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The court title derives from Arabic الحَاجِب(al-ḥājib, chamberlain).

Use of the word to designate a headscarf derives from Arabic حَاجِب(ḥājib, concealing, covering, eyebrow), from حَجَبَ(ḥajaba, to veil, to cover, to screen) (whence also hijab).


hajib (plural hajibs)

  1. (historical) An official of a Muslim court, of varied importance, initially controlling access to the caliph, but later very powerful; a chamberlain.
    • 1981, Hugh Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate: A Political History[1], page 103:
      The hajib was always a man of consequence; being close to the caliph he was always in a position to give messages and ask favours and, most of all, he controlled access to his master.
    • 1997, Samuel Edward Finer, The History of Government from the Earliest Times: The Intermediate Ages[2], page 705:
      By our period — the mid-ninth century — the office of hajib doubled with that of the head of the palace guard, which signifies, inter alia, that he was one of the Turkish amirs.
    • 2008 (1955), Emile Tyan, X: Judicial Organization, Majid Khadduri, Herbert J. Liebesny (editors), Law in the Middle East, Volume 1: Origin and Development of Islamic Law, page 272:
      In the Mamliik empire, it is certain that the hājib possessed judicial competence. [] In a first phase, the personality of the hājib does not yet stand out from his administrative character and, naturally, his competence is still restricted to the surroundings to which he belongs. The hājib is still the minister entrusted with the settlement of suits filed against the amīrs and the soldiers, and likewise litigations between soldiers, and especially disputes arising over the endowments and the fiefs which are granted to members of the army.
  2. (nonstandard) Alternative form of hijab


See also[edit]