The Effects of Hijab Fashion on the Muslim Woman Hosted by Fatima

Hijab Fashion

The Effects of Hijab Fashion on the Muslim Woman Hosted by Fatima

Salam ladies. I am Fatima and I am your host on The Hub today. Below I have shared my thoughts on the raving hijab fashion and want you to join me in the interactive discussion in sha Allah.

Sometime ago, and we all know this was not too long ago, the Muslim woman was labeled as oppressed because she chose to adhere to the teachings of her religion by observing the hijab and covering up her adornments, please click here to read about an insightful research done by the students of the University of Vermont on the issue of oppression in Islam. However, in recent times, there has been a huge shift in the perception of Muslim women and a lot of people (non-muslims inclusive) actually do not mind donning an abaya or veil and being tagged “Arab money”. Dubai or Abu-Dhabi is a preferred vacation spot and henna designs have become mainstream fashion statements. Now it’s a thing to be a “Cool Muslim” or at the very least be affiliated to certain Middle Eastern practices.

Hijab Fashion

My question is this, has the so-called oppression been bathed and clothed to give it a different look? I might be wrong but now it seems like the simple Muslim woman who goes about her daily activities unnoticed and content with absolutely no clue about the latest fads is the oppressed one, while the Muslimah who wears the latest fashion trends and knows the newest conturing skill is the liberated woman. Are modern muslim “fashionistas” the new age oppressors or puppets? Is the new obsession with hijab fashion and mainstream industry acceptance the tool being used? Now we hear comments like “Why don’t you wear your hijab like Lady X, her’s looks so amazing and chic”. Muslim women are now being compared with other Muslim women. This wasn’t the case as I remember. Back then the issue was why we even bother to cover up at all but now its why we cover up the way we do, why not like this sister or that sister? She’s such a funky hajia! 


Lets have a chat about this ladies, what are your thoughts? Is this new fashion and beauty obsession a positive or negative addition to the lives of Muslim women? How has it affected you personally? Has it built your self image or made you more conscious/insecure about your flaws? Do you have experiences to share with other women? Please leave your comments below to join the conversation, lets learn from one another in sha Allah.



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  • Aduke
    Posted at 00:21h, 22 February Reply

    Wow sister! This is a discussion we all should join in. Personally for me hijabi fashion was a breath of fresh air. It seemed like we Muslim women were finally being recognised. Along the line, I became more aware about certain things and noticed that many of these fashion hijabites struggle so hard to be relevant. They post pictures of themselves and tag all the popular pages to get their photos featured. It’s becoming toxic. Many Islamic teachings are being ignored or dumbed down. Being cool as you put it is priority now. I hope we all soon come back to the drawing board and reconfirm what Islam teaches us as women. Hijabi fashion seems to be brainwashing us. Myself inclusive. My 2 cents.

    • Fatima
      Posted at 11:43h, 22 February Reply

      Salam Aduke. Thank you so much for this. I agree with you about cool being the focus. Do you think it’s we need to let go of hijab fashion and actually focus on other aspect of Islam? For I am pro-fashion and building self image but it just seems like the effect of hijab fashion is a negative one on the Ummah. Instead of the so-called liberation, it’s making sisters insecure and so filled up with their ego.

      I guess that’s why Islam tells us not to dabble into certain things because eventually we will begin to stray unknowingly from the right path. May he guide us all.

  • Yinds
    Posted at 14:24h, 22 February Reply

    Love the topic, I think its definitely a topic that needs to be addressed more often these days especiallt as we live in the social media age and so many people try hard to gather attention anyway possible. Having said that I have to admit that I sort of found the ‘hijab fashionista’ trend liberating at first. I’ll why…. I grew up in a very muslim city, some argue that its the North but I like to think we are halkfway between North & South. But anyway, being a hijabi there almost meant you had to wear a Niqab/ burqa and you were not even allowed to have colors!! It was almost like an unspoken standard. Most people were either in black or grey so for me being more in tune to looking funky then ( astagfirullah..) it didn’t encourage me at all. But then fast forward anout 15 years later, I went to Turkey with my husband and just absolutely loved how everyone was so modest but yet so colorful and it finally dawned on me that its not actually that hard and a month later I became a “turbanista”. I do understand that the essence of the hijab is skin deep and less so about how you look but at the same time one has to be comfortable in their skin so whilst I sort of appreciate the “fashionista” trend I will admit that there is a thin line between doing it right and completely loosing the essence of it. That I believe is a struggle that is becoming more common and potentially having a -ve impact the muslim community.

