About Hijab, or veil’s impression, a Muslim sister narrated to me that she was once on a trip to Germany, and while dining in a restaurant in Hanover, she was asked by a fellow German female why was she wearing a veil. She responded saying, “Why shouldn’t I wear it while it conceals my beauty from the eyes of those who don’t have the right to enjoy it?”
The German woman seemed bewildered by the answer and said, “I just think that if a woman has something nice she should show it.”
The Muslim sister then said, “A woman has a lot of nice things, so should she show them all?!”
In Islam women are taught that they are not instruments of pleasure for men, they are taught that chaste pure women do not allow their beauty to be seen except by the one who has the right to enjoy it; this right could only be acquired through marriage. Some people judge this to be oppression, but Muslims believe that this is more dignifying for women. It liberates them from being treated as means of amusement by men.
Actually veil liberates women from the uncontrollable sex bell that rings inside men’s brains whenever they see a beautiful woman. It places the remote control in the woman’s hand, she can press play or pause any time she wants. The problem here is that most women do not understand the nature of men. The brain of every man has a molester residing inside. The man’s ethics and morals must gain control over this molester, or he shall gain control over the man himself. Hence, men are not all alike, among them are those who are pious and among them are those who are not. Courteous women should guard themselves all the time, they should not leave the matter in men’s hands.
Pondering over women’s costumes through history, you can see many fashions and styles. The one thing that you can instantly get to notice is that: All pious women throughout history were depicted wearing a veil. For instance, you will never see a drawing or a statue for mother Mary except wearing a veil. Today, only nuns and Muslim women chose to wear a veil. What you chose to wear is how you want to be seen, your clothes are part of your personality. It’s up to you whether you want to be seen as miss nice hair, nice legs, beautiful body, etc., or to be seen as a beautiful heart, smart mind, kind soul, etc… Know that when you cover up your superficial beauty, people will be able to see you for who you really are. If you are afraid of this, then that’s a problem.
Some Islam attackers like to say, Why didn’t Islam order men to cover their hair too? Or does it subjugate only women?
Well, Islam doesn’t subjugate anyone. The main purpose of its teachings is to serve and protect all mankind. A Woman’s hair is totally different from a man’s hair. You can always see beautiful women marrying bald men, but you will never see the opposite. If you take a look at the pictures of handsome actors after they shave their heads bald, you will still see them handsome. This is not the case with glamorous actresses. Whenever one of these actresses shaves her hair bald to play a certain role, she looks hideous. We don’t see any male marrying a female who shaves her hair bald. Ask your husband if he would come near you in an intimate way if you deliberately shave your head. If his answer was in the affirmative, ask him if he will like it or not. A female’s hair in the eyes of males is way different from males’ hair in the eyes of females. Likewise, the sight of females’ legs has a different effect on males from that which males’ legs have on females, etc.
Consequently, the injunctions promulgated by our Creator regarding men’s private parts are different from those promulgated for women. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Tell the believing men that they must cast down their glances and guard their chastity, it is more decent for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women that they must cast down their glances, guard their chastity, and must not expose their adornment, except that which appears thereof, and must wrap their bosoms with their veils, and must not expose their adornments, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their maids, or to those [women] whom their right hands possess, or male attendants having no [sexual] desires (i.e. mentally retardants, very old men, etc.), or to the children who still have no carnal knowledge of women. And let them not stamp their feet in a way that the adornment they conceal (i.e. anklets, ankle bracelets) is known. And repent to Allah O believers, all of you, so that you may achieve success.” [The Qur’an (24:30-31)]
The above verses teach Muslims, whether males or females, that there are certain parts of their bodies which they should cover when in public places. In order to achieve a pure righteous society, both of them should cast down their glances and guard their private parts against any illicit sex. The prophet P.B.U.H. defined men’s private parts saying: “What’s beneath the navel and above the knees is private.” [Recorded by Ibn-Qudamah] And as for women, the verse defined their adornments, bosoms & heads covered together with the veil, and finally their legs as alluded to at the end of the verse, where they are ordered not to stamp the ground with their feet in a manner that will make others know of the ankle bracelets they conceal beneath their clothes. Jurists differed in considering women’s face and hands as private parts or not. The majority say that they should only be covered if the society was depraved. As for the kind of fabric that should be utilized by both genders in covering their private parts, jurists defined it saying: “It must not be revealing, transparent or tight describing what it conceals.” Any pious female should look neat and clean in front of all people, but she may look attractive only in front of her husband.
Beauty is what resides inside your heart, not this outer box which we call the body. Some girls may be classified as ugly by most boys while they have the kindest hearts. Please don’t build your opinion about others based on how they look. Don’t be shallow. I’m not saying that you should look hideous, nothing of that sort, I’m just saying that you should not give your appearance a bigger attention than it deserves. Don’t exert a big effort to create from your outer appearance an image of what’s not inside your heart. This is why Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. taught Muslims that: “Allah does not look at your appearances or your bodies, but He looks at the hearts inside your chests.” [Recorded by Muslim]
Finally I would like to address a controversial issue, “Can Muslim males walk around in front of women wearing only trousers that cover their private parts while revealing their upper abdomen? Like on swimming pools, seashores, etc…”
My answer is “No”, because the wisdom behind the verses was clear. The main purpose of covering the private parts is to guard one’s chastity and protect the opposite sex from any seduction. Most women find the muscles of a man’s chest, belly, shoulders and arms attractive and seducing. Consequently, the private parts are not all you should cover when in public, but the least you should cover. Exposing your body is not nice, you are a human being not an animal, so please cover up.
Allah knows best, may He guide us all to the truth, Amen.
Written By: Ehab Shawky