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Natalia

UKRAINE
Topic initiated on Wednesday, March 03, 2004  -  3:39 PM Reply with quote
Hidjab - some aspects


salaam aleikum. I have several questions:
I am not hijabi but when I read Qur'an I cover myself. When I am reading Qur'an from computer screen should I cover my head then?
and Can I pray in the presence of non-muslims in the room. Thanx in advance.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, March 04, 2004  -  5:06 PM Reply with quote

I am not hijabi but when I read Qur'an I cover myself.

That is nice. May this decent act of yours also bring reward to you. As a digression, I however would mention that covering head while reciting the Holy Qur'an has not been prescribed by the Shari'ah. It is on the other hand a decent cultural practice which I myself still see in vogue in Muslim households in Pakistan. Actually, we must keep the distinction in mind as we also explain these things to others as well.

When I am reading Qur'an from computer screen should I cover my head then?

That depends on what you decide for yourself.

Can I pray in the presence of non-muslims in the room?

Of course, you can. Muslims even have prayed in churhes and synagogues not to mention praying in front of non-Muslims.




Edited by - jhangeer hanif on March 04 2004 17:09:50

aslam

PAKISTAN
Posted - Friday, March 05, 2004  -  6:52 PM Reply with quote
salams,
Do you mean that daupatta is only a part of our culture,not Shariah?
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, March 06, 2004  -  11:24 AM Reply with quote
Head covering is an immanent part of Islamic civilazation. It is not ordained by an express directive of Shari'ah.
aslam

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, March 06, 2004  -  6:39 PM Reply with quote
salasms,
What does "jilbab" mean?
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, March 08, 2004  -  11:12 AM Reply with quote
It means Caadar (shawl). Better look it up in a dictionary!
nadya

USA
Posted - Tuesday, March 09, 2004  -  12:03 AM Reply with quote
"Head covering is an immanent part of Islamic civilazation. It is not ordained by an express directive of Shari'ah."

I do not understand, please explain.
Does not this verse express the directive?

"Say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful."
24:31





continuing courses from the website
www.al-mawrid.org
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, March 09, 2004  -  11:16 AM Reply with quote

No doubt, this verse delineates directives regarding male and female interaction but it does not promulgate anything regarding head covering.


You are perhaps referring to the part: let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms


It needs to be appreciated that this specific verse is asking the ladies to cover thier bosoms; it is not commanding them to cover their heads and then cover their bosoms. This means that the concern of Shari'ah is covering of the chest as the Law does not always go into minute details. In Shari'ah, we find minimum possible directives. We are not given a complete list of everything that falls within the ambit of good and evil. There is no need to think of a good act in the lower terms if it has not been ordained by Allah. Our moral sense does guide us. Under the influence of this moral sense, women have been wearing head covering since ages. I just know it will perpetuate just as our moral sense is definitely going to perpetuate no matter if such perpetuation is on smaller scale. A downward movement in a civilization is a harbinger of the boom that will definitely pervail.

Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, March 10, 2004  -  1:38 AM Reply with quote
I do not agree with Jhangeer's opinion which in turn is Javed Ahmed Ghamidi sahib's opinion on this matter. I believe that while referring to the "Head-covering", the Quran is actually taking it as a given for women to observe.

quote:
This means that the concern of Shari'ah is covering of the chest as the Law does not always go into minute details.


If the concern of Shari'ah was only the covering of chest, there was absolutely no need to mention "Head-covering" in this verse.
nadya

USA
Posted - Wednesday, March 10, 2004  -  4:26 AM Reply with quote
I would say that there are several points to consider here:

1. The word used for 'head covering' in this ayat is 'Khumr'. In Arabic this word is specifically and only used for the head covering cloth. If God did not mean to direct towards the observance of head covering, usage of such a word seems unnecessary and a cause for confusion, charateristics that the word of God certainly do not possess.
The fact that this word is used and no other is in itself a pointer towards head covering.
I agree the Quran presupposes an intelligent reader, then this aspect of language was enough rather than a discourse about the issue.

