Quran on guarding the modesty of women- Sura – an Nur 24:31


Issue: Niqab and Burqa

क़ुरान 24:31 (सूरह अन-नूर) 


And tell the  women (Islamic) to lower their gaze (vision) and be modest, and to display of their adornment  only that which is apparent (naturally appear), and to draw their veils ( a cover) over their bosoms, and not to reveal (uncover) their adornment (beauty or ornaments)  apart from their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or  impotent male attendants , or children who do not know  of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

24:31 QURAN


[ وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَـٰرِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ أَخَوَٰتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُنَّ أَوِ ٱلتَّـٰبِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُو۟لِى ٱلْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ أَوِ ٱلطِّفْلِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَىٰ عَوْرَٰتِ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ]

an-Noor 24:31

Wa qul lilmu’minaati yaghdudna min absaarihinna wa yahfazna furoojahunna wa laa yubdeena zeenatahunna illaa maa zahara minhaa wala yadribanna bikhumurihinna ‘alaa juyoobihinna wa laa yubdeena zeenatahunna illaa libu’oolatihinna aw aabaaa’i hinna aw aabaaa’i bu’oolati hinna aw abnaaa’ihinaa aw abnaaa’i bu’oolatihinnna aw ikhwaanihinnna aw baneee ikhwaanihinna aw banee akhawaatihinna aw nisaaa’i hinna aw maa malakat aimaanuhunna awit taabi’eena ghairi ilil irbati minar rijaali awit tiflillazeena lam yazharoo ‘alaa ‘awraatin nisaaa’i wala yadribnna bi arjulihinna liyu’lama maa yukhfeena min zeenatihinn; wa toobooo ilallaahi jammee’an aiyuhal mu’minoona la’allakum tuflihoon.

 Islamic Directions in 24:31

1) Lower the gaze.

2) Guard the private parts.

3) Not display the adornment “except what is apparent of it” and not display the adornment except to the people listed in the ayah. (Limitation of showing physical beauty and ornaments)

4) Draw the khimar to cover the jayb. (covering bosom)

5) Not stamp the feet so as to give knowledge of hidden adornment. (making noise) 

What not asked- Covering face or hands

Imam Abu’l-Fida ibn Kathir: “Khumur is the plural of khimar which means something that covers, and is what is used to cover the head

Imam Abu Abdullah Qurtubi: “Since the normal case is that a woman’s face and hands are revealed by the force of habit and for worship, as this is required in salat and hajj, then it is appropriate to say that the exemption applies to these” (Tafsir of Surah an-Nur ayah 31)

Time of Imam ibn Rushd and Imam Qurtubi –  The face and the hands were displayed by the women (1100s C.E. for Imam ibn Rushd and 1200s C.E. for Imam Qurtubi)

Extra reading

O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (jalabib) close around themselves; that is better that they are recognized and not annoyed. And God is Most Forgiving, Merciful” [Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse 59]

Legal News 

  • Austria’s prohibition of full-face coverings has officially come into force in 2017
  • France and Belgium introduced a burka ban in 2011 and a similar measure is currently going through the Dutch parliament.
  • Switzerland is the latest European country to ban the niqab in 2021, the Islamic full-face veil that shows only the eyes.
  •  France, Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria, etc have made face coverings in public a punishable offense under law.

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