The Obligatory Conditions for an Islamic Hijab – Dr. Saleh as-Saleh

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This respected author is in agreement with the position that the face and hands of the woman must be covered as he has detailed this in discussions of the Hijab issues in his book: “The Return of the Hijab, Part 3”. Some scholars say it is permissible to uncover the face and the hands of the woman as long as there is no fitna (infatuation) caused by her or inflicted upon her. They see that if: a) she is beautiful and beautifies her face and hands with external substances, and b) the society around her is corrupt where men do not lower their gaze, then it is prohibited for her to uncover her face and hands.


The Hijab itself must not be a display. Allah ordained it so as to cover the beauty of women and not for show off. He (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“And not to show of their adornment except only that which is apparent.” (Qur’an 24: 31)

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ

“And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.” (Qur’an 33:33)

It is not logical that the Hijab itself be a source of display.(41)

(41) Some women put on attractive covers on their heads. This is against the purity of the Hijab and its essence.


The purpose must be achieved. In order for the Hijab to be a cover, it must not be made of transparent material making the woman covered only by name(!) while in reality she is naked.

The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“In the latest part of my Ummah (nation of Muslims) there shall be women who would be naked in spite of being dressed, they have hair high like the humps of the Bukht camel, curse them, for they are cursed”(42).

He (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) added in another hadeeth:

“They will not enter Al-Jannah and would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance.(43)

This indicates that a woman could cause herself a grave and destructive sin if she puts on a garment that is thin and transparent and which clearly shapes her body’s features.

(42) At-Tabarani reported it and Al-Albani in his book “Al-Hijab” said it is authentic.

(43) At-Tabarani related this hadeeth in “Al-Mu’jam As-Sagheer” p.232 and Al-Albani said it Saheeh as in his book “The Hijab” p.56. As-Suyouti related on behalf of Ibin Abdul’Barr that: “The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) intended women who put on light clothes that shows off and shapes the body descriptions. In reality they are naked although they have clothes on them! “.


The Hijab is a safeguard against Fitna. If tight, it will be descriptive of the woman’s body and this violates the purpose of Hijab.

Usaama Bin Zaid (رضي الله عنه) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) dressed me with a thick Qubtyeeyah (cotton dress from Egypt) which was a gift that he received from Duhia Al-Kalbi. So I gave it to my wife to wear. He (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said : “What made you not to wear the Qubtyeeyah?” I said: “I dressed my wife with it. ” He (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said: ” Order her to put an undergarment (or gown) under it, because I am afraid it may describe the size of her bones.(44)

(44) Reported by Ad’Diya’ Al-Maqdissi, Imam Ahmed, At-Tabarani, AlBaihaqi, and Ibn Sa’d. It is also reported that Al-Haithami said: “amongst the chain of narrators is Abdullah Ibn Aqeel whose narrations are good; yet according to some scholars there is Da’eef (weakness) associated with him, and that the rest of narrators are Thuqat (men of confidence regarding reporting). Ad-Dahabi said: ” the level of Abdullah Ibn Aqeel’s narration is not below the rating of “good” (In Meezan AlI’tidal: Measure of Balanced (verifications); Arabic).


The Messenger of Allah (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“Any woman who perfumes herself and passes by some people that they smell her scent, then she is a Zaniyah (prostitute).”(45)

(45) Related by Imam Ahmed, An-Nissa’ee, and Al-Hakim who said: “it has an authentic chain of narration” and Ad-Dahabi agreed.


The Messenger of Allah (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“Women who assume the manners of men are not from us and also those of men who assume the manners of women.”(46)

Abu-Huraira (رضي الله عنه) narrated that:

“The prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) cursed the man who wears the dress of a woman and the woman who wears the dress of a man.” (47)

(46) Reported by Imam Ahmed and Abu Na’eem. Al-Albani authenticated it in his book “Al-Hijab” (PP 66-67).

(47) Related by An-Nissa’ee, Imam Ahmed, Ibn Khuzayemah, Ibn Hab’ban and authenticated by the scholar Ahmed Shakir.


The Messenger of Allah (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“The one who takes the similitude (manner) of a certain people becomes one of them.” (49)

Abdullah bin Umar (رضي الله عنه) said:

“The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) saw me wearing two clothes dyed in saffron, whereupon he said: these are the clothes (usually worn) by the Kuffar, so do not wear them.” (50)

(49) Related by Abu Dawoud, Ahmed (as part of a another hadeeth), Ibn Taymeeyah said that the hadeeth has a good chain of narration (i.e. that reported by Abu Dawoud) and that it is a “good hadeeth”; As-Suyouti said :”it is “Hassan: Good” and Ibn Hajar reported it in “Fath Al-Bari” and supported it with another evidence (a Murssal) with a good chain of narration.

(50) Saheeh Muslim, V. 3, hadeeth # 5173


The Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“The one who wears a garment designed for a worldly fame, Allah will make him wear a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection then he will be set ablaze.” (51)

The garment of fame is any garment a person wears to make him/her look famous. This applies whether the garment is highly precious and shows admiration to the life of this world or if it is chosen of a low quality to show lack of interest to this worldly life. The person may put on clothes with distinct colors so as to draw attention, act proudly and/or arrogantly.

(51) Related by Abu Dawoud, Ibn Majah, and Al-Munthari said that it is hassan (good) as well as Ibn Muflih. Imam As-Shawkani said: “The narrators of the chain are Thuqat” and Al-Alabni reported in his book “Al-Hijab” p. 110 that it is hassan .


Examining the various conditions about the Hijab one can clearly recognize that many of the young Muslim women are not fulfilling these conditions. They consider what they put on now, wrongly as “Hijab”

The enemies of the Islamic revival wanted to destroy it in its infancy by oppression and cruelty. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) defeated their plots and held the believing men and women steadfast in their obedience of Him (سبحانه و تعالى). The enemies of Islam realized that they should deal with the Islamic revival in a wicked way in order to sway this revival away from its course towards Allah.

