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Women's Liberation: proper hijaab
by:UmAmir



All too often Muslim women in proper hijaab are ridiculed and called names regardless of time and place. Unfortunately, a woman who wears proper hijaab in the United States will get better reception from the kafir than from Muslims. Muslim women often call women in proper hijaab “ninjas” and “fitna on the face”, only failing to realize that they have wronged themselves.

Allah subhana wa ta’ala said: “If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil, you do it against yourselves.” (17:7)

“Whosoever does righteous deeds it is for the benefit of himself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his own self.” (41:46)

This paper was written in response to those people who say things like "The proper hijaab is not in Islam”, or proper hijaab is "bad for dawah", as well as those individuals who deride at it too lightly. People should understand that the proper hijaab is from the Qur’an and Hadith.

Even if you hold the view of it not being wajib it is still THE BEST thing and anyone who wears it is to be respected. Anyone who discourages the wearing of proper hijaab or denies it being in Islam or makes fun of someone who wears it should fear ALLAH and reexamine their hearts and intentions.

"Allah has sent us to deliver whomsoever chooses, from the worship of men to the 'uboodiyah (worship and servitude) of Allah. And from the narrowness of this world, to the vastness of this world and the Hereafter. And from the oppression of the (false) religions, to the justice of Islam." - Sahabee Rab`ee ibn Aamir [Ibn Katheer's al-Bidayah wa an-Nihaayah]

Religious Reference to proper hijaab “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils, screen themselves completely except the eyes ) all over their bodies.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab:59) [tafseer is Agreed upon by Ibn Kathir, Qurtabi and At Tabrani ]

“And Say to 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, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) (Surah An-Nur:30-31) [tafseer is Agreed upon by Ibn Kathir, Qurtabi and At Tabrani ]

Generally there are two opinions regarding covering the face. One view held by the ‘Ulama is that the proper hijaab (covering the face) is wajib (compulsory) and other ‘Ulama hold the view it is Mustahab (recommended and the best thing to do but not compulsory). Both scholarly opinions are dependent upon the concept of perceiving Ummul Mu’mineen, the wives of the prophet, as being an example to all Muslim women, OR in a category of their own.

Be that as it may, following the etiquette Allah taught the Prophet’s wives was the way of his companions and those that came after them. And, the best way is to follow Rasulullah’s, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, practice as well as his companions. Ibn Kathir holds that these commandments are applicable to all Muslim women. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Vol. 3, p. 483)

This following hadith explains when and under what circumstance the verses of hijab was revealed. The wives of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) 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'aradi Allahu anha the wife of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam went out at 'Isha' time and she was a tall lady. 'Umarradi Allahu anhu 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). (Hadith -Sahih Bukhari 1:148)

After the verses of hijab were revealed certain changes took place within the society at the time. For instance, women were carried on camels in a covered Haudaj, and they only went out if their faces and bodies were fully covered as explained in the following hadiths: 'A'isha radi Allahu anha 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 - Sahih Bukhari 6/282)

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.” (Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin radi Allahu anha)

Narrated 'A'isha radi Allahu anha who said, "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). 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.” (Hadith - Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah, Narrated 'A'isha. [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 {who was not the wife of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), Asma also covered her face at all times in front of men.)

A'isha radi Allahu anha narrated: "May Allah bestow His Mercy on the first Muhajirat (emigrants). When Allah revealed, '...and draw their Khumur over their Juyubihinna...', they (i.e. the women) tore their material and covered themselves with it."(Sahih Bukhari) Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalanee, who is known as Ameer Al-Mu'mineen in the field of Hadeeth, said that the phrase, "covered themselves", in the above Hadith means that they "covered their faces". [Fath Al-Bari]. A’isha radi Allahu anha says: “(during Hajj in the state of Ihraam) when the male should walk in front of us while in the company of Rasulullah (sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam), then we would drop our veils from the head over the face.”

In addition, women were no longer required or encouraged to participate in Jihad unless completely necessary. They were forbidden to travel without a Mahram. A man who did not apply these rules on his family was called a Dayyouth.

In order to shed more light on the issue, it is just as important to look at the opinions of the scholars about proper hijaab.

Ibn Abbas radi Allahu anhu, who was one of the most knowledgeable companions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, states that the Muslim women are ordered to cover their head and faces with outer garments except for one eye.

Ibn Katheer said... “Women must not display any part of their beauty and charms to strangers except what cannot possibly be concealed.”

