FAQ > Societal Hijab
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Q: What is meant by “societal Hijab”?

A: Studying the issue of Hijab from all its perspectives brings forth the issue of societal Hijab. Islam disapproves of woman’s being alone with a man (khalwa) in case it jeopardizes or poses a threat to her decency and virtue. Khalwa stokes imagination, and incites fantasies and emotions contravening the morals of both the man and the woman. Intimacy eventually leads to sinful thoughts and consequently to moral degradation. In case moral degradation is inevitable, then Khalwa is considered religiously impermissible.

When discussing mixing of sexes from an Islamic stand, we note that Islam basically does not condemn mixing of the sexes unless it results in corruption and defilement. We tend to view sex segregation as impractical in our modern time, thus, it is recommended that our Muslim and committed societies set limits to diminish the excesses of the mixing of sexes, and draw a line which marks the distinction between a relatively fruitful mixing of the sexes, and a perverted one.

All what we have discussed ultimately boils down to this notion; Hijab must be intrinsically integrated in the personality of a veiled woman. She must create a frame for her emotions, thoughts, and suppositions through which she opens up to the realities of life and to dealing with men. A Muslim woman must remain alert not to let corrupt thoughts dominate her, and must lead an ethical life within her society. (1:32)