I live in the Gulf and we go to Halaqas here. I am from the U.K where when we go to Talims or any gathering / bayan we sit close together as we are told angels descend, also that our hair should be covered otherwise angels will not come. I would like to know if this is true then I would like Ahadith to back this up.
Also, the women here when they sit in Halaqas they do not cover their hair, is this wrong? Someone here told me that we can also pray Qur`an without the head covered, is this correct? Please back with Ahadith.
I also see the Mushaf on the floor, or not elevated enough, is it okay for the Mushaf to be on the floor? They say all of this is cultural and no Hadith state this. The woman here mostly follow Qur`an and Sunnah (no Madhahib).
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Primarily, your query is in relation to two issues:
- The importance of covering of the hair for females;
- The due treatment accorded to the Mushaf (the textual copy of the Qur`an)
It is recorded in various books of prophetic traditions that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said:
وما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله، يتلون كتاب الله، ويتدارسونه بينهم، إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة، وغشيتهم الرحمة وحفتهم الملائكة وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده
Translation: No people gather in a house of the houses of Allah reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves except that serenity descends upon them, mercy envelops them, the angels surround them, and Allah makes mention of them to those with Him.
The Hadith is not restricted to those who cover their heads but verily the covering of the head is an expression of humility, modesty and respect which attracts the love and mercy of Allah.
Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) liked and exhorted the believers to sit closely in gatherings and detested unnecessary division in seating. There are several books of traditions [Sunan Abi Dawud, 4823; Sunan an-Nasa`I, 11622; Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 21890] which record that Jabir Ibn Samurah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
دخل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المسجد وهم حِلَق
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) entered the Masjid while the companions were dispersed in groups.
فقال: ما لي أراكم عِزين
He (peace be upon him) said: Why do I see you scattered?
Hence, Prophet Muhammad exhorted the believers to sit close together since it expresses unity, greater attention and respect.
As for the women covering their hair, there are various narrations clearly indicating the general importance of covering female hair including:
عن أم سلمة قالت لما نزلت (يدنين عليهن من جلابيبهن) خرج نساء الأنصار كأن على رؤوسهن الغربان من الأكسية
Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: When the verse ‘draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies’ was revealed, the women of the Ansar (helpers) went out as if there were crows on their heads because of the way they covered themselves.
عن عائشة أنها قالت يرحم الله نساء المهاجرات الأول لما أنزل الله (وليضربن بخمرهن على جيوبهن) شققن أكنف مروطهن فاختمرن بها
Aa’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) said: May Allah have mercy on the first migrant women. When Allah revealed the words, “…and they should draw their veils all over their Juyoob (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” they tore the edges of their aprons and covered their heads with them.’ 
Principally, it is important to note that women are prohibited from exposing their hair before a ghayr mahram (with whom marriage is prohibited). The issue in question is assumed to be regarding the exposure of head and hair in the absence of any ghayr mahram or fear of any fitnah.
Although there is no prohibition to recite the Glorious Qur`an or attend a religious gathering without covering the hair as long as the woman does not expose their hair in front of a ghayr mahram; it is against the etiquette of knowledge and the dignity and modesty of a woman or a man to sit in a gathering of knowledge or read the Glorious Qur`an with their head and hair exposed. The covering of hair signifies humility, respect and honour. For Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) also states:
قال أبو بكر: استحيوا من الله فإني لأدخل الخلاء فأقنع رأسي حياء من الله عز وجلّ
Translation: Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Be modest before Allah; for I certainly cover my head due to respect for Allah when entering the closet.
Imam Mizzi remarks that when Imam Malik wanted to narrate Hadith, he would perform perfect ablution, apply his best attire, wear a hat [covering his head] and comb his beard. When asked the reason for doing this, he responded: “This is how I show respect to the Ahadith of Allah`s Messenger (peace be upon him)”.
There are various examples to illustrate the general practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and pious predecessors in covering their hair and head on various occasions including when seeking and imparting knowledge, when answering the call of nature, when eating and cohabiting.
- As for the issue of demonstrating due respect to the Mushaf (the Glorious Qur`an), we, as Muslim, live by certain core morals and values. All aspects, forms and resources of the religion should be shown due reverence including placing the Glorious Qur`an on a clean and lofty place and not on the floor. We are aversive to anything which may imply any lack of respect to the religion. The Glorious Qur`an states:
ذلك ، ومن يعظّم حرمت الله فهو خير لّه عند ربّه
Translation: Whosoever venerates the sacred things of God, it shall be better for him with his Lord.
ذلك ، ومن يعظّم شعآئر الله فانّها من تقوى القلوب
Translation: Whosoever exalts the signs of Allah, that is indeed from the piety of hearts.
These verses clearly relate to the overall religion and specifically to that which is regarded by the Sharia as revered.
Imam Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi states in al-Jami li Ahkam al-Qur’an:
It is the inviolability of the Qur’an to … dress for reciting as if intending to visit a prince, for the reciter is engaged in an intimate discourse; … if one puts down the Mushaf, not to leave it open; not to place other books upon the Mushaf, which should always be higher than all other books, whether they are books of Sacred Knowledge or something else; … not to place the Mushaf on the floor; … and not to use the Mushaf as pillow, or lean upon it.
