Hijabveil worn by devout Muslim women covering the head and neck A hijab
(Arabic: حجاب, romanized: ḥijāb) is a religious veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the hair, head and chest. The term can refer to any hair, head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to Islamic standards of modesty. Hijab can also refer to the seclusion of women from men in the public sphere, or it may denote a metaphysical dimension, for example referring to "the veil which separates man, or the world, from God".
To the Muslim woman, the hijab provides a sense of empowerment. It is a personal decision to dress modestly according to the command of a genderless Creator; to assert pride in self, and embrace one's faith openly, with independence and courageous conviction. ~ Randa Abdel-Fattah
To the Muslim woman
, the hijab provides a sense of empowerment
. It is a personal decision to dress modestly according to the command of a genderless Creator
; to assert pride in self, and embrace one's faith
openly, with independence and courageous conviction.
For many, the hijab represents modesty, piety and devotion to God, and I truly respect that. Unfortunately, too many people in the Western world mistakenly perceive it as an expression of powerlessness and oppression. And increasingly it is being turned into a political tool. Modernity is not about dress codes. Religion and modernity are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In Jordan, a woman cannot be forced to wear a veil against her will.
The veil is not always a form of self-suppression; often it is an alternative, more modest, style of beauty, even a symbol of seduction rather than seclusion.
The veil deliberately marks women as private and restricted property, nonpersons. The veil sets women apart from men and apart from the world; it restrains them, confines them, grooms them for docility. A mind can be cramped just as a body may be, and a Muslim veil blinkers both your vision and your destiny. It is the mark of a kind of apartheid, not the domination of a race but of a sex.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations
Insulating women if they don’t wear the veil ensures that they wear it out of fear not faith… women now accept the position of being slaves.
Attributed to Muhammad Sa'id al-Ashmawi
(Times of India, 10 December, 1993), as quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
Traditional Muslim women's head, face, or body covering, of numerous varieties across time and space, often referred to as the “veil.” Hijab is a symbol of modesty, privacy, and morality. The practice was borrowed from elite women of the Byzantine, Greek, and Persian empires, where it was a sign of respectability and high status, during the Arab conquests of these empires. It gradually spread among urban populations, becoming more pervasive under Turkish rule as a mark of rank and exclusive lifestyle. Hijab became a central topic of feminist/nationalist discourse during the nineteenth-century British colonial occupation of Egypt. Western feminists view hijab as a symbol of the subordination and inferiority of women in Islam. Since the 1970s it has emerged as a symbol of Islamic consciousness and the voluntary and active participation of young women in the Islamist movement, a symbol of public modesty that reaffirms Islamic identity and morality and rejects Western materialism, commercialism, and values. In the 1980s hijab became an assertion of Islamic nationalism and resistance to Western culture.
Women who do not respect the hijab and their husbands deserve to die. I do not understand how these women who do not respect the hijab, 28 years after the birth of the Islamic Republic, are still alive. These women and their husbands and their fathers must die.
In ancient Iran, aristocratic women used to wear hijab. ... Women from lower classes did not bother. But when Islam
came, it rejected such instances of discrimination. It said that all women must wear the hijab. In other words, it wanted to honor all women. This is what Islam says. Now, they [in the West] behave as if we are doing something wrong and they are doing the right thing! No, they are in the wrong. They must answer why they have been treating women like a commodity in order to gratify their own lust. ... In their sensationalism concerning women's affairs, they blame us by saying: You have made hijab compulsory. They themselves have made lack of hijab compulsory. They do not allow girl students to enter university, if they wear a headscarf. Yet they have the audacity to question us by saying: Why have you made hijab compulsory? Wearing the hijab, is aimed at honoring women, whereas that [the practices of the West] aim to abuse and insult women.
The correct view is that a woman is obliged to cover her entire body, even the face and hands. The face is the most tempting part of a woman's body, because what people look at most is the face, so the face is the greatest ‘awrah of a woman.
I just wish I felt supported by the image-makers of the West, who seem to have a veil fetish. They are doing the exact opposite of what the European politicians suggest: They're imposing the veil on women.
To me, the hijab means power, liberation, beauty, and resistance.
The Quran says nothing about the veil, except for an injunction to veil the bosom, which is obvious. As for the face, Muhammad's wife Khadijeh never wore the veil, nor did the other wives of the Prophet after Khadijeh died. [...] The ulema have twisted the Quran with their hadith, always twisting it toward those in power, until the message Muhammad laid out so clearly, straight from God, has been reversed, and good Muslim women are made like slaves again, or worse.
