Reading the Quran is a significant practice for Muslims as it is the word of Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Hence, We should follow specific etiquette when listening to or reciting the Holy Quran.
While many Muslim women choose to wear Hijab as an expression of their faith and to fulfill the requirements of Islamic teachings regarding modesty, they ask: can a woman read Quran Without Hijab?
In this article, we will display a comprehensive guide about if a woman can read Quran without Hijab or not.
How is the hijab viewed in Islamic tradition?
In the past, Hijab could be achieved by placing a curtain or a barrier between women and men when they speak to each other. That was more common in the early days of Islam for the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Hijab also is considered a form of protection for women. The Quran instructs Muslim women to cover their bodies and wear the hijab to maintain their purity and be recognized as believers.
Here are some verses from the Quran to see how the sacred text addresses this issue of understanding Hijab in Islam.
Allah says: “And tell the believing women to lower their stare and guard their private details and not to display their decoration except what appears thereof. Wear their headscarves on their pockets and do not reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or what right hands possess here or Followers who do not have desire, whether men or children, who do not appear on women’s private parts, and do not hit their feet so that he knows what they hide of their adornmen“t. ( An-Noor:31)
Allah (SWT) also says: O Prophet! Instruct your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers to cover their bodies with their cloaks. It will be better that they should be known (as virtuous) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is all OftForgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Ahzab:59)
Ibn Kathir declared that the jilbab characterizes free Muslim women from those of Jahiliyyah, so men know they are free women and not slaves or prostitutes, showing covering oneself does not involve non-Muslims.
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Understanding Hijab in Islam:
The term Hijab is repeated seven times in the Quran, referring to the meaning of curtain or barrier which means anything that hides or protects something.
But, the definition of the Hijab in Islam is broader, as it indicates the Islamic rules of modesty and behavior.
What Is The Definition And Purpose of Hijab in Islam?
The most common meaning of the Hijab in Islam is the head covering many Muslim women wear. It is an essential part of Islamic attire and is mandatory for Muslim women who have reached puberty.
For some, the term for Hijab in the Quran is khimar (Arabic: خِمار).
It serves as a means to protect their dignity and integrity by covering their body while leaving their face and hands visible. So, it is recommended that women wear clothing that is not form-fitting for the body.
The primary four Sunni schools (Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki, and Hanbali) hold by unanimity that women must cover their hair and the entire body except their face and hands while in the presence of men other than their mahrams.
On the other hand, some Muslim women wear full-body attire that only reveals their eyes.
The purpose of the Hijab in Islam is to fulfill the requirement of modesty as laid down in the Holy Quran. Modesty is an essential characteristic for both men and women, and the Hijab is a way women can maintain that modesty.
Additionally, Wearing the Hijab symbolizes a dedication to one’s faith and submission to Allah’s commandments. It is deeply rooted in the belief that a woman’s beauty is sacred and should be reserved for her family and Allah.
The Hijab also creates a sense of equality and respect among individuals. It shifts the focus from external appearance to inward qualities and values.
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Is Hijab Required for Reading the Quran?
There is no evidence to indicate that a woman needs to wear a hijab to read the Quran.
According to Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin: “Reciting the Quran does not require covering the head with Hijab.”
However, wearing modest clothing is generally recommended out of respect for the sacredness of the text.
Women and Quran Recitation:
In Islam, men and women are encouraged to recite and memorize the Holy Quran. The primary purpose of Quran recitation is to seek a deeper understanding of the sacred text, reflect upon its meanings, and apply its teachings.
According to scholars, there are some optimum requirements for reciting the Quran. It encloses being clean, facing Qibla, sitting up straight, and being away from distractions.
Let us talk about other circumstances we should consider when reciting the Quran:
Can A Woman Read Quran Without Hijab?
The answer to the question, can a woman read Quran without Hijab? Yes, she can. Women do not have to put on a hijab when reading the Quran without non-mahram men seeing them.
Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem says: You can recite the Quran with any clothes you are wearing and in any posture, as there is no evidence from the Quran and Sunnah to deprive that.
