Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Hijab
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The word hijaab is generally used to refer to the head covering worn by Muslim women. In Islamic law, however, it is a much more wide-ranging concept, encompassing an entire dress code for both genders. In orthodox Sunni and Shi'a fiqh the wearing by women of a head covering which totally conceals the hair is considered mandatory to be in compliance with hijab. This injunction comes from both the example of the wives of the prophet as well as verses in the Qur'an commanding women to wear veils around people who are not their family. While the requirements in Shari'ah (Islamic Law) for men are more or less similar to those generally required of men in polite society in the modern west, those for women require the complete covering of the body. The Sunni Islamic schools of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) differ on the requirements for women to cover their feet, face and wrists.
It exists in numerous variants in different cultures, with many different degrees of coverage, notably the famous burqa, niqab, and dupatta. In a general in orthodox Sunni and Shi'ite fiqh, the wearing of a head cover which totaly masks the woman's hair is considered as a obligation to be in compliance with the idea of "hijab." This injunction is claimed to come from the Sunnah and from some verses in the Qur'an, which order women to wear a veil in the presence of persons who are not part of the woman's family.
The context of the revelation of the hijab was an epoch when, during the life of the prophet, Madina was teeming with aggressive sexual harassers who harrassed women when they left their homes. Faced with this situation, rather than rebuke the comportment of these man, "Allah" in the form of Muhammad ordered (free) Muslim women to wear the hijab to be easly distinguised from female (sex) slaves who continued to be harassed and aggressed upon by men.
The principal role in this revelation belongs to 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, a campanion and father-in-law to the prophet, as well as a future caliph of the Islamic empire. 'Umar took this role by force of his on the hijab, obtained from "Allah" via Muhammad the verses in the Qur'an about the hijab, but insisted at the same time on condeming the wearing of the hijab by female (sex) slaves, going so far as to beat with his own hand his own slaves who dared to wear the veil.
Umar said, "I agreed with Allah in three things," or said, "My Lord agreed with me in three things. I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Would that you took the station of Abraham as a place of prayer.' I also said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Good and bad persons visit you! Would that you ordered the Mothers of the believers to cover themselves with veils.' So the Divine Verses of Al-Hijab (i.e. veiling of the women) were revealed. I came to know that the Prophet had blamed some of his wives so I entered upon them and said, 'You should either stop (troubling the Prophet ) or else Allah will give His Apostle better wives than you.' When I came to one of his wives, she said to me, 'O 'Umar! Does Allah's Apostle haven't what he could advise his wives with, that you try to advise them?' " Thereupon Allah revealed:--"It may be, if he divorced you (all) his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you Muslims (who submit to Allah).." (66.5)
When Allah's Apostle married Zainab bint Jahsh, he invited the people to a meal. They took the meal and remained sitting and talking. Then the Prophet (showed them) as if he is ready to get up, yet they did not get up. When he noticed that (there was no response to his movement), he got up, and the others too, got up except three persons who kept on sitting. The Prophet came back in order to enter his house, but he went away again. Then they left, whereupon I set out and went to the Prophet to tell him that they had departed, so he came and entered his house. I wanted to enter along with him, but he put a screen between me and him. Then Allah revealed:'O you who believe! Do not enter the houses of the Prophet...' (33.53)
I of all the people know best this verse of Al-Hijab. When Allah's Apostle married Zainab bint Jahsh she was with him in the house and he prepared a meal and invited the people (to it). They sat down (after finishing their meal) and started chatting. So the Prophet went out and then returned several times while they were still sitting and talking. So Allah revealed the Verse:'O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses until leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation .....ask them from behind a screen.' (33.53) So the screen was set up and the people went away.
The hijab as an instrument of discrimination
The reasoning of the veil is to protect free women from sexual harrassment. Only (free) Muslim women ought to be respected, and female slaves are discriminated against by means of their lack of veiling and thus their availability for being sexually harassed.
Tafsir Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanani :
The Qur'an doesn't uses the word immoral (فاسق) for these men. Neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah threatens these men who were sexually harrassing the believing women. In effect, the Qur'an and the fiqh built upon it in effect encourages the sexual harrassment of slave women by leaving them without the protection of the hijab. Moreover, fiqh gives permission to Muslims to rape their slaves, and then to sell them to other men to be raped.
The Prohibition of the Hijab for Slaves
The imam Shaybani in al-Masoot
The Imam Bayhiqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra :
Hadith declared sahih by sheikh Albani.
"Al-Sharh al-Saghir" of Fiqh Maliki :
Fiqh al-Shafi'i, written by Shirazi :
Tafsîr Qurtubi of Qur'an 7:26
Kitab al-Kafi fi Fiqh by al-Imam Ahmed :
The 2nd Caliph 'Umar Ibn Khattab had the habit of beating his female slaves if they ever wore the hijab
Sahih de Cheikh Albani :
The chain of narration of this hadith is "sahih." This same tradition is equally known by ibn Qalabah. .
Sheikh Albani :
Shaykh Albani declared that this hadith is "authentic (sahih)" according to the standards of Imam Muslim.
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The conditions of hijaab:
(It should cover all the body apart from whatever has been exempted).
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This aayah clearly states that it is obligatory to cover all of a woman’s beauty and adornments and not to display any part of that before non-mahram men (“strangers”) except for whatever appears unintentionally, in which case there will be no sin on them if they hasten to cover it up.
Al-Haafiz ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer:
This means that they should not display any part of their adornment to non-mahrams, apart from that which it is impossible to conceal. Ibn Mas’ood said: such as the cloak and robe, i.e., what the women of the Arabs used to wear, an outer garment which covered whatever the woman was wearing, except for whatever appeared from beneath the outer garment. There is no sin on a woman with regard to this because it is impossible to conceal it.
(it should not be an adornment in and of itself).
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… and not to show off their adornment…” [al-Noor 24:31]. The general meaning of this phrase includes the outer garment, because if it is decorated it will attract men’s attention to her. This is supported by the aayah in Soorat al-Ahzaab (interpretation of the meaning):
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [al-Ahzaab 33:33]. It is also supported by the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three, do not ask me about them: a man who leaves the jamaa’ah, disobeys his leader and dies disobedient; a female or male slave who runs away then dies; and a woman whose husband is absent and left her with everything she needs, and after he left she made a wanton display of herself. Do not ask about them.”
(Narrated by al-Haakim, 1/119; Ahmad, 6/19; from the hadeeth of Faddaalah bint ‘Ubayd. Its isnaad is saheeh and it is in al-Adab al-Mufrad).
(It should be thick and not transparent or “see-thru”)
- because it cannot cover properly otherwise. Transparent or see-thru clothing makes a woman more tempting and beautiful. Concerning this the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed but naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels. Curse them, for they are cursed.” Another hadeeth adds: “They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.”
(Narrated by Muslim from the report of Abu Hurayrah).
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant was women who wear clothes made of light fabric which describes and does not cover. They are clothed in name but naked in reality.
Transmitted by al-Suyooti in Tanweer al-Hawaalik, 3/103.
(It should be loose, not tight so that it describes any part of the body).
The purpose of clothing is to prevent fitnah (temptation), and this can only be achieved if clothes are wide and loose. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the colour of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a vivid image in the minds of men. The corruption or invitation to corruption that is inherent in that is quite obvious. So the clothes must be wide. Usaamah ibn Zayd said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave me a thick Egyptian garment that was one of the gifts given to him by Duhyat al-Kalbi, and I gave it to my wife to wear. He said, ‘Why do I not see you wearing that Egyptian garment?’ I said, ‘I gave it to my wife to wear.’ He said, ‘Tell her to wear a gown underneath it, for I am afraid that it may describe the size of her bones.’” (Narrated by al-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisi in al-Ahaadeeth al-Mukhtaarah, 1/442, and by Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi, with a hasan isnaad).
(It should not be perfumed with bakhoor or fragrance)
There are many ahaadeeth which forbid women to wear perfume when they go out of their houses. We will quote here some of those which have saheeh isnaads:
Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.”
