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The Virtues of Hijab & the Concequences of Abandoning it

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1. An act of obedience.

The hijab is an act of obedience to Allah and to his prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam. Allah says in the Quran:


"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His messenger have decreed a matter that they should have an option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhiw asallam, has indeed strayed in a plain error." [Noble Quran 33:36]


Allah also said:


"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc) and not to show off their adornment except what must (ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their bosoms." [Noble Quran 24:31]


2. The Hijab is Iffah (Modesty).

Allah made the adherence to the hijab a manifestation for chastity and modesty. Allah says:


"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they should be known and not molested." [Noble Quran 33:59]


In the above verse there is an evidence that the recognition of the apparent beauty of the woman is harmful to her. When the cause of attraction ends, the restriction is removed. This is illustrated in the case of elderly women who may have lost every aspect of attraction. Allah made it permissible for them to lay aside their outer garments and expose their faces and hands reminding, however, that is still better for them to keep their modesty.


3. The Hijab is Taharah (Purity)

Allah had shown us the hikmah (wisdom) behind the legislation of the hijab:


"And when you ask them (the Prophet's wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and their hearts." [Noble Quran 33:53]


The hijab makes for greater purity for the hearts of believing men and women because it screens against the desire of the heart. Without the hijab, the heart may or may not desire. That is why the heart is more pure when the sight is blocked (by hijab) and thus the prevention of fitnah (evil actions is very much manifested. The hijab cuts off the ill thoughts and the greed of the sick hearts:


"Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner." [Noble Quran 33:32]


4. The Hijab is Taqwah (Righteousness)

Allah says in the Quran:


"O children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc) and as an adornment. But the raiment of righteousness, that is better." [Noble Quran 7:26]


The widespread forms of dresses in the world today are mostly for show off and hardly taken as a cover and shield of the woman's body. To the believing women, however the purpose is to safeguard their bodies and cover their private parts as a manifestation of the order of Allah. It is an act of Taqwah (righteousness).


5. The Hijab is Iman (Belief or Faith)

Allah did not address His words about the hijab except to the believing women, Al-Mu'minat. In many cases in the Quran Allah refers to the "the believing women". Aisha RA addressed some women from the tribe of Banu Tamim who came to visit her and had light clothes on them, they were improperly dressed: "If indeed you are believing women, then truly this is not the dress of the believing women, and if you are not believing women, then enjoy it."


6. The Hijab is Haya' (Bashfulness)

Rasoolullah sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam has said, "Modesty is part of belief." The hijab fits the natural bashfulness which is a part of the nature of women.


7. The Hijab is Ghairah

The hijab fits the natural feeling of Ghairah, which is intrinsic in the straight man who does not like people to look at his wife or daughters. Ghairah is a driving emotion that drives the straight man to safeguard women who are related to him from strangers.


Attarbiyah (December 2000)

Islamic Tarbiyah Academy

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The Serious consequences of abandoning purdah




Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

The non-observance of purdah has, nowadays, become rampant and rife in every place. The era we are living in is an era of great fitnahs and trials.

Some people raise an objection against the law of purdah. They claim that through purdah a woman is kept in imprisonment. The answer to this objection is that the law of purdah is not an imprisonment for a woman, but rather a means of security and protection. If one has something which he greatly values, then it is only sensible and logical for him to be concerned about adopting the correct means whereby he will secure and protect it. A person who travels by train with a lot of money will never go about displaying his money openly. Rather he will take great pains in looking after it and keeping it as safe as possible. Accordingly, in Islam the most valuable thing is the respect of the women. Hence, neglecting the law of purdah, removing the women from their homes and allowing them to intermingle freely in public, is exposing them to great danger. Dangers similar to those that are feared through exposing one’s wealth before people are feared here as well.

Another objection raised by some is that one benefit of keeping women in purdah and concealed from men is that her chastity will be safeguarded and her respect protected. However, we do find situations where despite purdah being observed, wrongs do occur. The answer to this is that as long as the laws of purdah are correctly observed, then it is guaranteed until the day of Qiyaamah that there will never arise a situation where wrongs will take place. It is on account of not observing purdah correctly that wrongs take place. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 7/128


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