What is the philosophy behind Hijab in Islam?

hijabOne of the obligations in Islam is Hijab; Hijab in Arabic dictionaries is defined as “covering”, and the reason that this word is used in Islamic ruling, is because in Islam man and women are ordered to have Hijab, but of course for the reasons that will be mentioned soon, this covering by the woman is wider than that of man.

The women in Islam are ordered to have Hijab from the men who are not among their Maharim like their fathers, brothers, uncles etc. and about the amount of this covering; it must cover their bodies except their faces and their hands till their wrists.

A question arises here, why women are ordered to observe this rule?

Some reasons and let’s say philosophies are mentioned in this regard, like:

1) Keeping the balance of tranquility in the society.

It has been proved in psychology that man can be turned on (in sexual appeals) by looking, and woman through touching.

A woman by observing Hijab, keeps herself safe from the impure looks by the impure men, but the women are not like men, for this reason, observing Hijab for men, is not that much important. For reaching to the tranquility, Islam has ordered both men and women; Islam has ordered men to ovoid from looking at the women and on the other side has ordered women to cover themselves from the men.

2) The second philosophy of Hijab is to keep the families safe from being collapsed, because if the women do not cover themselves in the public eyes or come out from their houses with make-up, it makes the men of the society to be attracted to them and after a while makes the men reluctant to their spouses and it may little by little lead to the divorce of different families.

3) The third philosophy can be that Hijab prevents the society members from committing adultery and corruption, because the man is like that if he gets turned on sexually, he might be stuck mentally in the sexual imaginations and after a while pushes him to have illegal intercourse with that women or other women and this very obscene sin, will be committed, the sin that is one of the greatest sins and disobediences of the All- Mighty Allah. And the society can be full of illegitimate babies that in a lot of these cases, the fathers of these babies do not care about them and leave their responsibilities toward them and a lot of these babies will be exposed to different dangers when they get older, and that is an important matter that is common in the west.

3) The other philosophy of Hijab can be that it prevents women from being considered as a tool for just sexual matters; you can see that when a woman has Hijab, what a greatness and majesty, it gives to her. But you see in the west that the women with no Hijab are used for advertisements of the little things like the toothbrush and other things.




How to Start Wearing Hijab?

ZibaImam Jafar Sadiq says: Modesty is the symbol of faith and whoever has no modesty, has no religion.

One of the modesty’s manifestation is our style of clothing and the way we cover our body which is called “Hijab” in Islam . Hijab is not limited just to women however they are recommended more to observe it.

To observe proper Hijab for a woman is to dress modestly and appropriately covering all parts of body except face and hands without showing her figure or curves and without using any sort of make-up.

Hijab is one of the righteous deeds and it is a sign of honor and equality with men and stands as a shield of protection against evil man. Maybe those who converted to Islam would like to know how they can wear Hijab. There are some practical points:

  1. Check out the requirements for Hijab on the Internet, or in Muslim magazines. Many Muslim women have put up tutorials for Hijab styles, but be aware that a basic requirement of Hijab is not to draw attention. You’ll learn what Hijab styles and products are available when you go looking, and learn what to do with Hijabs that require tying, folding, wrapping or pinning.
  1. Choose your Hijab. Go to a store that sells with Muslim clothing and look at their Hijab selection. Some Hijabs consist of a single piece of fabric that may be square, oblong, or triangular. These are often wrapped and pinned or tied to hold them in place. Others consist of tubes of fabric that slip over the head, and these come in one-piece and two-piece styles. The tube style is often easier for beginners, as they don’t require pinning. Find a Hijab that matches your outfit, or in a neutral color. Avoid wearing excessively bold colors and designs that stand out. Hijabs made of natural fibers like silk, or cotton are often more comfortable, as these fabrics “breathe.”
  1. Start to wear your Hijab when you are ready. If you aren’t quite ready to wear Hijab, you might confuse or offend other Muslims if you wear it inconsistently. So it is best if you begin wearing Hijab when you feel ready for a commitment to wear it consistently, but above all wear it for the sake of Allah.
  2. Don’t feel confined. Don’t think that if you wear Hijab, people will look down on you. Your friends will still be your friends. If anybody asks you on your decision on wearing a Hijab, tell them that you want to become a good Muslim. They actually will start to respect you for what you have done. If they start to comment and criticize your decision to wear Hijab, you may have to decide whether you think your relationship can tolerate the difference, or if you need to keep your distance to avoid further conflict. Moreover, you can become a good representative of all Muslims. Show that Muslims care for their image. Some Muslim women choose to take the additional step of covering their face as part of their Hijab.
  1. Wear what you like when you are in an all-ladies party. Freedom rules when you attend one! Just be absolutely certain that there are no men in the room; put a sign on the door if needed.

