A Hijood is a piece of sportswear for Muslim women which is designed to help them conform with standards of Muslim modesty while remaining active and retaining their comfort and freedom of movement. Hijoods are manufactured by Ahiida Sportswear, an Australian company which specializes in sportswear for Muslim women, including the Burqini™. The name is a portmanteau of “Hijab” and “hood.”
Many Muslim women practice Hijab, the Muslim tradition of covering the body in accordance with the teachings of the Qu'ran. While in public, modest Muslim women cover their entire bodies, with the exceptions of their hands, feet, and faces. The details of Hijab vary around the world and depending on the personal beliefs of the wearer, but many women wear a modest headscarf, also called a Hijab, at the minimum. Hijab may seem confusing or strange to some non-Muslims, but it is an important part of religious faith for many Muslims.
Aheda Zanetti, developer of the Hijood, realized that Muslim women needed a version of the Hijab to wear during sports which would keep their hair covered while allowing them to move freely. She developed a hood which fits snugly around the face and chin, with a pocket in the back for a woman to tuck her hair in. While wearing the Hijood, women can participate in a range of active sports without being concerned that their hair might be showing.
The Hijood made headlines around the world in 2006, when Burqini™ was released to great fanfare among Muslim women. The Hijood does not interfere with a woman's ability to play sports, and it remains securely on the head so that the wearer can focus on the task at hand, rather than worrying about her modesty. The Hijood is an integral part of the Burqini™, ensuring that the wearer's head is covered, and it can also be used with other sportswear.
Female Muslim athletes have often struggled with the conflict between their religious faith and norms in sportswear. Garments like the Hijood allow them to participate in sports on a competitive level while also abiding with the tenets of their faith. Ahiida also places a heavy emphasis on high quality fabrics and stylish cuts, ensuring that wearers look good as well as feeling good. Since some Muslim athletes have been derided or teased for their sportswear, this is an important design feature.