Do Muslim women have to be covered from head to toe?

Question:

Dear brother, I am a newly converted muslim woman and I have been having a lot of pressure on me to cover my whole body except my face. Please give me any assistance brother that this is not what Muslim women must do, I need your help because this is not what I really want to do. Is there any proof from the Koran that this is wrong? please help me, thank you, Samantha

Reply:

Dear Samantha,
I am glad you wrote to me and not followed whoever is giving you a twisted version of Islam.

Yes we have proof from the Quran that this is a false claim:

Many so-called Muslim scholars have invented extreme rules for women's dress which are not found in the Quran. Some, like the ones putting the pressure on you, say that all the woman's body must be covered except for her face, while others even more extreme say that all the woman's body must be covered from head to toe except for two holes where the eyes can peep out from!

Proof 1: There are no words in all the Quran where God commands the woman to cover all her body. We must accept that the Quran has all the details (6:114), and that God does not forget. If God wanted the woman to cover all her body from the neck to the feet God would have said that clearly. Those who make such un-Quranic claims cannot find words in the Quran with such extreme commands, so they manipulate Quranic words, mainly in 24:31 and 33:59, to comply with their false claims.

Proof 2: The instruction in 24:31 for women to cover their chest clearly indicates that there are other parts of the woman’s body that do not have to be covered.
God willing, the following example should make the point clear:
Think of your house and in it you have a garden. You have a gardener who comes to look after your garden.
One day you ask him: please water the area around the trees and also water the back of the garden.
What does this example tell us?
It tells us that since you specified only certain areas to be watered, then this is a clear indication that there will be other areas in the garden that do not need to be watered. If you wanted the gardener to water the whole garden you would have asked exactly that, by saying: please water the whole garden.

When we apply this example to the issue of women’s dress code in the Quran, the same principle applies, if God wanted the whole body of the woman to be covered, God would not need to say "cover your chest". An overall command to cover all the body, which would include the covering of the chest, would be the only command that is needed. But since God specifies certain parts of the woman’s body to be covered, then this is clear proof that there are other parts of the woman's body that do not have to be covered, as long as the are not beauty spots of sexual connotation (zinah), and as long as righteousness in dress is maintained (7:26).

Proof 3: The command to "lengthen the garment" (33:59) also proves that women are not commanded to be all covered from head to feet. For if that is the case, and the woman is covered down to the ground, there would be no meaning to “lengthen the garment”. How can the woman lengthen a garment that is already down to her toes?

I hope this will help you expose the extreme hypocrites who are distorting the beautiful religion of Islam.

You will also find more details about women's dress code in the Quran:

Women's dress code in the Quran

The manipulation of the word "khomurihhinna" in 24:31