Doesnt women face draw more attention comparing to their hair? Why is hair covered up but not face?

Details of the Question
For many reasons, QAllah has guided me to study Islam. Being a Sister in the West, I find the Hijab as un-natural piece of garment. I have read that the reason women of Islam are inclined to wear it, is to prevent any sexual desires from men. But why the hair? Are not the eyes the windows to the soul and much more empowering and beautiful than the hair? What spiritual attributes does the hair have? I understand modesty, but isnt loose clothing enough?For me hijab restricts the flowness of mybody
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Protecting woman from man’s glance and determining the boundaries between genders, headscarf sets a private area by imposing a ban. Since, the union of community depends on the honor of man, and that the measurement of this criterion is the woman’s virtue protected in private area.
Headscarf is mentioned in the Qur’an. In the verse, “ Women should draw their headscarves (veils) over their bosoms” (Chapter An-Nur, 31),  the word “humur” is the plural of “himar” meaning “headscarf”.
Those who say “The word himar in the Qur’an means only veil not headscarf” are certainly mistaken. Although the root of this word has meanings of “covering, intervention, approach”, derivatives which are taken from the same root have different meanings. For example, the word “hamr” means wine, “hamir” means sourdough, “humar” means hangover; they are all derivatives of the same root. The word in question “himar” is used in the meanings of veil and cloth that covers the entire body.
Articles about Tasattur, questions and answers:
Does a woman’s face not draw more attention in comparison to their hair? Why is hair covered up but not the face?
Today in some regions of our country and other Islamic countries women, especially young ones, wear tulle, apart from the headscarf against men that makes their face invisible but enables them to see outside. Sometimes, the whole face except the two eyes or one eye is covered with a part of headscarf.
The issue of whether covering woman’s face on the street or near outsider men could be evaluated from the point of Islamic view as follows:
The limit of tasattur of woman is designated in the Holy Qur’an as follows:
“And tell the believing women that they (also) should restrain their gaze (from looking at the man whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others’ private parts), and guard their private parts, and that they should not display their charms except that which is revealed of itself; and let them draw their veils over their bosoms” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31)
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, as well as the women (wives and daughters) of the believers, to draw over themselves some parts of their outer garments (when outside their homes and when before men whom they are not forbidden to marry because of blood relation). This is better and more convenient for them to be recognized (and respected for their decency and decorum) and not harrassed. (Qur’an, The Confederates (Al- Ahzâb), 33/59)
“Do not go out flaunting your charms as (women used to do) in the former times of Ignorance” (Qur’an, The Confederates (Al- Ahzâb), 33/33)
“Nor should they stamp their feet (i.e. act in such a manneras to) draw attention to their charms (and arouse the passion of men).” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31)
Two pieces of veil, one is headscarf and the other is outer cloth,  are mentioned in the above verses. Getting covered in a way to hang the headscarf down over the collars aims at coverin the woman’s head, hair, ears, neck, throat and bosom. In the pre-Islamic era, women’s heads were not entirely exposed.  They wore head-bands to keep their tied hair up in a bun at the rear of their head, thus revealing their neck and the upper part of their bossom so that their ornaments could be seen. The outer veil was a loose garment that covered up the entire body of the woman and it was not transparent and tight (not exposing the contours of the body).
There is no clarity about covering the face in the verses. However, from the statement “not to reveal ornaments or the places of their body for jewelry”, Islamic legislators debate whether this part needs to be covered or not by thinking of women’s face is the section of body for jewelry and beauty.  
According to Hanafis and Malikis, in the prescriptive verse of covering, the statement “except that which is revealed of itself” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31) indicates woman has some parts of her body that does not have to be covered in the street. Those parts are the face and hands. That opinion is narrated by sahabs (companion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) and tabiins (those who lived after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was dead but had conversed with at least one of his companions) such as Said b. Jubayr, Ata and Dahhak. (See  at-Taberî, Jamiul-Bayan fî Tefsîril-Qur'an, XVIII, 118).
One of the important piece of evidence about the issue is the following Hadith narrated by Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): “Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing a thin dress. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands” (Abu Dawud, Libas, 31; Qurtubî, al-Jami' Li Ahkamil-Qur'an, Beirut 1405, XII, 229).
On the other hand, there is a unanimous agreement that a woman could keep her hands and face uncovered while in the prayer. Those places of the body should not be considered as awrah (Parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to others) even outside prayer, because covering the places of awrah is fardh (obligatory) in the prayer. Not covering those parts of the body indicates that it is not fardh. A woman keeps her hands and face uncovered during Hajj (Pilgrimage).
Woman needs her hands uncovered while doing housework, holding necessary things, and even covering the veil, as there is a difficulty for her to cover her face up with regard to seeing around and breathing. On the other hand, there is a need of uncovering the face for the procedures such as testimony in court and marriage. Therefore, according to the principle of “the absolute necessities are appreciated as much as their own values” there is no drawback for undressing those parts of body (Elmalılı, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, İstanbul 1960, V, 3505, 3506).
According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, te face and hands are considered as awrah places. For them, the verse “not display their charms” bans to uncover the ornaments. Ornament either comes from creation and includes face and hands or it is in he form of adorning from outside such as garment, jevelry, dye, and eyebrow burn. Since the verse absolutely bans disclosing ornaments, the parts of body considered as ornaments should not be displayed in the presence of strangers. These two sects explain the statement  “...except that which is revealed of itself” as displaying off veil in circumstances such as a gust or being untied without purpose and planing (Muhammed Alî as-Sâbûnî, Tafsîru Âyâtil-Ahkâm, Damascus 1397/ 1977, II, 155).
Their evidence based on the hadith is as follows: Jabir b. Abdillah narrated, "I asked the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him)  about the situation of glancing at women. He said "Turn your eyes away" (Abu Dawud Nikâh, 43; Tirmizî, Adab, 28; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 358, 361). The first place to come into mind about glancing at women are their faces and hands. Abdullah b. Abbas reported, “while al-Fadl b. Abbas was riding behind Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) a woman came to him (to the Holy Proppet) and asked for a religious verdict. Fadl looked at her and she looked at him. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) turned the face of al-Fadl to the other side” (Bukharî, Maghazî, 77; Hajj, I ; Muslim, Hajj, 407).
Here, the covering is due to the risk of incitement that is opening the way for fornication. However, the meaning of “covering the face of woman” or “woman’s face is also an awrah” is not obviously expressed in Hadith. Looking at women with lust or hassling them with meaningful glances by sahabas is intended to prevent. When such a fear of incitement appears, Muslim women should protect their chastity and avoid becoming a target of men’s glances. Because covering the faces of sahabas’ wives is not obviously narrated, it is very difficult to say whether covering the face with a veil is fardh or sunnah (acts and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) as there is no unanimous agreement on the issue. Perhaps it is a way of protection by some young and beautiful women to avoid men’s hassling glances and to keep their hearts clean. (for more information, see: Qurtubî, ibid., XII, 229 et al.; as-Sâbunî, ibid., II, 154 et al.; at-Tabarî, ibid., XVIII, 118; Muhammad Ayyûb Kâkul, 2. baskı, Syria t.y., p. 27 et al.; Elmalılı, ibid., V, 3505 vd.; İbrahim Jamal, Müslüman Kadının Fıkıh Kitabı, trns. Beşir Eryarsoy, İstanbul 1989, p. 124 et al.; Faruk Beşer, Hanımlara Özel İlmihal, İstanbul 1989, p. 243 et al.).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

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