Hijab – Purdah - Veil

It has been the custom of all True Muslim woman who follow Islam to cover themselves with a Purdah, or Burqa;  in ancient days people went around without clothes, they were naked, but slowly as man became civilized he/she started covering himself up and hijab, Purdah or veil is the ultimate and complete form of civilization, and Islam strictly imposes this Veil on all mature women till they reach old age and cross the child bearing time; for such women who have become old Islam permits them to decently clad themselves and Islam does not impose the Purdah or Burqa on them.


Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage and child bearing there is no blame on them if they cast aside their (outer) garments (hijab) provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things. 

Quran: 24-60


So it is not a sin for elderly women to cast aside their purdah, as long as they are decently clad they can move about inside and outside their houses freely without burqa or hijab;  but as far as younger women and mature girls are concerned, Islam strictly advises them to wear a Burqa when they leave their houses, recently the Salafi sect and the Tabliqi groups advocate to women who wear burqa or purdah to cover their entire face revealing only their eyes, - giving them a totally a masked feature  or look, – this we should clearly understand is totally unIslamic and unwarranted, as Allah and His Prophet have advocated the other way round, like cladding the entire body and revealing only their face and hand upto their wrist. 


The Quran clearly states that the person who wears hijab or Burqa should be recognized and everyone of you would agree with me that closing the face defeats this purpose and makes them totally unrecognizable – face is the one we use for common recognition and when this is completely covered, we cannot recognize the person – also, these are the women who are an enemy to Islam, especially the Hijab for it is their ignorance and their way of misinterpreting Islam, which today is an enemy for Muslim women who are wearing the Hijab as Islam advocates – these women who cover their face become a real problem at the stations, where ID cards are checked and security checks, and if one has to  identify them with the photo they carry, then they would have to reveal their face and when they refuse to show their face, most of the European authorities recommend doing away with or banning the Hijab as they are a hindrance to the society – where as Allah(swt) and His Rasool(s.a.w) have advocated that a Muslim women should reveal their faces, these women’s contradictory behavior is causing a lot of concern in the developed countries and indirectly affecting the Hijab-wearing of true Muslims – and nothing but their ignorance and the misunderstanding of the Islamic Hijab is the sole reason for this: secondly, the present type of face-covering Hijab one cannot distinguish whether the person wearing the hijab is either a man or a woman and such an insecure means Allah (swt) certainly would not prescribe for the decent Muslim women,  recognition is MOST important in Islam and Allah(swt) says that they should be recognized and not molested:


The basic fact is that Islam would never be non-commonsensical nor would it ever contradict TRUTH  this present system of covering the face contradicts the TRUTH, as the hijab is a means of security for women and the present way defeats that purpose, it is very very insecure for women,  as any man dressed in purdah covering the face could enter inside the house of a lone Muslim woman and molest her as she would not be able to distinguish the person as to whether it is a he or she  - in other words, this system is very insecure and any man could get into the women’s gathering with the present hijab and face covering;   finally – all hadiths pertaining to the closure or covering up of the face are laif and daif i.e (weak and concocted so please abstain from them and do not accept them) there were also incidences reported, where men wearing hijab and covering their faces (niqab) entered houses and raped Muslim women, and some incidences were reported where similar entry by men wearing hijab and niqab (face covering), stole jewelry and valuables; the only reason for these evil incidences were that the men wearing niqab (face covering) were unrecognizable and mistaken for women – Please read the below Quran ayath :


O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go out). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.



Simultaneously, we should also understand that the Prophet of Allah Mohammed(saw) has also said that the face should be revealed in the following Saheeh Hadith:


Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma',when a woman reaches the age of menstruation (matures), it does not suit her that she displays her parts of the body except this and this, and he (Mohammed(saw)  pointed to her face and hands. (this hadees was made shahih by Sheik Albani)

Sunan of Abu-Dawood
Hadith 4092  Narrated by
Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin


It is very clear that the Prophet of Allah clearly pointed to the face and specifically said that the face could be kept revealed as to the hand till the wrist, and also there is another Saheeh hadees in the Bukhari where :

Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas rode behind the Prophet as his companion rider on the back portion of his she-camel on the Day of Nahr  and Al-Fadl was a handsome man. The Prophet stopped to give the people verdicts. In the meantime, a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath'am came, asking the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her. She said, "O Allah's Apostle! The obligation of Performing Hajj enjoined by Allah on His worshipers, has become due (compulsory) on my father who is an old man and who cannot sit firmly on the riding animal. Will it be sufficient that I perform Hajj on his behalf?" He said, "Yes."
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith 8.247                Narrated by
Abdullah bin Abbas


Bukhari and Ahmad have reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A pilgrim woman must neither cover her face nor wear gloves."
Fiqh 5.49


We should understand that when Al-Fadl (ra) was admiring the beauty of the face of the beautiful women – Rasool (saw) did not ask the women to cover her face or turn her face – on the other hand, he just turned the face of Al-Fadl(ra) to the other side, and we know that in haj and in prayer the women are strictly forbidden to cover the face, and we know that the haj is an international gathering and if the face aught to  be covered, Rasool(saw) would have certainly said so; also in prayer at the time of Rasool(saw) the mosque was a gathering of men and women and we find that Rasool (saw) never at any instances ordered or requested the women to cover the face – on the other hand, Allah and His Prophet have both stated that the face should be revealed; in lieu of these statements of Allah and His Prophet, no one has the authority to change this:


It is not fitting for a Believer man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Apostle he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.



