Question and answer details
|Why must Muslim women wear hijab? Do some Muslims think that it is not mandatory, while others think that it is? Please show me the passages in the Quran relating to women covering their hair.|
|Amani Aboul Fadl Farag|
Salam Dear Carmen,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
I think I should start by answering the last part of your question about the passages in Quran that direct the Muslim women to wear hijab as these passages will definitely answer the first part of the question: Why should women wear it?
The first reason for wearing hijab, then, is that it is a command from God. Religious Muslims - like any other religious people belonging to any revealed religion - don't feel comfortable in deliberately disobeying God! If some Muslims, despite of the semantic clarity of the Quranic verses, still think that this ruling is not mandatory, this will not alter the message.
This does not mean that such things are permitted in Islam! In Islam it is very easy to detect or judge whether a certain ruling is mandatory or not, by going back to the major sources of Islamic legislation. This we technically name as ‘shari'ah.
Those sources are the Quran, the Holy Book of Muslims, and sunnah, which is the sayings and guiding acts of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as stated in authentic books. So, simply this is the very same case with hijab.
Sometimes it is forbidden by force or women are discouraged from wearing it. The issue is seen as a means of secularizing or globalizing the Muslim states! This is, in-fact, except for a few Muslim countries, which encourage their women to observe this ruling or at least "let it go".
In Christianity for example, nuns cannot show up without their hijab. Also, regular ladies wear it while attending masses, which is a reflection of self-admission that God wants to see them this way!
Also, as far as I know, in Judaism, the most religious faction amongst Jews, namely The Hassidics, have their strict rules about covering women’s bodies. Even in secular societies, some women judges have to cover their heads, during sessions, as a way to show their dignity and self-respect.
Mini-skirts only appeared recently together with the secular and atheist style of life that some people in the west - and the East as well - chose for themselves.
No wonder then that the majority of Muslim women refuse to let their ‘mill go with all winds’ and that they insist on keeping their Islamic identity.
This is regardless of the consistent unfair criticism and sometimes satire against it. They wear hijab, not only in submission to God's order, but also because their inherent moral code is in full harmony with its philosophy.
Hair is recognized by very many of the scholars of Islam, as well as other scholars across the world, as one of them. To be sure that you are not showing off your beauty as a woman you should cover up these areas appropriately.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.