Muslims are not required to cover up: ‘Hijab’ has nothing to do with morality or Islam

“Young women put on a hijab and go dancing, wearing high heels and lipstick. They wear tight jeans that show their bellies,” 75-year old Nawal Al-Saadawi, Egypt’s leading feminist, noted recently. She is bitter at how the covering of a women’s head has been misrepresented as an act of piety and the defining symbol of Islam.

Globe & Mail Masthead

April 18, 2007

Farzana and TFBy Farzana Hassan
and Tarek Fatah
The Globe and Mail, Toronto

Originally a source of modesty, the hijab, or Muslim head scarf, has become a political tool.

Its latest manifestation came this week with the sight of 10-year old Muslim girls refusing to give up their hijab in a Quebec tae kwon do tournament, when the helmets would have served the same purpose of modesty and much more.

All Canadian women have, at some time in their lives, chosen to wear a head cover. In blinding snow storms or freezing rain, the covering of the head, irrespective of what religion one practises, is crucial to one’s survival.

Halfway across the world, in the deserts of Arabia, whether one was a Muslim or a pagan, the covering of one’s head and face was an absolute necessity — not just when facing a blistering sandstorm, but any time one stepped out of the home in the searing sun.

What was essentially attire for a particular climate and weather has been turned into a modern symbol of defiance and, at best, a show of piety by Islamists and orthodox Muslims.

There is not a single reference in the Koran that obliges Muslim women to cover their hair or their face. The only verse that comes close to such a dress code (Sura 24, “The Light,” verse 31) directs believing women to let their head coverings obscure their bosoms.

Yet, in the past few decades, Islamists and orthodox Muslims have made the covering of a woman’s head the cornerstone of Muslim identity. The head cover been pushed as a symbol of piety and only the Egyptian and Saudi version of the head cover — the hijab — is considered worthy of respect. Coverings that originate in South Asia, the sari or the dupatta, have been relegated as less authentic under Islam.

It is true that through history, Muslim women have chosen to wear the hijab for reasons of modesty. Today, however, some wear it for the opposite reason. “Young women put on a hijab and go dancing, wearing high heels and lipstick. They wear tight jeans that show their bellies,” 75-year old Nawal Al-Saadawi, Egypt’s leading feminist, noted recently. She is bitter at how the covering of a women’s head has been misrepresented as an act of piety and the most defining symbol of Islam.

Beyond fashion, however, this supposed symbol of modesty has assumed a decidedly political and religious tenor, dominating the debate on civil liberties and religious freedoms in the West. Any opposition to the hijab is viewed as a manifestation of Islamophobia.

This was the argument when young Asmahan Mansour was barred from a soccer league in Quebec, as she refused to remove her hijab while playing the sport. Quebec’s electoral officer recently moved to disallow fully veiled Muslim women from voting, as they would not be able to identify themselves adequately.

The piece of cloth becomes a subject of controversy also because those who favour its use claim it is religiously mandated and regard its use as their Charter-protected right. To dispense with the garment while playing a sport would amount to committing a sacrilege.

An inquiry into historical precedent, however, suggests the Koran does not mandate the hijab at all.

It should be noted that the khimar, a head scarf that predated the hijab, was worn by Arab women before the Koran’s stipulations on modesty of dress and demeanour. Verse 24:31 did not introduce the garment, but modified its use when it said that Muslim women should “wear their head-coverings over their bosoms” — previously, they were left bare, although decked with jewellery and ornaments.

The intent of the verse was to exhort believing women to cover their nakedness rather than their hair, which was left partially uncovered even though the khimar was a head dress.

Moreover, the khimar was never rooted in religious precept — it was rooted in custom. Modifications for its use were introduced into Islamic practice when the religion spread into Byzantine and Persian territories, where once again the head dress was prevalent as a social custom.

The khimar was also a symbol of class and distinction rather than of religion precept in pre-Islamic and early Islamic history. Indeed, there existed a hierarchy of sorts where slave women were actually barred from veiling.

Omar bin Khattab, Islam’s second caliph, for example, ordered harsh treatment to slave women who donned the veil. Surely, if the veil was based on religious precept, its use would not be enforced so selectively.

Therefore, to turn the hijab or khimar into a religious and political issue belies its original intent. Muslim women who so vociferously defend its religious use should consider its history before determining whether they must wear it.

Islamists have turned the hijab into the central pillar of Islam. They consider Muslim women who do not cover their heads — the vast majority — as sinners or lesser Muslims. They should come out and debate the issue rather than using young Muslim girls as shields to pursue a political agenda.

80 comments for “Muslims are not required to cover up: ‘Hijab’ has nothing to do with morality or Islam

  1. January 26, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I don’t contradict what you say. But wearing hijab i.e. head covering, and insisting on wearing it either as a religious custom or cultural heritage is nothing wrong. Being a Punjabi Muslim you should have heard the song — Pagdi sambhal oh Jatta, a very patriotic Punjabi peasant song. Wearing of a pagdi is a cultural tradition cherished with utmost respect there. It is not so in other parts of the country while in some other parts the custom is there but not so particularly felt. So what is wrong in a person wearing a pagdi? If nothing wrong in wearing a hat or topi, nothing wrong in that either. If pagdi is allowed for men why not women wear hijab? What you say is true. A century or more back, women, especially rural women, did not wear anything to cover breasts or only scant cloth covering their breasts. This was more of a custom in Kerala with Malayali rural women even till 1960s or so. In tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh even today you find several women with no breast coverings.

    • Fb
      July 18, 2016 at 11:53 PM

      Also from an Islamic influence, absent as we move southwards in India.

      • Darsh
        January 2, 2017 at 1:16 PM

        Within same place so much contradictions too. I spend close to 2 decades in Middle East. Muslim women wore western short dresses exposing clevages at work and suddenly during Ramadan month, they cover top to bottom. For one month, they pretend all sort of goodness and so called purity. It’s like God goes on holiday and gives free pass for remaining 11 months. Absurd!

  2. Gabriella
    January 26, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    The purpose of the hijab is to transform you into a better person but if you still going around doing stupid,sinful acts then might as well take it off and show people who you really are because you are disgracing the rest of the women who wear hijab properly and modestly.

    • Alicia Dailey
      June 11, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      I’m a practicing Muslim. I wear Hijab to Muslim events, Masjids and prayers.
      Im 54 years old and the Quran states that women beyond child bearing age can relax the covering but to dress.modestly. These young women that wear hijabs are embarrassing with their actions in public. They curse, they are loud and rude. Not all but most. Do you think that Allah is please when you misrepresent Our religion. It makes it harder for the younger women to wear hijab in peace because society thinks you are going to act like ratchet animals. So be careful who you judge if you see me without Hijab.

      • Anna Cerda
        January 2, 2017 at 8:44 AM

        Me too. I’m 52 and don’t always wear it. I do wear it to the Masjid and some public occasions.

    • Jamilalaala
      October 30, 2015 at 5:42 AM

      I am Muslim woman and I hate Hijabs, it is ugly, hot and it is only to control women. No, Gabriela the purpose of the hijab is not to transform anyone into a better person you get wrong this, the hijab is to transform women ugly robots who are going only one way, the ugly way of the 7th century.

