ABOUT WOMEN — 01 October 2011
HEADSCARF AND VEILING

UNIFORM
It is advisable to examine the following quotation from the Quran with reference to the veiling of women:

59 – O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the believing women, to cover themselves. Thus, they will be recognized and avoid being molested. God is the Forgiver, Merciful.
33 The Parties, 59

The keyword here is jilbab which means any clothing like ‘chemise’, ‘dress,’ etc. In no way does it mean a covering special to any part of the body. Yet, the interpretations of traditionalist Islamists have ascribed to this word such meanings as to imply the covering of the entire body according to some, of two eyes or one eye according to others and of the body except for the face, hands and feet according to others. Had God’s intention been to see women covered from head to toe, He would have explicitly stated it. A woman’s covering her head and wearing the veil are nothing but later fabrications of traditionalists. For instance, God has detailed every portion of the limbs that ought to be washed during the performance of ablution. Had He wanted to set well-defined limits, He would have clearly delineated them. The Quran that gives a detailed account of the events related to the tribes in the past would surely not spare mentioning this fact in one single sentence. It is not an omission by God, far from it. It had not been His intention to put on such categorical restrictions. As a matter of fact, the approach in 33 Sura The Purgatory, 59 to the issue is manifestly flexible. The verse implies that the apparel of a woman will reveal her identity and keep her from being molested. It is told that during the era of the Prophet, there were women who went around semi-naked, with breasts generously exposed to view. Before the supremacy of Islam, it is said that the ritual of pilgrimage to the Kaaba was performed by women in a naked state (Kurtubi, al Jami-il Ahkamil Kuran.) We can deduce from the verse mentioned above that during the pre-Islamic period women were used to exhibiting their ornaments (ziynets). The decent woman, who preferred to preserve her chastity, well knew how she should dress in order to avoid harassment by men. However, regardless of the decency of her dress, a woman may be the subject of attacks. The verse addresses the woman to suggest she simply beware of indecent proposals by men who would approach her, attracted by her manifest intention expressed by her clothing. The ideal garments are left to the discretion of the wearer. Again, had it been the intention of God to lay down a categorical principle, He would have revealed the verse accordingly. The only other verse related to the veiling of women is 24 The Light, 60:

60 – As for your women past the age of bearing children, who have no hope of marriage, they commit nothing wrong if they take off their garments (siyab), but in such a way that they do not display their ornaments (ziynet). But it is best for them to be modest and God is the Hearer, Knower. Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage, there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty; but it is best for them to be modest; and God is one who sees and knows all things
24 The Light, 60

Turn to the First Page of the Article

 
Page 2: TRADITIONS MADE INTO RELIGIOUS PRESCRIPTIONS
Page 3: THERE IS NO MENTION OF COVERING THE HEAD FOR WOMEN
Page 4: VEILING
Page 6: USE OF HEADGEAR AGAINST HEAT
Page 7: PENNED WOMEN
Page 8: ONE EYE
Page 9: ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS ALLOWED TO BE WATCHED?

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