I sometimes come across claims that many of the obligations that Muslims have in Islam are a purely personal matter and were not legally enforced, historically. It's not quite clear to me which obligations fall into which category ("purely personal" vs "can/used to be legally enforced"), or whether it's even the case that all behaviors that are fardh can be legally enforced via tazir punishments in case someone does not act on those obligations. I might ask about that in a separate question.

Here I'm specifically wondering about whether the obligation to wear hijab in public can be enforced legally in sharia by the government, perhaps via tazir punishments (or any other way), and when and where it generally was enforced, historically?

  • Probably it is allowed to do so, just look at Saudi-Arabia back in 2016. They even wanted to execute a woman because she refused it. But now Muhammamed bin Salman is changing that policy slightly. Other Asian countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan would still do this to this day forward. I don't think it was enforced in one country but in group of countries as most of the Asian islamic countries (more like Arabic Asian islamic countries)
    – user24306
    Jul 6, 2018 at 21:45
  • Can you specify premodern times? Are you talking about the early period in the modern era (like 1500 AD till 1800 AD)?
    – user24306
    Jul 27, 2018 at 9:46
  • @Tarik I'm happy with anything before the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
    – G. Bach
    Jul 27, 2018 at 12:10
  • Maybe not, but because it was enforced culturally so that a woman couldn't even imagine appearing without hijab without completely destroying his social standing for she would've been treated like slave girls ever since or deemed irredeemably impious. Things get legally enforced only when there is a tendency for noncompliance in society. That's why a ruling jurist may decide to enforce it legally in modern times.
    – infatuated
    Aug 2, 2019 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


Hijab is Fard, meaning it was instructed by Allah in The Qur'an. So it's Compulsory for All. Islamic government should enforce it.

'O believers; follow not the footsteps of the devil (Satan). And who-ever follows the footsteps of the devil(Satan) then he will indeed tell you only indecency and evil things. And if there had not been the grace of Allahand His mercy upon you, no one of you could have ever been cleansed, Yes Allah cleanses whosoever He like.And Allah is Hearing, Knowing'

Surah Al-Noor Verse No 21.

And the Verse no 31 order the womens about hijab in the following words

And order the Muslim women to lower down their sights a little and guard their chastity and show not theiradornment but as much which is itself apparent and remain putting their head coverings over their bosoms.And disclose not their adornment but to their husbands, or to their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, orto their or the of sons husbands or their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters or thewomen of their religion or their handmaids who are the property of their hands or servants provided they arenot men of sexual desire or the children who are unaware of the private parts of the women; and put not theirfeet forcibly on the ground that hidden adornment may be known. And repent to Allah, O Muslims all together,haply you may get prosperity.

So a fard can be enforced by the government. In premodern times campaign like feminism and liberalism doesn't exists, so women themselves like to wear the hijab but now a days women feel oppressed in wearing hijab.

May Allah guide us all!

  • 1
    This does not answer the actual question! See How to Answer.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jun 19, 2019 at 6:07
  • @Medi1Saif if it is a fard according to the above mentioned verses, then the authorities can enforce it. Jun 19, 2019 at 6:11
  • 1
    They can but have they? Any proof for that?
    – Medi1Saif
    Jun 19, 2019 at 6:12
  • @Medi1Saif i haven't said that authorities have enforced the hijab. I have edited my answer to be more clear. Jun 19, 2019 at 6:14
  • The question asks whether authorities did enforce the hijab not whether they can or cannot. The answer should address what is being asked.
    – Crimson
    Jun 19, 2019 at 6:36

You might need to know some basics first.

Fard - Instructed by Allah in The Qur'an - Compulsory for All
Wajib - Instructed by Allah through Hadith - Compulsory for All
Sunnah Muakkadah - Established Sunnah (Act) by our Prophet (Peace be upon him) - Recommended for All Sunnah - Sunnah (Act) by our Prophet (Peace be upon him) - Voluntary Act of worship

Hijab is Fard, meaning it was instructed by Allah in The Qur'an. So it's Compulsory for All. Islamic government should enforce it.

Fun fact: The only man used to do Hijab was our Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) Peace be upon him.

Surah Yusuf [12:31] - Al-Qur'an,
So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph], "Come out before them." And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands and said, "Perfect is Allah ! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel."

So he had to cover himself when he was in presence of women.

Was hijab in public enforced legally in premodern times? Of course it enforced legally, any instruction given in Qur'an is a Law and it was legally enforced.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .