Sunday, 30 May 2010

Clerics Split Hairs Over Latest Hijab Fashion

Recently I was asked to weigh in about the 'Abu Nafkha' or 'puffed' style hijab, which has lately become more popular here in the UK, for a news article for The Media Line. What do you think?

Written by Rachelle Kliger
Published Sunday, May 30, 2010

Latest style in Islamic headscarves, the ‘puffed’ Hijab, riles conservatives.

It’s called the Abu-Nafkha-style Hijab. It’s popular, especially among teenagers and women with a flare for the flamboyant, and it has clerics and fashion aficionados fuming.

Abu-Nafkha is a relatively new style of Hijab, the religious headscarf worn by Muslim women, and is slowly gaining popularity throughout the Arab world.

The style is called Abu-Nafkha, or “puffed” because it involves creating a bulge under the scarf, usually by placing a large floral hair clip at the back of the head to add volume. This makes women look as if they have very thick hair.

Read the rest here.


Jaz said...

I can't believe people make such a fuss over nothing! As a muslim woman, it annoys me that every small decision we make such as our hair UNDER our hijabs is blown totally out of proportion. It's totally our choice what we decide to do regarding hijab.

Amira said...

I think its ridiculous and just hideous fashion wise and Islamicly a no. I really do hope it dies out because its just cruel being subjected to that ugliness. yes I'm kidding.. kind

SamZ said...

Well, I come from Dubai and I think there is a good reason for them to fume. I do, whenever I see an extremely, (and I mean, EXTREMELY) made up face with a huge puffed up hijab look, and Subhanallah! the heels!!!! Come on! Are you serious? That's not hijab. Hijab is being M-O-D-E-S-T. Not earth-shattering-glamorous.

Quote for
"Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on a woman gathering her hair on top of her head?

If the hair is gathered on top of the head, this is regarded by the scholars as being included in the prohibition or warning that was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his hadeeth: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not yet seen: … and women who are clothed yet naked, astray and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side.” So if the hair is on top of the head, it is not allowed. But if it is at the nape of the neck, for example, then there is nothing wrong with it, unless the woman is going out to the marketplace, in which case this is a kind of tabarruj because it can be noticed through the abayah, so this comes under the heading of tabarruj and is a means of fitnah, so it is not allowed. "

Jana said...

Jaz, agreed, so much fuss over a hair clip. You think there would be more important things to crack down on, you know, like crime and poverty?

Amira, in Lebanon I once saw a girl who had the bump right on top of her head. It was downright hilarious!

SamZ, that fatwa you provided shows no real proof to prohibit simply tying your hair up in a bun, without the addition of clips. That hadith is very frequently mis-interpreted, here's a thorough explanation:

Anonymous said...

In reply to the above - if even gathering the hair at the nape of the neck is not allowed, then where are we supposed to tie it?!

Amira said...

Lol Jana how did you manage to keep a straight face? When I see this I have a hard time not laughing.
@ SAMZ This is what I have read regarding it.
Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has mentioned, “There are two groups of people who are from amongst the inmates of the fire, I have not seen them. a) Such a nation who possesses whips like the tails of cattle, they beat the people with it. b) Women who are dressed, yet they are naked, they inclining towards others and others inclining towards them, their heads are like the leaning humps of female camels, they will not enter Jannah, nor will they get its fragrance. Verily, its fragrance can be smelt from such and such distance”. (Sahih Muslim vol.2 pg 205/383, Rashidiyyah)

Some commentators of Hadeeth have given the following comments on the bold d section of the Hadeeth, "their heads are like the leaning humps of female camels,"
a) They enlarge the head by tying a cloth, turban or something generally worn on the head in such a way that it resembles the hump of a she camel.
b) To plait the tresses of hair and then to gather it in the centre, at the top of the head.

Generally nowadays, a woman ties her hair in a bun behind her head because of it being more convenient and easier to conceal all her hair. If it is done in this manner, it will be permissible

NoortheNinjabi said...

This style is ridiculous. It can look nice when done right, but the clips are best left at home or at women-only functions.

