When the issue of hijab in Islam, or veil is being brought into discussion, the first impression of the word hijab that comes to mind is that it is a piece of cloth that covers certain parts of a Muslim women’s body particularly covering the head and neck. The real meaning of hijab however encompasses a wider description aside from the usual connotation of it being intended only for Muslim women. In Islam, both men and women are required to dress modestly as the objective of the framework personifies a great example of personal empowerment and liberation.
The question of the obligation to wear hijab or the veil is still at-present one of the most controversial issues both in Muslim countries and the West with Malaysia very much included in the list. The issue of hijab is an intricate matter that linked the religious command rather ambiguously to various concepts such as modernity, freedom of choice, women’s bodies, tradition and the challenge of living in multicultural societies.
Certainly the command of wearing a headscarf is tied to religion, however, Muslim religious writings in the Quran or the Prophet’s statements are not entirely clear on the question of the veiling. In Muslim-majority Malaysia, most Muslim women have opted to follow the moderate form of the religious duty by wearing a hijab locally known as a ‘tudung’. The decision to wear a hijab is a personal matter for many Muslim women as it deals with one’s spiritual realisation and special connection with God.
Since the advent of the Islamic new year (Hijri new year), many local celebrities have shared their personal journeys and positive outlook in life and in spirit of the new Islamic year. In fact, many took the blessings of the Islamic month Muharram and the spirit of Hijrah — that connotes a new beginning — to make inspiring changes in their life including the decision to wear a hijab.
Here are the lists of female celebrities who have made a decision to don a hijab since the start of the Islamic new year:
1. Izara Aishah
- Actress and entrepreneur, Izara Aishah stole the spotlight recently when she appeared donning a ‘khimar’ (a long veil) on her Instagram. Izara shared her latest appearance in several pictures posted on the platform.
- The 28-year-old actress who is also the step-daughter-in-law of the famous singer Dato’ Seri Siti Nurhaliza also deleted her old pre-hijab pictures on her Instagram page. On her Twitter page, she also asked her followers to share the shop which sells ‘khimars’ besides thanking the public for the constant prayers made towards her.
2. Nur Fazura
- The “Dendam Pontianak” starlet was spotted wearing a hijab last month and her hijab-wearing appearance has since attracted the public’s attention who mostly complimented her new look. Fazura in an Instagram post that is now deleted hopes that religious issues such as the act of worship, the issue of hijab and spiritual changes would not be sensationalised.
- According to Fazura (real name Nur Fazura), such an issue is a journey in a person’s life that is too personal to be made public. “The issue of worship, hijab, and hijrah. It is a person’s secret intention with Allah SWT. A personal journey that should never be told or sensationalised by anyone else,” she captioned in the now deleted Instagram post. The actress however, asked the public to keep her in their prayers so that she remained steadfast in her hijab journey.
3. Betty Rahmad
- Actress Betty Rahmad recently shared her hijab journey which was inspired by the spirit of the Islamic new year, Awal Muharram. Betty Rahmad shared that she began to feel motivated to make her transformative journey for the better after seeing her son, two-year-old Ardy Wira who is already fluent in reciting the Iqra’ (the introductory lesson for the Al-Qur’an) while she herself is still learning how to read the Muslim holy book, the Al-Qur’an.
- “Actually this is my personal journey. Every time I pray, I pray to Allah to make me a better person, a better believer, and I ask Allah for guidance,” she remarked in a live broadcast session on her Instagram a few days ago. She also shared that the passing of the late Siti Sarah Raissuddin was also the reason that prompted the actress to make changes for the betterment of herself.
4. Siti Elizad Sharifuddin
- After uploading a veiled photo of herself on Instagram, the actress and radio presenter, Siti Elizad was bombarded with questions regarding her appearance. The 37-year-old celebrity admits that she is currently in the process of staying consistent in her hijab journey and is slowly improving herself.
- She thanked the public for their prayers and many celebrity friends and fans also took the opportunity to congratulate her on her new appearance.
5. Fieya Julia
- Singer Fieya Julia made a surprising appearance when she came up with a newly hijab-donning image. Fieya (real name Nur Syafiyah Sejali) remarked that the desire to wear a hijab has been her longtime intention.
- “Previously I was hesitant and kept the desire to don a hijab. I tried to wear the hijab occasionally but I did not share it on social media. At the time, I was skeptical. After all, before this , I was tied to a sponsorship commitment of the costumes used during performances and filming music videos,” said the singer.
- After making a decision to fully cover herself, Fieya then deleted all her previous photos with no headscarf on her social media. She also asked her fans who supported her decision and who had prayed for her to be consistent in her journey.
6. Nana Mahazan
- Singer and TV personality Nana Mahazan (real name Nurul Hana Che Mahazan) burst into tears when she first appeared donning a hijab in a live broadcast via Instagram on Sunday (15th August). She appeared wearing a plain dark hijab and her appearance received much praise from her fans and public.
- Commenting about her new image, Nana admitted that she was a bit shy about wanting to share. “It is more about self-reflection in life and spirituality. I’m not a perfect human being, but I’m trying to improve on my shortcomings. This decision of hijrah does not mean that I am already good. Instead, I am still learning to be a better person,” Nana told BH Online.
- Indonesian comedian and actress Vicha Saywho has decided to wear a hijab and asked fans to pray for her journey to be a better person. Vicha whose real name is Refika Novianti Faturohman admitted that she is still trying to be better and improving herself.
- “Forgive me, O’ Allah. Subhanallah, Insya-Allah it is never too late for a person to learn and improve themselves,” her IG post read.