Indian Islam: Clothing

Figure 1.--The photo was taken in Rajasthan, India. The older girl is covering her face according the local Muslim cultural tradition. This is not an Islamic Koranic-based tradition. We think she covered her face when strangers approached. Note that the veil she has can be easily pulled back or when desired pulled over the face. We are not sure just wht the local conventions were for covering her face. Note that she has her navel exposed which is common in India. The modesty rules are different for younger children. So a younger girl can wear short shorts as the only garment.

The extreme types of Muslim dress like the burqa is not commonly seen in India. There are several reasons for this. First of all, India is not a Muslim majority country and there are many non-Islamic cultural influences, including Hinduism and secular, that are not supressed by state and strict Muslim religious elements. Second, the more extreme types of Islamic dress are not Koranic based, but rather culturally based. Thus without the conservative Arab or other culture, Indian Muslims often do not adopt religious dress, but the popular local styles. The basic Koranic injuction is modesty and here Hindu society also promotes modesty so the two principal religious traditions are in agreement. There are variations depending on commitment to Islam as well the same regional variations in Indian fashions. As in majority Muslim countries, age is a factor in dress. Poverty is another factor. We are not exactly sure to what extent Muslim children and adults dress differently that other Indians. We notice bots wearing brimless caps. We think this is a Muslim style, but we are not entirely sure. Hopefully our Indian readers will be able to provide some insights here.


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Created: 10:53 PM 4/17/2011
Last updated: 10:53 PM 4/17/2011