Anonymous said...

i agree with jaz...this is just ridiculous.... gosh leave these women alone. honestly ppl just know how to point fingers at others. first you should take steps on becoming a better muslim yourself rather than wasting your time fretting about petty things like this. i see sisters who scream MODESTY.... well there is more to modesty than just the way you dress! modesty also includes the way you talk to others.

Anonymous said...

OR the above hadith is not literal or about hijab at all. Maybe there is something much more about behavior in there - leaning humps of camels meaning something else entirely. Not shocking but indeed disappointing that something that may very well be about some kind of improvement of character has to be simplified and presumed to be about dress and used to criticize everyone.

I am refreshed by the responses to this, though. I was recently talking to a non-hijabi Muslim acquaintance who out of nowhere told me I had "a camel hump" and am not allowed to wear my hijab this way because it makes me not a real hijabi. WHOOSEEWHATSIT?! I have hair down to my hips. I wear it in a bun just at the nape of my neck (about an inch above that actually so it doesn't make it too hot) - nowhere near the top of my head and the bun is no bigger than an apple. Nothing exaggerated about it, and I was shocked at her comment. So silly!

Muslim Girl said...

I think the style just looks silly itself, and I think the response is silly too.

Yes, I wouldn't count it as being exactly modest, but I honestly think there are far more problems in our ummah that should be focused on instead of how to tie the hair!

Anonymous said...

Hate that style. redneckish.

Muslim&Proud said...

i'm so confused about that hadeeth.

if were not supposed to put our hair on the top of our heads, how do i wear hijab? if i gather it at my neck it'll hang down and out of my hijab. and putting it under my abaya wouldn't work, it would work it's way out.

SamZ said...

Agree with Amira - "Generally nowadays, a woman ties her hair in a bun behind her head because of it being more convenient and easier to conceal all her hair. If it is done in this manner, it will be permissible"

Lâle said...

i see how it can be wrong if women are putting FAKE hair under of flower CLIP etc. to give volume but to put this mutch attention on it isnt good as it makes us women who actually have REALLY long hair look bad :-( i put my hair in a bun on the back of my head but i dont put it right on top like a bee hive (like amy winehouse).

Also drawing this mutch attention to it will give it more publicity and spread the style further so these clerics who keep going on about it (not just the odd mention) are making it more widespread. this style was in turkey 1st and has now like Jana said spreading to england, its come through so many countries that people dont know which county it started in.
But i suspect that it will pass and hijabis will move onto something else and it will be a good thing but it could be bad if some1 thinks of something even more extream

Anonymous said...

I find that the best way to do long hair is either:

1) Before putting on clothes, put the hair in a pony tail, using elastic bands at the top, then several more at, say, 10-15 cm intervals along the length of the 'tail' so the hair doesn't get tangled or start to creep out from under the hijab - THEN put on clothes over that, or

2) Put the hair up in a bun as follows: use one elastic band to make a pony tail just below the crown of the head (so that the bun will not rise above the level of the head), then twist the hair NOT TOO TIGHTLY, wrap the bun as flat as possible to your head, and tuck the loose end under.

The reason you don't twist the hair too tightly is that this is what enables you to create a bun that is maximally flat, so that it is of a piece with the shape of your head. Then when you put on a two-piece amira and a loosely draped shayla over it, the bun will not show, even if it is over 10 cm wide.

ioana said...

Oh, I find is so distasteful when (usually men) point fingers at the way muslim (modest) women dress.
I like this style.
I believe there's a passage in the Quran discussing the lot of the gossipers/backstabbers.
Next they're going to suggest women should wear camouflage clothing in khaki only.

Organica said...

In Egypt they were layering a million scarfs to give the puffed effect all around, not the hump per se.

I tried pulling off the Turkish style hijab yesterday at a picnic and I failed. I didn't have a hump and I don't own the tacky hair clips ;)


I would love seeing these women passing through security at an airport ;)

AMANI said...

i find this style to look rather silly and cant see what girls my age and other women find paticularly stylish about it.

