Revelation of Al-Hijab
Hadith - Bukhari 1:148
The wives of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to go to Al-Manasi,
a vast open place (near Baqia at Madinah) to answer the call of nature at
night. 'Umar used to say to the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) "Let
your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)
did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the
Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) went out at 'Isha' time and she was
a tall lady. 'Umar addressed her and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda."
He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the
observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed
the verses of "Al-Hijab" (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:5
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 Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
*the arabic word here is Jalabeeb (plural of Jalbaab), which is the loose
outer garment that covers all a woman's body. It says here to use the
Jalabeeb to cover all, and scholars say this means to use it to cover her
head (agree upon by all scholars) and her face (agreed by many scholars,
not all) and one or both eyes, in order for it to be known that she is a
free woman and so not to be exposed to any harm.
Hadith - Bukhari 6:282
'Aisha(R.A.) used to say: "When (the Verse): 'They should draw their veils
over their necks and bosoms,' was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist
sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces."
Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul
When the verse "That they should cast their outer garments over their
persons" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows
over their heads by wearing outer garments.
The lower half of the hijab is a garment that does not show the woman's
figure. Jeans and certain obvious garments do not meet this requirement.
Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah
The Apostle(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was brought some pieces
of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: Divide it into two;
cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for
veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a
garment below it and not show her figure.
Prescribed Methods of Covering
Tafseer - Ibn Katheer
commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover
their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of
Tafseer - Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457
Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: "When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith
(ra) the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he
demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover
his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the
explanation of the word 'Alaihinna in this verse"
Tafseer - Alu'si, Rul-ul-Ma'ani, Vol. 22, p. 89
"Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the
jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qatadah (ra). The sheet should be
wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side
of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and
the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is
allowed in necessity).
Color of Garment
The female companions were known to wear black and dark colors (such as
the hadith above, "crows on their heads"), but other colors are also
permissible for a woman to wear. She must not wear any color, however, in
Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.715
...'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil ...
Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.733
that he had seen Um Kulthum, the daughter of Allah's Apostle(sallallahu
alaiyhi wassallam), wearing a red silk garment.
Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.713
The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was given some clothes
including a black Khamisa. The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said,
"To whom shall we give this to wear?" The people kept silent whereupon the
Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "Fetch Um Khalid for me." I
(Um Khalid) was brought carried (as I was small girl at that time). The
Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) took the Khamisa in his hands and
made me wear it and said, "May you live so long that your dress will wear
out and you will mend it many times." On the Khamisa there were some green
or pale designs (The Prophet saw these designs) and said, "O Um Khalid!
This is Sanah." (Sanah in a Ethiopian word meaning beautiful).
Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawood #4055, Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As
We came down with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) from a turning
of a valley. He turned his attention to me and I was wearing a garment
dyed with a reddish yellow dye. He asked: What is this garment over you? I
recognised what he disliked. I then came to my family who were burning
their oven. I threw it (the garment) in it and came to him the next day.
He asked: Abdullah, what have you done with the garment? I informed him
about it. He said: Why did you not give it to one of your family to wear,
for there is no harm in it for women.
Must a Woman Wear Niqab (Veil)?
The general understanding in Islam regarding Sunnah, is that if the
Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) or any of his wives (RA) or
companions (RA) are recorded in authentic hadith to have engaged in an act
that is not haram (prohibited) as defined by Qur'an or Sunnah, then the
act is declared halal (permissible). If the companions engaged in an act
that the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was aware of and did not
speak out against, it is halal.
It is well-known that the wives of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam) covered their faces any time non-mahram men were near. A woman
named Asma, who was not a wife of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)
, was also recorded as covering her face. Easily, one can conclude that
wearing veil is halal (permissible).
However, Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in "hot debate"
for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is
obligatory upon a Muslimah. Those who argue that it is not required, point
to the use of the word khimar in the Qur'an, and explain that today's
modern khimar does not cover the face, and argue that khimar has never
referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck,
and bosoms. While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that
the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)'s wives wore khimar, one must
realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of
BASING ON CULTURE VS. QURAN AND SUNNAH. ...
