According to Quran and Sunnah

The Value of Being Pious

Hadith - Muslim, #3465

'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported Allah's Messenger as saying:  The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.

When Permission is Needed

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.123, Narrated Abu Huraira  

Allah's Apostle said, "It is not lawful for a lady to fast (Nawafil) without the permission of her husband when he is at home; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission; and if she spends of his wealth (on charitable purposes) without being ordered by him, he will get half of the reward."

Protecting Muslims

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3978, Narrated AbuHurayrah  

The Prophet said, "A woman acts for the people," i.e. she gives protection on behalf of the Muslims.

[Tirmidhi transmitted it].

Advice for Men

"They ask your legal instruction concerning women, say:  Allah instructs you about them..." [Qur'an 4:127]

The Prophet said:

"The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife"

Hadith - Muslim, #3466

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: Woman is like a rib.  When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it.  And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her.  A hadith like this is reported by another chain of narrators.

Hadith - Muslim, #3468

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle as saying: He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.  Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top.  If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there.  So act kindly towards women.

Hadith - Muslim, #3469

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: A believing man should not hate a believing woman; it he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.117 Narrated 'Aisha, r.a.

The eleventh one said, "My husband is Abu Zar and what is Abu Zar (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them and my arms have become fat (i.e., I have become fat). And he has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself. He found me with my family who were mere owners of sheep and living in poverty, and brought me to a respected family having horses and camels and threshing and purifying grain. Whatever I say, he does not rebuke or insult me. When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning, and when I drink water (or milk), I drink my fill."

....'Aisha then said: Allah's Apostle SAAWS said to me, "I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife Um Zar."

Accusations Against a Chaste Woman

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:23-24

Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment, --

On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs or feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.

Hadith - Bukhari 8:840, Narrated Abu Huraira  

The Prophet said: "Avoid the seven great destructive sins."  They (the people) asked, "O Allah's Messenger!  What are they?"  He said,

  1. "To join partners in worship with Allah,

  2. to practise sorcery;

  3. to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law);

  4. to eat up Riba' (usury);

  5. to eat up the property of an orphan;

  6. to show one's back to the enemy and fleeing from the battle-field at the time of fighting and

  7. to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers."

Hadith - Bukhari 8:840, Narrated Abu Huraira  

Hilal bin Umaiya accused his wife before the Prophet of committing illegal sexual intercourse with Sharik bin Sahma. The Prophet said, "Produce a proof*, or else you would get the legal punishment (by being lashed) on your back." Hilal said, "O Allah's Apostle! If anyone of us saw another man over his wife, would he go to search for a proof." The Prophet went on saying, "Produce a proof or else you would get the legal punishment (by being lashed) on your back." The Prophet then mentioned the narration of Lian (as in the Holy Book). (Surat-al-Nur: 24)

         *the proof required is four witnesses (see next Ayat)

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:4-9

And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds, (for such) verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

As for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth.

And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allah on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her).

But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he (her husband) is telling a lie.

And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath ofAllah be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth.


Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #605, Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib Transmitted by Tirmidhi.

Allah's Apostle said: Ali, there are three matters which should not be deferred: the Prayer when its time is due, the funeral as soon it is ready, and the case of a woman without a husband, when there is a suitable (spouse) for her in her class.

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #605, Narrated Aisha  

The Prophet said, "The marriage which produces most blessing is that which involves least burden."

Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu'ab al-Iman.


Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3095, Narrated AbuUmamah , Transmitted by Ibn Majah

The Prophet used to say, "After fear of Allah a believer gains nothing better for himself than a good wife who obeys him if he gives her a command, pleases him if he looks at her, is true to him if he adjures her to do something, and is sincere towards him regarding her person and his property if he is absent."

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3254, Narrated Anas ibn Malik  

Allah's Messenger said, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes."

[AbuNu'aym transmitted it in al-Hilyah.]

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3257, narrated Talq ibn Ali  

Allah's Messenger said, "When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven."

[Tirmidhi transmitted it.]

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3272, narrated Abu Hurayrah

When Allah's Messenger was asked which woman was best he replied, "The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves." [Nasa'i and Bayhaqi, in Shu'ab al-Iman transmitted it.]

Jamharah Khutah al-‘Arab, 1/145

Abd al-Malik (RA) said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother, Umamah came into her, to advise her and said:

O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.

Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you.

The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.

The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy.

Show him as much honour and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation.

Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah choose what is best for you and protect you.”


The Prophet said,
"Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers."

The hadith with this wording is da'if, but its meaning is contained in the hadith of Ibn Majah and al-Nasa'i that a man came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I intend to go on a (military) expedition, but I have come to ask your advice." He said, "Is your mother alive?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then stay with her, for the Garden is under her feet." This latter hadith is declared to be sahih by al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi and al-Mundhiri.  --Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1078; Al-Da'ifah, no. 593.

Hadith - Bukhari 8.2, Narrated Abu Huraira  

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?"  The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father."

Hadith - Bukhari 1:675, Narrated 'Abdulla bin 'Abi Qatada

"My father said, "The Prophet said, 'When I stand for prayer, I intend to prolong it but on hearing the cries of a child, I cut it short, as I dislike to trouble the child's mother.' "

Hadith - Bukhari 1:3:591, Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba

The Prophet said, "Allah has forbidden for you, (1) to be undutiful to your mothers*, (2) to bury your daughters alive, (3) to not to pay the rights of the others (e.g. charity, etc.) and (4) to beg of men (begging). And Allah has hated for you (1) vain, useless talk, or that you talk too much about others, (2) to ask too many questions, (in disputed religious matters) and (3) to waste the wealth (by extravagance).

*please note that if your mother is kuffaar, you are not commanded to allow yourself to be oppressed if that should occur.

Praying in the Masjid (Mosque)

Hadith - Bukhari 1:832, Narrated Salim bin 'Abdullah ,also in 7:165

My father said, "The Prophet said, 'If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her."

         Note: Women are not required to attend the Masjid... in fact, it is an extra blessing to do Salat at home.  However, a woman should not be denied attending the Masjid upon asking for permission, even for the night prayers.  

Hadith - Muslim, Ahmad and Nisaa'ee, Narrated Zaynab Ath Thaqafiyyah

"If one of you attends Ishaa*, then do not touch perfume."

[Shaykh Al Albaanee makes the takhreej for it in Silsilah Al Ahaadeeth As Saheehah no. 1093.  He declares it authentic in Saheeh Al Jaami' Vol. 1 no. 634]

* The evening salah (obligatory prayer)


Hadith - Bukhari 2:595, Ibn 'Aisha

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?" He replied, "The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah." 'Aisha added: Ever since I heard that from Allah's Apostle I have determined not to miss Hajj.


Hadith - Bukhari 7:773, Narrated Ibn 'Abbas

Allah's Apostle cursed those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of women and those women who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of men.

Hadith - Bukhari 7:815, Narrated 'Abdullah

Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those who remove their face hairs, and those who create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, and such women as change the features created by Allah. Why then should I not curse those whom the Prophet has cursed? And that is in Allah's Book, i.e. His Saying: "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad ) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah." (59.7)

The Muslim Woman: Her Status in Islam

by the noble Sheikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullah)

The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet .

Since adherence to the Quran and the Sunnah distances every Muslim - male or female - from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allah - the Most High, the Most Perfect - and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allah's peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet said: "I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allah and my Sunnah." [1]

The great importance of Muslim woman's role - whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her - have been explained in the purified Sunnah.

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed on her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father. Allah - the most High - says:

"And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination." [Soorah Luqmaan 31:14]

Allah - the Most High - said: "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months." [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41:15]

A man came to Allah's Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother". The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: then who? So he replied: "Then your father." So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment then the father. [2]

As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His - the Most High's saying:

"And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect." [Soorah Ar-Rum 30:21]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) - rahimahullaah - said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety - "since a man takes the hand of a women either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…" [3]

And the unique stance that the prophet 's wife Khadeejah took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allah's Messenger , when the angel Jibreel - alayhis-salam - first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: "Cover me! Cover me!" So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah - everything that had happened, and said: 'I fear that something may happen to me." So she said to him: "Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities." [4]

And do not forget about Aaishah and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) use to take knowledge of Hadiths from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learn the various rulings pertaining to women's issues from her…

And I have no doubt that my mother - may Allah shower His mercy upon her - had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.

And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (Education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become - if Allah wills - successful in his affairs and in any matter - whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad , and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.


  1. Hasan: Related by Maalik in al-Muwattaa (2/899) and al-Haakim (1/93), from Ibn 'Abbass radiaalahu'anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.1871).

