My wife wears the hijab. I wish she didn’t


  • , Sunday November 2 2008 00.01 GMT
  •  Sunday November 2 2008180013383_ff74760487
  • Article history

When I first saw my wife, she was seated in the middle of a crowded room, she had her eyes fixed on me, and she had a luxuriously unruly cascade of hair. We started talking, and from then on her hair’s startling blackness seemed emblematic of the force of her character.

In a city where half the women covered their hair in public, and just because she had such beautiful hair, Rana’s hair became for me her sign, the feature by which I’d pick her out at a distance, my symbol for understanding her and what she meant to me. So when, five years into our marriage, Rana decided to cover her hair, I was somewhat bothered. We’d moved from Syria via Morocco to Saudi Arabia, we’d had children, and Rana had worked as a teacher and TV presenter. She’d always been an elegantly modest dresser, but here, amid the compulsory dress codes of Saudi Arabia – which annoyed us both – she’d decided to introduce something new.

The hijab bothered me not just for the personal reasons above: I didn’t agree that it was Islamically required. While most Muslims have interpreted Koranic guidance on women’s dress to require head covering, the text itself is open to interpretation. ‘And tell the believing women,’ it says, ‘to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms (in public) beyond what may (decently) be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.’ In my favourite translation, Muhammad Asad notes that the directive is to cover bosoms, not heads, because in Muhammad’s Arabia men as well as women wore head-coverings anyway. Beyond that, ‘what may decently be apparent’ is deliberately vague and flexible, to fit various times and social contexts.

I thought the principle of the hijab more important than the piece of cloth, and the principle – of modesty and respect – wasn’t always practised in Arab Muslim society. It often seems that the Muslim woman plays the role of clotheshorse of honour. So long as she wears a hijab, all is good, even if Muslim men, who are also required to ‘lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity’, dress sexily and leer at women in the street. Why would Rana want to go along with that?

What really bothered me was people thinking Rana wore it because I forced her to. Like the nice, liberal Englishwoman who nodded empathetically at Rana’s suffering before asking me how I would react if she ever dared to take it off.

The hijab or its absence are symbolic of many different things in the bigger world out there. The cloth has become a flag waved by Islamists and Islamophobes to define each other. A Western-dressed Muslim woman may be stereotyped as a heroically uncaged virgin, or as the key sign of Muslim cultural loss. A veiled woman may be seen as authentic, or, more usually in the West, as ignorant, backward, repressed and oppressed. To some, Muslim women in headscarves look like unity, power, cultural pride. To others, they look like abused cattle. The hijab is compulsory in public in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and discriminated against by the regimes of Tunisia and Turkey. In some Middle Eastern countries, women’s veils have been forcibly removed by soldiers in the street. Removing it, and putting it on, are loaded political acts.

But Rana thought she would feel comfortable wearing the hijab. She felt proud to be identified as a Muslim woman. So, rather than worrying about other people, I started to listen to her. Now I feel comfortable, too. And her hair is still there underneath, and free-flowing in the privacy of our home, as luxurious as it ever was.

Rana’s opinion

Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband. He would prefer it if I didn’t wear the hijab. But what can I do? It is my wish. I started thinking about wearing a headscarf after we were married and had my son, our first child. When Robin and I met I was not religious. I did not fast for Ramadan – in fact, whenever my father asked me if I had, I would lie just to please him. I drank alcohol. If I saw someone reading the Koran, I presumed they were superstitious, narrow-minded.

But when my son was born I felt a need to protect him, to believe in something stronger than me. I felt the need for a connection with God. I started reading the Koran and I began to pray regularly.

What amazed me was that I didn’t suddenly change my personality. We have all sorts of friends – gay, atheist, Christian, Muslim – and I discovered that I could still be friends with all of them. I didn’t become weak or anxious or afraid. In fact, it was a wonderful liberation. I felt I could live without fear in my life.

I don’t believe my head is a sexual object, that a man who sees it will be sexually aroused. But I do think that when you believe in God you have to believe in a superior power that knows better than you do.

First I started to dress differently. I stopped wearing short sleeves; I wore more modest clothes. Then one day when Robin was in the UK and I was still in Saudi Arabia I decided. I thought: ‘Believing what I do, it will be hypocritical if I go outside without my head covered.’ My fear of being a hypocrite far outweighed any embarrassment I felt, or fear of what my husband or friends would think.