Zaynab al-Thaqafiyyah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you (women) goes out to the mosque, let her not touch any perfume.”
Abu Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who has scented herself with bakhoor (incense), let her not attend ‘Ishaa’ prayers with us.”
Moosa ibn Yassaar said that a woman passed by Abu Hurayrah and her scent was overpowering. He said, “O female slave of al-Jabbaar, are you going to the mosque?” She said, “Yes,” He said, “And have you put on perfume because of that?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Go back and wash yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘If a woman comes out to the mosque and her fragrance is overpowering, Allaah will not accept any prayer from her until she goes home and washes herself.’”
These ahaadeeth are general in implication. Just as the prohibition covers perfume applied to the body, it also covers perfume applied to the clothes, especially in the third hadeeth, where bakhoor (incense) is mentioned, because incense is used specifically to perfume the clothes.
The reason for this prohibition is quite clear, which is that women’s fragrance may cause undue provocation of desires. The scholars also included other things under this heading of things to be avoided by women who want to go to the mosque, such as beautiful clothes, jewellery that can be seen, excessive adornments and mingling with men. See Fath al-Baari, 2/279.
Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed said:
This indicates that it is forbidden for a woman who wants to go to the mosque to wear perfume, because this causes provocation of men’s desires. This was reported by al-Manaawi in Fayd al-Qadeer, in the commentary on the first hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah quoted above.
(It should not resemble the clothing of men)
It was reported in the saheeh ahaadeeth that a woman who imitates men in dress or in other ways is cursed. There follow some of the ahaadeeth that we know:
Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the man who wears women’s clothes, and the woman who wears men’s clothes.”
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘They are not part of us, the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.’”
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed effeminate men and masculine women. He said, ‘Throw them out of your houses.’” He said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) expelled So and so, and ‘Umar expelled So and so.” According to another version: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men.”
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There are three who will not enter Paradise and Allaah will not even look at them on the Day of Resurrection: one who disobeys his parents, a woman who imitates men, and the duyooth (cuckold, weak man who feels no jealousy over his womenfolk).”
Ibn Abi Maleekah – whose name was ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Ubayd-Allaah – said: “It was said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), ‘What if a woman wears (men’s) sandals?’ She said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed women who act like men.’”
These ahaadeeth clearly indicate that it is forbidden for women to imitate men and vice versa, This usually includes dress and other matters, apart from the first hadeeth quoted above, which refers to dress only.
Abu Dawood said, in Masaa’il al-Imaam Ahmad (p. 261): “I heard Ahmad being asked about a man who dresses his slave woman in a tunic. He said, ‘Do not clothe her in men’s garments, do not make her look like a man.” Abu Dawood said: “I said to Ahmad, Can he give her bachelor sandals to wear? He said, No, unless she wears them to do wudoo’. I said, What about for beauty? He said, No. I said, Can he cut her hair short? He said, No.”
(It should not resemble the dress of kaafir women).
It is stated in sharee’ah that Muslims, men and women alike, should not resemble or imitate the kuffaar with regard to worship, festivals or clothing that is specific to them. This is an important Islamic principle which nowadays, unfortunately, is neglected by many Muslims, even those who care about religion and calling others to Islam. This is due either to ignorance of their religion, or because they are following their own whims and desires, or because of deviation, combined with modern customs and imitation of kaafir Europe. This was one of the causes of the Muslims’ decline and weakness, which enabled the foreigners to overwhelm and colonize them. “…Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves …” [al-Ra’d 13:11 – interpretation of the meaning]. If only they knew.
It should be known that there is a great deal of saheeh evidence for these important rules in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that the evidence in the Qur’aan is elaborated upon in the Sunnah, as is always the case.
(It should not be a garment of fame and vanity).
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity in this world, Allaah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then He will cause Fire to flame up around him.’”
(Hijaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, p. 54-67).
