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Assalamu Alaikum.

Behind every command of Allah there would be a reason. Hence when hijab comes to my mind, the so-called reasons people claim for the reason to wear hijab are:

  1. Even though men and women both are attractive to each other, the cause of evil on earth due to men's attraction towards women is large. Hence hijab acts as a barrier thereby letting women not showing off their attractiveness, reduces such evil.

  2. Hijab acts as barrier thereby protecting them from the evil eyes or from the ugly men (like a wrapper covering a chocolate protects from house flies).

Well, even though Hijab protects women from the evil, I feel keeping such a ruling of hijab to protect them from men is a little weird because when hijab of the eyes is common for both sexes. Why did Allah make women follow an extra ruling (veil) just because of men's uncontrollable attractiveness?

I mean both sexes are attractive to each other and hijab of the eyes is common for both and we do know that if men were to really follow hijab of the eyes. Such protection wouldn't be needed. If men can't control only if women were to follow hijab of the eyes, isn't it the defect of God's creation for creating men in such a way?

Note: The questions above I asked are only regarding the so-called reasons people claim (which I mentioned above) so as to make someone understand that, that's the reason Allah made such orders for women.but to me such reasons feel illogical because of the so-called questions I asked above.

There are some other reasons which some people claim to be reasons behind Allah ordered hijab which are mentioned below:

  1. Allah ordered hijab not to be protected from evil eyes or from men. It is only given to women for them to be modest. It is only a dress code (covering except their face, hand, and feet) like given for men, but they could wear it as beautiful as they wish unless they don't have an intention of attracting an opposite sex with their dress. hijab is just an act of dressing their dresses in an Islamic way.

Well, even though many do explain hijab in such a way, when we were to examine the Quranic verse 24:60

Sahih International: And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage - there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments [but] not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

From this verse, we could understand that women of post-menstrual age are allowed to keep aside of outer veil but they are not allowed to show their adornment.

Well (بِزِينَةٍ) adornment could be women's attractive body, it could be clothes, it could be ornaments they wear. But whatever it may be, it's clear that even women of post-menstrual age are not allowed to show off their adornment. If that's the case, then women before that age will surely not be allowed to show off their adornment. Hence from the above verse, it could be clearly understood that the reason behind women wearing hijab has an intention of not to show off their beauty and not to wear beautiful clothes in front of opposite genders.

It's clearly even seen from the hadith that women should not use perfumes

*Zaynab, the wife of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood, said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to us: “If one of you attends the mosque, let her not put on perfume.” Narrated by Muslim (443).I

I do know some scholars who claim, its even bad for women to show of their face. Link: https://islamqa.info/en/11774.

Well, isn't it clear from the above explanation that people who feel offended or whom seems weird to claim (that hijab is a black cloth just for not showing of their adornments) are just giving such above reasons to make others feel satisfactory about hijab?

Well, isn't hijab an old age idea to keep the society free from sins when only men walked through streets and went for work while women stayed in houses. I mean I feel it would be safe for women with hijab at those times to mingle in a men dominated place or society.but now a days streets and work places are for both men and women. Hence isnt hijab of the eyes enough for both? and why cant men be made to control rather that imposing women with an extra veil for not to show off their beauty?


NOTE: This post is actually a doubt that has been in my mind for a long. i need clarifications and explanations and not a debating answer, and my question is all about hijab and i know how much Islam provided provisions for women which no other religions gave.

closed as too broad by Kilise, The Z, Sassir, Jamila, Medi1Saif Mar 19 '18 at 12:44

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I count 7 question marks in this question. You're more likely to get a useful answer if you just ask one focused question (then move onto the next question once that's resolved). – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 9 '18 at 18:46
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    It will be difficult to address all your questions within the size limitation of a single answer. I could not find why you assumed that the 'illah (cause) of hijāb is protection, curbing of desire, or modesty. Sure, some or all of these fall under hikmah (benefit), but this is not the same as 'illah. With 'illah, the ruling may not apply in its absence. With hikmah, the rule cannot be conditionally ignored. 'Illah is always revealed, not guessed or deduced. Please provide your evidence to support the claim of the 'illah behind hijāb. Without evidence, this will result in opinion-based answers. – III-AK-III Mar 10 '18 at 3:43
  • @RebeccaJ.Stones The reason I posted all these questions in a single post is because all these questions to me are interlinked. If I were to post only a single question. Then rather than getting a satisfactory answer, I would be getting an answer which would lead to a discussion here. Hence to avoid discussion and debates. I posted this way. – Mohmed Shahid Mar 10 '18 at 5:10
  • @III-AK-III I never said these words "illah (cause) of hijāb is protection, curbing of desire, or modesty." What I said was, if some non-muslim were to ask a Muslim, why women wears hijab.. they usually would be giving such explanations saying, these(above mentioned) were some of the reasons Allah ordered Muslim women to wear hijab. But people saying such claims feels a little weird to me. The reason why I feel weird are the questions i asked above. – Mohmed Shahid Mar 10 '18 at 5:17
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    @III-AK-III Your comment might actually be the seed of a solid answer, insofar as it seems this question is stemming from exactly this confusion between 'illah and hikmah. – goldPseudo Mar 10 '18 at 6:16
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To summarize the so-called reasons you provided is that hijāb:

  1. Hides the adornment of women, thus barring or reducing men's attraction towards women and any associated potential harm.
  2. Acts as a protection from evil or harm.
  3. Is a form of modesty.

I have not come across any scholarly opinion that said any of the above were the causes (or some of the causes) of hijāb being mandated. It is important to note that 'illah (criterion) and sabab (cause) are not the same as hikmah (wisdom or benefit). The only 'illah of hijāb is that a girl enters womanhood by the onset of puberty (menarche is typically considered to be the sign of puberty in Islam based on the hadith below), and no reasons were given:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، رضى الله عنها أَنَّ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، دَخَلَتْ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهَا ثِيَابٌ رِقَاقٌ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ: يَا أَسْمَاءُ إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْمَحِيضَ لَمْ تَصْلُحْ أَنْ يُرَى مِنْهَا إِلاَّ هَذَا وَهَذَا.‏ وَأَشَارَ إِلَى وَجْهِهِ وَكَفَّيْهِ

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wearing thin clothes. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of the body except this and this, and he pointed to his face and hands.

— Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 34, Hadith 85

Further criteria were set as to who is allowed to see women's adornment (her mahrams) as well who is exempt (assexuais or children) and how the concealment (hijāb) is to be done:

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

— Surat An-Nur 24:31

Further exemptions are given based on another 'illah, which is the criterion of the age of the women, conditional upon her being beyond hope of getting married:

وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ اللَّاتِي لَا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَن يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ ۖ وَأَن يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage - there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments [but] not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

— Surat An-Nur 24:60

All the other verses that you quoted or the so-called reasons are hikmah; none is sabab or 'illah. This distinction is important because for 'illah, in its absence, the ruling may not apply if there is supporting evidence as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya said:

ولهذا إذا علَّق الشارع حكمًا بسبب أو علة زال الحكم بزوالها

If the ruling is held conditional by its lawmaker to a cause, the ruling does not apply if the cause is no longer applicable.

— I'lām al-Muwaqqi'īn an Rabb al-'Ālamīn, Vol. 5, pp. 528

There are set criteria on how to differentiate between 'illah and hikmah, the four characteristics of 'illah, and how to decipher associated rulings, but this is a different topic that deserves a question (or more) of its own.

Most scholars of fundamentals of jurisprudence (usūl al-fiqh) agree that it is not permitted to tie a 'illah of a ruling to its hikmah, thus one cannot say that a ruling that applied at one stage no longer applies since the associated benefits are no longer there. A ruling continues long as the associated 'illah is in place; therefore, even if the streets now are safer or men now do not gaze at women or the definition of modesty has evolved (not that I agree with any such assumptions), hijāb remains to be mandatory.

Example:

The 'illah of the prohibition of wine is intoxication. The two criteria are set through:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ: كُلُّ مُسْكِرٍ حَرَامٌ وَمَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ

It was narrated from 'Abdullah bin 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Every intoxicant is unlawful and whatever causes intoxication in large amounts, a small amount of it is (also) unlawful."

— Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4, Book 30, Hadith 3392

Based on this, the 'illal (criteria) are:

  1. All intoxicants are not permitted
  2. No quantity of an intoxicant is permitted

The criteria of intoxication may disappear through acetic fermentation of the wine, turning it sour, which is known as vinegar. As vinegar does not intoxicate (criterion or 'illah is absent), vinegar — which essentially originated from a prohibited drink — becomes permissible to consume.

  • Well if intoxication is the cause or reason for the prohibition of wine. If any person were to ask why Islam prohibits wine. We could say this point that wine intoxicates. Ok then what if someone asks why hijab? Are we only going to say that we Muslims follow it just because Allah said so? I mean Hijab has been a subjct of controversy, hence there has to be a perfect reason or cause for hijab like wine prohibited for intoxication. And there are a lot of controversial rituals and practices in other religions too and I feel weird when they say that they just follow it bcoz their forefathers did. – Mohmed Shahid Mar 11 '18 at 9:05
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    Maybe you could add something about 33:59, which contains "ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ", which could be understood to be some kind of 'illa. – Kilise Mar 11 '18 at 9:39
  • @Kilise — You are reading my mind :-). I started on it, but it was a very long answer. This is why I asked this as a separate question but of a more general nature (33:59 could very well be used as an example in the answer). – III-AK-III Mar 11 '18 at 11:37
  • @Peaceman — Exactly, you would say because Allah said so for women who reached puberty, same as why dhuhr prayers were originally 2 rak'ats then it became 4 rak'ats, and we don't know why either number; Allah said so. Having said that, the comments section are not for debates. If you would like to continue a discussion on the subject, you may take it to Islam Chat for a wider base of users who may be interested in a debate on the matter. – III-AK-III Mar 11 '18 at 11:54
  • @III-AK-III: You used the terms illah and illal several times in the wrong way or was it a typo? – user24306 Jul 30 '18 at 20:55
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Why did Allah make women follow an extra ruling (veil) just because of men's uncontrollable attractiveness?

I don't know. Muslims don't follow Allah's commands because Allah gives reasons for it. We follow his commands because he says so. Why do we pray five times a day? Because Allah commanded us to.

But we could guess as to some benifits:

  • Maybe it is because men are more visually attracted to women than vice versa so it reduces Zinah more effectively and wouldn't be effective the other way around.
  • Maybe it is, so that all believers can recognize and protect believing women
  • Maybe it is, so that all non-believers can recognize and respect believing women
  • Maybe it is to protect against the eyes of non-believing or evil men

Is it a defect of God's creation for creating men in such a way?

Everything Allah does is purposeful. In this case, Allah gave men a weakness and at the same time he gave them the power of will to fight against it. So, it is a test of who is willing to choose the better path.

Hence isn't hijab of the eyes enough for both? and why cant men be made to control rather that imposing women with an extra veil for not to show off their beauty?

Yes, the hijab of the eyes is for both believing men and women. But, who's to say that all muslims will follow these rules? There are many "muslims" who don't pray. So, the hijab is to protect against those eyes. The ones from people whose Imaan is not strong, who don't care about following Islam, or who are non-muslim. At the same time it also helps your fellow believing brothers out by constantly reminding them of Allah, and also prevents them from falling into sin.

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