The issue of Hijab is not a new topic and it is as old as the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Islamic view of Hijab is a more balanced one compared with the other religions but still lots of unfair accusations and doubts are distributed against the Islamic view of Hijab. The spread of these doubts has damaged the place and the importance of Hijab in Islamic societies to an extend where enough attention is not paid to this crucial topic.
There are two Ayahs in the holy Quran which mention Hijab and coverings for ladies: In the Ayah 31 of Surah Al-Nour, Allah (SWT) said: Tell believing women to avert their glances, and be chaste, and cover themselves and display only what is permitted. Their head coverings need to cover those areas which can be revealed only to their husbands or fathers….,. In this Ayah, the holy Quran refers to ladies Hijab and 2 specific points are mentioned in this regard.
First point is that Hijab is prescribed for ladies and the believing ladies should not display more than it is described in the holy Quran. The second point is that it specifically mentioned in this Ayah that the covering which starts from the head will cover the hairs and should continue to cover neck, shoulders and chest. So far the cover for head, neck and chest has been mentioned.
Allah (SWT) in Ayah 59 of Surah Al-Ahzab said: O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and believing women, to draw their long coverings (Jalbab which is a long covering similar to Chador) around themselves, this is better for them in order to be recognised and not to be bothered. The Almighty is always forgiving. What is certain here is that, “Jalbab” which is mentioned in this Ayah is a full cover similar to Chador which covers from top of the head to lower parts of the legs. The holy Ayah clarifies that the cloths and coverings of ladies should not be tight fitting and revealing.
in this section some of the narrations from infallibles regarding Hijab will be mentioned.
Fazeel ibn Yassar in Volume 5 of the book “Forooq Kafi” said: I asked Imam Sadeq (AS), are the elbows of a woman part of her beauty as is mentioned in the Quran: Women do not display their beauty except for their husbands? Imam (AS) replied: Yes, all parts of the body of a woman except face and hands are counted as her beauty (which should be covered).
In Volume 4 of the book “Wasaelol Shia” it is narrated from Imam Sadeq (AS): As a girl reaches the age of adulthood, fasting and Hijab become compulsory (Wajeb) for her.
It is narrated from the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) in the Volume 100 of “Beharul Anwaar” about the retribution on the Day of Judgment for women who sinned: …But for a woman who was hanging by her hair for the reason that she did not cover her hair when she should have.
In the Volume 4 of the book “Sunane Abi Dawood”, Ayesha said: One day Asma the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Prophet (PBUH) whilst wearing revealing cloths. The Prophet (PBUH) turned his face and said: O’ Asma, when a girl reaches the age of adulthood she should not show parts of her body except (he referred to face and hands).