Female hair covering in Judaism and Islam

  • Yosef
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For Jewish and Muslim women modesty is an important part of their faith, influencing the way they walk, how they interact with others, and which clothes they wear. Both traditions encourage modesty; not in order to detract from beauty, but rather to channel a woman’s beauty to where it truly belongs – within her marriage.

Jewish law

What constitutes [a violation of] Jewish practice? If she goes out with her hair [uncovered]

– Mishnah Ketubot 7:6

Islamic law

Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons.

– Quran 33:58–59

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

– Quran 24:31

Islamic head coverings

Hijab

The hijab or jilbab covers the hair and neck

Niqab

The niqab is a veil that covers the face and is part of the hijab

Burqa

The burqa covers the entire body from the top of the head to the ground

Jewish hair coverings

Tichel

The tichel or mitpachat is a head scarf wrapped around the hair, there is no fixed way of tying it.

Turban

The turban is wrapped in a way that covers all the hair, some hassidic sects wear a turban on top of a sheitel.

Sheitel

Jewish law permits married women to wear a wig on top their natural hair, this wig is called a sheitel.

Application of the law

  Judaism Islam
From what age Upon marriage (some rabbis rule unmarried girls also)

“Young girls who are betrothed [The first part of the wedding has happened] are forbidden to go with their heads uncovered” (Mishna Berura 75:2)
“The daughters of Israel should not go out in the marketplace with their heads uncovered, no matter if they are unmarried or married.” (Even ha-Ezer 21:2)
“The daughters of Israel, whether unmarried or married, should not go out in the marketplace with their head uncovered [parua]” (Issurei Bi’ah 21:17)
Upon puberty (from 7 is preferable)
The Pen has been lifted from three: from the child until he reaches puberty, from the sleeper until he wakes up, and from the one who has lost his mind until he recovers.” (Hadith Abu Dawood, 4402)
“Train your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” (Hadith Abu Dawood, 495)
What is covered All of her hair (up to a handbreadth can be seen)

“An exposed handbreadth of a woman’s body is considered forbidden nakedness, and it is forbidden to recite the Shema in the presence of such a woman… The shok of a woman is considered forbidden nakedness, as is the hair of a married but not unmarried woman, as is the voice of a woman, to which it is forbidden to listen.” (Kitsur Piskei haRosh)
Everything but her face and hands
“Asmaa’ the daughter of Abu Bakr (RAA) came to see the Messenger of Allah (SAAWS) wearing a thin dress; so Allah’s Messenger (SAAWS) turned away from her and said: O Asmaa’, once a woman reaches the age of menstruation, no part of her body should be seen but this-and he pointed to his face and hands” (Hadith Abu Dawood 4104)
Where should she cover When she leaves the house
“If a woman has done one of the following, she is considered to have violated dat yehudit: Going out in the marketplace or in a through-alley with her head uncovered and without
the headscarf that all other women wear, even though her hair is covered by a kerchief;” (Rambam Hilkhot Ishut, 24)
When she leaves the house (if people may see that which is forbidden)
“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. ” (Quran 24:30)

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Female hair covering in Judaism and Islam