Al-Qadhi Iyadh states:
من استخفّ بالقرآن أو بالمصحف أو بشيء منه فهو كافر بإجماع المسلمين
He who belittles the Qur`an or the Mushaf or a portion of it, is a disbeliever by the consensus of the Muslims.
The following statement has been reported from various scholars including, Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, Imam Ruwaim and Imam Abu ‘Ali Ad-Daqqaq (may Allah have His mercy upon them) illustrate the importance of adhering to etiquettes and not to disregard them unnecessarily or by belittling them:
من تهاون بالأدب عوقب بحرمان السنن ومن تهاون بالسنن عوقب بحرمان الفرائض ومن تهاون بالفرائض عوقب بحرمان المعرفة
Translation: Whoever belittles [and shows negligence to] Adab (etiquette) will be punished by being deprived of [the ability to perform] the Sunnah deeds, and who belittles a Sunnah will be deprived of [the ability to perform] the Fardh (obligatory) deeds, and he who belittles [and abandons] the Fardh deeds will eventually be deprived of his recognition of Allah.
In conclusion, both these issues of covering the head and hair on reading the Qur`an or when sitting in gatherings of knowledge and placing the Glorious Qur`an on a lofty place are not simply culturally-related practices but related to etiquettes and are collaborated with Qur`anic verses, narrations and the practices of pious predecessors.
May Allah honour us with the correct understanding and with the ability to demonstrate due respect and honour to all practices of the faith and thereby gain His closeness. Ameen.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Hanif Yusuf Patel
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 [Sahih Muslim, 5788; Sunan Ibn Majah, 225; Sunan Abi Dawud, 1455; Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 7478]
 [Sunan Abi Dawud, 4823; Sunan an-Nasa`I, 11622; Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 21890]
 [Sunan Abi Dawud, 4101]
 [Al-Qur`an, 24: 31]
 [Sunan Abi Dawud, 4102]
 [Kanz al-Ummal, 8514; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 1: 96; Abd ar-Razzaq, 2: 554; I`laa as-Sunan, 1: 322]
 [Tahzib al-Kamal, 17: 384]
 [Sunan at-Tirmidhi, p.1734, Hady as-Sari Muqaddamah Fat`h al-Bari, p.491; Awjaz al-Masalik, 1: 16],
 [Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 1: 96; Kanz al-Ummal, 8514; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 1: 96; Abd ar-Razzaq, 2: 554; I`laa as-Sunan, 1: 322; Abd ar-Razzaq, 1: 190; Al-Bayhaqi fi as-Sunan al-Kubra, 1: 285, Al-Musannaf li Ibn Abi Shaybah, 1: 34]
 [Ibn Sukn fi Al-Ma`rifa, Subul al-Had`y, 7: 284]
 [al-Hilyah, 7: 158]
 [Al-Qur`an, 22:30]
 [Al-Qur`an, 22:32]
 See: [Qurtubi, Jami al-Ahkam; Ruh al-Ma`ani]
 وَمِنْ حُرْمَتِهِ إِذَا وَضَعَ الْمُصْحَفَ أَلَّا يَتْرُكَهُ مَنْشُورًا، وَأَلَّا يَضَعَ فَوْقَهُ شَيْئًا مِنَ الْكُتُبِ حَتَّى يَكُونَ أَبَدًا عَالِيًا لِسَائِرِ الْكُتُبِ، عِلْمًا كَانَ أَوْ غَيْرَهُ. وَمِنْ حُرْمَتِهِ أَنْ يَضَعَهُ فِي حِجْرِهِ إِذَا قَرَأَهُ أَوْ على شي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا يَضَعَهُ بِالْأَرْضِ.
[al-Jami li-Ahkam al-Qur`an, 1: 28]
ينبغي على طالب العلم عند مطالعة الكتاب أن لا يضعه على الأرض مفروشاً منشوراً بل يجعله على كرسي الخشب المعروف.
… ويراعي الأدب في وضع الكتب باعتبار علومها وشرفها وجلالتها فيضع الأشرف أعلى الكل فإن كان فيها المصحف الكريم جعله أعلى الكل وهكذا الأشرف فالأشرف.
[al-Akhlaq az-Zakiyyah fi Aadab at-Talib al-Mardhiyyah, p. 199]
ولا يَعْتَمِدَ عَلَيْهِ وَمِنْ حُرْمَتِهِ أَلَّا يَتَوَسَّدَ الْمُصْحَفَ
[al-Jami li-Ahkam al-Qur`an, 1: 29]
قال الإمام أحمد- رحمه الله تعالى
لا يكتب القرآن على شيء منصوب ولا ستر ولا غيره، ويكره توسّد المصحف
[Nadhrat an-Na`im fi Makarim Akhlaq ar-Rasul al-Karim, 3: 1042]
 وقال القاضي عياض- رحمه الله تعالى-: من استخفّ بالقرآن أو بالمصحف أو بشيء منه فهو كافر بإجماع المسلمين
[Nadhrat an-Na`im fi Makarim Akhlaq ar-Rasul al-Karim, 3: 1042]
 [Sharh al-Adab al-Mufrad, 2:397; Mu`eed an-Ni`am li Subki, p.85; Kitab at-Tahajjud li Ishbili, pg.132]