Jump to content
In the Name of God بسم الله

Compulsion to wear Hijab

Rate this topic


sharif110

Recommended Posts

  • Advanced Member

Is a Muslim man allowed to force his wife to wear hijab?

Alsalamu Alaikum

According to Islamic jurisprudence, Man is not allowed to force his wife to wear hijab but can prevent her from going out of house although she has worn hijab. Therefore he can bet that if she wears hijab, she is allowed to go out.

 

Although a man is not permitted to force his wife to wear hijab, but what a nice tradition, that shall be regarded and noticed, is reported from Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) to have said:

فَإِنَّ شِدَّةَ الْحِجَابِ أَبْقَى عَلَیْهِنَّ

In this tradition, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) says a kind of recommendation concerning to the way of behaving with wife and women. Imam (a.s) says, "Severity in Hijab more maintain their chastity."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

السؤال: ما حكم الشرع على الرجل التي تكون زوجته لا ترتدي الحجاب هل عليه اثم ام لا ؟

الجواب: يجب نهيها عن المنكر وله ان لا يأذن لها بالخروج من البيت الا اذا تحجبت .

Question: What is the ruling of the Shari'a with regards to the man whose wife does not wear hijab, is there any sins upon him or not?

Answer: It is obligatory to forbid her from the evil, and it is allowed for him to stop her from leaving the house unless she wears hijab.

http://www.sistani.org/arabic/qa/0440/page/2/#3182

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

I'll pitch in my two-cents, because - as a Westernised Muslim - the concept of Hijab is too conservative for me. I read the Quran, and Surah Al-Nur verse 31 says: 

...not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests...

So I went on Quora and asked the Muslim ladies who do not wear a hijab what they understood of this ayah. They explained that the Arabic word used in the Quran: خمر is not a new thing introduced by Islam, rather, something from the time of Jahillyah. The Hijab is what covers the bosoms as this is the only explicit command in the verse.

So let your wife out for fresh air and what not, keeping her locked in the basement because a strand of her hair is showing is a little extreme.

 

Link to Quora question.

Edited by Fish
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
2 hours ago, Fish said:

I'll pitch in my two-cents, because - as a Westernised Muslim - the concept of Hijab is too conservative for me.

Considering you seem to be having some struggles at the moment with your faith, I don't think this issue is a major one to resolve right now, but I'm a bit curious about your statement here. Most of us here are Westernised Muslims, but it doesn't follow that we must consider the hijab to be too conservative. Of course, if our primary influence is non-Muslim society, then we may perceive it to be so, but this isn't a reason to reject it for a Muslim.

Back before I started properly learning about Islam, I also believed that the hijab wasn't compulsory and wasn't mentioned in the Qur'an. Although I considered myself to be a 'good person' (who doesn't?), who had a 'strong connection to God' (I used to pray in my own way), my moral and cultural references were mainly Western ones. So of course I had a bias towards not wanting the hijab to be part of Islam. That's a normal human instinct I think. However, as I started learning more about Islam, and more importantly thinking through my beliefs in a more rational way, I not only realised that hijab was compulsory according to the evidence, but that as a Muslim I had a duty to accept that evidence. It would have been illogical for me to claim to believe that God has sent a revelation and a Messenger to guide us, but then to reject some of that because it didn't quite fit in with my own person preferences (which weren't really my own anyway, they were just what I was used to).

2 hours ago, Fish said:

I read the Quran, and Surah Al-Nur verse 31 says: 

...not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests...

So I went on Quora and asked the Muslim ladies who do not wear a hijab what they understood of this ayah. They explained that the Arabic word used in the Quran: خمر is not a new thing introduced by Islam, rather, something from the time of Jahillyah. The Hijab is what covers the bosoms as this is the only explicit command in the verse.

So let your wife out for fresh air and what not, keeping her locked in the basement because a strand of her hair is showing is a little extreme.

 

Link to Quora question.

There is a whole stack of feminist interpretations of Islam and the Qur'an, but the fact that such interpretations exist doesn't mean they are valid. These women that explain such things are not scholars of Arabic or the Qur'an, and most importantly they come at the sources with a desire to find interpretations that coincide with their desires. On the other hand, why would Muslims scholars all over the world for 1400 years conspire to make this up? So I think logically it would make more sense to go and ask the experts for what their proof is for the hijab, rather than random women on Quora. After all, I'm sure that in any other field of human knowledge you would seek out the experts, and not pay too much attention to fringe views from non-experts.