And Allaah knows best.Hijaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, p. 54-67
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 6991
Ruling on covering the face, with detailed evidence
A: There is consensus amongst the Ulama of all four schools of thought (Mazaahib), that it is obligatory upon women to cover their faces when fitnah and evil is apprehended. There is no doubt of the widespread fitnah and prevalent evil nowadays. Hence it is imperative (waajib) for women to cover their faces when leaving their homes or in the presence of non-mahram males.
Mufti Shafiq Jakhura, Iftaa Department, Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre, July 29, 2009
You should note that women’s observing hijab in front of non-mahram men and covering their faces is something that is obligatory as is indicated by the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and by rational examination and analogy.
1 – Evidence from the Qur’aan
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”
The evidence from this verse that hijab is obligatory for women is as follows:
(a) Allaah commands the believing women to guard their chastity, and the command to guard their chastity also a command to follow all the means of doing that. No rational person would doubt that one of the means of doing so is covering the face, because uncovering it causes people to look at it and enjoy its beauty, and thence to initiate contact. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The eyes commit zina and their zina is by looking…” then he said, “… and the private part confirms that or denies it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6612; Muslim, 2657.
If covering the face is one of the means of guarding one’s chastity, then it is enjoined, because the means come under the same ruling as the ends.
(b) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) …”. The jayb (pl. juyoob) is the neck opening of a garment and the khimaar (veil) is that with which a woman covers her head. If a woman is commanded to draw her veil over the neck opening of her garment then she is commanded to cover her face, either because that is implied or by analogy. If it is obligatory to cover the throat and chest, then it is more appropriate to cover the face because it is the site of beauty and attraction.
(c) Allaah has forbidden showing all adornment except that which is apparent, which is that which one cannot help showing, such as the outside of one's garment. Hence Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…except only that which is apparent …” and He did not say, except that which they show of it. Some of the salaf, such as Ibn Mas’ood, al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen and others interpreted the phrase “except only that which is apparent” as meaning the outer garment and clothes, and what shows from beneath the outer garment (i.e., the hem of one’s dress etc.). Then He again forbids showing one’s adornment except to those for whom He makes an exception. This indicates that the second adornment mentioned is something other than the first adornment. The first adornment is the external adornment which appears to everyone and cannot be hidden. The second adornment is the inward adornment (including the face). If it were permissible for this adornment to be seen by everyone, there would be no point to the general wording in the first instance and this exception made in the second.
(d) Allaah grants a concession allowing a woman to show her inward adornments to “old male servants who lack vigour”, i.e. servants who are men who have no desire, and to small children who have not reached the age of desire and have not seen the ‘awrahs of women. This indicates two things:
1 – That showing inward adornments to non-mahrams is not permissible except to these two types of people.
2 – That the reason for this ruling is the fear that men may be tempted by the woman and fall in love with her. Undoubtedly the face is the site of beauty and attraction, so concealing it is obligatory lest men who do feel desire be attracted and tempted by her.
(e) The words (interpretation of the meaning): “And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment” mean that a woman should not stamp her feet so as to make known hidden adornments such as anklets and the like. If a woman is forbidden to stamp her feet lest men be tempted by what they hear of the sound of her anklets etc., then what about uncovering the face?
Which is the greater source of temptation – a man hearing the anklets of a woman whom he does not know who she is or whether she is beautiful, or whether she is young or old, or ugly or pretty? Or his looking at a beautiful youthful face that attracts him and invites him to look at it?
Every man who has any desire for women will know which of the two temptations is greater and which deserves to be hidden and concealed.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allaah is All‑Hearer, All‑Knower”
The evidence from this verse is that Allaah states that there is no sin on old women who have no hope of marriage because men have no desire for them, due to their old age (if they discard their outer clothing), subject to the condition that their intention in doing so is not to make a wanton display of themselves. The fact that this ruling applies only to old women indicates that the ruling is different for young women who still hope to get married. If the ruling on discarding the outer clothing applied to all, there would be no point in singling out old women here.
