Today it is a well known fact that many non-Muslims who can see the truth of Islam, refuse to enter its fold because of this so-called restriction. They feel that they cannot give up their habits and modern way of living and sacrifice their freedom to mix with the other sex as they wish.
Islam, however, can neither be blamed for what non-Muslims think of it nor can it be accused on account of the notions and practices of its ignorant followers. The fact remains that Islam has given women rights which have no parallel in any other religion.
As for the Islam veil, far from being a burden on women, it is blessing for them.
The true concept of the Islamic veil can be understood and judged correctly by studying the source of all the Islamic teachings, The Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran has preserved the teachings of Islam in its original form and it does not only prescribe the correct commandments but it also explains the reasons and the wisdom behind them and it points out the benefits which can be gained by following them.
One of the verses of the Holy Quran which deals with the subject of the veil is found in Sura Al Noor where God, the All-Mighty says:
And say to the believing women that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts and that they display not their beauty or their embellishment except that which is apparent, thereof, and that they draw their head coverings over their bosoms, and that they display not their beauty or their embellishment save to their husbands, or to their fathers or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters or women who are their companions or those that their right hand possess or such of male attendants as have not desire for women, or young children who have not yet attained knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And that they strike not their feet so that what hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers that you may prosper. (24:32)
This verse directs the believing women to restrain their eyes when they happen to face men and to guard their chastity and also not to display their beauty and embellishment, whether it is natural or artificial.
The believing men have already been given a similar commandment, from God in the verse that preceeded this verse where we read:
Say to the believing men that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well-aware of what they do. (24:31)
So it is clear that both men and women share equally the responsibility of observing this injunction. They should both restrain their looks when facing each other or, in other words, they should observe the Veil of the eyes.