If hijaab was just a cultural thing……
By Asma bint Shameem
This article is for those sisters (and brothers) who consider that the woman’s Hijaab is just a cultural thing and that it has nothing to do with the Sharee’ah of Islaam. How far from the Truth could they be!
1) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……and women of that time were already covering themselves, then why would Allaah send us the order from above the seven heavens to cover ourselves??
Why would He order something that was already taking place??
“And say to the believing women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty (zeenah) except what is apparent of it, and to extend their headcoverings (khimars) to cover their bosoms …….” (Surat-un-Nur:31).
2) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……then why would Allaah tell us not to display our beauty except to certain specific male relatives, if the women of that time were not displaying it to everyone??
“It is no sin on them (if they appear uncovered) before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own (believing) women, or their (female) slaves. And (O women), fear (keep your duty to) Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Ever All-Witness over everything” [al-Ahzaab 33:55]
The real story
Imam Qurtubi describes the real culture of the women in pre-Islamic times:
"Women in those days used to cover their heads with the khimar, throwing its ends upon their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, along with the ears. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the khimar".
And ibn Kathir reports, "….the women of the jahiliyyah who did not do that but would pass in front of men with their chests uncovered and with their necks, forelocks, hair and earrings uncovered".
3) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……why would Allaah order us not to be like the women of Jahilliyah??
And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of Jahilliyah (ignorance)” [al-Ahzaab 33:33].
4) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……then why would the early Muslim women tear their clothes in order to hasten to obey this command when it first came down?
‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “May Allaah have mercy on the women of the early muhaajireen. When Allaah revealed the words “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” (I.e. Surah Nur:3!), they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them. (Bukhaari, Abu Dawood- saheeh by al-Albaani)
5) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……then why would the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) curse the women who don’t cover themselves??
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed but naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels. Curse them, for they are cursed.” (Muslim)
6) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……then why would the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) prohibit Paradise for the women who don‘t cover??
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen:….women who are clothed but naked, walking with an enticing gait…. they will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.” (Muslim).
7) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……why would the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) disengage himself from the evil of a woman who doesn’t cover herself??
The Prophet said: “There are three, do not ask me about them: a man who leaves the jamaa’ah, disobeys his leader and dies disobedient; a female or male slave who runs away then dies; and a woman whose husband is absent and left her with everything she needs, and after he left she made a wanton display of herself. Do not ask about them.”
(al-Haakim, Ahmad- saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad).
8) If hijaab was just a cultural thing……and there were no orders for the muslim woman to cover, why would the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) talk about the zinaa of the eyes??
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said, “ The zinaa of the eyes is the lustful look. “ ( Muslim)