May 18, 2024
hijab my pride
Hijab is a term commonly used to refer to the headscarf or veil worn by some Muslim women as a sign of modesty and religious observance. However, it encompasses much more than just the physical act of covering one's hair.
 
 

Hijab is a term commonly used to refer to the headscarf or veil worn by some Muslim women as a
sign of modesty and religious observance. However, it encompasses much more than just the physical act of covering one’s hair.

The concept of hijab in Islam includes both physical and behavioral components. In addition to covering their hair, Muslim women are also encouraged to dress modestly and in a way that does not attract unnecessary attention. They are expected to behave in a manner that is dignified and respectful, avoiding behavior that could be deemed immodest or inappropriate. This includes not only their dress, but also their speech, conduct, and interactions with others.

The idea behind hijab is to promote modesty, humility, and a sense of self-respect. By covering one’s body and behaving in a dignified manner, Muslim women demonstrate their commitment to their faith and their desire to uphold the values of Islam. This can also serve as a way to cultivate a sense of inner peace and tranquility, as well as a means of protection against unwanted advances or harassment.

 

Islam has instructed women to protect their chastity and to save society from corruption by asking them to keep their adornment concealed from others wherever they may be, except for those blood relations exempted by Islamic law. The rules of hijab for women are of two types. One type of rule is for when they are in the presence of their close relatives at home, and the other type of rule is for when they go out of their homes.

Hijab at Home

Allah Almighty says:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers
over their chests and not to display their adornment [that appears thereof ]except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire,
or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” 
[Surah Al-Noor:31]

The following injunctions can be derived from the above verse, it should be noted that these injunctions are for when women are present in their homes.

1.
Lower your gaze, meaning do not talk boldly with other men while staring at their faces and looking into their eyes.

2.
In the Arabic language, the headscarf worn by women is called a “Khimar” which means “to cover”. As the Quranic scholar Al-Raghib al-Isfahani writes, “The actual meaning of “Khamr” is to cover something, and the thing that is covered is called “Khimar” (lexically), but in Arab idiom, this headscarf is called “Khimar” that covers a woman’s head and neck.”

3.
In a joint gathering of the household members in their own home, where their husband, father, father-in-law, brothers, nephews, step-sons, and other male relatives may be present, women should not display any adornment that can only be displayed in privacy before their husband. The only adornment that is exempt from being concealed in this joint gathering is the one that cannot be kept hidden during the course of household work.

4.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) has stated clearly that these verses of Surah al-Noor instruct women to observe hijab (covering) while they are inside their homes. The adornment that is exempt from being concealed in front of the household members includes the
face, hands, henna on the hands, rings, and so on.
[Tafsir Ibn Jarir]

 

Note that Syedna Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) did not include hair on the head in the exception for adornment, which means that women are not allowed to show their hair in front of family members (in a shared gathering).
However women are allowed to show their heads with hair to other woman in a female gathering according to this Ayah [Surah Al-Noor:60]:
“And the women who have reached menopause, for them, there is no blame if they remove their outer garments (head covers) without displaying their concealed adornment. But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Allah Almighty recommends women to cover their heads even at home, in front of other women.
As mentioned in another narration, Syedna Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “As for her anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and hair other than that which appears naturally, she should not display them except to her husband.” [Tafsir IbnJarir]

Some people have a misconception that this verse refers to women’s hijab (covering) being displayed in front of non-mahrams  (unrelated men) outside the house, but this is not the case. Remove this misunderstanding from your hearts because Allah has allowed displaying this adornment in front of close family members and this is also mentioned in the same verse. This is evidence that the phrase “except what is apparent” refers to displaying apparent adornment in front of close family members and not to non-mahrams. Furthermore, the clarification of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) emphasizes this point. It is clear that non-pubescent family members are not included in this group.

Therefore, it is understood that in front of one’s close family members, women are not allowed to display anything except their faces, hands, and feet. And Allah knows best.

