So You Think You Want to Veil


I asked on Facebook what people would want to read about veiling.

One of the questions/comments that comes up a lot both on there and in real life is some variation on ‘so I want to veil. But I don’t want to veil. How do I get into veiling without a tichel/can I veil if I don’t want to veil full time and/or don’t want to veil for religious reason?’

I can actually understand the second mentality completely-the hijab or no hijab debate comes up a lot. Where is the line where you cross into appropriation/inappropriate use of a religious symbol?

It has been my experience that the vast majority of Muslim women are completely fine with other women wearing the hijab-as long as you understand that it is a sign of modesty and your clothing choices reflect that. Are there women that disagree? Yes. But there are religious women who also think we shouldn’t be covered at all, so there’s that. I’m not trying to speak for that community since I’m not in it, but it does come up a lot in veiling communities.

The general opinion in the veiling community is that there is nothing wrong with wearing the veil for whatever reason you choose. If you decide that you just like the look of pashimas tied with tails, then by all means-wear them. You’re probably not going to be asked, frankly. People might assume you’re covering for religious reasons but we’re probably not going to approach you on the street and ask you for your veiled sister pass code or something.

If you are looking at going full time and have no idea how to even begin, there’s two schools of thought: ease into it or just jump in.

The second is easiest but I’m going to warn you, this is going to feel weird. Not that there aren’t women who don’t talk about it being an easy transition with no problems, but you are going to be aware of having something on your head-and the way that people are going to react to it.

The longer, potentially more expensive, but perhaps more emotionally stable path that a lot of women take-baby steps. Buy a couple of hats or bandanas and wear them at home. Then wear them to the store. Then transition to just the hat, so that all of your hair is covered.

Do that until you’re fully comfortable and normal feeling in public.

Then buy yourself a basic, neutral colored pashima or other long rectangular scarf. Pashima with tails is the easiest tie you’re going to do, and honestly, it’s what I default to.

If your hair is long enough to be put up, pull it into a bun. It doesn’t have to be tight or clean, you just want it out of the way.

Find roughly the middle part of the scarf and center that over the rough center of your head, so that the ends are draping over your shoulders. Then take the ends, and twist slightly like a rope. Tie the ends off towards the back of your head in a half hitch. It’ll stay on if you tie it firmly but not so tight as to be painful. It has more of a chance to fall off if tied too loosely or too tightly. Then just flop the ends however-in the photo above, I put one tail to each side.

I center my knot under my bun but I’ve also centered to the left or right. It doesn’t really matter.



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