2. The women of those times, before the advent of Islam, used to cover their head and let the rest of the cloth trail behind. Thus firstly there was no need to directly say 'cover your heads' or something to that effect but what was needed was to rectify the practice and the way this ayat is pronounced does just that. It presupposed the head covering and tells the women to cover their chests with it as well.

3. With a practice corrupted, Quran usually only pointed to the parts of it that had been corrupted. Like its tells the Jews to offer 'Ruku', since bowing was a practice that they had given up in praying.

4. Yes we have an innate criterion about good and evil. The need for a revealed criterion was to reaffirm that innate criterion and be a lighthouse in case of confusion or divergence.

However for some that innate guidance is not that clear, or there are matters in which our own guidance is not enough, and hence the need for revealed guidance.
I have seen that for many its the revealed guidance that clearly visualizes for them the moral criterion since their own for any number of reasons had been muddled, and hence leads to the clarification of their innate guidance.

Yes revealed guidance does not exhaust every sphere but then lays down enough guidlines that are needed, (and very clearly so). Then the argument can arise, especially in case of this ayat,of people interpreting guidelines differently.

And ofcourse, acts of morality that are not chalked out clearly should not be treated any less. However acts that have been chalked out attain the status of the binding word, a law, a regulation. A statement which attains the kind of reverence that is unmatched. Therefore the dimensions of what has been mentioned in letter should be clear.

My knowledge is limited and my expression weak. I hope I have conveyed clearly my point of view. I would be very pleased to read your reply. Please correct me if I have faltered in any way, and point out if I have not understood something right.

Thank you.

continuing courses from the website
www.al-mawrid.org
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, March 10, 2004  -  12:50 PM Reply with quote

I do not agree with Jhangeer's opinion which in turn is Javed Ahmed Ghamidi sahib's opinion on this matter. I believe that while referring to the "Head-covering", the Quran is actually taking it as a given for women to observe. If the concern of Shari'ah was only the covering of chest, there was absolutely no need to mention "Head-covering" in this verse.

The Holy Qur'an is employing what is in vogue to put across its message. The Noble Word needs human language and their practices to communicate the directives. It has talked about polygamy in case of orphans. This verse may be interpreted as to be promulgating polygamy whereas, in fact, it is only concerned with the welfare of the orphans. And since polygamy is in vogue--something prevalent--it is alluding to their practice in order to make life easeir for the widows and the orphans.

I give you another simple example. A father on seeing his son wearing untidy and wrinkled pants say: Beta, Hamaisha Dulhi hoin Pants Mahna Karo (Son, always wear clean and tidy pants). One may interpret this sentence to mean that the son is ordered to always wear pants and such interpretation cannot be precluded since the father is not here!

Anyhow, I again assert that we must acentuate that the Shari'ah had not explicitly said: cover your heads and your bosoms.

There is one question in my head. There are so many decent acts in our society, which we essentially comply with. We do not renounce them merely on the basis that these have not been clearly and expressly mentioned in the Book. I do not understand why to question head covering. Perhaps, its renunciation owes itself to the wave of feminism.




Edited by - jhangeer hanif on March 10 2004 16:07:50

Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, March 10, 2004  -  4:09 PM Reply with quote

The word used for 'head covering' in this ayat is 'Khumr'. In Arabic this word is specifically and only used for the head covering cloth. If God did not mean to direct towards the observance of head covering, usage of such a word seems unnecessary and a cause for confusion, charateristics that the word of God certainly do not possess.
The fact that this word is used and no other is in itself a pointer towards head covering


I agree the Quran presupposes an intelligent reader, then this aspect of language was enough rather than a discourse about the issue.

Will you please see my response which I have written in the above message regarding why this word has been used? Of course, we can discuss it further.

The women of those times, before the advent of Islam, used to cover their head and let the rest of the cloth trail behind

I agree that head covering was in vogue in pre-Islam Arabia.

Thus firstly there was no need to directly say 'cover your heads' or something to that effect but what was needed was to rectify the practice and the way this ayat is pronounced does just that. It presupposed the head covering and tells the women to cover their chests with it as well.


