Before answering this, people should know what a “Hijab” is. “Hijab” can refer to a screen /covering (clothes) and is not simply a headscarf, although that often completes the Hijab. If for example a woman wears a “Hijab” then over her head but is wearing a short sleeve T shirt, she is not wearing the full Hijab.
Allah says in the Quran: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” (Surah Al Noor 24:30)
From this, it can be seen that rules have been places for both men and women but starting with men -I.e: they are advised to lower their gaze. Based on this, things such as watching pornography and /or distributing certain types of pictures and magazines are not permissible.
From the teachings of the Prophet PBUH, there are 6 basic rules for the Hijab. These basically provide rules for what Muslims can /cannot wear:
• It must not be too tight
• It must not be transparent
• It should not resemble the clothes of the nonbelievers -e.g: a Muslim cannot wear a cross like the Christians
• It should not be too eye catching
• It should not resemble clothes worn by people of the opposite sex
• It should cover the body -for men it must cover the area between the navel and the knees and for women everything except for the face and the hands
Notice that the only difference here between men and women’s clothes is the extent with women needing to cover more of their bodies. So why does this restriction apply? I will mention a few things:
• It is a protection for women from lustful onlookers. If for example a woman is extremely beautiful but covered while another is equally beautiful but wearing very revealing clothes, who do you think is more likely to be harnessed and /or stalked by a man?
• It allows people to judge women for what they are rather than what they look like. If for example you read about interview techniques, you will find lots of advice such as to dress well and improve one’s appearance as candidates are often judged on their appearance before they even say anything. Muslims women therefore are advised to cover themselves to avoid people judging them first by their appearance rather than their character.
• It shows their love for religious women. For example: many people copied the hairstyles of footballer David Beckham, which shows their love for him. Likewise, Muslims love Maryam (Mary) mother of Isa (Jesus) May Allah be pleased with them, as she is considered to be one of the greatest women of all and there is even a verse in the Quran named after her. She is portrayed by Christians as dressing modestly and wearing a headscarf. Therefore, when a Muslim woman wears Hijab, it shows her love for Maryam, may Allah be pleased with her.
• Hijab is not worn 24 hours a day and can be taken off such as when no men are present and /or certain close male relatives are present such as her father.
• Wearing a headscarf and dressing modestly is something practised by religious women such as nuns. In fact, when the “First Lady” (wife of the American President) visits the Pope, you will find that she is wearing a cloth over her head
• Historically women dressed much more modestly than today, which is clear if you look at paintings of women from medieval times or even look at old pictured of London from the 1920s. Many of them appear to be wearing headscarves like Muslim women
• Muslims are encouraged to marry and to raise families. The women’s beauty then is for their husbands
• Muslim women have managed to excel in all walks of life without needing to abandon their Hijab such as by being teachers, managers, doctors and more. There are also many successful women who competed in sports while wearing Hijab such as an Egyptian Olympic beach volleyball team. For further details check out my video here:
There are other reasons and explanations for the Hijab and you can see an answer from here:
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