i hope the following benefits.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PURDAH (VEIL)
As we move further away from the time and age of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and we approach near to the day of Judgement the Muslims are growing more and more weaker in their beliefs and practices, one of which is Purdah. Purdah in Islaam is necessary upon every woman who is close to the age of puberty or has reached it. There are three grades of Purdah.
1. The first is that the woman covers every part of her body except her face, her hands and her feet.
2. The second is that the woman covers her face, her hands and her feet also.
3. The third is that the woman keeps herself indoor or keeps herself hidden in such a veil that no one can ever see her clothes.
This stage is the greatest of all the three. All three grades exist in the Holy Qur’aan. The first grade of Purdah is stated in the Qur’aan as: “ That they should not display their beauty and ornaments.” (Surah Noor Chapter 18 Verse 31.) The commentary of this verse of the Qur’aan is the saying of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam that: “O! Asma when a woman reaches puberty then it is not permissible for her to open any part of her body except this and this, indicating towards his face and his hands. (Abu Dawood)
The second grade is stated in the Qur’aan as: “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons.” (Chapter 22 Verse 59) In a Hadeeth of Bukhaari and Muslim, it is stated that a woman asked, “O Prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam! If one of us does not have a garment (to cover herself up with) then how shall we go to perform Eid prayer. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied that: “the woman with her should cast her garment over her.”
The third grade is stated in the Qur’aan as: “And stay quietly in your house.” (Chapter 22 Verse 33). In another verse: “And when you ask ( the wives of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for anything, ask them from behind a screen.” It is stated in a Hadeeth that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam ordered Hadhrat Umme Salma radhiyallahu anha and Hadhrat Maimoona radhiyallahu anha that: “Draw your veil in front of him,” meaning Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umme Maktoom radhiyallahu anhu.
On this Hadhrat Umme Salma inquired that: “Is he not blind? “The Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam answered: “Are you too blind? Can you not see him?” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi) In another Hadeeth it is stated: “The woman is a thing of concealment, when she comes out, Shaitaan lies in wait for her”. “From the Qur’aanic verses and Ahaadeeth these grades have been proven compulsory and that the law of Islaam has ordered that these be acted upon.
The difference between these three grades is that the first grade is stated compulsory in itself though she be young or old. The last two grades are stated compulsory because of occurring causes.From them, is fear of corruption. This is why the last two grades are not compulsory on a woman who doesn't have any hope of marrying (who is old). But even for these women the Qur’aan states: “But it is best for them to be modest,” (meaning Purdah).
In Tafseer Ibn katheer in the explanation of “Jalaabeebihinna” (Chapter 22 Verse 59) the greatest of the commentators, Hadhrat Ibn Abbas radhiyallahu anhuma states that when this verse was revealed, the women used to come out fully covered except for one eye from which they could see from.
At the time of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam the women were allowed to go to the mosque of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam even though near to his last age he said: “ A woman’s Salaat in her house is superior than her Salaat in the courtyard and a woman’s Salaat in the remotest corner of her room is superior than her Salaat elsewhere in the room.” ( Tabraani.) At the time of Hadhrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu the women were prohibited to enter the mosque of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
Hadhrat Aa’isha radhiyallahu anha was asked her opinion, she replied that if the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam saw the state of the women of this time surely he would have stopped them from entering the mosques. All this, Islaam has ordered so that the dignity of the woman can stay safe and that the woman can enter Paradise easily without any punishment. Surely Purdah is a barrier from Hell and a way to Heaven.
The Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was sent as a mercy to the world. There must be some benefit for a woman to act upon his order. Most of the benefits are obvious. The people on whom the last two compulsory grades will be lifted from are the people about which the Qur’aan says: “Forbidden unto you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your foster mothers, your foster sisters, your mother in laws, your step daughters, who are under your protection (born) of your women unto whom you have gone in but if you have not gone into them, then it is no sin for you (to marry their daughters) and the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins.
And (it is forbidden unto you) that you should have two sisters together, except what had already happened (of that nature) in the past. “Indeed! Allah is ever forgiving, merciful.” (Chapter 4 Verse 23)
MAY ALLAH GIVE US THE ABILITY TO ACT UPON HIS COMMANDMENTS AND AVOID HIS PROHIBITIONS. ( AMEEN)