Hijab? Still Needed? Why?

I have heard that the women should cover their heads with a Hijab or a scarf of some sort. This I believe is asked in order to discourage attraction, however I feel in today's world covering or not covering head doesn't make much of a difference. Therefore is it still wrong to not wear a Hijab?

First of all, Allah has Said in His Quran:

"But no! By your Lord, they have no Faith, unless they make you judge in all disputes between them, and then find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept with full submission in Islam." [Noble Quran 4:65]

Next, your question made me think of a Hadith of prophecy from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him). And when we see more and more of his prophesies coming true as regards the Last Days, it does two things to me. One, it increases my faith in Islam and two, it scares me to realize that we are only a short time away from the very End. Allah Knows Best when that is.

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, such that when He leaves no scholar left, the people will turn to the ignorant as their leaders; then they are asked to give religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, thus they go astray and lead others astray." [Sahih Muslim]

This is an authenticated Hadith and it could not have been predicted more accurate by someone living here today, much less someone living in the Arab desert 1,400 years ago. How did he know? Of course, he was the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him). 

This reminded me of the twelve famous scholars who died last year, including Sheik Muhammad Nasirud-Deen Al-Albani and Abul-Aziz Bin Baz.

And now I am finding many people who are saying things like "I don't see why [so and so]." or "I feel like that should be [such and such]." and "I just think that [and so on]." or "My idea is that [on and on]." and "Well, in today's world [and so on]." also "We don't live in the Arab desert 1,400 years ago, so why [such and such]?" and "Islam was good for them in those days but in the modern world [so and so].." or "Technology and science have evolved to the point where we don't really need to [such and such]."

Every single one of the above statements could lead someone right out of the fold of Islam into disbelief before they ever get to their subject of alcohol, pork, Hijab, stoning the adulterer, cutting the hand of the thief, marry four wives, praying in congregation, fasting, dealing in Riba [interest], playing the stock market and gambling.

Let us now return to your question. I would like to deal with it in stages and pieces in order to break it down and bring some points to the light of Islam, Insha'Allah.

You are talking about a very serious subject and one which is constantly asked to all of those who go around trying to bring people closer to Islam and Allah. Many of us have heard the various arguments over and over and we grow weary of trying to show people who don't want to really know, what the truth of the matter actually is. I am pleased to have the chance to answer this question for someone like yourself who is honest and is really trying to seek out true answers from Islam and I pray that Allah will let me chose my words correctly in order to present the correct position from the real Islam and not to let the Shaytan or my 'Nafs' misguide me, Ameen.

As Muslims, we only take our ideas, beliefs and understandings from the One Who Created Us in the first place. He made us and He Knows what He wants from us. As He mentioned in His Book:

"I only created the Jinn and Mankind to worship me alone." [Noble Quran 51:56]

Is following His Commandments a part of correct worship? Can we follow men who make some changes to His Commandments? Let us look to His Book and see:

"They (Jews & Christians) took their Priests and Preachers to be their Lords besides Allah (by obeying them instead of Allah regarding Haram and Halal according to their desires), and Messiah [Jesus], son of Mariam, while they were commanded to worship none but One Ilah (Allah). None has the right to be worshipped but He. Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)." [Noble Quran 9:31]

Just for further clarification on the subject, I though I might mention a Hadith of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) that says;

"Once while the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) was reciting this ayah, Adi bin Hatim said, "Ya Rasulullah, [O Messenger of Allah]! They do not worship them (Priests and Preachers of Jews and Christians)." The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said; "They sure do. They made lawful things as unlawful and unlawful things as lawful. And by following them and doing so, they actually worshipped them." [Ahmad, At-Tirmidthi and Ibn Jarir]

You are right in what you 'heard', but only to a point. There is more to the statement in order for it to be entirely correct. You said:

"I have heard"

There are only two sources of evidence which are acceptable in Islam;

1. The Noble Quran which if the actual words of Allah revealed in the Arabic language.

2. The Hadiths [Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him)].

So, next time someone tells you something about Islam, simply ask them where they got it from. Easy as that! If they can substantiate what they are saying be a proof from the two Holy Sources, that is the Quran and the Sunnah, then we should listen to them even if we do not agree. We should then refer our differences to an imam or scholar who could help us to understand based on the two Holy Sources. So, we see it is not acceptable to merely say: "I heard..."

"the women should cover their heads with a Hijab"

Let us put the statement more correctly: "Muslim women must cover their whole bodies with Hijab, except the hands and the eyes in order to see, but not in order that others could see her."

"or a scarf of some sort."

'Jilbab' and 'Juyubihin' and 'Khimar' are the key words used in reference to proper covering in Islam and they DO NOT mean a see-thru 'scarf of some sort' exposing the ears and part of the hair.

"This I believe"

As Muslims we can only believe something which is coming from truth and not our own desires.

Allah's Book, the Noble Quran, is absolute proof of the Truth of Islam.

There is absolutely no doubt that this is the Last and Final Message to all of mankind and jinn until the Last Day. And our beliefs as Muslims are categorized in the Quran as;

We believe in:

1. Allah

2. His Angels

3. His Books

4. His Messengers

5. Day of Resurrection

6. Allah's Predestination

So if your 'belief' is based on this, fantastic.

"is asked"

The word you are looking for here is 'commanded' not 'asked'

"in order to discourage attraction,"

Very good. This is one of the purposes clearly stated in Quran. Men of any age who have the knowledge of the sexes and are not closely related to you as husbands, fathers, sons and so on, are forbidden to see any part of you, except your general shape and size while traveling about in public.

"however I feel"

If you mean by the word 'feel' that you 'believe' something then remember to base it on the Quran and the Hadith and the teachings of the early scholars who were there and understood how we were to apply Islam.

"in today's world"

Your reference to "today's world" means what? Would someone be able to take from this statement that Islam is not for today? Of course that is not what you meant.

You or I would never say that Allah doesn't Know what is going to happen and how things are going to work out.

This is a statement of disbelief and should be guarded against.

May Allah protect us from Shaytan who whispers this garbage in our ears, Ameen.

"covering or not covering head"

Again, it is the entire body which has been ordered to be covered and by the way, that does include the feet, fingers, ears, nose, mouth and anything else which could distinguish your beauty.

So my advice to you when passing on the information to others is to say to them:

"Tell the Muslim ladies to look down and keep their gaze away from any forbidden things, and to protect their private parts from illegal sex and don't show off their figures or adornments except what is necessary to be able to see and use their hands, and not to reveal anything of their adornment to anyone, at anytime except of course, to their husbands and fathers, or their husband's fathers, or their sons, or their husband's sons, or their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their sisters in Islam, or the female servants, or elderly men servants who no longer have sexual desire, or small children who are not aware of the differences between sexes. And do not let them stamp their feet so as to reveal what they are concealing of their beauty." [Noble Quran 24:31]

Also, you should tell the believing women to:

"...draw their covering all over their bodies entirely, except enough to be able to see the way and to use their hands if necessary. That is best so that they will be known as respectable Muslims and not be bothered or annoyed." [Noble Quran 33:59]

Sheikh Yusuf Estes