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss.
Surah XXIV. 31.
O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking fami liar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but God is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy God's Apostle, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in God's sight an enormity.
Surah XXXIII. 53.
There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And, (ladies), fear God; for God is Witness to all things.
Surah XXXIII. 55.
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Surah XXXIII. 59.
Narrated 'Aisha: The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast plateau, to answer the call of nature at night. 'Umar used to say to the Prophet, "Let your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the Prophet 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 was anxious for some Divine orders regarding the veil. So Allah revealed the verses of the veil.
Vol. 1, Book of Wudu (Ablution), Hadith 148.
Narrated Um 'Atiya: We were ordered to bring out our menstruating women and veiled women in the religious gatherings and invocation of Muslims on the two 'Id festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from their Musalla. A woman asked, "O Allah's Apostle ' What about one who does not have a veil?" He said, "Let her share the veil of her companion."
Vol. 1, Book of the Salat (Prayers), Hadith 347
Narrated 'Aisha: The believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with Allah's Apostle, and after finishing the prayer they would return to their home and nobody could recognize them because of darkness.
Vol. 1, Book of Times of the Prayer and Its Superiority, Hadith 552
Narrated 'Aisha the wife of the Prophet: 'Umar bin Al-Khattab used to say to Allah's Apostle "Veil your wives." But he did not. The wives of the Prophet used to go out to answer the call of nature at night only at Al-Manasi'. Once Sauda, the daughter of Zam'a went out and she was a tall woman. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab saw her while he was in a gathering, and said, "We recognise you, O Sauda!" 'Umar was eager that Allah might reveal the order for the veiling of women. So Allah revealed the Verse of veiling.
Vol. 8, Book of Asking Permission, Hadith 257.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet stayed with Safiya bint Huyai for three days on the way of Khaibar where he consummated his marriage with her. Safiya was amongst those (wives of the Prophet) who were ordered to use a veil.
Vol. 5, Book of Al-Maghazi (The Military Expeditions), Hadith 523.
Narrated Anas: The Prophet stayed for three rights between Khaibar and Medina and was married to Safiya. I invited the Muslim to h s marriage banquet and there wa neither meat nor bread in that banquet but the Prophet ordered Bilal to spread the leather mats on which dates, dried yogurt and butter were put. The Muslims said amongst themselves, "Will she (i.e. Safiya) be one of the mothers of the believers, (i.e. one of the wives of the Prophet) or just (a lady captive) of what his right-hand possesses" Some of them said, "If the Prophet makes her observe the veil, then she will be one of the mothers of the believers (i.e. one of the Prophet's wives), and if he does not make her observe the veil, then she will be his lady slave." So when he departed, he made a place for her behind him (on his camel) and made her observe the veil.
Vol. 5, Book of Al-Maghazi (The Military Expeditions), Hadith 524
Narrated Anas: 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 who submit (to Allah)..." (66.5)
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Quran), Hadith 10
Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: 'Aisha 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."
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 282.
Narrated Umar: I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Good and bad persons enter upon you, so I suggest that you order the mothers of the Believers (i.e. your wives) to observe veils." Then Allah revealed the Verses of Al-Hijab.
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 313.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: 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 seemed to be 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 found those people still sitting (So 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)
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 314
Narrated Anas bin Malik: 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.
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 315
Narrated Anas: A banquet of bread and meat was held on the occasion of the marriage of the Prophet to Zainab bint Jahsh. I was sent to invite the people (to the banquet), and so the people started coming (in groups), They would eat and then leave. Another batch would come, eat and leave. So I kept on inviting the people till I found nobody to invite. Then I said, "O Allah's Prophet! I do not find anybody to invite." He said, "Carry away the remaining food." Then a batch of three persons stayed in the house chatting. The Prophet left and went towards the dwelling place of Aisha and said, "Peace and Allah's Mercy be on you, O the people of the house!" She replied, "Peace and the mercy of Allah be on you too. How did you find your wife? May Allah bless you. Then he went to the dwelling places of all his other wives and said to them the same as he said to Aisha and they said to him the same as Aisha had said to him. Then the Prophet returned and found a group of three persons still in the house chatting. The Prophet was a very shy person, so he went out (for the second time) and went towards the dwelling place of 'Aisha. I do not remember whether I informed him that the people have gone away. So he returned and as soon as he entered the gate, he drew the curtain between me and him, and then the Verse of Al-Hijab was revealed.