Anonymous said...

its soooo silly...the women in the masjid get on to mee all the time for wearing my hijab like this..but i seriously can't stand to have my hair touch my neck. it gets i put it in a bun up at the top of my head with a clip so it doesn't fall out. give it up ladies....seriously let ppl do wat they want...

Anonymous said...

Oh please! I agree that some of these puffed out looks are taken to the extreme and look rediculous. However, not many sisters like their hijabs to be flat on their heads. It's worse than having flat hair and some could even aruge that those two piece amiras that cling are showing the shape of our heads and necks! I personaly think a very indiscrete puff at the back of the head looks better than a flat hijab. I don't like my head to look 2 times smaller than my body. I like a tiny puff to kind of keep my body in porportion. I think this is true for many women. I do not consider that verse from the Quran proof that the puff is haram. I also dont believe women are trying to put off the impression that they have thick long hair-that's rediculous. I find that insulting as well. It's as if saying that hijab is for keeping men at bay. No it is for Allah and our modesty is for our character and eeman. It has nothing to do with men. They have been instructed. A man's hijab is to lower his gaze.

Sarajan said...

SubhanAllah.. this is what we're discussing: the Puff!!

Here's what I found out when I was in college. Some guys actually do lok at a girls "puff" to determine if her hair is long or not. Other than that being completely disgusting, inappropriate and deluded, I have to say that as a girl I have always seen this style as a bit of an anomaly. That's my personal opinion. I don't think it is tasteful or whatsoever stylish, but again that is merely my opinion.

For clerics to discuss this at great lengths... I think they are waisting our time! When will we, as a nation, learn to differentiate between the truly trivial and the primordial?

In any case, I don't think it is wise to harass the sisters who do choose to cover.. why not support them instead of driving them the other way?

Jana, I appreciated your comment in the article. It was truly on point.

Arwa said...

what about that kuwaiti maxi puff "hejab"?...everywhere i hear that it is called as "couture"...
I think that all what muslim women need is moderation...many women,with oriental roots and not only... have big faces and a flat hijab makes them look like a watermelon, in that bad sense... for some women this style i sa solution to like themselves, to feel modest but still beautiful...
i accept this style in a moderate way, and i atack those extra high puff hejabs...because:
1) its not modest;
2) attract men's eyes;
and by the way...i heard that it is quiet difficult to wear i dont think that droping my head down is a good idea...

Rania@FashioningFaith said...

Jana, I like what you said on the article.

Beside it's maybe a fashion trend, some women do not intend to follow that trend. They just have a long thick hair and put their hair up in a bun to hide it underneath their hijab... naturally and normally.

So, I hope this issue wouldn't make us judge other people.

Maryam Hajar said...

I love the look if it's not extreme--it's so cute and is NO big deal... sometimes funny though, as in the bun on top of the head. If you have thick long hair you can't help but have a 'bump'. the ppl who complain need to read up on backbiting and the harm it does to one's deen. If you think something is 'wrong'...then make duas for that sister..not criticize her. YEs, Jana, there are a lot more seriously problematic things happening amoung the Ummah that need to be addressed. If only domestic violence and other crimes such as these against women were being addressed so vehemently as this 'bumpy hijabs' issue, Muslimahs and families would be much more healthy and of good character.

Anonymous said...

I think there are more important things to worry about than how a woman wears her hair under her hijab- Allah knows best and who are we to judge? I personally wear buns above my neck because its really hot in South Africa. Personally I would never wear a flower clip because Alhamdulillah I'm happy with what Allah has given me. But this trend is becoming popular in south africa and hijabis who wear the whole puff thing should realise that by doing so they are attracting all sorts of attention to themselves and this is not modesty!

I hope I've not ruffled any feathers- just my personal thoughts..

Anonymous said...


I have just recently started wearing hijab and it's not an easy decision depending of your journey to islam so I don't thing people should judge lifes too short they should worry about their own akirah and the sisters that do wear hijab i feel they should read quraan and just remind themselves what the aim of life is I do feel we are only human and we make mistakes and we go through fazes as long as we turn back to Allah and sinscerely repent for our sins and mistake :)


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