: The Hijab .. Why?

12/10/2006, 10:23 PM
The Hijab .. Why?

Dr: Muhammad Ismail

Translation & Comments

Dr: Saleh As-Saleh


"A View Through Hijab"

A Japanese Woman


ALL praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Most

Merciful, the Beneficent, and the Master of the Day of

Judgment. O Allah! Have Your Salat(1) and Salam (peace) and

blessing upon Your slave and Messenger Muhammad and

upon all of his companions.

Extraordinary consideration has been given by the Islamic

Law to women's affairs. Such consideration is sufficient to

protect her chastity, to honor her and to secure her position in

life. The "restrictions" placed upon her regarding her dress and

the display of her beauty and ornament is only to guard

against all ways of corruption arising from such dazzling

displays. What Islam has established is not a restriction on

the freedom of women but is a firm protection for her from

falling down to the lowest levels of humility.

In this work, we mention the virtues of a critical aspect of this

protection: the HIJAB. The characteristics of the Hijab are

discussed, bringing the glad tidings promised (by Allah) to

those women adhering to it. We also point out the danger of

dazzling displays of ornaments and beauty as well as the

terrible repercussions in this life and in the hereafter for those

who practice Tabar'roj.

This is the second edition of this book. It comes at a time

when more women are throwing away their revealing clothes,

and wearing the Hijab. It goes to print when Muslim women

are being raped and tom in their Hijabs in "civilized" Europe(2)!

and when France(3) prevents Muslim women from wearing the

Hijab at school. These are times of trials for Muslims and

particularly for Muslim women. We all have to remember the

path of the Prophets: endurance, patience, holding on, and

aiming high by keeping the way of Allah above everything.

Allah knows our intentions and He is Sufficient to Us and He

is the Best Guardian.

Shayekh - Dr. Muhammad Bin Ismail

Translator and Commentator: Dr. Saleh As-Saleh

13/6/ 1414 Hj. Nov.26, 1993

__ ________

(1) The Salat of Allah upon prophet Muhammad is His Praise and

mentioning of the Prophet to the angels in the Most High place in


(2) Bosnia is a testimony against the "civility" of Europe and the West.

Civility stops at the word: Muslim or Islam!

(3) The country that raises the banner of: equality, brotherhood, and




The Hijab is an act of obedience to Allah SW(4) and to His

Messenger Muhammad (SAAW(5)). He (SW) says:


{ [ȡ 36]

"It is not for a believer, man or woman,

when Allah and His Messenger have

decreed a matter that they should have

an option in their decision. And

whoever disobeys Allah and His

Messenger, has indeed strayed in a

plain error." (Qur'an 33:36)

Allah (SW) also says:


{ [ 65 ]

"But no by your Lord, they can have no

Faith, until they make you

(Muhammad (SAAW)) a judge in all

disputes between them, and find in

themselves no resistance against your

decisions, and accept (them) with full

submission." (Qur'an 4:65)

Indeed,, Allah ordered that women must put on the Hijab(6).

He (SW) says:


{ [ѡ31]

"And tell the believing women to lower

their gaze (from looking at forbidden

things) and protect their private parts

(from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not

to show off their adornment except

what must (ordinarily) appear thereof,

that they should draw their veils over

their Juyubihinna(7)." (Qur'an 24:31).

Allah considered the dazzling display of beauty an act of ignorance:

} { [ȡ33]

"And stay in your houses and do not

display yourselves like that of the times

of Jahiliyeeyah(8) (ignorance). " (Qur'an 33:33)

He, Most Glorified, says:


{ [ȡ 53 ]

"And when you ask the Prophet's wives

for anything you want, ask them from

behind a screen." (Qur'an 33:53)

The above Ayah (verse) does not apply only to the Prophet's

wives but to all of the believing women. Carefully read the

following saying of Allah (SW):


{ [ȡ59]

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your

daughters and the women of the

believers to draw their cloaks (veils)

over their bodies (when outdoors). That

is most convenient that they should be

known and not molested."(9) (Qur'an 33:59)

The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" "

"The woman (i.e. any woman) is A'wrah (10)", that is she must be covered.

__ ________

(4) SW: Subhanahu Wata'ala, Most Glorified and Most High is He.

(5) SAAW: Salla Allahu Aleihi Wassalam: May the Salat and Salaam

(Peace) of Allah be upon His Prophet Muhammad

(6)This is not something cultural. It is Allah's order. Its conditions are not

Arabian, Egyptian, Pakistani, Black or White American, etc. Its

conditions are specified in the Qur'an and Sunnah to provide a protection

and safeguarding of women. No one knows about what is good for men

and women more than their Creator, Allah. His laws are Wise as it is the

case with all of His actions.

(7) Juyubihinna: The respected scholars from As-Salaf As-Saleh (righteous

predecessors) differed whether the veil cover of the body must include

the hands and face or not. Today, respected scholars say that the hands

and face must be covered. Other respected scholars say it is preferable

for women to cover their whole bodies.

(8) Jahilyeeyah: The days of ignorance prior to the Revelation of the Qur'an.

(9) No one can ignore the molestation of women that exists in the so called

"open" societies. The question is: why it is happening? The answer

begins to shape up when people think about the purpose behind

creation. Allah created us for the single purpose of worshipping Him

alone. He detailed all the ways to fulfill this purpose in the Last

Revelation to all mankind, the Qur'an. In it we can find how women and

men can safeguard their dignity, honor, and morality. The worship of

Allah is manifested in the following of His orders. Allah orders that

men and women must avoid all the roads that lead to animalistic ways of

living. The Hijab is one of Allah's commands. It is an honor and

protection for women as well as a true freedom for her body from the

hands and eyes of aggressors and molesters.

(l0) This hadeeth is narrated by Abdullah bin Masoud and collected by

At-Tirmidhi who said it is Hassan-Ghareeb i.e. good and Ghareeb (The

Ghareeb is a narration by one narrator either in each level of the levels

of the chain of narrators or in some levels of the chain). Also As-Siyouti

hinted that it is authentic.


Allah (SW) made the adherence to the Hijab a manifestation

for chastity and modesty:


{ [ȡ59]

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your

daughters and the women of the

believers to draw their cloaks (veils)

over their bodies (when outdoors). That

is most convenient that they should be

known and not molested." (Qur'an 33: 59)

In the above Ayah there is an evidence that the recognition of

the apparent beauty of the woman is harmful to her. When the

cause of attraction ends, the restriction is removed. This is

illustrated in the case of elderly women who may have lost

every aspect of attraction. Allah (SW) made it permissible for

them to lay aside their outer garments and expose their faces

and hands reminding, however, that it is still better for them to

keep their modesty:


{ [ѡ60 ]

"And as for women past child-bearing

who do not expect wed-lock, it is no sin

for them if they discard their (outer) in

such a way as not to show their

adornment; but it is best to be modest

and Allah knows and sees all things

provided they do not make a display of

their beauty; but it is best to be modest

and Allah knows and sees all

things." (Qur'an 24:60)

So how about young women? Clearly they must stay modest

find not display their beauty.


Allah (SW) had shown us the Hikma (Wisdom) behind the

legislation of the Hijab:


{ [ȡ 53]

"And when you ask them (the Prophet's

wives) for anything you want, ask them

from behind a screen, that is purer for

your hearts and their hearts." (Qur'an 33:53)

The Hijab makes for greater purity for the hearts of believing

men and women because it screens against the desire of the

heart. Without the Hijab, the heart may or may not desire.

That is why the heart is more pure when the sight is blocked

(by Hijab) and thus the prevention of fitna (evil actions) is

very much manifested. The Hijab cuts off the ill thoughts and

the greed of the sick hearts:


{ [ȡ 32]

"Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose

heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil

desire for adultery, etc.) should be

moved with desire, but speak in an

honorable manner." (Qur'an 33:32)

12/10/2006, 10:24 PM

The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" "

"Allah, Most High, is Ha'yeii(11), Sit'teer)12(, He loves Haya'

(Bashfulness) and Sitr (Shielding; Covering)"(13).

The Prophet (SAAW) also said:

" ǡ "

"Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her

husband's home (to show off for unlawful purposes). has

broken Allah's shield upon her"(14)

The hadeeth demonstrates that depending upon the kind of

action committed there will be either reward (if good) or

punishment (if bad).

__ ________

(11) Ha'yeii: Allah is Bashful: He does not unravel the acts of disobedience

by His slaves. They openly disobey Allah while they are in need of Him,

yet He (being Ha'yeii) is ashamed of humiliating them leaving the door

of repentance opened for them. If, however, they become arrogant and

persist on the spread of evil, and disobedience, Allah certainly is All-Just

in His infliction of punishment.

(12) Sit'teer: Allah is Sit'teer: He provides means that shield against the

uncovering of disobedient acts. The slaves commit acts of disobedience

while Allah is providing them with many of His favors. He (SW) gives

the opportunity for each one of us to return to Him in repentance and to

seek His forgiveness. He loves those who do not like the spread of sin.

He dislikes the Muslim who publicizes his acts of sin and disobedience.

He loves the Muslim who does not unravel the sins of his brother in

Islam while at the same time calls him to repent. The Hijab is something

beloved by Allaah because it is a shield against the spread of evil

manifested in the display of beauty to strangers.

(l3) Collected by Abu Dawoud, An-Nissa'ee, AI-Baihaqee, Ahmed, and in

Saheeh An-Nissa'ee.

(14) Collected by Abu Dawoud and At-Tirmidhi who said: it is a good hadeeth" .


Allah (SW) says:


{ [ݡ 26]

"O Children of Adam! We have

bestowed raiment upon you to cover

yourselves (screen your private parts,

etc.) and as an adornment. But the

raiment of righteousness, that is

better." (Qur'an 7:26)

The widespread forms of dresses in the world today are mostly

for show off and hardly taken as a cover and shield of the

woman's body. To the believing women, however, the purpose

is to safeguard their bodies and cover their private parts as a

manifestation of the order of Allah. It is an act of Taqwah

(righteousness ).


Allah (SW) did not address His Words about the Hijab except

to the believing women, Al-Mo'minat:

} { [ѡ31]

"And say (O Muhammad (SAAW) to

the believing women." (Qur'an 24: 31)

In another Ayah Allah (SW) also says:

} { [ȡ59]

"And the believing

women" (Qur'an 33: 59).

A'isha (RAA(15)) the wife of the Prophet (SAAW), addressed

some women from the tribe of Banu Tameem who came

visiting her and had light clothes on them:

"If indeed you are believing women, then truly this is not the

dress of the believing women, and if you are not believing

women, then enjoy it."(16)

__ ________

(15) RAA: Radiya Allahu anhu (anha or anhum): May Allah be pleased

with him (her or them)

(16) Reported in "Ma'alim As-Sunnan" by Abu Suleiman Al-Khitabi in his

explanation of Sunnan An-Nissa'ee V 4, p.376


The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" "

"Each religion has a morality and the morality of Islam is

haya' (bashfulness)."(17)

He (SAAW) also said:

"Bashfulness is from belief and belief is in Aj-Jannah


Furthermore, he (SAAW) said:

" "

"Bashfulness and belief are fully associated together if one is

lifted the other follows suit."(19)

The mother of the believers, A'isha said: "I used to enter the

room where the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) and my father

were later buried in without having my garment on me,

saying it is only my husband and my father". But when Umar

(RAA) was later buried in (the same place), I did not enter

the room except that I had my garment on being shy from

Umar (RAA)."(20) The Hijab fits the natural bashfulness which

is a part of the nature of women.

__ ________

(17) Related by Imam Malik in his "Mu'wata" (2: 905-Arabic). The hadeeth

chain is Mursal i.e. the chain of narrators is disconnected at one point or

another. For example to say: "On the authority of A, on the authority of

B, on the authority of C that the Prophet said "...." . The hadeeth is

Mursal if for example C did not hear directly from the Prophet. In the

case of the above hadeeth, Ibin Habban connected the chain by two ways

of narrators, both of them are weak.

(18) collected by At-Tirmidhi who said it is: "a good and authentic hadeeth".

(19) Narrated by Abdul'lah bin Umar as Related by Al-Hakim in his

"Mustadrak" (1/22-Arabic) who said: "it is a good and authentic

Hadeeth.." and Al-Thahabi confirmed Al-Hakim on this.

(20) As-Simt Ath'ameeen Fee Maniqib Ummahat Ul-Mu'mineen, p.91:A

Book by Ibin As-Sakir that represents a collection of the great attributes

of the Mothers of Believers (The wives of the Prophet-SAAW). Al-

Hakim reported a similar narration and said that it is "good according to

the conditions of Imam Bukhari and Imam Mulslim", noting that both

Imams did not discuss the chain of narration itself. Al- Thahabi had no

comment about Al-Hakim's narration.


The Hijab fits the natural feeling of Gheerah which is intrinsic

in the straight man who does not like people to look at his

wife or daughters. Gheerah is a driving emotion that drives

the straight man to safeguard women who are related to him

from strangers. The straight Muslim man has Gheerah for all

Muslim women. Many in the world had lost this great moral

aspect. In response to lust and desire men look (with desire) at

other women while they do not mind that other men do the

same to their wives or daughters! In "free" societies you see

men sitting with strange women who are half-naked

"enjoying" the scene! They introduce their wives to other

strange men. Mutual looks here and there! Affairs develop and

phone calls are exchanged. "Love affairs" destroys many

families and children suffer most. What kind of "love" is this?

The mixing of sexes and absence of Hijab kills the Gheerah in

men. The eyes "eat up" other men and women! The inner

"justification" is: since I can look they can look. It's a " free

choice"!! Few are those who feel anything when they discover

their wives have "affairs". They become numb!! No dignity !

No honor! The bottom line is that in many societies of this

modern World the animalistic behaviors are becoming very


Ali (RAA) said: "It was related to me that you women used to

crowd the Kuffar (disbelieving men) from the non-Arabs in

the markets; don't you have Cheerah? There is no good in the

one who does not have Gheerah."

Islam considers Gherrah an integral part of faith .The dignity

of the wife or daughter or any other Muslim woman must be

highly respected and defended.




The one who disobeys Allah and his Messenger (SAAW) can

only harm himself and cannot in any way harm Allah. The

Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

" " : : "


"All of my followers will enter Aj-Jannah except those who

refuse." They said, "O Allah's Messenger! Who will refuse? "

He said, "Whoever obeys me will enter Aj-Jannah, and

whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it)."(21)

It is reported that Mu'awiyah (RAA) gave a sermon in Humss

(Syria) and mentioned that the Prophet (SAAW) prohibited

seven things and that he (SAAW) named Tabar'roj as one of

them(22). Abdullah bin Mas'oud (RAA) reported that the

Prophet (SAAW) "used to dislike ten kinds of behavior and he

(Abdullah) mentioned amongst them: "Tabar'roj by means of

displaying beautification in an improper place."(23) Imam As-

Siyouti, may Allah's mercy be upon him said: "Tabar'roj by

displaying beautification is showing off to strangers and this is

disliked. This is the explanation of "an improper place." It is

not so if the beautification is done for the husband.

__ ________

(21) Saheeh Al-Bukhari (English-Arabic, Dar Al-Arabia, Publ. Beirut,

Lebanon), V.9, hadeeth # 384, p.284

(22) Related by Imam Ahmed in his Mussnad 4/101-Arabic.

(23) Related by An-Nissa'ee in his " Sunan "Arabic 8/141.