      Thank you Tarek Fatah for educating us. I like this article. People like Gabriela that is not her real name probably and Ibrahim are trying women to go one way “The Hijab ugly Way of 7th century.

      • Naveen
        March 16, 2016 at 1:05 AM

        I just want to state my opinion in answer to yours. I disagree with you that it doesn’t transform you. It did transform me. I never took the hijab growing up but I decided to wear it in my late 20s. Believe me because of my hijab I am more careful of my image. If I talk to people, I am conscious that I am first identified as a muslim in a non muslim society. My actions are representing a whole religion. Sometimes a few minutes is all people get to interact with a muslim hijabi woman contrary to what they have heard on the media. I am what they get to see. I am more forgiving, more patient and more helpful because I know this is my silent dawah. Yes I get hot, but I DONOT look ugly NEITHER DOES MY HIJAB( lots of ppl have told me so) and one is controlling me because I control my actions. I choose to wear the hijab, I choose to be identified as muslim, I choose to be an example to other non-muslims as an active , helpful, member of a society , an accomplished muslim woman ..all of which is lacking in today’s world. I am an artist, mother, student, teacher, volunteer, peace maker, and a visible member of my community and I want people to know that Muslim woman can be all that…because very few woman choose to be positive examples in society. I like this article too..just so you know.. I always believe that Islam is a lenient religion. Stop being bitter about it.

        • Vikram singh
          July 19, 2016 at 3:21 AM

          Muslim active and helpful member of society…. Since when…lolz

        • July 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM

          Lenient ?

        • Aisha Siscarini
          October 22, 2017 at 3:09 AM

          Well, that’s the problem with some hijab-wearing women. Hijab somehow makes the one who wears it inwardly feel like a saint and better than other people.

          Please note this is called self-righteousness. I’m not saying you are wrong wearing hijab. You absolutely have the right to wear it as an expression of your piety to God.

          But it is worth remembering that wearing hijab doesnt necessarily mean you’re better than others and hijab is absolutely not the ultimate way to help make muslim women a better person. I have seen lots of muslim women silently doing their great works for humanity, they are quiet, humble and bright., and yet they do NOT wear hijab!

          Every woman, muslims or nonmuslims, may have, at one stage, their own spiritual experiences which lead to a better way of how they perceive their relationships with God and humans.

          You may find wearing hijab help make you feel better as a person, but to some other women, especially the nonmuslims, they certainly dont need hijab to become a better person and to help themselves meaningful to their society!

      • Fayaz
        July 19, 2016 at 1:08 AM

        Love you and thank you for your bravery to say lime it is.

      • Harish Singh
        July 19, 2016 at 2:17 AM

        You are absolutely right. Hijab was worn in the middle east for protection from the sun and sand. It offered comfort during travelling and also while doing your daily chores, however but these medieval brained contractors of religion have turned it into a religious symbol. It is nothing more than a piece of clothing and cannot be accrued to religion. Those who doesn’t wear a scarf over their heads aren’t any less religious that the ones that wear it.

      • Nadeem
        October 11, 2016 at 8:10 AM

        What the hell u going on about, this articles written for stupid women like u who know nothing of islam, look at the hadithand the practices of early women of our prophets and sahaba,, just coz he and u agree doesnt mean ur right, read the hadith a women who does not cover her prayers are not answered!! And thrres proof to covering all from head to body, never mind non muslims covering their heads in winters in canada and those who wear hijab but giv bad image, this is command from allah and taught by our prophet

        • FBI
          November 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

          ???? haaeee
          You can lieee!! How can you say their prayers won’t be answered cuz they don’t cover their hair. Chaiii
          Plus mind you, not everything you read from the hadith is accurate ehn.
          Oga Nadeem

        • ABC
          January 2, 2017 at 1:20 PM

          Are you serious? God does not answer your prayers if you don’t wear a hijab? Must be a truely intolerant, vicious, vile dictator, and not “merciful” as he is made to be!

        • July 17, 2017 at 11:43 PM

          Are you serious what prophet! and what Allah communicating to him. All fictious and fabricated stories created to misguide and control people. Proof is in the pudding of Islam which is bloody full of violence and nothing else all in the name of Allah! Do they even know the meaning of God. Its true form and nature.
          If you want to know about God you need to read Holy Vedas!

      • Dennis Johnston
        August 26, 2017 at 11:19 AM

        Thanks for the informing comment. I’ve always understood the hijab to be a more recent practice stemming from men(surprise ) to control women’s behavior.

    • Sanjay Sharma
      July 19, 2016 at 6:31 AM

      So the women who dance are sinful and the women who don’t dance and wear hijab are pious.What a definition of piety!!!!!

      • Dennis Johnston
        August 26, 2017 at 11:20 AM


    • Carey
      January 2, 2017 at 1:06 PM

      How on earth can wearing a piece of cloth transform you ‘ into a better person’?

    • Candice C King
      May 16, 2017 at 10:41 AM

      Sorry, I got news for you putting on the hijab doesn’t make you eny more modest, modesty is a value it comes from the heart it doesn’t come from a hijab. I know first-hand from a Muslim woman that tryed to brainwash my kids to hate me ( she was a nightmare in a hijab) and she was eyeing my husband and trying to brainwash him against me , she lied and she used, and I forgot to mention she prayed 5 times aday. Bottom line, a hijab is not going to make enyone eny better of a person like it or not ones rotten always rotten the hijab isn’t​ going to change that and that’s a fact. It’s all psycholog

  3. Yasmin
    January 27, 2014 at 3:14 AM

    So let me get this straight. The men telling me to cover my head are wrong, but you – another man – telling me to not cover my head is right?

    I am so FREAKING sick of men deciding what I should and shouldn’t wear. Please take your pathetic little article, fold it until it is all sharp corners, and forcibly insert it in your backside.

    • TarekFatah
      January 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Dear Yasmin, try that tired worn-out script with some bleeding-heart White liberal, not me. This proverbial condom implanted on the heads of some Muslim women in the West is nothing more than the flag of the Muslim Brotherhood being used to show a middle finger to the West.

      If you are “so FREAKING sick of men deciding” what you should wear, then why do you follow the diktats of the men who force you to wear what you wear? Its not as if ‘Liberty’ in the 7th, 8th, or 9th century led the charge against the Bastille, screaming “I shall cover my head because otherwise the men around me get sexually aroused.”

      You wear the damn hijab, because some men, dead and alive, TOLD you to do so. So stop invoking feminism to cover your complicity in women being treated as the source of sin. You may be comfortable with the idea that you are the property of men in your life, tied up like cattle at the back of the bus, but I as a fellow human am not going to be told I should not fight slavery.

      • CBinTH
        January 30, 2014 at 7:02 AM

        Has your style changed in the last 7 years? You seem to be provocative now, to the point of being offensive, whereas the article from 2007 is in itself quite mild.

      • AK
        February 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Actions are rewarded by thier intentions , those who do something for Allah and the beloved messenger of Allah then they will receive Allah and the messenger of Allah , and those who do it for worldly gains then they’ll get whatever pety thing that is. Remember Allah is most merciful and most forgiving and remember Allah never forgets so fear your lord, do you believe that one day you will not meet your lord and you will not need to answer for your actions?