Imam Ibn Baz says: A woman does not have to wear a hijab when reading the Quran unless she has a non-mahram with her, and if she removes her Hijab while she is reading, there is nothing wrong with it. And she can also prostrate if she passes a prostration of recitation without wearing a hijab. But, if she passes a verse of prostration as she makes her veil over her head, it is better when prostrating.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan says: If a woman is free of men who are not among her mahrams, it is permissible to read the Quran with her head uncovered. And if she passes the prostration of recitation, she prostrates as it is because prostration follows recitation, so the provisions of recitation apply to it.
And therefore, We can answer the question: can I listen to the Quran without a hijab? By saying yes, it is allowed.
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Can I Read The Quran On My Phone Without Hijab?
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Asadi says in response to a question: Is it okay to read the Quran without a hijab on electronic devices? Says: yes, it is correct to read the Quran from the phone or other electronic devices without ablution or wearing a Hijab, and there is a reward for that.
Sheikh Othman Al-Khamees says: A person will be rewarded for reading the Quran, whether from a Mushaf, a phone, an iPad, a computer, or memorization. All good deeds are multiplied tenfold.
However, some scholars mention that it is Sunnah to look into the Quran, i.e. the reading from the Book of Allah is more rewarded, but there is no evidence.
So, It is advisable to read the Quran by any means possible, as it is better than not reading it at all, and you will be greatly rewarded for your efforts.
Allah ( SWT) says: “So read the Quran as much as may be easy for you” (Al Muzzammil:20).
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What Is The Significance of Reading, Listening to, and Reciting the Quran in Islam?
In Islam, reading, listening to, and reciting the Quran holds immense significance. Here are some reasons why:
Quran Intercede for us on the Day of Qiyamah:
According to Abdullah bin Amr, the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, emphasized that both fasting and recitation of the Quran will intercede for a person on the Day of Qiyamah. He craved food and desires during the day, so let me intercede for him, and the Quran says, “I prevented him from sleeping at night.” So let me intercede for him.
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Establishing Spiritual Connection With Allah:
Engaging with the Quran helps believers establish a profound spiritual connection with God. Reciting and reflecting upon its verses allows Muslims to engage in close dialogue with Allah, seeking His guidance and forgiveness.
A Source of Guidance and Direction:
The Quran serves as a source of guidance and direction for Muslims. It clarifies moral and legal matters, helping believers live their lives following the teachings of Islam.
Allah (SWT) sent His book to humanity to guide them to their happiness in the world and the Hereafter.
Allah ( SWT) says: “This Book, there is no doubt, is a guidance for those who seek righteousness and piety.” (Surah Al-Baqarah:2)
Reciting Quran Daily Is The Way To Jannah:
In addition to earning virtues and blessings in the world, the recitation of the Quran is a way to attain Jannah (paradise) in the hereafter.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “Whoever recites the Quran while being skilled in it, he will be with the honorable and righteous angels, and whoever recites it while it is difficult for him and stutters in it, he will have two rewards.”
Quran Provides Protection and Intercession:
The Quran can protect Muslims from evil and harm. Muslims recite specific chapters or verses to supplicate and seek Allah’s protection from negative influences.
Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever recites the two verses from the end of Surat Al-Baqarah at night, that will suffice him.” Which means protecting him from any harm on this night.
Quran Brings Rewards and Blessings:
Muslims believe that engaging with the Quran brings numerous rewards and blessings. The more one recites the Quran, the greater the blessings they receive.
According to Ibn Masoud, may God be pleased with him, that the Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) said: “When someone recites a single letter from the Book of Allah, they will be rewarded with a good deed, and a single good deed is multiplied by ten. I am not merely saying that Alif lam mem is considered a letter, but indeed Alif, Lam, and Mem are all counted as individual letters.”
Generally, reading, listening to, and reciting the Quran in Islam is considered a fundamental practice that enables spiritual growth, provides guidance, and connects believers to their Creator.
Do I have to cover my head while reading Quran?
No, you do not have to cover your head while reading the Quran except in the presence of foreign men. However, some women choose to do so to show respect for the sacred text.
Does a woman have to wear a hijab when she does sajdah al-tilaawah?
Sheikh Ibn Uthaymin said on sujood al-tilawah (a prostration of recitation): “Sujud al-tilawah is done in any state, even with the head uncovered, because this prostration is not subject to the rulings on prayer.”