Non-Muslim Women Wearing Hijab

I recently received a comment by a lovely non-muslim lady wondering about my/our opinion on non-Muslim ladies wearing hijab, and how it would effect us. i want to thank you so much for writing and for looking into hijab, why we wear it, and considering all the options for yourself. So often in public i get very ignorant comments bout my hijab or modesty in general...which is really sad. So i want to thank you for looking into Muslim Hijab from a more authentic source....a MUSLIM WOMAN :)

First of all, while i cant speak for the whole community, my assumption is that ANY woman (or man) for that matter - regardless of creed, culture, political views etc., who dresses modestly would be well-received and appricited by Muslims here, and all around the world. The Hijab actually refers to one's complete dress code and behavior, not just whats worn on the head - although "hijab" in both Western and Muslim societies has come to be known as the head scarf for pop-culture reasons. When one wears hijab, we are telling the world that we value ourselves, command respect from others, and want to be evaluated based on our minds, ideas and actions...not on our bra-size. :)

I think most women can relate to this experience at one time or another, cat-calls, innuendos, even inappropriate touching (i.e.your boss forgot his personal space bubble at home ....again!) All being modest does, is deter people from mistreating us based on our gender and sexual appeal, or at least, make them think twice before doing so.

My modesty - headscarf included , tells the world that i am more than just my sexuality, that i have a brain, and am intelligent enough to know that i have value beyond the bedroom.

thank you so much for writing. Get your hijab-on!


  1. I dress in a way that covers me pretty well: not completely hijab as Muslims define it, but not too far off, either, and my experience echoes what you say here: I am treated very respectfully, by people who appear to be Muslim and those who don't. (sometimes I do get a bit of a double-take, but no more than that)

    It's a very dignified way of presenting yourself.



  2. Thank you so much for you response! I'm beaming from ear to ear after reading what you said (and not just because you called me lovely). I've been visiting your blog since before Christmas and didn't know what kind of a reply my question would get. I was actually a little worried in case you chided me and said, "Don't be silly!" or something :P

    I hope you don't mind if I ask another question for clarity. I understand that wearing hijab means much more than wearing a head scarf, but because head scarfs aren't usually worn by non-Muslims or people outside the Arab community (I went to school with a lot of Arab girls, for example, and most of them wore hijab but not all of them were Muslim) I wanted to get your opinion on head scarfs in particular. Do you think it makes a difference -or sends a different message - if a woman wears a head scarf and covers her hair rather than just dresses modestly?

    Thank you again for your considerate response and I will hopefully get over my shyness and say hello again soon. I won't hesitate to recommend your blog to any of my friends who have questions or queeries about hijabs either - you do the best thing in teaching people and dispelling oppression-myths about hijab by making it FUN.

  3. I find this blog very interesting. I'm a history student, so I know quite a bit about how women have dressed in different periods.In Europe, adult women covered their heads (more or less) in public until 1950's (men also) European Medieval fashion was very similar to the hijabi style, everything was covered, but the face and hands.

    The biggest difference between hijabi fashion and European one is that in Christian countries, women started covering their hair when they married or were past marrying age. Also, indoors, modest dressing was not that important (Victorian period is a good example of this: everything covered outdoors, bare shoulders in parties etc)
    For lower class women, very hijabi-looking headscarf was used all the way to the early 20'th century, also indoors. In every European country. Still, a lot of old ladies wear the scarf (and look so elegant!) in Europe.

    What I don't like about the whole headscarf issue, is that a common piece of clothing, that I would really like to use to keep warm and look elegant (I love historical fashion) is suddenly a religious statement. Most of non-muslim women don't dare to wear scarf ever because of it's sudden status as a symbol of religion.



    (Last picture depicts church, so even little girls have scarfs, as everyone covered their heads when entering the church)


    1. Thanks for those lovely pics, and the history lesson! I'm interested in learning about the history of headcovering, and that was fascinating info.

