The Hijab

Is the Hijab a tool for oppression?

While it is not secret the Hijab has been seen as a tool of oppression, it is anything but. The Hijab is seen as a sign of empowerment in the Muslim community.

It is a big misconception that the Quran only makes women dress modestly and makes it the responsiblity of the woman to not make men gaze (look) at them. That is incorrect, as the Quran advises men to dress modestly (everything between the navel and the knee should be covered at all times) and tells men it is their responsiblity to lower their gaze towards a woman.

"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."

"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, [a list of relatives], [household servants], 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."

"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!"

The rules of the Hijab on Elderly Women is described in the following verse:

"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."

Note: Another thing to note about the Hijab, is that you are not required to wear it while near your mahrams (i.e. parents, husband, females, and all prepubecent children).