Since When is the Hijab a Pillar of Islam?

  • S.TMGuide

    Though I agree with some of the points raised in this post, especially celebrating woman for their achievements. I have to point out that the writer makes it seem very black and white. For example Salah is a pillar of Islam and that requires a woman to wear her hijab, and modesty is a branch of Imaan. Narrated by Abu Huraira (ra): The Prophet said, “Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya is a part of faith.” (Bukhari). Also the only reason woman in Islam like Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) are celebrated for their achievement is that when the ayah of covering came down, they heard and they obeyed.
    Narated By ‘Aisha Razi Allah Anha: When Allah’s Apostle Peace Be Upon Him finished the Fajr prayer, the women would leave covered in their sheets and were not recognized owing to the darkness”. So because it’s an obligation to wear the hijab I belief it is the center of my identity.


  • Sam

    Insha’Allah and Ameen.

  • http://defiantflower.blogspot.com/ Aminah

    is certainly not a pillar. You can never wear hijab a day in your life
    and STILL be a Muslim and even be a good one. Hijab during the life of
    the prophet was never spoken about the way it is today. He never once
    chastised a woman for her modesty or lack there of. He did however, on
    many occasions chastise men by telling them to lower their gaze, to not
    harass women, by physically closing the gaping mouth of a man staring at
    a woman, by loving the women around him and showing that HIS SUNNAH is
    to mind your own business. Concern yourself with the state of your own
    iman and your own soul rather than the physical, outward appearance of a
    woman. Yes Hijab is part of Islam, on that the quran and hadith are
    very clear, but it is not THE most important part, it is not the be all
    to end all, it is not and never has been a qualifier of ones faith, it
    is not as lofty as we make it out to be. We often forget MEN also have a
    dress code. Men are commanded to modesty as well. Where is the
    chastisement of men in skin tight jeans … jeans so tight you can see
    the circumcision scar? We have allowed misogyny, culture, sexism and
    power to interpret our deen instead of allowing our deen to interpret
    our culture. We have surrendered to the very things the prophet and
    Islam came to abolish! Also if one actually studies the history and chronology of Islam and revelations they will see that the commands for hijab were some of the very last to be sent down. We were commanded on kindness, patience, love, prayer, fasting, oneness of Allah, charity, hajj, jihad, and many other things long before we were ever told about hijab. There is wisdom in everything Allah does …even in the order of his commands.

  • Muzamillah Jeelani

    The topic of hijab is not as simplistic as this author suggests. As far as I understand, one’s religiosity is determined by their closeness to Allah; it is not determined by the outward appearance. In the process of attaining closeness to our Creator we obey His commands. And donning hijab is His command. Ostracizing, belittling women or even making hijab their only worth is in no way pleasing to Allah. Also, hijab is in no way a “free pass” as you claim, but do not qualify. One cannot make these strong claims without backing them up with research. This article is full of generalizations about the Muslim community and cannot be taken seriously because the author does not cite any sources or any study conducted in support of her arguments (e.g. her assertion that “a veiled woman is perceived as devout and respectable, while her unveiled sister is supposedly disconnected from God, and least of all knowledgeable about Islam.” ).

  • Van Houton

    The author’s justification is very weak in my opinion. By His mercy, Allah has not made Hijab a pillar of Islam. It was never meant to be. I’m not sure why the author has even thought along those lines about the hijab. If we delved deeper, the pillars of Islam are those acts that upholds one’s faith – the very foundations upon which one builds his relationship with God and His creations. The hijab does not uphold one’s faith. It is not a foundational act. Rather, it is an act of worship that builds on this foundation, that beautifies a person’s relationship with his Creator and creations. Just like a house that needs a foundation to hold it up, but construction obviously doesn’t stop there. The author misses the point that the hijab is meant to be a means to beautify oneself and one’s deen. A very personal issue. It is not and should not be a statement of piety or superiority over those who don’t wear it. Another point that the author misses is that Hijab is not a mere piece of cloth. It is a complex concept that involves modesty in speech, thinking and actions; it is a reminder to always be wary of one’s deeds; it is a means to purify one’s heart thru humility and obedience to our Creator. Most importantly, it is a symbol of submission to Him. One cannot claim to have pure intentions and a good heart while denying the Hijab. It’s akin to saying that one has good dental hygiene while not brushing one’s teeth. As much as we cry to stop the “obsession” with Hijab, we should equally condemn voices that argue against the Hijab in all fairness. As a hijabi, I wouldn’t like to be dictated what to wear and what NOT to wear. My dress and how I wear it is my personal choice and mine alone.

    • Safira

      But well, you know, it’s not nice to hear some hijabis gossip on how non hijabis are lacking in their piety, forgetting that they themselves are doing a disgusting act (personal experience). The point of this post is that we simply need to be equally nice to both hijabis and not-hijabis-yet, whether you already wear a hijab or not, especially if you already do because when we do commit to wear the hijabs, we’ll radiate an aura of maturity and reservedness like ‘we know what we’re doing with our life!’, and possibly we’ll be looked up on. And that we can’t help it! :)

  • Trish

    Glad to see that you expanded a bit on the current definition of hijab being a scarf. It’s not a scarf! Conflating scarf and hijab is a big part of the problem. We are more than a little piece of cloth.

  • http://www.drajmal.com/ Dr.Ajmal

    Neither is Zina a pillar of Islam, neither Killing a innocent is a pillar of Islam, neither Stealing is pillar of Islam, neither is killing a unborn child a pillar is Islam….and the list is long…

    So why don’t u do that dear..

    Youur distorted logic, has no significance in Islam.. know what the Salaf told concerning logic…

    On the authority of ‘Auf ibn Malik al-Ashja’i: Rasūl Allāh ﷺ said, “My nation will split into seventy-some divisions. The greatest of them as a fitnah [test, trial, usually negative] against my nation will be a people using Qiyās with their personal views, thereby they will permit the ḥarām and forbid the ḥalāl.” (Related by at-Tabarani and al-Hakim; al-Haithami and others said it is authentic)

    “‘Ali observed, “If the religion was based on opinion, the bottom of the sock would take preference in being wiped to the top of the sock.” (Related by Abu Dawud and ad-Daraqutni with a Hassan or Sahih chain.)”

    Abu Hurairah (radiallah anhu) said to a man: “O my nephew! If I narrated any hadith of Rasoolullah (salallaho alaihi wasallam) to you, don’t bring examples or logics (in front of it). [Ibn Majah]

    Consult a scholar before u write again, if not kindly consult a psychiatrist, u really need one..

    • Fatima Samreen-Khader

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Asking the author to go see a shrink is condesending. Perhaps you should seek the advice of a scholar on the etiquettes of naseehah.

      • http://www.drajmal.com/ Dr.Ajmal

        Exactly…. if the author had cared to consult a scholar in
        the first place, she wont have written the article in the first place

    • TreenBock

      I don’t know much about all the foreign words you say’d here, but i sure know that turning to an author with “dear” is demeaning and seemingly you know that it was written by a woman you are being condescending to her. Being a foreigner i happen to agree with her viewpoint. The hijab is just one topic and thats what she chose to discuss. Not discussing abortion or stealing has nothing to do with having logic or lacking it.

    • El Cid

      “Neither is Zina a pillar of Islam, neither Killing a innocent is a
      pillar of Islam, neither Stealing is pillar of Islam, neither is killing
      a unborn child a pillar is Islam….and the list is long[…]So why don’t u do that dear..

      What are you doctor of? I hope not medicine. And considering your self righteous comment above, I recommend a course in basic logic too.

      And while you are at it, in courtesy too. Your sexist remark is not from Islam’s etiquette. Why not read the Qur’an as a starter…ditch the blasphemous hadith.

      • http://www.drajmal.com/ Dr.Ajmal

        its not a self righteous comment but a rightful comment.. if a act can be neglected just because it is not a pillar of Islam then, so is Zina, Killing etc, they are not a pillar of Islam but are Major Sins.

        Yes I’m a Doctor, good at it alhamdulilah.. and with regards to logic, It is better we follow the Sahabah and the Sahabiyaat, during whose time the Quran was revealed, who understood it better and applied it better, than follow the like of the writer and other blasphemous people who think their 21st century understanding of the Quran is better than the Sahabah’s.

        The Sahabiyyat wore Hijab and they are better a example for Muslims than some impostors..

        • El Cid

          These are your unsubstantiated opinions with no demonstrable basis in fact. I could easily go through your the logic flaws of your self righteous rhetoric one by one but will just present this:
          “The Sahabiyyat wore Hijab and they are better a example for Muslims than some impostors”

          Please cite/references to prove these points from Islam’s primary source. Here is a hint to make it easier for you. Muslims are not required to copy/follow the costumes of people living in the desert in the7th century. Muslims are required to follow the commands of God.

          • http://www.drajmal.com/ Dr.Ajmal

            With regard to the evidences that Sahabiyaat wore hijab… find below.. they were better women than the jokers who find excuses to dress in a UnIslamic way

            1 – It was narrated from Safiyyah bint Shaybah that ‘Aa’ishah
            (may Allaah be pleased with her) used to say: When these words were revealed
            – “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies,
            faces, necks and bosoms)” – they took their izaars (a kind of garment)
            and tore them from the edges and covered their faces with them.

            Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4481. The following version was
            narrated by Abu Dawood (4102):

            May Allaah have mercy on the Muhaajir women. When Allaah
            revealed the words “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e.
            their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)”, they tore the thickest of their
            aprons (a kind of garment) and covered their faces with them.

            Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy
            on him) said:

            This hadeeth clearly states that what the Sahaabi women
            mentioned here understood from this verse – “and to draw their veils all
            over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” – was
            that they were to cover their faces, and that they tore their garments and
            covered their faces with them, in obedience to the command of Allaah in the
            verse where He said “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e.
            their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” which meant covering their
            faces. Thus the fair-minded person will understand that woman’s observing
            hijab and covering her face in front of men is established in the saheeh
            Sunnah that explains the Book of Allaah. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased
            with her) praised those women for hastening to follow the command of Allaah
            given in His Book. It is known that their understanding of the words “and
            to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks
            and bosoms)” as meaning covering the face came from the Prophet
            (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because he was there and they
            asked him about everything that they did not understand about their
            religion. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

            “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the Dhikr
            [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’aan)], that you may explain clearly
            to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought”

            [al-Nahl 16:44]

            Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari: There is a report of
            Ibn Abi Haatim via ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn Khaytham from Safiyyah that
            explains that. This report says: We mentioned the women of Quraysh and their
            virtues in the presence of ‘Aa’ishah and she said: “The women of Quraysh are
            good, but by Allaah I have never seen any better than the women of the
            Ansaar, or any who believed the Book of Allaah more strongly or had more
            faith in the Revelation. When Soorat al-Noor was revealed – “and to draw
            their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and
            bosoms)” – their menfolk came to them and recited to them what had been
            revealed, and there was not one woman among them who did not go to her
            apron, and the following morning they prayed wrapped up as if there were
            crows on their heads. It was also narrated clearly in the report of
            al-Bukhaari narrated above, where we see ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased
            with her), who was so knowledgeable and pious, praising them in this manner
            and stating that she had never seen any women who believed the Book of
            Allaah more strongly or had more faith in the Revelation. This clearly
            indicates that they understood from this verse – “and to draw their veils
            all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” –
            that it was obligatory to cover their faces and that this stemmed from their
            belief in the Book of Allaah and their faith in the Revelation. It also
            indicates that women’s observing hijab in front of men and covering their
            faces is an act of belief in the Book of Allaah and faith in the Revelation.
            It is very strange indeed that some of those who claim to have knowledge say
            that there is nothing in the Qur’aan or Sunnah that says that women have to
            cover their faces in front of non-mahram men, even though the Sahaabi women
            did that in obedience to the command of Allaah in His Book, out of faith in
            the Revelation, and that this meaning is also firmly entrenched in the
            Sunnah, as in the report from al-Bukhaari quoted above. This is among the
            strongest evidence that all Muslim women are obliged to observe hijab.

            Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 6/594-595.

            2 – It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the wives of the
            Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go out at
            night to al-Manaasi’ (well known places in the direction of al-Baqee’) to
            relieve themselves and ‘Umar used to say to the Prophet (peace and
            blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Let your wives be veiled.” But the
            Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not
            do that. Then one night Sawdah bint Zam’ah, the wife of the Prophet
            (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), went out at ‘Isha’ time and she
            was a tall woman. ‘Umar called out to her: “We have recognized you, O
            Sawdah!” hoping that hijab would be revealed, then Allaah revealed the verse
            of hijab.

            Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 146; Muslim, 2170.

            3 – It was narrated from Ibn Shihaab that Anas said: I am the
            most knowledgeable of people about hijab. Ubayy ibn Ka’b used to ask me
            about it. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
            be upon him) married Zaynab bint Jahsh, whom he married in Madeenah, he
            invited the people to a meal after the sun had risen. The Messenger of
            Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat down and some
            men sat around him after the people had left, until the Messenger of Allaah
            (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up and walked a
            while, and I walked with him, until he reached the door of ‘Aa’ishah’s
            apartment. Then he thought that they had left so he went back and I went
            back with him, and they were still sitting there. He went back again, and I
            went with him, until he reached the door of ‘Aa’ishah’s apartment, then he
            came back and I came back with him, and they had left. Then he drew a
            curtain between me and him, and the verse of hijab was revealed.

            Al-Bukhaari, 5149; Muslim, 1428.

            4 – It was narrated from ‘Urwah that ‘Aa’ishah said: The
            Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to
            pray Fajr and the believing women would attend (the prayer) with him,
            wrapped in their aprons, then they would go back to their houses and no one
            would recognize them.

            Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 365; Muslim, 645.

            5 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased
            with her) said: “The riders used to pass by us when we were with the
            Messenger of Allaah (S) in ihraam, and when they drew near to us we would
            lower our jilbabs from our heads over our faces, then when they had passed
            we would uncover them again.

            Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1833; Ibn Maajah, 2935; classed as
            saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah (4,203) and by al-Albaani in Kitaab Jilbaab
            al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah.

            6 – It was narrated that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr said: We used to
            cover our faces in front of men.

            Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah, 4/203; al-Haakim, 1/624. He
            classed it as saheeh and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. It was also classed as
            saheeh by al-Albaani in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah.

            7 – It was narrated that ‘Aasim al-Ahwaal said: We used to
            enter upon Hafsah bint Sireen who had put her jilbab thus and covered her
            face with it, and we would say to her: May Allaah have mercy on you. Allaah
            says (interpretation of the meaning): “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” [al-Noor
            24:60]. And she would say to us: What comes after that? We would say:
            “But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for
            them”. And she would say: That is confirming the idea of hijab.

            Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 7/93.

          • El Cid

            Please note that I had requested you as stated above:
            “Please cite/references to prove these points from Islam’s primary source.”
            You, sir have NOT done so. If you are a Muslim then you should know what that primary source is.

            Further, you have tried to justify the Qur’an using Hadith. If you are a Muslim then you would know that you have committed blasphemy. Shirk !!!

            You say you are a medical doctor, your diction suggests not. Overall you come through as a water carrier for that secretive suspicious paranoid hate mongering website Loonwatch’s Notorious spiteful poisonous Couple: MikeSixPack-Ilisha Blasphemous Combo !

            Now tell me what the Quran Majeed says about Hijab? And for that matter about the blasphemous Hadith. Note that the Quran, if you have read and understood it, prophetically and preemptively denounces the Hadith in Allah’s Words as Haram and divisive of Muslims and NOT of Islam.

            The Hadith, as you may know, was manufactured by vested men over 200years after the Quran was completed and sealed by Allah. The purpose of the Hadith is blasphemous: Divide Muslims, ridicule Muhammad, denigrate and enslave women, Jews, minorities and to cast doubt on the message of Islam.

