9 Conditions for Obligatory Hijab for Women
Allaah, the Most High says in the Qur’an:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts from lewd acts and not to show off their beauty except that which is apparent, and to draw their scarves (i.e. the khimaar) over themselves and not to reveal their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (muslim) womenfolk, or the female servants whom they possess, or old male servants who do not possess desire, or small children who have no sense of sexuality. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornments. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.” (An-Noor 24:31)
This is a clear obligation upon our sisters to conceal all of her beautification and a forbiddance of revealing anything from her beauty in front of strangers, except for that which appears from her unintentionally or unavoidably and her outer garment is worn over her normal clothing.
Here is an excellent explanation of “The Obligatory Conditions For An Islamic Hijab” taken from www.abdurrahman.org
1. Covering all Of The Body
It is an agreed position by many respected scholars that the face and hands of the woman must be covered. Some scholars say it is permissible to uncover the face and the hands of the woman as long as there is no fitna (infatuation) caused by this action. Two things must be taken into consideration:
- a) if she is beautiful and beautifies her face and hands with external substances, or
- b) the society around her is corrupt where men do not lower their gaze, then it is prohibited for her to uncover her face and hands.
On the authority of the wife of the prophet (pbuh), Umm Salama (RA) said:
“When the verse was revealed that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies’ was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments."
2.The hijab must not be a display
The hijab itself must not be a display. Allah ordained it so as to cover the beauty of women and not for showing off.
Allah (swt) says
‘And not show of their adornment except only that which is apparent.’ (S24:31).
‘And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.’ (S33:33).
It is in no way logical that the hijab itself be a source of display.
3. The hijab must not be transparent
The purpose of wearing hijab must be achieved. In order for the hijab to be a cover, it must not be made of transparent material making the woman covered only by name, while in reality she is naked. The prophet (pbuh) is quoted as saying:
“In the latest part of my Ummah (nation of Muslims) there shall be women who would be naked in spite of being dressed, they have their hair high like the humps of the Bukht camel, curse them, for they are cursed. They will not enter Al-Jannah and would not even perceive its odour, although it’s fragrance can be perceived from a distance of 500 years traveling by camel”
This indicates that a woman could cause herself a grave and destructive sin if she puts on a garment that is thin and transparent and which clearly shapes her body’s features.
4. The hijab must be roomy, and not tight
The hijab is a safeguard against fitna. If it is tight, it will be descriptive of the woman’s body and this violates and defeats the whole purpose of hijab.
5. The hijab must not be perfumed
On the authority of Ad’Diya Al-Maqdisi, the prophet (pbuh) said:
“Any woman who perfumes herself and passes by some people that they smell her scent, then she is a Zaniyah (adulteress).”
6. The hijab shouldn’t resemble the dress of a man
Imam Ahmed, an-Nissa’ee reported the prophet (pbuh) to have said:
“Women who assume the manners of men are not from us and also those of men who assume the manners of women.”
Abu Huraira narrated that:
“ The Prophet (pbuh) CURSED the man who wears the dress of a woman and the woman who wears the dress of a man.”
7.The hijab must not resemble the garments of the kuffar
Abu Dawoud and Ahmed have related the prophet (pbuh) said:
“The one who take the similitude (manner) of a certain people, then he/she becomes one of them.”
Abdullah bin Ummar (RA) said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) saw me wearing two garments dyed in saffron (orange), whereupon he said: these are the clothes (usually worn) by the kuffar, so do not wear them.”
8.The hijab should not be for fame
Abu Dawoud and Ibn Majah have related the prophet to saying:
"The one who wears a garment designed for a worldly fame, Allah will make them wear a garment of humility on the Day Of Resurrection then he will be set ablaze.”