Another point that I'd like to make is that the only way in which people have any wriggle room at all is by rejecting the authority of the Prophetic narrations, and the main reason they do that is precisely because it gives them less freedom to make Islam more liberal or feminist. Whether someone believes in Islam or not, I would hope that at the very least they could see the intellectual dishonesty at play here. To begin your research with a desired outcome in mind, and be willing to use any means necessary in order to obtain those desired conclusions, is the very definition of bad scholarship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
40 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Considering you seem to be having some struggles at the moment with your faith, I don't think this issue is a major one to resolve right now, but I'm a bit curious about your statement here. Most of us here are Westernised Muslims, but it doesn't follow that we must consider the hijab to be too conservative. Of course, if our primary influence is non-Muslim society, then we may perceive it to be so, but this isn't a reason to reject it for a Muslim.

That is true.

41 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Back before I started properly learning about Islam, I also believed that the hijab wasn't compulsory and wasn't mentioned in the Qur'an. 

Ah, but I - for my whole life - believed it was part of the Quran and Islam. I still do, but was curious about the other side's argument - the side which didn't approve of the Hijab. What they have brought up seems plausible. Allah is Hakeem, so he suggested to the women, 'why don't you just wrap a portion of your headscarf over your bosoms?' And the rest is their 'natural beauty'.

TL;DR: I believe Hijab exists, it just isn't a headscarf, rather a cloth which covers the bosom.

48 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Although I considered myself to be a 'good person' (who doesn't?), who had a 'strong connection to God' (I used to pray in my own way), my moral and cultural references were mainly Western ones. So of course I had a bias towards not wanting the hijab to be part of Islam. That's a normal human instinct I think.

I too consider myself a good person. I have no connection with God, however. I believe the concept of Hijab being a headscarf is purely cultural, just like the viel.

50 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

However, as I started learning more about Islam, and more importantly thinking through my beliefs in a more rational way, I not only realised that hijab was compulsory according to the evidence, but that as a Muslim I had a duty to accept that evidence. It would have been illogical for me to claim to believe that God has sent a revelation and a Messenger to guide us, but then to reject some of that because it didn't quite fit in with my own person preferences (which weren't really my own anyway, they were just what I was used to).

I'm not rejecting the notion of the Hijab unless we define it as headscarf. I believe this is purely cultural as it predated Islam.

52 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

There is a whole stack of feminist interpretations of Islam and the Qur'an, but the fact that such interpretations exist doesn't mean they are valid. These women that explain such things are not scholars of Arabic or the Qur'an, and most importantly they come at the sources with a desire to find interpretations that coincide with their desires. 

Ofcourse this sounds rather true. Cherrypicking the good of religion and ignoring the rest. A cliche. But, the Khawarij were people blamed for overburdening themselves by complicating religion, sometimes to be better muslims, other times by claiming a cultural thing to be religious, such as Niqabs.

What if we too are overburdening ourselves with trivialities? When I read this verse, I can see where the women are coming from. It is simply a suggestion to wear a headscarf, not an explicit command.

58 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

On the other hand, why would Muslims scholars all over the world for 1400 years conspire to make this up?

Not too much of a conspiracy, and I don't believe that scholars intentionally are hiding away facts which could prove or disprove the notion of a headscarf. Rather, I think culture and religion fused at a certain point, where the headscarf became the definition of Hijab rather than the original intention.

1 hour ago, Haydar Husayn said:

So I think logically it would make more sense to go and ask the experts for what their proof is for the hijab, rather than random women on Quora. After all, I'm sure that in any other field of human knowledge you would seek out the experts, and not pay too much attention to fringe views from non-experts.

Out of curiosity did you check the link? My question was more to understand their point of view, 'how could you justify this inspite of the Quran apparently opposing it,' and they explained quite well, I think I can agree with it.

1 hour ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Another point that I'd like to make is that the only way in which people have any wriggle room at all is by rejecting the authority of the Prophetic narrations, and the main reason they do that is precisely because it gives them less freedom to make Islam more liberal or feminist. Whether someone believes in Islam or not, I would hope that at the very least they could see the intellectual dishonesty at play here. To begin your research with a desired outcome in mind, and be willing to use any means necessary in order to obtain those desired conclusions, is the very definition of bad scholarship.

