25 April, 2018 | 9 Sha’ban, 1439 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Abstract

Modesty is central to the religion of Islam. Both men and women need to be modest in dress and in behavior and avoid encouraging sexual attraction from people other than their spouses.

INTRODUCTION

 Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.

 Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! When non-Muslims are asked about what their first thought is about Islam, the first thing that pops in the minds of many is the Muslim hijab.  

 The hijab is usually in reference to the headscarf that women must wear in front of certain men. As a clothing of modesty, it is only a tiny part of the world of modesty in Islam.  

 In this lesson, we will go over the concepts of modesty for both men and women in Islam and how they are fundamental to its social and moral values. We will then go into the different types of clothing that exist among Muslims and what kinds of dress are allowed and what kinds are not.

 BODY OF TEXT

 Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.  

 And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof.  

 And [tell them] to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women.  

 And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.  

 (Chapter 24, verses 30-31 of the Holy Qur’an)

 Modesty is central to Islam. Modesty can mean different things. Modesty can be in speech or in behavior where one becomes unassuming and humble in how one talks or relates to others.  These are virtues that Islam obviously accepts, encourages and even makes mandatory.

 Modesty can also be in dress, which is the subject of this lesson. By modesty in dress, Islam means a mode of dress AND a mode of behavior that goes along with it. Both are intended to decrease the likelihood of sexual attraction.  Purposefully dressing or behaving in such a way that incites sexual attraction is forbidden in Islam.  

 Sexual relations in Islam can be a good and bad thing. It can be a good thing in that it strengthens the bonds of marriage. But it can also be a bad thing if it is done out of wedlock. This is the social side of things. Sexual relations outside of divine limits also damages the soul.

 As a precaution, Islam demands that we be modest. For women, it means that they need to cover all of their bodies except for their hands and face as Islam considers women’s hair to be a source of sexual attraction. The covering of the head and hair is traditionally called “hijab” which means a veil. In the Qur’an, the head covering is called the khimar. However, hijab can also be inclusive of one’s entire body.

 In Islam, women need to cover their hair but men do not need to do so.

 Just covering the hair and body, however, is not enough. Clothes must also be loose fitting so as to cover the shape of one's body. It is therefore forbidden to wear tight pants and shirts even if the head covering or head hijab is observed.

 Men also need to be modest. Although they don’t need to cover their hair, they need to wear clothes that are loose fitting and cover most of their bodies. Wearing armless shirts and tight sports pants for example is considered inappropriate in Islam.

 What is equally mandatory for both men and women is that they should be modest in behavior. This means that they should not talk, walk or behave in such a way that would elicit sexual attraction. For example, flirting with someone is forbidden in Islam unless that person is your spouse.

 In Islamic cultures around the world, there are plenty of variations in women’s hijab and overall modesty. Here are a few:

 Chador  

 In Iran, women wear the chador which is a large piece of cloth that covers the head, upper and lower body. Islamically speaking, this is the closest to what the Prophet’s wives and the women of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) used to wear.

 Hijab

 This is the regular hijab where only the head is covered with a piece of cloth. The rest of the body is covered with regular loose fitting clothes. As we mentioned earlier, in the Qur’an, the word for hijab is khimar.

 Burqa
 
There is also something called the Burqa which is an enveloping outer garment that also covers the entire body, including the face.

 Niqab

 Niqab refers to a piece of clothing that covers the face. So women, in addition to hijabs or chadors, will also wear the niqab. According to most scholars of Islam, both Shia and Sunni, the niqab is not obligatory. Only a minority of Shia and Sunni scholars believe that it is obligatory to wear for women.  

 In Islam, one is free to wear any kind of clothing as long as the clothing respects one's cultural limits and abides by Islam's standards of modesty. This doesn’t mean that one needs to be modest at all times. There are times when Islam encourages the opposite.  

 Among married couples for example, Islam encourages immodesty both in terms of dress and in behavior as it wants to encourage sexual attraction between the couple.  So Islam doesn’t have a problem with sexual attraction per se, it only seeks to keep it within health limits.

Niqab


refers to a piece of clothing that covers the face.

Burqa

enveloping outer garment that also covers the entire body, including the face.

Chador

A large piece of cloth that covers the head, upper and lower body.

Khimar

Head covering, the Qur’anic term for hijab.

Hijab

Culturally speaking, it refers to the regular hijab where only the head is covered with a piece of cloth. The rest of the body is covered with regular loose fitting clothes.

Q1

As a woman, do I have to cover my face (niqab) according to Islam?

No, it is not necessary to cover the face according to Islamic law.

Q2

What parts of the body do women have to cover in Islam?

Everything except for the hands and face.

Q3

If all parts of the body are covered, is it ok to wear tight clothing?

No, that is not considered appropriate hijab. Clothes covering the body must be lose fitting.

Q4

Does the Burqa have any precedent in early Islam?

No, only the chador has early precedent. The Burqa is culturally specific.

Q5

Is modesty in Islam only in clothing?

No, modesty also includes behavior.

Muslim
God
Allah
Ahl al-Bayt
Muslim Community
hijab
khimar
men’s hijab
men’s modety
women’s modesty in islam
modesty in islam
modesty in behavior
modesty in dress
burqa
chador
niqab

Hijab by Murtada Mutahhari 

Hijab by Muhammad Rizvi 

Hijab and Family Life by Mohammad Ali Shomali