I have read all the responses to verse 24:31 and just wanted to understand what your stance was on head-covering from a mandatory requirement per the Qur’an. Is Head covering part of the Shari`ah? It seems that you have indicated that is not obligatory upon women by the Shari`ah. But there can be difference of opinions and can argued both ways. Thanks.
According to our understanding, head covering per se is not mandatory according to the Shari’ah, although it has always been seen as a popular norm for modest women by all the Abrahamic religions. It is also indirectly endorsed by the Qur’an and therefore it can be seen as highly recommended, in particular in Islamic societies where having head cover is seen as a sign of a modest female.
Further, if in a society, the general perception is that woman who does not cover her head is not modest and does not have Hayaa, it is then possible to argue that in such a society covering the head remains mandatory until this perception loses its popularity. This however is only on the basis of social traditions and not the Shariah.
March 21, 2006