        Muslims should love one another to the point that when they debate amongst each other they should be worried that they themselve might be right , which would mean that their brother/sister will have to answer for thier

      • March 17, 2015 at 5:29 PM

        Great answer Tarek.

        I have always been a great fan of yours and we need more Tarek to show the world that Islam is nothing but a political ideology. Because of your videos and people like you (Majeed Nawaz, Hassan Nissar, Irshad Manzi and others), I bought the quran.

        I read it. Then I read the Hadiths and the Sunnah. Now I have all the knowledge I need to know about Islam. Now I debate with my muslim friends intellectually and they are left with no answers. Thanks to you for letting me know the truth about Islam. I owe you all and will try my best to raise more and more valid questions from quran, hadiths and sunnah and let our muslim brothers and sisters find the answers from it.

        • Harish Singh
          July 19, 2016 at 2:35 AM

          See that’s the thing. You bought a copy of the Quoran and read it and now you can challenge those idiots on their own religion because what they say is what they’ve heard. They’ve never read the Quoran and haven’t understood it. They take the sermons from the Mullahs at face value and then go forcing the world to change. This is the problem with Islam today. It is these brainwashed people who have no iota of what is in the holy book are hell bent in screwing up the world.

          • FBI
            November 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

            Well said, well said ???. So many ignorant people roam the earth calling themselves Muslims without making any effort to know true islam. They get their knowledge from words of others whether true or false and dont even try to confirn the authencity, and that’s one of the major problems we have in Islam today. May God help us and cure the ignorant ones of the disease….ameen

      • Amatullah
        July 7, 2016 at 8:48 PM

        Im sorry…have you READ the Quran…..then you must have misses the Book…..An Nisa…..which TELLS us to cover our headsband our bodies…..we can however leave our face and hands uncovered….how can one who claims knowledge be so STUPID on the basic tenets of the Islamic faith….and the thing about it is you will come with a belittleing retort…,but thats fine….oh yeah check your spelling.m..

        • Tarek Fatah
          July 7, 2016 at 11:28 PM

          Dear Amanullah,

          I never cease to get surprised every time I meet a Muslim willing to lie about what is said and not said in the Quran. Obviously you are parroting off what has been thrust into your brain by some bearded, yet moustacheless idiot posing as an Islamic scholar.

          The verse of the Quran you quote makes no mention of ‘covering heads’. It is specific and calls on women to cover their breasts. Last I heard they do not grow on a woman’s head, but rather her chest.

          Wake up.

        • July 19, 2016 at 10:34 AM

          Why must a woman cover up in a double bedsheet to be the poster girl for Bombay dyeing when it’s the man whose eyes that need shutters. If he gets an erection seeing anything more than 10% of a woman – let’s yank his thing off and run it in a blender. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Let her roam free dearie

          • Durdana Matin
            July 6, 2017 at 3:05 PM


      • Nadeem
        October 11, 2016 at 8:13 AM

        What a donkey u really are

      • Bri
        December 31, 2016 at 1:36 PM

        Actually, Sir, I respectfully disagree with you. My hijab is my choice. I am an American convert to Islam, and I chose to wear the hijab, without any prompting from others, as a symbol and reminder to myself, of my devotion to my faith. If I am happy and comfortable in my hijab, why should anyone else care? For that matter I am a young woman in my 20s and I also wear abayas or loose fitting salwars because I do prefer modesty. That is my choice and I have every right to have it. If it makes me happy, if it strengtgans my Iman, if it assists me in dawah, then who are you to tell me I should not wear it?

        • Tarek Fatah
          January 2, 2017 at 12:44 PM

          Bri, are you suggesting you had a revelation from some higher being that told you to wear a hijab? Of course not. You obviously read this somewhere in some man-made book and like all new converts to a new religion, you had to show your commitment and that is what you did.

          You may not like to hear this, but it is in vanity that you wear it, not in modesty. The desire to thumb your nose at the ‘kufaar’is not piety, but arrogance and to a large degree slut-shaming Muslim and non-Muslim women who don’t carry their modesty on their sleeves.

          Trust me you did not become a Muslim out of some awakening inside you. Be honest and share with us the person who invited you to our faith, but please do not add to the most cancerous habit among Muslims, that is to deflect the truth and engage in double-speak.


        • Debbie
          July 16, 2017 at 7:41 AM

          I don’t agree with a lot said from both sides BUT I love this comment. You have hit the bmbsil on the head. Well done

      • Aijaz Ahmad Baba
        January 4, 2017 at 3:54 PM

        We Muslims abide by the commandments of Quran and Hadeeths of our beloved prophet (pbuh)…..Beloved prophet(pbuh) has made the hijab mandatory to all Muslim women,and who the hell you are to question it’s authenticity…… Pseudo Muslims like you are trying to distort the teachings of Islam to promote their satanic agenda…. But, let me tell you….. You are a demon in guise of Muslim….shame on you……

    • sumi Khan
      March 5, 2014 at 3:07 AM

      Yes. if you are right, you don’t need to cover your face or hair !You don’t need to show anyone, you are fair or unfair. Keep it in your mind and move like others. You should not look to others as uncovered are doing sin and crime! Its not said in holly quran!

    • Dawn
      January 3, 2016 at 2:35 PM

      Since men can’t seem to control their sexual desires if they see a eoman who is not wearing a hijad then maybe they should have their eyes removed or another part of their body. They just don’t want to be responsible for their own actions…so sad that Muslim men are so weak.

    • July 19, 2016 at 10:31 AM

      Now you are more confusing lady! First part you sounded feminist. Then you flipped over and turned violent. Lets do the same thing. You go figure out what is pissin you off and then go throw the stones you are carrying

  4. Ibrahim
    January 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    It is not men who made up the Islamic rules but these rules came from Allah. My dear sisters don t let you get confused about de current filosofer s with there own interpretation of the Quran/sunnah.
    Wear the Hijaab and be proud of it. My sisters wearing it, my dear mother wears it, my wife wears it and in shaa Allah my daughters wil wear it. You women are precious for us. Like diamant s. Paradise is under the feet s of our mothers and not the father. I love my mother mutch more then my father.
    Wear the Hijaab with proud and respect to become a hesitant of al Jannah.
    And only take proof from the Quran and the sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammed Pease be upon him.

    • TarekFatah
      January 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Dear Ibrahim, you make your wife and sister wear the Muslim Brotherhood flag on their heads while you hide behind them like a coward. Why don’t you wear a hijab?

      • Ibrahim
        January 28, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        Flag of the Muslim brotherhood ? Coward? The reason why I don t wear the hiyaab is that is not for men. We Muslim men leave our beards to distinguish us from the women and the not Muslim.
        I want to look like our beloved prophet Muhammed (Pease and blessings be upon him). I want to obey Allah! I want that Allah will be pleased with me. I want Al- Jannah! And that is my goal. I don t know how the women in you re house dress them self or how they cover them self up? But I can imagine it by you re way of thinking. You prefer the ratio upon The Words of Allah and the Sunnah of Muhammed (Pease and blessings be upon him )? You are those who wants the see God als proof of His excistend, but you can’t even look strait in to the sun.
        And there is no need for calling people a Coward who you don’t know. This only shows, again, that you are limited In thinking and not yet muture. However Allah loves to forgive, and in the name of Allah: I forgive you my brother.

        • Progress
          January 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

          Prophet Muhammad had a beard and so did Abu Jehal and Abu Lahad. Beard is not a part of Islam, it was the fashion of the day and a convenience since safety razors were not invented yet. By definition keeping a beard and calling it a part of Islam is Biddat (Biddah, for your Arabs) and a sin.

        • CBinTH
          January 30, 2014 at 6:57 AM

          If you look to the sun, you will go blind.

          In Christian scripture, when St Paul saw a vision of Jesus Christ, he went blind, on the road to Damascus.

          In Jewish scripture, God “appeared” to his Prophet as a burning flame, too bright to look upon, a flame upon a bush which “burned and yet was not consumed”.

          Humanity often conceives of the Deity as being at least metaphorically, an overwhelmingly bright light.

        • Salwa
          October 30, 2015 at 6:11 AM

          Men wear hijab too Ibrahim and traditional Muslim clothes. Why you don’t check Saudi Arabia and ancient Islamic culture? then Muslim men didn’t dress up like dudes like you. You are just backwards either Boko Haram or Al shabaab. Go to hell!.

        • July 18, 2017 at 12:00 AM

          Dear brother Ibrahim,
          Your response makes me laugh at your stupidity and your understanding of God!
          Its simply pathetic that people with your mental level exists in this world!

      • May 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        You are definitely right; some of us Muslims take whims of Clerks too seriously but I agree with Mr Fateh that it is not the will of Quran to enforce Hijab etc. It is a tribal Beduin custom and Al-Azhar University has confirmed this.

      • imranDeen
        April 16, 2016 at 2:23 PM

        Thanks Tarek for your COMMON SENSE and dutifulness on this important topic. I am a
        3rd Generation Muslim in the West of Mixed South-Asian/European Islamic background (but like you I am very secular, and believe in strict separation of Religion/State),. I agree the Quran does not state categorically/specifically that women need to cover their heads/face/hair. It does say that women should dress modestly (Incl. men) and should cover their breast and private adornments.

        When I went to my Grandparents (moms side) home town in South-India when I was young (Late 80’s/Early 90’s) for the first time hardly anyone covered…. when I went back in 2000’s it was more conservative, Now when I go every few years 25-30 years later (in the last 10-12 years) virtually everyone covered (I sometimes feel I am in Taliban Country or Saudi Arabia) and not South-India m(with its own rich history and diversity)…

        …Even in the 80’s folks were “modest” but hair was never covered. Now even 5-7 year old kids are covered and I think its a bit rich of Muslims and Islamic countries to preach modesty to westerners but do they realize they are actually sexualizing their young children but insisting they cover up (apparently some Muslim dude can’t control himself)!

        Also many muslims don’t really study the Quran in great detail, they “regurgitate/memorize surahs/yaseen and that is it” and believe in “bleeps” like Zakir Naik or this Fatwa/this imam etc.. etc…… Also in recent years especially since 9-11 I noticed Muslims in the west are becoming more conservative, and the Hijab is used as a political tool. Many of these young 2nd/3rd Gen Western Muslims don’t really know why they are wearing the HIjab (all I here is women/regressive left) screaming MY CHOICE! Many of these HIjab women, wear the Hijab (call it a fashionista hijab) but then skin tight top/skin tight jeans/pants – Crazy!

        The honest truth is Islam is the ONLY major religion not to go through a real reformation (Modernization) the Mullahs fear this as their power will wain, I think this WILL happen one way or another. My preferred approach is Muslims/Islam will self modernize and reform (I really hope so).

        The alternative is the ROW including the west is increasingly getting frustrated and angered by Islam and will do it for us, and in all honesty who can blame them, throughout the muslim world there is turmoil (yes I know Muslims love to blame it on the Zionists/Westerner/HIndus or Jews), they never blame themselves and the Theocratic Ideology which is wrapped around Islam….. Just take South-Asia for Example, India a Majority Hindu/But Secular Nation is moving fwd and fast developing. Afghan/Pakistan/Bangladesh are all basket cases…

        Also I have always wondered why Islam hates it’s pre-Islamic past, and no ones talks about it (Is it an Inferiority complex). Nearly all of North-Africa/Levant Region in the Northern Middle East was Christian, and Iran was Zoroastrian. Pakistan/Afghanistan and Bangladesh and probably nearly all Indian Muslims have Hindu and Buddhist roots/heritage. However muslims in these regions assume that Islam was their since the dawn of time…

        …Also See below why Many Muslims insist on Being Arabs/imitating them (I know who I am) and I for sure am not an Arab, especially South-Asian Muslims in the West (and Increasingly in South Asia) why do they insist on abandoning much of their heritage/culture/dress code etc… For the sake of the Arabs (and supposedly Islam)…. I mean the way South-Asians are treated by Arabs is disgusting to say the least…2 links below to prove my point…. Many Westerners treat their dogs better….. Thoughts and Thank you!

        Islamic Culture

        Arab Racism

        • Indian
          July 19, 2016 at 1:01 AM

          ImranDeen – Because Islam is the ideology of Arabization, Arab racial, cultural, religious and ethnic supremacism. Not just Hijab, see the other cultural practices, personal names, language, customs and even food habits (halal) are Arab things that is prescribed to non-Arabs to “Arabize” them. That is why Muslims are taught to hate their pre-Islamic tenets – so that they don’t revert.

          Once the Arabization (via Islamization) is done, then the imperialism for benefit of the Arab (and their elite cohorts of other ethnicities who are also Arabized) – it becomes easy to find the cannon fodder for the perpetual war mongering, looting, and plundering becomes easy. Also add to it the perpetual source of women and children – to rape and enslave – that the foot soldiers of Islam supply their elites with.

          Islam is a death cult for the foot soldiers (low class Arabs, Arabized races) and enslaved kufrs. While the sheikhs, qurayshs, mullahs etc get to enjoy the spoils: plunder, women, children (yes pedophilia was and is common in heartland peninsular Arab tribal culture).
          Either that “prophet” was himself a practitioner of these bestialities or he didn’t exist and is just a construct of those who made this Arab imperialism plan under the guise of “Allah’s deen” or Islam (submission).

          Exporting a 6th c. desert Arab culture to the whole world irrespective of their cultural, political or geographical milieu needs a *lot* of lying and butchery to spread !

    • Simlan
      October 30, 2015 at 5:26 AM

      You are retarded sick. Are you Al shabaab by any chance?

  5. Zee
    January 28, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Great article. very articulate and to the point. It breaks my heart to see all these women who are rebelling against their own rights. I have seen so many dumbfounded men who are finding their wives with Hijab, or worse, Niqab. These men are not locking their wives in houses, these women are screaming to be locked up. These women don’t listen to their own husbands but gladly take advise from the likes of Farhat Hashmi and other so called Muftis who believe that it perfectly OK to stay stuck in the 7th century Arabia.