The groups which instigates this practice of covering the face takes their decision based on a Hadees where Aisha(ra) accompanied the Prophet and during the journey Aisha(ra) lost her necklace and while she was searching for the necklace the party which brought her left and she was stranded:

………………………..Then I (Aisha)  came to their camping place to find no call maker of them, nor one who would respond to the call. So, I intended to go to the place where I used to stay, thinking that they would miss me and come back to me (in my search). While I was sitting in my resting place, I was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. Safwan bin Al-Muattal As-Sulami Adh-Dhakwani was behind the army. When he reached my place in the morning, he saw the figure of a sleeping person and he recognized me on seeing me as he had seen me before, the order of compulsory veiling (was prescribed). So, I woke up when he recited Istirja' (i.e. "Inna lillahi wa inna llaihi raji'un") as soon as he recognized me. I veiled my face with my head cover at once, and by Allah, we did not speak a single word, and I did not hear him saying any word besides his Istirja'. He dismounted from his camel and made it kneel down, putting his leg on its front legs and then I got up and rode on it. Then he set out leading the camel that was carrying me till we overtook the army in the extreme heat of midday while they were at a halt (taking a rest). (Because of the event), some people brought destruction upon themselves and the one who spread the Ifk (i.e. slander) more, was 'Abdullah bin Ubai Ibn Salul."……………………
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith 5.462 Narrated by


This action of covering her face; we should understand is a spontaneous act in the spur of the moment to hide from the man and this by no way stipulates or gives authority to overrule the law of Allah and His Prophet . No one including Aisha have the authority to overrule Allah and His Prophet,  and instigating such acts of covering the whole face is an act which encourages criminals to misuse the law, in certain countries prostitutes arrested wear such a dress to cover themselves up and avoid publicity and recognition, and in many crimes the thieves dress themselves up in this fashion also to avoid recognition – we should understand that when we misuse Islamic law or rule, it gives scope for satan to vulgarize and pervert  the pure Islamic acts. And also, any innovation in Islam is a major sin and we should understand that Allah(swt) not only curses the innovaters but also Islam rejects all their virtuous acts of a innovater (Biddath) ;   and this complete covering of the face is certainly an innovation beyond doubt.


(Mohammed (sal)) said: Those who perform (religious) duties, not shown, or accepted By me, will be rejected by Allah.
Narrated by: Aeysha (r.a)  - Books: Bukhari, Muslim.


(Mohammed (sal)) said: The Prayer (salah), Fasting, Zakath (charity), Haj, the efforts in, and for religion, and the religious expenses , of an Innovator (and of those who follow innovator’s) will not be accepted by Allah.  Just as a hair is removed from kneaded flour, they the Innovators would be removed from the religion of Islam.

Narrated by: Hudaifa (r.a) – Book: Sunan Ibnu Maja.


On the other hand, would Allah ever ever impose the dress of a criminal, a prostitute, a thug, or thief to be the prescribed dress of the dignified Muslim women – Never,  Allah the creator and sustainer of the entire Universe would never impose such unhealthy dress, the dress of the low down people whom society looks down upon, will these people’s dress be prescribed upon the women, the Ummah of the most beloved Prophet(s.a.w).  It is only the ignorant people who not knowing the true Islam have innovated such a dress as of covering the face – this is a practice to be abhorred and refrained – well, any knowledgeable person who understands ISLAM and the words of the Quran and the Hadees would certainly refrain from it (ameen).


In another Hadith reported from Ibn 'Umar (RA) that Allah's Messenger (saw) said: "One who lets loose his dress by way of pride, Allah will not look towards him on the Day of Judgment". On this Umm Salama (RA) said: 'What should women do with their trains of gowns?' The Prophet (saw) said: "Women are to let down (their gowns) one span of the hand more". She said: 'This means that their feet will be uncovered'. The Prophet (saw) said: "So, they have to lower their garments an arm's length, and no more" . al-Tirmizi who also considers it correct and sound.


The above Hadees tells us precisely, that we need not cover the legs, and need not drag our dresses ever – so in conclusion we have to leave the Face open, and there is no necessity to cover the hand and feet, this is the prescribed Islamic dress.


May Allah guide us to follow His Religion with clear understanding and help us to adhere to his laws with complete ease and comfort with utmost love and gratitude for HIM. (ameen) (ameen) (ameen)


Please do visit my website : http://www.basicofislam.com   Insha Allahyou would benefit TREMENDOUSLY FOR SURE (Aameen)


A.H.Nazeer Ahmed


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