The Hajj

This is not really news, but it does relate to what is happening in the world. How many of you have come face to face with a woman who is fully covered in a Hajj. (I think that is the full body garment some Muslim woman wear.) Of course I have seen the women wearing these in the media for years, but I had never seen one in person. I was in a suburban YMCA in a midsized metropolitan area in middle America and a door opened and I came face to face with a woman draped in black from head to toe. All I could see were just parts of her eye area.

Needless to say, I was a bit surprised and did feel a sense of unease. She was most likely not violent, but seeing her in person and so close, did give me pause and made me feel uncomfortable. :cautious:

And I found her in a (albeit loosely affiliated) Christian organization....... I wonder if she knows she was in a building that was founded on Christian principles.
The woman you saw was not wearing a Hajj. A Hajj is derived from the Arabic and translates as "Pilgrimage" and refers to the yearly journey that occurs when Muslims make their Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca.

Muslim women are primarily identified as wearing the Burqa, full length body covering, with the niqab, the full face covering that shows only the eyes.
However, what is not as commonly known is that the Niqab did not originate in Muslim countries but in the Byzantine empire in pre-Islamic Persia. And it was an adornment worn first by Christian women there.

It was only later that Muslim women adopted that attire, which contrary to popular belief and even teachings by males in Islam, is not something that is required in the Qur'an.

In women's attire there is the Hijab, which is a head covering that exposes the face, but covers the head, and drapes over the upper torso/chest.
Then there is the Burqa, which drapes the entire body from shoulders to the feet. The Hijab or the Niqab, are the options for the head covering of the woman.
The Hijab can leave the face fully exposed while covering the head. While the Niqab, which is what the woman you saw was wearing, is more extreme and leaves only the eyes showing. In extreme cases there are women who will wear the Niqab with mesh over the eye slit so that the eyes are not visible to the public.

And as one last note, Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths in the world. All relating back to Abraham in the trinity of beliefs that originated in order of appearance as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

If you saw a woman wearing a Niqab adorning her Burqa in a YMCA, there is no guarantee she was Muslim. Given the history of the attire, she very well could have been Christian.
I've been seen wearing a Hijab and a Burqa myself. It would be presumptuous of the public to think I am Muslim. Especially when Hijab, Burqa, and Niqab's can be purchased in beautiful fabric colors. It is only the all black model that people think of that makes them seem extreme and exclusively Muslim oriented.

But they are not. The mode of dress originated with Christian women.

1 Corinthians 11:5 But every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.