For a while my Arab friends changed towards me. They wouldn’t tell a dirty joke in my presence – even though they knew I loved dirty jokes. I had to sit them down and say, ‘I haven’t changed just because I look different.’

Most of all Robin worried that I would suddenly become narrow-minded. To be honest, I feared that, too, deep inside. But when he said: ‘I’m not going to allow our daughter to wear a headscarf until she is 18,’ I replied: ‘Neither will I! She won’t be wearing one when she’s 50 either, if she doesn’t want to!’ For me this wasn’t about being made to do something I didn’t want to do. Over time he’s realised that this is what I want and he’s given me the freedom to do it.

I usually wear the kind of hijab that women in the Gulf wear – one that covers my head and ties around the front. I have all colours and patterns to match what I’m wearing. Everyone makes a big deal about the head being covered but for me it’s not about being covered up, it’s about modesty, being humble.

It’s been six years since I began wearing the headscarf and it has been liberating. I had not realised how much I had used the way I looked to get me places, be it in a job interview or at a party. The headscarf means I’ve had to develop my personality instead – my sense of humour, my ability to listen – in order to socialise. It’s made me more confident.

We live in Scotland now but it still feels comfortable to wear it. After the 7 July bombings in 2005 I was worried that, when I went to London, people would think I was a terrorist. But in fact it was fine. I realised any fear was more to do with my own paranoia.

• Robin Yassin-Kassab’s novel, The Road From Damascus, is published by Hamish Hamilton, £16.99

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/nov/02/8

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5 Responses to My wife wears the hijab. I wish she didn’t

  1. lalyuf says:

    QURAN COMMANDMENT ON PURDA IS SENT NOT FOR JOKE.
    Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that will make for purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should not display their beauty andornaments 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 brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand posses, 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 you believers! Turn all toward Allah that you may attain in bliss.”

    If you think Hijab is an act of submission, you are right! It is a way to submit to God. Like any other act of worship, the rewards of Hijab come only when it is done for Allah alone.

    From remote villages to cosmopolitan mega cities, women all across the world, from every ethnic background, wear Hijab. Do all of these women cling to old cultural practices? Hijab, the internal and external aspects, take understanding, training and determination. Since the purpose of Hijab is to please Allah, doing it for tradition is wrong.

    Hijab is a ‘challenge to the political system’

    While Hijab may have political implications, as evident in the banning of Hijab in certain countries, Muslim women who choose to practice Hijab are not doing it to challenge the political system. Islam encourages men and women to observe modesty in private and public life. Hijab is an individual’s act of faith and religious expression.
    I am liberated from slavery to ‘physical perfection’
    Society makes women desire to become ‘perfect objects’. The multitudes of alluring fashion magazines and cosmetic surgeries show women’s enslavement to beauty. The entertainment industry pressures teens to believe that for clothes, less is better. When we wear Hijab, we vow to liberate ourselves from such desires and serve only God.

    I don’t let others judge me by my hair and curves!
    In schools and professional environments, women are often judged by their looks or bodies-characteristics they neither chose nor created. Hijab forces society to judge women for their value as human beings, with intellect, principles, and feelings. A woman in Hijab sends a message, “Deal with my brain, not my body!”

    I feel empowered and confident
    In contrast to today’s teenage culture, where anorexia and suicide are on the rise, as women attempt to reach an unattainable ideal of beauty, Hijab frees a woman from the pressure to ‘fit in’. She does not have to worry about wearing the right kind of jeans or the right shade of eyeshadow. She can feel secure about her appearance because she cares to please only Allah.

    I feel the bond of unity
    Hijab identifies us as Muslims and encourages other Muslim sisters to greet us with the salutation of peace, “Assalamu Alaikum”. Hijab draws others to us and immerses us in good company.
    In some Arabic-speaking countries and Western countries, the word hijab primarily refers to women’s head and body covering, but in Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality. The word used in the Qur’an for a headscarf or veil is khimār.
    ‘Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves)
    a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad) That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’
    (Qur’an 33:58-59)
    Proper Hijab means loose and opaque clothes. Clothes should not be alluring or similar to the clothing of men. What about guys? Islam outlines a modest dress code for men and women. The requirements are different based on the obvious physiological and psychological differences between the two genders.
    Hijab does not apply only to clothes. It is a state of mind, behaviour, and lifestyle. Hijab celebrates a desirable quality called Haya (modesty), a deep concern for preserving one’s dignity. Haya is a natural feeling that brings us pain at the very idea of committing a wrong..
    The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
    “Every religion has a distinct call. For Islam it is Haya (modesty).”

