Iwo Female Muslims and The Use of Hijab: Fashion, Culture or Religion?

Iwo Female Muslims and The Use of Hijab: Fashion, Culture or Religion?

If you have ever been to Iwo before, you would notice that in every twenty female gender you pass by or who pass you by, at least fifteen of them wear the hijab be it a cape, a Khimor or a Niqob.

Before we go into the details of this article I’ll love to define what a hijab is. 

HIJAB is a piece of attire that is original to be designed to be used to covering the entire body structure of the female Muslims (Muslima). Hijab can be categories into three different types with each connoting a degree of adherence to the teaching of Islam on how a true-believing female Muslim (Mumina) should dress. Because of the shift in adherence of the teaching of code of dressing in Islam hijab can now be categorized into three different categories. 

Iwo Female Muslims and The Use of Hijab: Fashion, Culture or Religion?

Hijab can be in the form of a cape. A cape is the common short shoulder levelled piece of clothing used in covering the head that is commonly used by female Muslims in South-Western Nigeria and sometimes by non-Muslims as well and in many cases this is often used for its fashion and stylish designs. 

Hijab in form of Khimor. A hijab in form of Khimor is a loose overall attire that is designed so that it covers or swallows the entirety of the female’s body (except the face) in such a way that no iota of this female’s body structure or features can be differentiated from within the loose clothing, attire or gown. 

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Hijab as in Niqob. Niqob is the highest level of hijab a female Muslim can get for herself. This is a piece of attire that is exactly the same as the definition of the Khimor. Though it has only an exception that it will cover the face of the female Muslim such that it’ll leave or not leave only the eyes space open. This type of hijab covers the entire body including the face of the female Muslim and her face is ever not to be seen by anyone else except those who are rightfully allowed to see her face or body. 

This is my sincere understanding of what a hijab can be depending on the context from which we are discussing. 


Iwo Female Muslims and The Use of Hijab: Fashion, Culture or Religion?

Hijab is supposed to be religious depicting and for religious purposes only. Hijab isn’t meant to be a fashion or show off. It is meant to be modest, loose and loose enough to engulf all the female’s body structures and is meant to keep the female fairly unnoticed so much that it doesn’t call too much of the attention of anyone most especially the opposite sex. 


To some arguable degree or extent, the purpose of the hijab has been drastically raped in Iwo that it dribbles the thinking of any reasonable Muslim to confidently say the hijab as it is solely described in the Qur’an still serves that same purpose anymore in Iwo. 

The hijab can be basically classified into three different classes in the purpose that it now serves in Iwo. These three classes are namely, the fashion purpose, the culture purpose and the religious purpose. 

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As every country has its design of flag so does every religion and Islam is not exclusive. The hijab is the flag that identifies female Muslims among other females and to a very purposeful degree it can also tell about the adherence to the teaching of Islam in term of code of dressing of the female. But does this very important chosen style of dressing by Islam for its females still serve its purpose in Iwo town? 

Regardless of the fact that Iwo has over one hundred and ninety-one three hundred and forty-eight persons (191,648) spread over different districts, Iwo is very well dominated by the Islamic religion. It is very well safe to say in every ten Iwo indigenes eight are Muslims and even the rest of the two has an Islamic origin. 

So, starting from this angle of thing we can say if you found an Iwo female who is a Muslim and wears the hijab she’s doing so because of her adherence to the religion. Though that is an arguable claim because as much as there are female Muslims in Iwo that wear the hijab for the purpose of the Islamic teaching only. There are some who wear it because of the fashion purpose while there are some who wear it for the culture. 

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I personally split the female Muslims in Iwo into three categories and these three categories are going to be linked to the purpose of the hijab-wearing. This social science issue is very sensitive and I hope that you as a reader does not read from your predisposition perception bias eyes or understanding. 

