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A question on Hijab


I am a hijabi woman been wearing not for 6 years now I grew up in a family that taught me that ido it for God just like praying its “fardفارض” and that was enough for me till one yearsm ago I got into an argument with someone who doesn’t believe hijab is “fardفارض” and while I was trying to prove my point and looking up stuff the opposite happened what I was reading  wasn’t making I never tried to look it up before I just believed what I was taught. Here is what I found the “ayah اية” that is usually used to prove hijab is «وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ» now if you looked “خمرهن” in the Arabic dictionary the “معجم” you will find that it only means “cover” that is just cover which means modesty but not hair cover like some “tafaser تفاسير” says and then I asked my self then why do we wear it while we are praying where in the religion does it say we should wear it while praying I couldn’t find an “ayah اية” but I found a widely used hadeth which is <: يا أسماء إن المرأة إذا بلغت المحيض، لم يصلح أن يرى منها إلا هذا وهذا> but this is a weak hadeth how could this be what a “fard فارض” is built on. I found other hadeth which is strong which Is (لا يَقبَلُ الله صلاةَ حائض إلا بخمارٍ) but again the word خمار which means cover in معجم was used. And if we assumed that it carries both meanings the covering and the hair covering how can something that is fardفارض not be mentioned directly and leaves a space for other connotations. Also I find it very very very weird that in the 70s all women including Islamic scholars wives didn’t wear hijab ( I had the opportunity to speak to 2 women who were wives of azhar scholars and didn’t wear hijab back then. I asked them why did u wear it later on and both there answers were there was no awareness back then that it was fardفارض so the azhar that was the light of Islamic cultures didn’t promote hijab as fard فارض for the longest while what changed! I was pushing the idea of thinking about that topic for the past year when ever I start to think about it I use to say “ألهم ثبتني” then I started suffering from alot of hair problems because of the hijab like receding hair line from the pulling of the viel on my hairline it was then that I changed my daua from “الهم ثبتي” to “الهم عرفني الصح” And this is me looking for answers. I haven’t spoken with anyone about this fearing that I might be wrong and this only influence them towards something am not sure of and I end6up ruining their lives and taking their zanb



Some points:

1. Understanding an ayah (especially when it comes to announce a sharia law or a farz فرض) is not an easy or simple thing to do; lots of steps must be taken in the path of fatwa. Lots of things must be considered for interpretating an ayah like: Asbāb al-nuzūl, historical background, etc. so understanding a sharia law cant happen by merely looking to translation or mujam.
2. Knowledge about the meaning of words in Arabic generally and in Quran specifically is one of the steps in understanding an ayah. There are different mujams (معجم) for Arabic and qur’anic words. But translations is not completely correct for various reasons like for example good mujam books are written in Arabic then translated to English. Even in mujams we see different methods and theories on expansion of language, for example some of authors (like the author of Maqaees al-Lugha) believed in single root for meaning of a word which other meanings are driven from that while others accept the theory of multiple meaning for a single word. So you have to see what mujam you looked for meaning of خمار. Also we must pay attention that sometimes the meaning of a word changes through time.
3. The ayahe in surah al-Noor is not the only ayah in Quran referring hijab; there is also ayah 59 of surah al-Ahzab that talks about hijab. From this ayah lots of intepretators (مفسرین) like al-Zuhayli in tafsee al-muneer, Mahmud al-Alusi in Rūḥ al-ma‘ānī, Ibn Kathir in his tafseer, Al-Jassas in Aḥkām al-Qur’ān concluded that hijab means not just covering the entire body but covering face as well.
4. About this ayah in surah al-Noor that you mentioned: there are points that must be considered as far that English language is capable (because Arabic is much richer language than English, so typically lots of nuance could be lost in the way of translation):
a. The term یضربن mean women must do this firmly because Allah s.w.t didn’t said یجعلن wcich is put, the command came with یضربن which has a sort tight or strict meaning within itself.
b. In Arabic علی means over so this part of ayah says that putting it (خمار) over is farz (فرض), ayah is not saying they must put in on (لیضربن بخمرهن), it says over (علی), cover over something is by putting a cover (cloth or something) on top of it, otherwise the point of coverage is gone (there is a reason that gifts usually comes within a box).
c. The rest of ayah is important as well, for example (وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا; and not to display their charms, beyond what is [acceptably] visible) I think every woman accepts that hair is one of women’s charms.
5.Last but not least we must consider that in 70’s culture in countries like Egypt or Syria was coming from media authority not religious authority the unlike countries like Iraq, Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Mohhamad Mosayyebi.