2) To see what kinds of jilbabs and Islamic outergarments are available for sale online, visit Al-Hediya Islamic Clothing. I purchased a jilbab from them and am very satisfied with it. Jilbabs are sold by most Online Hijab Stores, so check out those links as well, inshallah. You can also read some practical tips about wearing the jilbab at How to Jilbab.
3) To read more about the seven commandments relating to hijab, see Special Focus on Hijab. This is primarily a discussion of two ways that the Quran commands the covering of the hair.
4) To read about why "what is apparent of it" means the face and the hands, see Opinions of scholars in favor of displaying the face and hands and A Study of Surah an-Nur ayah 31.
5) To learn more about the opinion that the jilbab covers the face, see Examining the Dalils for Niqab. To learn about why this understanding of the jilbab may have been superceded (so that the final rule is that the jilbab should cover everything but the face and hands), see What is the Final Rule on Hijab?. Basically, the scholars who hold this position say that one of the criteria for a proper jilbab is that it should cover everything that must be covered. At the time that Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 was revealed, "everything that must be covered" referred to everything except the eyes to see the way, but after Surah an-Nur ayah 31 was revealed, "everything that must be covered" was changed to everything but the face and hands.
6) To see what has been written by ordinary sisters who have also come to the conclusion that the jilbab is fard, see A Sister's Story How She First Started Wearing Hijaab.
Appendix Two: What does the word "hijab" really mean?
In common usage among Muslims, the word "hijab" refers to the headscarf. This sometimes gives the impression that wearing a headscarf is all there is to hijab. This is not correct! It has already been shown above that Allah SWT has given seven commands in two ayat in regard to the modest dress and behavior of the Muslim sister.
The word "hijab" according to 'The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic' means "curtain, woman's veiling, screen, partition". It refers to the ENTIRE modest dress of a Muslim sister, that which screens her from the male gaze. It can also refer to her behavior that screens her, such as lowering her gaze, guarding her modesty, and not revealing her hidden adornments. Thus, all seven of the commands in these two ayat concern HIJAB. Again, Allah SWT has sent down two ayat concerning the hijab of the Muslim sister. These are Surah an-Nur ayah 31 and Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59. In order to be wearing proper hijab, a sister must obey all of the directives contained in these ayat.
The word that Allah SWT has used in the Quran to refer to the headscarf is "khimar". This is not the complete hijab in itself!! As explained above, Surah an-Nur ayah 31 contains additional commands relating to covering everything but the face and hands with loose, opaque clothing, and to behavior. And as well, Allah SWT has revealed Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59. As explained above, the only logical understanding is that the jilbab referred to in Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 is some type of outergarment, an extra layer worn over the ordinary clothes. This is part of hijab too!
Appendix Three: More Hadiths
In Part One of this essay, I cited two hadiths regarding the wearing of the jilbab by the sahabiyat (rAa). Another hadith that mentions the jilbab is the following:
Sahih Bukhari Book 72 #684. Narrated Aisha: The wife of Rifa'a al-Qurazi came to Allah's Messenger while I was sitting...and she was showing the fringe of her jilbab.
So in this hadith, we see a female Companion (rAa) who wore the jilbab when she went out to ask a religious question.
There are a few more hadiths as well. These hadiths use the Arabic word "murut". This is the plural of mirt. According to the authorities on classical Arabic, the word mirt refers to a sheet (usually made out of wool) that is wrapped around the body and held closed in front. Clearly, the mirt is a type of outergarment. As we can now see, the mirt is thus a type of jilbab. Thus the hadiths about the sahabiyat (rAa) wearing murut can be cited in support of the wearing of outergarments (jilbabs). The hadiths about the mirt are as follows:
Sahih Bukhari Book 10 #552. Narrated Aisha: The faithful women wrapped in their murut used to attend the fajr prayer with Allah's Messenger, and after finishing the prayer they would return to their homes and nobody could recognize them because of the darkness.
Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 #4091. Narrated Aisha: May Allah have mercy on the early emigrant women. When the verse "That they should extend their headcoverings (khumur) to cover their bosoms" was revealed, they tore their murut and used this as khimar.
The first of these hadiths shows the sahabiyat (rAa) going out to the masjid wearing jilbabs (i.e., outergarments, specifically the mirt) while the second hadith provides us with the interesting information that Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 was apparently revealed before Surah an-Nur ayah 31 (from which the quote is taken) because at the time that Surah an-Nur ayah 31 was revealed the women were already wearing jilbabs (i.e., outergarments, specifically the mirt). When Surah an-Nur ayah 31 was revealed, the women tore pieces off their jilbabs to make headscarves. (My note: Maybe this is where the permission to wear both a khimar and a coat comes from. Allah SWT knows best).
When we look at all the hadiths together, both the ones I cited in Part One and the ones cited here, we can see the following:
1) When Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 was revealed, the sahabiyat (rAa) immediately began wearing jilbabs (Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 #4090).
2) Whenever the sahabiyat (rAa) went out from their houses, they wore jilbabs, whether this was to ask religious questions (Sahih Bukhari Book 72 #684) or to take part in salat at the masjid (Sahih Bukhari Book 10 #552).
3) The Prophet (sAas) has stated unambiguously that it is in fact haram for a sister to go out from her house if she is not wearing a jilbab (Sahih Bukhari Book 8 #347).
To me, these hadiths provide overwhelming evidence that the jilbab is fard
Ps: Syukur Alhamdulillah, Thanks God. This useful article Evidences of Jilbab - Introduction, PART ONE, PART TWO, PART THREE, and APPENDICES are originally from Al-Muhajabah Islamic Pages. Thanks alot to our sister in U.S. for their iniative to provide information on Islam that is both useful and accurate. Brilliants idea to bring up this kind of info to the web. Notes: al-Ghozi was a muslim not a muslimah. Please not misunderstand him. He just concerned with our sisters to istiqomah to keep their awrah (aurat) and how important it is. Find out the evidences and why the jilbab is fard to our muslimah.