Umay'mah, the daughter of Ruqay'ah came to the Messenger

of Allah to acknowledge the message of Islam and that he

(SAAW) is the Messenger of Allah (SW). The Prophet

(SAAW) told her: "I give my acknowledgment that you must

not set partners to worship besides Allah and that you don't

steal or commit fornication and adultery, that you don't kill

your child, that you don't commit any falsehood before your

hands and between your legs, that you don't wail, and that

you don't make Tabar'roj like that of Jahilyeeyah(24). It is clear

that the Prophet (SAAW) associated Tabar'roj with grave

destructive sins.

__ ________

(24) Related by Imam Ahmed in his "Mussnad" 2/196. The scholar Ahmed

Shaker, may Allah's Mercy be upon him, said : " Its chain of narration is

good". He also said that Ibin Khatheer in his "Tafseer :Explanation of the

Qur'an 8: 327-328" mentioned this hadeeth saying, "its chain of narration

is good" and he related it to At-Tirmidhi, An-Nissa'ee and Ibin Majah.



The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:



"There shall be, in the latter part of my nation, women who

are dressed but (in fact) naked, on their heads are humps like

those of Bukht (one kind of camels), curse them for they are

surely cursed."(25)

__ ________

(25) At-Tabarani related this hadeeth in "Al-Mu'jam As-Sagheer" p.232 and

Al-Albani said it Saheeh as in his book "The Hijab" p.56. As-Siyouti

related on behalf of Ibin Abdul'barr that: "The Prophet (SAAW) intended

women who put on light clothes that shows off and shapes the body

descriptions. In reality they are naked although they have clothes on them! ".



The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

" :

ӡ ɡ

ǡ "

Of the people of Hell there are two types whom I have never

seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they

flog people with them. The second one, women who would be

naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to

wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like

humps. These women would not get into Aj-Jannah and they

would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be

perceived from such and such distance.(26)

__ ________

(26) Saheeh Muslim (English-Arabic, Published by Dar Al-Arabia, Beirut.

Lebanon) V. 4 hadeeth # 6840 p. 1486.


It is related that the Prophet (SAAW) said:

" ǡ ɡ "

The parable of a woman who moves with slow sweeping

motion, trailing her beautified clothes, performing not for her

husband, is like darkness on the Day of Judgment; she has (or

comes with) no light,"(27)

" ϡ ϡ ɡ ɡ

ʡ ʡ


__ ________

(27) Related by Imam At-Tirmidhi in his "Sunan" # 1167. Al-Albani said it

is a weak hadeeth (See Al-Albani's collection "Ad-Da'eefah" (Collection

of Weak Hadeeths) # 1800. Abu Bakr Bin Arabi, may Allah's Mercy be

upon him, said: "At-Tirmidhi related this hadeeth and said it is weak but

its meaning is correct because the "enjoyment" in disobedience is in fact

torture and suffering". The meaning indicates that this type of

women will come on the Day of Judgment Blackened in darkness as if

she physically originated from darkness. In contrast, what appears to be

difficult and painful in performance of obedient acts, is a true enjoyment

because of the reward awaiting those who obey Allah and His Messenger

e.g. the odor of the mouth of a fasting Muslim may not be pleasant in

this world. To Allah, however, it is better than the odor of Musk because

the Muslim had obeyed Allah and performed what is due upon him from

fasting. Similarly the woman wearing her Hijab may be looked upon as

"reactionary, old fashioned, a walking tent! etc." She is the winner on the

Day of Judgment and those who mock her put themselves on a dangerous

road. They may be subjected to the wrath of Allah.

12/10/2006, 10:25 PM

The Prophet (SAAW) said:

"The best of your women is the affectionate , the fertile (in

productivity), the propitious (favorable), the consultative if

they fear Allah. the Most evil of your women are the

Mutabar'rijat (those who do Tabar'roj), the Mutakhayelat

(who strut/swagger), and they are the hypocrite ones. Those

who enter Aj-Jannah are like the Cough Crow."(28) The Cough

Crow has a red beak and red legs. This is an expression of

metonymy indicating that few women enter Heaven because

this kind of crow is rare.

__ ________

(28) Reported by Al-Baihaqi in "As-Sunan" V.7 p.82. Also reported by

Abu Na'eem in "Al-Hiliyah" V. 8, p. 376 with a reference to Abdullah

bin Masoud (RAA) as the narrator. See also Al-Albani's "Chain of

Authentic Hadeeths - Arabic" # 1849 and 632.


The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" ǡ "

"Any woman who takes off her clothes in other than her

husbands home (to show off for an unlawful purpose), has

broken the shield between her and Allah."(29) Imam Al-

Man'nawi, may Allah have Mercy upon him, said: "the saying

of the Prophet (SAAW) ' any woman who takes off her clothes

in other than her husbands home' means showing off her

beauty to strangers by taking off her shield of clothes. She

"has broken the shield between her and Allah" because Allah

had said:




"O children of Adam! We have

bestowed raiment upon 'you to cover

yourselves (screen your private parts

etc.) and as an adornment. But the

raiment of righteousness, that is

better."(Qur'an 7:26)

So if a woman does not fear Allah and uncover her private

parts then she is breaking the shield between her and Allah,

Most High. And because she uncovered and dishonored

herself and committed a treason with her husband, Allah will

uncover her shield, she will be in a scandal... "

__ ________

(29) Related by Imam Ahmed and Al-Hakim in his "Mustadrek" (Arabic)

V.4, p.288 who said it is Saheeh (authentic) according to the conditions

of Muslim and Al-Bukhari, and Ad-Dahabi agreed as well as Ibin Majah.


The woman is A'wrah, All of her body is not to be shown(30)

To wear the clothes that show off and shapes her body

features is disgraceful and Allah (SW) orders His slaves to

stay away from disgraceful sins:


{ [ݡ28]

"When they commit a Fahisha (evil

deed, going round the Ka'ba in naked

state as in the times of Jahilyeeyah,

every kind of unlawful sexual

intercourse etc.), they say: 'We found

our fathers doing it and Allah has

commanded us of it.' Say: "Nay, Allah

never commands of Fahisha. Do you

say of Allah what you know not?"

(Qur'an 7:28)

It is Shaytan (Satan) who orders such disgraceful sins. Allah

(SW) says:

} {

[ɡ 268]

"Shaytan threatens you with poverty

and orders you to commit sins. "(Qur'an 2: 268)

The Mutabar'rigah is a sinful virus that spreads disgraceful

sins amongst the Muslim society. Allah, the Most High, says:


{ [ѡ19]

"Verily, those who like, that (the crime

of) illegal sexual intercourse should be

propagated among those who believe,

they will have a painful torment in this

world and in the Hereafter. And Allah

knows and you know not." (Qur'an 24:19)

Tabar'roj is a leading cause for the spread of Zina (illegal

sexual intercourse).

__ ________

(30) See footnote # 7.


The story of Adam and his wife demonstrates how the enemy

of Allah, Satan, was so covetous to incite them to show their

private parts in order to spread evil and disgraceful sins. It

also shows that the Tabar'roj of women is a primary goal for

Shaytan to achieve. Allah (SW) says:


{ [ݡ26]

"O children of Adam! We have

bestowed raiment upon you to cover

yourselves (screen your private parts

etc.) and as an adornment. But the

raiment of righteousness, that is

better." (Qur'an 7:26)

It is clear that Satan is the one who established the call for

Tabar'roj and show off and that he is the leader of those "

leaders " who call for the "liberation of women". Satan is the

"Imam" of everyone who obeys and follows him in

disobedience to Allah (The Most Merciful), especially those

Mutabar'rijat who harm the Muslims and deceive their youth.

The Prophet ( SAAW) said:


"I have not left after me any (chance) of turmoil more harmful

to men than the harm done to the men because of women.(31)

Adam forgot, made a mistake, repented and asked forgiveness

from Allah and Allah the Oft-Forgiving accepted Adam's

repentance. The struggle between Adam's off-springs and

Shaytan continues. The devil still whispers to drive us , men

and women, to disobey Allah and follow sin. There is no

safeguard except in the return to Allah in good faith and

repentance, remembering Allah, asking His help to overcome

lust and desire.