The phrase “in such a way as not to show their adornment” offers further proof that hijab is obligatory for young women who hope to marry, because usually when they uncover their faces the intention is to make a wanton display (tabarruj) and to show off their beauty and make men look at them and admire them etc. Those who do otherwise are rare, and the ruling does not apply to rare cases.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab 33:59]
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Allaah commanded the believing women, if they go out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from the top of their heads with their jilbaabs, and to leave one eye showing.”
The tafseer of the Sahaabah is evidence, indeed some of the scholars said that it comes under the same ruling as marfoo’ reports that go back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The comment “and leave one eye showing” is a concession because of the need to see the way; if there is no need for that then the eye should not be uncovered.
The jilbaab is the upper garment that comes above the khimaar; it is like the abaya.
(iv) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is no sin on them (the Prophet’s wives, if they appear unveiled) before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own (believing) women, or their (female) slaves. And (O ladies), fear (keep your duty to) Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Ever All‑Witness over everything”
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: When Allaah commanded the women to observe hijab in front of non-mahram men, he explained that they did not have to observe hijab in front of these relatives, as He explained that they are exempted in Soorat al-Noor where He said (interpretation of the meaning): “and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands…”
2 – Evidence from the Sunnah that it is obligatory to cover the face
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you proposes marriage to a woman, there is no sin on him if he looks at her, rather he should look at her for the purpose of proposing marriage even if she is unaware.” Narrated by Ahmad. The author of Majma’ al-Zawaa’id said: its men are the men of saheeh.
The evidence here is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said there is no sin on the man who is proposing marriage, subject to the condition that his looking be for the purpose of proposing marriage. This indicates that the one who is not proposing marriage is sinning if he looks at a non-mahram woman in ordinary circumstances, as is the one who is proposing marriage if he looks for any purpose other than proposing marriage, such as for the purpose of enjoyment etc.
If it is said that the hadeeth does not clearly state what is being looked at, and it may mean looking at the chest etc, the response is that the man who is proposing marriage looks at the face because it is the focus for the one who is seeking beauty, without a doubt.
When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded that women should be brought out to the Eid prayer place, they said, “O Messenger of Allaah, some of us do not have jilbaabs.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Let her sister give her one of her jilbaabs to wear.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
This hadeeth indicates that the usual practice among the women of the Sahaabah was that a woman would not go out without a jilbaab, and that if she did not have a jilbaab she would not go out. The command to wear a jilbaab indicates that it is essential to cover. And Allaah knows best.
It was narrated in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray Fajr and the believing women would attend the prayer with him, wrapped in their veils, then they would go back to their homes and no one would recognize them because of the darkness. She said: If the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw from the women what we have seen, he would have prevented them from coming to the mosques as the Children of Israel prevented their women.
A similar report was also narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him).
The evidence from this hadeeth covers two issues:
1 – Hijaab and covering were the practice of the women of the Sahaabah who were the best of generations and the most honourable before Allaah.
2 – ‘Aa’ishah the Mother of the Believers and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with them both), who were both known as scholars with deep insight, said that if the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had seen from women what they had seen, he would have prevented them from coming to the mosques. This was during the best generations, so what about nowadays?!
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said, “What should women do with their hems?” He said, “Let it hang down a handspan.” She said, “What if that shows her feet?” He said, “Let it hang down a cubit, but no more than that.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
This hadeeth indicates that it is obligatory for women to cover their feet, and that this was something that was well known among the women of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). The feet are undoubtedly a lesser source of temptation than the face and hands, so a warning concerning something that is less serious is a warning about something that is more serious and to which the ruling applies more. The wisdom of sharee’ah means that it would not enjoin covering something that is a lesser source of temptation and allow uncovering something that is a greater source of temptation. This is an impossible contradiction that cannot be attributed to the wisdom and laws of Allaah.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces, and when they had passed by we would uncover our faces. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1562.
The words “When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces” indicate that it is obligatory to cover the face, because what is prescribed in ihraam is to uncover it. If there was no strong reason to prevent uncovering it, it would be obligatory to leave it uncovered even when the riders were passing by. In other words, women are obliged to uncover their faces during ihraam according to the majority of scholars, and nothing can override something that is obligatory except something else that is also obligatory. If it were not obligatory to observe hijab and cover the face in the presence of non-mahram men, there would be no reason not to uncover it in ihraam. It was proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that a woman in ihraam is forbidden to wear the niqaab (face veil) and gloves.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: This is one of the things which indicate that the niqaab and gloves were known among women who were not in ihraam, which implies that they covered their faces and hands.
