How to wear hijab;choosing your own style

What Kind of Hijab Do I Choose?


several differant styles of hijab

several differant styles of hijab

    Often when a new muslima or one who has decided to start wearing hijab looks at the variety and types of hijabs available it can be confusing.  It is also confusing when we see some women covering from head to foot leaving almost nothing exposed, yet others wearing pretty much western clothing with just a scarf over their hair. It is important that when a woman puts on hijab that it is for the sake of pleasing Allah and for seeking the reward in the hereafter. So where is a woman supposed to begin?

I guess at the beginning with the comandment of Allah swt, in which He states “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to guard their modesty. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is acquainted with all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to guard their modesty, and not to display their adornments, except that which ordinarily appears thereof, and to draw their head-veils over their necks and bosoms, and not to reveal their adornments except to their own husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants free of physical desires, or small children who have no sense of women’s nakedness. Let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they conceal of their hidden ornaments. And turn unto Allah altogether, O you Believers; in order that you may attain success.” An Nur (24:30-31)


Here are some basic points to remember when choosing new clothing for hijab:

 In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Hijab Basics:

The Requirements of the Muslim Woman’s Dress

Muslim women are required in Islam to cover themselves whenever they are outside of their homes or in the presence of non-mahrem men. This provides many benefits to the Muslim woman herself as well as to the society as a whole. Allah willing, I plan on discussing many of these benefits in future articles. This article, however, will simply describe the physical requirements of hijab. My hope is that it will serve as a reference for Muslim women as well as a basic introduction to hijab for non-Muslims.

The word hijab is derived from the Arabic root hajaba, which means to hide from view or to conceal. Many people use it to refer to the headscarf which Muslim women wear (as in: I bought this hijab for $10 yesterday), but hijab is much more than a headscarf: it is an entire way of dressing, behaving and believing. It is acceptable to name the scarf hijab so long as it does not lead to the wrong impression that a headscarf is the only requirement of true hijab. After all, anyone can wear a headscarf (gypsies, fashion models, etc.), but it takes much more than that to fufill the conditions of Islamic dress.

1. Proper hijab (concealment for the Muslim woman) dictates that the entire body must be covered, although the face and hands may be exposed. Some women choose to cover themselves further by means of a face veil and gloves, and this is perfectly fine.

2. The clothing must be long and loose-fitting so that the shape of the woman is not outlined in her garments. The preferred coverings include the jelbab and the abaya which are floor-length cloaks which come in various types of fabric and may be worn over a woman’s regular house clothing. Pants are unacceptable unless they are worn underneath the outer garments.

3. Garments should not be transparent as to reveal the color of a woman’s skin or to expose the hair or body in any way. With regards to the headscarf, it must cover all of the hair and be long enough to cover the woman’s ears, neck and chest. Women should take care to ensure that the scarf is securely fastened, usually with pins, and that her hair is arranged so that it will not slip out of her scarf.

4. Colors and styles should be as plain as possible so that unnecessary attention is not drawn to the woman. In addition, the clothing should not be excessively rich and fancy in order to gain admiration nor excessively poor and ragged in order to gain sympathy. Modesty is the main goal.

5. Jewelry must not be displayed, and it is especially important that it does not make noise as a woman walks (an ankle-bracelet with bells, for example). Women in pre-Islamic Arabia used to wear such bracelets and stamp their feet in the markets in order to entice and attract men.

6. The dress should not resemble the garments of men, nor should it imitate the dress of non-Muslims.

7. Make-up (unless it is completely covered by a face-veil) and perfume are strictly prohibited for Muslim women when outdoors or in the presence of non-mahrem men.

8. A Muslim woman who wears hijab should also strive to make her actions consistent with her dress with regards to Islamic guidelines for speech, manners and behavior.

Originally published at Reprinted with permission.




All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Islam does not prohibit women from going out to fulfill their needs, but it lays down a proper code of behavior, which is primarily intended to safeguard the modesty, dignity and honor of men and women.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

It is important to remember that the purpose of hijab in Islam is not to cut women out from participating in the activities of the society or to keep men and women utterly segregated or to make it hard for women to function normally in life. Rather the purpose of hijab is to help women maintain their dignity and honor as free persons and to help them fulfill their obligations smoothly and comfortably.

So the requirements of hijab are never oppressive or restrictive in any way; here are the requisites of hijab or proper Islamic attire for women:

1. It should cover her whole body except face and hands.

2. It should be loose-fitting.

3. It should not be transparent or revealing.

4. It should not be an attire specifically worn by men only.

So long as your attire fulfills the above conditions, you don’t have to worry. Remember Allah has not revealed religion to make life difficult; rather it is intended to make it easy and comfortable for us. Allah says: (He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) (Al-Hajj 22: 78). (Allah wishes to lighten the burden for you; for certainly man has been created weak!) (An-Nisaa’ 4: 28).

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:

  There are square hijab that are folded into a triangle and that you can pin under your chin, this kind allows air to flow more than some other kinds.  There are two piece cotton hijab that are practicle and easy to use. 