I have a problem with the Ahadith, our teacher (Sunni mind you) explained to us that our Prophet is infalliable by this analogy:

'Imagine you had a scale, and 1000 times you weighed a 1kg dumbbell, and 1 in a 1000 it gave you a result of 10kg instead of the 1kg you got 999 times. Would you ever trust this scale again?'

We all echoed together a 'Noooooooo' that was rather monotonous than it was the dramatic no's in the movies.

Anyway, assuming the aforementioned logic, how can I ever trust ahadith again, since there are many, many fabricated ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
5 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Ok, but if women were already wearing headscarves, then obviously there would be no reason to tell them to do something they were already doing anyway. So the verse focuses on telling them to do what they were not doing.

The Quran stresses things previously done by the people anyway. Slavery was allowed prior but the Quran still had to make it permissable. 

11 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

I don't think this follows. Let's say some people were now told to pull their trousers up to cover their backsides (rather than having their trousers down at their knees, which is the fashion among some of the youth), then it doesn't mean that people aren't meant to wear trousers and just need to keep their backside covered.

And that was the example given by the website I visited to defend the Hijab against the ladies on Quora. They restated the fact that khimr and Hijab were two different words and even the Quran used both of them, meaning they have seperate meanings to a certain extent.

13 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Perhaps it would be worth trying to develop that connection?

Perhaps.

14 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

The fact that it predates Islam does not imply that it is purely cultural. Many things predate Islam, but it doesn't mean that they are purely cultural. As Muslims we believe in previous revelations, and women are told to cover their hair in the Jewish scriptures for example.

يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب 

Probably my strongest argument. And to be fair, the khimr was a cultural thing, viels were also cultural but also sign of royalty.

16 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

The fact is that even a purely secular study of Islam will tell you that headscarves almost certainly must have been part of Islam from the very beginning. The Muslim empire spread far and wide very quickly across many different types of cultures. It is highly unlikely in those circumstances that all Muslims would have agreed on this cultural form of dress, and that there would have been no disagreement amongst them. Think of all the many other things that Muslims disagree over, and these disagreements are recorded in the books of history, tafsir, and fiqh. It is simply not plausible to imagine that a form of dress, of all things, could have acquired such uniform acceptance, when Muslims couldn't even all agree on how to pray.

Here is the thing though:

It was normal before Islam, so after Islam it could still stay normal. Besides, some women wear it differently compared to others. Some decide to show nothing but their eyes; others have their fringes pop out a bit; some show off their neck and others hide even their chin and then there are the Muslims who don't wear it at all. So yes, differences are evident.

21 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Not really. The problem with the Khawarij is that they they killed anyone who had a different view of Islam to them, and thought that committing certain sins took you out of Islam. The niqab was pretty widespread among all Muslims, and didn't have anything to do with the Khawarij as such.

Huh? I always thought it was a Wahabi-extremist bid'ah.

23 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Let's be honest here, there main motivation is they don't want to wear it because it's inconvenient. The verse in itself may not be explicit in the sense that they are demanding, but that's a very superficial approach.

And I concede once again. Yes, the Hijab if it is a headscarf is very inconvenient, especially when Islam advocates modesty and doesn't approve of it's followers' right of self-respect to be breached. When a Muslimah sticks out like a sore thumb, you know the Hijab has failed.

26 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

In terms of the argument put forwards, it's not really valid. What if we applied this argument to something like contraception? The failure rates are far higher than 1 in 1000, and yet people still trust it. The odds of dying in a car crash during your lifetime are not insignificant either, but people still get into cars. That's life. Nothing is certain and many things carry risk.

Contraceptions don't decide your eternal life though.

27 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Now, as for the ahadith, there are methods for checking for authenticity, which admittedly are not going to be 100% accurate (nothing can be). However, what's the worst that happens if you happen to accept a hadith here or there that may not be accurate, or reject a hadith that was actually authentic? Not much as far as I can tell. This certainly seems preferable than rejecting all the genuine teachings that are contained in the hadith tradition, and without which it's not really possible to understand the Qur'an anyway. How are you supposed to understand the context of something like Surah 9, without the hadiths? And that's just one example of many. Or, to take another example, how to figure out the details of prayer or fasting.

Yet if hadith were truly effective, why can we not, as you previously mentioned, agree on how to pray. I'm not too familiar with Suraht Al-Tawbah, do you mean the Riwayah regarding Abu Bakr?

