Hijab – Is It Mandatory
  • Question:

    Is covering of the head (hijab) mandatory? And if so, at what age does it become mandatory? How can I convince a sister to start wearing hijab?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    It is a religious requirement for mature women to veil with the hijab in the presence of non mahrams, according to all classical Islamic jurists due to verses of the Quran such as the following:

    "And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment, except that which appears thereof, and must wrap their bosoms with their shawls, and must not expose their adornment, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to theirbrothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their women, or to those owned by their right hands, or male attendants having no (sexual) urge, or to the children who are not yet conscious of the shames of women. And let them not stamp their feet in a way that the adornment they conceal is known. And repent to Allah O believers, all of you, so that you may achieve success." (24:31).

    Maturity is the time when this ruling of hijab becomes mandatory on a sister. Puberty of females is determined by: menstruation, wet dream and pregnancy. If none of the above occur, the age of 17 is specified by numerous jurists.

    I suggest you encourage the sister by expounding on the benefits of modesty and morality to her. Also take her to environments where she may be exposed to hijab dawning muslim women of various ranks.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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