OBSERVING HIJAB WHILE MAKING BAI‘A
( An oath of allegiance to submit and obey.)
The Blessed Prophet s himself observed the injunctions about hijab with non-maúram women. Like men, women also took bai‘a with the Blessed Prophet s. Though, the difference was that when he took bai‘a with men he held their hands while with women he took bai‘a from behind a curtain and refused to touch their hands. This is because touching a non-maúram woman is forbidden in the same way that looking at her is forbidden.
عن أميمة بنت رقيقة رضى الله عنها قالت أتيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فى نسوة بايعنه على الإسلام فقلنا له يارسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نبايعك على أن لا نشرك بالله شيأ ولا نسرق ولا نزنى ولا نقتل أولادنا ولا نأتى ببهتان نفتريه بين أيدينا وأرجلنا ولا نعصيك فى معروف فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما إستطعتن وأطقتن قالت فقلن الله و رسوله أرحم بنا من أنفسنا هلم نبايعك يارسول الله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إنى لا أصافح النساء إنما قولى لمائة امرأة كقولى لإمرأة واحدة أو مثل قولى لإمرأة واحدة
Umaima reported, “I and some other women came to the Blessed Prophet s to make bai‘a. The women said, ‘O Prophet of Allah u, we make bai‘a with you on the following conditions—that we will not associate anyone with Allah u; that we will not steal; that we will not indulge in fornication and adultery [zinā]; that we will not kill our offspring; that we will not wrongfully ascribe our illegitimate children to our husbands; and that we will not disobey you in doing good deeds.’” The Blessed Prophet s said to them, “And say that you will follow all these to the best of your ability.” The women responded, “Allah u and His Prophet are more merciful on us than we are on ourselves.” And then they said, “We have verbally accepted this, now let us put our hand in yours to complete this bai‘a.” The Blessed Prophet s said to them, “I do not shake hands with women; what I have said verbally is mandatory on everyone and it is not necessary to do bai‘a individually since what I said to you is as if I had said it to one hundred women.” ( al-Muwaøøa’, Mó Jó’ fi al-Bai‘a) ‘ô’isha j says:
فمن أقر بهذا الشرط من المؤمنات قال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد بايعتك كلاما ولا والله ما مست يده يد إمرأة قط فى المبايعة ما يبايعهن إلا بقوله قد بايعتك على ذلك
From among the women, whoever agreed to these conditions [which were mentioned in the previous hadith and in Sñrat al-Mumtaúina] the Blessed Prophet s said to her, “I made bai‘a with you.” By Allah u, his hands never touched a woman’s hand even at the time of making bai‘a with them. He made bai‘a with women verbally and then would say to them: ‘qad bóya‘tuki’ (I have accepted your bai‘a).
Both these ahadith clearly prove that the Blessed Prophet , the mentor of all mankind, never touched a woman’s hand even at the time of taking bai‘a. When women came and took bai‘a with him, he accepted their bai‘a verbally. When they insisted upon holding his hand, he told them: إنى لا أصافح النساء
I do not shake hands with women. (Nisó’ī, Bai‘at al-Nisó |Ibn ûabbón, Bai‘at al-A’imma)
And then he would say, “I would say the same had it been one hundred woman or only one” i.e. saying the bai‘a is sufficient and holding the hands is not required. What is the need to hold the hands when the bai‘a can be carried out verbally?