Indian Muslim Denied Entry to Class for Hijab

f1a965337c647a6a9e09281ac5672e8cA private school in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh denied entry to a Muslim girl in the classroom for wearing a hijab, with the school’s administration claiming the decision was taken not to discriminate between children on the basis of dress.

“Many girls want to study and practice their religion by wearing the hijab, but face a lot of difficulty in schools,” Nahid Lari, member of Uttar Pradesh Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said.

“They discriminate with Muslim girls by not allowing them to wear a headscarf.”

The dilemma started when 9-year-old Farheen Fatima could not sit inside her classroom in St. Joseph Inter College in Lucknow town as the school administration denied her entry while wearing headscarf.

Farheen also told that the school is being run by a Hindu family and not by Christian missionaries.

“The school has its own dress code. And there should not be any discrimination on the basis of religion in the school. We are not concerned about the religion of our students,” N. Emenuel, principal of the school, said.

“Farheen and her parents were informed about dress code in the school at the time of admission.”

However, Farheen and her mother stated that they were not informed about dress code banning hijab during the admission process.

“She was wearing headscarf at the time of admission process. Her photograph with headscarf was affixed even on her admission form,” said Waqar Fatima, mother of Farheen.

“They should have told us earlier that she will not be allowed with a headscarf in the school.”

Farheen informed that she was not allowed to go inside the classroom, the very next day of her admission.

She spent her whole day sitting inside the library, only to be asked to call her parents on the next day.

They were informed that Farheen will only be allowed to sit inside the classroom without her headscarf.

“We gave an application to the school administration asking them to allow Farheen to attend classes wearing her headscarf,” her mother added.

“They never replied to our letter. The school principal even refused to give anything in writing on dress code.”

Another School

As the new went viral, Lari, visited the school and inquired from other students about Farheen’s headscarf.

She asked them whether they feel discriminated because of the presence of Farheen in the school.

“Not a single student said they had any problem with Farheen wearing headscarf,” Lari said.

Farheen’s family has now decided their daughter will transfer to another school.

But, the commission has recommended harsh action against school management.

District Collector of Lucknow Raj Shekhar has ordered an inquiry against the school.

The incident of banning Muslim students due to their religious beliefs is not the first in India.

In 2009, the Supreme Court of India directed a Christian school based in central India to reinstate a class 10 Muslim student, Mohammed Salim, who was sacked after he refused to shave insisting it was part of his religious belief.

Muslims account for 180 million of India’s 1.1 billion people, the world’s third-largest Islamic population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Muslims have long complained of being discriminated against in all walks of life in Hindu-majority India.

Official figures indicate that Muslims, who make up around 13 percent of India’s population, are lagging behind in literacy.

Muslims also complain of being discriminated against in jobs.

They account for less than seven percent of public service employees, only five percent of railways workers, around four percent of banking employees, and there are only 29,000 Muslims in India’s 1.3 million-strong military.

Source : On Islam

Hijab The Dress of Modesty in Islam – eBook


My friend, late Haji Yusuf Husayn Sheriff of Arusha (Tanzania) had asked me to deliver a lecture on the subject of Hijab (Purdah) at the 8th annual seminar of the Golden Crescent Group, which was to be held at Lushoto on the 22nd and 23rd October 1977. At that time I was busy making arrangements for our hajj journey and wanted to be excused. But on his insistence I had to agree. The result is the Part One of this booklet, which contains the lecture and the questions and answers which followed.

Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi[divider]

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” width=”360px” ]Name: Hijab The Dress of Modesty in Islam
Author: Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi[/box]

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Hijab Introduces Islam to Indiana Students

Fighting misconceptions associated with Muslim headscarf, Muslim students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, arranged a hijab handout to their colleagues to educate them about Islam and address stereotypes drawn by media over the past decade.

Islam Awareness week – U.S.

