Hijab: Why Men Exempted?

The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh `Abdus-Sattar F. Sa`eed, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur’an at Al-Azhar Univ., states: “It is through Allah’s Wisdom that He distinguishes between man and woman in the process of creation. Woman, on the one hand, is created in a way that best suits her natural inclinations. The requirements that Allah asks of her give her full security and protect her against awkward and uncertain situations.
The differences between man and woman are more obvious in the physical appearance. A woman’s body, voice, hair and other feminine characteristics are evident and present to attract her husband.
That is why Allah Almighty has ordered woman not to uncover the natural beauty and attractiveness, that He Almighty granted her, before anyone except her husband.
A husband is allowed to look at any part of his wife’s body. According to Islam, this is not the case for the woman’s male-Mahrams (relatives who are not allowed to marry her), for example her father, brother, etc., who are allowed to look at specific parts of the woman’s body such as her hair and hands.
However, when it comes to non-Mahram men, the matter is completely different, because the exposure of the woman’s body before non-Mahram men leads to immorality and temptation.
Man, on the other hand, is created by Allah in a way which is different from that of the woman. In his capacity as the breadwinner of the family, man is supposed to strive hard to cater for his family’s needs.
With regard to women covering their faces, we can say that it is not obligatory, as the questioner implies, but it is recommended. Some women do cover their faces for the purpose of attaining Allah’s greater reward. However, if a woman finds it difficult to cover her face, she is obliged to conform to the Islamic code of dress, which requires covering her entire body save her face and hands.”
Finally, we can say that there is wisdom in Allah’s commands, and if we see the wisdom behind certain rulings, it is easier to accept them. We can look at the advantages of adorning a headscarf and trust that Allah, the Omniscient, knows what is better for us. We can wait for the reward for doing so, only if our intention is to obey Him, because when there is difficulty in doing something, the reward is given in proportion to the difficulty. And that reward is more worthwhile than having a breeze on our necks.