Is it important for women to cover?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Aslam o alaikum.Can you tell me what order for women in the context of "Pardah"?. Is it neccessary for women to wear Burqah according to Islam?And for what conditions women can go out for shopping or doing job? Allah Hafiz
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Is it important for women to cover?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 59:O Prophet, enjoin your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. It is expected that they will thus be recognized, and not molested. Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah Nur verse 31: (O Prophet) enjoin the believing woman to restrain their gaze and guard their modesty, and not to display their adornment except that which is displayed of itself, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to display their adornments except before their husbands, their fathers, .and also forbid them to stamp their feet on the ground lest their hidden ornaments should be displayed.
Allah Subhanah has commanded the believing woman, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, to cover her beauty in the presence of non-mehram males.
Your Question: Is it neccessary for women to wear Burqah according to Islam?
There is no particular dress code for the women, as long as the requirements of the above commands of Allah Subhanah are met while covering up. The Burqah is one of the dresses which fulfill the requirement; but a women is allowed to wear any loose clothing that does not display her figure and beauty; and take a veil or chador to cover her hair, etc.
Your Question: And for what conditions women can go out for shopping or doing job?
There is absolutely no harm if a believing woman goes out for shopping or working or for any of her needs, provided she does so within the boundaries set by Allah Subhanah. She should be Islamically covered when in the presence of non-mehram males, and while working she should not freely mix and intermingle with them; but deal with them in a straight-forward business like manner. There is absolutely no restriction on the believing woman to go out of the house, provided she does so in the manner prescribed by Allah Subhanah.
At the time of the Prophet (saws), the believing woman would go to the markets for shopping, would go to the mosques to pray, and some would even go to the fields to work with their husbands! There is absolutely no restriction on the movement of the believing woman in Islam; provided she fears Allah and stays within the boundaries set by Him.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,