The word hijab covers a vast and deep meaning in it. Generally, it is referred as a piece of cloth for covering the head and body, and is representative of a Muslim woman in the world. For the conformance of firm standard of diffidence, the Muslim women wear a piece of cloth to cover the face, head and body. Hijab is not only the physical body covering, but it symbolizes a supernatural aspect of clothing, behavior and demeanor.
In Islam, there is no specified or strict uniform for women. But there is a dress code for women, which must have certain characteristics, which are the requirements of Quran and Hadith (Verified sayings of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W). First is that, the body of woman should be covered fully, except the face, hands, and feet. Secondly, the dressing should not in a way that does not differentiate the women from the men. This concept of hijab is mandatory for the Muslim woman beyond the age of puberty.
There is a depressing fact that the misunderstanding continues between Islam and west despite of the tremendous progress of the science and technology, mass communication and intermixing of races. Although, the people of western world and the Muslims share many beliefs and values, like believe in one marvelous God and the key values like the respect for the justice and parents. They both are “peoples of the Book”, but the misunderstanding continues due to the distrust and the failure of understanding that, how others look at the world and its history.
In west, the Muslims are in minority. They are treated as the representative of negative-imaged Muslim world. The negative image of Muslim world was developed due to the war and terror among western countries and Muslim world, and more intensified after the 9/11. They are victims of racism in the West. In west, the Muslim women are the cause of contradiction about the concept of hijab, as they mostly cover their head with a scarf, while continue to wear their western style of dressing, so picturing a wrong concept of hijab.
On the other hand, the Muslim women are more conscious about their hijab in West, as they are watched and treated as loyal of specific group of people or they are regulated to wear hijab in some countries. The two major reasons are the values system of the West and the social conditions of the country. The 19th Century presents the break among different traditions. The tradition of scarves in western woman could be observed during this century. The second one is the social conditions, which were developed due to the competition of gaining economic benefits through the exposure of beauty.
Every religion of the world teaches the modesty, but in west, there are meaningless conditions for the Muslim women in wearing hijab. Despite of all these condition, the hijab is the cause of appreciation, protection and a sign of proud for the Muslim woman in West. The Muslim women consider the hijab as the only achievement in the West.