Monday, April 20, 2009

Muslim Women of the World: Hijab in Iran

Oman was my first experience of Islamic-inspired fashion. In these sets, "Muslim Women of World" I hope to document how women the world over adopt hijab, and adapt it to their lives. I will start with the two most popularized so-called Islamic countries the West seems to associate hijab with (particularily since it is enforced in these places). The Islamic (LOL) Republic of Iran, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [neither are Islamic governements]. This set will be about Iran.Often when we think of Iranian hijab we have one of two iamges, that of the stereotypical stylish young Persian woman in Tehran who only wears hijab because it is enforced upon her... This girl, if we are lucky, has styled her beautiful headcsarf more like a headband to display her preened blonde highlights, and a tight fitted coat or button up blouse that she calls a "manteau", likely with quarter length sleeves and capris. Sometimes she even has a "stylish" banadage on her nose to indicate a nose job. Is she a hijabi? Not really, so I am not blaming her for creating a bad example for possibly confused new Muslims. Girls, I warning you now don't wear the hijab styles pictured below. It is the look of a non-muslim woman forced to wear hijab, it is not Islamic whatsoever.
...Our other image is of the Iranian modesty police woman shrouded in her black encompassing chador, policing these "wayward girls"... She is a symbol of totalitarian government to some, and of conformity. Iranian hijab cannot be expressed in this cookie cutter fashion.Let's begin with the chador---it is not traditionally black but can look lovely in black. It is often in bright traditonal printz or whites... It was always a cultural sign of a woman's beauty.I personally love alot of the Iranian fashion pieces I have seen in the media. Let me just post and comment on a whole heck of a load of photos for you. Bear with me, I am not gonna organize them in any kind of specific order...
The government in Iran put on a fashion show (which most of the Wetsern media thought drolly ironic) but I quite enjoyed it. I like this chador. I wouldn't wear it. But I think it looks modest and nice.
Bright traditional prints, a little bit of traditional silver work... Too folksy for me, but pretty. I'd like to see some of the Aunties at the Masjid wearing things like these:D
Okay, this style is totally something most non-abaya girls would look so good in. Modest but elegant. It is "almost" Turkish.Iranian "jumper". I.e the sleeveless jilbab. If that hijab were draped around the neck, it'd be very Islamic and practically pretty. Trouser and jilbab set with a floral print scarf. I'd wear this. Now, I have uploaded so many photos I am too lazy to comment, so just sit back and enjoy...
Okay, I LOVE this one above.

16 comments:

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

I love how simple, yet elegant, our Irani sisters look in their black chadors. I love the way it drapes on them mashaAllah. Despite being the most plain garment, I honestly find it the most beautiful!!

Huda Syyed said...

MashAllah some of em are beautiful!

Najm-us-Sahar said...

Assalam u alaikum

Very Beautiful, very modest. Iranian chaddar is also very famous in pakistan. yesterday i was talking to a friend of mine who loves iranian chaddar and we talked about it for quite a while :) and here you posted a lot of those chaddars :)

By the way, Are they wearing capris in first few pictures or something else? because whatever that is, is ankle showing which isn't hijab i guess.

Boxie said...

I like some of the stuff, its never right to force hijab. Even some of the muslim girls in iran have yet to beside to take up hijab on there own so that also helps in the non-hijab hijab. there are lots of good iranin designers though they are not allowed to publicize there shows so everything has to be spread by word of mouth.

*~Ange~* said...

love the pics! they all look so beautiful! i must say that i had a big laugh at the girl showing her nose bandage. its so funny that that is stylish to some.

Aalia said...

Asalaamu `alaikum wa rahmatullah!!

masha'Allah, Iranian women are *gorgeous* I loved the simple chador styles, and even the pajama suits -- some of these outfits I def. would wear in a Western society.

In fact, Pixie remember my mustard-yellow jumper I got for $1 from WIN?? Now that was a real steal aaaand something I can wear here to womens' gatherings insha'Allah!

Thnx for this fun post :-D

Umm Ibrahim said...

wow, for never being in Iran and not speaking Farsi you're pretty good at finding pictures. bah bah.

