"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." (Qur'an 33:59)
The word itself comes from the arabic word "hajaba" meaning to conceal or hide from view. Hijab is the modest covering of the head and body of Muslim women.
All Muslim Women are to wear the hijab. This is one Hadith related by Abu Dawood: "Ayesha (r) reported that Asmaa binte Abu Bakr (r) came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this.' He pointed to the face and hands."
Muslims must wear the hijab because Allah (swt) ordered it. Muslims have two sources for guidance. The first and most important source is Qur'an, the revealed word of Allah (swt). They may then use Hadith which is the sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) who was chosen by Allah (swt) to be a role model for mankind.
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah (swt) is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..." (Qur'an 24:30-31)
By covering our beauty, we are evaluated for our intelligence and skills instead of looks and sexuality. Many women who cover are filled with dignity and self-esteem and are happy to be identified as a muslim woman. By wearing hijab the woman is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to shine. Aside from that, it is pleasing to Allah and in return we earn blessings from wearing it.
Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. There are however, some requirements that must be met. These include: Body must be covered Loose Clothing-The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the body. Thick Material-The garments must be thick enough to hide the shape of the body and the color of the skin. Modesty-The dress should not be ragged or fancy. It should be clean and dignified looking. What is the "dress code" ?
Among the virtues of observing the proper hijab for Muslim women, is that first and foremost it is an act of obedience to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW). Virtues of Hijab
Indeed, Allah (SWT) orders the wearing of hijab in the Quran when He (SWT) says, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc., and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks, and bossoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment..." (An-Nur 24:31) Indeed, Allah (SWT) orders the wearing of hijab in the Quran when He (SWT) says, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc., and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks, and bossoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment..." (An-Nur 24:31)
The same order was given by His Prophet (SAW) when he said, "The woman is awrah, (that which must be covered)." The modest appearance of the Muslim woman, dressed in correct hijab, is a sign of purity and dignity. It tells the world that she is a chaste woman, and sets her apart from the immoral behavior associated with women who go out in clothing that leave nothing to the imagination. As a chaste, modest woman, the hijab shows that she does not want her sexuality to enter into her interactions with men in the smallest degree.
The hijab also serves as a screen for the Muslim woman and the evil that exists in the society around her. When a woman wears the hijab she is less likely to be sexually harassed by men with sinful motives. She is also less likely to be exploited for her beauty and feminity. By wearing the hijab, when she is outside the confines of her home, the Muslim woman is free to concentrate on the tasks she has set out to do. She is not trying to impress anyone with dazzling displays. She is not worried about whether her hair and make-up are in place, and could care less if men find her attractive, or whether her clothes are the latest "thing."
The hijab frees her from the need of constantly seeking approval from others, and frees her to only seek the approval of her Guardian Lord. Another virtue of the hijab is that it prevents unnecessary rivalry and competition between women. Due to this sense of competition, the "liberated" woman wastes her wealth and sacrifices her health and well-being, through plastic surgery, in a desperate attempt to keep up with society's fleeting and ever-changing image of beauty.
In Islam, through the hijab, women learn to appreciate each other based on knowledge, piety and societal contributions. The hijab gives women the right to reclaim their own bodies as private property and not something for all to speculate about and to scrutinize. Clothing is only one facet of hijab. It is also behavior, manner, and speech. Women who wear the hijab do not find it inhibiting, impractical, or interfering. We should wear the hijab to show our identity as Muslims. More importantly, we should wear it to show our love and respect for Almighty Allah and his instructions.
“O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you raiment to cover your shame as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.” (Qu’ran 7:26)