  2. Malika says:

    A such hijab (with rabbit ears, for kids), is it haram ?

  3. This is meant for little girls, and as I am not a Qadi or sheikh to make a fatwa on this but I would think that its just better to stay away from it from this aspect: Hijab is about modesty and moderate dressing. so wearing loud flashy colors and styles that actually accentuate or call attention to you in a crowd is defeating the purpose of hijab. Young girls should be taught to love hijab for the reasons behind it and for what hijab stands for and the benifits it offers women. This is contrasted to teaching them to dress up in a costume to look cute and call attention to oneself. Allahu alim. I wouldn’t say its HARAM BUT I surely would never recommend it as a good way either.

  4. ali says:

    Home » Q&A Section, Women Related Q&A » Hijab: Correct ruling on wearing Niqab (face veil)
    Hijab: Correct ruling on wearing Niqab (face veil)
    Saturday, April 4, 2009, 2:26
    Q&A Section, Women Related Q&A
    55 views
    Add a comment
    Hijab is often misunderstood not only by Non Muslims, but even Muslims. Although the authentic sources of Islam, i.e, Quran and Sunnah make it clear, yet there have risen many people who have tried to manipulate and compromise it with the current world scenario. Laws of Allah remain intact, irrespective of whether world changes or not. And since the command is directly from our creator, this command holds good and has more advantages till the Qiyamah.

    In Arabic, Hijab means covering or concealing. It is the name of something that is used to cover. Everything that comes between two things is known as hijab. Hijab means everything that is used to cover something and prevent anyone from reaching it, such as curtains, door keepers and garments, etc.

    Khimaar comes from the word khamr, the root meaning of which is to cover. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Khammiru aaniyatakum (cover your vessels).” Everything that covers something else is called its khimaar.

    But in common usage khimaar has come to be used as a name for the garment with which a woman covers her head; in some cases this does not go against the linguistic meaning of khimaar. Some of the fuqahaa’ have defined it as that which covers the head, the temples and the neck.

    The difference between the hijab and the khimaar is that the hijaab is something which covers all of a woman’s body, whilst the khimaar in general is something with which a woman covers her head.

    Niqab is that with which a woman veils her face (tantaqib)…

    The difference between hijaab and niqab is that the hijab is that which covers all the body, whilst niqab is that which covers a woman’s face only.

    The woman’s dress as prescribed in sharee’ah (“Islamic dress”) is that which covers her head, face and all of her body.

    But the niqab or burqa’ – which shows the eyes of the woman – has become widespread among women, and some of them do not wear it properly. Some scholars have forbidden wearing it on the grounds that it is not Islamic in origin, and because it is used improperly and people treat it as something insignificant, demonstrating negligent attitudes towards it and using new forms of niqaab which are not prescribed in Islam, widening the opening for the eyes so that the cheeks, nose and part of the forehead are also visible.

    Therefore, if the woman’s niqaab or burqa’ does not show anything but the eyes, and the opening is only as big as the left eye, as was narrated from some of the salaf, then that is permissible, otherwise she should wear something which covers her face entirely.

    Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The hijaab prescribed in sharee’ah means that a woman should cover everything that it is haraam for her to show, i.e., she should cover that which it is obligatory for her to cover, first and foremost of which is the face, because it is the focus of temptation and desire.

    A woman is obliged to cover her face in front of anyone who is not her mahram (blood relative to whom marriage is forbidden). From this we learn that the face is the most essential thing to be covered. There is evidence from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the views of the Sahaabah and the imams and scholars of Islam, which indicates that women are obliged to cover all of their bodies in front of those who are not their mahrams. [Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/ 391, 392)]

    Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: The correct view as indicated by the evidence is that the woman’s face is ‘awrah which must be covered. It is the most tempting part of her body, because what people look at most is the face, so the face is the greatest ‘awrah of a woman. This is in addition to the shar’i evidence which states that it is obligatory to cover the face.