Iwo female Muslims can be split into the three classes of; the women, the ladies and the girls. The women fall under the age of forty (40) and above, the ladies fall into the age category of twenty (20) to forty (40) years of age and while the girls fall under the age group of five (5) years to twenty (20) years of age. So, let’s look at what the hijab stands for in these three different categories. 

THE WOMEN: ( Age 40+) 

I stand to be corrected. Under this category of the female Muslims in Iwo over seventy per cent of the female Muslims in this age group wears the hijab for the purpose of the teaching of Islam. Whichever of the hijab style they chose to continue to wear in this category was chosen because of their adherence to the code of dressing of Islam. 

I have claimed so because, if you are watchful of the female Muslims in Iwo, the ones that fall under the category of women are mostly scarf users. They’re especially devoted to the use of scarf rather than the use of any form of the hijab. This is so because when they were the younger majority of them probably were users of the cape and a few of them were users of Khimor.

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While a very rare minority were users of Niqob. However, by the time they got married and into a different mental environment where it’s expected of them to dress like a married woman, they in the very majority and often of the cases chose scarf above the cape because the cape was to them a means of beautifying their beauties or culture when they were younger. 

Thus, if any of them is found to continue to use the hijab it is safe to theorize that it’s because of the adherence to the teaching of Islam on the subject matter of the way female Muslims should be dressing. 

THE LADIES (AGE 20 – 40):

It’s surprisingly easy to be deceived to believe that if you found a young adult female Muslim in Iwo in any of the known forms of hijab to think that she has worn it because she understands the purpose of wearing it. In reality, the contrary is the case. 

I stand to be corrected. Over sixty per cent of the female Muslims population in this category in Iwo are mostly committed to the hijab because of the beauty that it gives and the possibility of community pressure that can arise from dressing otherwise. About above twenty per cent of this category are wearing hijab because it’s the culture of the town. It’s what the people accept, it’s what is looked upon as the norms and anything beyond that is very much likely to be thrown into the unacceptable class of dressing. While the rest of them chose to wear it because they understand and adhere to the teaching of Islam. 

If left to the majority of these ladies, they’ll choose the other way of dressing. This is contingent to the reality of what happens when they become married, leave town, or get the chance to meet with the people who would allow them to do what they would love to actually do and what happens when they become women like their mothers. 

Iwo Female Muslims and The Use of Hijab: Fashion, Culture or Religion?

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THE GIRLS ( Age 5 – 20):

There is very much less to say about this category of the female Muslims in Iwo. Majority of Iwo female Muslims who fall between the age of five and fifteen (5 – 15) don’t wear this hijab for any reasonable purpose of their very own conscious minds. They wear the hijab because they are either told to wear it by their parents or because their friends wear it or just because they feel it’s the right clothes to wear for them. Majority of this category isn’t well aware of the religious purpose of this type of dressing. 

The ones between the age of sixteen and nineteen years of age (16 – 19) are the ones who are partially a little aware of the religious purpose of why that piece of clothing belongs in their wardrobe. Majority of them in this category are rebellious about almost everything introduced to them. So, it’s very doubtful to say whether if they chose to wear the hijab is for a religious purpose, culture or religion. 

However, it’s safe to theorize that majority of the ones in this category who chose to wear the hijab of any form do so because they have seen it as part of their clothing and their friends and elder sisters are wearing it. As much as this age group know the religious reason for having the hijab a very few numbers of them would be able to state clearly the religious purpose of this good style of dressing. 

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About The Writer

Olamide Yakub Lateef is 26 years old. I am Yoruba, I’m 5ft5 tall and I hail from Osun State and I’m an indigene of Iwo. I am an undergraduate student majoring in computer science at the online University of the People, CA, USA. I’m a lover of writing, I’m a poet and I love to take tasks the same reason I’m into programming.

I started conscious writing when I was a little above sixteen years old; that was when I first wrote my first poem. I’ve been writing since then, I’ve written many unpublished poems, short articles and few proses. I love to write because it’s the easiest way for me to relax after I might have written a few lines of codes in programming. By telling stories, I feel like I’m building my very own universe.

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