    • admin
      Posted at 14:39h, 22 February Reply

      Thank you so much Oyinda! Yes I sure do agree that there’s a really thin line and sadly many fashionistas are crossing over to the negative side. The hijab as I have come to understand from my personal research and experiences is a far cry from what we see these days and the obsession with validation is definitely a negative I would love to see go away asap!

  • fauziyah
    Posted at 17:31h, 22 February Reply

    it wasn’t until recently that i started on the path of covering up and i must confess that I was happy to discover a colourful hijabie experience, knowing I can stay covered and still exhibit a sense of fashion but at a point I started rejecting some aspect of Hijab fashion subconsciously. Alhamdulillah for being able to draw the line a little even if not totally but how many of our ladies are able to do so. Style is in-born as I will always say but one should still learn to hold back from falling overboard. We need to keep checking ourselves daily to know if we’re doing it right or not.
    Before you dabble into anything you should first learn about it, know your religion rather than hearsay and constantly make dua to Allah to make it easy. Seriously the struggle is real, some ladies are not fully knowledgeable about such things and just follow the general trend, May Allah make it easy for us all

    • admin
      Posted at 21:09h, 22 February Reply

      Thank you so much for your time Fauziyah. Knowledge truly elevates us. Amin.

  • Samiah
    Posted at 20:07h, 22 February Reply

    Amazing topic!
    I think many hijabis, especially those who start wearing the hijab really young, pass through that stage of trying to conform and be ‘cool’.
    I think it’s even important to pass through that stage because it somehow helps you appreciate the phase where you actually really want to be different.
    The new obsession with hijab fashion I think is another gimmick by shaytan. It always reminds me of that Hadith where it says some people will think that have accumulated deeds and then on the day of qiyamah they have nothing. It’s a way of saying ‘at least you’re doing it’ and makin people too comfortable to want to grow in the right direction. It’s easier for a ‘cool hijabi’ to hang out in certain places and do things that they probably shouldn’t because they have the rest of the world on their side.
    Not to ramble, but we need to educate our sisters not to fall for this trick. The younger ones I think within certain limits its a rite of passage, but the older one gets, it’s important to fully understand and implement hijab as it should be. It starts from deep within our hearts. Only then do we see it as the blessing that it is and stop feeling the need to change what Allah has given us as a gift!

    • admin
      Posted at 21:13h, 22 February Reply

      Shaytan’s gimmick! Making us comfortable with the norm so we don’t strive to be better. Understanding and knowledge seem to be the key things to take home from all the comments so far. Thank you so much Sis.

    • fauziyah
      Posted at 21:39h, 22 February Reply

      JazakAllahu khair Sister Samira, your comment nailed it.

