Hijab-Islamic Modest Dress

The term Hijãb—literally
means a cover, curtain or screen. It
is not a technical term used in
Islamic jurisprudence for the dress
code of women. The term used in
Islamic jurisprudence that denotes
the conduct of unrelated men and
women towards one another, and
their dress code, is “ satr or sãtir-In the last two decades
however, the Muslims in the west, as
well as the media, use the term
“Hijãb” to define the headdress and
the overall clothing of Muslim
Islam has strongly emphasized the
concept of decency and modesty in
the interaction between members of
the opposite sex. Dress code is part
of that overall teaching.
(Qur'an: Chapter 24an-Nur (the
Light), , Verses 30-31) says “And tell
the believing men to lower their
gaze and be modest. That is purer
for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what
they do. And tell the believing
women to lower their gaze and be
modest, and to display of their
adornment only that which is
apparent, and to draw their veils
over their bosoms, and not to reveal
their adornment save to [those
relatives who fall within bounds of
close relationship explained in the
This is a command to Muslim men
that they should not lustfully look at
women (other than their own wives);
and in order to prevent any
possibility of temptation, they are
required to cast their glances
downwards. It is also a command to
Muslim Women to lower their eyes.
Some Muslim sisters have started
incorporating Western feminist
ideology in studying the Qur’ãn;
they believe that Hijab and other
related issues have been interpreted
from almost exclusively male
perspective. Some of them go to the
extent of saying that since all
Prophets and Messengers were men,
and so the laws are also biased
towards men.
The problem with this trend of
thought is that there is no evidence
to support it. It is baseless to
accuse the Prophet (s.a.w.), the
Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and even
the jurists —who are only
considered an authority if they are
just and upright in character— of
having a male bias in interpretation
of the divine laws. Are we going to
have now a gender-based
interpretation of the Qur’ãn where
the men and the women will study
the holy Book differently? The
Qur’ãn clearly says, “And do not
covet that by which Allãh has made
some of you excel others; men shall
have the benefit of what they earn
and women shall have the benefit of
what they earn; and ask Allãh of His
grace; surely Allãh knows all
things.” (4:32
Such Muslim “feminists” are also of
the opinion that a woman has a
right to interpret Qur’ãn according
to her own understanding, and that
she has the right to choose how she
interprets her dress code. In their
discussion, the famous verse 2:256
is brought as evidence: “There is no
compulsion in the religion…”
First of all, the verse 2:256 is not
giving the choice for a Muslim to do
whatever he or she likes. “Muslim”
means someone who submits to
God’s commandments. To say that a
person can be a “Muslim” and still
have “choice in everything” is a true
oxymoron. Secondly, such brothers
and sisters conveniently ignore the
context of that verse. The verse is
talking about the choice of religion
before coming into Islam—
submission to the will of God. It
means that no one can be forced to
become a Muslim. “There is no
compulsion in the religion; truly the
right way has become clearly distinct
from error; therefore, whoever
disbelieves in the Shaytãn and
believes in Allãh, he indeed has got
hold onto the firmest rope which
shall not break off; and Allãh is
Hearing, Knowing.” The verse is
clearly talking about rejecting the
Shaytãn and believing in Allãh. It
does not mean that a Muslim has a
choice in whatever he or she wants
to do.
Once a person has submitted to
God, there is no choice left for him
or her in the matters already
decided by Allãh and His
Messenger. See the following verse
that makes the issue of obedience
clear for both men as well as
“And it behoves not a believing man
and a believing woman that they
should have any choice in their
matter when Allãh and His
Messenger have decided a matter;
and whoever disobeys Allãh and His
Messenger, he [or she] surely strays
off a manifest straying.” (33:36)
And so the Qur’ãn is for all: man
and woman, young and old, white
and black, Arab and non-Arab,
easterner and westerner; but it has
to be studied on its own terms
without imposing the personal likes
or dislikes upon it and without
strait-jacketing it into this or that
Virtues of Hijab:
1-Act of Obedience
2-Hijab is Iffah (Modesty)
3-Hijab is Tahara (Purity)
3-Hijab is tahara (Purity)
4-Hijab is Shield
5-Hijab is taqwah (Righteousness)
6-Hijab is Imaan (Faith)
7-Hijab is haya (Bashfulness)
8-Hijab is Geerah.