What is Hijab ?

The modern day use of the word Hijab refers to the headscarf that muslim women are required to wear to cover their hair from men who are not immediate family members (Mahrams).

However in arabic, Hijab actually means a partition or curtain. From this one can understand that Hijab is not just a physical barrier of clothing that protects a person’s modesty from others but also a spiritual and mental barrier which helps to keep the mind and soul away from negativity and evil thoughts such as lusting after someone who is strange to you.

Who wears Hijab?

Hijab is applicable in Islam for both men and women, however the way in which they carry it out is different.

What is Hijab for men?

Allah has said in the Quran the following:

“Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. (Holy Qur’an, 24:30)

With the above passage in mind this means that men must observe a mental/ spiritual form of hijab where they do not ogle at women in lust but instead only look when it is absolutely necessary. The second part of the passage acts as an instruction for men to guard their private parts which can be broken down into two parts

Spiritually: Men must control their urges to fornicate

Physically: Men must wear clothes that protects their modesty (which is loose clothing that covers the navel to the knee)

What is Hijab for women?

Allah has said in the Quran the following:

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (Holy Qur’an, 24:31)

From the following passage we are informed of the intricacies of Hijab for women. The physical element of Hijab which is more elaborate than what has been prescribed for men. Women also have to follow the mental hijab which is to not ogle at men.

What do women have to cover in Hijab?

Women must wear loose clothing that doesn’t expose their figure over their heads as well as their bosoms. This includes their front and rear womanly parts and according to the general Islamic consensus, if the body shape can be seen from the clothes being worn then this is not considered as proper hijab.

In front of who are women allowed to take their Hijab off?

As mentioned in the passage above women are allowed to remove their hijab and wear what they please in front of the following people:

  • Their father
  • Their husband
  • Their children
  • Their step-children
  • Their siblings
  • The children of their siblings
  • Eunuchs
  • Children who are not yet aware of the sexuality of women

What is the purpose of Hijab?

Hijab is an islamic practice that allows muslims to maintain their modesty and to make it easier for the opposite sex. As if a woman was to walk around in very attractive and provocative clothing it would command a certain thought or reaction from the men who see her; the thought of this woman will play on their minds and hearts which ultimately will lead to the same men fantasising about another woman other than their own wives. So it is better to keep the marriage pure and limit lustful gazes for your own partners as this is better for the people in the scenario as well as the community at large.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *