dress? [BBC News, 7:20 mins.]

Gamal Abdel-Nasser Recalling a 1953 Conversation on Hijab with Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan's General Guide.

Joan Wallach Scott on The Politics of the Veil + a series of short symposium interviews of experts, Bowen included, about the French headscarf affairs: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHsD5__5wuM&feature=related ] [ http://conversations.berkeley.edu/content/joan-wallach-scott].

Interview of the two Levy sisters, who in 2003 (before the March 2004 law)  were expelled from French school for wearing hijabs.  They appear with their father (who is Jewish while their mum is an atheist of Moroccan origin):  http://www.ina.fr/video/I08357759/interview-lila-et-alma-levy-omari-video.html

Here, an exceptional document, the report (broadcast on French tv) on "The Veil, a French hysteria", which features the interview of one of the first 3 junior high school students expelled in 1989 from their school at the time of the very first hijab affair.  She is now 40, living in Tunisia, and had never been interviewed before.  She relates what actually happened during that campaign that led to their exclusion:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5F7k58RcU8

Two 50-mn documentary by the anthropologist of religions Agnes de Feo featuring French women who were the burqa and niqab, before and after it was banned (English subtitles):