The Islamic Hijab from the View Point of Traditions
- :Shahid Mutahhari
From the point of view of the traditions, and the external aspects of the verse, it is more or less certain that it is not necessary for women to cover the face and hands and it is not forbidden for men to look at a woman's face or hands if his look is not one of lust or fear of deviation.
The traditions are numerous and we have only referred to a few and a few more will be mentioned. One is a tradition from Imam Riza, peace be upon him, who is asked "Is it permissible for a man to look at the hair of his wife's sisters?" "No. It is not permissible unless she be a menopausic woman. A wife's sister is just like any other woman that you are not related to according to the Divine Law and you can only look at her and her hair if she is menopausic".
Thus whenever the Imams are asked if it is permissible to look at a woman's hair, etc, they are never asked if it is permissible to look at a woman's face when the look is not one of lust or fear of deviation.
There is another tradition from Imam Riza, peace be upon him, about a young boy. "Must a seven-year old boy be encouraged to recite the ritual prayer?" He said it is not obligatory but to encourage is a good thing. It is not necessary that a woman hide her hair from him until he reaches puberty.1 We see that again it is covering the hair which is referred to and not covering the face.
1. "Wasa'il", vol.3, p.29.
Adopted from the book : "On the Islamic Hijab" by : "Murtaza Mutahhari"
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