The Truth is Veiled
Cont’d from page 1
According to the Quran, women shall lengthen their garments:
"O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen their garments. Thus, they will be recognized and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful." (33:59)
A woman may relax her dress code in the following situations:
"The women may relax (their dress code) around their fathers, their sons, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, the other women, and their servants. They shall reverence God. God witnesses all things." (33:55)
Please note that in case of a male servant we need to refer to the Quran 24:31 mentioned earlier. Elderly women may also relax their dress code under certain conditions (24:60).
It is clear from the above verses that the dress code for the Muslim women according to the Quran is righteousness and modesty and not the veil (hijab)!
The Arabic word "hijab" in the following seven verses of the Quran refers to something other than the dress code for women:
A barrier separates them (Wa bayna-humaa hijaab), while the Purgatory is occupied by people who recognize each side by their looks. They will call dwellers of paradise:"Peace be upon you." They did not enter (paradise) through wishful thinking." (7:46)
"When you read the Quran, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier (hijaabam-mastuu-raa)." (17:45)
"While a barrier separated her from them (Fattakhazat min duunihim hijaabaa), we sent to her our Spirit. He went to her in the form of a human being." (19:17)
"O you who believe, do not enter the prophet's homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force
such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But God does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier (Wa izaa saaltumuu-hunna mataa-an fasaluuhunna minw-waraaa-i hijaab). This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of God. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of God." (33:53)
"He then said, "I enjoyed the material things more than I enjoyed worshiping my Lord, until the sun was gone (hatta tawaarat bilhijaab)." (38:32)
"They said, "Our minds are made up, our ears are deaf to your message, and a barrier separates us from you (wa baynika hijaabun-fa-mal innanaa aamiluun). Do what you want, and so will we." (41:5)
"No human being can communicate with God except through inspiration, or from behind a barrier (aw minw-waraaai hijaabin), or by sending a messenger through whom He reveals what He wills. He is the Most High, Most Wise." (42:51)
The Quran imposes the responsibility on both men and women to subdue their eyes, and definitely, not to veil the woman (hijab) as we understand from the following verse:
"Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes, and to maintain their chastity. This is purer for them. God is fully Cognizant of everything they do. And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes, and maintain their chastity...." (24:30-31)
In conclusion, the veiling of women in some Islamic countries is tradition-based religious innovation to oppress women. It has nothing to do with God’s laws in the Quran.
Comments on Hijab
As Salamu Alaykum
I am an American Muslim woman. My husband is Palestinian. I accepted Islam 2 years before I met my husband and now we live in Emirates. I studied Islam in the U.S. and therefore have a more objective and pure view of my religion, free from all the traditional and cultural aspects that have been incorporated over time.
I do not believe I am required to cover my hair. I am a modest woman. I dress modest and carry myself in a modest behavior. I cover my body and I believe that is what “hijab” means. I don’t believe, contrary to most Muslims, that covering my hair solely defines me as a Muslim woman. I often get lectured by my husband’s family about not wearing “hijab,” and these are people who I know first hand are not as diligent in their faith as I am.
It seems to be more about appearance to them and social acceptance than having anything to do with faith. How do I explain to them how I feel about hijab without causing an uproar and having my faith questioned? How do I make it clear to them that I don’t think I’m committing a sin by not covering my hair and it doesn’t make me any less of a Muslim? And also, I cover my hair when I make my Salat, why? I carry a hijab with me when we travel so I can stop at masjids and make my prayers because I know if I walked into a masjid without hijab to pray I would get a very negative reaction. Is it ok to make my prayers without hijab? [Ed’s note: Yes, it is ok.]
May the peace and blessing of God be upon you.