The Hijab (Heads Scarf)-Islamic Perspective

 Wearing the Hijab:

 What is the problem?

  1. Post-feminist Western World vs. Ideal Islamic Paradigm.
  2. The Qu’ran says:

i.      “And the male is not like the female….” (Surah Al-Imran: 36)
ii.      “The Righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.”                                            (Surah An-Nisa: 34).
iii.      “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their                                      adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their     chests and not expose their adornment 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.” (24:31)

The History of the hijab.

  1. When did the hijab become fard (obligatory)?
    i.      Dhul Qa’adanh, 5H.
    ii.      “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (Veils) (Jalabib) all over their bodies, that will be better, that they should be known so as not be annoyed. And Allah is ever oft Forgiving Most Merciful” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 59).
    iii.      Jalbab-head scarf….Large, sheet of clothing.
    iv.      Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin.

May Allah have Mercy on the Early immigrant women, when the verse “that they should draw their veils over their boosoms” was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them. “ (Sunnan Abu Dawwd)
 b. When a few months after this, surah An-Nur: 31 revealed.


  1. Two meanings of hijab: classical usage and modern usage.
    i.      Khimar: head covering, scarf, what they call “hijab” these days.
    ii.      Jilbab: outer garment worn over clothes
    iii.      Hijab: a physical barrier screen in the room that separates men and women. This barrier was mandatory ONLY for the wives of Prophet (SAW).
  1. Requirements of women’s hijab:
      i.      That is not describing the body, either through tightness, or transparency. Hence, it must be thick and loose.
    ii.      That is not to be eye-catching in and of it-self. The goal is not to draw the lust of men, the notice of men; therefore, it                  should be simple and not decorative.
    iii.      That it confirm with the general etiquettes of clothing (gender-specific; not imitating others in religious clothing)
    iv.      That it cover a woman’s awrah.

Ljma: women’s awrah is her entire body including the hair, ears, and chest.
Ikhtilaaf: face and hands. (and for some, the feet: hanaf)
           v.      That she wear an outer garment (jilbab) over and above her regular clothes

Hijāb  was made obligatory upon believing women once they reach the age of puberty.

  • Make sure your garments cover you.
  • In the beginning,  hijab wasn’t mandatory, then dressing modestly was obligated, so the zena of a woman is not be displayed. Her hands, legs, and neck, where her jewelry would be showing, is not allowed to be seen.
  • Allah also made it obligatory on the prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wives to cover their faces. This is an area of debate as to whether the command was only for the wives of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or for all women.
  • What does it mean “recognized?”
    • Female slaves are not obligated to cover. She works all day; hijab would be an obstacle for her
    • Non-Muslims didn’t cover either
    • So when you see her with hijab you know she’s Muslim, and free, and if completely covered, a family of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

The scholars have mentioned the following conditions regarding hijāb :

1- The garment itself must be intrinsically lawful.

  • It must cover the body, with a difference of opinion among the scholars  regarding the face and hands
  • Abu  Hanifah and one narration of Malik adds the feet.
  • Abu Yusuf also added the lower arm.
  • It should not be transparent or tight so that it details any part of the body
  • It cannot be particularly eye-catching.
  • It should not resemble clothing that is specific to non-Muslims, evildoers (fāsiq), or men.
  •  It should not be perfumed.
  • It should not be a dress of shuhrah (something that makes a person ostensible). The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “He who wears a garment of shuhrah, Allah will dress him in a garment of humiliation and Fire” (Abu Dawud).
  • Al’tabarruj is to display the beauty that Allah commanded be covered in public, and this act is a sin in Islam. When Umaymah bint Ruqayqah pledged allegiance to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Islam, he said, “I will take your pledge that you will not commit shirk, that you will not steal, that you will not commit adultery, that you will not kill your child, that you will not make a false claim, that you will not wail (in mourning), and that you will not display your beauty as was the display of the formertimes of ignorance” (Ahmad).
  • Tabarruj is to dress immodestly for the purpose of seduction/attention.  The one who goes outside and displays her beauty will be in the darkness of hell. hijab is not just a piece of cloth around your head; it is also your attitude.
  • The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Of the people of Hell, there are two types whom I have never seen: The one possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they flog people with them. The second one, the women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced to wrong paths and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise and they would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance” (Muslim).
  • He (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said, “The example of the one who flaunts her beauty to other than her family, she will be in complete darkness with no light on the Day of Resurrection” (Al’Tirmidhi).