  2. Related by al-Bukhari (no.59710 and Muslim (7/2), from Abu Hurayrah radialliaahu'anhu

  3. Tafseer Qur'aanul-Adheem (3/4439) of Ibn Katheer.

  4. Related by al-Bukhari (1/22) and Muslim (1/139), from the lengthy narration of Aaishah radiallahu'anhaa

Right to be escorted by a Dhu-Mahram

Hadith - Bukhari 3:85, Ibn 'Abbas

The Prophet said, "A woman should not travel* except with a Dhu-Mahram (her husband or a man with whom that woman cannot marry at all according to the Islamic jurisprudence), and no man may visit her except in the presence of a Dhu-Mahram**." A man got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I intend to go to such and such an army and my wife wants to perform Hajj." The Prophet said (to him), "Go along with her (to Hajj)."

*this is referring to lengthy travel; for instance, a trip that exceeds two days time, etc.

** dhu-mahrahm: A male whom a woman can never marry because of close relationship (i.e. brother, father, uncle, etc.) or her own husband.

Hadith - Sahih Muslim, Narrated Abu Hurayrah, R.A.

"Do not permit your women to travel, except that she has with her a mahram(Dhu mahram)."

Shaykh Al Albaanee declares it authentic in Saheeh Al Jaami' vol. 2, no. 7646.

Hadith - Muwatta 20.263

Malik said, concerning a woman who had never been on hajj, "If she doesn't have a mahram, or if she has, but he cannot come with her, she does not abandon Allah's making of the hajj obligatory for her. Let her go in a group of women."


             Woman should clap if needing to get the Imam's attention due to error in Salah.  For instance, if the imam forgets to do something such as recite Al-Fatihah, the woman may clap and insha'Allah, the imam will recall what he forgot.  The woman should only do this if she is absolutely sure that an error has been made.  

Hadith - Bukhari 1:652, Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd As'Sa'idi

Allah's Apostle said, "If something happens to anyone during his prayer he should say Subhan Allah. If he says so he will be attended to, for clapping is for women."

Hadith - Bukhari 1:329, Narrated Maimuna (the wife of the Prophet)

"During my menses, I never prayed, but used to sit on the mat beside the mosque of Allah's Apostle . He used to offer the prayer on his sheet and in prostration some of his clothes used to touch me."

Marital Relations

Hadith - Bukhari 4:460, narrated Abu Huraira

Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning."

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3257, narrated Talq ibn Ali

Allah's Messenger said, "When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven."

[Tirmidhi transmitted it.]

Being Grateful

Hadith - Bukhari 1:28, Narrated Ibn 'Abbas

The Prophet said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you."


Hadith - Bukhari 7:123, Narrated AbuHuraira

"...she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission..."

Wet Dreams

Hadith - Bukhari 1:280, Narrated Um-Salama (the mother of the believers)

Um Sulaim, the wife of Abu Talha, came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Verily Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Is it necessary for a woman to take a bath after she has a wet dream (nocturnal sexual discharge)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Yes, if she notices a discharge."

Action Items for the uttaqun:

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!



According to Quran and Sunnah

Revelation of Al-Hijab

Hadith - Bukhari 1:148

The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. 'Umar used to say to the Prophet "Let your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the Prophet went out at 'Isha' time and she was a tall lady. 'Umar addressed her and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda." He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of "Al-Hijab" (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:59

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.

*the arabic word here is Jalabeeb (plural of Jalbaab), which is the loose outer garment that covers all a woman's body.  It says here to use the Jalabeeb to cover all, and scholars say this means to use it to cover her head (agree upon by all scholars) and her face (agreed by many scholars, not all) and one or both eyes, in order for it to be known that she is a free woman and so not to be exposed to any harm.

Hadith - Bukhari 6:282

'Aisha used to say: "When (the Verse): 'They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,' was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces."

Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin

When the verse "That they should cast their outer garments over their persons" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

The lower half of the hijab is a garment that does not show the woman's figure. Jeans and certain obvious garments do not meet this requirement.

Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi
The Apostle of Allah was brought some pieces of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: Divide it into two; cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a garment below it and not show her figure.

Prescribed Methods of Covering

Tafseer - Ibn Katheer
"Allah commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of their homes."

Tafseer - Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457
Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: "When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (ra) the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word 'Alaihinna in this verse"

Tafseer - Alu'si, Rul-ul-Ma'ani, Vol. 22, p. 89
"Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qatadah (ra). The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity).

