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I understand that according to the sunni scholars, a woman has to pray with hijab, even if she is alone. I have heard that this is the case according to the shia scholars too, but I've never seen any of their arguments of why (i.e sources)

Question: Does a woman have to pray with hijab, when she is alone, according to Shia jurisprudence?

Please also provide references, from a hadith or verse. If you are sunni and answer from the shia perspective, it might be good that you add that as a side note too.

  • Just asking, have you seen the mainstream Shias praying without hijab?! What made you want to ask this question? – Honey Jun 20 '17 at 20:53
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    @Honey No of course not . I am not questioning it either. I am looking for the arguments from a Shia point of view, that is all. – Kilise Jun 20 '17 at 21:01
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Firstly, we shall note that Shia’s sources of religion knowing is consists of 3 things: Quran/Sunnah (speech/practice/statement of the Prophets and Shia Imams)/and Aql (intellect), Secondly it should be paid heed that there is not all details of Ahkam (religious orders/rulings) in the Quran.

Anyhow, concerning the query: Yes, women have to prayer (offer their Salah -prayer-) with hijab even when they are alone at home according to Shia’s view. And as much as I know, all of Shia scholars/Maraja’ (as a kind of source) declare so, and actually doesn’t allow to offer Salah without hijab (such as Ayatollah Khamenei, Ayatollah Sistani, Ayatollah Makarem, etc.)

Based on Shia’s related explanation, while a person see himself (herself) in front of Allah during Ibadah (worship), so it is good to wear his/her best clothes. Hence, e.g. the best covering for women is complete covering which is the symbol of Efah (chastity), although there is no non-Mahram there. As a related source: Porseman, Vol.6 Pg.151.

E.g., Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) -as a related source- mentioned:

The woman must prayer in a Lebaas (clothes) which covers her. Source: (Wasaael-al-Shi’a, vol.4, pg.405/406).

So, I assume e.g. Shia might infer/conclude (as a conclusion) from this hadith (and other similar hadiths) that: It is completely a proven issue for Shia (and I think Sunni) that it is Wajib for women –based on Qur’an/hadiths- that they must be with hijab in front of non-mahram(s). But in the above-mentioned canonical-narration it doesn’t speak regarding the issue of hijab in front non-mahram, whereas the gist of the subject explicitly is mentioning regarding the significance/necessity of being covered in prayer (without pointing out about the attendance/not attendance of non-mahram…). Hence, easily/logically/fairly it can be concluded that it is illustrating regarding the necessity of being covered during the prayer in general (in every situation), and factually it doesn’t limit being with hijab just in attendance of non-mahram. And other related hadiths …

Sources: http://www.hawzah.net & http://www.askquran.ir


Updated (and extra helpful information):

According to Imam Khomeini as a Shia scholar/Marja’al-taqlid,

woman must cover all of her body -even head and hair-, (but) it is not necessary to cover the face (the amount of the face which is washed in Wudhu) and hands till the ankle(s). Meanwhile, if I mistake not, it is the Fatwa of almost all Shia scholars/Marja’al-Taqlids.

1. امام خمینى، توضیح المسائل،‌ محقق، مصحح، قلى‌پور گیلانى‌، مسلم، ص 177، م 771، چاپ اول‌، 1426ق‌.

Further accurate issues: this and that.


And finally as a significant helpful hadith (particularly for the questioner), Imam Baqir -a.s.- said regarding the Lebaas of woman during Salah (prayer):

The woman, must say prayer in Der’ and Maqna’ah (but by this condition that the Der’ must be thin). Ref.: (al-Kulayni , al-Kafi …)

. کلینی، محمد بن یعقوب، الکافی، محقق و مصحح: غفاری، علی اکبر، آخوندی، محمد، ج 3، ص 394، دار الکتب الإسلامیة، تهران، چاپ چهارم، 1407ق.

Definition of Der’ and Maqna’ (that hopefully I define them accurately in English based on the extant non-English/origin sources):

Der’: in Fiqhi terminology, Der’ is said/called to a kind of woman dress which is with sleeves …

Maqna’ah: this is Khemaar, and Khemaar is the thing by which woman covers her head and hairs…


For further helpful/detailed information (and likewise the source), you can refer to the following link (which unfortunately is only in Farsi (Persian)) (at least I provided most of my answer based on it):

  • I also read a shia book of Fiqh which said that the woman must cover when she prays. But it was not mentioned how much must be covered and if the conditions was the same when she was alone for instance. It seems not to be explicity mentioned in your answer either. Do you have any hadiths saying a woman must have hijab/khimar (or cover her hair) when she prays? – Kilise Jul 7 '17 at 15:06
  • @mate, regarding the last part of your question (in the comment), I mentioned the hadith of Imam-Baqir that "The woman must prayer in a Lebaas (clothes) which covers her." Which shows the women must be with hijab, but regarding the first part of your question, I'll add more related details as you requested. Good luck. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Jul 7 '17 at 15:28
  • Thank you! Maybe you could add some more details about that, because "The woman must prayer in a Lebaas" doesn't explicity say hijab or cover hair. So more comments on that would make it more clear hopefully. Or if there are other ahadith more explicit that would be nice! – Kilise Jul 7 '17 at 15:30
  • @Kilise, I added some related issues in my answer, hopefully it helps you. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Jul 8 '17 at 16:05
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    You can refer to the Arabic origin books of mentioned sources. E.g. in www.islamquest.net (as my answer's source -site-), I found the following Arabic related hadith: (God willing, the following (another) hadith can help you -in Arabic- : «الْحُسَیْنُ بْنُ سَعِیدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِی عُمَیْرٍ عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أُذَیْنَةَ عَنْ زُرَارَةَ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَرٍ(ع) عَنْ أَدْنَى مَا تُصَلِّی فِیهِ الْمَرْأَةُ قَالَ دِرْعٌ وَ مِلْحَفَةٌ فَتَنْشُرُهَا عَلَى رَأْسِهَا وَ تَتَجَلَّلُ بِهَا»؛ شیخ طوسی، تهذیب الأحکام، محقق و مصحح: موسوی خرسان، حسن، ج 2، ص 217، دار الکتب الإسلامیة، تهران، چاپ4، 1407ق.. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Jul 9 '17 at 7:27

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