1

Muslims unanimously agree that a believing women must cover her hair as part of obligatory hijab. However, there isn't a well-known consensus regarding the covering of face. I have already read many answers on this site regarding this and learnt this fact.

But, what I can't understand, is that what could be the logical reasons (if any) behind this ? More attraction and lust is created from the face of a women than her hair, then WHY covering hair than face is more famous and important in the shariah ?

7
  • The premise that more attraction is created by the face than by the hair is not at all a given in an ancient context (and maybe not even today). Compare other Near Eastern practices from a pre-Islamic period, e.g. uncovered hair signalling eligibility for marriage. Apr 27, 2023 at 15:08
  • @LukeSawczak I said that in general (in regards to general rulings of hijab)This fact is not ambiguous and well understood that face causes more attraction than hair. Apr 27, 2023 at 15:29
  • It is entirely ambiguous to me, so you have one counterexample at least :) Apr 27, 2023 at 16:04
  • @LukeSawczak So you seem to be attracted to a woman more by seeing her hair instead of face ? I know you are saying this for the sake of discussion and arguing, but you know it inside yourself that it is not ambiguous and well known. Apr 27, 2023 at 18:06
  • That's a disingenuous way to proceed; I could say the same but I won't. Better to assume the other is speaking in good faith. In fact, I not only take the position seriously but suspect it's a major factor in the hair covering customs of ancient Near Eastern cultures. e.g. Christian "if a woman has long hair, it is her glory" (1 Cor 11). In the Talmud a rabbi compares exposing the hair to being naked. In an Eblaite document we find the covering as a dowry gift (hair is meant to attract a husband). Long hair is a cultural marker of sexual dimorphism and that's suggestive in itself. Apr 27, 2023 at 18:50

2 Answers 2

2

First of all, it is quite inconvenient to cover the face without also covering hair. So, mandating covering of the face without mandating covering of the hair is difficult to imagine.

Second of all, it is more inconvenient to cover the face than to cover the hair. The face has eyes, nose, mouth, and so on. All of these are somewhat inconvenient to cover. While the hair is a source of attraction and it has no extra inconvenience in covering it more than the plain inconvenience of using the cloth for covering.

There are two issues a lawmaker might consider in what should be covered: the benefit of covering it (how much beauty does it hide) vs. the inconvenience of mandating it would be covered.

Allah has decided the hair must be covered in His complete wisdom.

2
  • If I understand you correctly, then the answer to all of my questions is that this "how much" hijab optimisation is decided by Allah and we should be accepting it as solely the unreachable wisdom of God ? Thanks ! Apr 26, 2023 at 22:12
  • 1
    @An_Elephant Yes. The exact balance of things is decided by Allah because humans will always differ about it.
    – The Z
    Apr 26, 2023 at 22:19
2

Scholars have stated that it is because of necessity. Looking at the face is required for transactions or legal testimonies as a way of identification. Similarly looking at the face is required for marriage proposals as one must be attracted to whom he marries and this is not possible to know this if the face is covered. Uncovering the face is required to serve these purposes, uncovering the hair or anything else does not serve any purpose.

Further please note that it is a part of the teachings on Hijab that it is not permitted to needlessly look at even the face of a woman, especially when it is suspected that it will lead to attraction and lust. Similarly it is prescribed for women to cover their faces if they risk fitnah.

1
  • Thanks. But Again, one may argue about these necessities and convenience, about which I think the final answer is ultimately "Accept them". Indeed the reasons given by scholars are practical, but they are not perfect and can be debated. So I think we should accept it as the shariah says. Apr 27, 2023 at 10:05

You must log in to answer this question.

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