  • Kay
    Posted at 21:56h, 22 February Reply

    Salamualaikum. Thanks for touching on this topic, its such a deep one. I’ve been planning to write about it as well. There are various ways too look at it. In some ways “hijabi fashion” has positive and negative effects. I wouldn’t necessarily call the “modern fashionistas” puppets as I think they are living their lives and expressing their take on fashion out of their own free will. Some of these don’t meet the islamic requirements, and its left to the rest of us to separate right from wrong. We don’t have to follow these trends, they aren’t begging us to follow their examples. We need to realise for ourselves that we don’t need to be accepted by western/mainstream standards. We should be able to do our own thing and be comfortable. For example, my first peak into the “muslim fashion” community was the day I stumbled upon a popular bloggers page. I was inspired by the union of modesty and individual expression of style. (Im an advocate for dressing however you please, if you feel your best in pyjamas, go ahead!! And if you’re out to please your lord, as long as its also within islamic boundaries) As time passed though, I noticed this bloggers clothes getting tighter, her hemlines getting higher, the contouring and highlighting getting sharper and I felt “disappointed” (astaghfirullah for judging) because i didn’t think it was the best example to be setting while being fully aware there were millions of followers looking up to her for inspiration. Then I thought, hang on, shes totally living her life irregardless of my feelings lol. Shes never asked me to look up to her, or have expectations of her, so why was I expecting her to dress a certain way. The obsession with beauty is definitely not somethings to be encouraged within the ummah, just like it shouldn’t be encouraged outside the ummah even. Whether or not hijabi bloggers make endless videos discussing their favourite eyelashes and foundation brands and accompany them with selfies flaunting freshly plucked brows, other beauty bloggers (non hijabi) could still do it, and some of our ladies would emulate them. A positive impact this lime light on “hijabi fashion” has brought however is the promotion and growth of the modest fashion industry, in the sense that its providing sisters with more clothing options, and is giving the talented muslimahs in fashion a platform. I remember feeling stifled when I was younger because I couldn’t express my personal style the way I wanted by solely using clothing from the mainstream industry. It just didn’t satisfy my muslimah craving. Its great to now be in an age of new information and resources. We just need to be sure to use what we now have wisely. Going overboard with everything is never good. May Allah make it easy.

    • admin
      Posted at 00:07h, 23 February Reply

      Thanks Kamilah! Yes yes. All the comments here so far scream knowledge. We all have to seek knowledge understand what Islam teaches us and detach from emulating or idolising individuals who are on their personal life journey.

      However whether we like it or not personal struggles aside, we all have a part to play in building the Ummah on a strong foundation. The fact that we can identify certain right from wrong isn’t okay if we see our sisters emulating wrong and look away. So in our own little way I guess we should try to do things to the best of our God-given abilities and consider its effects on others.

      Really love your contribution. Shows it’s a topic close to your heart. Xx

  • Farhat
    Posted at 22:40h, 22 February Reply

    Lovely article, I most say. Especially since this is one of the numerous things I battle with, within myself.
    I do admit the whole hijabi trend looks attractive to me sometimes. It brings that sense of freedom and acceptance, (which sadly for now we have given more priority than our reason for existence). And not forgetting that respect. Oh what haven’t we done just for that respect?!
    I watch these videos and even my brain tells me “That’s not right…” talk more of my conscience. I look at old photos and I turn away in shame (May Allah guide us to the right path and keep us there).
    I’ve long come to the conclusion that we were created to be nonconformists and Shaytan will always look for new attractive ways to mislead us.

    • admin
      Posted at 00:09h, 23 February Reply

      Amin Sis. Yes I agree, there’s always a new distraction. We need to equip ourselves with knowledge of the deen and true submission to Allah.

  • BilQees
    Posted at 02:21h, 23 February Reply

    Salam Sisters, I knew soon we Muslimah will have to discuss this issue didn’t know it was going to be a platform right here in Nigeria. Hijab Fashion is attractive if I can say so, May Allah forgive me but it may be his will that the modern Hijab fashion attracts us (those of reluctant us to.conform to the commands of our Lord), build on it to get better in modesty.My first step towards modesty was taken having in mind this fashionista but eventually I got to know what real modesty is but Alhamdulilah I’m making headway ‘cos Al-Janna is my Goal. Oftentimes when it crosses my mind all the struggles of being chic, acceptable and modest I settle for modesty. Even though I still struggle, Insha Allah it will get better.

    • admin
      Posted at 17:09h, 24 February Reply

      Amin sister. None on the surface of the earth is perfect, we are all trying in our own way. One of the things we need to do is begin to think collectively instead of individually. If I know my actions may mislead another, I should try to do better. That way I am developing myself and whoever is watching in sha Allah. Thank you so much for your valuable comment.