Imam Ghazaali(mentions in his famous book of Fiqh Ihyaal Uloom): "Woman emerged (during the time of Rasulullah 'saw') with proper hijaabs on their Faces"

Jami'atul Ulama Junbi Africa states that the proper opinion for the Hanafi madhab is that "A woman must be properly and thoroughly covered in a lose outer cloak which totally conceals her entire body including her face!" (This from the book Islamic Hijab by Jami'atul Ulema P.12)

It is also state in the Famous books of Fiqh Durrul Mukhtar... "Young women are prohibited from revealing their faces in the presence of men."

The Mufassireen, such as Al-Qurtubi, site in their Tafseer of the Ayah on Jilbab (Al-Ahzab 33:59), that the Jilbab is: "a cloth which covers the entire body... Ibn 'Abbas and 'Ubaidah As-Salmaani () said that it is to be fully wrapped around the women's body, so that nothing appears but one eye with which she can see." [Tafseer Al-Qurtubi].

Imam Qurtubi in his Al-Jamia li Ahkaamul Qur‹n states: ”All women are in effect covered by the terms of the verse which embraces the Shari'a principle that the whole of a woman is ‘Awrah’ (to be concealed) her face, body and voice, as mentioned previously. It is not permissible to expose those parts except in the case of need, such as the giving of evidence”

In Fathul Bari, chapter Hajj, a tradition reported on the authority of A'isha radi Allahu anha says: "A woman in a state of Ihram (during Hajj and Umrah) should stretch her head - cloth over to her face to hide it."

Sheikh ibn Uthaimin (a scholar of As Salaf-us-Salah).... “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. As for those of who claim that the 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 Shari'a does not 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 Shari'a a contradiction.”

Jamaal Zarabozo (a scholar of Islam in the United States).... ”In Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 59, Allah has ordered the believing women to wear a jilbab. A jilbab as defined in all the books of tafseer is a cloak that covers the woman's body from the top of her head to her feet. It is also described in those books, form the scholars of the earliest generation that after that verse was revealed, the women would completely cover themselves, leaving, for example, just one eye exposed so they can see the road. Hence, this is the outer garment of the woman that she must wear when she is in front of men she is not related to.”

Ridiculing proper hijaab
Allah subhana wa ta’ala says: “The hypocrites fear lest a Surah (chapter of the Qur'an) should be revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: “(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allah will bring to light all that you f ear.” If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allah, and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that you were mocking? 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 Mujrimun (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 Islam has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), { and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allah's Cause) alms, etc.]. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). " (Sura At-Taubah 9:64-67)

Regardless of whether it is concerning woman's hijab or any other matter of the Shari’a, mocking and ridiculing a Muslim for holding onto and applying the teachings of Islam NO MATTER HOW DETAILED of an issue it is, OR HOW UNIMPORTANT IT MAY SEEM TO SOME, EVEN THE POINT OF MOCKING one for use of a MISWAK, that causes one to be a kafer. Let alone ridiculing the decent women of proper hijaab or calling them "ninjas" those are the actions of disbelievers, and makes anyone who commits them a kafer even if his excuse is "I was merely Joking" . Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed!

At a gathering during the Battle of Tabuk, one man said, "I have not seen anyone like our Qur’anic readers who is more desirous of food, more lying in speech and more cowardly when meeting the enemy." A man said, "You have lied and you are a liar. I shall definitely tell the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about that." That news was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah and the Quran was revealed. Abdullah ibn Umar added, "I saw the man holding on to the bag of the camel of the Messenger of Allah and the dust was striking him while he was saying, 'O Messenger of Allah, we were just joking and playing. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said [saying the verse of the Quran], "Was it Allah, and His Signs and His Messenger you were mocking? Make no excuse, you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others among you because they were sinners." (9:5-66).

Based on this, ridiculing believers has been equated with ridiculing llah, His Signs and His Messenger and constitutes disbelief. I am certain that many of us have come across women who do not wear hijab and yet still possess better adab than one who does. Allah is all Knowing and all Seeing. However, that does not negate the injunctions Allah has put upon all of us that we should obey. The fact still remains that the practice of Islam is not only in words but more significantly in deed. Ridiculing any practice in Islam goes against the belief that Allah is the Creator and that He is the only one who knows the nature of His creations.

