Woman and the Philosophy of Hijab

Hijab is an Arabic word meaning veil, a cover or membrane. Arabs say: she uncovered the Hijab from her face. Which means she hanged up the veil from her face so her face was exposed. Hijab is an important command from the lord of the globe for the welfare of human beings and women.
Before we start, and delve into the topic, let’s first distinguish the difference between Hijab and Awrah. Since, people normally mix these two concepts and get confused. In recent time, the word Hijab is more familiar rather than Awrah. People even in the western countries may know the concept of Hijab rather than Awrah. Awrah is also an Arabic word that means a part of something (for example body) which is covered by the humans in the sake of modesty. In Islamic Sharia, Awrah is particular parts of human body that must be covered before other people. Hence, Awrah is part of the body which must be covered, and Hijab is the cover and veil that covers those parts.


The Awrah of a man is from navel to knee, which means a man must not expose any part of his body between these two points in public. Not to a woman, or to other men. But the question is that which parts of a woman’s body fall in Awrah? There is a little controversy among the Islamic scholars about it.
About the women, Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “say to the Muslim women to keep lower their eyes and save their special parts. Not to expose their adornment except that which are exposed, and to put their scarf on their chest. And not to expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, or father-in-laws, or their sons, or sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or to their brothers sons, or to their sisters sons, or to their women, or those owned by their right hands, or the male attendants having no sexual urge, or to the children who are not yet aware of the shames of women.” (Quran, 24, 31).
From the verse above, all the Islamic scholars are on one opinion that except her face, feet and palm, all the body of a woman is Awrah. Indeed, the conversation is in these three parts of a woman’s body. We mean the face, feet and palm of the woman. Many of the scholars think that the part of the verse ‘Not to expose their adornment except that which are exposed’ covers these three parts. As a result, this verse would mean that all of a woman’s body has to be covered, and not to be exposed except these three parts which are face, palm and feet. Because, they normally get exposed due to any simple move or task during daily works. Or, without exposing these three parts, a woman may not continue her normal daily life well. Please note that this is the opinion of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA) and on this opinion, are most of the scholars.
However, it’s also of significance to note that some scholars advise that if a society is virtuous and full of pious people, then there’s no problem for woman to expose these three parts. Or, if evil has spread through a society, then she has to cover her face, too. Since, there would be a chance of calamity and evil because of it.
We should know that covering Awrah via a Hijab is a fundamental ruling in Islamic society. Men and women have to keep their particular parts of body secretive, and not to show them to others. The basic reason behind this order is, that an Islamic society stands on modest and moral norms. Islam wants both men and women to live in a neighborhood that seems to be of a human one, full of certainty and inner relax. The teaching of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) guides us toward a modest and courteous life. According to Quran and prophetic traditions, Zina (having sexual intercourse with or without satisfaction of the both side while they are not married) is the most filthy and mortal disease in a society. And the main reason behind it, is having illegal intimacy, love affair and wearing immodest cloths.
To avoid spreading calamity and filth on the surface of the earth, the Almighty Lord of the universe ordered wearing Hijab and covering Awrah for both men and women. However, as the chances of being trapped in such a filthy deed are more highly when woman unveils her Awrah, therefore, the Sharia has imposed strict emphasize on woman Hijab. Furthermore, most parts of the women’s body are covered despite the men’s body, so people (mostly the western countries) have now started to think that Hijab and covering Awrah is an imposed obligatory only for women. As a result, Hijab is part of woman’s nature, and a Muslim lady must save it as she saves any part of her body.

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