A large amount of confusion prevails among the people about how much should a woman cover her body. Is it necessary to cover everything except the face, or is it necessary to cover everything except the eyes, or is it necessary to cover the whole body altogether? What is the best and what is the bear minimum or acceptable? Can a man force his wife/sister/daughter to go for a higher degree of Hijab, like covering the face as well, when she already covers what is essentialy required? Also isn’t the injunction to ‘lower your gaze’ for men is equal in weight to the injunction to ‘cover your bodies’ for women? Then why is that only the injunction on women is far more stressed than the injunction on men? Why is it that a woman has to cover her face in an Islamic society where she is surrounded all arround by her Muslim brothers? I request you to please give an elaborate answer. Thank you.
Q: Is it permissible for strange males and females to look at each other?
Also what is the basis of the veil?
A: Allah Taãla mentions in the Noble Qur’an, ‘(O Muhammad (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam), tell the believing males to lower their gazes. tell the
believing females to lower their gazes …’ (Quran 24:29-30). The injunction
of lowering the gaze is clear that it is not permissible for strange males
and females to look at one another. Due to the immorality of times and
weakness of resistance, it is compulsory for a female to cover her face
which is the focus of her beauty. The covering of the face conveniently
facilitates the accomplishment of the purpose of lowering the gaze.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai