May 03, 2024 4 min read

By the word Hijab, we generally mean a piece of cloth that some Muslim women wear as a headscarf or head cover, veiling themselves in public or in front of non-mahrams (those who are marriageable). But literally, hijab doesn’t mean head cover. In today’s world, the hijab is more than just a piece of fabric; it’s a symbol of faith, modesty, and identity for millions of Muslim women around the globe.


The word Hijab is derived from the Arabic root letters "ha," "jeem," and "ba." By combining them, it forms the word "hajaba," which signifies "conceal or hide from view" or "veil." It essentially denotes a "barrier." For instance, a wall or a curtain could be considered a hijab. Over time, it became associated with covering the head for women in Islam.

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However, this isn't the term for head coveringin the Qur’an, nor was it used in that context by Arabs. The word for head covering in the Qur’an is actually "Khimar," which we commonly understand as hijab. Khimar encompasses the covering of the head and then extends to cover other parts of the body. Pre-Islamic Arab women also wore khimar, but they draped the extension behind their backs. Then the Qur’an instructed them to draw their khimars, their head coverings, in front of them, before the chest.

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On the other hand, Hijab is not merely a piece of cloth covering the head and chest. Hijab is the embodiment of overall modesty, decency, and covering, concealing, or protecting our adornments that may attract attention from non-mahrams. Hijab encompasses the veil that covers a woman's head and chest, as well as the entire body except for the face and hands. Additionally, hijab refers to the veil or barrier that should be maintained in every aspect of a woman’s conduct in her life. Hijab, as mentioned in the Qur’an, pertains to protecting both men’s and women’s "gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia." Thus, hijab is a holistic state of being, encompassing the way we look, talk, walk, act, and even our intentions, all while upholding modesty and decency.

But where in the Quran does Allah command its observance, and what do the Hadith teachings elucidate about its significance? Let’s delve into the Quranic verses and Hadith narrations to understand the rulings on hijab according to Islamic scripture.

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The Quranic Verses on Hijab:

While the term “hijab” itself may not be explicitly mentioned in the Quran in the context of women’s attire, several verses prescribe modesty and covering for both men and women.

One of the key verses often cited in relation to hijab is in Surah An-Nur (24:31):

"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."

Here Allah instructs believing women to lower their gaze, guard their modesty, and draw their veils/head covers over their bosoms. This verse emphasizes the importance of modest clothing and covering the adornments that may attract undue attention.

Another significant verse is in Surah Al-Ahzab (33:59):

"O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful."

Here Allah addresses the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his wives, and the women of the believers instructing them to draw their cloaks over themselves when they go out. While this verse specifically addresses the wives of the Prophet, it is understood as a general directive for Muslim women to cover themselves when in public settings.

Hadith Teachings on Hijab:

In addition to the Quranic verses, the Hadith literature provides further elaboration on the concept of hijab and its rulings. Numerous Hadith narrations from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions emphasize the importance of modesty and covering for both men and women. One well-known Hadith states, “Modesty is a part of faith,” highlighting the integral role of modesty in Islamic teachings.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also advised women to cover their bodies except for their face and hands, and scholars have derived rulings on hijab based on these teachings. While there may be variations in interpretations and practices among different Muslim communities, the underlying principle of modesty and covering remains consistent across Islamic traditions.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the principles of modesty, covering, and guarding one’s chastity are unequivocally emphasized in the Quran. Quranic verses and Hadith narrations provide guidance on the importance of modest attire for both men and women, with hijab being a manifestation of faith and obedience to Allah’s commands.

As Muslim women who choose to observe hijab, it is not merely a cultural practice or fashion statement; rather, it is a deeply spiritual act of devotion and submission to Allah’s will. By understanding the Quranic teachings and Hadith traditions on hijab, we gain insight into the wisdom and beauty of this cherished aspect of Islamic identity.


At Halal Hijab, we are committed to providing high-quality hijabs and modest clothing options that allow Muslim women to express their faith and maintain their modesty with confidence and style. Explore our collection and embrace the beauty of hijab as a symbol of faith and empowerment.


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