“[highlight]People may have Muslim friends that they are able to ask too, but not everyone has a Muslim friend. So we want to be here as that Muslim friend,[/highlight]” Muslim Student Association President Noor Ayesha told Ball State Daily.

The event was hosted during Islamic Awareness week, hosted by MSA to spread awareness about Islam through April 9.

Standing from noon till 3 pm, MSA members offered free scarves on Monday to people wishing to try hijab in the Atrium during their Experience Hijab event.

The MSA members have also shown people how to wear the hijabs.

Ayesha asserted that wearing hijab is a personal decision based on faith for Muslim women.

“[Once, someone] asked why some people get offended when they’re asked about their hijab, and I don’t know anyone who gets offended, but I think it’s similar to … [when] you ask someone who wears tattoos what every single one means. It’s very personal,” Ayesha said.

Along with the hijab experience, the awareness week will host a panel discussing feminism in the Islam faith.

This will be a discussion of Eastern and Western cultures as they apply to women’s rights.

Adding more in-depth to the event, Rachael Collins, a non-Muslim MSA member, paired with a member to show the documentary “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” on the night of April 6.

“The film directly addresses extremism,” Collins said.

“They show research from studies that there are a billion people who practice [Islam] and most of them don’t support this ideology and belief system. The diversity that you see in the Christian faith is the same kind of diversity you see in the Muslim faith.”

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Blowing Misconceptions

Joining MSA as a part of her diversity training, Collins, a clinical mental health counselling graduate student, wanted to challenge anti-Muslim bias.

“There’s a difference between the Islamic faith and the Islamic culture and tradition, and that was a big one,” Collins said.

“The women in MSA are very strong, independent, smart and capable, so maybe some of the ideas that I had about gender roles in the faith were really challenged.”

The awareness week also hosts a final event with a four-person panel in Ask A Muslim.

The panel consists of two Muslim students and two Muslim professionals.


“[The panelists will] tell you a little about their lives and where they come from and you can ask them questions like, ‘Why do you wear that thing on your head?’ Some people choose to be ignorant and some just haven’t been exposed, and we want to provide that exposure,” Ayesha said.

Discussing current events, including the Chapel Hill shooting in which three Muslim students were killed, the panel hopes to diffuse any misconceptions that can cause further violence.

“We want to bring to light these events … eliminate the ignorance. We don’t want to take a political approach, we just want to show the human side,” Ayesha said.

“These are people who were doing great things for the world and they died.”

Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.

An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.

Source: On Islam

What is the Philosophy of Hijab?


Undoubtedly, in this age of ours – which some have named as the ‘age of nudity and sexual freedom’ and in which, West-stricken individuals regard wantonness of women as being part of this freedom – the mention of Hijab is very disconcerting for this group of people and at times is even looked upon as a myth associated with the ancient times!

However, the innumerable evils and the ever-increasing problems arising out of this unconditioned freedom have gradually resulted in the concept of Hijab being viewed with a greater interest.

Of course, in the Islamic and religious environments – especially in Iran after the revolution – a great number of issues have been clarified and satisfactory answers to most of these questions have been provided. Nevertheless, the significance of the topic demands this issue to be discussed more comprehensively.

The issue under discussion is: Should women (with due apologies) be placed at the disposal of all men for the purpose of being exploited by them by way of sight, hearing and touch (excepting sexual intercourse), or should these benefits be the sole prerogative of their respective husbands?

The point of debate is about whether women should continue to remain entangled in a never-ending competition in flaunting their bodies and stirring up the physical and carnal desires of men, or whether these issues should be uprooted from the social environment and restricted to the familial and matrimonial milieu. Islam advocates the latter plan and Hijab can be looked upon as a part of this agenda, whereas the Westerners support the former plan!

Islam avers that all such physical pleasures – sexual intercourse as well as those derived by means of sight, hearing and touch – are specific to the husbands, and anything beyond this is a sin which leads to pollution and impurity within the society.

The philosophy behind Hijab is indeed evident since:

1. Nudity of women, which is quite naturally accompanied by adornment and coquettishness puts men, especially the youths, in a state of perpetual stimulation – a stimulation which affects their nerves, generates within them pathological nervous excitement and at times even brings about psychological disorders. There is a limit to the burden of excitement which the human nerves can endure. Don’t all the psychologists caution that perpetual excitement leads to disorders and diseases?