With a practice corrupted, Quran usually only pointed to the parts of it that had been corrupted. Like its tells the Jews to offer 'Ruku', since bowing was a practice that they had given up in praying.


And I also agree that the revelation does interfere in matters where mankind is not able or has failed to adhere to the right approach. This is exactly the point that I'd like to make. The Shari'ah has not taken up the issue of covering their heads yet it is clear that this practice should perpetuate. The Shari'ah does not talk about whether lions, horses and lizards are edibles yet we clearly know that they are not meant to be eaten. It is patently obvious that women should cover their heads. However, as long as the Shari'ah has not talked about head covering specifically, we cannot say that head covering is part of the Shari'ah. And you agree that the Shari’ah has not given any explicit directive. Obviously, only an express decree includes one practice within the circle of divinely ordained practices. We do not have any right to declare something part of Shari'ah.


Yes we have an innate criterion about good and evil. The need for a revealed criterion was to reaffirm that innate criterion and be a lighthouse in case of confusion or divergence.

The divergence on head covering seems to have arisen only recently. Even in Christian communities this practice has been adhered to and only recently been renounced.

Hence, just as there can be a difference of opinion on the matter of horses and donkeys, there can also be a difference on the matter of head covering. I am though certain that neither it is appropriate to eat horses nor is it appropriate to renounce head covering.

Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, March 11, 2004  -  3:24 AM Reply with quote
The Holy Qur'an is employing what is in vogue to put across its message. The Noble Word needs human language and their practices to communicate the directives. It has talked about polygamy in case of orphans. This verse may be interpreted as to be promulgating polygamy whereas, in fact, it is only concerned with the welfare of the orphans. And since polygamy is in vogue--something prevalent--it is alluding to their practice in order to make life easeir for the widows and the orphans.

It becomes very clear from the context that the verses about polygamy refer to a particular situation and not to be accepted as a norm. I don't think a parallel with the verses on women's dress code is appropriate in this case.

Another very important point is that if the Quran's intent was only to stress the necessity of covering the bosom, there was absolutely no
need to even hint at something-- "head-covering" or "veil" in this case"-- that would create mass confusion. In other words, if it only meant to
legislate about the covering of the bosom, it should have said something to this effect:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornamentsexcept what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should cover their
bosoms (Yusuf Ali)


instead of:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their
veils over their bosoms (Yusuf Ali)


I give you another simple example. A father on seeing his son wearing untidy and wrinkled pants say: Beta, Hamaisha Dulhi hoin Pants Mahna Karo (Son, always wear clean and tidy pants). One may interpret this sentence to mean that the son is ordered to always wear pants and such interpretation cannot be precluded since the father is not here!

So what you are saying is that there are two ways to interpret this sentence: The son is ordered to always wear pants or he is ordered to wear 'em clean and tidy whenever he does. However, this sentence, for anyone with a reasonable understanding of English, is clearly pointing to the second interpretation BUT in the case of the verses on "Head-covering", i don't see the matter as being so irrefutably evident. So here again the comparison is a bit inept.

Anyhow, I again assert that we must acentuate that the Shari'ah had not explicitly said: cover your heads and your bosoms.

You must realize that we don't need to be spoon-fed. I see it as a simple matter of deductive reasoning, which scholars of Islam use in explaining religious matters. You, just like everyone else, use it in explaining your view- point.

There is one question in my head. There are so many decent acts in our society, which we essentially comply with. We do not renounce them merely on the basis that these have not been clearly and expressly mentioned in the Book. I do not understand why to question head covering. Perhaps, its renunciation owes itself to the wave of feminism.

When an act, decent or otherwise, is merely a part of a society's traditions, it is just that; nothing more or less. It does not have divine backing which i am sure you can see makes immeasurable difference. Anyone can renounce a so called decent act as societies evolve and degenerate. A matter of such importance, in my opinion, cannot be left to society's traditions.

The Shari'ah has not taken up the issue of covering their heads yet it is clear that this practice should perpetuate.

If the Shari'ah has not taken up this issue, i see no reason for this practice to perpetuate. Someone could come up to you and say:
Just because it is your idea of a decent woman or perhaps a bunch of other backward bigots who think they have cornered the market on decency.
Alot of other people's idea of a decent woman may very well be someone who simply covers her bosom and doesn't wear revealing clothes.

