Is there such thing as hijab for Men?
We have previously covered the importance of Hijab from a female perspective. However, the concept of Hijab in Islam is also etiquette for Muslim males, and this is not just referring to the clothing (as implied in the commandment to women).
Islam is equal and never differentiates between a male and a female soul. In the same manner, women are responsible to lower their gaze while they are out, males have to follow the exact principles in order to avoid temptations and whispers from the Shaytaan.
In this day and age, we all like to follow the latest trends and beautify ourselves to an ‘over the top’ extent. We have of course been advised by our Prophet (pbuh) to look after ourselves and present ourselves in a respectable manner, but this needs to be in a modest way.
We look into some of the main points in the teachings that apply to the act of ‘male hijab’:
Lowering The Gaze
The hijab of the eye further leads to protecting the person from adopting any kind of sinful or bad behavior. Even the minimalist of glances can leave a bad effect on an individual.
Allah has mentioned in the Quran in Surah Nur “Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.” [24:30]
We know from this that it is not lawful for a man to cast a full gaze at any woman other than his own wife or a woman who is a mahram. The first, by chance look, is forgivable but not a second look which one casts when one feels the attraction of the opposite gender. This is when the shaytaan (satan) plays with your mind and tricks you into temptation. We should try to avoid this at all costs.
If the temptations do affect you, just remember Allah at that time and start doing some dhikr and adhkar in order to seek refuge from the Shaytaan.
There is a lot of difference in opinions when it comes to the subject of ‘beards’. Some believe that is not mandatory for a Muslim male to grow a beard and just simply a sunnah rather than fardh. If we look deeper into what is ‘sunnah’ and that it is the practice of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) then we know that everything he did in his life is something we must also adopt into our lifestyles too and some were a commandment. To put it into simple terms, if he grew his beard, shouldn’t we also?
Ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be different from the idolaters. Let the beard grow and trim the moustache.” Whenever Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, performed the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, he would grab hold of his beard and cut what was beyond his grasp. [Bukhari]
In addition, a Muslim man’s identity can be perceived by his beard.
In some cultures the beard is frowned upon and especially when the younger generations want to grow theirs, the elders feel that it makes them look ‘ugly’ or too ‘old’. A lot of people have the issue when their parents do not want them to grow a beard and try to blackmail them by saying that they need to ‘respect their parents’ as a commandment from Allah.
Yes, this is true, but remember before parents comes to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).
In terms of the length of the beard, the above hadith tells us that Umar RA would trim his beard after a fist full.
Physical Hijab in Islam
Men are also required to observe a form of hijab in the sense of clothing too. This is because attempting to impress the opposite sex using one’s physique, falls into the category of boastfulness and pride. We have social media platforms today where people like to flaunt their muscles and assets in order to gain ‘likes’ and shares. But this is the wrong practice to follow for Muslims.
From the verse mentioned above, Allah actually said that believing men should guard their modesty first before talking about women in the verse after. Generally, it is advised for Muslim men to also wear loose clothing like the Prophet (PBUH) did.
Social Hijab in Islam
It seems a common belief that the younger generation of Muslims males have their minds made up on that, hanging around with girls is fine as long as they are wearing a headscarf and they are not getting into any mischief.
Those that claim to be pious and practicing also need to take this into consideration as it is not ok in Islam to socialize with the opposite gender. Some parents have disappointingly double standards when it comes to allowing their sons to be roaming around freely with girls, but then put restrictions on their daughters. As per the Islamic teaching, the rules should be applied to both their sons and daughters.
Uqba ibn Amir (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said: “Do not go near [non-Mahram] women.” A person inquired: “What about in-laws?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded, “The in-laws are death.”
The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) compared male in-laws to death. This means that one should be even more careful with in-laws with regards to interaction as there is a higher risk for fitna, especially given the comfortable, atmosphere in which both sides may lower their guard and forget lowering their gazes. [Bukhari & Muslim]
May Allah SWT give us the ability to act upon these words.
The Perfect Example
Lastly, we should take a look at this beautiful example of Male Hijab is by Prophet Yousuf’s (A.S) and his encounter with Zulaikha.
It is said that when Zulaikha tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf (A.S), she covered the face of the idol placed nearby. When Prophet Yusuf inquired, she said she did not wish for it to witness her commit a sin.
Prophet Yusuf’s reply to Zulaikha incorporates the true essence of the Hijab for men and can serve as the perfect benchmark for us to judge the suitability of our actions at all times. He said: “If you exhibit shyness and modesty before a stone that does not see, it is more befitting for me to exhibit shame and modesty before the One Who sees and Who is aware of everything that is manifest about me and everything that is concealed within me.”
Please also take at this video explanation from Mufti Menk in regards to the Hijab for Males