  6. Ibrahim
    January 29, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    Praise be to Allaah.

    Shaving the beard is haraam because of the saheeh ahaadeeth that clearly state this, and because of the general application of texts that forbid resembling the non moslims. One of these reports is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beards grow and trim your moustaches.” According to another report: “Trim your moustaches and let your beards grow.” There are other hadeeth which convey the same meaning, which is to leave the beard as it is and let it grow long, without shaving, plucking or cutting any part of it. Ibn Hazm reported that there was scholarly consensus that it is an obligation (fard) to trim the moustache and let the beard grow. He quoted a number of ahaadeeth as evidence, including the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) quoted above, and the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Arqam in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not remove any of his moustache is not one of us.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi). Ibn Hazm said in al-Furoo’: “This is the way of our colleagues [i.e., the Hanbalis].”

  7. Ibrahim
    January 29, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    @Progress: Razors have been identified from many Bronze Age cultures. These were made of bronze or obsidian and were generally oval in shape, with a small tang protruding from one of the short ends.
    Various forms of razors were used throughout history, which are different in appearance but similar in use to modern straight razors. In prehistoric times clam shells, shark teeth, and flint were sharpened and used to shave with. Drawings of such blades were found in prehistoric caves. Some tribes still use blades made of flint to this day. Excavations in Egypt have unearthed solid gold and copper razors in tombs dating back to the 4th millennium BC. The Roman historian Livy reported that the razor was introduced in ancient Rome in the 6th century BC. by legendary king Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Priscus was ahead of his time because razors did not come to general use until a century later.

    No razors in that time right?

    • Progress
      January 29, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Please read my comment again, I said safety razors, not razors.

  8. Ibrahim
    January 29, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    So hijaab is like being locked up? Wow that’s a nice way to exaggerate.
    to the fact that you are saying that it breaks you’re hart means that you’re emotions is taking controle over you’re mind.
    Quote: these women are screaming to be locked up. End quote. Again nicely acted.
    you are acting like every Muslim women does not like te wear the Hijaab. Then answer this questions please, why is de islam the fasted growing religion on the planet? And why are there so many women that converting to Islam? And why are sweet candy/chocolate wrapped in paper?
    (Forgive my English, I’m a non-English speaking)

    • Zee
      January 29, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      I have no problems with your English, just your thinking. May be I did let my emotions take over my judgement for a minute, because I have actually seen women and young girls in my family who have decided to lock themselves in their houses, because some idiot Mufti has told them that women shouldn’t leave their houses unless it is absolutely necessary. Do you see what I am saying now? and this wave of religiosity is all interconnected, some stop at Hijab, some do Niqab and some go the extent of locking themselves up. I have to concede that a woman, just like a man, has every right to do what she pleases, included self-imprisonment, but I too have every right to speak out against it, as I do not believe that any of this is a part of Islam. You can disagree with me, and that is your right. I do not believe in most of the Hadith, as they were mostly invented between the 9th and 11th centuries and some as recently as the last 19th century. And please don’t bring in the Sahee argument, Imam Bukhari was born in 810AD, two hundred years after Muhammad (PBUH)’s death and 150 years after the battle of Karbala when Muhammad’s literal blood was shed, how can I believe that Imam Bukhari had any way of knowing which hadith was genuine and which was not?

    • March 17, 2015 at 5:47 PM

      So your name is Ibrahim? Let me tell you something since you have mentioned Prophet Muhammad (PBUH as you say).

      In Quran 4:48 Muhammad tells us that if you swear by something then other than allah you have committed shirk. you say I swear on my mothers grave you are guilty of shirk. you find these in all 6 collections of Ahadith. Go and look at all the below passages please:

      Sahih al-Bukhari 6108, Sahih Muslim 40-40, Sunan Abu Dawud 3242, Sunan an-Nasai 3795, Sunan Ibn Majah 2095, Jami at tirmidhi 1534. Why is it wrong to swear something other than allah? Muhammad tells us in Jami at tirmidhi 1535 Ibn Umar said “Nothing is sworn by other than Allah, for I heard the Messenger of allah say: “whoever swears by other than allah, he has committed disbelief or shirk.”

      According to Muhammad anyone who swears something other than allah had made it a partner of allah. He has committed shirk. now that we understand how shirk works Lets have some fun. Shall we? In the quran Allah swears over and over again by the quran. sura 36:2, 38:1, 43:2, 50:1 Allah swears by the quan but Muhammad said that when you swear by something other than allah you are making it a partner with allah. therefore the quran is the partner of allah. The worst possible sin. Clears the confusion about shirk. Awesome!!! Allah does not stop here. he swears by Muhammad’s life. Sura 15:72 O my beloved prophet I swear by your life. This is what allah says.

      Allah swears by Muhammad’s life making Muhammad a partner of allah. But this is not surprising because muslims
      dont treat Muhammad like a human profit. The Danish cartoon issue and Charlie Hebdo are biggest example of it. If you draw pictures of Jesus, Moses or anyone else you wont die but you die pictures of Muhammad and you sure will die.

      So who is Muhammad?

      Muhammad is Allah’s partner. But allah does not stop here. He has Angel as partners as well. Sura 77:5, 79:1, So we can clearly conclude that Angels are Allah’s divine partners. Sura 81:15, 85:1, 56:75, 91:1, 91:6, 74:32, 89:1, 84:16, 92:1, 86:11, 51:1, 90:1(Mecca), 68:1, 52:1, 89:3, 95:1. Amazing! Isnt it? Allah has lot of partners.

      When you swear you are trying to mention the importance of the one you swearing by. and anything that is created is insignificant one can bear to allah SBT the creator. so then we dont swear by anyone by allah.

      Allah does not stop here.

      he goes far deeper than this. Allah swears with the seen and unseen as well. What? Am I crazy? Its not me. Its the quran which says so. Lets see. sura 69:38-39, i swear by that which you see, and that which you do not see. Oh my god! allah swears by everything that is seen and everything that is unseen. Its means everything and if allah swears with everything than everything is a partner of allah (he is partnering with everything). It means that Islam is not a monoetheist religion as Muhammad says.

      It is fully polyetheist.

      Allah says he swears with everything which he sees. For example allah can see a snake, lion, donkey and ofcourse a pig. So allah swear with pig? but Muhammad says that when you swear by something other than allah then you have made it partner with allah. So allah has made the snake lion, donkey and a pig a partner. So are the muslims ready to worship the snake, lion, donkey and pig?

      Allah swears by everything seen and unseen. He swears by rats, dogs, alcohol, drugs, pornography, AIDS and allah swears by satan himself (the unseen). And when allah swore on these things from all eternity in his eternal partner the quran he associated all of them with himself committing more shirk than the worst meccan polyetheist Pagans. Sura 2:22 Do not set up rivals to allah while you know.

      The more knowledge you have, the more you read the quran you will understand more about islam. so read each and every page of Islam and the hadiths and find out the truth about islam. and let our muslims brothers and sisters know about their own book how great it is.

