Do Muslim women have to be covered from head to toe?
Email with Question:
Dear brother, I am a newly converted muslim woman and I have been having
a lot of pressure on me to cover my whole body except my face. Please give
me any assistance brother that this is not what Muslim women must do, I need
your help because this is not what I really want to do.
Is there any proof from the Quran that this is wrong?
please help me, thank you, Samantha
I am glad you wrote to me and not followed whoever is giving you a twisted
version of Islam.
Yes we have proof from the Quran that this is a false claim:
Many so-called Muslim scholare have invented extreme rules for women’s
dress which are not found in the Quran. Some, like the ones putting the pressure
on you, say that all the woman’s body must be covered except for her face,
while others even more extreme say that all the woman’s body must be covered
from head to toe exceot for two holes where the eyes can peep out from!
Proof 1: There are no words in all the Quran where God commands the woman
to cover all her body. We must accept that the Quran has all the details (6:114),
and that God does not forget. If God wanted the woman to cover all her body
from the neck to the feet God would have said that clearly. Those who make
such un-Quranic claims cannot find words in the Quran with such extreme
commands, so they manipulate Quranic words, mainly in 24:31 and 33:59, to
comply with their false claims.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display
of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over
their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or
fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their
brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves,
or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s
nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of
their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye
may succeed. 24:31
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to
draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better,
so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving,
Proof 2: The fact that God says in 24:31 to specifically cover the breast indicates
clearly that there are other parts of the woman’s body that do not have to be
The following example God willing should make the point clear:
Think of your house and in it you have a garden. You have a gardener who
comes to look after your garden. One day you ask him: please water the area
around the trees and also water the back of the garden.
What does this example tell us?
It tells us that since you specified only certain areas to be watered, then this
is a clear indication that there will be other areas in the garden that do not
need to be watered. If you wanted the gardener to water the whole garden you
would have asked exactly that, by saying: please water the whole garden.
When we apply this example to the issue of women’s dress code in the Quran,
the same principle applies, if God wanted the whole body of the woman to be
covered, God would not have bothered saying “cover your chest” since an
overall command to cover all the body would be a more appropriate command,
and it would also be the only command that is needed.
But since God specifies certain parts of the woman’s body to be covered, then
this is clear proof that here are other parts of the woman’s body that do not have
to be covered, as long as there are not beauty spots of sexual connotation (zinah),
and as long as righteousness in dress is maintained (7:26).
O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your
private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best.
That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember. 7:26
Proof 3: The command to “lengthen the garment” also proves that the woman is
not commanded to be all covered from head to feet. For if that is the case, and
the woman is covered down to the ground, there would be no meaning to
“lengthen the garment”.
“Lengthen your Garments “O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and
the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen their garments. Thus, they
will be recognised and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.” 33:59
How can the woman lengthen a garment that is already down to the ground?
I hope this will help you expose the extreme hypocrites who are distorting the
beautiful religion of Islam.
The following page has more details about the Quranic law regarding women’s dress: