Muslim women must to cover their heads


I heard some respectable Muslims say that it is not necessary for Muslim women to cover their heads and that there is nothing in the Qur'an that require them to do so. Can you comment?


The Qur'an and Hadith contain sample proofs to show that covering the head is part of the Islamic dress code for women. It is clearly stated in the Qur'an and further explained in the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be on him. For instance, refer to the following verse from Surah An-Nur (Chapter 24, verse 31):

"Say to the believing women, let them lower their gazes and safeguard their private parts and let them not expose their charm except that which is of necessity to be exposed, and let them lower their khumur (scarves) over their bosoms."

Khumur is the plural of khimar which means scarves that are used to cover the head. The fact that this verse was taken to mean the mandatory obligation to cover both the head and bosom in the time of the Prophet is clearly documented in the sources. To cite one example: Aisha, the mother of the Faithful, said: "I have never seen women more excellent than the women of the Ansar who were most enthusiastic and zealous in complying with the orders of the Book and the revelation. When the verse, "let them lower their scarves over their bosoms" was revealed, the men of the Ansar went home to recite the revelation to their women: so a man would recite the verse to his wife, daughter, sister and each and every member of his family. Thus each one of them picked her wrapper and cut it and covered her head and bosom with it, in complete and total act of compliance with the revelation. Thus they stood behind the Prophet, with their heads like crows, because of the black scarves on their heads." (see the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Al-Qurtubi etc.)

It is evident from this that the covering of the head is a mandatory duty for Muslim women. That is how the first addressees of the Qur'an understood took this verse. To interpret this verse in a different sense amounts to distorting the revelation and falsifying it. May Allah save us from the worst sin of twisting the verses to suit our whims and fancies.