    The perceptions of hijab

  1. Muslim positive:
     i.  Protection
    ii.  Sign of piety
    iii. Increase your relationship with Allah swt.
    iv. Sign of respect
    v. Obligatory vs. recommended
  1. Muslim negative:
      i.  Oppression from expression
    ii.  Forced upon Muslim men
    iii. Something that is only required during prayer. Direct acts of worship, entering masjid.
    iv. Hijab= piety; something you achieve when you become more religious
  1. Non-muslim positive:
      i.      Understanding for the women’s rights
    ii.      Respect for muslim women in her struggle with wearing the hijab.
    iii.      Believe women have right to wear whatever they want if they choose to.

   Struggle of Hijab:

  1. When wearing hijab, who do you want to be okay with hijab?
  2. Scared of being a stranger: “Islam began as something strange and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers” (Muslim)
  3. Family temptations and family struggle.
  4. Peer pressure

SIDE NOTES/ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
Question: Can a woman’s parents or husband force hijab on her?
Answer:     No, acts of worship cannot be forced, and if she is forced, there is no reward for her anyway for doing the action. You can give her the silent treatment, but it’s not the smartest decision.
(Source: Complicated lecture delivered by Sheikh Waleed basyouni)

Q.) Do I have to wear a jilbāb or ‘abāyah? Is it okay to wear a skirt or pants with a long shirt or jacket? Is dressing in shalwār kamiz sufficient?

  • Shalwar kamiz is sufficient
  • Jilbab or ‘Abayah? Shaykh Waleed doesn’t see any evidence making this obligatory. As long as the requirements of shar ‘ah are met, it doesn’t matter if you wear a skirt or a dress.
  • Umm Salamah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) said that it is sufficient to wear a long dress that covers the feet.
  • A woman in the time of the Prophet would have a dress and a khimar. If the clothes meet the condition of hijab, that is fine. If it doesn’t then yes, an abayah is necessary to cover it.
  • Jilbab in the time of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was a long garment that covers
  • Pants and long shirt/jacket: as long as it is loose and covers your body according to shar ‘ah, it is okay.
  • A long shirt is necessary because that specific ‘awrah is the most severe that needs to be covered; it must be protected and covered. The area of the navel to the knee is considered ‘awrah mughaladha.

Q. Does hijāb have to be black or a dark color?

  • It is not permissible for a woman to go out in a decorated garment that attracts people’s gaze, because this is something that tempts men. The dress of the Muslim woman need not only be black. It is permissible for her to wear any color of clothing so long as it covers her ‘awrah, it does not resemble men’s clothing, and it is not so tight as to show the shape of her limbs or so thin as to show what is beneath it, and does not provoke temptation. Wearing black for women is not a must. They may wear other colors that are worn only by women, do not attract attention and do not provoke desire.
  • Many women choose to wear black, not because it is obligatory, but because it is farthest removed from being an adornment. There are reports that indicate that the women of the Sahabah used to wear black. Abu Dawud (4101) narrated that Umm Salamah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) said: “When the words ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)’ (Al’N r 24:31 – interpretation of the meaning) were revealed, the women of the Ansarr went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of their garments.” Classed as sahih by Al’Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud.
  • The Standing Committee (17/110) said: This is to be understood as meaning that those clothes were black in color.
  • A’ishah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) also described the woman’s jilbab as coming from her head, as she said: “The riders would pass us when we were with the Messenger of Allah(ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in ihram. When they came close, each of us would lower her jilbab from her head over her face, and when they went away we would uncover (our faces).” (Narrated by Abu D w d, 1833; Ibn M jah, 2935. Al’Alb ni said: “Its isnad is jayyid,” in Mishk t’l Mas b h, 2690).
  • Abu Dawud (565) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (ṣallallāhu‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not prevent the female slaves of Allah from attending the mosques of Allah, but let them go out unadorned.” Classed as sah h by Al’Albani in Irwa’l Ghal l, 515.
  • It says in ‘Awn’l Ma’b d: “‘Unadorned’ means not wearing perfume… they are commanded to go out like this and are forbidden to wear perfume lest they provoke men’s desires with their perfume. That also includes other things.which are forbidden because they provoke desire, such as beautiful clothing, and visible and expensive adornment.”
  • Proof that the prophet’s wives wore other than black.
    • A’isha (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) was wearing clothes of red when in ihram.
    • Alqamah said I saw the Prophet’s wives and they were wrapping themselves with red cloth.
    • Ibn Abi Shaybah has a whole chapter about this in his Musannad.
    • Al’Bukhari has a chapter about “The Dress That is Green.” He mentioned in it that Rif ’, when he divorced his wife, she remarried and was seen wearing green.
  • Sometimes wearing black will bring more attention to you because it is not the norm.
  • It depends on your culture and the limits of haram.

Q. One of the conditions of hijāb is that the clothing is not an attraction in and of itself.  What is considered inherent beauty or attraction? Is it okay if it is glittery? Is it okay if it all matches in color and style?

  • Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.
  • What is too much depends on culture.
  • If you look at the Prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) time, there clothes were designed in their own way.
  • A woman came to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and complained about her husband and she was wearing stylish clothes imported from Egypt (he (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never mentioned her clothes).
  • Don’t wear things that will attract people’s attention to you in a bad sense.
  • We cannot compare ourselves to other countries. Instead, we must look at our own community. The shar ‘ah gives ease in this area.
  • And yes, it can match

Q. Can I dress according to the latest fashion?

  • You can do it in terms of color, style, etc, but don’t just blindly imitate people, wear haram things, waste things etc.

Q. Can I wear clothing made of animal leather or furs?

  • Abdullah b. ‘Abb s (raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu) said: I heard the Apostle of All h (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: When the skin is tanned it becomes purified (Muslim).
  • Most leather is manufactured and is halal.
  • In regards to the real ones (more expensive), there are lots of different opinions.
  • Some said that all skin is halal, except the pigs’ skin. The vast majority have said it is not allowed to be worn.
  • If you have to wear pig skin, then just don’t wear in salah to be on the safe side. Shaykh Waleed’s personal opinion is that it will be purified by tanning.


My experiences so far from co-workers/classmates/and my own personal thoughts:

I have been shocked from what some people look at hijab. One student in my university, who is Muslim, said to me, “I thought the hijab is something that Arabs do” since I am an Arab….I looked at her with shock and little offended, and honestly, I forgot what I said, but clarified to her that it’s in Islam, and not culture. This did open my eyes and mind, that, there are people who don’t know the true meaning behind the hijab. I have noticed that many come to think it’s not important. Once, I was at a picnic, and  I met a very nice elder lady. We discussed a little on the hijab, and she persuaded herself it’s not all important. Another lady comes who does not wear the hijab, comes in and says, “don’t doubt, punishment, we will be punished for not wearing it, in no doubt.” Some sisters I feel like now these days just need the support and good role model. But then again, we, who wear the hijab, are not perfect, and can’t look at us and judge us for our flaws. Like other sisters who don’t wear it, we too, are struggling with it, from the intention, from judgment, from family and peers. For example, I have met some friends who wear the hijab, but their parents are against it. So, we never know the story behind the headscarf that wraps the head on every girl, and this is a reminder for myself.

325666685493226116_1368953796 hijab inspirationHijab quote 23


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