Urwah relates that Aishah said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ 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 recognise them.

(Bukhari and Muslim)

Amidst the ongoing Hijab row, let us try to understand why Allah has ordained Hijab in the first place. When the Islamic society was emerging in Madinah onto the strong foundations of Islamic Shari’ah, the nascent State had to address great challenges. The mixing of genders was one of them. A study of the developments of that time reveals that it was to avoid fitnah, reduce temptation and discourage the free mixing of genders that Allah the Exalted revealed Surah al-Ahzab which ordains Hijab.

The Prophet ﷺ also took various measures to curb the fitnah. Once he said to the women on his way out of the mosque “when he saw men and women mixing together on their way home: ‘Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle of the road.’ Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it.” (Abu Dawood)

Hijab is part of the Islamic Shari’ah which ordains Taqwa for the followers of Islam, men and women both. So, just wearing a piece of cloth on the head is not Hijab. The Shari’ah requires much more than just covering the head. This is why wearing tight and see-through dresses is prohibited.

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