I understand from verses 59 of Al-Ahzab and 31 of An-Nur that modesty in dressing and behaviour is a command from God
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As salam alikum,
I understand from verses 59 of Al-Ahzab and 31 of An-Nur that modesty in dressing and behaviour is a command from God and according to most Muslim scholars covering of the head is obligatory. Lately, however, I have been confused about the requirement of covering the head. It is often pointed out that
there is no mention of hair or head in these verses and that Allah has been very clear about what is required to be covered(i.e the bosom) and the circumstances in which it is obligatory.I am told that this means that if women were required to cover their heads, it would have been mentioned clearly like any other command. Apparently there are not many sahih ahadith on this issue. It was also pointed out to me that one reason there is "vagueness" in these verses is because there is freedom in interpretation of the verses and therefore in dress code; for if there were strict rulings then there would have been punishments for violation of a dress code law, just like any other law in the Quran.I am already aware how this issue can be viewed socially and morally but want to know how(specifically) the requirement of covering the head can be seen as an explicit Divine command so that I am convinced that it is an indisputable issue.
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 59:
O Prophet, enjoin your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. It is expected that they will thus be recognized, and not molested. Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah Nur verse 31:
(O Prophet) enjoin the believing woman to restrain their gaze and guard their modesty, and not to display their adornment except that which is displayed of itself, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to display their adornments except before their husbands, their fathers, .and also forbid them to stamp their feet on the ground lest their hidden ornaments should be displayed.
Dear and Beloved Sister in Islam, no person who ever walked on this planet earth understood the commands of the Glorious Quran better and more perfectly than the noble self of the Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws); and if one reads the beginning of the above two verses of Surah Al-Ahzaab and Surah An-Nur, Allah Subhanah has directed the Command towards the Prophet (saws) commanding him to enjoin his wives, his daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (jalabe-behinna). Thus as much as it is obligatory for the believers to follow the commands of the Quran, it is also obligatory for the believers to follow the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Upon receipt of this command from his Lord, the Noble Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded his wives, his daughters and the believing woman on how exactly and perfectly to comply with this command of the Lord All-Mighty; and he (saws) ordered that the believing women must cast their outer garment over their full body, except what is displayed of itself which are the hands and the feet. The absolute majority of the scholars in Islam, regardless of what school of thought they may claim to belong to, are unanimous in their opinion that the hair of the believing woman is included to be covered in the above commands.
The difference of opinion amongst the scholars is what exactly is included in the command except that which is displayed of itself. There are two opinions amongst the scholars in Islam regarding this part of the verse: One opinion is that it means the face, hands and feet may be left uncovered, and the other opinion is that the face also has to be covered, and only the hands and feet may be left uncovered.
The most accepted opinion is that if the women covers everything except her face, her hands and her feet, she would be following the command of Allah; and if she chooses to cover her face, then it will be purer and closer to the command of Allah. But the absolutely majority of the scholars are unanimous in their opinion that the hair of the believing woman is part of the body which Allah and His Messenger (saws) have commanded and enjoined to remain covered when in the presence of non-mehrams.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:
We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allahs witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Thus my dear and beloved Sister, in any matter of the deen, if one indeed wishes to be guided aright, one must first and foremost strive to fully implement the command of the Lord in letter and in spirit in the manner which was understood and implemented by the Noble Messenger of Allah (saws). And it does not behove or befit a believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, to have an opinion or interpretation in any matter of the deen after Allah and His Messenger (saws) have given their decision in that matter.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 36:
It does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. For whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into manifest error.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,