Does Islam force Muslim women to wear the Hijab (the headscarf)

Islam does not force anything upon any person but God does point out that the one who rejects evil and choses the right way will be successful. 

There is no compulsion in religion. The Right Way stands clearly distinguished from the wrong. Hence he who rejects the evil ones and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of the firm, unbreakable handle. And Allah (Whom he has held for support) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Quran 2:256)

God does tell the believing women to cover their heads and their bodies and not to reveal their adornments other than to those to whom it is permissible. 

God has warned us in the Quran, the Bible and the Torah against satan who will lead us into temptation in committing sin so it is upon us as believers to take the guidance that God has given us so that we remain on the straight path but the choice is ours to chose our own paths.

The Bible warns us about Adulators women and how they dress with clear intent to do evil. 

Proverbs 7-9

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son, keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)

The Bible also gives clear guidance on how to dress and for a women to cover hear head;

1 Corinthians 11:5

But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

1 Corinthians 11:10

Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”

In Islam the term “Hijab” means curtain, separation, wall and, in other words, anything that hides, masks and protects something.

One has to ask, why do you put a cell phone cover on your phone? To protect it from damage. Why do engines have covers over it? To protect the engine from dirt and dust going into it and causing damage to it? In the same way God is trying to protect women when he instructs them to cover their hair and adornments. These are things that men stair at and causes lust. Benefits of wearing Hijab:

  1. To identify as being a Muslim
  2. Gives the women power – shows that she will not be judged by her looks and that there is more to hear.
  3. Shows that she is a women of enormous strength, courage and integrity.
  4. She tells people that she does not tolerate disrespect
  5. She is not someone to be toyed with.
  6. She is religious and shows her submission to God.
  7. She is not a sexual object 
  8. Sign of modesty
  9. Show she is a truthful women, someone that can be trusted.
  10. She will not cheat, she will not steal or deceive you.

When you look a the Mother Mary, what do you think of her? Do these qualities not come to mind?

Her appearance immediately demands respect, shows hear submission to God and she comes across as a women of immense power.   

God is the all knowing and our protector. So we should not look at God’s instruction to us as being expressive or restrictive in any way. God tells us in the Quran;

  1. “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (Quran 24:31)
  2. “And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Quran 24:60)“Women past childbearing” are those who no longer menstruate, so they can no longer get pregnant or bear children.
  3. “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

Hadith on the Hijab

  1. ‘Urwah reported: Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “May Allah have mercy on the foremost women of the Muhajirun. When Allah revealed the verse, ‘Let them draw their cloaks over their bodies,’ (24:31) they cut their sheets and veiled themselves with them.”

    Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4758

  2. Narrated `Aishah:

    May Allah bestow His Mercy on the early emigrant women. When Allah revealed: “… and to draw their veils all over their Juyubihinna (i.e., their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” (V.24:31) they tore their Murat (woolen dresses or waist-binding clothes or aprons etc.) and covered their heads and faces with those torn Muruts.

    Sahih al-Bukhari 4758

Hijab is not only related to Islam but is practiced by many faiths. Hijab is a religious practice of modesty and submission to God and is not a form of oppression.

The women who are really oppressed are those taught that being modest and submissive to God is bag ward and oppressive.  They believe that been seen as sexual objects and displaying their adornments is freedom but it is not. Those who want to be free to dress half naked also has bad intention to commit sin. Disobedience to God’s will is not freedom but an act of disobedience which will lead to punishment. A criminal is always one who hides from the law in fear that he will be caught. Those who live in obedience are the free ones as they do not need to hide. God is all knowing of those who are obedient. They have nothing to fear and do not need to hide. 






Scroll to Top