            When, if you reply then please do not cite the Hadith. The Hadith is a man made perversion. It is the most effective weapon ever devised against Islam. Today it is he weapon of choice that the Islamaphobe hatemonger uses to dehumanize Muslims, ridicule Muhammad and mock Allah.
            Now please make and substantiate your points as follows:
            #1. Set your premise.
            #2. State your stand/thesis/argument/opinion.
            #3. Please cite references from the primary scripture of Islam, the Noble Quran: The Words of Allah. Please, not from the Hadith: The words of men.

            You should have no problem doing so if you are a man of science or even of literature. If you have not read the Quran then acknowledge so and I will set for you what Allah means by “Hijab” and His preemptive pronouncement forbidding the Hadith as an enemy of Muslims and against the message of Muhammad: Islam.

          • http://www.drajmal.com/ Dr.Ajmal

            Please note that those who reject Hadiths, which is how Quran was explained by the Prophet sal and acted upon by the Sahabah, are termed as disbelievers.

            If you dont know Imam Ahmad bin Hambal one of the great Imams of this Ummah said – the Quran is more in need of the Sunnah than the other way around. By the way ther eis no need for your understanding of it

            Quran was revealed to Prophet and he and his companions lived it and the records of it are detailed in hadiths and athars. Allah didnt reveal the Quran on your head or the likes of yours that we need to follow the way u interpret them.

          • El Cid

            “Quran is more in need of the Sunnah than the other way around[…] those who reject Hadiths, which is how Quran was explained by the Prophet sal and acted upon by the Sahabah, are termed as disbelievers.”
            I don’t need your uneducated opinion. I could write a circular hadith like the one above every day. Do you know what the word even means?

            Please cite from Quran Majeed to substantiate your above point. Else keep your blasphemy to yourself. I don’t truck with the hypocrites, liars, blasphemers, cultural Hindoos…trying to rewrite the Quran.

            BTW you are on the wrong site. This is a Muslim site. You have a better fit with Loonwatch Loons.

  • MaiaDoe

    It’s easy to see WHY people focus on hijab – because it’s something that’s easy to evaluate, yes/no question, black and white. Either it is present or not, and we can tell by looking just once. That’s very comfortable and easy.

  • Iryna

    While I was reading this article I thought about Tatars, who converted to Islam in 9th or 10th century, and their traditional clothes, especially headdresses (the scarf is called kalfak and the cap is called kattashi):

    18th century:
    Late 19th – early 20th century:
    http://www.elitat.ru/one/1408/1292488976.jpg (this woman, Miriam Mushtarieva, studied medicine at the Kazan univercity)

    http://www.elitat.ru/one/1408/1292488971.jpg (and this – Zeynab Hasani – was a vice headmistress of a girl college)




    As we see, hijab has never been a tradition for at least one huge ethnic group, same goes to Kazakhs and other https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkic_peoples
    And as far as I know, lots of older Tatarian muslims don’t really understand the current trend among some of their youth to wear hijab, they view it as something alien to their culture, something neithe they nor their ancestors have seen before.

    So it makes me wonder if those hijab proponents will have the guts to call hundreds of millions of Turkic women who have lived on the Earth in the last thousand years unmodest?

  • Zakeer Hussain

    This author dosent written like a Muslims over all this blog seems to share a wrong information about islam and Hijab requirements.Please ignore it

  • Pleiades

    Shayreen, thank you so much for this article. I wore hijab for over ten years, starting in my young teens. I don’t regret it, but I recently stopped wearing it for a variety of reasons. I have continued to be just as strong in my faith and my drive to be a good person/Muslim. When I was nervously telling a relative about my decision to stop, I mentioned that it’s not a pillar of Islam. However, this relative responded that a female scholar had once told her, “If there was a sixth pillar of Islam for women it would be hijab” and that statement always stuck in her head. I find it preposterous that a scholar would be so bold as to declare this one aspect of Islam as more important than alllll the other aspects that did not make it into the “pillars.” I think in many of our Muslim communities we just accept the sometimes arbitrarily chosen positions of scholars as canon, and that has led to the rise of hijab being seen as a marker of religiosity over the past century.

  • http://www.paleosaver.com Lorin Chane Partain

    It is becoming increasingly popular precisely because it is a socio-political statement of superiority. Wether moral, religious or cultural superiority is irrelevant it is akin to the Klansmen’s hood.