      No doubt allah’s knowledge is supposedly greater
      than anyone else’s and allah knew exactly what he was doing when he set up literally everything as his partner. allah unlike the meccan pagan cant appeal to ignorance. So just cutting the crap and letting you know.

      Shirk is the worst possible sin. you commit shirk when you swear something by anyone other than allah since allah swears by everything seen and unseen allah (is the worst of sinners) has committed more shirk than anyone else and because allah knows more than anyone else he is more responsible than anyone else when he commits the worst possible sin over and over again. according to muhammad and quran then allah is the worst sinner the most wicked idolator the most despicalbe mushrik who has ever existed.

      I hope I have cleared your confusion about Muhammad???

  9. zakaria virk
    January 29, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    You are comparing women with candy? could you not think of something better. Candy/chocolate is made from cocoa, it is not cover, neither is sugar. why people obssessed with women’s clothing and hair?

  10. Humair
    January 29, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    quite misleading article, not everything is mentioned in Quran there are thing mentioned in Ahadees also. HIJAB is PREFERABLE not FARZ and Hijab in actual mean is to wear clothes which do not REVEAL Body ( but majority believe it to be like covering head and wearing SKIN FITTED Clothes. There are steps in Hijaab 1st Clothes which do not reveal body than comes Covering your head, 3rd covering your head and 4th is covering your hands and eyes. The more women can cover the better it is.
    Than this article is mentioning about its Men who told Women to wear hijaab.Well Sisters that is something i agree because according to Islam Women are the most precious things for Men as they are wives, sisters and mothers and no men wants his mother, sister and wife to be revealing.
    One more thing i didnt remember its a Hadith or in Quran but its like “When Allah Created Women Satan said thats it i got the best thing to mislead Mankind” so thats another thing why Hijaab is preferred.

  11. Ibrahim
    January 30, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Praise to be Allah

    @Humair: pleas when you are talking about islam, only talk with evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah and name the source.

    Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    The conditions of hijaab:


    (It should cover all the body apart from whatever has been exempted).

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “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 Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

    This aayah clearly states that it is obligatory to cover all of a woman’s beauty and adornments and not to display any part of that before non-mahram men (“strangers”) except for whatever appears unintentionally, in which case there will be no sin on them if they hasten to cover it up.

    Al-Haafiz ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer:

    This means that they should not display any part of their adornment to non-mahrams, apart from that which it is impossible to conceal. Ibn Mas’ood said: such as the cloak and robe, i.e., what the women of the Arabs used to wear, an outer garment which covered whatever the woman was wearing, except for whatever appeared from beneath the outer garment. There is no sin on a woman with regard to this because it is impossible to conceal it.


    (it should not be an adornment in and of itself).

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “… and not to show off their adornment…” [al-Noor 24:31]. The general meaning of this phrase includes the outer garment, because if it is decorated it will attract men’s attention to her. This is supported by the aayah in Soorat al-Ahzaab (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [al-Ahzaab 33:33]. It is also supported by the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three, do not ask me about them: a man who leaves the jamaa’ah, disobeys his leader and dies disobedient; a female or male slave who runs away then dies; and a woman whose husband is absent and left her with everything she needs, and after he left she made a wanton display of herself. Do not ask about them.”

    (Narrated by al-Haakim, 1/119; Ahmad, 6/19; from the hadeeth of Faddaalah bint ‘Ubayd. Its isnaad is saheeh and it is in al-Adab al-Mufrad).


    (It should be thick and not transparent or “see-thru”)

    – because it cannot cover properly otherwise. Transparent or see-thru clothing makes a woman more tempting and beautiful. Concerning this the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed but naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels. Curse them, for they are cursed.” Another hadeeth adds: “They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.”

    (Narrated by Muslim from the report of Abu Hurayrah).

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant was women who wear clothes made of light fabric which describes and does not cover. They are clothed in name but naked in reality.

    Transmitted by al-Suyooti in Tanweer al-Hawaalik, 3/103.


    (It should be loose, not tight so that it describes any part of the body).

    The purpose of clothing is to prevent fitnah (temptation), and this can only be achieved if clothes are wide and loose. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the colour of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a vivid image in the minds of men. The corruption or invitation to corruption that is inherent in that is quite obvious. So the clothes must be wide. Usaamah ibn Zayd said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave me a thick Egyptian garment that was one of the gifts given to him by Duhyat al-Kalbi, and I gave it to my wife to wear. He said, ‘Why do I not see you wearing that Egyptian garment?’ I said, ‘I gave it to my wife to wear.’ He said, ‘Tell her to wear a gown underneath it, for I am afraid that it may describe the size of her bones.’” (Narrated by al-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisi in al-Ahaadeeth al-Mukhtaarah, 1/442, and by Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi, with a hasan isnaad).


    (It should not be perfumed with bakhoor or fragrance)

    There are many ahaadeeth which forbid women to wear perfume when they go out of their houses. We will quote here some of those which have saheeh isnaads:

    Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.”

    Zaynab al-Thaqafiyyah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you (women) goes out to the mosque, let her not touch any perfume.”

    Abu Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who has scented herself with bakhoor (incense), let her not attend ‘Ishaa’ prayers with us.”

    Moosa ibn Yassaar said that a woman passed by Abu Hurayrah and her scent was overpowering. He said, “O female slave of al-Jabbaar, are you going to the mosque?” She said, “Yes,” He said, “And have you put on perfume because of that?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Go back and wash yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘If a woman comes out to the mosque and her fragrance is overpowering, Allaah will not accept any prayer from her until she goes home and washes herself.’”

    These ahaadeeth are general in implication. Just as the prohibition covers perfume applied to the body, it also covers perfume applied to the clothes, especially in the third hadeeth, where bakhoor (incense) is mentioned, because incense is used specifically to perfume the clothes.

    The reason for this prohibition is quite clear, which is that women’s fragrance may cause undue provocation of desires. The scholars also included other things under this heading of things to be avoided by women who want to go to the mosque, such as beautiful clothes, jewellery that can be seen, excessive adornments and mingling with men. See Fath al-Baari, 2/279.

    Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed said:

    This indicates that it is forbidden for a woman who wants to go to the mosque to wear perfume, because this causes provocation of men’s desires. This was reported by al-Manaawi in Fayd al-Qadeer, in the commentary on the first hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah quoted above.


    (It should not resemble the clothing of men)

    It was reported in the saheeh ahaadeeth that a woman who imitates men in dress or in other ways is cursed. There follow some of the ahaadeeth that we know:

    Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the man who wears women’s clothes, and the woman who wears men’s clothes.”

    ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘They are not part of us, the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.’”

    Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed effeminate men and masculine women. He said, ‘Throw them out of your houses.’” He said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) expelled So and so, and ‘Umar expelled So and so.” According to another version: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men.”

    ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There are three who will not enter Paradise and Allaah will not even look at them on the Day of Resurrection: one who disobeys his parents, a woman who imitates men, and the duyooth (cuckold, weak man who feels no jealousy over his womenfolk).”

    Ibn Abi Maleekah – whose name was ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Ubayd-Allaah – said: “It was said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), ‘What if a woman wears (men’s) sandals?’ She said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed women who act like men.’”