I'd really appreciate it if you would link this up to my blog since I've written a lot about Iran. (http://muhajabat.wordpress.com) Thank you, kheili mamnoon.

Pixie said...

Um Ibrihim: there are so many things I disrespect about Iran (to me the country doesn't practice Islam at all since there's too much bida encouraged by the government---see this vid at at minute 1:48 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pThhFCxk7bs ) that I would never bother to learn farsi. Love the food, the clothes, and a lot of the people though:D And Persian tea is soooooooooo good.

Search keywords: chador, Iranian chador, Iranian fashion show, Persian hijab, Persian women, Iran hijab

I do love your site btw. Ladies, echeck it out at the link left by Um Ibrihim.

Umm Ibrahim said...

salaamu alaikum

Pixie, hahaha, I never thought to search the terms in English.

I DID want to clarify something about the YouTube video you posted. That clip is from North Tehran which is 100% NOT like 99% of the rest of Iran, not even like most of the rest of Tehran. After the Revolution, the Iranian economic elite fled Iran and went to the USA and Europe. Many of them decided to move BACK to Iran once things calmed down because they knew they could live better in Iran. Anyway, the majority of them moved into 1 particular area in North Tehran. This part of Tehran is JUST like being in Paris or London, it's VERY westernized and few there religious.
Hence, basing the entire country Iran on what goes on in a small suburb of Tehran is ludacris. Trust me, I've only been to North Tehran twice and BOTH times I felt very intimiddated and weirded out. The houses are HUGE, gated, everyone is in Gucci and Prada. Those are the wealthy elite who can AFFORD to fly to Paris a few times a month to buy groced few there religious.ries!!!!

If you continue into the video you'll see about the village of Abidan and thats more like the rest of Iran, esp villages...
The majority of Iranians are still religious and/or traditional and most dont eat pizza every night, travel to Paris every month or wear Gap or Gucci clothing.

En'shallah you can get to come to Iran sometime and you'll get to travel around the country, outside of North Tehran. :-)

p.s. This kind of reminds me of how most westerners have a bad view of Saudi Arabia as full of women hating muttaween and fundamentalists. Obviously this view is not accurate.

We really ought to try to dispel these myths and find out for ourselves the reality of these places.

anyway, I just wanted to tell you this.

Umm Ibrahim said...

...also at the end of that video he gets to Esfahan!!!
There is totally a reason why Esfahan has always been called "half the world".
Esfahan-e nesf-e jahan. It's soo beautiful and historic!
mashallah.

Pixie said...

Um Ibrahim: it wasn't the clothes or the elite of the "clip" that bothered me. It was the bida of the grave being in the Masjid for heaven's sake, of the sunnah or adhan being changed. It is the shirk I have seen from Iran, not its customs or its peoples. These are varied, diverse, and I respect them and even find them interesting. It is the shirk and bidas of Islam in Iran that means I won't be visiting. These would probably get me thrown into jail dear. I couldn't let that kind of shirk happen in any Masjid I'm in.

Umm Ibrahim said...

Thank you for clarifying that. No worries, actually I and my husband am not down with that either. We try to stay away from those shrines, well, as you said...

But other than that, en'shallah someday you can come visit Iran, I'm sure you'll find it very intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Salaam I notice in on of that captions you warned sisters not to wear the hijab that way its the way non Muslims wear it. Just a correction I have lived in Iran and I am Muslim and I have worn my Hijab that way it doesn't mean I am not a Muslim its out way of rebelling against having to wear a hijab whether we want to or not. Salaams

cynthia said...

the prophet saws said "who makes himself like some people then he is is one of them" sahih hadith from abu dawud

Anonymous said...

The Iranian women whos hijabs are not "islamically correct" are because those women are by law forced to wear "hijab" even if they are not muslim, those who wear the long black khimar are usually the muslim women but even amognst them are non muslims who simply wear it to avoid persecution by the iranian morality police, the majority of iranians in general are not Muslims, and are against religion. many of my iranian friends before meeting me hated islam because of their country and the goverment

Anonymous said...

MashaAllah beautiful hijabs and some very elegant yet simple islamic styles.
The sisters in real life from Iran & Iraq have taught me alot about physical hijab & in the heart. Allah yebarakfeehum