WIVES OF THE BLESSED PROPHET s OBSERVING HIJAB IN FRONT OF ýAûôBA
It is clear from the above hadith that the ýaúóbiyat l strictly observed hijab from the Blessed Prophet s. Similarly, the wives of the Blessed Prophet s, despite being mothers of the Umma and forbidden upon every man in the Umma, observed strict hijab from all the ýaúóba l. Thus, ‘ô’isha j says in a long hadith about the incident of Ifk:
فخرجت مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد ما أنزل الحجاب…. فجئت منازلهم وليس بها منهم داع ولا مجيب )قد انطلق الناس( …. وكان صفوان بن المعطل السلمى ثم الذكوانى من وراء الجيش فاصبح عند منزلى فراى سواد إنسان نائم فعرفنى حين رأنى وكان رأنى قبل الحجاب فاستيقظت باسترجائه حين عرفنى فخمرت وجهى بجلبابى
I accompanied the Blessed Prophet s in a battle after the revelation of the ayas of hijab…. I arrived back at the army camp after they left. There was no one left to call or answer [everyone had left with the army]. ýafwón ibn Mu‘aøøal who was left behind reached where I was in the morning. He saw a person sleeping. He recognized me as he had seen me before the revelation of the ayas of hijab. He recited loudly, “Innó lillóhi wa innó ilaihi róji‘ñn.” His voice woke me up and I covered my face immediately with my shawl. ( Bukhórõ, ûadīth al-Ifk) This hadith proves in many different ways that the wives of the Blessed Prophet s observed hijab. First, the fact that ‘ô’isha was left behind in the desert clearly points to that their hijab was not limited to ‘abóya or wrapping a shawl. Instead, they traveled in a palanquin [haudaj] mounted on a camel’s back. The palanquin was like an enclosed room.
In this incident, it is mentioned that when the army was ready to depart, the servants carried the palanquin and mounted it on the camel. They thought that ‘ô’isha was inside [she had a slim frame] though she had left the palanquin in the darkness [of the night] to answer the call of nature. Thus, the army departed and she was left alone in the desert. The servants could not look inside the palanquin to ensure that she was inside as it was not permissible to do so after the revelation of the ayas of hijab.
This incident also corroborates the fact that, during the time of the Blessed Prophet s, the women generally stayed at home and only used the palanquin [as a substitute for their home] while travelling and which served as a covered enclosure for them.
When ‘ô’isha returned and saw that the army had departed, she said, “I sat down thinking that when the Blessed Prophet s realizes, he will come searching for me. Overcome by sleep, I laid down and fell asleep. The next morning as ýafwón ibn Mu‘aøøal was passing by, he saw someone lying down and came to see who it was. He recognized me immediately as he had seen me before the revelation of the ayas of hijab. Recognizing me, he loudly recited ‘Innó lillóhi wa innó ilaihi róji‘ñn.’ His voice awakened me and I covered my face with my shawl.”
The statement by ‘ô’isha j that ýafwón ibn Mu‘aøøal g recognized her because he had seen her before the revelations of hijab also proves that it was no longer possible for anyone to see the wives of the Blessed Prophet s after these commands were revealed. She also mentioned that as soon as she heard his voice and woke up, she covered her face with her shawl which clearly proves that it was necessary to cover her face as part of hijab.
Despite being the mothers of the Umma, the fact that the wives of the Blessed Prophet observed hijab is also evident from the incident of ýafiyya’s wedding to the Blessed Prophet . Anas narrates:
The Blessed Prophet stayed for three nights between Khaibar and Madina and was married to ýafiyya who spent the three nights with him. I invited the Muslims to his walīma in the jungle and there was neither meat nor bread in that banquet except that the Blessed Prophet ordered the leather mats to be fastened down with spears upon which dates, dried yogurt and butter were laid out. The Muslims spoke amongst themselves and wondered if ýafiyya was one of the mothers of the believers, [i.e. one of the wives of the Blessed Prophet ] or of that which his right hand possesses [prisoner of war]. Some of them said that if the Blessed Prophet makes her observe hijab, it indicates that she is one of the mothers of the believers [i.e. one of the Blessed Prophet’s s wives], and if he does not make her observe hijab, then she is his slave girl. Therefore, when he departed, he made a place for her behind him [on his camel] and made her observe hijab.
The above hadith proves that the ýaúóba l understood that a free woman was required to observe hijab. Thus, if he asked her to observe hijab, it indicated that she is his wife; otherwise she is a slave girl. Thus, if hijab had not been established by then, the ýaúóba l would have never used it as a criterion.