Hijab for Women


Extracts from the book “Answers to Non-Muslims’ Common Questions About Islam” by Dr. Zakir Naik- IRF(Lectures often appear on ARY Digital)



Non Muslims often ask that why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil (Hijab)




The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The Hijab or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the “subjugation” (defeat, suppression) of women under Islamic Law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated Hijab, let us first study the status of women in societies before the advent of Islam.


In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust.


Examples from History


  • Babylonian Civilization: If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.

  • Greek Civilization: The so called most glorious of all ancient Civilization, an “imaginary women” called Pandora is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. They consider women subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.

  • Roman Civilization: A man even had right to take the life if his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.

  • Egyptian Civilization: They considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.

  • Pre- Islamic Arabia: Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women, and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.


Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects to maintain their status:


Hijab for Men


People usually only discuss hijab in the context of women. However in the

Holy Quran, Allah (swt) first mentions Hijab for men before Hijab for the women. The Quran mentions in Surah Noor, chapter # 24, verse #30


Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: That will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do”


The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze. 


Hijab for women


The next verse of Surah  Noor says:


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 veils over their bosoms and not sdisplay yheir beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons…”

(Al-Quran 24:31)


Six criteria for Hijab


According to Quran and Sunnah, there are basically six criteria for observing Hijab:


  1. Extent:


The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is the different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of hijab.

All the remaining 5 criteria are the same for men and women.


  1. The cloths worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.

  2. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.

  3. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.

  4. The clothes worn should not resemble that of opposite sex.

  5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbeliever’s religions..


Hijab Includes conduct and behavior among other things


Complete hijab besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behavior, attitude & intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of hijab of the clothes is observing hijab in a limited sense. Hijab of the clothes should be accompanied by hijab of the eyes, hijab of the heart, of the thought and hijab of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, and the way he behaves.


Hijab prevents MOLSTATION


The reason why Hijab is prescribed for women is mentioned in Quran in Chapter no. 33 Surah Al-Azhab Verse no. 59


O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over heir persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molestated. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

(Quran 33:59)


The Quran says that Hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and it will also prevent them from being molestated.


Example of Twin Sisters


Suppose two sisters who’re twins, and who r equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijab i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian, who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Dress (Hijab) according to the status of being a woman, or the girl wearing the skirt or mini, not knowing who is she?

Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect INVITATION to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Quran rightly says that hijab prevents women from being molested.



A note from sender:

Nowadays, showing body, wearing tight dresses & disclosing figure are signs of fashion, respect, art, status, self application, self identity, happiness & fun, social affiliation and personal satisfaction. Ladies often think to attract others and consider it the lofty success on their part. They try to become special by doing so. They claim “If u have been given beauty, why should not show it up, thats our right”. Those who do not do so are considered as outdated, unaesthetic, tasteless, misfit and ordinary. Fortunately these believers follow the right path, and they have submitted their will to Allah (swt). Their standard of success is the will of Allah and nothing else. They recognize their state of being a woman and protect it as it should be protected.

Achieving fitness & showing your figure is not the same thing. Nobody restricts you from achieving fitness & improving your personality but the applications and your acts for behaving have concrete restrictions by Allah (swt) which decide your rights and wrongs. A lady with her body covered (with Hijab or dopatta or chadar completely) can also be confident & practical. She also does job, purchase grocery, attend functions, and conduct their social life. If some lady is physically fit, how she can justify that she can show it to everybody after mixing it with fashion & arrogance? Does she have any right to do so?

Ask this question to yourself and other ladies; answers is present in the Holy Quran (above references), and Allah (swt) will decide who is gona get what in this world and Akhrat.

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