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Saudi Arabia: Women's Veiling - Research Paper Example

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The numerous global styles of veiling reflect the local traditions and the interpretations of the Islamic requirements. Most critics link their use to force while the wearers indicate that their use is a symbol of religious identity and self-expression. Veils are used to cover one’s chastity and purity in public settings. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Veiling in Arabia at the Dawn of Islam. The scarves and veils were in use among different cultures across the Arabian Peninsula long before Islam religion was established in the seventh century. Women regarded highly such as queens and goddesses in Arabia prior to the introduction of Islam. Early research links Arabian women to crucial society roles such as building and maintaining water works, presiding over property and handling administrative and legal roles while the men were out trading or exploring. In her book Beyond the Veil, Mernissi reveals that women sexuality was not regulated by the concept of legitimacy. Women veiling, during this period, had no religious implications or seclusion from men. Current, head coverings play a prominent role in Orthodox, Judaism and Catholicism religious concepts. Veiling in the Early Islam. Islam women began to use the veil as a mode of differentiating from women of other religions. According to Chamberlin, the use of the veil was introduced in different cultures with the growth of Islam religion. ...
The use of the veil is largely linked to class whereby wealthy women can afford sophisticated veils that covers their body regions fully (Killian 569-70). The poor modified their veils to conform to the activities that they undertook. The numerous global styles of the Islamic clothing reflect the local traditions and interpretations of the Islamic requirements. CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION Covering the head and body in Saudi Arabia is a choice for both Muslim and non-Muslim women although most women would term it as a decree according to their faith (Guindi 124). However, the recent trend by many Muslim women to keep their head uncovered portrays the influence of cultural mandate in veiling norms among the women; not exclusively religious. As earlier mentioned, veils are used to cover one’s chastity and purity in public settings. The body regions that should be covered by the veil depend on the range and source of the veil. It should cover the body regions from the bosom to the whole body excluding the hands and face. The veil acts as a means to distinguish between men and women and controlling the male sexual desire. Commenting on the BBC News website, Asser asserts that modesty is also expected among the Islamic men who are encouraged to cover the regions between waist and knees. Some women will also wear gloves to completely conceal all their body parts from non-relatives. More conservative women will wear dark opaque socks and shoes to cover the ankles. According to Bedu, the conservative group is normally from the Bedouin tribes or the new converts from the western countries yearning to portray their commitment towards the new religion. TYPOLOGY The veils occur in different forms that include: Hijab. This veil form is used by both Islamic men ...Show more
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Name Professor Module Date Saudi Arabia: Women's Veiling A veil is a part of clothing worn exclusively by women with intent of covering part of the head or face. Veiling in women was first recorded in an Assyrian legal text in the 13th century which restricted its use to noble women…
Saudi Arabia: Womens Veiling
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