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 316
Narrated Anas: When Allah's Apostle married Zainab bint Jahsh, he made the people eat meat and bread to their fill (by giving a banquet). Then he went out to the dwelling places of the mothers of the believers (his wives), as he used to do in the morning of his marriage. He would greet them and invoke good on them, and they (too) would return his greeting and invoke good on him. When he returned to his house, he found two men talking to each other; and when he saw them, he went out of his house again. When those two men saw Allah's Apostle: going out of his house, they quickly got up (and departed). I do not remember whether I informed him of their departure, or he was informed (by somebody else). So he returned, and when he entered the house, he lowered the curtain between me and him. Then the Verse of Al-Hijab was revealed.
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 317
Narrated Aisha: Sauda (the wife of the Prophet) went out to answer the call of nature after it was made obligatory (for all the Muslims ladies) to observe the veil. She was a fat huge lady, and everybody who knew her before could recognize her. So 'Umar bin Al-Khattab saw her and said, "O Sauda! By Allah, you cannot hide yourself from us, so think of a way by which you should not be recognized on going out. Sauda returned while Allah's Apostle was in my house taking his supper and a bone covered with meat was in his hand. She entered and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I went out to answer the call of nature and 'Umar said to me so-and-so." Then Allah inspired him (the Prophet) and when the state of inspiration was over and the bone was still in his hand as he had not put in down, he said (to Sauda), "You (women) have been allowed to go out for your needs."
Vol. 6, Book of Commentary (Interpretations of the Qur'an), Hadith 318
Narrated Anas bin Malik: I was ten years old when Allah's Apostle arrived at Medina. My mother and aunts used to urge me to serve the Prophet regularly, and I served him for ten years. When the Prophet died I was twenty years old, and I knew about the order of Al-Hijab (veiling of ladies) more than any other person when it was revealed. It was revealed for the first time when Allah's Apostle had consummated his marriage with Zainab bint Jahsh. When the day dawned, the Prophet was a bridegroom and he invited the people to a banquet, so they came, ate, and then all left except a few who remained with the Prophet for a long time. The Prophet got up and went out, and I too went out with him so that those people might leave too. The Prophet proceeded and so did I, till he came to the threshold of 'Aisha's dwelling place. Then thinking that these people have left by then, he returned and so did I along with him till he entered upon Zainab and behold, they were still sitting and had not gone. So the Prophet again went away and I went away along with him. When we reached the threshold of 'Aisha's dwelling place, he thought that they had left, and so he returned and I too, returned along with him and found those people had left. Then the Prophet drew a curtain between me and him, and the Verses of Al-Hijab were revealed.
Vol. 7, Book of Nikah (Wedlock), Hadith 95
Narrated Anas bin Malik: that he was a boy of ten at the time when the Prophet emigrated to Medina. He added: I served Allah's Apostle for ten years (the rest of his life time) and I know more than the people about the occasion whereupon the order of Al-Hijab was revealed (to the Prophet). Ubai bin Ka'b used to ask me about it. It was revealed for the first time during the marriage of Allah's Apostle with Zainab bint Jahsh. In the morning, the Prophet was a bride-groom of her and he Invited the people, who took their meals and went away, but a group of them remained with Allah's Apostle and they prolonged their stay. Allah's Apostle got up and went out, and I too, went out along with him till he came to the lintel of 'Aisha's dwelling place. Allah's Apostle thought that those people had left by then, so he returned, and I too, returned with him till he entered upon Zainab and found that they were still sitting there and had not yet gone. The Prophet went out again, and so did I with him till he reached the lintel of 'Aisha's dwelling place, and then he thought that those people must have left by then, so he returned, and so did I with him, and found those people had gone. At that time the Divine Verse of Al-Hijab was revealed, and the Prophet set a screen between me and him (his family).
Vol. 8, Book of Asking Permission, Hadith 255
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Verse of Al-Hijab (veiling of women) was revealed in connection with Zainab bint Jahsh. (On that day of her marriage with him) the Prophet gave a wedding banquet with bread and meat; and she used to boast before other wives of the Prophet and used to say, "Allah married me (to the Prophet) in the Heavens."