  4. Hello. I was happy to find this blog. I am studying Afghanistan and surrounding countries with my 9 y/o daughter. This led to learning about the culture and dress, etc. Well, she wants to wear a head scarf (we are not Muslim). She wants to wear it in public. I, being pretty open minded, consented without issue. BUT, I have received negative comments from family/friends such as: this would be disrespectful because it would be like pretending to be something you are not (Muslim). One person said it would be "scary in this day and age" very disappointing. Anyhow, we don't have our headscarf just yet.

  5. I am a christian and I wear hijab. I just love it. I feel more beautiful in hijab than I do in traditional western garbage, it's amazing. My family isn't exactly thrilled with it but they're doing a good job of keeping their comments to themselves... LOL. I think more women should start dressing hijab, it would create more equality between the sexes and would stop a lot of the negative body issues that most women struggle with today. When I wear hijab I am making a statement to all who see me that I am not man's play thing. Hijab commands respect, even from muslim hating americans (which sadly, there are a lot of). So yes, draw your scarf around you with pride, and remember that with every pin, you are making the world a better place for all.

  6. I also wear clothing that tends to follow the principles of hijab minus the scarf and it does make a difference on how people treat you in a good way. No more cat calls or stares, and no more push up bras, double stick tape, and constantly monitoring the hem line of ones skirt. It is a freeing experience and I think a lot of American women could benefit from looking at what is common dress in America and what message it really sends. Do you, as a woman, want to send that kind of message to the world about yourself? I know I dont which is why you'll never see me in a mini skirt and tank top :).

    I also love your blog. It is so reassuring for a woman who is struggling with her faith and studying Islam as a possible new venture to God. It is nice to know that muslim women truly are sisters to each other. Salaam.

  7. I looked into converting to Islam for over two years, but in the end decided it wasn't for me, and stayed Catholic. But, while I was learning, I started to dress like a hijabi, and I truly enjoyed it. I think it was more freeing than dressing western, and I felt as though I "came out of my shell" so to speak. Wearing hijab gave me the guts to speak up, to share my thoughts and views, and I feel like people respected me.

    I miss wearing my scarves, even though I still dress conservatively (my long skirts and tunic shirts, or long sleeves with a high neck). Shukr, in my opinion, has the best clothing out there! I get all of my skirts from them, and they are very well made. The Hijab Shop (based in the UK) has the biggest selection of hijabs. I think I'm going to start wearing my scarves again, in the jewish style (bearing your throat), until I get used to it, and try to stave off stares from everyone at church. Thank you so much for SUCH an awesome website :)


  8. One of my close friends in high school wore hijab and it was never anything i felt uncomfortable around, even though i live in a community where this style of dress is just not seen — very materialistic, acrylic nails, too much makeup, sexified hair and sexy soccer moms driving in their escalades.

    anyway, i've realized recently a lot of the sexual attention i get, i don't actually want, but i feel like i'm supposed to want it, and it is exciting, but is it becoming too much of a definition of who i am to the outside world?

    i don't want to be perceived as a sexual object, but i still want to be perceived as a woman. a very difficult thing to do in our society.

    i've been considering wearing hijab not only to alter others' views of me, but maybe my view of my self, recalculate my own personal worth and experience how liberating it really could be.

    my main concern about donning hijab is not my reception by people i know nor passersby on the street, it's by the muslim community. so far with my research, it seems pretty acceptable from the majority of these sites that non-muslim women practicing hijab are/would be received well.

    i feel a lot of what you said in this post really gave the words to a lot of my inner feelings.


