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What Does the Quran Really Say About a Muslim Woman’s Hijab?

What Does the Quran Really Say About a Muslim Woman’s Hijab?

Written by Saudah Jannat.

This TEDx talk by Samina Ali — a Muslim woman activist and author — reveals the real truth behind the hijab, the history and its real purpose.

Hopefully, this will be a really insightful video for us all, Insha’allah.


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The original caption reads: “In recent times, the resurgence of the hijab along with various countries’ enforcement of it has led many to believe that Muslim women are required by their faith to wear the hijab. In this informative talk, novelist Samina Ali takes us on a journey back to Prophet Muhammad’s time to reveal what the term ‘hijab’ really means — and it’s not the Muslim woman’s veil! So what does ‘hijab’ actually mean, if not the veil, and how have fundamentalists conflated the term to deny women their rights? This surprising and unprecedented idea will not only challenge your assumptions about hijab but will change the way you see Muslim women.

Samina Ali is an award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days, won France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Ali’s work is driven by her belief in personal narrative as a force for achieving women’s individual and political freedom and in harnessing the power of media for social transformation. She is the curator of the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed virtual exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices.”

View Comments (18)
  • Well you can knock me down with a feather, I honestly thought i would never see such an objective exploration of islam on this page.

    All I can say is thank you for proving me wrong, i am impressed and can ownly hope such honesty and objective discussion continues 🙂

    • Proving you wrong in your bigotry should never be the intention. We have hilter for that who taught European an unforgettable lesson. Soon, Russia is going to liberate your European women.

      • Thank you John for being a complete twat bigotry has absolutely nothing to do with my opinion of this page, but thank you for making a complete idiot of yourself, you have proved yet agian that no good deed goes unpunished.

  • The whores of America bring forth the whores from the community whom they consider inferior to malign and distort others religions?

    • Wow, you are just whore obssessed aren’t you, all religion is self delusion they do a fine enough job of maligning themselves LOL

  • European women are wearing too many clothes which must be suffocating and repressive. Russia would liberate European women in the coming years and they would love to go camping into the camps of Russian soldiers!

  • lovely share… check out this site about similar stuff on Hijab and more stuff on what Islam really says about Muslim women.

  • It doesnt matter what awards she won. She is no different to the Wahabis she is criticising by manipulating and deceiving people by misinterpreting and omitting the full verses.

  • It is truly an example of marketing a whole mess by only zooming on the colorfulness of its isolated tiny tiny part

  • If u think u have understood Islam and interpret Quraan , then u should atleast wear Jilbab,
    Why are u destroying your Akhirah, just for some marketing Gimmick , Ask your soul/Heart what u have said is based on truth or hype. for God’s sake ponder up this and correct your self.

  • real muslim women already know that hijab doesn’t mean veil or the headcovering. they know hijab is a holistic manifestation of a barrier from letting men see your adornments. I have worn real ‘hijab’ for ten years and this video doesn’t convince me to abandon it. its a fail. its simple to follow the idea of hijab and being modest. rich or poor. any women can do it. and the benefits of not being harassed and lusted after are priceless. sorry ultra liberal fems, you haven’t sold me on this one yet. please try again.

    • What makes you think that you would be harassed and lusted after if you showed your neck and hair?
      Covering up makes no difference to the way you are treated by men. I have a friend who lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years and was quite happy to wear the full black outfit that was required. It was loose and comfortable and you didn’t have to wear anything underneath. But strange men came up behind her and put their hands between her legs and she couldn’t retaliate or she would be in trouble. So she bought the spikiest stilletos she could find and stepped back hard on the instep of the next man who groped her, while apologizing profusely in Arabic.

  • Real truth behind Hijab is to expose prostitutes and pimps who act as a muslim woman and gets praised by the pagans (racist) of Europa who consider their very own women inferior to their men because they don’t have y-chromosome. Hilarious!

  • What evidence is there that, in pre-Islamic times, women went bare-breasted, as this speaker claims. She doesn’t want to admit that it is women’s faces that Mohammed wants covered. “here is the most respected tafsir (explanation to guide believers)”
    Sura 33 verse 59
    “O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks closely over themselves (jalābīb is the plural of jilbāb, which is a wrap that covers a woman totally) — in other words, let them pull part of it [also] over their faces, leaving one eye [visible], when they need to leave [the house] for something. That makes it likelier that they will be known, to be free women, and not be molested, by being approached. In contrast, slavegirls did not use to cover their faces and so the disbelievers used to pester them.…”

    Why didn’t Mohammed just tell his male followers to keep their hands and penises to themselves? Adultery is forbidden in both Islam and the Ten Commandments, but Jesus says that if a man so much as looks at a woman with lust (let alone touch her) he is committing adultery with her – his sin, not hers. Of course, that has never stopped men blaming their victims for their behaviour. However, by promising women that they won’t be molested if they cover up, Mohammed implies that if they are molested when uncovered, it really is their own fault. Mohammed was a misogynist. Stop accusing Allah of being responsible for what Mohammed dictated.

  • As Muslim woman, I’ve battled an interior conflict of wearing the hijab or not. I don’t know if i am right or if the patriarchal society that tells me i must wear one is correct. I do know that Allah speaks to us all individually and that my iman is pure. Watching this has taught that there is still knowledge i have to seek about my deen and what is being asked of me. What this video has shown me is that a hijab doesn’t equate my level of devotion as it is the most shallow part of what it means to be a devote female servant of God. Thank you Muslim girl for sharing.

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