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saadiamalik

PAKISTAN
Topic initiated on Tuesday, October 14, 2003  -  10:03 PM Reply with quote
Women's Issues


Assalaamu Alaikum.

Please discuss women's issues here. Ranging from hijab concerns to professional lives, from our role in society to our role in globalisation, from aspirations to our culture...let's share our problems, solutions and suggestions here.

Looking forward...

Saadia

Allah Hafiz.
saadiamalik

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, October 16, 2003  -  8:31 PM Reply with quote
"Face-covering or not?"

What do your instincts tell you? As a Muslim woman, at times, I feel the "need" to cover my face - even though, I must admit, I am not strong-willed enough to do so.

At other times, I feel like it has been made into an "unnecessary necessity" by some.

My objective here is not evil, or to notch up a controversy; rather, it is to induce other's to sincerely share their views/opinions/inclinations?

...be waiting.

Allah Hafiz.
AminahStar

USA
Posted - Friday, October 17, 2003  -  7:35 PM Reply with quote
Well, personally, I wear the face cover. I read in Hadiths that the Prophets (SWS) wives also did. I want them to be my role models, that is why I choose this.

Living in non-muslim country this is especially hard, but i feel it has increased my Imaan and Taqwa.

Even before I started to wear the face cover I had lost my job because of only head cover. I made a sacrifice for Allah and He has blessed me greatly after that. Although I dont have have a job, my willingness to submit to Allah s will has increased and this feeling is worth more than a job.

Now since starting to wear the face cover I feel it even more.



friend
saadiamalik

PAKISTAN
Posted - Friday, October 17, 2003  -  9:29 PM Reply with quote
Assalaamu Alaikum.

Its amazing how conviction in the way of Allah can help people feel free, relieved and happy, despite all the rubbish that they have to take from people. Aminah, it really is wonderful to learn of your strength of will and character. Also, may Allah allow you the benefit of material prosperity too.

Of course, one must keep the women around the Prophet(PBUH) as ones role models. If you reckon that their practice carries in it, a directive for all Muslim women of all times, how do you reconcile it to the fact that our Ihram does not include face-covering?

You must very rightly have understood by now, sister. I am still struggling over the issue. I shall wait for your response, and of course, anyone who can contribute is welcome.

Allah Hafiz.
AminahStar

USA
Posted - Friday, October 17, 2003  -  11:39 PM Reply with quote
Wa aliku salam wr wb,

Sister please ponder this question; Would there have been a need to specifically forbid the niqaab during the state of Irham if wearing the niqaab was not to be worn at all?

Also take into consideration this Hadith; Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: (Radhiallaahu Ánha) who said, "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces. ] Recorded by Abu Dawud Book 10, Hadith # 1829:

This shows that whether in the state of Ihram or not the face should be covered. (Only niqaab is forbidden during Ihram, not covering the face in another manner if non-mahrams are able to view.)

Hope this helps in your consideration. I know this can be a difficult decision. As a revert, it was very hard for me to finally decide it. After much thought and study, I decided to wear the niqaab.

Allah Hafiz
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Saturday, October 18, 2003  -  1:52 AM Reply with quote
assalamo alaykum/peace
am jumpin' in sisters, if u don't mind

as a medical student, when i was coverin' face as well, rather started coverin, after readin' a great islamic scholar's view, Syed A.A. Maududi,may his soul rest in peace,; at that stage , i had an honour to meet a great mujahida, egyptian lady, Zainab al Ghazali.
i noticed that she was wel covered from head to toe but face wasn't covered
listenin' to her life experiences with great concentration i was extremely impressed by her love for Allah and beloved Mohammad sws and the sacrifices she made for te Truth she found,
but this question kept prickin' me that why was she not coverin' her face
finally i did ask
the reply she gave was v reasonable and balanced
my dear, i'm not coverin' face and u r
for that matter clearly u r a step ahead of me , u r practicin' "ahsan";
however myself or other sisters who r not doin' so are not sinful for such
i'm still within my Lord's limits when i cover from head to toe excludin' face
later on when i studied more around the subject, i did find scholars' opinions close to this.

Javed Ghamidi sb's explaination is quite logical where he divides areas into three; home, work place and open streets
and he stresses that open streets r the places where one must try to cover face as well b/c these r not secure places as to any type of men could b wonderin' there with any sorts of intentions, whereas limits r different in home environment and work place like hospital, school, etc. is expected to b comparatively limited to certain regular visitors(however everyone can judge the place of their work personally and may not find it suitable to this description)
open to comments

regards

.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, October 18, 2003  -  5:08 PM Reply with quote
In my humble opinion, selecting the appropriate attire is very personal choice to make. Even presuming that Allah has not made the face and head covering OBLIGATORY for ladies, if a woman decide to do the same of her own accord, Allah would not hold her responsible for adding something to the religion.

However, it is not appropriate to force/beat/punish the ladies for not covering their face as was sadly done in Afghanistan. If you interpret the Holy Qur’an keeping the context in perspective, you will find that Allah has not made it incumbent on the Muslim ladies to cover their face. This is not Shari’ah and therefore it is cruel to force the ladies do something which Allah has not asked them to though they may cover their face of their own accord.

Just to share with you all, I have sometimes observed that FACE COVERING does get more attraction from men of low character. Looking at such men, I have observed that their sight keeps following such ladies to a considerable distance.

I personally feel that CHAADAR or Shawl is the most suitable covering for the ladies. As it amply covers the lady including her head with the hem little down on her face. And this is indeed the same as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as JILBAB. The rays of modesty and elegancy emitted by this Chaadar cannot be compared with anything else.

(To AminahStar) I’d however like to know what is the difference between NIQAB and FACE COVERING?

(To the Doc.) I do not think ladies covering their FACE are one step ahead of other ladies not covering their face. TAQWA though is reflected in actions but it is much related to our Inner State especially as regards the matter where Allah has not given His Decree.
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Sunday, October 19, 2003  -  6:41 PM Reply with quote
Peace/assalamo alaykum dearest moderator
many thanx for useful information which i already believed is correct, as i mentioned, after readin' more round the topic
the idea of someone practicin' ahsan/better/a step ahead by coverin' face was zainab's opinion(mind u it was interpreted to me as she spoke arabic)as i said
which i do not think is wrong
b/c
i think it wud b somethin' like a woman prayin' fri. salah in the mosque and listenin' to the wise words there wud b practicin' ahsan/better vs the one who prays at home, although the later is not accusable for that as she has full liberty to do so

does that sound reasonable?

.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, October 20, 2003  -  8:54 AM Reply with quote
I am sorry if I gave the impression that deeds done are not counted within the purview of TAQWA or IHSAN. They sure do.

However, we must be clear that TAQWA is not beyond the religion provided to us by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Every deed, that carries a reward, should be supported by either the revealed guidance or the innate guidance at least in this regard.

For instance, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) once heard three men saying: 1) I will forever offer Tahajjud throughout the night 2) I will never get married. 3) I will fast forever. Hearing this, the Prophet (pbuh) became red in the face and he censured them for these absurd and not required claims. (Bukhari, Kitab Nikah(

Don't these three persons appear to practicing IHSAN? Yet, they were condemned by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). If I am to say that a lady covering her face is practicing IHSAN than the lady who is not? What about the lady who is covering her hand? What about the lady who stays at home forever? What about the lady who never meets a man, be her own real brother lest she falls in error? You see, where this allowance/agreement to your supposition would lead us to. It will lead us right to ASCETICISM or CESTERIAN DICSPLINE at best!

As the issue of male and female interaction has been taken over by the REVEALED GUIDANCE, therefore the ruling guidance would be REVEALED and not INNATE. As, we see that revealed guidance has not asked the ladies to cover their faces, therefore it is no IHSAN! A lady covering her face is not one step ahead of other ladies, I must conclude. However, a lady can—and she should—take measures to protect her honor and modesty by covering her face or whatever other means available in case she senses insecurity and danger.
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Friday, October 24, 2003  -  4:38 AM Reply with quote
peace/assaloalaykum
i agree with ur explanation br.
u were also right when u said that taqwa is more relevant to our inner state/purity, which is so precious i agree and can b so much at stake and in danger,
and may Allah b with all of us in this regard. amen
however u wud agree that outer coverin' for a woman in islam actually represents a "symbol", and is supposed to be an act of faith,
a symbol to be recognized/representin' particular women, in those times the believer women different from ones who did not believe?(is that right?) as Allah says in surah ahza'b, that;

so that they are recognized (ya'refoona)

how would u explain this, i mean
so that they are recognized-- as being what/who?

(and u rightly explained jilbab, which includes dropping a part/hem of the outer coverin' over the face- wud u then accept this as ahsan?i mean dropping the hem over; as though many of us do cover from head to toe, but v. few actually drop the hem over the face; in most cases it is rather limited to a head scarf around the face and head and a cloak around the body? )
obviously we do expect that if a woman is coverin' herself with good understandin' of this advice/rule by the shariah, she must b doin' it out of faith and taqwah in her heart while tryin' to follow other rules as well laid by her dear Lord and the Prophet sws e.g. avoidin' backbiting, lyin', fightin', arguing, and trying to surpass in allgood acts as and when; and not only just covering herself as mere single act.

those women r excluded here quite understandably who just do this act purely as a family/cultural ritual, or to please their guardian men, be them her father, brothers, husband or sons.

as far as this havin' more attraction for some men and their sight followin' such ladies to a distance is concerned,as u mentioned in ur previous posting, these men's eyes would follow women in any state i guess, again representin' inner state, and rules of "ghazz e basar"(guarding sight) in surah noor r obviously bein' broken by them
rules of hijab cannot b changed because of these brothers of ours

besides, if a woman feels that her work place is not secure enough for her to work there with open face, then she might as well quit that work, as did sr. ameenah star, may Allah bless her for her sacrifice.
because i think even otherwise workin' all day with a covered face is hardly practical
one may rather find a better alternative

open to expert comments
and many thanx for the time from u all

regards

.
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Sunday, October 26, 2003  -  7:43 PM Reply with quote
peace
i noticed that the dear moderator has not replied any further which makes me think he had probably concluded the matter already
and i apologise if my further comments were taken just as arguement for the sake of arguement
probably a character of jews which we shud avoid?
and concentrate more on practice
however i did think it needed some clarification though

regards

.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, October 27, 2003  -  9:54 AM Reply with quote
Of course not. This was indeed not the case. No discussion is ever concluded for good as long as it remains within the framework of HUMANS.

I am sorry for the delay, which was the result of circumstances and not my intentions. Apart from that, please allow me to say that you are a very valuable Forummate of ours and your words do carry value for us. So please overlook the delay caused.

Now, I am going to write my response in the next box to facilitate concentration.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, October 27, 2003  -  11:05 AM Reply with quote
After reading your reply again, I think I need to clarify three points.

1) What I meant when I expressed my thoughts about the Muslim Cultural Practice of women of wearing a shawl when going outside?
2) What is implied by 'so that they be recognized' as what or who?
3) What does divine revelation has to say about face covering?

I will start from the last question.

As I pointed out earlier, the issue of interaction between male and female has been taken over by the Divine Revelation. Therefore, we need to first see what the most authentic source has to say about this issue. Reading the Surah Noor, we find that Allah has described various principles as regards the interaction between males and females. While explicating these etiquette, Allah has made an allowance to the ladies saying:

They should not display their ornaments save what is normally displayed. (24:31)

In other words, the Muslim ladies should not display their jewels and ornaments which are worn in places which are hidden. As far as the body parts which are normally uncovered, they are even allowed to wear ornaments there and don't conceal them. Quite logically, these body parts include face, hands and feet. As Zamakshari has written: 'This means those body parts which humans normally and naturally do not cover and they are kept open'. (Kashaf, vol. 3, p 231). So, we need to appreciate that Allah Himself has excluded the face from the directives of Hijab.

As regards the second question, we need to know that the verses of Surah Ahzab meant to deal with a perilous situation that arose in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The Hypocrites of Medina chased and teased the Muslim ladies under the pretext that they were slave women, who are usually of lewd character for the improper upbringing they receive. Allah ordained Muslim ladies to drop the hem of their Jilbab so that they be recognized as FREE HONOURABLE MUSLIM ladies. The following words in the verse of crucial importance since they portray the complete picture behind the directives.

"And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin."

…"If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verify shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter. (33:58-61)

Reading through these verses, the fact that strikes the mind is that something very perilous going on. The hypocrite and those in whose heart is a disease are maligning the Muslim ladies. Allah says that if these hypocrites and their companions would not stop, He would stand the Holy Prophet (pbuh) against them. Allah is sounding a warning to them they had better behave themselves or they would be slain wherever they would be found. Do these verses not portray the complete picture in which some people are teasing and troubling the Muslim ladies? Do you think that the words: they will be seized and killed pertain to normal circumstances? No, these hypocrites were striving to make scandal about the Muslim ladies. Allah commands the ladies to take the cloaks over them so that these enemies of Allah have no excuse for teasing the honorable Muslim ladies. Because, as they were asked about their untoward attitude, they would put the excuse that they were actually taking the ladies as slave women. Now Allah commanded the ladies to dram cloaks over them so that they be recognized as distinct from the slave women and the absurd excuse be stood null.

Having said this, I would again assert that the directives mentioned in Surah Ahzab are not void altogether. It is, however, only in the specific circumstances that these would become operative. If a lady feels that her life, honor and modesty are at stake, then she is obligated to take every step that would save her from evil. She will not be required to just wear a shawl but she would definitely be required to take further steps as staying within her home and leaving only when it is necessary and being very careful while talking to the strangers—if these measures, she thinks, would protect her.

As regards the first question, I'd like to clarify that I was only referring to a Muslim Cultural Practice prevailing in Pakistan, which I seem to like. I never intended to present it as divinely ordained practice. The concept of Hiya (modesty) is innate in every person. Under the influence of this concept and within the boundaries set by Allah, every selection of garment/dress would be a demonstration of Ihsan. I feel it inappropriate to attach it to the face covering, which Allah Himself has excluded from the purview of Hijab directives.




Edited by - jhangeer hanif on October 27 2003 11:30:54
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, October 27, 2003  -  11:14 AM Reply with quote
I do look forward to your comments. Please continue the discussion.
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Monday, October 27, 2003  -  12:22 PM Reply with quote
assalamoalaykum(peace)

many thanx dearest br. jhangeer for the v. valuable information
and encouragement

will come back on this asap insha'Allah as am tied up at present

(though i do not think u hv left any query unreplied)

regards

.
Raffia

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Tuesday, November 04, 2003  -  7:45 PM Reply with quote
asalaamu alaykum,

i just wanted to know what other sisters thought of wearing make-up in public. do you think there is any harm in wearing a little mascara with kajal or should we not wear any at all?

i know this is detracting from the conversation about the face veil, so apologies in adavance..

your views please

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