    For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And tell 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, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” [al-Noor 24:31]

    Drawing the veil all over the juyoob implies covering the face.

    When Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) was asked about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies” [al-Ahzaab 33:59] –

    he covered his face, leaving only one eye showing. This indicates that what was meant by the aayah was covering the face. This was the interpretation of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) of this aayah, as narrated from him by ‘Ubaydah al-Salmaani when he asked him about it.

    In the Sunnah there are many ahaadeeth, such as: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman in ihraam is forbidden to veil her face (wear niqaab) or to wear the burqa’.” This indicates that when women were not in ihraam, women used to cover their faces.

    This does not mean that if a woman takes off her niqaab or burqa’ in the state of ihraam that she should leave her face uncovered in the presence of non-mahram men. Rather she is obliged to cover it with something other than the niqaab or burqa’, on the evidence of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “We were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam, and when men passed by us, we would lower the khimaar on our heads over our faces, and when they moved on we would lift it again.”

    Women in ihraam and otherwise are obliged to cover their faces in front of non-mahram men, because the face is the center of beauty and it is the place that men look at… and Allaah knows best. [Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/396, 397]

    He also said: It is OK to cover the face with the niqaab or burqa’ which has two openings for the eyes only, because this was known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because of necessity. If nothing but the eyes show, this is fine, especially if this is customarily worn by women in her society. [Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/399]

    Correct view on the ruling on covering the face

    The correct view is that a woman is obliged to cover her entire body, even the face and hands. Imam Ahmad said that even the nails of a woman are ‘awrah, and this is also the view of Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on them both). Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “… It seems that the view of Ahmad is that every part of her is ‘awrah, even her nails, and this is also the view of Maalik.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/110).

    In contrast to those who say that this is not obligatory, if we examine the views of those who say that it is not obligatory for women to cover the face, we will see that it is as Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd (may Allaah preserve him) said:

    “One of the following three scenarios must apply:

    1 – There is clear, sound evidence, but it has been abrogated by the verses that enjoin hijaab…

    2 – There is sound evidence but it is not clear, and it does not constitute strong evidence when taken in conjunction with the definitive evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah that the face and hands must be covered…

    3 – There is clear evidence, but it is not sound…” (Hiraasat al-Fadeelah, p. 68-69)

    With regard to the evidence that it is obligatory to cover the face and hands:

    1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “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 Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab 33:59]

    Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Allaah commands women to let the jilbaab come down (over their faces) so that they will be known (as respectable women) and not be annoyed or disturbed. This evidence supports the first opinion. ‘Ubaydah al-Salmaani and others stated that the women used to wear the jilbaab coming down from the top of their heads in such a manner that nothing could be seen except their eyes, so that they could see where they were going. It was proven in al-Saheeh that the woman in ihraam is forbidden to wear the niqaab and gloves. This is what proves that the niqaab and gloves were known among women who were not in ihraam. This implies that they covered their faces and hands.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 15/371-372)

    2 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And tell 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, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” [al-Noor 24:31]

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “With regard to the phrase ‘and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent’, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: the adornment which is apparent is the garment, because the word zeenah (adornment) was originally a name for the clothes and jewellery, as we see in the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    ‘Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes)’ [al-A’raaf 7:31]

    ‘Say (O Muhammad): Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allaah, which He has produced for His slaves’ [al-A’raaf 7:32]

    ‘And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment’ [al-Noor 24:31]

    Stamping the feet makes known the khulkhaal (anklets) and other kinds of jewellery and clothing. Allaah forbade women to show any kind of adornment except that which is apparent, but He allowed showing the hidden adornment to mahrams. It is known that the kind of adornment that usually appears, without any choice on the part of the women, is the clothing, as for the body, it is possible to either show it or to cover it. All of this indicates that what appears of the adornment is the clothing.

    Ahmad said: the adornment which is apparent is the clothing. And he said: every part of a woman is ‘awrah, even her nails. It was narrated in the hadeeth, ‘The woman is ‘awrah,’ This includes all of the woman. It is not makrooh to cover the hands during prayer, so they are part of the ‘awrah, just like the feet. Analogy implies that the face would be ‘awrah were it not for the fact that necessity dictates that it should be uncovered during prayer, unlike the hands.” [Sharh al-‘Umdah, 4/267-268]

    3 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. When they came near, each of us would lower her jilbaab from her head over her face, and when they passed by we would uncover (our faces).” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1833; Ahmad, 24067]

    Shaykh al-Albaani said in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (107): its isnaad is hasan because of the existence of corroborating reports.

