Islamic Modesty in The Quran

Hijab in scripture

Translations of the Qur'an, Surah 24 (translated by Yusuf Ali): 

AL-NOOR (THE LIGHT)

Total Verses: 64
Revealed At: MADINA

 

About Surah Al-Noor

Surah 24 : 1
A sura which We have sent down and which We have ordained in it have We sent down Clear Signs, in order that ye may receive admonition.

What the Qur'an says about the veil and modesty

The Qur'an makes a few references to Muslim clothing, but prefers to point out more general principles of modest dress.

Surah 24 : 30

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
Surah 24 : 31
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.


Translations of the Qur'an, Surah 33 (translated by Yusuf Ali):
 
AL-AHZAB (THE CLANS, THE COALITION,THE COMBINED FORCES)

Total Verses: 73
Revealed At: MADINA

Women should cast their outer garments over their persons

Surah 33 : 59
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


HADITH (recorded sayings of the Prophet Muhammad):
Narrated Aisha (the Prophet's wife): Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: 'O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to his face and hands.
Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4092

Elderly women

The rules are relaxed for elderly women:
Surah 24:60
Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage - there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things.

General rules (Fashion in the Qur'an)

The Qur'an gives these general rules, which may help in understanding how to interpret dress and other rules in modern times.

Surah 7:26
O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!

So clothing doesn't have to be drab. It is all right for both sexes to use clothing to enhance beauty as well as to cover nakedness. Yet the most important thing is to be modest and righteous.

A very thorough explanation on question "Is Hijab Really Mandatory (Fard)?" can be read here. It's a post by Melanie of Haute Hijab in her blog's Advice Column - Ask Haute Hijab.

You can also read about hijab in Indonesian language here: "Jilbab: A thorough explanation (in Bahasa Indonesia)".

Hijab... in its purest form, is the simple essence of modesty, of making sure you look decent especially on the street/outside the house.

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