The Shari'ah does not talk about whether lions, horses and lizards are edibles yet we clearly know that they are not meant to be eaten. It is patently obvious that women should cover their heads.

Again the comparison in my opinion is misplaced. It is not at all "patently obvious" that women should cover their heads. A highly subjective point about which no one can pass universal judgements unless Allah Himself clears the matter.

Hence, just as there can be a difference of opinion on the matter of horses and donkeys, there can also be a difference on the matter of head covering. I am though certain that neither it is appropriate to eat horses nor is it appropriate to renounce head covering.

You summed it up nicely. I think we can simply agree to disagree on this issue as i see it clearly as one way and you quite another.



Edited by - Razi Allah on March 11 2004 03:28:37


Edited by - Razi Allah on March 11 2004 03:32:29
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, March 11, 2004  -  8:21 PM Reply with quote

The whole issue revolves round the use of the word, Khumur.

You ask me why 'head-covering' has been used and not something else. And you contend that it creates confusion; therefore Allah should not have used this word if his objective was not promulgate head covering. I ask you why in explicit words Allah has not said: cover your heads and your bosoms? In other words, you need to see the difference between the sentences: use your head covering to cover your heads and your bosoms and use head covering to conver your bosoms.

I know you have commented on this in that we do not need to be spoon-fed. But just down this verse, we see the words:

Women may dislpay their ornanments to their HUSBANDS.

I ask you if we are not spoon-fed and left with hints why Allah is describing this exception, husbands. Do you think it would be unlawful for wives to display their beauty before their husbands?

I know this is just another example. You have rejected both examples given above. You have noted:

It becomes very clear from the context that the verses about polygamy refer to a particular situation and not to be accepted as a norm. I don't think a parallel with the verses on women's dress code is appropriate in this case.

However, this sentence, for anyone with a reasonable understanding of English, is clearly pointing to the second interpretation BUT in the case of the verses on "Head-covering", i don't see the matter as being so irrefutably evident. So here again the comparison is a bit inept.

Again the comparison in my opinion is misplaced. It is not at all "patently obvious" that women should cover their heads.


I do not deny that my comparison cannot be inept, misplaced or unparallel. But how it is so, I have failed to find anything in your comments to that effect. This is why I leave this matter to be further clarified by you. Why the Holy Qur'an has not just said: take care of orphans without referring to 'polygamy'. It should have avoided confusion by just saying the former sentence only.

You have further said:

A highly subjective point about which no one can pass universal judgements unless Allah Himself clears the matter.


Intresting point is that you will not find any directive to the effect of male and female interaction in the Bible. It is only the Holy Qur'an which takes up the issue and deals with it. Head covering was an issue, which was no ISSUE during the Prophet's time. Had the situation been like it is today, we would definitely been given a positive or negative verdict. Allah himself does clear the matter by intervening. But when? That is the question for you to consider.

Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Friday, March 12, 2004  -  5:11 PM Reply with quote
My inability to express myself lucidly has hindered understanding. I'll try to be more intelligble this time.

You write:
You ask me why 'head-covering' has been used and not something else. And you contend that it creates confusion; therefore Allah should not have used this word if his objective was not promulgate head covering. I ask you why in explicit words Allah has not said: cover your heads and your bosoms? In other words, you need to see the difference between the sentences: use your head covering to cover your heads and your bosoms and use head covering to conver your bosoms.

To me, this is something like this: I ask you to lets eat at McDonalds.
When asked to drive to McDonalds, you argue that the sentence doesn't say anything about going to McDonalds. All it says is to eat there. You insist that i should have said: Lets drive to McDonalds and lets eat at McDonalds.

I don't know if that made any sense.

You further write:
I know you have commented on this in that we do not need to be spoon-fed. But just down this verse, we see the words: Women may dislpay their ornanments to their HUSBANDS.
I ask you if we are not spoon-fed and left with hints why Allah is describing this exception, husbands. Do you think it would be unlawful for wives to display their beauty before their husbands?


