Islam and the Quran

Meaning of “Hidden Adornments” in Verse 24:31

Question: What is the meaning of 'hidden adornments' mentioned in the verse 24:31 of Quran. Does it refer to jewellery which are hidden by abaya or to the beautiful body parts which are hidden by dress (hair and breasts)?

The whole verse reads :

“ And tell the believing women to control their gazes and guard their private parts. Tell them not to uncover their beauty (ziynat) except what is naturally seen. Tell them to put a part of their headscarves onto their chests and not display their beauty (ziynat) except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women attendants, the captives who they are guardians of, the males that have no more sexual desire to women, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. Tell them not to stamp their feet on the ground for their hidden beauty (ziynat) to be noticed. Believers! Turn to God altogether, so that you may attain what you hope for.” (An-Noor 24:31)

“Ziynat” is adornment. When we think of a woman’s adornment, we understand her jewelry, clothing, and attire. Yet, there is no prohibition on buying, selling, producing, and showing them to others. At the beginning of the verse, God orders covering the ziynat except what is naturally seen. After that, the people who can see the ziynat are listed. Therefore, the word ziynat here must refer to the woman’s body parts that must be covered in front of the non-mahram. The expression “their hidden ziynat” also supports this meaning. This is because a woman can reveal her hidden beauty, that is, the shape and attractiveness of her body by walking in a charming way, dancing, etc. although her body is covered.

Add comment