Road to Hijab

In order to even find the road to hijab, much less walkinng on it,
one must first realize that the hijab of the Muslim woman is not
Arabian, Pakistani, Black or White American, etc. It is the command
of Allah (SWT), the conditions for which have been given in the Quran
and Sunnah, in order to provide protection and safety for women. Here
are a few aspects one needs to consider:

The first step on the road to hijab is the proper intention (Niyah).
The wearing of the hijab is the compliance to the command of Allah
(SWT), therefore it can be classified as an act of worship. As with
all acts of worship, the fundamental underlying principle is
intention. The hijab must be worn for no other reason except to
comply with the order of Allah (SWT), solely for His (SWT) sake and
seeking His (SWT) Pleasure. If it is not done with this sincere
intention, then it becomes an act of either "Hypocrisy" or of "Ar-
Riyaa (showing off)".

If a Muslim woman wears hijab because, for instance, of an
overbearing husband or father, and in her heart she dislikes it, or
feels that it is a form of injustice; then she may very well have
taken an act deserving of reward into one that may not bring about
any reward in the hereafter. If all that Allah (SWT) expected from
our acts of worship were outward manifestations, then He (SWT) would
have graciously accepted the Islam of the hypocrites during the time
of the Prophet (SAW).

The same is true for the woman who wears hijab because it's what the
women around her do. She covers from head to toe in black to impress
the people with her piety. When she is abroad, where no one she knows
will see her, save her Lord, she does not wear the proper hijab. She
then falls under the threat of Allah's (SWT) punishment, as the
Prophet (SAW) said,

"Whoever does a deed for the people, then Allah (SWT) will give him
to the people."

The second step on the road to hijab, is knowledge. The great scholar
of Hadith, Imam Bukhari said, "Knowledge must precede both statement
and action."

It is of the utmost importance for a woman who is seeking to observe
the proper hijab, to ascertain sure knowlege, based on the Quran,
Sunnah and the understanding of the first generations of Muslims
(Salaf). Unfortunately in this day and age, there are no shortage of
books written on the issue of hijab by both Muslims and non-Muslims
alike that are full of misleading information. It therefore becomes
incumbent on Muslim women to gain sure and correct knowledge on this
topic, in order to be better able in ciphering through the
misinformation that is so predominant on this issue, and getting to
the truth. When hijab is observed with the proper intentions and
based upon sound knowledge, it then becomes a firm conviction in the
heart. Due to this conviction, it becomes less likely that the hijab
will be abandoned; either based upon the weak arguments of would-be
Muslim "scholars," or the everyday pressures of living in a "modern"
society and its false call to women's liberation. For the true desire
of these people is as Allah (SWT) says in the Quran,

"Verily ,those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual
intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will
have a painful torment in this world and in the hereafter. And Allah
knows and you know not." (An-Nur 24:19)

The third step on the road to hijab is love. It is among the signs of
true belief that all acts of worship are manifested from love of
those actions. The love of the hijab and the haya (inhibition or
bashfulness) of the first generation of Muslim women has slowly been
worn away from the hearts of modern-day Muslim women.

Once Ali ibn abi Talib (RA) asked his wife, Fatimah (RA), "What is
the thing most beloved to a believing woman?" Fatimah (RA)
replied, "Not to see or be seen by strange men."

What happened to this love of modesty? Unfortunately for many Muslim
women, this love has been replaced with the love of women's
liberation or the love of what has become prevalent in one's culture
or homeland. In order for the love of the hijab to be returned to the
hearts of Muslim women, we must remove from our hearts the disease
that suggests that the hijab makes us inferior to men and restricts
our womanhood. These are whisperings of the Satan calling Muslim
women to abandon their honor, and their status as the best women of
creation. The hijab of the Muslim woman is her right and her honor
ordained by the Lord of the worlds. It is her light that separates
her from the darkness of the disbelieving women. It was narrated that
the Prophet (SAW) said,

"The parable of a woman who moves with a slow sweeping motion,
trailing her beautiful clothes, performing not for her husband, is
like darkness on the Day of Judgement, she has no light." (Tirmithi)

The awrah of a woman is the areas of her body, which must be covered.
The respected scholars from past and present have differed in whether
the veil should cover the hands and face, or whether it is sufficient
to cover everything, save the hands and face.

Aisha (RA) reported that once her sister, Asma (RA) visited her in
finery while the Prophet (SAW) was at home.  He (SAW) turned away
from her and said, "O Asma, when a woman reaches puberty it is not
lawful for her to uncover any part of her body except this."  He
(SAW) then pointed to his face and hand palm. (Abu Dawud)

The above narration is one of the most commonly cited as proof for
leaving the face and hands uncovered.  The main consideration of this
opinion must be what constitutes the face and the hands.  The above
statement clearly illustrates that the hand is part of the body,
which extends below the wrist bone.

The definition of what constitutes the face can be found in another
tradition of the Prophet (SAW).

He (SAW) pointed from his forehead to his chin and from his cheek to
the cheek. (Abu Dawud)

It may be of importance to note that ears must also be covered
because they are not a part of the face, but are a part of the head
as he (SAW), said,

"The two ears are a part of the head." (Tirmithi)

This opinion also does not allow for the uncovering of the neck and
breast.  The khimar must cover the entire head, INCLUDING THE EARS,
ALL OF THE HAIR, come down from the head to COVER THE NECK AND THE
BOSOM.  This is clear in the statement of Allah (SWT),

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at
forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal
sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only
that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes
for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-
cover, apron, etc., and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna
(i.e. their bodies, faces, necks, and bossoms, etc.) and not to
reveal their adornment ..." (An-Nur 24:31)

Also among the things that must be covered are the clothes that a
woman wears IN HER HOME.  It is not sufficient for a Muslim woman to
go out in PANTS or a SKIRT, a LONG SHIRT, or even a SHALWAR KAMEESE
and a khimar, because many times the clothes that a woman wears in
the house are themselves adornments.

As the above verse states, Allah (SWT) FORBIDS the believing women
from displaying her adornments, except to those people whom are
clearly named out in (the remaining part of) the verse (An Nur
24:31).  Allah (SWT) also commands His Prophet (SAW) to tell the
women in the following verse,

"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 Allah is Ever Oft-
Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-Ahzab 33:59)

Even though the hijab is not merely a covering dress, equally as
important ,it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public;
there are certain standards of dress however, "Conditions of Hijab",
that must be maintained.

Home - Quran & HadithCharity - Family & HealthIslamMiscellaneousMatrimonials

Human Rights - WomenNewscenterBoycottChechnyaPalestine - Links