Also there are long scarves that come in many styles and colors that look like a rectangle and are wrapped around the head and sometimes pinned on one side of the head. These are sometimes called mendeel or tarhah. Each woman has to try different types to see which one is the most comfortable and practical for her needs, if she is working or a mother with young children, some kinds are better than others.  Students may prefere the simple two pieces that dont need ironing and can be thrown on as they run out the door for classes! Some of them can be mix and matched to the clothes or outer garment colors. I have found that the looser the scarf is the easier it is for me to wear it as its less confining and less hot.

 long wrapped scarf over a hair cap



 One mistake that many women are making these days is trying to “modernize” hijab, and this is not a wise thing to do when seeking to wear hijab for the sake of Allah swt. Bright colors and flashy styles that are worn to actually attract attention are not fulfilling the purpose of hijab.  The whole purpose of hijab is moderation and modesty, in color, style, materials, and the behavior of the woman.  Frequently we see young girls wearing fancy clothes that they think “fit” into the terms of hijab yet make them very attractive and seductive, with high heals that make alot of noise while walking.

It is normal for new muhajiba, women who have put hijab on newly, to pass through stages, where maybe they wear pants with long tops, then work into long skirts, then gradually accept that the outer garment is really the easiest and best form of fulfillling the requirments of hijab.  They find not only dignity in it but also beauty and simplicity and freedom.  It is the same as watching a butterfly transform into the magnificent and beautiful free creation that it is.

Hijab is about freeing ourselves from sexual inuendos and values that limit ourselves to ideals that are being set upon us rather than the lofty ones which God has given women.  Let us regain our dignity and idendity as independant women of beauty and strength and value our intellegence and capabilities.

Moderator: Sakinah

below please see some pictures of some types mentioned above, taken from please see their site for more information.






8 Responses to How to wear hijab;choosing your own style

  1. The first red hijab looks really nice. The purple is pretty also. :)

  2. Tyson Koska says:

    Hi all, as a slightly off topic comment/request, I’m hosting a survey on my blog to collect data about people’s use of religious labels — and I’d really sure appreciate your input! Thanks in advance.

  3. Maqsoodah says:

    The dress should not resemble the garments of men, nor should it imitate the dress of non-Muslims. I DISAGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT. Where in the Qur’an does it say that show me and I will beleive.

    Pants are unacceptable unless they are worn underneath the outer garments.

    I wear pants all the time and I am considered a full covered muslim. I don’t think this article should even be considred because after each statement it has no Quran ayat or credible hadith to back it up.

  4. Ana says:

    Dear Maqsooda Sis,

    No doubt, that Quran is the entire code of conduct for us to live a prosperous life, but along with this we also have Ahadees, and moreover our last Prophet dosen’t like the women who have resemblance to a man in any way…..

  5. NO NAME says:

    Is it a sin if you dont wear a hajab?

  6. to an extent yes it is because in the Quran God has required the believing women to draw their veils over themselves and to cover their modesty. When we do not do so we are disobeying what God has asked us to do, and He knows us better than we can know ourselves. Just as a carpenter who built a table knows how strong the kind of wood he used, the age of the wood, and the manner he built it will determine how the table will withstand use. God is the one who created us and He knows what is best for us, even if we disagree. There is a difference though of someone who accepts what God is requesting, and has the intention of putting the hijab and is working towards that goal, versus the one who says iman is enough I do not need to put the hijab because – as some wrongly claim- its not in the Quran… (I dont know where they get this idea, its so clearly stated especially when you go back to the arabic language, and this is why only arabic is viewed as the Quran, other languages are only translations ) Jayubihum means the head and neck slit of the dress covering the chest…. so yes hijab is required and when you read some of the other articles posted on this site by women who put hijab, and myself include, we have found that wearing hijab is a form of liberation, not suppression, and wearing it is a form of true beauty because the woman is seen for WHO she is not WHAT she wears or looks like. And THAT is true freedom!

    May God give all of us the strength to see that what He is asking us to do is for our own benifit.

  7. khawater says:

    so is it true that i cant where pants just because im muslim? When i wear a skirt it makes me feel like i can’t move everywhere i want and it kind of gets in teh way since i am a student.Also if I started wearing long skirts and all, i might trip up the stairs or on the skirt itself and i always worry abot it getting dirty when and when it doesn’t rain.HELP! im 13 now and I need to know what is and isn’t acceptable!!!

  8. Khawater, I love that you are so sincere. My youngest daughter is now 13 also and it is not easy for her either. But Allah will reward your efforts. According to the articles I have posted and all I have studied, women really should now wear pants as their outer clothing. However, I always wear pants and what ever shirt I want and then I have an outer coat which is long enough. Some people call them jilbab. There are many online now and some are even made from jeans. At this young age it is not easy and maybe loose pants with a longer dress over it is more practicle and your legs will not show, which is why some women prefer pants. However the shape should not show i.e. the pants need to be loose and of thick material as to not describe your shape, even legs. The tops you wear should cover over as much of the legs as you can. Maybe hijab is something you can progress in gradually, make it into stages so that it is easier for you. When you are 18 maybe then you will be ready to put jilbab. Even Aisha used to put pants under her dresses so that when mounting camels she would remain covered. And Allah knows best.

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