  9. Hi! I'm 22, not muslim, and I really want to wear the hijab. For the longest time I felt I had to contend with the choice of either being objectified, or not being feminine (I kept my hair close to buzz cut for years). I recently began reading about hijab and modest dress. It was what I had always been looking for.
    I was also a little worried about offending someone, so I'm glad I read this! Meanwhile I am learning more about Islam, and I like it ^.^


  10. Meli-

    Im so happy to hear that! If you have any questions on your faith journey, please feel free to email me at: modern_muslima@yahoo.com. Id be very happy to chaT!

    peace, love and prayers


  11. I am so glad I read this! I have been wanting to wear the hijab since I was a sophomore in high school. However, my dad isn't really up on the idea. I am transferring to Virginia Tech in a few months and I am planning on wearing it then. I have been going back on forth on how I would wear it (I am a personal trainer and I am trying to find modest clothing to wear when I run races, workout, etc.). I am Muslim, but unfortunately many of my cousins, also Muslims, do not wear the hijab. I want to show them, and other Muslims, that wearing the hijab only benefits you in the long-run as well as the short-run. It helps you think twice before doing anything and it's a way to respect yourself and your body.

    Asalamualaykom (peace be upon you)

  12. I'm very glad to read this as I am also wanting to wear hijab even as a practicing Catholic. I've been covering with scarves, tichels and turbans, but I'd really love to wear the hijab. I'm wearing long skirts (everything below the knee!) and tops. I simply think that the hijabs are beautiful! I've been reading up on non-Muslim women wearing hijab for a while and I've spoken to other Muslim women online as well and saw some youtube videos about it. I've decided to order my first hijab very soon-and with my husband's support!

    1. I am also Catholic, and i also wear *pretty much* the same outfits a Muslim woman wears.. (following Mary, after all). there are several groups in social media for modest clothing open to any faith and a few mostly intended for Catholics!
      In the meantime: for a QUICK but often lovely modest outfit, look up "Abaya" and "Jilbab" which are a sort of long dress (usually a quick pullover but not always) and a long coat or housecoat type item....

      If you have a pinterest or facebook account feel free to look me up.

  13. Thank you for this post. I love seeing beautiful women in the hijab... I am atheist, but I always wish I could wear the hijab. I am afraid to because I don't want to accidentally offend any of these Islamic beauties on campus. It has been 100 degrees these past few weeks and I feel like my summer outfits may be offensive to some of these women who I smile at. However, no matter what I wear, I wear it because -I- choose to. I simply cannot and should not control what others think of my outer appearance.

    Anyway...I appreciate this post!

    1. one of my Atheist friends wears pretty much the full outfit of long dress or over shirt over loose pants plus a head scarf... she has had much the same reaction as i have.

      just be prepared if you wear the outfit STYLED the same way as Muslimah do, to smile and say "i am not Muslim but i dress modestly..." usually you just get curiosity back....a few questions of "oh, why do YOU????" and then you can compare scarf shopping finds.....

  14. Thank you for this blog entry! I am not Muslim, but I do practice headcovering and modest clothing. I'm so happy to see that the Muslim community is open to non-Muslims sharing their (wonderful!) form of dress.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing a Muslim view on this! I too had been curious about a take on the non-Muslim woman wearing more modest covering (and even a head scarf). I have been married to my spouse for 10 years now. The older I get the less I want anyone beyond him to honestly see my bare skin. I hate being treated as just a 'pretty face' or whatever they assume I am in appearance alone.

  16. hi,
    As another non Muslim who wears modest clothing (and i usually cover my hair as well) i have generally gotten approval from most of the Muslims i have met (male or female) i have almost always had to go into the Muslim clothing stores to find long enough skirts as well...
    The worst i have usually gotten from anyone is a bit of confusion (Oh, you are not Muslim?Jewish?Amish?)
    There are, of course, rude and insulting people in ANY group.... but while i have gotten one or two rude responses from Muslims (usually men) the majority of the hostility has come from the mainstream (usually Christian or Atheist) folks who seem to view MY choice to wear modest clothing as a threat to THEIR choice to wear their clothing....

    and since your blog asks... i do have a pinterest board for modest clothing (Fashion: Modest clothing) and for scarves and head coverings (Fashion: Scarves, Tichels, wraps)
    i am also a contributor to HashtagHijab 's board on street fashion for modest clothing "Hijabi community"


Salaam All,

Please feel free to let us know what you think. Add your ideas about hijab styles, scarf tieing suggestions and life as Al Muhajaba El Aniqa (the one who wears hijab with pride and style)!