Most Muslim men, even in America, would be pleased if their wives veil,
but some state that a veil draws too much attention, causing men to look
upon her more than normal. However, one must realize that when men 'look',
they have nothing of her to see! Regardless, this issue must stick to
understanding and implementing Qur'an and Sunnah, and not making excuses
based on the current culture. Muslims are ordered not to imitate the dress
of any non-Muslim culture, so, surely, we cannot make the choice to wear
Niqab based on the pressures of modern day society; instead, we choose,
insha'Allah, to fear Allah, swt, and not mankind!
When in a state of ihram, the muslimah cannot wear niqab. However,
according to several scholars, such as Sheikh ibn Baz, even when in a
state of ihram, "she should lower her headcovering or outer cloak over her
face when she is in the presence of non-mahram men." So, it is to say that
she should not cover her face around the other women during ihram, but
that she should cover it if a non-mahram man approaches. He bases this on
the hadith below, narrated by 'Aisha .
In Fathul Bari, chapter Hajj, a tradition
reported on the authority of Aisha (RA) says:
"A woman in a state of Ihram (during Hajj and Umrah) should stretch her
head - cloth over to her face to hide it."
Hadith - Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah, Narrated 'Aisha. [In
his work Jilbab al-Marah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is
hasan due to corroborating evidence. Also, in a narration from Asma, Asma
also covered her face at all times in front of men.]
Narrated 'Aisha (RA) who said, "The riders would pass us while we were
with the Messenger of Allah ). When they got close to us, we would draw
our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we
would uncover our faces."
According to Shaikh ibn Uthaimin, "she is not required to cover her face
during the prayer unless there are non-related men around her. She must
then cover her face from them, as it is not allowed for a woman to uncover
her face except to her husband and her male relatives i.e., mahram."
If a woman is not around any non-mahram men and does not fear that any
will enter her area of salah, she may reveal her face and hands. This is
agreed upon by the group of scholars.
So, whether agreeing that niqab is required or not, one must surely
acknowledge that it is a desirous sign of piety. What better example of
sunnah to follow for a muslimah than that of the Prophet(sallallahu
alaiyhi wassallam) and his wives RA. Every Muslimah is encouraged to cover
to the fullest, showing only one or both eyes.
A woman does not have to wear a niqab (affixed veil), but she should
emulate the female companions by using her hijab or other items, to lift
and cover her face when a non-mahram man approaches, even during ihram
(hajj), as this is in accordance with sunnah.
Hadith - Muwatta 20.16
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir
said, "We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of
Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq."
The following Fatawa is from Sheikh Ibn Uthaimin:
"The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden
for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover.
"The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is
the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her. Therefore,
the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram
(i.e. father, huband, etc.).
"As for those who claim that Islamic hijab is to cover the head,
shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her
face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is
well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can
one say that the Shariah does no allow the exposure of the foot of the
woman while it allows her to uncover her face?
"It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble
Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from
uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from
the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after
aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom
that a womans face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not
propose to such a woman.
"However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands,
palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her.
From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be
"There are also evidences from the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of
our Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam). There are also statements from
the Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that
indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in
the presence of non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is
obligatory upon the woman to cover her face in front of such men."
What Age Must a Female Wear Niqab?
It is unquestionable that a female must begin covering by the age of
puberty. What is not agreed upon is what exact age that is. Some say that
covering commences the day of her first menstrual cycle, others say at the
first sign of pubic hairs. Those weak in iman (faith) will look at the
kafir system's designation of "teenager" as the age of puberty, i.e. they
use the age 13.
In all situations, Muslims are to use the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam)'s example for guidance. The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam) married 'Aisha(R.A.) before she had reached puberty and
consummated the marriage when she was approximately 9 years old. We do not
know precisely what he used to determine that she reached puberty, and we
don't even know the exact age that he consummate the marriage, so the
issue of puberty is not necessarily a clear cut age to be applied
universally to all, but a recognition of the change to woman from child.