Color of Garment

The female companions were known to wear black and dark colors (such as the hadith above, "crows on their heads"), but other colors are also permissible for a woman to wear. She must not wear any color, however, in vanity.

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.715
...'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil ...

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.733
that he had seen Um Kulthum, the daughter of Allah's Apostle (saaws), wearing a red silk garment.

Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.713
The Prophet (saaws) was given some clothes including a black Khamisa. The Prophet said, "To whom shall we give this to wear?" The people kept silent whereupon the Prophet said, "Fetch Um Khalid for me." I (Um Khalid) was brought carried (as I was small girl at that time). The Prophet took the Khamisa in his hands and made me wear it and said, "May you live so long that your dress will wear out and you will mend it many times." On the Khamisa there were some green or pale designs (The Prophet saw these designs) and said, "O Um Khalid! This is Sanah." (Sanah in a Ethiopian word meaning beautiful).

Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawood #4055, Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As
We came down with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) from a turning of a valley. He turned his attention to me and I was wearing a garment dyed with a reddish yellow dye. He asked: What is this garment over you? I recognised what he disliked. I then came to my family who were burning their oven. I threw it (the garment) in it and came to him the next day. He asked: Abdullah, what have you done with the garment? I informed him about it. He said: Why did you not give it to one of your family to wear, for there is no harm in it for women.

Must a Woman Wear Niqab (Veil)?

     The general understanding in Islam regarding Sunnah, is that if the Prophet or any of his wives (RA) or companions (RA) are recorded in authentic hadith to have engaged in an act that is not haram (prohibited) as defined by Qur'an or Sunnah, then the act is declared halal (permissible).  If the companions engaged in an act that the Prophet was aware of and did not speak out against, it is halal.

     It is well-known that the wives of the Prophet covered their faces any time non-mahram men were near.  A woman named Asma, who was not a wife of the Prophet , was also recorded as covering her face.  Easily, one can conclude that wearing veil is halal (permissible).

     However, Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in "hot debate" for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is obligatory upon a Muslimah.  Those who argue that it is not required, point to the use of the word khimar in the Qur'an, and explain that today's modern khimar does not cover the face, and argue that khimar has never referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck, and bosoms.  While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that the Prophet's wives wore khimar, one must realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of non-mahram men.  

     The group of scholars agree that it is a highly recommended act to cover the face.  The scholars also agree that a woman must cover her adornment, yet some scholars argue that this does not include the face.

     BASING ON CULTURE VS. QURAN AND SUNNAH. ...Most Muslim men, even in America, would be pleased if their wives veil, but some state that a veil draws too much attention, causing men to look upon her more than normal.  However, one must realize that when men 'look', they have nothing of her to see!  Regardless, this issue must stick to understanding and implementing Qur'an and Sunnah, and not making excuses based on the current culture.  Muslims are ordered not to imitate the dress of any non-Muslim culture, so, surely, we cannot make the choice to wear Niqab based on the pressures of modern day society; instead, we choose, insha'Allah, to fear Allah, swt, and not mankind!

     When in a state of ihram, the muslimah cannot wear niqab.  However, according to several scholars, such as Sheikh ibn Baz, even when in a state of ihram, "she should lower her headcovering or outer cloak over her face when she is in the presence of non-mahram men."  So, it is to say that she should not cover her face around the other women during ihram, but that she should cover it if a non-mahram man approaches.  He bases this on the hadith below, narrated by 'Aisha .

     According to Shaikh ibn Uthaimin, "she is not required to cover her face during the prayer unless there are non-related men around her. She must then cover her face from them, as it is not allowed for a woman to uncover her face except to her husband and her male relatives i.e., mahram."

     If a woman is not around any non-mahram men and does not fear that any will enter her area of salah, she may reveal her face and hands.  This is agreed upon by the group of scholars.

     So, whether agreeing that niqab is required or not, one must surely acknowledge that it is a desirous sign of piety.  What better example of sunnah to follow for a muslimah than that of the Prophet and his wives RA.  Every Muslimah is encouraged to cover to the fullest, showing only one or both eyes.  

     A woman does not have to wear a niqab (affixed veil), but she should emulate the female companions by using her hijab or other items, to lift and cover her face when a non-mahram man approaches, even during ihram (hajj), as this is in accordance with sunnah.  

Hadith - Muwatta 20.16
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, "We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq."

The following Fatawa is from Sheikh Ibn Uthaimin:

"The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover.

"The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her.  Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram (i.e. father, huband, etc.).