Hadith caused more divisions among the Muslim community. We couldn't even agree on Wudu and that was in the Quran, how are we supposed to agree on something which could potentially be fabricated lies - by Shias or Sunnis.

32 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

The reason most people reject hadiths is not so much they think many are unreliable (that would be more of an argument for examining them more closely to determine which ones are reliable). Mostly it's because they don't like some of the hadiths, and since they known they can inconsistently pick and choose the ones they like (although many do this anyway, particularly certain feminists), they just reject them all.

When hadiths forbid women from going out without being covered head-to-toe or that they must be accompanied by a mahram man; this is probably why they deny all the rest of the ahadith. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
3 minutes ago, Fish said:

The Quran stresses things previously done by the people anyway. Slavery was allowed prior but the Quran still had to make it permissable. 

Where does the Qur'an explicitly say that slavery is permissible? Isn't this rather just implied by the fact that it mentions various things about slavery without saying that it isn't allowed.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

And that was the example given by the website I visited to defend the Hijab against the ladies on Quora. They restated the fact that khimr and Hijab were two different words and even the Quran used both of them, meaning they have seperate meanings to a certain extent.

The mistake that is being made here is to assume that because we use the word hijab in a certain way, that this is how the Qur'an has to use it. It's true that the Qur'an doesn't use the word hijab in the sense we use it, but instead it use the word khimar. Here is a video explaining the different words used in the Qur'an around this issue:

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب 

Probably my strongest argument.

I don't see the strength of it. If Allah wanted to negate something that was in a previous revelation, then wouldn't He have said so, rather than making the assumption that a headcovering was already worn?

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

And to be fair, the khimr was a cultural thing, viels were also cultural but also sign of royalty.

In what sense was it cultural? Is Hajj cultural because it predates Islam?

If you mean an exact type of dress, then yes, that is cultural. As for the principle of a woman covering her hair, then no, that isn't.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

Here is the thing though:

It was normal before Islam, so after Islam it could still stay normal. Besides, some women wear it differently compared to others. Some decide to show nothing but their eyes; others have their fringes pop out a bit; some show off their neck and others hide even their chin and then there are the Muslims who don't wear it at all. So yes, differences are evident.

Women do wear it differently, but that isn't a scholarly difference of opinion, that is a cultural one. Allah scholars will say that the hair needs to be covered though. The question is why did Muslims all agree on the hijab despite the fact that Muslims very quickly came into contact with all sorts of different cultures, which presumably didn't all cover their hair before Islam came? There were plenty of other aspects of Arabic culture that Arabs didn't insist other cultures adopt, so why the hijab?

Also keep in mind the number of hadiths involving hijab, covering many different aspects, which is not something that you would expect from something that was just some cultural addition to the religion. Added to that is the fact that all schools of thought subscribe to it. The Shia Imams upheld the same rulings about the hijab despite living later than the Prophet (s), and being aware of other cultures.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

Huh? I always thought it was a Wahabi-extremist bid'ah.

No. The wives and family of the prophet covered their faces. It's not compulsory (although some scholars say that it is), but many Muslim women have been covering their face since the beginning.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

And I concede once again. Yes, the Hijab if it is a headscarf is very inconvenient, especially when Islam advocates modesty and doesn't approve of it's followers' right of self-respect to be breached. When a Muslimah sticks out like a sore thumb, you know the Hijab has failed.

It's not the hijab which has failed, but rather the culture. A fully clothed woman on a beach sticks out too, but does that mean she should take her clothes off to fit in?

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

Contraceptions don't decide your eternal life though.

Neither do a few potentially inauthentic hadiths. What's important is that people do their best to sincerely worship God and live according to His will. Rejecting the parts of His religion that seem inconvenient doesn't really fit in with that. Praying 5 times a day, and fasting for a month during the summer can be inconvenient too, but we still have to do it.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

Yet if hadith were truly effective, why can we not, as you previously mentioned, agree on how to pray.

As a Shia I would say that it is because the non-Shia decided to take their teachings from other than the family of the Prophet (s). Nevertheless, this has only lead to relatively minor differences (in the grand scheme of things). A non-Muslim would hardly notice much difference (other than perhaps the position of the hands). As I said, the methodology for accepting or rejecting a hadith can be discussed, but it doesn't negate the idea that hadiths are necessary.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

I'm not too familiar with Suraht Al-Tawbah, do you mean the Riwayah regarding Abu Bakr?

