The original meaning of the Arabic word "hijab" is "veil," and its usage comes from a Qu'ranic edict that the wives of Muhammad should separate themselves from men other than their husbands by using a curtain. Over the centuries, the word became identified with a type of covering worn by an individual, and hijab is now the common term for the headscarf worn by Muslim women. Women use a number of ways to wrap the headscarf and wear hijabs in a variety of fabric patterns and colours. Although a plain fabric is most common, you can choose any colour or pattern you wish for your hijab headdress.
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Things you need
- Hair tie or cloth headband
- Plain, dark fabric, 1-yard length
- Complementary or patterned fabric, 2-foot length
- Hijab pins or safety pins
Tie back your hair securely. If you have long hair, braid it or secure it in a ponytail. Tuck it into your shirt or wind it into a bun. If you have short hair, pull it back along your hairline with a cloth headband. Pin flat any stray strands of hair along your hairline.
Take the shorter piece of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise to form the underscarf. Place the centre of the folded edge of the cloth on your forehead on your part-line, with the fabric draping down your back. Position the cloth so the fold completely covers your hairline and another inch of your forehead. No strands of hair should peek out of the cloth. Secure the cloth to your hair with a hairpin over each ear.
Fold the longer piece of fabric in the same manner as the first. Place the cloth on your head, with the fold on your hairline, with the cloth draping down your back, but do not centre it. Line up the cloth so the shorter edge reaches 1 foot past your chin. Press the folded edges of the cloth tightly around the sides of your face until they meet under your chin. Pin them together with one hijab pin or safety pin.
Let the short end of the scarf hang free on your chest. Take the long end and wrap it over your head and back down to its original side. Pin it to itself on your temples on each side using a hijab pin or safety pin. If you use safety pins, pin from in between the two layers of cloth so you do not see the pin.
Continue winding the long edge of the scarf across your chest to the opposite shoulder. Secure it to itself using a brooch and let the remaining fabric drape down your back.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not wish to use an underscarf, use a stretchy fabric headband in its place.
- Hijabs can draw unwanted attention; wearing them was banned in schools in France in 2004, according to CBS News In-Depth.
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