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Answered 2010-11-05 10:12:50

Yes, in the Qu'ran it is strongly recommended that women must wear the head scarf in order to cover themselves. This is optional and not a forced law. Women do not have to wear the headscarf all the time, only in public and in front of people who are not their fathers, brothers, husbands (known as non-mahram).

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Answered 2015-10-03 06:48:16

The following extract from the Quran seems to say that it is advisable for women believers to dress modestly, but does not make it obligatory, nor does it specify the veil or headcovering:

33.59 "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful."

The following is more direct, although there is no actual requirement for a head-covering.

24.031 "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed." However, the wives of the Prophet were required to cover their heads and wear veils across their faces.

In the words of Karen Armstrong (Islam: A Short History, 2000):

The Quran prescribes some degree of segregation and veiling for the Prophet's wives, but there is nothing in the Quran that requires the veiling of all women or their seclusion in a separate part of the house. Muslims adopted these customs some 3 or 4 generations after the Prophet's death, copying the Greek Christians of Byzantium, who had long veiled and segregated their women in this manner.

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