Tabarruj
“Wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty, then be not soft in speech, lest he is whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves (tabarruj) like that of the times of ignorance (jahiliyya, before Rasulullah’s teachings), and perform as-salat, and give zakat and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah wishes only to remove ar-rijis (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family of the prophet, and to purify you with a thorough purification.” (Surah al ahzab 32-33)

Mujahid and Qatadah say that the word Tabarruj in this verse means walking in a lewd way. Muqatil states that Tabarruj is when a woman only covers her head with her head with her scarf without covering her neck and chest. Mubarrad says that Tabarruj is when a woman reveals her physical attractiveness which she is required to hide. Lais states that Tabarruj is when a woman does not hide the beauty of her face and her physical shape and considers it good to reveal it. Abu Ubaidah (radiallahu anhu) says Tabarruj is when a woman exhibits her beauty and her body in a way as to cause sexual excitement in men. Ibn Jawzi, after quoting the above statements, writes in regards to “stay in your houses”: “I believe that coming out of her house and roaming about the streets in itself is sufficient to cause trouble, let alone exhibiting her beauty and her body.” (Ahkaamun-Nisa')

Thus as much as possible women should remain in their homes. A hadith that supports this stance is: Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahyah ibn Sa'id from Amra bind Abd ar-Rahman thats "Aisha radi Allahu anha, the wife of the prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said "If Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had seen what women do now, he would have forbidden them to go into the mosques, just as the women of the bani Isra'il were forbidden." Yahya ibn sa'id said that he asked 'Amra, "Were the women of the bani Isra'il forbidden to go into the mosques?" and she said, "Yes." (al muwatta 14.6.15)

All the criterions in the verse 33:32-33 were taught to the Wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to safeguard their chastity, and since the wives of the Prophet are examples to all Muslim women, we are required to follow these Commandments. (Imam Abu Bakr Jassaas, Jassaas, vol. 5,p. 230)

“Oh you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) no to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, en enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such behavior annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of asking you to go; but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts...”(33:53)

Muslims were forbidden from entering the houses of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), as they used to enter each others houses without permission in the days before Islam. Allah chose modesty and honor for this Ummah and commanded them to observe Hijab. Undoubtedly, this commandment is in respect and honor of this Ummah. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir)

Although the three Commandments in this Verse --entering the house of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) after permission, not engaging in idle talk after the meal, and observing Hijab between men and the wives of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam were revealed specifically for the houses of the Prophet and his Wives, these are binding for all Muslims as we are required to follow the guidance and tradition of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

The only instances injunctions are not applicable to all Muslims is if Allah Himself specifies that a particular rule is meant only for the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Ummah is not subjected to it. It is not the case here. (Ibn 'Arabi, Ahkaam-ul-Qur'aan, vol. 5, p. 342) This Verse provides the permission to ask, from behind a screen (Hijab), the Wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) for any necessary thing, including any matters of religion. And, all Muslim women would be bound by the same rule. Beside this Verse, other principles of the Islamic doctrine also tell us that a woman, for her honor) deserves to be hidden - her body as well as her voice. (Tafsir-ul-Qurtubi, vol. 14 , p. 227)

There are many more proofs and references regarding proper hijaab. It is evident by these mentioned above that proper hijaab is not a matter to be belittled. If anything, the proper hijaab should symbolize the strength of Muslim women to uphold their teachings in the midst of all the evil in society. In all attempts to revive any teaching, a visual image of resurgence is sought after in every society. The proper hijaab should serve as that-- a symbol and remembrance for each Muslim that we as Muslims are different from the kafir, that we have a purpose in life other than material gain, that this life is just a test. Its visual effect on the Islamic resurgence should be seen as an opportunity for all of us to earn a good deed.

Zayd bin Talhah narrated that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Every religion has distinctive quality, and the distinctive quality of Islam is modesty.” (al bayhaqi, ibn majah and imam malik’s almuwatta)

Allah subhana wa ta’ala said: “By the passing time, man is indeed in loss, except those who believe, do good deeds, enjoin upon one another the keeping to truth, and enjoin upon one another patience in adversity.” (103:1-3) So, how can people say that the proper hijaab has no place in this day and age? when it clearly says in this ayah that we are at a loss through the time? I would assert that there is even a GREATER NEED nowadays to wear a face cover in order to give the Muslim woman the honor and dignity Allah gave the Ummul Mu’mineen.

Abdullah bin “Umar related that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Modesty and faith exist together, when one disappears, the other also disappears.” (al bayhaqi)

There are quite a few reasons as to why there is a need to wear proper hijaab. However only one is for certain the best intention and purpose-- to please Allah, that one believes Allah has enjoined it upon her, and that Rasulullah’s sallallahu alayhi wa sallam wives wore them. Only with that intention in any endeavor we take on can we change ourselves and purify our hearts as women as well as a community. ”Verily, Allah does not change a people’s condition unless they change what is in themselves.” (13:11)

”Verily, Allah will most certainly support the one who supports His cause; verily, Allah is the Most Powerful and Almighty.” (22:40)

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala forgive me for my errors.