Hijab in Islam, Why Women Instructed to Wear It?

Hijab In Islam

In Islam, a Muslim woman is obliged to wear a hijab or clothing that covers all her awrah. So, hijab or hijab is not just to cover the head alone. Although the scholars differed, it relates to the awrah of men and women. But the point is that all agreeing to cover the awrah is an obligation.

If you look at it, there are more women’s awrahs than men. The awrah of men is only from the navel to the knees, while women are all over the body, except the face and palms according to the opinion of some scholars.

Because the woman’s awrah is all over the body except the face and palms, then women are required to wear a hijab.

Indeed, the hijab or hijab is actually still in the debate. Some say close the head to the chest. There are also those who argue the cover of the whole body, from head to toe.

Meanwhile, the command to wear the hijab is based on the word of Allah, sura Al-Ahdzab verse 59

“O Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the believing women to remove their veils. Thus, they are easier to recognize and they will not be disturbed. And Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.

What is interesting in this verse, is the purpose of extending the hijab so that the believing women are not disturbed and easier to recognize.

To know more details of the meaning of this verse it is necessary to use the help of asbabul nuzul or track the background of the descent of the verse. Most commentators explain this verse down, at a time when social situations are not safe and friendly to women.

In Medina, there were still many wicked people who liked to disturb women, especially at night. Meanwhile, the habit of women at that time, they went out in the middle of the night to defecate.

This is understandable, because the place of deed in the prophet’s time was far from home. In order not to be seen by people, they defecate in the middle of the night.

Usually free women (hurrah) go with female slaves (amah). When they went to, there was a group of people who liked to disturb female slaves. Because it is not clear the difference between slaves and free women at night, even free women can not avoid the interference of evil men.

In order to be safe and not disturbed, Allah told the believing women to wear the hijab to look different from female slaves.

Shaykh Ali al-Shabuni in Rawai’ul Bayan said that female slaves are not ordered to be veiled because it can incriminate them. As is known, slaves are charged with work by their employers, often out of the house to work, making it difficult if they are also required to wear a headscarf.

This is in contrast to independent women who at that time rarely left the house except for certain needs. In those days, those responsible for home life were men, so more women were at home.

Thus, the command to wear the hijab is seen from her asbabul nuzul aimed at protecting women from male interference, and at the same time a distinction between free women and female slaves.

The Meaning of Hijab in Islam

what is hijab?
what is hijab?

Linguistically, Hijab in islam means cover.

الحِجابُ: السِّتْرُ

“hijab means cover” (Lisaanul Arab).

In terms, the meaning of hijab in islam is as described by Al Munawi as follows:

الحجاب: كل ما ستر المطلوب أو منع من الوصول إليه، ومنه قيل للستر حجاب لمنعه المشاهدة، وقيل للبواب حاجب لمنعه من الدخول. وأصله جسم حائل بين جسدين

“Hijab is everything that covers something that is required to be covered or forbidden to reach it. Among the application of its meaning, hijab is interpreted with as sitr (cover),

that is, the one that crosses something so that it can not be seen. Likewise al bawwab (door), referred to as hijab because it prevents people from entering.

The origin of its meaning, hijab is an entity that becomes a barrier between two other entities” (At Tauqif ‘ala Muhimmat At Ta’arif, 1/136).

Abu Baqa’ Al Hanafi also explained:

كل مَا يستر الْمَطْلُوب وَيمْنَع من الْوُصُول إِلَيْهِ فَهُوَ حجاب

“anything that covers things that are required to be covered or hinder things that are forbidden to be achieved then it is a hijab” (Al Kulliyat, 1/360).

So the term hijab in islam means very broad. Thus the Muslim hijab, is everything that covers the things that are required to be covered for a Muslim. So muslim hijab is not limited to covering the head, or covering the hair, or covering the upper body only. But muslim hijab covers everything that covers the awrah, curves of the body and jewelry of women from head to toe.

Requirements Of Hijab


Hijab in islam as part of Islamic law has clear boundaries. The scholars of the defenders of The Religion of Allah have explained in their writings about the criteria of hijab. Every Muslim woman should pay attention to the limits of sharia related to this hijab.

Make the Book of Allah and The Sunnah of His Prophet as the basis of reference in doing deeds. And do not hold on to opinions deviating from the tails of lusts. Thus the purpose of the hijab is ordered to be realized.

Among the conditions of hijab are:

First : Should cover the whole body and not reveal any limbs other than those that are excluded. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala said.

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلاَيُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّمَاظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ

And say to the believing women, let them lower their eyes and not reveal their adornment except what is visible, and let them conceal their veils to their breasts. [An Nuur:31].

And the word of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

يَآأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلاَبِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلاَ يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا {59}* لَّئِن لَّمْ يَنْتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لاَيُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَآ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

O Prophet, say to your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers, “Let them extend their shawls all over them.” That is so that they may be more easily known, so that they may not be disturbed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Al Ahzab : 59].

Second: Hijab should not attract the attention of men instead of mahram. In order for the hijab not to provoke the views of men, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Hijab should be made of a thick cloth does not show the skin color of the body.
  • The hijab should be loose and do not show the shape of the limbs.
  • The hijab should not be used as jewelry even must have one color instead of various colors and motifs.
  • Hijab is not an outfit of pride and pride. Based on the prophet’s words:

“Whoever wears the garments of pride in this world, Allah will clothe him in disgrace on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be burned in hell.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah, and this hadeeth hasan]

  • The hijab should not be perfumed. The basic hadeeth of Abu Musa al-Ash’ary he said that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Any woman who wears a fragrance and passes through a group of people so that they may smell it, then she is an adulterous woman”. [Hr Abu Daud, Nasa’i and Tirmidhi, and this hadith Hasan]

Third: The clothing or hijab worn does not resemble the clothes of men or the clothing of infidel women.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ.

“Whoever resembles a people is one of them.” [Hr Ahmad and Abu Daud]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) condemned men wearing women’s clothing and condemned women who dressed as men. [Narrated by Abu Daud Nasa’i and Ibn Maajah, and this hadeeth is valid.]


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