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What is a Muhajababe?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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A muhajababe is a woman who wears a veil or headscarf in accordance with Islamic law while still retaining a stylish appearance. This slang term is used in many Muslim countries, and it is also heard in regions of the world with a large Muslim population. Depending on values and culture, a muhajababe may dress every bit as sexily as her non-Muslima counterparts, or she may simply carry a veil with style and flare. For Muslimas who live in secular societies, dressing stylishly while also wearing the veil can be a way of meeting society halfway, and staying fashionable while still dressing appropriately for their religious values.

Not all Muslimas choose to wear a headscarf or veil, but many do, both to express their religious beliefs and because they believe that they are commanded to do so by the Qu'ran. The Islamic code of dress is known as hijab, a term which is also used to refer specifically to the headscarfs worn by Muslimas. According to hijab, both men and women have an obligation to dress modestly, and women in particular must wear modest garments which cover the face and body appropriately.

Many young Muslim women feel that while the rules of hijab should be observed, it is also entirely appropriate to dress fashionably and perhaps even to hint at the beautiful body which lies beneath the headscarf. In more secular communities, Muslimas may dress more or less identically with other women in the society, with the addition of a headscarf to cover the hair and upper chest. In the case of a beautiful young woman, the result may be a muhajababe.

The term muhajabe is used to describe a woman who wears the veil and observes the rules of hijab. “Muhajababe,” as you might imagine, is simply a portmanteau of this term and “babe,” a word used to describe a stylish, attractive women in many cultures. Muhajababes can be seen in designer garments, stylish shoes, elegant dresses, and a wide range of other garments which may not be immediately linked with Muslim tradition in the public mind.

The rise of the muhajababe in many communities has helped to disperse some mistaken ideas about the nature of Islam and the rules of hijab. While some women certainly do prefer more obscuring, fully covering hijab, it is possible to be fashionable while still conforming with Muslim values. Some Muslim women, such as Iranians and Lebanese, are even famous for pushing the envelope when it comes to hijab.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PublicPeople researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments
By anon53858 — On Nov 25, 2009

it's OK to wear a nice abaya or american style dress, but i see all these hijabs with huge hoop earrings, tons of eyeliner and tight skinny jeans. they look cute, but it's hard for me to take their hijab agenda of looking modest and not drawing attention when their entire look gets more attention than any other female because it's so loud. most 'muhajababes' (blah) would probably be ostracized for overexposure in a fundamentalist Islamic state.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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