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Quran 33:59

“ O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”

The ‘hijab’ should be to protect Muslim women but according to studies over 25% of women wearing hijabs on trains in America have been abused and there are countless stories of how women wearing hijab have been catcalled or sexually abused. My question is the hijab is supposed to protect women from any form of abuse but it doesn’t seem to so what is the difference between not wearing the hijab and wearing it if the hijab isn’t protecting women from abuse and that not wearing the hijab may actually reduce chances of getting abused like so and makes the environment more safe for a women?

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    In such cases Muslims should leave the country as it is not allowed for Muslims to stay in non-Muslim countries without a valid reason. If they are mistreated in those countries no valid reason would hold! – Medi1Saif Nov 13 at 6:16
  • I think the Quran says for women to draw veils over their BOSOMS which mean breasts. Scholars think that bosoms mean beauty. Roughly two thousands years, women wore topless clothes exposing their bare chests. As proofs, there are ancient artifacts & statues of topless women in musuems. – Rita Geraghty Dec 2 at 8:45
  • That might be occasional for hijabi Muslimahs in USA, while sexual harassments are RIFE in Egypt and they are EVERYDAY occurences. As a hijabi woman, you are many thousands times safer in USA than in Egypt where 99% women experience sexual harassment. In Egypt, you can find men pulling hijabs off Muslim women on streets. In gangs, they pull hijabi women away from their fathers, husbands, brothers, etc. youtu.be/m9EY39tzbK4 – Rita Geraghty Dec 2 at 9:01
  • Here is another video from Egypt. youtu.be/3ROpDT7tjy4 An Egyptian policewoman in a hijab created a a sensation worldwide by humiliating an alleged molestor. She is a female version of Judge Dredd. She slapped a man's face in public and that was humiliation. – Rita Geraghty Dec 2 at 9:09
  • I have looked up for more videos on that Egyptian policewoman, as she was a SENSATION years back. There were videos of her beating up guys for sexually harassing women & girls on street, before they got removed from Youtube. That is unfortunate. She was Judge Dredd and you gotta love her. There are numerous tweets about her. – Rita Geraghty Dec 2 at 9:21
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Thank you for sharing the CNN. I looked into the original report and full report.

The report is not specific to Muslims.

surveyed 3,105 Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish, and Sikh New Yorkers about their experiences of bias harassment, discrimination, and acts of hate


I think there are two reasons that lead to mistreatment. We shouldn't mix them together.

In the link it says:

  1. Being abused for being a Muslim ie others are bigots and don't like to see you. (CNN)
  2. Being abused for revealing yourself and getting attention. Men (both believers and non-believers) have a certain desire for women. (My link)

This verse is mainly focusing about not getting attention to yourself because of revealing yourself.** Otherwise non-believers will mock and abuse believers. It's been like this since man has step foot on earth. What you seek to not happen is part of the package.

The (main) purpose of hijab is not for a woman to feel physically safe. It's merely so that she doesn't let others enjoy her. As in if you want to enjoy a woman then go enjoy a non-Muslim or just marry another Muslim. Whether or not safety comes with it is an inconsequential byproduct. It's mainly a matter of modest (حیا). Just like how men don't want in the streets in their underwears.

There are also studies that reveal it does in fact make you safer. See 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman in Hijab where a women walked in NYC two times:

  • wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a cardigan
  • full covering hijab

The amount of harassment she got is incomparable!

Having that said if it was a matter of life and death then yes. Allah allows that.

فمن اضطر غير باغ ولا عاد فلا اثم عليه

But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him https://quran.com/2/173

Aside from that I know a lot of Muslims where in their own countries they were full black hijab. Then when they come to US, depending on how welcoming their neighborhood/city is, they change the color of their clothes so they blend in easier. Yet they never reduce their hijab (reveal some of their hair) or use makeup. Then when they travel back they use the full hijab. So that also might be something to consider.


**: In the time of the prophet, there were free women and slave women. Slave women had a lower social status (had less rights and responsibilities). They didn't have hijab. So anyone having hijab would mean to have a higher social status + less revealing of herself. Which ultimately means being less sought after by men.

Long story short this verse is not considerate of bigots which is the case of CNN's study. It's more considerate of men lusting for women.

If women who had hijab were being targeted more by men as rape targets then maybe we can start to question this verse.

  • But in the verse it is says “that they will be known and not be abused.” what if they are getting abused anyway because of the hijab? – L o a d i n g . . . Nov 10 at 23:26
  • @Loading... I suppose they get abused because of being known. Think of the famous people who don't want to be bothers by others. To me hijab is more for the person who puts on hijab themself than for others. Why don't men go out with just their underwears? It's not because they don't want to get abused or that it's forced upon then. They really don't want to reveal themselves to others. It's the same thing for women. – Honey Nov 10 at 23:31
  • No but this verse seems to me that the hijab acts as a barrier preventing women from being harassed or abused by men in whatever ways there are but it seems that even with the hijab men still fantasise over the women and push/shove them so it seems that the hijab isn’t really stopping the abuse – L o a d i n g . . . Nov 10 at 23:34
  • I don't I was clear. Even in a Eutopia, where no man abuses a woman, the believing women would want to put hijab, just like how men don't want to go out with their undewears. It's a matter of having modesty (حیا). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haya_(Islam). Not being abused is not the primary reason – Honey Nov 10 at 23:36
  • Yes I know it is a matter of modesty but I am saying according to THIS VERSE it basically says that the hijab should protect women from abuse but according to studies it doesn’t seem like it makes a difference so what is the difference in not wearing a hijab and wearing it – L o a d i n g . . . Nov 10 at 23:38
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If your question is: If hijab(Covering) is against safety,then what should be done. Then answer: You should try your best to protect your covering. Your first choice will be migration (Hijrat).

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