|The Command of Hijab|
Here Allah tells His Messenger to command the believing women -- especially his wives and daughters, because of their position of honor -- to draw their Jilbabs over their bodies, so that they will be distinct in their appearance from the women of the Jahiliyyah and from slave women. The Jilbab is a Rida', worn over the Khimar. This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, `Ubaydah, Qatadah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and others. It is like the Izar used today. Al-Jawhari said: "The Jilbab is the outer wrapper. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah commanded the believing women, when they went out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with the Jilbab, leaving only one eye showing. Muhammad bin Sirin said, "I asked `Ubaydah As-Salmani about the Ayah:
﴿يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَـبِيبِهِنَّ﴾
(to draw their Jalabib over their bodies.) He covered his face and head, with just his left eye showing.''
﴿ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلاَ يُؤْذَيْنَ﴾
(That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. ) means, if they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not servants or whores.
﴿وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً﴾
(And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) means, with regard to what happened previously during the days of Jahiliyyah, when they did not have any knowledge about this.
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