The earliest pregnancy recorded was that of a seven year old girl, and we
know that a menstral cycle does not have to start before some are capable
of becoming pregnant. May Allah swt guide each parent to adequately
prepare the daughter in time. Amin.
If a mother or father recently converts to Islam and has a daughter who
has reached puberty, s/he should immediately begin covering the daughter.
The parents should educate the daughter to understand and appreciate the
reasons and advantages for covering as a Muslimah is instructed to. The
new revert to Islam should not feel apologetic for covering a daughter who
was not previously covering. It is as much of an advantage to her as to
the new adult muslimah revert, and children do not always know what is
best for them, so, like other decisions you make daily for your children,
do not leave the issue of wearing hijab up to your children. Make the
transition as a family, not you first, then just hoping the children
follow suit on their own.
Some guidelines for preparing a child for hijab.
It is encouraged that as soon as the child is able to walk, she does not
wear clothes that resemble the kafr, and that she should always have her
knees and as much as possible of the arms and legs covered when leaving
the house or having guests over.
She should be taught modesty in behavior and dress from the cradle.
It is ideal to sew small jilbabs (light overcoats) and khimaar
(head/neck/chest covering) for the young muslimah, properly preparing her
for full coverage at puberty. It is actually less fitnah on the parent to
dress her in the simple attire of a muslim, as compared to looking for
fashionable clothes in a shopping mall.
At the age of 7, the parent should order her to pray salah, and of course,
she must be wearing hijab (the entire head and body covering) for the
By the age of 10, her parents may and should punish her for missing fard
(obligatory) salah, and once again, she must be wearing hijab to perform
When she reaches puberty, insha'Allah, she will wear niqab (literally:
draw the khimaar over her face).
By the age of puberty, she should already be used to wearing hijab (which
is in her fitrah [natural state] to be covered).
She may have already chosen to veil prior to reaching puberty, and with
the proper instruction, she will look forward to and embrace this step in
becoming a young woman.
Hijab is not something a muslim parent gives as an option to a child. The
muslim parent is responsible for seeing that the young muslimah is
properly covered according to Qur'an and Sunnah.
Parents will have to determine when their daughter has reached puberty,
not the child, unless of course, she is a muslim revert with non-Muslim
parents, in which case she should seek the counsel of a muslim wali.
Depending on a woman's environment, she may simply keep her face uncovered
and then draw the khimaar up over her face on the rare occasion of a non-mahram's
presence; or, if this is too much fitnah to constantly draw it over her
face, such as circumstances when men are frequently present, she may
choose to affix a screen (i.e. the Niqab) that does this for her without
her needing to use a hand to hold it over her face.
Hadith - Bukhari, Narrated Hishams father
Khadija died three years before the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)
departed to Madinah. He stayed there for two years or so and then he
married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumated
that marriage when she was nine years old.
Hadith - Abu Dawud, narrated Aisha, Ummul
[Also recorded al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and ibn Majah. Al-Albani says it is
sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1280.]
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: Allah does not accept the
prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah
[Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation
signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani,
Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]
The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)said: Order your children to
pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by
the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding.
Who Can She Uncover in front of?
A Muslimah should not uncover her adornment in front of any non-Mahrahm
male. Muslimahs should especially be careful and remain covered, modest,
and quiet around in-laws.
If a gay male is aware of female body parts, he should not be allowed to
view a woman uncovered. And, of course, a bi-sexual male should not be
allowed to view a woman without proper covering.
In addition, a Muslimah should not uncover that which she normally
uncovers, in front of any non-Muslim female whom she fears may describe
her to others. She may also choose to remain covered around any Muslim
female whom she fears may describe her physical attributes to their
husband or others.
The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:30-31
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden
things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.).
