Why don’t men have to wear the hijab?

First, the hijab must not be viewed as a punishment or as an added responsibility for women.  Rather, the hijab should be looked upon as a blessing for women.  It is through the hijab that women are removed from the societal filter where women are viewed and exploited as sexual objects. The hijab is a source of respect and protection for women.

Second, as for men – they, too, have a hijab to maintain in two-fold.   The literal definition of the word “hijab” is ‘barrier’ or ‘partition,’ however the broader meaning includes implementing modesty in dress, character and behaviour.  In this respect, men are to cover their bodies including their legs, shoulders and chest – not just the ‘navel to knee’ as this would be considered non-permissible by the standards of Islamic society.  Even when swimming, men are to cover their upper bodies. Further, Allah has ordered men to self-govern themselves by lowering their gaze and protecting or guarding their chastity (Sura Nur, Verse 30) in order to achieve a state of purity or cleanliness.

I hope that it is clear then that both men and women have a responsibility to observe the “hijab”