Hijab in Outdoor

When women leave their homes for a necessary task, it is necessary for them to cover their entire body with a veil/cloak in such a way that no part of their body is visible, including their face, hands, and feet. This is the command of Allah Almighty:

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be recognized (as modest women) and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:59)

This verse from Surah Al-Ahzab makes it incumbent upon Muslim women cover their entire bodies with a long garment (jilbab) when they are among non-mahram men. Jilbab is the Arabic word used for a long garment that covers the entire body. This requirement applies specifically when women leave their homes, as it is not necessary to cover the entire body in the private sphere. The terms “Gown” or “Abaya” can be used as an alternative to jilbab, as long as the head and face are completely covered with a veil (hijab).

Sayyidah Aisha Siddiqa (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates the account of the return journey from the expedition, upon which they were accused of misconduct. She explains that the caravan camped near Medina on their return journey, and palanquins were made for women to travel comfortably. However, when they arrived at the rest stop, the palanquins were lowered so that the women could rest and attend to their needs. Sayyidah Aisha went to answer the call of nature, and her necklace broke and fell, and she searched for it while the caravan moved on ahead. Those who carried her palanquin thought that she was still inside, and so they continued without her. Sayyidah Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was left behind and spent the night in worry until someone was sent to search for her. Due to this incident, Sayyidah Aisha remained in the same spot and fell asleep
while waiting. One person from the caravan was assigned to look back and ensure that nobody was left behind, and Safwan bin Mu’attal (may Allah be pleased with him) was given this duty. He searched here and there until he reached the place where Sayyidah Aisha was waiting. The words of Sayyidah Aisha regarding this incident can be seen in the following text.

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When Sufwan bin Muattal found a person sleeping there, he came closer and recognized me. This was because before the order of the veil was revealed, he used to see me. When he saw me, he recited “Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon” and as soon as he said these words, my eyes opened. Then I immediately covered my face with my veil (chador). [Sahih al-Bukhari: H#4750]

What a tumultuous situation it is, and even in this situation, Lady Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) first thinks about her hijab. It is clear from her words that before the commandment of hijab was revealed, she used to appear in front of her companions with her face uncovered, but after this commandment, it was no longer the case. That is why she would cover herself completely in the
presence of non-mahram men.

The purpose of “yudneena ‘alayhinna min jalaabeebihinna” is to cover the entire body with a chador, not just the head. Therefore, a woman’s entire body is covered in front of non-mahram men, whether she is outside the house or in their presence. This is also the opinion of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him). And Allah knows best.

 

Exceptions in Hijab Rules


Some exemptions have been made in the rules of hijab, such as a doctor being able to see some covered body parts (without lustful intent) in unavoidable situations. Similarly, a person giving a proposal for marriage can see certain uncovered body parts of a woman in the presence of her close relatives, which they themselves can see without any shame, namely, the face, hands, and feet.

It is narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah
(peace be upon him) said, “When you propose to a woman, then try to see those parts of her body (which are visible) that are the reason for marriage (i.e. beauty).”

The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) intention is regarding the face, hands, and feet. The reason for
this is because it is absolutely forbidden for adult men to look at non-mahram women, so when an exemption is made in this rule under certain circumstances, it is only to the extent that it is permissible to look at them for the mahram relatives. Looking beyond that is only the right of the husband.

Hijab among Women

Narrated Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet () said: A man should not look at the private parts of another man, and a woman should not look at the private parts of
another woman. A man should not lie with another man without wearing a lower garment under one cover, and a woman should not lie with another woman without wearing a lower garment under one cover. 
[Sunan Abi Dawood: H#4038]

And Allah knows the best.

Hijab in the Bible

Even the Bible does mention head covering for women in public worship settings. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, wrote, “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.”

It is true that head coverings were commonly worn by women in Europe and America in the past, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, it is important to note that the style and purpose of these coverings varied greatly depending on the culture and context. In some cases, head coverings were a fashion statement, while in others they were worn for religious or cultural reasons. Additionally, not all women wore head coverings, and the practice varied widely depending on geography, social class, and other factors.

 

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