No, I was referring more to the context in which the surah was revealed. Without the hadiths, it's not really all that comprehensible (aside from potentially seeming very harsh), and other aspects that deal with elements of the life of the Prophet (s) aren't either. This emphasises the need to have both the Qur'an and the sunnah. 

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

Hadith caused more divisions among the Muslim community. We couldn't even agree on Wudu and that was in the Quran, how are we supposed to agree on something which could potentially be fabricated lies - by Shias or Sunnis.

The major division in the Muslim community is between Sunni and Shia, and that doesn't really have anything to do with hadiths. The differences in something like wudhu are relatively minor, and again stem from neglecting the teachings of the family of the Prophet (s).

Contrary to what you state, I believe that if we got rid of all the hadiths, then there would be less division, not more. What you would have is mass chaos, because now everyone would be free to interpret the Qur'an in whichever way they saw fit, and this would cause even more sects than we have now. Just look at the number of Christian denominations for example, particularly among the Protestants.

3 minutes ago, Fish said:

When hadiths forbid women from going out without being covered head-to-toe or that they must be accompanied by a mahram man; this is probably why they deny all the rest of the ahadith. 

Even if for argument's sake we accept that this is what the hadiths say, it doesn't really follow that because you don't like something then you should reject it. What matters is whether you think it's ordained by God or not, and if the same type of reasoning that you would apply to any other aspect of the religion leads you to think that this is something you should do, then you should follow regardless of whether you like it or not. It's not a very rational approach to deny the truth of something because you happen not to like it. People who like smoking might not like the fact that it could give them lung cancer, but they would be fools to not believe that this is a likely outcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest silasun

@Fish Salam Alaikum

The bastion of "free-thinking" online liberal atheists, RationalWiki, has something interesting to say about confirmation bias - it can only be a manifestation of one's ego (as if to say that their "insightful" articles aren't riddled with this vice).

If you want to have your argument valued then you need to bring textual evidence. Yes, and that does even mean that you examine if there is an obligation to wear niqab, since even that has textual evidence (although apparently it isn't strong in the view of most scholars - Sunni and Shia).

Come back when you have thought about why you disagree with hijab. If your goal is to obtain the course of action that pleases God the most then naturally that would obligate you to give up on your pre-conceived cultural biases - everybody has them but the Qur'an, time and again whether through the story of Bani Israel or constant reminders and other examples, constantly commands us to give up on them.

We all agree that the Qur'an is our common denominator. Let it help you (and those of the opposite view to yourself) give up on the Lord of your forefathers (i.e. one's cultural belief) and come back for some honest discourse with the only goal being to arrive at what God wants from the 21st century Muslim.

 

Edited by silasun
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators

"Criticizing traditional Islam or organized religion in general is not really controversial or groundbreaking in this day of age. People have been calling religion strict and overbearing for a long time. At this point, it's just something that many of us assume ... no one wants to be Ned Flanders."

It's a false dichotomy to assume that religion = strictness and burdensome, and non-religion = liberating, freeing, fun, being yourself. Even some conservative Muslims fall victim to this dichotomy, and argue that this religion is strict but worth it. But that gives way too much credit to the other lifestyle - let's be honest, life is not easy for anyone. Everyone has to abide by rules, dresscodes, fashion standards, and social hardships; sometimes a secular lifestyle is even more difficult and inflexible. The problem today is that a long skirt today is socially constructed as burdensome, and shorts are constructed as "liberating", both of which are just pieces of fabric with marginal differences in difficulty. What about the pressure to feel sexy? And regardless of what people will try to convince themselves, people do treat you differently based on what you are wearing - it is why we dress a certain way to a job interview.

With regards to hijab, anyone who believes that God communicated to us and gave us some guidelines will want to approach his/her religion with caution (taqwa). That means that we won't just force the religion to fit within our socio-cultural framework, but that we will instead try to move towards the religion. When there is a 1400 year-old inter-sectarian consensus on a concept (which is pretty rare), a Muslim should at least have a precautious approach to the concept rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Even if, on the off-chance, the khimar turned out to be mustahab or just mubah on the Day of Resurrection, we don't lose much (if anything) by wearing it; but if it truly turns out to be wajib like all pre-20th century scholars have said, then it will be well worth it. There are millions of Muslim women who happily cover themselves, and associate the concept of hijab with some form of modesty, I don't see the value of changing that to appease another culture and the lower nafs.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...