Women: Covering their head in public

Q678 :Is it explicitly stated in the Qur'an that women must cover their hair in public? If so, in which surah and in what verse?


A678 : The simple answer is yes. Verse 31 of Surah 24, entitled "Light", or "An-Noor", deals specifically with how women should appear in public and which groups of relatives are exempted from the general rule that governs women's dress. They may reveal their adornment in the presence of their husbands, fathers, fathers-in-law, sons, sons-in-law, brothers, nephews, other women, etc. The same verse includes the order that women "must draw their head-covering which should be of ample length to be used to cover their bosom", in case her dress is of such style as to reveal a part of her bosom. If her dress or blouse covers her bosom and is not tight, then it is good enough. But that does not mean that a woman does not cover her hair in such a case. Your question is phrased in such a away that it suggests that unless you have a Qur'anic statement giving a specific order, you would not accept the ruling known to everyone in this particular case. As you know, God's message has been conveyed to us by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the fact that we are Muslims means that we believe in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as God's messenger. This is indeed the testimony we make when we declare that we are Muslims, believing that "there is no deity save God, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is God's messenger." God Himself defines the relationship of total obedience to Him. God says: "Take whatever the messenger gives you and refrain from whatever he forbids you." (59;7) There are several Hadiths which make it abundantly clear that a woman must cover her head when she goes out in public. If there was no Qur'anic statement to this effect, then these Hadiths are sufficient to make the order an obligation which must be fulfilled.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )