In Sahih Muslim 1657b it says,

But he (Ibn Umar) said: You are free. He then took hold of something from the earth and said: There is no reward for me even to the weight equal to it. I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: He who beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or slaps him (without any serious fault), then expiation for it is that he should set him free.

Now, Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 6/236 says

Anas reported: Umar saw one of our maidservants wearing a veil and he flogged her. Umar said: Do not resemble free women

My question is, is wearing a veil really a cognizable offense worth hitting slave girls for?

2 Answers 2


Asalaam Alaikum

the concept of slave or slavery in islam is something that is laden with many misconceptions, mainly because it is something that many use to misguide muslims.

i will try to clarify your query, insha Allah.

about the quote you have taken from the musannaf of abi ibn shaybah (6/236) ; the authenticity of this quote, through various chains of authority is questionable.

ibn al-qattan commented on this narration,

This was explicitly reported from Umar and it is not authentic. It contains nothing more than his condemnation of her for wearing attire to make others assume she was a free woman.[ source: Aḥkām al-Naẓar 1/230 ]

In other words, this report describes an incident in which Umar punished a woman for wearing a disguise in order to mislead people about her true identity. It was not her modesty that upset him.

we must also understand that full hijab was only for free muslim women during that time and slaves and concubines should not resemble free women.

(the concept of veiling (hijab) was not explored in this answer as it needs a dedicated question)

may Allah grant you mercy and guide you to the straight path.

Allah knows best.


The first report of the punishment of slaves for wearing a headscarf dates back to the time of the second caliph. And there are narrations about such a punishment in Shiite sources, which may be due to taqiya and express the ruling thought.

According to Shiite traditions, slaves are free to cover their heads or not to cover them, although chastity and covering are superior in any case. Nor can the narrations of the punishment of maids if they cover their heads be trusted too much. Well-known jurists have also acknowledged the necessity of covering the head for slave girls - in prayer and non-prayer - although they have ruled that hijab is recommended for them. [18]

[18]. Najafi, Muhammad Hassan, Jawahir al-Kalam in his new dress, vol. 4, pg. 487, Qom, founder of the Department of Knowledge, Islamic Jurisprudence, righteousness of the doctrine of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon him), Chap I, 1421 BC.

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