In my humble opinion, the reason to mention husbands is a whole array of people being mentioned to whom women can display their beauty. Your objection would have been valid if the verse had mentioned only husbands. Lets see the complete picture:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. (Yusuf Ali, 24:31)

Omitting "husbands" from this list, which portends to be exhaustive, could have been problematic.

You state:
I do not deny that my comparison cannot be inept, misplaced or unparallel. But how it is so, I have failed to find anything in your comments to that effect. This is why I leave this matter to be further clarified by you. Why the Holy Qur'an has not just said: take care of orphans without referring to 'polygamy'. It should have avoided confusion by just saying the former sentence only.

Here are the relevant verses:

To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin. If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. (Yusuf Ali, 04:02- 03)

You will very easily find the answer to your question in these verses. The Quran actually first directs us "to take care of the orphans" and to deal with them justly without referring to marriage or polygany. Additionally, it gives another avenue in these words, If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four.
The conditional clause makes it clear that this is the second option afforded by the Quran and that too has been linked with the added condition of being just with the women. I do not see any confusion here just as i see no confusion in the verse under discussion.

You end your post with:
Intresting point is that you will not find any directive to the effect of male and female interaction in the Bible. It is only the Holy Qur'an which takes up the issue and deals with it. Head covering was an issue, which was no ISSUE during the Prophet's time. Had the situation been like it is today, we would definitely been given a positive or negative verdict. Allah himself does clear the matter by intervening. But when? That is the question for you to consider.

Here is the directive regarding head-covering in the Bible:

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven. For if a woman is not covered, let her be shaven. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. A man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man. For man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority over her head, because of the angels. (First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 11. Verses 3-10)

I didn't want to make a recourse to the Prophetic literature. You mention that it was no issue during the Prophet's (sws) time; quite on the contrary, i can show narratives where the Prophet (sws) has been reported to explicitly state the requirement of head-covering for women.

How and when has Allah intervened is for both of us to consider. In all earnestness, i submit that i could be dead wrong in my understanding and this discussion is not to win an argument but simply to have a fruitful exchange. I am always ready to reconsider my take on this or any other issue and we can both agree to disagree. Even if i am wrong, i hope I'll be forgiven for what matters is a sincerity of heart and mind. I hope and expect the same from you.









Edited by - Razi Allah on March 12 2004 17:14:30


Edited by - Razi Allah on March 12 2004 17:18:43
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Friday, March 12, 2004  -  11:44 PM Reply with quote
peace!!

very interesting!

we r patiently waiting for the conclusion by scholars; if there was any; which i doubt very much, as there seem to b equal no. of scholars 'For' and 'Against', or may b more for "For"

As it's still disputed even among scholars i thought i wud never dare to jump in but cudn't stay away as we r so directly effected, sp. since recently the issue has been so hot in this part of the world

i think most of us will hv to decide as per our understanding, after reading all this and more, available from reliable sources like this and others we trust; and finally, with purest intention asking Allah to guide us.
as then we may b in a state that Ali ibn e Abi Talib(may Allah b pleased with him)described;

the best Mufti is your heart

ones who hv already been covering heads wud probably feel safer to stick to it as the beloved sws guided that if in doubt, take safer course

its hard to take risk wen rope of life may end any sec!!

however today, while trying to spread the messge re: this beautiful Way of life(Deen)to the whole world , and to the younger generation growing up in multicultural environment,one may hv to consider watever flexible options r available to whichever extent, within the limits of Qura'n and Sunnah

and probably may hv to disregard the orthdox opinions like"if even a hair of a woman is seen by a stranger, the sweet and scented smell of Paradise wud never reach her"(source???)

rather convey that this hijab and covering matter, head or other parts of body,is all related to inner and outer purity ;
and as some of us wud say; a way to announce silently, that we r Muslims i.e. submissive to one Lord ; for that matter announcing our relationship to Abraham/Ibrahim (peace b upon His soul)??

hence we need to remain balanced as
Qura'n has called us 'Ummat e Wasat'
'A balanced Nation'
---in all ways i suppose

wassalaam

.

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