Al Hijab is the biggest impediment in the way conveying Islam. This study will answer few questions about veiling and clear the picture once for all.
What the Qur’an says about the word Hijab?
Hijab is the term used by many Muslim women to describe their head cover that may or may not include covering their face except their eyes and sometimes also covering one eye. The Arabic word Hijab can be translated into veil or yashmak. Other meanings for the word Hijab include screen, cover, mantle, curtain, drapes, partition, division, divider, and others.
The word “Hijab” appears in the Quran seven times, five of them as “Hijab” and twice as “Hijaban”. See 7:46, 17:45, 19:17, 33:53, 38:32, 41:5, 42:51. None of these “Hijab” words are used in the Qur’an in reference to what the traditional Muslims call today as the dress code for the Muslim woman. Hijab in the Qur’an has nothing to do with the women’s dress code.
What the Bible says about Hijab?
The wearing of the head covering for women is not part of the Prophet’s teachings and is not found in the Qur’an. It is a belief and a practice that was taken by the early Muslim scholars from the Christian Bible. 1Cor 11:5 — but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head-it is the same as if her head were shaven.11:6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 11:10 That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. 11:13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
So the commandment for a woman to cover her head is in the Bible. This belief has seeped into the Muslim belief and has now become part and parcel of the practice of Islam today. The West has no problem with Catholicism putting its nuns in head cover. In Europe today Catholic schools still encourage young girls to take up the wearing of the Catholic head-cover. Unfortunately under the guise of modernity, a vast majority of Christians themselves today are not following the teachings of the Bible – the large majority of Christian women do not cover the head. Hence, it is the Muslim Ummah who are very good Christians because they still uphold these Bible teachings.
Where this idea came from?
Historically, While many Muslims call “Hijab”, an Islamic dress code, they completely ignore the fact that, Hijab as a dress code has nothing to do with Islam and nothing to do with the Qur’an.
In reality, “Hijab” is an old Jewish tradition that infiltrated into the Hadith books like many innovations that contaminated Islam through alleged Hadith and Sunnah. Any student of the Jewish traditions will see that head cover for the Jewish woman is encouraged by the Rabbis and religious leaders. Religious Jewish women still cover their heads most of the time and especially in the synagogues, weddings, and religious festivities. This Jewish tradition is a cultural, not a religious one. Hijab was observed by the women of the civilizations that preceded the Jews and passed down to the Jewish culture.
Christian women cover their heads on many religious occasions while the nuns cover their heads all the time. This religious practice of covering the head was established from traditions thousands of years before the Muslim scholars claimed the Hijab as part of the Muslim women’s dress code. The traditional Arabs of all religions, Jews, Christians and Muslims used to wear “Hijab,” not because of Islam, but because of tradition.
In Saudi Arabia, up to this minute most of the men cover their head, not because of Islam but because of tradition. Thank God this tradition for men has not been counted as Islamic dress code yet!
North Africa is known for its Tribe that have the Muslim men wearing “Hijab” instead of women. Here the tradition has the Hijab in reverse. If wearing Hijab is the exclusive sign of a pious and righteous woman, why do we see so many women wear Hijab, completely disregarding other essentials of modesty, like wearing tight shirts and jeans, showing the body parts that must be concealed, plus immodest behavior? In brief, Hijab is a tradition and it has nothing to do with Islam.
Mixing religion with tradition is a form of idol-worship, because not knowing (or not trying to find out) what God asked us to do in His Book, the Qur’an, is a sign of disregarding God and His Message. When tradition supersedes God’s Commandment, the true religion (Deen) takes a second place. But God is always the First and never the second.
What the Qur’an says about Khimar?
The word “Khimar” and the dress code for women can be found in the Qur’an 24:31. Some Muslims quote this verse as a commandment for Hijab, or head cover by pointing to the word, khomorehenna, (‘their chest covering’ from Khimar), forgetting that God has already used the word Hijab, several times in the Qur’an. Those blessed by God can see that the use of the word “Khimar” in this verse is not for “Hijab” nor for head cover. Those who quote this verse usually add (Head cover or veil) after the word Khomorehenna, and usually between brackets, because it is their addition to the verse of God. Here is 24:31.
24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty. They should not show off their adornment beyond what may be decently and spontaneously apparent. Let them cover their chest area with a light covering. Most of the translators, obviously influenced by fabricated Hadith translate the word as VEIL and thus mislead people into believing that this verse is advocating the covering of the head and face.
24:31, God is telling the women to use their cover (Khimar, being a dress, a coat, a shawl, a shirt, a blouse, a tie, a scarf etc.) to cover their bosoms, not their heads or their hair. If God willed to order the women to cover their heads or their hair, He would have simply said, “Cover your head and hair.” God is neither vague nor forgetful! God does not run out of words. He does not wait for a scholar to put the correct words for Him! The Arabic word for Chest (Jayb) is in the verse 24:31, but the Arabic words for Head (Ra’as) or Hair (Sha’r) are NOT in the verse. The Commandment in the verse is clear – Cover your chest.
The last part of the verse 24:31 translates as, “They shall not strike their feet when they walk in order to shake and reveal certain details of their bodies. The details of the body can be revealed or not revealed by the dress you wear, not by your head cover. The word Zeenatahunna in this verse refers to the woman’s body parts (hidden beauty). At the end of the verse, God tells the women not to strike their feet to show their Zeenah. A woman does not need to strike her feet to show her ornaments but the way she strikes her feet while walking can reveal certain parts of the body.
Accepting orders from others than God is idol-worship. That is how serious the matter of Hijab/Khimar is. Is it possible that women who wear Hijab in the name of Islam, believing that God has ordered it are committing idol-worship as God did not order it? No, the ‘Imams’ did. These women have found for themselves gods other than the One Who revealed the Qur’an, complete, perfect and fully detailed.
Jelbab in the Qur’an means draw a shawl over yourself .
The first regulation of the dress code for Muslim women is in 7:26, the second in 24:31 as we have seen and the third is in 33:59.
7:26 O Children of Adam! We have provided you with garments to cover your bodies as well as to adorn you. The best garment for you to wear, in addition, is good conduct. These are the verses of God that they must take to heart.
24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty. They should not show off their adornment beyond what may be decently and spontaneously apparent. Let them cover their chest area with a light covering.
33:59 O Prophet! Tell your wives, your daughters, and women of the believers that they should draw their shawls over their person (when in public). This is easy and proper, so that they may be recognized and not be bothered. God is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful.
Here God sets the other regulation for the dress code for women during the Prophet’s life. This verse does not only address the wives of the Prophet, but also wives of the believers, and therefore, to all believing women.
Hard ship in Religion:
God ordains that those who would reject His Book and go look for other sources for guidance will suffer in this life and in the Hereafter by their own choice. We repeatedly find in the Qur’an that God never desires any hardship in religion. But the ‘Imams’, in their inflated egos, invented their own laws in defiance of God and made Islam impossible to practice. They enslaved Muslims by regulating everything in their daily lives. Only a few examples out of the countless: Which side you must sleep on, which foot you must step in and out of the house, what to recite on entering and exiting the toilet, which foot would enter the toilet and which one will exit, what to do with a fly in your soup, using the left hand in most situations would be accursed, what to say and recite when having intercourse with your spouse etc !
Those who believe that The Qur’an is complete, perfect and fully detailed, will have everything easy for them as God promises, while those who seek sources other than the Qur’an will suffer all the hardship in this life and in the life to come. In the Hereafter they will complain to God, “We were not idol-worshipers,” but God knows best, they were. (See 6:21-24)