This is especially in view of the fact that the sexual impulse is the strongest and the most profound of all impulses within man and, all through the ages, has been the cause of destructive events and horrendous offences, to the extent that people have gone on to say: You shall not come across any important event (in history), except that a woman has played a part in it!

Is the continuous provocation of this impulse by means of nudity, and intensifying it, not tantamount to playing with fire? Is this act wise and prudent?

Islam desires that Muslim men and women should possess a soul that is calm, nerves that are composed, and eyes and ears that are pure, and this is one of the philosophies of Hijab.

2. Substantiated and conclusive statistics reveal that with the rise in nudity, the world has correspondingly witnessed a continuous rise in divorces and matrimonial separations. This is because “whatever the eyes see, the heart covets”; and whatever the heart (which here means the errant and wild desires) covets, it seeks to obtain it at any cost. Therefore, every new day the heart gets attracted to one and bids farewell to another.

In an environment where Hijab is prevalent (together with adherence to the other Islamic conditions), the husband and wife belong to each other and their sentiments, love and feelings are exclusively for one another.

But in the ‘free market of nudity’ wherein women have been practically transformed into a commodity of mutual use – (at least in issues other than sexual intercourse) – the sanctity of a matrimonial alliance becomes meaningless, and families, similar to a spider’s web, swiftly break apart and the children are left without guardians.

3. The increase in indecency and obscenity, and the escalation in the number of illegitimate children are the most painful consequences of non-observance of Hijab – a fact which, in our opinion, does not require any figures and statistics; and the reasons for this, especially in the Western society, are so very apparent so as to eliminate the need for any mention.

We do not say that non-observance of Hijab is the sole and fundamental cause of obscenities and illegitimate children, nor do we say that colonialism and destructive political issues have not had any contribution to it; rather, what we wish to state is that the issue of nudity and non-observance of Hijab is as one of the instrumental and effective factors for those evils.

In view of the fact that ‘indecency’, and worse than this, ‘illegitimate children’ were and are amongst the sources of various crimes in human societies, the dangerous dimension of this issue becomes all the more clear.

We perceive the gravity of the matter when we hear that, according to statistics,11 in the United Kingdom five hundred thousand illegitimate children are born every year and then when we hear that a group of British intellectuals has issued a warning to those in the echelons of power with respect to this ongoing trend. The warning is not motivated out of ethical or religious concerns but rather out of concern for the dangers these illegitimate children pose to the safety of the society, to the extent that their involvement is observed in numerous criminal dossiers.

We (also) come to realize that even those who possess scant respect for religion or ethical issues consider the issue of the spread of indecency to be catastrophic. Thus, everything that serves to increase the sphere of physical immorality in human societies is a threat for their security, and the consequences – in whatever manner we may compute them – shall always be to their detriment.

Studies by educated scholars reveal that reduction of work, backwardness and lack of responsibility are most noticeably perceived in schools, which are co-educational in nature and in centres where males and females work together in an ambience of licentiousness and complete freedom.

4. The issue of ‘obscenity of women’ and ‘humiliation of their personalities’ also holds great importance and requires no statistics to prove it. When a society desires a woman with a bare body, it is quite obvious that day by day, it would demand increased beautification and augmented ostentation from her. In a society wherein a woman, due to her physical attraction, is utilized for promotion and publicity of products, as a decoration for the reception rooms, or as a tool for attracting tourists, her personality is reduced to that of a doll or a trivial and insignificant item, and her lofty human values are totally thrust into oblivion; ultimately, her only distinction and glory lies in her youth, beauty and self-exhibition.

Thus, she is transformed into a device for satisfying the carnal desires of a handful of individuals, who are polluted, deceptive and possess satanic attributes!

In such a society, how is it possible for a woman to manifest herself in the light of her knowledge, awareness, sagacity and moral traits, and to occupy a lofty rank and status?

It is indeed painful that in the Western and West-stricken countries, and in our country (too) before the Islamic Revolution, the maximum prominence, fame, repute, money, income and standing had been for the polluted and promiscuous women, who had come to acquire renown as ‘artists and performers’. Wherever they went, the management of this polluted environment would scramble after them to welcome their presence!