They started to spread innovated forms of “Hijab” as a “midway” solution by which the Muslim woman can “please” Allah (they claim so!) and at the same time “accommodate” her society and preserve her “beauty” and “glamour”.

The modern “boutique” stores were declining in their trade due to the widespread use of the true Islamic Hijab. Suddenly, the markets were flooded with altered forms of Tabar’ruj under the name ‘modern/contemporary Hijab’. In the beginning this was protested and women were cautious. A group of “displaying women” who were embarrassed with the Islamic Hijab rushed towards the “contemporary Hijab” to “relief’ themselves from the pressing social realities caused by the spread of Hijab. With time the phenomenon of “concealed display” became widespread and known as “contemporary Hijab”. Women friendly to this course think they are the best of girls and best of wives while in fact they are as one poet said:

If they relate to the Hijab
It is the relation of an intruder

So! O women of this kind be mindful to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and do not be deceived by those who may “bless” this action of yours and conceal their true intentions. Do not be deceived and let your response be: ” I am better than those who are in a complete state of display!” There is no excuse to follow the evil. Know that the fire of Hell has different lower levels while Paradise has different higher levels. So it is proper to follow your sisters who truly adhere to the Islamic Hijab and its conditions. Aim high towards the highest levels of Al-Jannah.

It has been related that the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“Look at those who stand at lower levels than you (regarding worldly wealth) and those who stand at higher levels than you in religion (adherence to faith). for this would not make the favors (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes).” (52)

Az-Zohri reported (53) that Ummar Ibn Al-Khatab (رضي الله عنه) recited the saying of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى):

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

“Verily those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone), and then they stood straight (i.e. they believed in the Oneness of Allah and worshipped none but Him (Alone) and obeyed Him for all that He ordered them) on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying); “Fear you not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Al-Jannah which you have been Promised!) (Qur’an 41:30).

He then said:

“They, by Allah, followed the straight path of Allah by obeying Him and did not dodge like wolves.”

Al-Hassan Al Basri, may Allah’s Mercy be upon him, said:

“If Shaytan (Devil) looks and finds you continuously adhering to the obedience of Allah he will seek you (i.e. check you) one time after the other. If he finds that you are still holding, he becomes weary of you and rejects you. But if you adhere one time and you do not another, then he becomes covetous: he wants to have you for himself.” (54)

So come on to a straight path that has no crookedness and a guidance that has no misleading ways in it, and to an honest repentance that has no disobedience in it:

وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“And turn you all together to Allah (and beg Him) to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (Qur’an 24:31)

(52) The origin of this hadeeth was reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhari in the Book of Riqaq and Muslim in the Book of Az-Zuhd V.4, hadeeth # 7070, P 1530, and At-Tirmidhi in the Book of Qiyamah.

(53) Reported by Imam Ahmed and Ibn Al-Mubarak. Imam Ahmed reported it in the Book of Az-Zuhd p. 115 and 110, respectively.

(54) Reported by Ibn Al-Mubarak in his book “Az-Zuhd” p. 7 # 20

THE HONEST MUSLIM receives the order of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and hastens to manifest his love to Islam into action and listens to and obeys the Sunnah of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم). He does not give attention to the lost and misleading ways of the masses of human beings who do not realize their awaiting destiny. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) negated the existence of belief in those who turn away from Him and from His Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) saying:

وَيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُولِ وَأَطَعْنَا ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّىٰ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ

“They (hypocrites) say: “We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger (Muhammad-صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم), and we obey”, then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers. And when they are called to Allah (i.e. His Words-the Qur’an) and His Messenger to judge between them, lo! a party of them refuse to come and turn away.” (Qur’an 24: 47-48 )

On the other hand:

إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ

“The saying of the faithful believers when they are called to Allah (His Words-the Qur’an) and His Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) to judge between them is only that they say: ‘We hear and we obey.’ And such are the successful (who will live for ever in Al-Jannah).” (Qur’an 24: 51-52)

Safiyyah, the daughter of Shayebah, said:

“While we were at A’isha’s (radi Allahu anha) we mentioned the women of Qureish and their good favors, then A’isha said: “indeed the women of Qureish have a good favor and by Allah I have not seen better than the women of Al-Ansar in their strength of acceptance of the Book of Allah and in the belief in the Revelation: At the time when Surat An-Nur was sent down (and in it Allah says): “Let them (believing women) draw their veils over Juyubihinna.” soon their husbands turned to them reciting what Allah had sent down to them (i.e. the above Ayah), the man recites to his wife, his daughter, his sister and to every female relative. Not a single woman of them except that she took up her engraved Mirt (55) (wrapper) and covered her head and face in acceptance and belief in what Allah had sent down from His Book. The next morning they were behind the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم), covered as if black crows were on top of their heads.” (56)

Therefore, there is no choice but to submit the order of Allah and no hesitation should exist in following the ruling of Allah. So come for repentance, O My Muslim Sister, and watch for words like “I will repent, I will pray, I will cover with Hijab“, because delaying the repentance is a sin that you must repent from! Say as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said on the tongue of Moosa (May Allah’s peace be upon him) :

عَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَىٰ


And say as the believing men and women said:

 سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ


(55) With pictures of houses and dwellings.
(56) Reported in The Tafseer of Al-Qur’an Al-Ath’eem by Ibn Katheer 5:90 (Arabic)

Source: Posted from the e-Book: The Hijab .. Why? by Muhammad Bin Ahmad Bin Ismail AL-Mokadam| Dr. Saleh As-Saleh [PDF] & Audio Series

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