  • Nurat
    Posted at 13:50h, 23 February Reply

    This is a very sensitive topic, Jazakallahu Khairan Sister for bringing it up. I think it all boils down to understanding the deen first, I figured recently that a lot of sisters don’t even know what is required of them as Muslim women, so they don’t know they are goin wrong and some actually know buh they really don’t care. I have seen a Muslim mother tell her daughter to reduce the hijab n jilbabs, so she doesn’t chase prospective Muslims men away , and I was shocked! To be honest with you there is a lot of work to be done and it’s really sad that some of our sisters are not helping matters, especially those Allah has lifted who are supposed to be using the opportunity to spread the deen and encourage sisters not to compromise on their religion and principles.I have also experienced the “why don’t you use small veils like sister so so it’s actually chic”, I also had a Muslim colleague at work say to me ” I want my wife to start dressing and covering like you” Alhamdulillah! Now it’s our duty to change the orientation of sisters by leading by example in our various lives because we are all influencing some sisters consciously or unconsciously and Allah will ask us about it, let’s try to always wear the right hijab from our manners to how we dress, educating sisters in a loving way as well as Praying for them as only Allah can Guide them right. May Allah make it easy for us all to practice the deen sincerely and wholeheartedly.

    • admin
      Posted at 17:12h, 24 February Reply

      Amin. Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. May Allah grant us all wisdom.

  • Azeezah (@ahlamjameelah)
    Posted at 14:21h, 23 February Reply

    Thanks for touching this topic, honestly there was a time I went off instagram when I couldn’t take it anymore. These days hijab seem to be all about glitz and glamour, in fact it is like some modest fashion bloggers only uses the word ‘modest’ in order to gain more followers since mainstream fashion in overloaded because there’s nothing modest about their photo poses, make ups etc anymore (may Allah forgive us all).
    I fellow accounts on instagram based on modest dressing, but sometimes I just ask myself “why are you following this person?”
    May Allah guide our steps and make us better muslims

    • admin
      Posted at 17:13h, 24 February Reply

      Its good to take some time off the noise and reflect. May Allah guide us all towards being better. Amin

    • Ghaniyah
      Posted at 18:44h, 24 February Reply

      May Allah bless you sis……

  • Maryam
    Posted at 21:06h, 23 February Reply

    Yet again, we allow the western world to define wat HIJAB is to us, the definition makes us so comfortable we think we can have best of both worlds, buh seriously, who are we fooling, some things just dnt match, they dnt go along at all, for me to start with, the word “hijabie”, whatever it means, to my little understanding, it is when a muslimah puts a veil on her head, she is applauded like she has attained the highest pedestal forgetting that the veil is supposed to be a reminder for her to continue to strive. May ALLAH continue to guide us through the straight path.

    • admin
      Posted at 17:15h, 24 February Reply

      Amin. We must begin to focus on other important aspects of the deen.

  • ninolastyles
    Posted at 15:53h, 24 February Reply

    Salam alaykum waramatulahi wabarakatu. may Allah guide us to the right path. This is a very sensitive issue as it is. so many to say that I can’t start typing. but the main influence is that of the fashion bloggers we have all around the media now. It’s nice to see sisters all made up with contours and all but mahn, when u look down within urself, u know oh I wld pulling in a lot of attention. For instance I was once an hijabi trappist. permit me to use that word sis. by this I mean I trap and wasn’t covering. only a picture can relate what I mean to u (wld upload a pic and tag u to get what I mean) I wear these to upstream non Islamic shows and I see the amount of attention I get, but the deep within I bled for what I did. getting more mature, I start to realise basic things in Islam and I try to put those first. that’s a very long story for another day I think I need to get across to younger muslimahs out there.
    But the main thing is for us to edit our media, and by that I mean we need more of actual modest women as bloggers. at least for the nigeria atmosphere. e.g zahra wear next to no makeup, haneefaa is Uber modest and so much ladies waiting to find a voice. but first fix urself. only we can help we

    • admin
      Posted at 17:19h, 24 February Reply

      Thanks a lot. I would love to know what a trapist is please. You can DM or email instead of posting a photo, since thats something you don’t want to encourage. Alhamdulilah Zahra and Haneefa are sweet ladies, May Allah continue to guide them. I really appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts. Wish you nothing but Allah’s blessings.

  • Concerned
    Posted at 18:39h, 24 February Reply

    This is a topic that is sensitive because most people who talk about it the right way end up being tagged as being ‘hateful’ or ‘judgmental’. Years ago, when I started wearing hijab, I wore it with my regular jeans and tight fitting clothes. I can say that I honestly didn’t know what hijab was. I thought as long as I covered my hair and neck, I was covered. Alhamdulillah, I met wonderful sisters who taught me the right way by guiding me to the Qur’an and Sunnah where the injunction for hijab was legislated.
    The truth is, there is a lot of information out there right now but are women seeking for the right knowledge? Any woman who knows the proper reasons for wearing hijab will not feel oppressed when covering the right way because her eyes will be on the goal. This whole hijab fashion thing is brought about by a need to conform, to fit in. It is obligatory upon every Muslim to know the obligatory acts as well as the right way of doing them. Will you perform your salah the wrong way? Why then will you wear your hijab the wrong way? There’s no shortcut to it.
    Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) talked about two types of people of the Fire that he has never seen; a tyrant ruler and women who are clothed yet naked, swaying from side to side. He said they will never enter Jannah, nor smell its fragrance. May Allah save us from such.
    What we have today is an example of such. Women who wear a scarf with their figures on display, adornments on display, make up and up to the extent of wearing clothes that are meant for men. Hijab has conditions just like most acts of worship. Maybe we need to remember that hijab is an act of worship. I advise everyone who wants to know about hijab to read works of the scholars of Islam. Jilbab al mara’ah al muslimah fil Kitaab wa Sunnah by Muhammad Nasirudin al Albani is a good book.
    Spend more time reading about it from the right sources than you spend learning about the right way to match your scarf with your skirt.
    We have younger sisters, what are we teaching them by our actions? Will we let hijab be reduced to mere flimsy scarves and head wraps? We have an obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil. Like it or not, hijab is an integral part of our being Muslimahs because we can’t go out without our garments. Everytime we do, we either earn reward or its equivalent. May Allah soften our hearts to His obedience and grant us sincerity and steadfastness in our actions.

    • Rahmah
      Posted at 15:17h, 25 February Reply

      Asalamu alaikum, how do I get the book u recommended because I would really like to know more about hijab.

  • Ghaniyah
    Posted at 18:39h, 24 February Reply

    This is really an interesting topic, I remembered then when I started wearing the hijab, my mum supported me buh my sis was reluctant cos she felt I was only going to attract an ‘Alfa’ and all buh I told her not to worry bcos everything is to Allah and she accepted and supported me …. I don’t see myself to be oppressed or anything , the Hijab is my identity and am a proud Hijabi (Alhamdulillah ) Buh , it’s rather sad when I hear sisters are wearing the hijab bcos there’s a brother somewhere that loves Hijabis, we really need to get the correct meaning of wearing the Hijab , I get confused too when I see Hijabis in full makeup , headbands , clips and all , all to make it fashionable and attractive , we need to retrace our steps and get it right…..May Allah make it easy for us all

  • Ganiyah
    Posted at 11:30h, 25 February Reply

    Salam alaykum Ukhtees, this is a very interesting but serious topic we have to tailor out neatly. It gladdens my heart to see that we still have people who know the true meaning of hijab, because you see so many muslimahs dnt know the reason for the hijab. We really need to spread the true meaning and reason for the hijab, Sisters who wear hijab to please or attract an Akhi, Please Stop It! Because it is suppose to be our Pride and not jhus an option to look chic. May Almighty Allah guide and direct us aright, ammen. Asalam’alaykum warahmatullah wabarakahtu!

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