That is purer for them. Verily, Allāh is All-Aware of what they do.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at
forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual
acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is
apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see
the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and
to draw their veils* all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks
and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their
husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their
husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's
sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islām), or the
(female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who
lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And
let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their
adornment. And all of you beg Allāh to forgive you all, O believers, that
you may be successful.
* the arabic word here is Khumaar, which is the plural form of Khimaar.
Hadith - Bukhari 7:167
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "A woman should not look
at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as
if he was actually looking at her."
Hadith - Muslim, narrated Aisha
A eunuch used to come to the wives of Allah's Apostle(sallallahu alaiyhi
wassallam) and they did not find anything objectionable in his visit
considering him to be a male without any sexual desire. Allah's Apostle
one day came as he was sitting with some of his wives and he was busy in
describing the bodily characteristics of a lady and saying: As she comes
in front four folds appear on her front side and as she turns her back
eight folds appear on the back side. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: I see
that he knows these things; do not, therefore, allow him to enter. She (Aisha)
said: Then they began to observe veil from him.
Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3109, narrated Abdullah ibn
Mas'ud [Tirmidhi transmitted it.]
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "A woman should be
concealed, for when she goes out the devil looks at her."
Muslimahs should not socialize with non-mahram men, and should only speak
out of necessity to non-mahram men. Allah swt knew that mankind would be
tempted to let their guard down and their hijab down, around in-laws.
Surely Allah swt is all merciful to provide us the guidance we need in
every aspect of our lives. In reference to socializing with in-laws, such
close relations can easily lead to adultery which has the death penalty.
Hadith - Bukhari and Muslim
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "The in-laws are death."
Men and women should not shake hands outside the mahram ties.
Hadith - Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, al-Nasai, al-Tirmidhi
and ibn Majah.
[Al-Albani has graded it sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 494.]
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "I do not shake the hands
Hadith - Bukhari 9:321 (& 7:211)
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to take the Pledge of
allegiance from the women by words only after reciting this Holy Verse:
(60.12) "..that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah."
(60.12) And the hand of Allah's Apostle did not touch any woman's hand
except the hand of that woman his right hand possessed. (i.e. his captives
or his lady slaves).
Hadith - Sahih Muslim, narrated 'A'isha
By Allah, the hand of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah
never touched the hand of a woman. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah never
took any vow from women except that which Allah had ordered him to take,
and his palm never touched the palm of a woman. When he had taken their
vow, he would tell that he had taken the oath from them orally.
must be accompanied by the proper mannerisms and speech befitting a
modest, pious woman. She should not draw attention to her voice or use it
in a soft, pleasing manner that may tempt a man.
Similarly, a muslim man should avoid being around women who speak soft
(i.e. speak "sweet", flirt, are excessively thankful, etc), should
definitely turn his eyes downward his eyes if viewing (even briefly) such
a woman on t.v., and should not listen to female singers.
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:32
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your
duty (to Allāh), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a
disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved
with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.
Muslim men and women should speak calmly and controlled, not raising the
voice, except out of necessity, such as yelling 'stop!' to a child who is
about to cross a busy intersection without looking, etc.
The Noble Qur'an - Luqman 31:18-19
And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence
through the earth. Verily, Allāh likes not each arrogant boaster.
And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your
voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the
Ridiculing a Woman in Niqab
The Noble Qur'an - At-Taubah 9:64-67
The hypocrites fear lest a Sūrah (chapter of the Qur'ān) should be
revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: "(Go ahead
and) mock! But certainly Allāh will bring to light all that you fear."
If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and
joking." Say: "Was it at Allāh (swt), and His Ayāt (proofs, evidences,
verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were
Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon
some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimūn
(disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).
The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the
people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that
Islām has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'rūf (i.e. Islāmic
Monotheism and all that Islām orders one to do), and they close their
hands [from giving (spending in Allāh's Cause) alms, etc.]. They have
forgotten Allāh, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the
Fāsiqūn (rebellious, disobedient to Allāh).
Women past child-bearing age who do not expect
The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:60
And as for women past child-bearing 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 Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Source Reference : muttaqun
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