    These ahaadeeth clearly indicate that it is forbidden for women to imitate men and vice versa, This usually includes dress and other matters, apart from the first hadeeth quoted above, which refers to dress only.

    Abu Dawood said, in Masaa’il al-Imaam Ahmad (p. 261): “I heard Ahmad being asked about a man who dresses his slave woman in a tunic. He said, ‘Do not clothe her in men’s garments, do not make her look like a man.” Abu Dawood said: “I said to Ahmad, Can he give her bachelor sandals to wear? He said, No, unless she wears them to do wudoo’. I said, What about for beauty? He said, No. I said, Can he cut her hair short? He said, No.”


    (It should not resemble the dress of kaafir women).

    It is stated in sharee’ah that Muslims, men and women alike, should not resemble or imitate the kuffaar with regard to worship, festivals or clothing that is specific to them. This is an important Islamic principle which nowadays, unfortunately, is neglected by many Muslims, even those who care about religion and calling others to Islam. This is due either to ignorance of their religion, or because they are following their own whims and desires, or because of deviation, combined with modern customs and imitation of kaafir Europe. This was one of the causes of the Muslims’ decline and weakness, which enabled the foreigners to overwhelm and colonize them. “…Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves …” [al-Ra’d 13:11 – interpretation of the meaning]. If only they knew.

    It should be known that there is a great deal of saheeh evidence for these important rules in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that the evidence in the Qur’aan is elaborated upon in the Sunnah, as is always the case.


    (It should not be a garment of fame and vanity).

    Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity in this world, Allaah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then He will cause Fire to flame up around him.’”

    (Hijaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, p. 54-67).

    And Allaah knows best.

    • Tarek Fatah
      July 19, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      You are such a congenital and pathological liar Ibrahim, even in translating the Quran and inserting your own words carefully hidden in brackets.

      Sick to the core.

  12. subbu
    February 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    This guy Ibrahim, He must be from 8th century. Problem with this guy is, He is a radical sort of guy. He does not want to be rational and quotes everything from Koran which different people interpreted in different ways. My dear bro, why don’t you accept that no religion is perfect and yours is not an exception. Let me tell you one more thing, westerners are so forward because they give least importance to religion and more to welfare, equality and freedom. I just hope one day people like you accept the truth and move forward with open mind.

  13. February 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.

    George Gordon Byron

  14. May 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Hijab is not an Islamic Duty, confirmed by Al-Azhar University and I am sure scholars there know Hadis and Quran better than all of us and they confirm what Mr Tarek Fateh has written.

  15. tazzy
    October 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    We all have our interpretations of right or wrong ultimately we all have to answer to the same god regardless of what ever way you have to address our creator so ultimately we are all responsible for our individual actions and in the end we will all be held to account for our lifetime of actions ladies men children

  16. Humanity
    July 6, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Simply true . Thanks

  17. Dunya
    July 11, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Is this site still active? I would like to ask some questions.. I am still confused abou the hijab. I wear it since 4 years and I have to say that I feel very uncomfortable with it. At first I was convinced that it is obligatory no matter what. But since some weeks I am not sure about that anymore. I read arguments everywhere and they all sound right to my ears.. But the thing is that all the islamic law schools agree with the obligation of the hijab.. So there must be a reason for it or not? Because they have studied Islam for years and so they know better than us. But sometimes I think that they must not always be right.

    I don’t want to attack someone I just want to get some answers.
    It could be the Shaytan but maybe it’s just me.. 1. A woman gets recognized as a muslim through the hijab 2. Man know that they should NOT EVEN TRY to flirt with her and play with her 3. She doesn’t get harassed 4. it is a reminder for herself (lower the gaze, she’s religious and should act like that) 5. she doesn’t show her attractions to men like hair and her body contours 6. I can imagine that a man has to fight not to look at her and to fantasize 7. a woman is prettier and sexual with hair so she could do sins permanently when she goes outside
    8. life is a test 9. men have more responsibilities and therefore they have more rights
    9. the khimar is meant to cover from hair to bosom
    10. everyone wore a hijab

    against it: 1. Okay I know that men love women and that there are a lot who look at women and can’t control themselves but when I think of this deeply then we are considering men like animals who are thirsty and get sexual attracted everytime. is this true? I don’t know I am not a man
    2. Why should a woman get punished just because she wears a longsleeve with jeans and the men can’t control themselves
    3. A woman wears casual clothes but prays, doesn’t chat with boys, reads the quran etc. and is very religious in general then will she still get punished by Allah?
    4. What if she loses a lot of confidence because of the headscarf, is it still a test and she has to wear it until the end of her life? I mean life is already hard enough so why should it be harder
    5. There is a hadith which says that women who pluck their eyebrows are cursed and being cursed does mean for me that they have no chance for paradise. just because I pluck my eyebrows?
    6. The non-hijabis will get punished because it’s their fault that they will be looked at but what will happen to the men who didn’t lower their gaze? Will they get the punishment too?
    7. yes, I heard that with khimar is meant to cover bosoms not hair because early in that time some women showed their bosoms

    Then what is hijab? To cover everything but hands and face with long and wide clothes? Or can you show your and just wear casual clothes like jeans and long sleeve shirt
    Now I’m really confused and afraid… Sorry for the long text

    • Niculescu Florin Titus
      July 24, 2016 at 6:08 PM

      I’m not a muslim, i’m not an arab, but here’s my two-cent:

      The entire purpose and meaning of hijab was “don’t walk around topless”. That was the fashion of the era that text was written. remember Salome? That king’s daughter who got the Baptist’s head cut off?

      Her whole wardrobe was a yard of cloth and jewelry. That was the dress code for young women in hot climate. then came religions to rule that women must have some sort of cover up. and men must wash daily.

      And remember that all the “holy” dress codes come from times when sewing and stitching was unheard of. thus all clothes were skin- tight, for the only way to make them cling to your body was to wrap them tightly.

      And for a historical perspective, think about Christian women in Sicily in 20th century whose modesty habits made them wear at all times a 3ft headscarf, a long sleeved neck-high loose shirt and an ankle-length skirt, all of some sort of black.

      Makeup, tweezing out hairs, hairdos… they’re just to enhance your beauty. I guess that all monotheistic religions generated the idea that being sexually attractive is a sin. Just imagine a trend that makes every christian dress and behave like nuns and monks, and to see sex as a sin inevitable for perpetuation of mankind. That’s what a radical fundamentalist faith does, whatever be its name.

      But at the end of the day, one can always believe that true love cannot be deterred by a hijab, overclothing, or lack of eye contact.
      and remember that lots of women stand by “modesty clothing” simply because they’re unattractive, and one can only wishfully guess what’s hidden behind the loose folds.

      And i suppose God wants us to love and be true to ourselves, not to hide or lie.

