Assalamu alaikum brothers and sisters
I pray that all are well in shaa Allah
A brother has requested that I do an article on the hijab as the topic is not well understood.
I am doing this article for that reason, but also as articles on this website could be shared on any platform and could be accessed by even non-Muslims, so as a form of dawah I have decided to do an article on the hijab as there are people out there who will misunderstand the hijab and will think it to be a form of oppression upon Muslim women, using this as a reason to oppress Muslims themselves, or not to become a Muslim; not realizing that men also have to wear an hijab (ie covering between their awrah and their knee. Mentioned in Sahih Al Bukhari) but it’s also to protect the woman and man from sexual desires and thus isn’t at all an oppression upon the woman, but rather to protect her, and the man from those desires towards her, ma’shaa’Allah.
Hopefully this article will:
- help all Muslims understand the hijab better, including myself, but
- also encourage more non-Muslims to embrace Islam and understand that there is no oppression against women in this beautiful religion, in shaa Allah, but in fact every instruction from Allah is indeed in our favor. And He knows best.
The hijab is to protect the modesty of a woman wearing it; as by wearing it will deter the lusts of a male otherwise seeing the beauty of the woman, which is a major sin in Islam as it can lead to zina (adultery):
Qu’ran Al-Nur 24:31 - And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment, except that which appears thereof, and must wrap their bosoms with their shawls, and must not expose their adornment, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their women, or to those owned by their right hands, or male attendants having no (sexual) urge, or to the children who are not yet conscious of the shames of women. And let them not stamp their feet in a way that the adornment they conceal is known. And repent to Allah O believers, all of you, so that you may achieve success.
A woman should lower their gazes and cover their private parts and beauty (everything apart from the eyes/hands) in front of those males that are at an age of marriage and responsibility; who can marry them by law, however, the head does not have to be covered in front of those who are unable to marry them by law due to being their (ie maternal/fraternal uncle, father, sister’s/brother’s son [ie nephew], brother, son, husband etc) as that sexual desire is not there between them.
Qu’ran Al-Nur 24:60 - And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage – there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
‘Women of post-menstrual age’ are those who no longer menstruate and can no longer get pregnant or bear children. This ayah makes clear that there is no blame upon the woman of this age for not wearing the veil (hijab), however, if she was to wear it; it would be better for her due to protecting her modesty “modestly refrain is better for them” (ie is better for them if they refrain from not wearing the hijab/veil) thus they wear it.
Qu’ran Al-Ahzab 33:59 - O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
Qu’ran Al-Ahzab 33:53 - O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.
It was narrated from Safiyyah bint Shaybah that 'Aishah used to say: When these words were revealed - “and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna” - they took their izars and tore them from the edges and covered their faces with them. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 4481.
Abu Dawud 4102 May Allah have mercy on the Muhajir women. When Allah revealed the words “and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna”, they tore the thickest of their aprons and covered their faces with them.
‘Aishah narrated that the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out at night to al-Manasi’ (well known places in the direction of al-Baqi’) to relieve themselves and ‘Umar used to say to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Let your wives be veiled.” But the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not do that. Then one night Sawdah bint Zam’ah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), went out at ‘Isha time and she was a tall woman. ‘Umar called out to her: “We have recognized you, O Sawdah!” hoping that hijab would be revealed, then Allah revealed the verse of hijab. (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 146; Muslim, 2170)
Ibn Shihab narrated that Anas said: I am the most knowledgeable of people about hijab. Ubayy ibn Ka’b used to ask me about it. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married Zaynab bint Jahsh, whom he married in Madinah, he invited the people to a meal after the sun had risen. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sat down and some men sat around him after the people had left, until the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood up and walked a while, and I walked with him, until he reached the door of ‘Aishah’s apartment. Then he thought that they had left so he went back and I went back with him, and they were still sitting there. He went back again, and I went with him, until he reached the door of ‘Aishah’s apartment, then he came back and I came back with him, and they had left. Then he drew a curtain between me and him, and the verse of hijab was revealed. (Al-Bukhari, 5149; Muslim, 1428)
‘Urwah narrated that ‘Aishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray Fajr and the believing women would attend (the prayer) with him, wrapped in their aprons, then they would go back to their houses and no one would recognize them. (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 365; Muslim, 645)
Qu’ran Surah An-Nahl 16:44 - [We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message [i.e., the Quran] that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.
And there’s other hadith on this topic too.
Allah knows best