Did earlier nations (Jews, Christians, etc.) had the obligatory Hijab? If possible, I am also looking for some evidences in their earlier books.

Nowadays, I have never seen any normal Jew or Christian in covering dresses, hence it suggests that probably it wasn't mandatory for them. What could have been possible reasons for this?


1 Answer 1


Please note that the practice among Jews, Christians or even Muslims is not evidence of what their religion teaches. As people tend to ignore their religion and some transgress even further and distort the religion to adapt it to their own whims.

Evidence from the present versions of the earlier scriptures is not on-topic here. You can ask on the other SE sites. The following book is however relevant: الحجاب شريعة الله في الإسلام واليهودية والنصرانية.

As for evidence from Islamic sources:

  • The verses about the daughters of Shuaib (Jethro) عليه السلام and their tafsirs:

    • ولما ورد ماء مدين وجد عليه أمة من الناس يسقون ووجد من دونهم امرأتين تذودان قال ما خطبكما قالتا لا نسقي حتى يصدر الرعاء وأبونا شيخ كبير

      And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering [their flocks], and he found aside from them two women driving back [their flocks]. He said, "What is your circumstance?" They said, "We do not water until the shepherds dispatch [their flocks]; and our father is an old man."

      Quran 28:23

      The women used to wait for the men to go and did not mingle with them to water their flock. Segregation is a part of hijab.

    • فجاءته إحداهما تمشي على استحياء

      Then one of the two women came to him walking with shyness.

      Quran 28:25

      In its tafsir:

      واضعة ثوبها على وجهها

      covering her face with her cloth

      Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah

      Which indicates that the women used to cover their faces.

    • قالت إحداهما يا أبت استأجره إن خير من استأجرت القوي الأمين

      One of the women said, "O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy."

      Quran 28:26

      In the tafsir of "trustworthy" it is narrated that Moses عليه السلام had asked the woman to walk behind him so that she would not be visible to him. This is part of Hijab. See How did Zipporah know that Moses was "strong and the trustworthy"?

  • ولا تبرجن تبرج الجاهلية الأولى

    And do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.

    Quran 33:33

    When Allah prescribes hijab to us, he contrasts it with the times of ignorance. It is not possible that the divine laws given to Moses and Jesus (عليه السلام) could be the same as what Allah describes as جاهلية (ignorance). And so this verse is evidence that the previous shariahs also forbade display and prescribed hijab just like Islam.

  • لو أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ما أحدث النساء لمنعهن المسجد كما منعت نساء بني إسرائيل

    If the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seen the way the women are behaving, he would have forbidden them to go to the mosque as the women of the Children of Israel were forbidden.

    Bukhari and Muslim

    Prohibition of going to the mosque is a part of hijab. And if going to the Temples\Synagogues was forbidden then logically it is even more likely that covering the body in Hijab was prescribed.

  • Good answer (Even though covering with veil is not explicitly commanded) ! I will ask it on our sister SE sites to see if we can find a non-Islamic source too. Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 10:10

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