"As for those who claim that Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Shariah does no allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face?

"It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman.

"However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her. From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered.

"There are also evidences from the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAW). There are also statements from the Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is obligatory upon the woman to cover her face in front of such men."

Refutation For those who claim niqaab is not wajib and the face and hands of a woman can be seen by (ghairMahrrum) strange men.

Refutation from Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen

This is taken from the book "Hijaab" by Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen from Saudi Arabia. Printed by Madrasah Arabia Islamia Azaadville- South Africa.

Translated by Hafedh Zaheer Essack, Rajab 1416 (December 1995)

The Ulamah who are of the opinion that it is permissible to look at the face and hands of a strange woman (who is not mahrrum) say so mainly for the following reasons.

The hadeeth of Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) when Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands. But this hadeeth is WEAK because of 2 main weaknesses.

  1. There is no link between Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) and Khalid bin Dareek, who narrated the hadith from her. And in every chain of narrators Khalid bin Dareek is mentioned.

  2. In the chain of narrators Sa'eed bin Basheer appears, who is known by most of the Muhaditheen as being a weak narrator.

This has been mentioned by Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah), An-Nasai (Rahimahullah), Ibn Madeeni (Rahimahullah) and Ibn Ma'een (Rahimahullah). This is also why Imaam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) and Muslim (Rahimahullah) did not except this hadeeth to be in their books. (From Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book "Hijaab" pages # 17 and 18.)

We also have to see that the Muhadith Abu Dawood when he quoted this hadeeth put with it that it is Mursal (with a broken chain that does not lead up to the Sahabah).

(From The Book "Hijaab wa Safur" under the fatwaa of Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Bazz on Page #61. Also stated as being weak by Shaikh Nasiruddeen Al-Albaani in his Daeef Sunan Abu Dawud in Kitab-ul-Libas under hadeeth number 4092 (which is the original hadeeth number.)

An other thing that shows the weakness of this hadith is that after the ayah for hijab (Surah Al-Ahzaab – Verse #59) was revealed then the women of Sahaba wore a complete veil and covered the faces and hands. This includes Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr, who is supposed to have narrated this hadeeth. Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) covered herself completely including the face, this has been narrated in authentic hadeeth in Imaam Malik's "MUWATTA Book 20 Hadeeth # 20.5.16."

What Age Must a Female Wear Niqab?

     It is unquestionable that a female must begin covering by the age of puberty.  What is not agreed upon is what exact age that is.  Some say that covering commences the day of her first menstrual cycle, others say at the first sign of pubic hairs.  Those weak in iman (faith) will look at the kafir system's designation of "teenager" as the age of puberty, i.e. they use the age 13.

     In all situations, Muslims are to use the Prophet's example for guidance.  The Prophet married 'Aisha before she had reached puberty and consummated the marriage when she was approximately 9 years old.   We do not know precisely what he used to determine that she reached puberty, and we don't even know the exact age that he consummate the marriage, so the issue of puberty is not necessarily a clear cut age to be applied universally to all, but a recognition of the change to woman from child. The earliest pregnancy recorded was that of a seven year old girl, and we know that a menstral cycle does not have to start before some are capable of becoming pregnant. May Allah swt guide each parent to adequately prepare the daughter in time. Amin.

     If a mother or father recently converts to Islam and has a daughter who has reached puberty, s/he should immediately begin covering the daughter.  The parents should educate the daughter to understand and appreciate the reasons and advantages for covering as a Muslimah is instructed to. The new revert to Islam should not feel apologetic for covering a daughter who was not previously covering. It is as much of an advantage to her as to the new adult muslimah revert, and children do not always know what is best for them, so, like other decisions you make daily for your children, do not leave the issue of wearing hijab up to your children. Make the transition as a family, not you first, then just hoping the children follow suit on their own.

     Some guidelines for preparing a child for hijab.  

     Depending on a woman's environment, she may simply keep her face uncovered and then draw the khimaar up over her face on the rare occasion of a non-mahram's presence; or, if this is too much fitnah to constantly draw it over her face, such as circumstances when men are frequently present, she may choose to affix a screen (i.e. the Niqab) that does this for her without her needing to use a hand to hold it over her face.

Hadith - Bukhari, Narrated Hishams father

Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumated that marriage when she was nine years old.

Hadith - Abu Dawud, narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin
[Also recorded al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and ibn Majah.  Al-Albani says it is sahih.  Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1280.]

The Prophet said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah
[Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]

The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven.  And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten.  And separate them in their bedding.

Who Can She Uncover in front of?

     A Muslimah should not uncover her adornment in front of any non-Mahrahm male.  Muslimahs should especially be careful and remain covered, modest, and quiet around in-laws.  

     If a gay male is aware of female body parts, he should not be allowed to view a woman uncovered.  And, of course, a bi-sexual male should not be allowed to view a woman without proper covering.  

     In addition, a Muslimah should not uncover that which she normally uncovers, in front of any non-Muslim female whom she fears may describe her to others.  She may also choose to remain covered around any Muslim female whom she fears may describe her physical attributes to their husband or others.

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:30-31

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do.

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 bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

           * the arabic word here is Khumaar, which is the plural form of Khimaar.

Hadith - Bukhari 7:167

The Prophet said, "A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her."

Hadith - Muslim, narrated Aisha

A eunuch used to come to the wives of Allah's Apostle and they did not find anything objectionable in his visit considering him to be a male without any sexual desire. Allah's Apostle one day came as he was sitting with some of his wives and he was busy in describing the bodily characteristics of a lady and saying: As she comes in front four folds appear on her front side and as she turns her back eight folds appear on the back side. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: I see that he knows these things; do not, therefore, allow him to enter. She (Aisha) said: Then they began to observe veil from him.

Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #3109, narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud  [Tirmidhi transmitted it.]

The Prophet said, "A woman should be concealed, for when she goes out the devil looks at her."

     Muslimahs should not socialize with non-mahram men, and should only speak out of necessity to non-mahram men.  Allah swt knew that mankind would be tempted to let their guard down and their hijab down, around in-laws.  Surely Allah swt is all merciful to provide us the guidance we need in every aspect of our lives.  In reference to socializing with in-laws, such close relations can easily lead to adultery which has the death penalty.

Hadith - Bukhari and Muslim

The Prophet said, "The in-laws are death."

Shaking Hands

     Men and women should not shake hands outside the mahram ties.

Hadith - Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, al-Nasai, al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah.
[Al-Albani has graded it sahih.  Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 494.]

The Prophet said, "I do not shake the hands of women."

Hadith - Bukhari 9:321 (& 7:211)

The Prophet used to take the Pledge of allegiance from the women by words only after reciting this Holy Verse: (60.12) "..that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah." (60.12) And the hand of Allah's Apostle did not touch any woman's hand except the hand of that woman his right hand possessed. (i.e. his captives or his lady slaves).

Hadith - Sahih Muslim, narrated 'A'isha  

By Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah never touched the hand of a woman.  By Allah, the Messenger of Allah never took any vow from women except that which Allah had ordered him to take, and his palm never touched the palm of a woman.  When he had taken their vow, he would tell that he had taken the oath from them orally.


     Wearing hijab must be accompanied by the proper mannerisms and speech befitting a modest, pious woman.  She should not draw attention to her voice or use it in a soft, pleasing manner that may tempt a man.  

     Similarly, a muslim man should avoid being around women who speak soft (i.e. speak "sweet", flirt, are excessively thankful, etc), should definitely turn his eyes downward his eyes if viewing (even briefly) such a woman on t.v., and should not listen to female singers.

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahzab 33:32

O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allâh), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.

     Muslim men and women should speak calmly and controlled, not raising the voice, except out of necessity, such as yelling 'stop!' to a child who is about to cross a busy intersection without looking, etc.

The Noble Qur'an - Luqman 31:18-19

And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allâh likes not each arrogant boaster.

And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.

Ridiculing a Woman in Niqab

The Noble Qur'an - At-Taubah 9:64-67

The hypocrites fear lest a Sûrah (chapter of the Qur'ân) should be revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: "(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allâh will bring to light all that you fear."

If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allâh (swt), and His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?"

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimûn (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).

The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islâm has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allâh's Cause) alms, etc.].   They have forgotten Allâh, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

Women past child-bearing age who do not expect wedlock

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:60

And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment.  But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them.  And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

Related Links:
MOL Hijab Message Board

The Veil in Christianity

Can a Woman Wear a Face Veil During Hajj?


The Obligatory Conditions for an Islamic Hijab
The Virtues of Hijab
Full Veiled Niqaabi Sisters

Action Items for the uttaqun:

* dhu-mahrahm:
A male whom a woman can never marry because of close relationship
(i.e. brother, father, uncle, etc.) or her own husband.

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