  18. Ilma Bosnia
    July 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Oh my God, such a good text, I love it. Tarek Fatah, just keep it going. I would love to talk to you about other topics too, and try solving some of my problems and questions. Great salam from Bosnia&Herzegovina! 😀

  19. Tinah
    February 17, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    Dear Mr Tarek Fatah
    I hope my questions don’t come across as disrespectful, ignorant or unintelligent in any way. I am just a Muslim girl who has been confused her entire life- an imam from one mosque will tell me something, yet an imam from another mosque will tell me something completely different. One Muslim will tell me one thing, yet another Muslim will tell me something completely different from having read the same copy of a Quran book. My parents divorced because of this, and now even my father and stepmother share and read from the Quran together yet they will easiliy get into an arguement about which rule is the correct one. I will turning 20 soon, so I am now sincierely, and in desperate need of some consistency. How can I be so sure whether I am following the right rule or not?

    I haven’t been wearing hijab because I live in a Western foreign country that knows very little about Islam and the concept of hijabs- my mother is sympathetic and reassures me that there was nothing in the Quran that states it is mandatory to wear a hijab; so long as I follow the five pillars of Islam (ie: to pray, to fast etc.), as well as to at least maintain modesty and to not drink, take part in adultery etc it should be fine. On the other hand, my dad said there is a verse in the Quran stating that a woman who doesn’t wear the hijab will never see or smell the scent of paradise? Also that a woman refusing to wear hijab is sentencing her entire family (i.e. her parents) to an eternity of suffering in Hell alongside the woman who had committed this sin. He also says that as a Muslim in general, I shouldn’t try to beautify myself for the sake of worldy reasons (i.e. society) because at the end of the day, it is only Allah’s opinion that should matter.

    This has left me very, very confused for my entire life. I genuinely want to be a good Muslim because of course, I don’t want to go to hell. But at the same time I don’t want to have to wear the hijab because it is meant to ‘define’ me as a Muslim woman.
    After having read your article, I felt very reassured, but then having read the comments below just made me more confused. Which is the true interpretation? Please help me 🙁


  20. Irtiqa
    February 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    First thing i would like to say y u people are always dragging muslims in this topic…it has been said in every religion that a women should be covered cause the main reason behind it is to feel. secure,safe,protected.its not just islam..second thing i would like to say there are different kind of people in this world with diffrent perspective diffrent beliefs…u cnt change it n ur nobody to change it…so if a women wants to cover herself its her choice n if she doesnot want to u r nobody to tell her that.
    As being a respectable muslim women i wear hijab because i feel secure
    I feel protected by wearing it. And i want to obey my beloved allah,i want to follow my profit mohammad peace be upon him…i dont think its an opression upon women…cause its just a one step towrds jannah and i dont think there would be any muslim who doesnt want jannah.
    Women in our religion has been given the most higher status and has been considerd as the most precious and beautifull creation by a normal human beings we are used to cover and protect our precious and beutifull things so alike that women has been told to cover themslevs just for their own good sake.and its their choice only who wants to cover n who doesnt..its their own perception and nobody has right to say anything to them or against them.

  21. Edries
    March 19, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    I am a proud Muslim living in cape town south Africa..most my family wear hijab but I study Arabic and English translation wear in Quran does it stipulates a women should wear hijab,wearing says women should cover the blossom(breasts) to avoid being molested and women should be modest and not stamp there feet to shake there breast when walking..not to attract men..that’s why Quran continues to say old women are even exempted from this rule if they choose..Islam is about the worship of One god ALLAH and rasool Mohammed poh…and to live with all in Peace,that’s why Allah taught Adam to greet asalaamu aleikoem..go in peace,wish peace on others and all,..spread peace through the lands..most of us don’t understand the message of Islam..we should be carefull to add or subtract from Quran.. Quran is in Gods words,hadith is mans words……we should not insult each other because we all are hungry for peace and direction…Allah says..if u want to find imaan(faith)look for me in nature and wonder on my creation..subahanallah….I don’t wear itches like hell..that a sun ah not farid(compulsory)… My wife is from Asia..don’t wear scarf but prayers 5 times day,we live in peace with music,and all except haraam things..Allah DONT MAKE ISLAAM RELIGION HARD,people do..edries

  22. Salma
    July 18, 2017 at 12:03 AM

    I disagree totally with your justification for wearing that ugly outfit. God has created human to be free instead of being treated as a slave, God doesn’t want people to be in submission as they understand in Islam. That’s wrong understanding of God and morality.
    Please understand that God is not a person who is directing us or wants us to be submissive. According to Holy Vedas, God is a force or power that is one, formless, Just, endless, unborn, omniscent, omnipotent and omnipresent, eternal or ever lasting and the creator, preserver and destroyer of the whole Universe.
    Before 1400 years there was no Islam in this world.
    What ever your understanding and justification is all in your mind and is not true and is not a reality. It’s all in your mind. You can make believe anything!
    And yes hijab does make you look UGLY and is insulting to other people because of the regressive mindset and a regressive and cruel religion it represents. Proof is in the pudding itself that the whole world is tasting in the form of terrorism.
    If I was born in this regressive faith I would have given up this religion long long ago without any hesitation.
    What is sometimes confusing to non-Hindus is that we may call this one God by many different names, according to our tradition. Truth for the Hindu has many names, but that does not make for many truths. Hindus believe in one God, one humanity and one world. People with different language, different cultures have understood this one God in their own way.One of the unique understandings in Hinduism is that God is not just far away, living in a remote heaven, but is also inside of each and every soul in the heart and consciousness, waiting for you and me to discover. Knowing the One Great God in this intimate and experiential way is the goal of Hindu spirituality.

  23. Sridhar
    March 26, 2018 at 11:33 PM

    If a society has to progress, only Science should guide its action. One can look up to past traditions if it finds resonance in Science.
    Science is clear that covering a body head to foot in a burqa (or whatever name you give it) is bad for health. Vitamin D is produced when ultraviolet light of Sun falls on skin and goes through a process. This Vitamin D is important for bones, is anti-cancerous, keeps you away from depression and other psychological problems etc etc. It is not just a Vitamin but a pro-hormone, very vital for the body. For poor societies of Middle East and South Asia, this is easy to get from sunlight.
    One of the greatest tragedies and inhumnities heaped up on muslim women is to deprive them of this easy available option for Vitamin D. You just need to expose sufficent part of your body without compromising on your modesty to get Vitamin D. Nobody is asking you to go out in a bikini to the beech. that is done in West because sunlight is not available that freely but in places like the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East this is not a problem.

    When you look back even 50 years ago, muslim women were dressing modestly without having to cover in a burqa head to foot with only eyes showing through a slit.

    Why did this happen then?

    (Muslim men have cleverly exploited their interpretation of Sharia laws to limit a women’s role in Muslim countries. Laws of Hadood, the Islamic marriage contract, plus legalized polygamy, all lead to treating women as if they were living in Arabia 1,400 years ago, and had no idea about today’s world. A women believing in these interpretations will fall victim to these relgious predators and end up wearing a hijab, when all she needs to do is to dress modestly.

    The hijab or burqa are not required by Islam. The only requirement is to dress modestly. Today in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Turkey and throughout the world, most Muslim women have no choice but to wear the hijab or burqa with only thier eyes showing due to cultural and Man-made traditions.)

    Religious heads have tried to control societal norms through religion.

    When you lose your individual freedom and let a cleric decide what you need to wear, all in the name of Allah, you are truly back to the 7th century norms.
    You then become a regressive society, always looking back, never looking to the future.

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