Hijab is not a piece of cloth on our head. It’s a way of life.
These days we see some of our sisters cover their head in the name of Hijaab and they think that the requirement of Hijaab is fulfilled. But they fail to realize that wearing a Hijaab requires much more than just covering the head. In fact, if you think about it, you will realize that its the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we carry ourselves. Hijaab is an attitude in itself indeed. It’s the whole way of life.
Allah says in An-Nur (Light), Surah 24:31: “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 Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.”
Let’s discuss some of the common issues faced in the light of this verse about the Hijaab.
I am covering my head, what else you want me to do?
Well, if you look carefully at the ayah, it clearly states that the head covers (khumur) should be drawn over the neck slits (juyoob). Khumur is the plural of the Arabic word “khimar” which means a headcover. Juyoob is the plural of the Arabic word “jaiyb”, which refers to the neck slit (of the dress).
Still, we see that some of our sisters only cover their head with something, and they think that they are fulfilling the rights of Hijaab, even though part of their hair or body is showing. In fact their whole neck and chest area are exposed. This was actually the way of the women of Jahilliyah.
Al-Qurtubi said: “Women in those days used to cover their heads with the khimar, throwing its ends upon their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, along with the ears. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the khimar.”
So wrap the scarf well around the face which covers the whole neck and the chest area and please keep those half sleeves and capri pants for your Mahrams.
Ah ah!! Keep those tight jeans and short shirts aside please
If you want to wear a tight jeans and a cool short shirt with a piece of cloth on your head and think that this is Hijaab then you are highly mistaken. Nor can you wear anything else that is tight and describes the whole shape of your body in whatever way, even if it is long it is not permissible.
The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “In later (generations) of my ummah there will be women who will be dressed but naked. On top of their heads (what looks) like camel humps. They will not enter into paradise or (even) get a smell of it.” (Muslim)
If it is transparent, its NOT Hijaab
We cannot use chiffon or any other material that is transparent to cover our hair and body. every part of the body must be covered and the color of the skin underneath should not be visible.
The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) once received a thick garment as a gift. He gave it to Osamah b. Zayd, who in turn gave it to his wife. When asked by the Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) why he did not wear it, Osamah indicated that he gave it to his wife. The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) then said to Osamah “ask her to use a “gholalah” under it (the garment) for I fear that it (the garment) may describe the size of her bones.” (Ahmad, Abi-Dawood)
(The word gholalah in Arabic means a thick fabric worn under the dress to prevent it from describing the shape of the body).
No heads should turn to see the Hijaab you are wearing
Your Hijaab should not attract any attention. The dress should not be such that it attracts men’s attention to the woman’s beauty. Allah SWT clearly mentions “not to display their beauty (zeenah).” Yet, SubhanAllaah, some Hijaabi sisters are dressed in such a way that they attract more attention to themselves than they would if they didn’t wear Hijaab. How can the purpose of Hijaab be accomplished if the dress is designed in such a way that it attracts men’s eyes towards the woman? It beats the whole point of wearing Hijaab.
Allah says in Al-Ahzaab Surah 33:33: “And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance……”
What difference does it make if I wear little make-up and perfume!!!
Well, it does make a lot of difference. Wearing makeup is also part of zeenah which Allah orders us NOT to display. So if your head and body is properly covered and yet you are wearing a bright lipstick with dark eyeliner so that people confuse between you and a raccoon then that’s not Hijaab. And keep those nice fragrances to be used at home between you and your husband. That’s part of Hijaab too, even if you are going to the Masjid.
The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume and passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.” (al-Nasaa’i, Tirmidhi: hasan by Albaani)
Tinkling Jewelry and Jingling bracelets
Any kind of loud and tinkling piece such as jewelry, bracelets, clip-clopping shoes, little bells on clothes, anything that jingles or makes noise is against the principles of Hijaab. Why? Its simple because it attracts attention to the one wearing it. That is what is meant when Allaah orders us in the above verse…“not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments.”
He is just a friend!! What if I talk a little
No joking, laughing or hanging out with any of the non-Mahrams. Some sisters believe that it is okay for them to sit around talk, laugh, joke, etc with any of the non-Mahram brothers if they are properly covered. But that is not right, even if that person is ‘the Shaikh’.
Allah says in Al-Ahzaab Surah 33:32: “…..then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.”
So whenever you speak with a non-Mahram talk to them when there is a specific need and in a manner that is not necessarily rude, yet is polite and firm.
I wasn’t staring I was just checking him out
This is NOT Hijaab. Staring or gazing at the brothers or simply checking them out is also not a part of Hijaab. Allah has commanded us to “lower your gaze” in the above verse. Why? Because a single look can say more than a million words. Even though you are properly covered make sure that you keep those eyes down and conduct yourself with ‘Hayaa’, and avoid ‘fitnah’.
Chatting on the internet or over the phone is not a part of Hijaab
There is no concept of friendship between a guy and a gal. Talking to non-Mahrams is wrong even if it is through internet or phone. There are too many stories of illegal relationships, fornications, broken homes, extra-marital affairs and runaway brides to even mention. That is the basic reason why in Islam anything that leads to haraam is also haraam.
Allah says in Al-Isra Surah 17:32: “Do not (even) come close to fornication, for it is an indecency, and its way is evil.”
Don’t walk as if you are walking on the ramp
Remember you are not a model displaying the latest fashion in town. Walk with modesty and hayaa and you will be respected. The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell that I have not seen yet….women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait…..” (Muslim).
No shaking hands with non-Mahram
It is not permissible to shake hands with any non-Mahram as the Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than to touch a woman who is not permissible for him.” (at-Tabaraani saheeh by al-Albaani).
Don’t think that it will be rude to refuse to shake hands with non-Muslims. Simply say that it’s a part of your religion and they are very understanding.
Stay away from men’s areas
Most of the time we encounter that the sisters enter the Masjid through the men’s entrance or stand idle in the hallways or where there are chances of unnecessary mixing with the brothers. Why is that needed when we have separate entrance for ourselves? The basic idea behind Hijaab is to avoid fitnah by reducing temptation and separating the genders.
“The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said to the women on his way out of the mosque when he saw men and women mixing together on their way home: ‘Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle the road.’ Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it.” (Abu Dawood)
Hijaab is not just to cover ourselves it is also to conceal our sisters
Even though some sisters wear Hijaab themselves, they forget that they cannot talk about another sister and explains her beauty in front of their own husbands, brothers, etc. don’t forget, a part of Hijaab is to cover your fellow sister’s awrah as well.
The Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should mix with a woman and describe her to her husband so that it is as if he can see her.” (Muslim)