Vol. 9, Book of Tauhid, Hadith 517.
A'isha reported that Sauda (Allah be pleased with her) went out (in the fields) in order to answer the call of nature even after the time when veil had been prescribed for women. She had been a bulky lady, significant in height amongst the women, and she could not conceal herself from him who had known her. 'Umar b. Khattab saw her and said: Sauda, by Allah, you cannot conceal from us. Therefore, be careful when you go out. She ('A'isha) said: She turned back. Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was at that time in my house having his evening meal and there was a bone in his hand. She (Sauda) cline and said: Allah's Messenger. I went out and 'Umar said to me so and so. She ('A'isha) reported: There came the revelation to him and then it was over; the bone was then in his hand and he had not thrown it and he said:" Permission has been granted to you that you may go out for your needs."
Vol. 5, Book of Greetings, Hadith 5395
'A'isha reported that the wives of Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to go out in the cover of night when they went to open fields (in the outskirts of Medina) for easing themselves. 'Umar b Khattab used to say: Allah's Messenger, ask your ladies to observe veil, but Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) did not do that. So there went out Sauda, daughter of Zarn'a, the wife of Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), during one of the nights when it was dark. She was a tall statured lady. 'Umar called her saying: Sauda, we recognise you. (He did this with the hope that the verses pertaining to veil would be revealed.) 'A'isha said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, then revealed the verses pertaining to veil.
Vol. 5, Book of Greetings, Hadith 5397
'A'isha reported that a eunuch used to come to the wives of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and they did not And anything objectionable in his visit considering him to be a male without any sexual desire. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) 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 the comes in front tour folds appear on her front side and as she turns her back eight folds appear on the back side. Thereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: I me that he knows these things; do not, therefore. allow him to cater. She ('A'isha) said: Then they began to observe veil from him.
Vol. 5, Book of Greetings, Hadith 5416
Ibn Umar reported Umar as saying: My lord concorded with (my judgments) on three occasions. In case of the Station of Ibrahim, in case of the observance of veil and in case of the prisoners of Badr.
Vol. 6, Book of the Merits of the Companions, Hadith 5903
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil.
Vol. 1, Book of Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat), Hadith 641.
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Safiyyah, daughter of Shaybah, said that Aisha mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: When Surat an-Nur came down, they took the curtains, tore them and made head covers (veils) of them.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4089
Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin: 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.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4090
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 bosoms" was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4091
Narrated Aisha (the Prophet's wife): Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: 'O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4092.
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (peace be upon him) brought Fatimah a slave which he donated to her. Fatimah wore a garment which, when she covered her head, did not reach her feet, and when she covered her feet by it, that garment did not reach her head. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw her struggle, he said: There is no harm to you: Here is only your father and slave.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4094
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: A mukhannath (eunuch) used to enter upon the wives of Prophet (peace be upon him). They (the people) counted him among those who were free of physical needs. One day the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered upon us when he was with one of his wives, and was describing the qualities of a woman, saying: When she comes forward, she comes forward with four (folds in her stomach), and when she goes backward, she goes backward with eight (folds in her stomach). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do I not see that this (man) knows what here lies. Then they (the wives) observed veil from him.
Vol. 4, Book of Clothing (Kitab Al-Libas), Hadith 4095
It was narrated from 'Aishah that her paternal uncle through breast-feeding, whose name was Aflah, asked permission to meet her, and she observed Hijab before him. The Messenger of Allah was told about that and he said: "Do not observe Hijab before him, for what becomes unlawful (for marriage) through breast-feeding is that which becomes unlawful through lineage."
Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol. 4, Book of Marriage, Hadith 3303
Yahya related to me from Malik from Alqama ibn Abi Alqama that his mother said, "Hafsa bint Abd ar-Rahman visited A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Hafsa was wearing a long thin head scarf. A'isha tore it in two and made a thick one for her."
Muwatta Imam Malik, Book of Dress, Hadith 6
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa from his father that a woman asked him for a decision, saying, "Waist-wrappers are painful to me. Can I pray in a shift and head-covering?" He replied, "Yes, if the shift is long."
Muwatta Imam Malik, Book of Prayer in Congregation, Hadith 39
Umm Salama said the Prophet came to visit her when she was veiled and said, “Use one fold, not two.”
Mishkat al-Masabih Book 22, Hadith 58. Abu Dawud transmitted it.
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