Women Looked Like Crows On Their Heads After Hearing Khimar/Hijab Verse (24:31)
As Salamu Alaikum.
I came across two narrations that say after hearing the khimar verse (verse 31 of Surah an Nur), they tore their garments and made shawls out of them. And the next day when they prayed they looked like crows. I have some questions regarding these. Here are the narrations:
A’ishah says, ‘By God! I have never found anybody better than the women of the Ansar when it comes to honouring the Book of God and having faith in its instructions.’ When the following verse of the chapter entitled al-Nur, ‘They should put shawls over their bosoms’, was revealed, the Ansar men returned to their houses and conveyed to their wives, daughters and sisters the instructions revealed for them by God. Some untied their waist-belts while others used their covering sheets and made shawls out of them. The next morning when they offered prayers (salat) led by the Prophet Muhammad, it seemed as if crows sat on their heads (because of the scarves they wore). (Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. III, p. 284 ).
Also, Ibn Hajar in his Fath al-Bari wrote:
There is a report of Ibn Abi Hatim via ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Uthman ibn Khaytham from Safiyyah that explains that. This report says: We mentioned the women of Quraysh and their virtues in the presence of ‘Aishah and she said: “The women of Quraysh are good, but by Allah I have never seen any better than the women of the Ansar, or any who believed the Book of Allah more strongly or had more faith in the Revelation. When Surat al-Nur was revealed – “and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna” – their menfolk came to them and recited to them what had been revealed, and there was not one woman among them who did not go to her apron, and the following morning they prayed wrapped up as if there were crows on their heads.
I have questions regarding these narrations
- Why did they look like as if crows were on their heads? Does this mean they all wore black shawls? If they all wore black then does that mean women are supposed to be wearing black since they were the women from the earliest generation?
- According to Ghamdi sahab’s explanation, the main implication of verse 24:31 was to cover the zeenat of the chest area, not head. But why did these women looked like as if there were crows on their heads when they prayed? Doesn’t this mean they covered their heads with the waist belts/aprons/covering sheets, and that’s why it looked like crows on their heads? Why did they cover their heads with these clothes when praying the next day if the implications was not about covering both head & the chest area? They were the women of the earliest generation, so didn’t they understand the commandment in the clearest & most correct way possible?
- What’s the grade of this narration? Is it Sahih, Hasan or Da’if? I couldn’t find these narrations in any of the authentic six collections but it’s found in Ibn Hajar’s book & Tafsir Ibn Kathir according to the link.
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