Purdah For Women

Islamic faith requires women to cover their bodies and face. Related to the subject the man are required to have modesty in their eyes and do not look at women to derive pleasure etc. However due to our current state of Emaan it is quite difficult to convince our sisters and brothers to follow this very important part of our religion. In this blog I would explore this topic in the light of a ‘Fiqhi’ article written by Mufti Taqi Usmani and the Tafsir Ma’ariful Quran The reference could be seen at the end of this blog.

In short, the following injunctions are available for women to follow in this regard.

  1. Not To Leave Home, Needlessly
  2. If there is a need they can leave their home, but after observing the rules of Purdah which includes face and body both.
  3. In some cases, women are allowed to open their faces e.g. when it might cause injury, or while in the witness stand etc.
  4. In all cases men are asked to lower their gaze and only look up in case its extremely important.

Women should not allowed to leave their home, needlessly.

Women are required to stay in their homes and not to leave it, without any need. Their men (fathers or husbands) are required by Islamic law, to earn and provide for all their basic needs e.g. clothing, food etc.

Tafsir of 33:33, in Ma’ariful Quran, will provide adequate details on this subject.


Translation: 33:33 – Remain in your homes

Needs Due to which they can leave their homes.

Needs (as explained in Maariful Quran Vol 7 Page 143), include

Religious obligations of Hajj and ‘Umrah, taking care of the natural duties towards parents, visiting Mahram relatives in health and sickness and attending to other requirements of this nature. Similarly, if a woman has no arrangement for her living expenses, then, it is also permissible for her to go out in hijab in order to earn an honorable living. However, going out on occasions of need is subject to the condition that one does not go out to display personal embellishment. Instead, one should go out properly covered with burqa’ or jilbab (full mantle or chadar).

Purdah of Voice


33:32 – So, do not be too soft in your speech, lest someone having disease in his heart should develop fancies (about you); and do speak with appropriate words.

Instructions Apply To All Muslim Women

There is a needless argument which is raised by some quarters that the verses for Hijab are only for Azwaj Ul Mutaharrat (the pure wives of the our Prophet image )

Mufti Muhammad Shafi explains in Vol 7 Page 148, that the Azwaj Al Mutaharrat are addressed here, not due to the fact that this order is only for them, but because they have an additional responsibility in following these orders because they are Pure wives of the Prophet image

Covering Their Faces


33:59 – O prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw down their shawls over them. 

Men to Lower their Gaze

In case the women are required to open their faces, the Men are ordered to lower their gaze and not stare/look at women needlessly.


  1. Fiqhi Maqalaat (Urdu) Vol 4 By Mufti Taqi Usmani. Click here to read.
  2. Maariful Quran (English) By Mufti Muhammad Shafi

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