Modest Islamic Clothing Is Mandatory In Some Cultures

July 12, 2014

In the Middle East it is common to see women wearing clothing that is unfamiliar to the Western world. In some countries it is illegal for women to appear in public without putting on certain garments. But, there is no reason why, in some countries, modest islamic clothing must be course and unattractive.

The Holy Quran is the Islamic religious book. It tells followers to dress in a modest way. The hijab that women wear is a veil, which goes over the head and covers the chest. If visitors are men, it must also be worn inside the home.

The word hijab means veil in Arabic. When it refers to separating men and women in public, it is Al-hijab, which means to separate the world from Allah or God. It is a matter of both privacy and religious conformity in the Muslim world.

Some countries, Iran is one example, make it a law to wear the hijab outside the home. Another garment, the chador, is a cloak that covers the hair with a hemline that goes to the floor. In modern times, it is made of fine material to avoid the heat.

More restrictive garments are worn by women in some cultures. The Taliban are required to wear a burka in public. This garment covers all of a women except for the eyes.

Men in the Muslim culture are supposed to be covered from their naval to their knees. Clothing for men and women must fit loosely. Other countries are trying to forbid women from wearing the hijab in private and state schools. However, the women there want to continue to wear it as a form of religious expression.

Until they reach puberty, young girls need not wear the hijab. In many Muslim cultures, the age is not stated. It is usually considered to be at puberty that they begin to wear it.

In the Gaza Strip, the government began to urge women to wear hijab during the 1970s and 1980s. Those who did not were harassed in the streets. It was not illegal to go without, but very discouraged.

There is a a place where women are beaten if they are not properly covered. There are patrols watching the streets for anyone not wearing the burka. There is a religious fervor driving these strict clothing requirements.

Currently, there is no need for the abaya to be drab and unadorned. There are many that are quite fashionable. But, they still cover the arms to the wrists, are floor length and the head is still covered.

An abaya trimmed in rich gold colored sequins and lace around the wrists and hemline may be worn for a special event. A lace one is lined in emerald green or black to show through the lace. Full sleeves are trimmed in lace on another.

One burka is embellished with golden embroidery and beading from the neckline to the waist. It has gold trim at the wrist and hemline. Another has a green jade sequined top. Each Muslim country has a specific dress code and these may not be acceptable in all places.

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