These are nine points of evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
The tenth is:
Rational examination and analogy which form the basis of this perfect sharee’ah, which aims to help people achieve what is in their best interests and encourages the means that lead to that, and to denounce evil and block the means that lead to it.
If we think about unveiling and women showing their faces to non-mahram men, we will see that it involves many bad consequences. Even if we assume that there are some benefits in it, they are very few in comparison with its negative consequences. Those negative consequences include:
1 – Fitnah (temptation). By unveiling her face, a woman may be tempted to do things to make her face look more beautiful. This is one of the greatest causes of evil and corruption.
2 – Taking away haya’ (modesty, shyness) from women, which is part of faith and of a woman’s nature (fitrah). Women are examples of modesty, as it was said, “more shy than a virgin in her seclusion.” Taking away a woman’s modesty detracts from her faith and the natural inclination with which she was created.
3 – Men may be tempted by her, especially if she is beautiful and she flirts, laughs and jokes, as happens in the case of many of those who are unveiled. The Shaytaan flows through the son of Adam like blood.
4 – Mixing of men and women. If a woman thinks that she is equal with men in uncovering her face and going around unveiled, she will not be modest and will not feel too shy to mix with men. This leads to a great deal of fitnah (temptation) and widespread corruption. Al-Tirmidhi narrated (5272) from Hamzah ibn Abi Usayd from his father that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, when he was coming out of the mosque and he saw men mingling with women in the street; the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to the women, “Draw back, and do not walk in the middle of the road; keep to the sides of the road.” Then the women used to keep so close to the walls that their garments would catch on the walls because they kept so close to them.
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 929
Adapted from the words of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Risaalat al-Hijaab.And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 11774
Does the girl who wears Hijab have to cover her feet?
At the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) women were keen to cover themselves completely, which includes covering the feet. They used to let the hem of their garments hang low. One of them asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about letting this hem touch what is on the ground, which may make it dirty, and he said: “That which comes after it purifies it.” On another occasion, when he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said that women should let their hems down by one hand span, one of them said, “But then her feet will show.” This indicates that they were keen to cover their feet and that the feet are part of that which must be covered.
A woman asked Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): I am a woman whose garment drags, and I may walk through a dirty place. Umm Salamah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “That which comes after it purifies it.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (143), Abu Dawood (383) and Ibn Maajah (531). The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 407.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said: What should women do with their hems? He said: “They should let them down a hand span.” She said: Then their feet will show. He said: “Then let it down a cubit, but no more than that.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1731); he said: This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by al-Nasaa’i (5336). The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1864.
So it is not permissible for the woman to wear open shoes which show her feet. But if her clothes are long and she wears socks, there is nothing wrong with that, although it is better for her to cover the feet with the garment and not with socks.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If a woman wears pants or loose khuff (leather slippers), and the jilbab hangs over it so that the shape of the foot cannot be seen, this achieves the purpose, unlike the tight khuff (leather slippers) which shows the shape of the foot, because this is worn by men.
Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 22/148
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is permissible for a woman to let her garment down below the ankles. In fact this is what is prescribed for women, so that they may cover their feet. Covering the feet is something that is prescribed for women and is in fact obligatory for them according to many scholars. What a woman should do is cover her feet, either with her garment which is long and covers them or by wearing socks or shoes and the like.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/437And Allah knows best.
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 153367
Can Muslim parents force Hijab on daughters?
A:[...] Muslim parents should bring up their children according to the teachings of Islam. Parents have to make their children get used to doing the obligatory duties and avoiding haram (unlawful) things before puberty, so that it will not be too hard for them to adhere to Islamic rules after they reach puberty. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Train your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds” (Reported by Abu Dawud).
