Why Do Muslim Women Still Wear The Hijab?

Wearing the hijab, or burqa, or a veil, has nothing to do with Islam. Leila Ahmed 1992

Here is the argument. Modern Muslim commentators believe that there is nothing specifically Islamic about such a covering, it had already existed in pre-Islamic Arabia, long before Muhammad and the Qurán so it should not be mandatory in Islam today.

The hijab, which now can refer to a veil or more generally the concept of modesty, is one of the most visible and contested symbols in Islam. It first appears in the Qurán specifically used to instruct male believers in Islam to talk to Muhammad's wives behind a veil (hijab). This veil some would argue wasn't initially like the veil (hijab) women wear today. In Muhammad's time it was a large curtained dividing wall that separated his wives from the eyes of other men. Here is another example that the Qurán supports veiling of women:

and say to the believing women, that they cast down their eyes and guard their private parts; and reveal not their adornment save such as is outward; and let them cast their veils over their bosoms, and reveal not their adornment save to their husbands, their husband's sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their husbands' sons, or their women, or what their right hands own, or such men as attend them, not having sexual desire, or children who have not yet attained knowledge of women's private parts; nor let them stamp their feet, so that their hidden ornament may be known. And turn all together to God, O you believers; happily so you will prosper. (24:31)

then there is:

Children of Adam! We have sent down on you a garment to cover your shameful parts and feathers; and the garments of the god-fearing—that is better; that is one of God's signs; haply they will remember. (7:26)


O Prophet, say to your wives and daughters and the believing women, that they draw their veils close to them (when they go abroad). The will be better, so it is likelier that they will be known, and not hurt. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate (33:59)

These verses are however so extremely vague and none specifically refers to the actual veiling of women and can be interpreted in many different ways and regardless of their meanings are used today as a tool to segregate Muslim men from women.  

With these vague verses all four of the major Sunni schools (Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, and Hanbali) teach that a woman's entire body, must be covered in public, maybe with the exception of the eyes and ears.

Here is the question. Why do Muslim women still wear the hijab, when there is no reason? Muhammad never said women had to, nor does the Qurán.

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