__ ________

(31) Saheeh Muslim (English translation; published by Dar Al-Arabia) V. 4, hadeeth # 6603, p. 1431


Jews have an important role in the destruction of nations

through the Fitna. (seduction/temptation) of women. The

spread of Tabar'roj is an effective weapon of their widespread

establishments. They have an extensive experience in this

field. One should look around only to see who runs Hollywood

and famous Houses of "Fashions" and "Magazines" as well as

the world of advertisement!. R-rated, X-rated movies and

clothes are widespread. In fact the Prophet ( SAAW) said:

" ǡ "

"Watch out for this worldly life (safeguard yourselves from

its temptations); avoid the allurement of women: verily, the

first trial for the people of Israel was caused by women.(32)

Their Books also testify to this fact. In the Third Chapter of

Isaiah ( 16, 17):

"The Lord said: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty

and walk with necks outstretched ogling and mincing as they

go, their anklets tinkling with every step. The Lord shall cover

the scalps of Zion's daughters with scabs, and the Lord shall

bare their heads." Furthermore, "On that day the Lord will do

away with the finery of the anklets, sunbursts, and crescents;

the pendants, bracelets, and veils; the headdresses, bangles,

cinctures, perfume boxes, and amulets; the signet rings, and

the rose rings; the court dresses, wraps, cloaks, and purses; the

mirrors,.." (Isaiah, 3, 18-23; The New American Bible).

Although the Prophet (SAAW) warned against mimicking the

Kuffar (non-believers) and their ways, especially the ways of

women. Many Muslims do not abide by this warning(33). This

is a testimony for the prophecy of the Prophet (SAAW) who said:

" ڡ

: : "

"You would tread the same path as was trodden by those

before you inch by inch and step by step so that if they had

entered into the hole of a Dhab (a desert lizard), you would

follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you

mean Jews and Christians (by your words)" those before

you"? he said: Who else (than those two religious groups).(34)

The similarity of those women who disobey Allah and his

Messenger to the Jews is very evident because their response

to Allah's commands was similar to that of the Jews:

} { [ɡ93]

"We have heard and disobeyed"

(Qur'an 2: 93)

This is unlike the response of the believing women:

} { [ɡ 285]

"We hear and we obey." (Qur'an 2: 285)

They remember the saying of Allah:


{ [ 115]

"And whoever contradicts and opposes

the Messenger (Muhammad-SAAW)

after the right path has been shown

clearly to him, and follows other than

the believers' way, We shall keep him

in the path he has chosen and burn

him in Hell; what an evil destination!"

(Qur'an 4: 115)

__ ________

(32) Ibid, footnote # 31; Hadeeth # 6606, p.1432

(33) It is sad to see many who dislike the Kuffar in certain ways imitate

them in their ways of living thinking that their materialistic progress

could not be achieved except in acting, dressing, eating, jogging,

sleeping ..like them. The true Muslim, however, remembers that any

progress must meet the purpose for our presence on earth: all action must

be related to the worship of Allah. The Kuffar have taken some of the

means which Allah had created and used it for worldly gains. We are

ordered to make the means adhere to the purpose of our creation: the

worship of Allah Alone and thus uses the means to defend Islam and

Muslims and secure the needs of life as well. Why should some of us

dress the way Allah ordered and some does not? Should we choose

Allah's way or the Kuffar way? All the success is measured by one

criterion: does it meet the pleasure of Allah or not?

(34) A famous and Saheeh hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and

others. The text here is as reported in Saheeh Muslim V. 4, hadeeth #

6448, p.1403



Allah (SW) says:


{ [ȡ33]

"And stay in your houses and do not

display yourselves like that of the times

of ignorance" (Qur'an 33:33)

The Prophet (SAAW) described the times of ignorance as

filthy and wicked and ordered us to reject it. Allah (SW)

described the Prophet (SAAW) as :

} {


"He allows them as lawful At-Tayyibat

(all i.e. good and lawful as regards

things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods,

etc.), and prohibits them as unlawful

Al-Khaba'ith (all i.e. evil and unlawful

as regard things, deeds, beliefs,

persons, foods, etc.)" (Qur'an 7: 157)

The call to bring about the times of Jahilyeeyah is similar to

the call for Tabar'roj, both of which are wicked ways that the

Messenger (SAAW) made unlawful. He (SAAW) said:

" "

"Verily! every matter of Jahilyeeyah is under my feet!"(35)

Tabar'roj and all forms of Jahilyeeyah such as false pride and

haughtiness, ill thoughts about Allah, call for falsehood,

setting up rivals with Allah, ruling by other than the laws of

Islam, usury, etc., are all included.

__ ________

(35) Related by Abu Dawoud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibin Majah, and Ad-Darime'i

and Imam Ahmed.



To reveal and expose are natural behaviors of animals.

Whenever man inclines towards such behaviors he starts his

decline to a level lower than the level of manhood which Allah

had bestowed upon him. Allah bestowed a natural inclination

(Fitrah) towards covering, preservation, and safeguarding

modesty. To consider the acts of display, exposition, and

uncovering as acts of beauty reflects a corruption to the Fitrah

and a degeneration in taste and a sign of decadence and


The progress of man's civility is linked to his/her covering of

the body. The Hijab cover is fitting to the instinct of Gheerah

which draws its strength from the soul. The so called

"liberation from the chains of covering" is an instinct that

draws its strength from lust which incites Tabar'roj and

mixing of the sexes. The one who is satisfied with this latter

instinct must sacrifice the first one in order to silence the

voice of the innate Gheerah in his heart in return for the

"enjoyment" of Tabar'roj and mixing. From this we

understand that the Tabar'roj is a sign of corruption of Fitrah,

lack of bashfulness, Gheerah, and insensitivity.


Anyone who carefully examines the Islamic Texts (Qur'an and

Sunnah) and the lessons of history, becomes convinced about

the evils of Tabar'roj and its harm, both on religious and

worldly matters especially when it is associated with the

mixing of sexes. Some of its underlying consequences are:

r The Competition Amongst the Displaying Women in

Showing Off Their Beauty{tc \l 3 "A \:) The Competition

Amongst the Displaying Women in Showing Off Their

Beauty"}. This is seduction, and it leads to the spoiling of

morality and leaves women as merchandise articles exhibited

for anyone to look at.

r The Corruption of the Morality of Men, Especially

the Youth and Those in Adolescence. It pushes them to

commit various kinds of sins(36).

r The Destruction of Family Ties and Causing a Lack

of Trust Between Family Members and the Spread of


r The Commercial Abuse of Women In The World of

Advertisement, Entertainment And Other Areas As Well.

r Doing Harm to Women by Declaring Their Ill

Intentions and Evil Conscience Thus Rendering Her

Venerable To Harm By The Wicked And The Insolent.

r The Spread of Diseases.

The Prophet (SAAW) said:



"Sins didn't spread in any particular nation until they openly

conduct it and as a result, plague and other illnesses that

were not present among their predecessors became

widespread amongst them."(37)

r Facilitates The Sin of Zina (Fornication) By The Eye.

The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" "

"The adultery of the eyes is the lustful look. ."(38)

r Tabar'roj Makes it Difficult to Lower The Gaze.

r Justifiably Brings Down Allah's Punishment

The punishment of Allah is more severe than atomic bombs

and earthquakes. Allah (SW) says:


{ [16]

"And when We(39) decide to destroy a

town (population), We (first) send a

definite order (to obey Allah and be

righteous) to those among them [or We

(first) increase in number those of its

Population] who are given the good

things in this life. Then, they transgress

therein, and thus the word (of torment)

is justified against it (them). Then We

destroy it with complete destruction."