From an early age, daughters should be taught that hijab is an ordinance from Allah to protect their chastity. When a girl reaches puberty she is obliged to do all the obligatory duties and to avoid all haram things. One of the obligatory duties is wearing hijab.
Here, we would like to cite the fatwas issued by some prominent Muslim scholars regarding the question in point:
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, states:
"They [Muslim parents] should try their best to convince her to wear hijab and she should know that she is not to refuse something that has been ordained by Allah in the first place and that was also ordained by her parents, who deserve her obedience."
Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah, professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar University adds:
"What those writers say about forcing hijab on Muslim women is a false allegation put forward by some Westerners against Islam and the Muslim woman. The main objective behind such allegation is to encourage the Muslim woman to break the laws of the Muslim family and disobey her parents. It is not a call for liberation or giving Muslim women their rights.
Allah Almighty has entrusted parents with their children. Parents bear the responsibility to raise up their children in the Islamic way. If they do that, they will be blessed in this life and in the Hereafter, and if they don't, they will get bad result during their life and in the Hereafter. In Islam, parents are not to force their children to do anything that is considered against the law of the Shari`ah. That is why Islam has ordered parents to take care of their children and to bring them up according to the Islamic manners.
Hijab is an obligation from Allah on Muslim women. The obligation is referred to in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The Muslim woman must wear it and the Muslim parents should encourage their daughters to wear it."
Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azhar scholar, adds:
"What those thinkers say about forcing hijab on women is a false allegation. Many Europeans know well that hijab is an obligation from Allah and they are all aware of the fact that when a non-Muslim woman embraces Islam, she must wear hijab.
The father, as the guardian of his family, may stress that his daughter should wear hijab in case she refuses to wear it out of disobedience to the obligation of Allah.Here, I would seize the opportunity to give a piece of advice to Muslim parents. Fathers and mothers should note that they are responsible before Allah for the affairs of their daughters that have been entrusted to them; they should raise their daughters according to the Islamic manners. So if a girl is approaching puberty, there is the fear that her not wearing hijab may cause young men to be tempted by her or her by them. Hence in this situation her parent or guardian has to make her wear hijab so as to prevent means that may lead to evil or immorality."
Group of Muftis, Islam Online, January 12, 2004
What is Islam's view of women working alongside men?
Question: What is Islam's view of women working alongside men?
Answer: It is known that when women go to work in the workplaces of men this leads to mixing with men and being in private with them. This is a very dangerous matter that has dangerous consequences and negative results. It is in clear opposition to the texts of the Shariah that order the women to remain in their houses and to fulfill the type of work that is particular for her and upon which Allah has fashioned her nature, which is far from the place where she will mix with men.The clear, authentic evidences that indicate that it is forbidden for men and non related women to be in private together and for men to look at women are numerous. There are also much evidence that what leads up to those forbidden ends are also forbidden. The evidences are many, clear and decisive that the mixing between the sexes is forbidden as it leads to negative and blameworthy results.
Answer: Yes. It is allowed for her to attend educational meetings, regardless if they are related to practical matters or to matters of faith and monotheism. This is given the condition that she is not perfumed or displaying her beauty. She must also be distant from the men and not mixing with them.
Question: What are the permissible types of work for a Muslim woman to work in without being in contradiction with the teachings of her religion?
Hijab and Jihad
. . .
As for the point that carrying out this operation may involve woman's travel from place to another without a Mahram, we say that a woman can travel to perform Hajj in the company of other trustworthy women and without the presence of any Mahram as long as the road is safe and secured. Travel, nowadays, is no longer done through deserts or wilderness, instead, women can travel safely in trains or by air.
Concerning the point on Hijab, a woman can put on a hat or anything else to cover her hair. Even when necessary, she may take off her Hijab in order to carry out the operation, for she is going to die in the Cause of Allah and not to show off her beauty or uncover her hair. I don't see any problem in her taking off Hijab in this case.To conclude, I think the committed Muslim women in Palestine have the right to participate and have their own role in Jihad and to attain martyrdom.
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Islam Online, November 6, 2006
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