Praise be to Allah that the entire apparatus was annihilated and the female sex emerged from her previous triteness or her erstwhile standing as a cultural doll and an insignificant item, and salvaged her personality. She took for herself the veil without being secluded and isolated, presenting herself in every expedient and constructive arena of the society – even the battlefield – with the same veil and Hijab.

Criticisms Levelled by the Opponents of Hijab

At this point we come to the objections which are levelled by those opposing the veil and which need to be discussed, albeit concisely:

1. The most important thing which all of them support in unanimity and which they propound as the fundamental objection with respect to the issue of Hijab is that women constitute one half of the society but the Hijab pushes this multitude into seclusion thereby causing them to lag behind culturally and intellectually. Especially during the period of economic thriving, when there is a greater need for active human participation, this large female force would remain totally unutilized in the path of economic progress, not to speak of their lack of presence in social and cultural centres. Thus, they are transformed into a mere consumer that is a burden for the society.

But those who have resorted to this logic have either been totally oblivious of certain points, or have probably feigned lack of knowledge about them:

Firstly: Who says that the Islamic Hijab isolates a woman and distances her from the social arena? If, in the past, it had been necessary for us to exhaust ourselves in order to present proofs and arguments in defence of this issue, now, after the Islamic Revolution, there does not exist the slightest need for them, for with our own eyes we observe groups of women, in the Islamic Hijab, presenting themselves in all places – in offices, workstations, political rallies and demonstrations, on the radio and television, in cultural and educational institutes, in hospitals and medical centres, especially for nursing those injured in war, and even in the battlefield against the enemies.
In short, the present state (of the Islamic society) is a fitting riposte to all these objections; if previously we spoke of the ‘possibility’ of such a state, today we find ourselves facing the ‘occurrence’ of it and philosophers have stated that the best proof for the ‘possibility (of occurrence)’ of a thing is the (actual) ‘occurrence’ of that thing, and this is something, which is too evident and manifest to require any explanation.

Secondly: Is managing the house, training and educating the youthful children and transforming them into individuals not a task? After all, through their strength and ability, the youths are able to set the gigantic wheels of the society into motion.

People who do not view this great mission of women positively are ill-informed of the role played by family and training in constructing a healthy, prosperous and dynamic society. They imagine that the (correct) manner is that our men and women, like those of the West should, at the first sign of daybreak, leave their houses for their places of work, either leaving their children in nurseries or locking them up in a room thereby making them taste the bitterness of imprisonment at a time when they are blooming buds.

They are totally oblivious of the fact that this approach not only shatters their personalities but also moulds them into soulless children, who are found to be lacking in human sentiments and affections, and who will eventually jeopardize the future of society.

Secondly: Another of their objections is that the Hijab is a cumbersome dress, which is not well suited for social activities, especially in the modern automobile age. What should a veiled woman look after – herself, her chador, her children or her work?

But these critics do not realise the fact that the Hijab does not always mean a chador, but rather it refers to a woman’s covering. If the Hijab is possible by means of the chador, so much the better, but if not, then a covering is quite sufficient.

The womenfolk of our country, who engage in farming and live in villages – especially those who work in the rice-fields and perform the most important and difficult work of cultivating and harvesting the crop, have answered this objection, practically. They have shown that in numerous places a village-woman, while observing the Islamic Hijab, can work more than a man and better too – without the Hijab hampering or obstructing her work in the slightest.

Thirdly: Another objection which they level is that since Hijab establishes separation between men and women, it amplifies the greedy nature of man and instead of extinguishing it, only serves to inflame his covetousness, since:

أِلإِِنْسَانُ حَرِيصٌ عَلىَ ماَ مُنِعَ.

“People covet that which is forbidden for them.”

A comparison of our present society in which the Hijab is prevalent in all places – without exception – with the one that prevailed during the period of the satanic regime, which used to force the women to take off their Hijab will provide the answer to this objection, or more correctly, this sophism and fallacy.

Those days, every alley and neighbourhood was a centre of wickedness and depravity, and an ambience of incredible immorality prevailed within the households. Divorces were rampant, the number of illegitimate children was staggering and there were a thousand other curses.

We do not claim that all of these have been eradicated, but they have undoubtedly been greatly reduced and our society, in this regard, has regained its well-being. And if, Allah Willing, the state of affairs continues its course and all the other tangles come to order, our society, with respect to pureness of the households, and preservation of the merit and worth of women, shall come to achieve a desired and ideal state.