(Qur'an 17: 16)

The Prophet (SAAW) said:

" "

"When people see wrong (or evil) and they don't change it,

then it is imminent that the punishment of Allah will fall upon


__ ________

(36) You may have seen teen-age kids on the corners of many streets in

Europe and in North America rooming around, smoking to get high, half

naked, and on drugs looking to engage in *********. Why? What happened?

Many try to hide from the hard facts! The drive for lust and materialistic

life became the "god" of the new generations: the Pepsi-Michael-MTV-

Jackson generations. The result: AIDS and other sexually transmitted


(37) Part of a lengthy hadeeth related by Ibin Majah, Abu Na'eem, and Al-

Hakim who said: "it has a good chain of narrators". Ad-Dahabi agreed to

Al-Hakim's report.

(38) Saheeh Muslim V.4, hadeeth # 6421 p. 1397

(39) Plural Pronoun: Is used to stress the Greatness and Power of Allah

Who is One. It is common with Semitic languages for any Monarch to

use Plural Pronoun. It is also used by members of the Royal Family in

England. To Allah, however, belong the Highest and most Perfect


(40) Related by Abu Dawoud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibin Majah and lmam Ahmed.

12/10/2006, 10:26 PM


This respected author is in agreement with the position that

the face and hands of the woman must be covered as he has

detailed this in discussions of the Hijab issues in his book:

"The Return of the Hijab, Part 3". 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 her or inflicted

upon her. They see that if: a) she is beautiful and beautifies

her face and hands with external substances, and 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.


The Hijab itself must not be a display. Allah ordained it so as

to cover the beauty of women and not for show off. He (SW)


} { [ѡ31]

"And not to show of their adornment

except only that which is apparent."

(Qur'an 24: 31)

} { [ȡ33]

"And stay in your houses and do not

display yourselves like that of the times

of ignorance." (Qur'an 33:33)

It is not logical that the Hijab itself be a source of display.(41)

__ ________

(41) Some women put on attractive covers on their heads. This is against

the purity of the Hijab and its essence.


The purpose 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 (SAAW) said:



"In the latest part of my Omaha (nation of Muslims) there

shall be women who would be naked in spite of being dressed,

they have hair high like the humps of the Bukht camel, curse

them, for they are cursed"(42). He (SAAW ) added in another


" ǡ "

"They will not enter Aj-Jannah and would not perceive its

odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and

such distance.(43)

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.

__ ________

(42) At-Tabarani reported it and Al-Albani in his book "Al-Hijab" said it is


(42) see footnote # 25


The Hijab is a safeguard against Fitna. If tight, it will be

descriptive of the woman's body and this violates the purpose

of Hijab. Usamma Bin Zaid (RAA) said:

" - -

" ɿ" :

: "


"The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) dressed me with a thick

Qubtyeeyah (cotton dress from Egypt) which was a gift that

he received from Duhia Al-Kalbi. So I gave it to my wife to

wear. He (SAAW) said : "What made you not to wear the

: "


"The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) dressed me with a thick

Qubtyeeyah (cotton dress from Egypt) which was a gift that

he received from Duhia Al-Kalbi. So I gave it to my wife to

wear. He (SAAW) said : "What made you not to wear the

Qubtyeeyah?" I said: "I dressed my wife with it. " He (SAAW)

said: " Order her to put an undergarment (or gown) under it,

because I am afraid it may describe the size of her bones.(44)

__ ________

(44) Reported by Ad'Diya' Al-Maqdissi, Imam Ahmed, At-Tabarani, Al-

Baihaqi, and Ibin Sa'd. It is also reported that Al-Haithami said:

"amongst the chain of narrators is Abdullah Ibin Aqeel whose narrations

are good; yet according to some scholars there is Da'ff (weakness)

associated with him, and that the rest of narrators are Thuqat (men of

confidence regarding reporting). Ad-Dahabi said: " the level of Abdullah

Ibin Aqeel's narration is not below the rating of "good" (In Meezan Al-

I'tidal: Measure of Balanced (verifications); Arabic).


The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

" ʡ ǡ "

"Any woman who perfumes herself and passes by some people

that they smell her scent, then she is a Zaniyah


__ ________

(45) Related by Imam Ahmed, An-Nissa'ee, and Al-Hakim who said: "it has

an authentic chain of narration" and Ad-Dahabi agreed.



The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

" "

"Women who assume the manners of men are not from us and

also those of men who assume the manners of women.(46)

Abu-Huraira (RAA) narrated that:

" - -


"The prophet (SAAW) cursed the man who wears the dress of

a woman and the woman who wears the dress of a man."(47)

knowingly condones and facilitates the Zina for his wife."(48)

__ ________

(46) Reported by Imam Ahmed and Abu Na'eem. Al-Albani authenticated

it in his book "Al-Hijab" (PP 66-67).

(47) Related by Abu Dawoud, Ibin Majah, Al-Hakim, and Imam Ahmed.

Al-Hakim said:" it is an authentic hadeeth in accordance with the

conditions of (Imam) Muslim," and Ad-Dahabi agreed. It was also

authenticated by Imam Al-Nawawee.

(48) Related by An-Nissa'ee, Imam Ahmed, Ibin Khuzayemah, Ibin

Hab'ban and authenticated by the scholar Ahmed Shakir.



The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

" "

"The one who takes the similitude (manner) of a certain

people becomes one of them.(49)

Abdullah bin Ummar (RAA) said:

" - : " -

- : " ѡ "

"The Prophet (SAAW) saw me wearing two clothes dyed in

saffron, whereupon he said: these are the clothes (usually

worn) by the Kuffar, so do not wear them."(50)

__ ________

(49) Related by Abu Dawoud, Ahmed (as part of a another hadeeth), Ibin

Taymeeyah said that the hadeeth has a good chain of narration (i.e. that

reported by Abu Dawoud) and that it is a "good hadeeth"; As-Siyouti

said :"it is "Hassan: Good" and Ibin Hag'er reported it in "Fath Al-Bari"

and supported it with another evidence (a Murssal) with a good chain of


(50) Saheeh Muslim, V. 3, hadeeth # 5173


The Messenger (SAAW) said:

" ɡ "

"The one who wears a garment designed for a worldly fame,

Allah will make him wear a garment of humility on the Day of

Resurrection then he will be set ablaze."(51)

The garment of fame is any garment a person wears to make

him/her look famous. This applies whether the garment is

highly precious and shows admiration to the life of this world

or if it is chosen of a low quality to show lack of interest to

this worldly life. The person may put on clothes with distinct

colors so as to draw attention, act proudly and/or arrogantly.

__ ________

(51) Related by Abu Dawoud, Ibin Majah, and Al-Munthari said that it is

hassan (good) as well as Ibin Muflih. Imam As-Shawkani said: "The

narrators of the chain are Thuqat" and Al-Alabni reported in his book

"Al-Hijab" p. 110 that it is hassan .


Examining the various conditions about the Hijab one can

clearly recognize that many of the young Muslim women are

not fulfilling these conditions. They consider what they put on

now. wrongly as "Hijab"

The enemies of the Islamic revival wanted to destroy it in its

infancy by oppression and cruelty. Allah (SW) defeated their

plots and held the believing men and women steadfast in their

obedience of Him (SW). The enemies of Islam realized that

they should deal with the Islamic revival in a wicked way in

order to sway this revival away from its course towards Allah.

They started to spread innovated forms of "Hijab" as a "mid-

way" solution by which the Muslim woman can "please"

Allah (they claim so!) and at the same time "accommodate"

her society and preserve her "beauty" and "glamour".

The modern "boutique" stores were declining in their trade

due to the widespread use of the true Islamic Hijab. Suddenly,

the markets were flooded with altered forms of Tabar'roj

under the name 'modern/contemporary Hijab'. In the

beginning this was protested and women were cautious. A

group of "displaying women" who were embarrassed with the

Islamic Hijab rushed towards the "contemporary Hijab" to

"relief' themselves from the pressing social realities caused

by the spread of Hijab. With time the phenomenon of

"concealed display" became widespread and known as

"contemporary Hijab". Women friendly to this course think

they are the best of girls and best of wives while in fact they

are as one poet said:

If they relate to the Hijab-

It is the relation of an intruder

So! O women of this kind be mindful to Allah (SW) and His

Messenger (SAAW) and do not be deceived by those who

may "bless" this action of yours and conceal their true

intentions. Do not be deceived and let your response be: " I

am better than those who are in a complete state of

display!" There is no excuse to follow the evil. Know that the

fire of Hell has different lower levels while Paradise has

different higher levels. So it is proper to follow your sisters

who truly adhere to the Islamic Hijab and its conditions. Aim

high towards the highest levels of Aj-Jannah. It has been

related that the Prophet (SAAW) said:

" ǡ

- - "

"Look at those who stand at lower levels than you (regarding

worldly wealth) and those who stand at higher levels than you

in religion (adherence to faith). for this would not make the

favors (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your

eyes)."(52) Az-Zohri reported(53) that Ummar Ibin Al-Khatab

(RAA) recited the saying of Allah (SW):

- - :


{ [ʡ30]

"Verily those who say: "Our Lord is

Allah (Alone), and then they stood

straight (i.e. they believed in the

Oneness of Allah and worshipped none

but Him (Alone) and obeyed Him for

all that He ordered them) on them the

angels will descend (at the time of their

death) (saying ); "Fear you not, nor

grieve! But receive the glad tidings of

Aj-Jannah which you have been

Promised!) (Qur'an 41:30).

He then said: :

" "

" They, by Allah. followed the straight path of Allah by

obeying Him and did not dodge like wolves."

Al-Hassan Al Basri, may Allah's Mercy be upon him, said: " If

Shaytan (Devil) looks and finds you continuously adhering to

the obedience of Allah he will seek you (i.e. check you) one

time after the other. If he finds that you are still holding, he

becomes weary of you and rejects you. But if you adhere one

time and you do not another, then he becomes covetous:

he wants to have you for himself."(54)

So come on to a straight path that has no crookedness and a

guidance that has no misleading ways in it, and to an honest

repentance that has no disobedience in it:


{ [ѡ31]

"And turn you all together to Allah

(and beg Him) to forgive you all, O

believers, that you may be successful."

(Qur'an 24:31)

__ ________

(52) The origin of this hadeeth was reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhari in the

Book of Riqaq and Muslim in the Book of Az-Zuhd V.4, hadeeth #

7070, P 1530, and At-Tirmidhi in the Book of Qiyamah.

(53) Reported by Imam Ahmed and Ibin Al-Mubarak. Imam Ahmed

reported it in the Book of Az-Zuhd p. 115 and 110, respectively.

(54) Reported by Ibin Al-Mubarak in his book "Az-Zuhd" p. 7 # 20


THE HONEST MUSLIM receives the order of Allah (SW)

and hastens to manifest his love to Islam into action and

listens to and obeys the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAAW). He

does not give attention to the lost and misleading ways of the

masses of human beings who do not realize their awaiting

destiny. Allah (SW) negated the existence of belief in those

who turn away from Him and from His Messenger (SAAW)



{ [ѡ47- 48]

"They (hypocrites) say: "We have

believed in Allah and in the Messenger

(Muhammad-SAAW), and we obey",

then a party of them turn away

thereafter, such are not believers. And

when they are called to Allah (i.e. His

Words-the Qur'an) and His Messenger

to judge between them, lo! a party of

them refuse to come and turn away."

(Qur'an 24: 47-48 )

On the other hand:


{ [ѡ51]

"The saying of the faithful believers

when they are called to Allah (His

Words-the Qur'an) and His Messenger

(SAAW) to judge between them is only

that they say: 'We hear and we obey.'

And such are the successful (who will

live for ever in Aj-Jannah)." (Qur'an 24: 51-52)

Safyeeyah, the daughter of Shayebah, said:



: "

:} ... { ɡ



- -


"While we were at A'isha's (RAA) we mentioned the women of

Qureish and their good favors, then A'isha said: "indeed the

women of Qureish have a good favor and by Allah I have not

seen better than the women of Al-Ansar in their strength of

acceptance of the Book of Allah and in the belief in the

Revelation: At the time when Surat An-Nur was sent down

(and in it Allah says): { }

"Let them (believing women) draw their veils over Juyubihinna."

soon their husbands turned to them reciting what Allah had

sent down to them (i.e. the above Ayah), the man recites to his

wife, his daughter, his sister and to every female relative. Not

a single woman of them except that she took up her engraved

Mirt(55) (wrapper) and covered her head and face in

acceptance and belief in what Allah had sent down from His

Book. The next morning they were behind the Prophet

(SAAW), covered as if black crows were on top of their heads.(56)

Therefore, there is no choice but to submit the order of Allah

and no hesitation should exist in following the ruling of Allah.

So come for repentance, O My Muslim Sister, and watch for

words like "I will repent, I will pray, I will cover with Hijab",

because delaying the repentance is a sin that you must repent

from! Say as Allah (SW) said on the tongue of Mussa (May

All's peace be upon him) :

[ 84] { }



(Qur'an 20:84)

And say as the believing men and women said:

[ɡ258] { }



RETURN" (Qur'an 2: 285)

__ ________

(55) With pictures of houses and dwellings.

(56) Reported in The Tafseer of Al-Qur'an Al-Ath'eem by Ibin Katheer


12/10/2006, 10:28 PM

By Sister Khaula(57) From Japan


My Story To Islam

As most of the Japanese, I'd followed no religion before I

embraced Islam in France. I was majoring in French Literature

at the university. My favorite thinkers were Sartre, Nietchze

and Camas, whose thinking is atheistic. At the same time,

however, I was very interested in religion, not because of my

inner necessity but of my love for the truth. What was waiting

for me after death did not interest me at all; how to live was

my concern(58). For a long time I had a sort of impression that I

was not doing what I should do and I was wasting my time.

Whether God existed or not was the same to me; I just wanted

to know the truth and choose my way of life-to live with God

or without God.

I started to read books on different religions except Islam. I

had never thought that Islam was a religion worth studying. It

was for me, at that time, a sort of primitive idolatry of the

simple mind (how ignorant I was!). I made friends with

Christians, with whom I studied the Bible, to come to realize a

few years later the existence of God. But then I had to face a

dilemma because I could not "feel" God at all, in spite of my

conviction that he should exist. I tried to pray in church, but in

vain. I felt nothing but the absence of God.

I then studied Buddhism, hoping I would be able to feel God

through Zen or Yoga. I found as many things in Buddhism

that seemed to be true as I had in Christianity, yet there were

many things I could not understand or accept. In my opinion,

If God exists, He should be for everyone(59) and the truth

should simple and clear to everyone. I could not understand

why people should abandon ordinary life to devote themselves

to God.

I was really at a loss for what to do to reach the end of my

desperate quest for God. It was then that I met an Algerian

Muslim. Born and raised in France, he didn't even know how

to pray and his life was quite far from the ideal of a Muslim;

nevertheless, he had very strong faith in God. However, his

belief without knowledge irritated me and made me decide to

study Islam. To start with, I bought a French translation of the

Qur'an, but I could not read more than two pages. It seemed so

strange and boring. I gave up my effort to understand it alone

and went to the mosque in Paris to ask someone to help me. It

was a Sunday and there was a lecture for women. The sisters

welcomed me warmly. It was my first encounter with

practicing Muslim women. To my surprise, I felt myself very

much at ease with them, although I'd always felt myself a

stranger in the company of Christians. I started to attend the

lecture every weekend and to read a book given to me by one

of the Muslim women. Every minute of the lecture and every

page of the book were, for me, a revelation, giving me great

spiritual satisfaction I've never known before. I had an excited

feeling that I was being initiated into the truth. What was

wonderful, Subhaanallah (Praise be to Allaah), was my

feeling the presence of God very close to me while in the

posture of Sajdah (prostration).

__ ________

(57) Sister Khaula visited the Women's Office of The Islamic Guidance

Center in Buraidah, Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia on 10/25/1993. She shared

this information with other Muslim Sisters in the Office. 1 found it

important to share with our Muslim brothers and sisters the Story of

Khaula's coming to Islam followed by her experience and advice

concerning the Hijab.

(58) This is the concern of so many people in the World and especially in

the West or in countries dominated by Western culture. People become

"workaholic" to keep up with more and more of what they want to have.

The secondary things of today are the necessities of tomorrow! The

Medium way described by the Creator, Allah, is ignored except by the

few.(Dr.S. As-Saleh)

(59) Allah is the God of everyone. This thought translates that God must

be one. There is no nationalistic belonging to God! Being the God of

everyone, He does not command some people to worship Him alone

while at the same time makes it permissible for others to set up rivals

with Him in worship. This means that His worship must be one and that

it is not up to us to define this type of worship. The way of worship

belongs to the One and Only One True God, Allah. This constitutes His

religion and He had named this way: Islam.

Khula's Story with the Hijab

"Two years ago when I embraced Islam in France, the polemic

around the wearing of the hijab at school was very hot. The

majority of people thought it was against the principle of the

public school which should keep its neutrality towards the

religion. I, who was not yet Muslim then, could hardly

understand why they were worried over such a tiny thing as a

small scarf put on the head of Muslim students...but,

apparently, French people who had faced the serious problem

of the increasing non-employment rate and the insecurity in

big cities became nervous over the immigration of workers

from Arab countries. They felt aggrieved by the sight of the

hijab in their town and in their school.

In Arab countries, on the other hand, a great wave of coming

back of the hijab was being observed especially among the

young generation, against the expectation, shared by some

Arab people and the most of Western people, of its passing

away from the scene as Westenerization took root.

The Islamic revival symbolized by the current resurgence of

the hijab is often considered as an attempt of Arab Muslims to

restore their pride and identity which have been repeatedly

undermined by colonization and economic retardation. For

Japanese people, the actual adherence of Arab people to Islam

may seem a kind of conservative traditionalism or anti-

westernism, which (the) Japanese knew themselves in the

Meiji era at the first contact with the Western culture, and

because of which they reacted against the Western life-style

and the Western way of dressing. Man has always had a

conservative tendency and reacts against which is new and

unfamiliar without realizing whether it is good or bad for him.

Some people still think the Muslim women insist on wearing

hijab which is the "very symbol of the oppressed situation

because they are enslaved by the tradition and are not

sufficiently aware of their lamentable situation. If only, they

probably think, the movement of the women's liberation and

independence awakes those women's mind, they will take

away the hijab."

Such a naive point of view is shared by the people who have

little knowledge of Islam. They, who are so accustomed to the

secularism and the religious eclecticism, are simply unable to

understand that the teaching of Islam is universal and eternal.

Anyway, there are more and more women, beyond the Arab

Nationality, all over the world embracing Islam as the true

religion and covering the hair. I am but an example of these women.

The hijab is surely a strange object for non-Muslim people.

For them, the Hijab does not cover the woman's hair but also

hides something to which they have no access, and it's why

they feel uneasy. From the outside, effectively, they can never

see what is behind the Hijab. I have kept the hijab since I

became Muslim in Paris two years ago...In France, soon after

my conversion, I put a scarf, matched in color to the dress,

lightly on the head, which people might think a sort of

fashion(60). Now in Saudi Arabia, I cover in black all my body

from the top of my head till the tip of my toes including my

eyes...At the time I decided to embrace Islam, I did not think

seriously about whether I would be able to make the five

prayers a day or put the hijab. May be I was afraid that I might

find the negative answer, and that would affect my decisions

to be Muslim. I had lived in a world which had nothing to do

with Islam until I visited, for the first time, the Mosque of

Paris. Neither the prayer nor the hijab were yet very familiar

to me. I could hardly imagine myself making the prayer and

wearing the hijab. But my desire to be a Muslim was too

strong to worry about what was waiting for me after my

conversion. Indeed, it was a miracle that I embraced Islam,

Allah Akbar.

In hijab I felt myself different. I felt myself purified and

protected. I felt the company of Allah. As a foreigner, I felt

sometimes uneasy in a public place, stared by men. With

hijab, I was not seen. I found that the hijab sheltered me from

such impolite stares. I was also very happy and proud in hijab

which is not only the sign of my obedience to Allah but also

the manifestation of my faith...besides, the hijab helps us to

recognize each other and to share the feeling of sisterhoods.

The hijab has also the advantage of reminding the people

around me that God exists and reminding me of being with

God(61). It tells me: "be careful. You should conduct yourself as

a Muslim" As a policeman becomes more conscious of his

profession in his uniform, I had a stronger feeling of being

Muslim with hijab.

Soon, I started to put the hijab before my going out from the

house whenever I went to the Mosque. It was a spontaneous

and voluntary act and no body forced me to do so.

Two weeks after my conversion, I went back to Japan to

attend the wedding ceremony of one of my sisters, and

decided not to go back to France, Now that I became a

Muslim and found that I'd been looking for, the French

literature did not interest me any more. I had rather an

increasing passion for learning the Arabic(62).

For me...it was a trial to live in a small town in Japan, isolated

completely from Muslims, But such isolation helped me to

intensify my consciousness of being a Muslim. As Islam

prohibits the women to disclose the body and to wear clothes

which accentuate the body line, I had to abandon many of my

clothes such as mini-skirts and half-sleeve blouses. Besides,

the Western style fashion does not match with the hijab. I

decided, therefore, to make a dress by myself. I asked a friend

of mine who knew dress-making to help me, and in two weeks

I made a dress with a "pantaloon" after the model of a

"Pakistani dress". I did not mind people looking at my strange


Six months had past since I went back to Japan, when my

desire to study the Arabic and Islam in a Muslim country grew

so intense that I decided to realize it. I went to Cairo where I

knew only one person.

I was at a loss to find none of my host family spoke English.

To my great surprise, furthermore, the lady who took my hand

to lead me into the house covered herself all in black from top

to toe including the face. Such a "fashion" is now familiar to

me and I adopt it for myself in Riyadh, but at that time, I was

quite surprised at the sight.

I attended once in France a big conference for Muslims, and in

that occasion I saw for the first time a woman in black dress

with a face-cover. Her presence among the women in colorful

dress and scarf was very strange and I said myself: " there she

is, a woman enslaved by the Arabic tradition without knowing

the real teaching of Islam", because I knew few things of Islam

at that time and thought the covering of the face was but an

ethnical tradition not founded in Islam.

The thought which came to me at the sight of a face-covered

woman in Cairo was not very far from that. She's

exaggerating. Its un-natura1...Her attempts to try to avoid any

contact with men seemed also abnormal.

The sister in black dress told me that my self-made dress was

not suitable to go out with. I was not content with her because

I thought my dress satisfied the conditions of a Muslima's

dress...I bought a black cloth and made a long dress and a long

veil called "Khimar" which covers the loins and the whole of

the arms. I was even ready to cover the face because it seemed

good "to avoid the dust", but the sister said there was no need.

I should not put the cover-face for such a reason while these

sisters put it because they believed it a religious duty.