    It is well known that a woman should not put anything over her face when she is in ihraam, but ‘Aa’ishah and the Sahaabiyaat (women of the Sahaabah) who were with her used to lower part of their garments over their faces because the obligation to cover the face when non-mahrams pass by is stronger than the obligation to uncover the face when in ihraam.

    4 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “May Allaah have mercy on the women of the Muhaajireen. When Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning)

    ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” [al-Noor 24:31],

    they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4480)

    5 – It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah… that Safwaan ibn al-Mu’attal al-Sulami al-Dhakwaani was lagging behind the army. He came to where I had stopped and saw the black shape of a person sleeping. He recognized me when he saw me, because he had seen me before hijaab was enjoined. I woke up when I heard him saying ‘Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return),’ when he saw me, and I covered my face with my jilbaab.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3910; Muslim, 2770)

    6 – It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman is ‘awrah and when she goes out the Shaytaan gets his hopes up.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1173).

    [Al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi (936): It is saheeh]

    [Source: Extracted from the answers of Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]

  5. lalyuf says:

    Hijab is a ‘challenge to the political system’

    While Hijab may have political implications, as evident in the banning of Hijab in certain countries, Muslim women who choose to practice Hijab are not doing it to challenge the political system. Islam encourages men and women to observe modesty in private and public life. Hijab is an individual’s act of faith and religious expression.
    I am liberated from slavery to ‘physical perfection’
    Society makes women desire to become ‘perfect objects’. The multitudes of alluring fashion magazines and cosmetic surgeries show women’s enslavement to beauty. The entertainment industry pressures teens to believe that for clothes, less is better. When we wear Hijab, we vow to liberate ourselves from such desires and serve only God.

    I don’t let others judge me by my hair and curves!
    In schools and professional environments, women are often judged by their looks or bodies-characteristics they neither chose nor created. Hijab forces society to judge women for their value as human beings, with intellect, principles, and feelings. A woman in Hijab sends a message, “Deal with my brain, not my body!”

    I feel empowered and confident
    In contrast to today’s teenage culture, where anorexia and suicide are on the rise, as women attempt to reach an unattainable ideal of beauty, Hijab frees a woman from the pressure to ‘fit in’. She does not have to worry about wearing the right kind of jeans or the right shade of eyeshadow. She can feel secure about her appearance because she cares to please only Allah.

    I feel the bond of unity
    Hijab identifies us as Muslims and encourages other Muslim sisters to greet us with the salutation of peace, “Assalamu Alaikum”. Hijab draws others to us and immerses us in good company.
    In some Arabic-speaking countries and Western countries, the word hijab primarily refers to women’s head and body covering, but in Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality. The word used in the Qur’an for a headscarf or veil is khimār.
    ‘Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves)
    a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad) That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’
    (Qur’an 33:58-59)

    Proper Hijab means loose and opaque clothes. Clothes should not be alluring or similar to the clothing of men. What about guys? Islam outlines a modest dress code for men and women. The requirements are different based on the obvious physiological and psychological differences between the two genders.

    Hijab does not apply only to clothes. It is a state of mind, behaviour, and lifestyle. Hijab celebrates a desirable quality called Haya (modesty), a deep concern for preserving one’s dignity. Haya is a natural feeling that brings us pain at the very idea of committing a wrong..

    The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
    “Every religion has a distinct call. For Islam it is Haya (modesty).”

    Since nothing but what is apparent may be shown (i.e. hands and face) the garment must be thick enough so that we cannot see the color of the skin it covers or the shape of the body. Once the Prophet (pbuh) saw Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr, visiting Aishah while Asma was wearing a dress that was not thick enough. He turned his face away in anger and said:
    “If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen, but this,” and he pointed to his face and his hands. Another time when the Prophet (pbuh) saw a bride wearing a thin dress, he said, “She is not a woman who believes in Surat-un Nur who wears this.” He also described the future condition of the Ummah which would be straying from the injunction of the Islamic dress code. “In later (generations) of my Ummah there will be women who will be dressed but naked on top of heads (what looks)like camel humps. Curse them for they am truly cursed.

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