How were Muslim women commanded to veil themselves?

The Quran, The Light (An-Nur); 30 (24: 30)- Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze (from haram looks) and guard their private parts: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

The Quran, The Light (An-Nur); 31 (24: 31)- And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.

The Reasons for the Revelation of the Verses

1- Ibn Mazdawi related from Ali b. Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) as follows: At the time of Allahs Messenger (pbuh), a woman and a man walking around the streets of Madinah looked at one another when they met each other. By using those gazes, the Satan turned their gazing at each other into liking each other. Man was both gazing at the woman and walking. Since his head was turned towards the woman all the time, he hit a wall in front of him and his nose bled. Thereupon, he swore as I swear to Allah that I will not clean the blood of my nose till I go to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and tell him the situation. He came near the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and told him about the event. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated, Bleeding of your nose by hitting the wall is the punishment of your sin. Thereupon, the verse Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze (from haram looks) was revealed. (Suyuti, Durrul Mansur, 5/40.)

Ibn Kathir, related from Muqatil b. Hayyan and he related from Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari as follows: Asma b. Mirsad (may Allah be pleased with her) had a date orchard near the place called Bani Haritha. Women used to go there without wearing skirts, and with their breasts, feet and anklets were uncovered. Asma said, How nasty are those appearances of you! Thereupon, the verse And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze was revealed. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 3/283. Suyuti. 5/104.)

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