Although most of sisters whom I got acquainted with covered

the face, they constituted but a small minority in the whole

city of Cairo, and some people apparently got shocked and

embarrassed at the sight of black Khimar. Indeed the ordinary

more or less westernized young Egyptians tried to keep a

distance from those women in Khimar, calling them "the

sisters". The men also treated them with a certain respect and

a special politeness on the street or in a bus. Those women

shared a sisterhood and exchanged the salaam (the Islamic

greeting) on the street even without knowing each other

Before my conversion I preferred an active pants-style to a

feminine skirt, but the long dress I started to wear in Cairo got

to please me very soon. It makes me feel very elegant as if I

had become a princess. I feel more relaxed in long dress than

in a pantaloon

My sisters were really beautiful and bright in their Khimar,

and a kind of saintliness appeared on their faces...Every

Muslim devotes his life to God. I wonder why people who say

nothing about the "veil" of the "Catholic Sisters" criticize the

veil of the Muslima, considering it as a symbol of "terrorism"

or "oppression".

I gave a negative answer when the Egyptian sister told me to

wear like this even after my return to Japan.If I show myself

in such a long black dress on the street in Japan, people might

think me crazy(63). Shocked by my dress, they would not like to

listen to me, whatever I say. they would reject Islam because

of my appearance, without trying to know its teaching(64). Thus

I argued with her.

Sixth months later, however, I got accustomed to my long

dress and started to think I may wear it even in Japan. So, just

before my return to Japan, I made some dresses with light

colors and white Khimars, thinking they would be less

shocking than the black one.

The reaction of the Japanese to my white Khimar was rather

good and I met no rejection or mockery at all. They seemed to

be able to guess my belonging to a religion without knowing

which it is. I heard a young girl behind me whispering to her

friend that I was a "Buddhist nun"...

Once on a train I sat beside an elderly man who asked me why

I was in such a "strange fashion". I explained him that I was a

Muslim and in Islam women are commanded to cover the

body and their charm so as not to trouble men who are weak

to resist this kind of temptation. He seemed very impressed by

my explanation, may be because he did not welcome today's

young girls' provocative fashion. He left the train thanking me

and saying he would have liked to have more time to talk with

me on Islam.

My father was sorry that I went out even on the hottest day in

summer with a long sleeve and a head-cover, but I found the

hijab convenient for avoiding the direct sunlight on the head

and the neck... I felt rather uneasy in looking at the white

thigh of my younger sister who wore short pants. I've often

been embarrassed even before my conversion by the sight of a

woman's busts and hips traced by the shape of her tight thin

clothes. I felt as if I had seen something not to be seen. If such

a sight embraces me who is of the same *********, it is not difficult

to imagine what effect it would give to men.

Why hide the body in its natural state?, you may ask. But

think it was considered vulgar fifty years ago in Japan to swim

in a swimming suit. Now we swim in a bikini without shame.

If you swim, however, with a topless, people would say you

are shameless, but go to a South-France's beach, where many

women, young and old, take a sun-bath in a topless. If you go

to a certain beach on the west coast in America, the nudists

take a sun-bath as naked as when they are born. On the other

side, at the medieval times, a knight trembled at a brief sight

of a shoe of his adoring lady. It shows the definition of

women's "secret part" can be changed. How you can answer to

a nudist if she asks you why you hide yours busts and hips

although they are as natural as your hands and face? It is the

same for the hijab of a Muslima. We consider all our body

except hands and face as private parts because Allah defined it

like this(65). Its why we hide them from male strangers. If you

keep something secret, it increases in value. Keeping woman's

body secret increases its charm. Even for the eye of the same

*********, the nape of a sister's neck is surprisingly beautiful

because it is normally covered. If a man loses the feeling of

shame and starts to walk naked and excrete and "make love"

in the presence of other people, he would then become no

different than an animal. I think the culture of men started

when men knew the sense of shame.

Some Japanese wives (put their) make up only when they go

out, never minding at home how they look. But in Islam a wife

tries to be beautiful especially for her husband and a husband

also tries to have a nice look to please his wife. They have

shame even between themselves and towards each other. You

may say why we are "over-sensitive" to hide the body except

the face and the hands so as not to excite men's desire, as if a

man looks always at a woman with a sexual appetite.

But the problem of sexual harassment so much talked about

recently shows how men are weak to resist to this kind of

attraction. We could not expect prevention of ********* harassment

only by appealing men's high morality and self-control...As a

short skirt might be interpreted by men to say: " if you want

me, you may take me", a hijab means clearly, "I am forbidden

for you. "

Three months after coming back from Cairo, I left Japan to

Saudi Arabia, and this time with my husband. I had prepared a

small black cloth to cover the face with...Arriving at Riyadh, I

found out that not all the women covered the face. The non-

Muslim foreigners of course put only a black gown

nonchalantly without covering the head, but the Muslim

foreigners also uncovered the face(66). As for the Saudi women,

all of them seemed to cover perfectly from top to toe.

On my first going out, I put the niqab and found out (that) it

(was) quite nice. Once accustomed to it, there is no

inconvenience. Rather, I felt quite fine as if I became a noble

and special person. I felt like the owner of a stolen

masterpiece who enjoyed the secret pleasure: I have a treasure

that you don't know and which you are not allowed to see. A

foreigner might see a couple of a fat man and a woman all

covered in black who follows him in the street in Riyadh as a

caricature of the oppressing-oppressed relationship or the

possessing-possessed relationship, but the fact is that the

women feel as if they were queens guarded and lead by


During the first several months in Riyadh, I covered only the

part beneath the eyes. But when I made a winter cloth, I made

on the same occasion a thin eye-cover. My armament then

became perfect and my comfort also. Even in a crowd of men,

I felt no more uneasiness. I felt as if I had become transparent

before the eyes of men. When I displayed the eyes, I felt

sometines uneasy when my eyes met a man's eye accidentally,

especially because the Arab people have very keen eyes. The

eye-cover prevents, like black sun-glasses, the visual intrusion

of strangers.

Khaula further says that the Muslim woman "covers herself

for her own dignity. She refuses to be possessed by the eyes of

a stranger and to be his object. She feels pity for western

women who display their private parts as objects f or male

strangers. If one observes the hijab from outside, one will

never see what is hidden in it. Observing the hijab from the

outside and living it from inside are two completely different

things. We see different things. This gap explains the gap of

understanding Islam. From the outside, Islam looks like a

'prison' without any liberty. But living inside of it, we feel at

peace and freedom and joy that we've never known

before...We chose Islam against the so-called freedom and

pleasure. If it is true that Islam is a religion that oppresses the

women, why are there so many young women in Europe, in

America, and in Japan who abandon their liberty and

independence to embrace Islam? I want people to reflect on it.

A person blinded because of his prejudice may not see it, but

a woman with the hijab is so brightly beautiful as an angel or

a saint with self-confidence, calmness, and dignity. Not a

slight touch of shade nor trace of oppression is on her face.

'They are blind and cannot see', says the Qur'an about those

who deny the sign of Allah, but by what else can we explain

this gap on the understanding of Islam between us and those

people." (3/1993)

Note: Khula's article was sent (late 1993) to the Women's

Office of the Islamic Guidance Center, Buraidah, Al-

Qassim, KSA.

__ ________

(60) She is giving a reflection of her early degree of religious awareness

and consciousness.

(61) i.e. God conscious.

(62) It is strongly urged that all non-Arabic speaking Muslims to learn

Arabic. It helps them to know better about Islam.

(63) Many women feel this kind of feeling. These are temptations of the

Shyatan trying to sway the Muslima from obedience to Allah.

(64) Shaytan wants the Muslim to feel "inferior". The believer, however,

remembers that Islam is from Allah and the person he is dealing with is

only a created being, who will die and will return to answer for his

rejection of Allah's religion. The hijab for women and the beard for men

are to be respected, first, by the Muslim in order to feel strong about

their appearence. This can be achieved by remembering that these

outwardly appearances are the command of Allah and His Messenger.

(65) This matter had been discussed in the text. Khaula further says in her

article that: "No need to say that the woman's face is one of the biggest

charm points. It is possible that a man "falls in love" with a woman at a

glance of her face. It is better for a woman to hide the face"

(66) Not all. In fact in Saudi Arabia, many Muslimat from many countries

cover their faces.