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hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Friday, March 12, 2004  -  11:48 PM Reply with quote
someone has asked me just now
what is mufti
i think the person who can give a Ruling, wud b the right translation in english?

.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, March 13, 2004  -  12:37 PM Reply with quote

Of course, the quest for truth should define our life while being imbued with humility and unassuming nature. Every end is indicative of a new beginning; this is at least what human history has shown so far. The Doomsday is the end of the earthly life yet it heralds a grand new beginning, the journey of the pure souls in the blissful world.

You write:

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.

This is the question that you yourself have answered in your post. You have noted: Omitting "husbands" from this list, which portends to be exhaustive, could have been problematic. This is exactly how the word Khimar should be understood. The Holy Qur'an while delineating the directives of Hijab have recorded each and every directive in explicit words. It is quite unlikely that it should leave one word amibiguos in the whole array of unequivocal words. It gives clear commands.

Ask the believers to guard their gaze Explicit

(ask them) to cover their private parts Explicit

Ask the believing ladies to guard their gaze Explicit

(ask them) to cover their private parts Explicit

They should not display their ornaments save those which are ordinarily displayed Explicit

They should draw their head covering over their bosoms. Implicit supposedly + Explicit

Following the trail of explicit directives, it is quite unitelligible that the Holy Qur'an should move on to take an impicit wording for head covering. In other other words, it should say: use head covering when it is implying cover your heads...

There is another thing to consider. The Holy Qur'an has exempted old ladies from this last directive later on. But it has not used the word Khimar there. Instead, it has independantly used Thuab (24:60). Had the original concern of Shari'ah been 'Khimar', something with which Arab women cover their heads, it should have used this word instead of Thaub. This means that the concern of the Shari'ah was to cover the bosoms with whatever means it is attained.

Yes, I do not deny that you cannot find anything in the Hadith literature about head covering. We do not find donkeys as forbidden species in the Holy Qur'an but the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have thrown over the pots of some people who would cook them. Similarly, it is only appropriate for ladies to cover their heads. What I have been saying is that the Shari'ah does not give an exhausitive list of all those deeds which should be done. Head covering is important, no doubt. But I cannot make it part of Shari'ah unless of course, we find it in the fundamental sources of Islam.

There are complete articles written by Christians on the importance of head covering. One can easliy find these on the Internet with references to the Bible. I was just saying that the Holy Qur'an has dealt with this issue of male and female interaction quite deeply like it was never touched before. In the sermon of the mount, Jesus (pbuh) has exhorted to guard the gaze like eyes first commit adultery and then goes the real crime.

What you have said about the verses on polygamy is quite right. The point was that the Qur'an does make references to the prevalent practices without any intention of promulgating them. The decisive factor, no doubt, is the context and the arrangment of the directives. Once we agree, the Holy Qur'an does refer to the current practices without such intention of legislating them, the only thing to see is whether this is the case with Khimar as well, something which I have been trying to show. I'd like this discussion to continue to the point I get convinced because, if I do, I would find it quite easy to explain the importance of head covering with reference in the Holy Qur'an.







Edited by - jhangeer hanif on March 13 2004 16:48:26

aslam

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, March 13, 2004  -  2:49 PM Reply with quote
Salams,
Looking forward to more and more of such enlightening and thought-provoking sparring!
Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, March 15, 2004  -  4:10 AM Reply with quote
They should not display their ornaments save those which are ordinarily displayed Explicit

This is an Implicit +Explicit directive in that "save those which are ordinarily displayed" is clearly an implicit referrence. Following your line of reasoning, the Quran should have stated in black-and-white those ornaments/adornements that are ordinarily displayed. There is considerable differenc of opinion among the scholars of yore, and even the contemporary ones, on "what is ordinarily displayed".
I am surprised as to why the Quran has left something "ambiguous in the whole array of unequivocal words". "what is ordinarily displayed" might be unambiguous to your mind but not to mine just as the requirement of "head-covering" is discernible to me from the verse under discussion but not to you.

There is another thing to consider. The Holy Qur'an has exempted old ladies from this last directive later on. But it has not used the word Khimar there. Instead, it has independantly used Thuab (24:60). Had the original concern of Shari'ah been 'Khimar', something with which Arab women cover their heads, it should have used this word instead of Thaub. This means that the concern of the Shari'ah was to cover the bosoms with whatever means it is attained.

It would be interesting to see how you understand the word "Thuab".

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 Allah is One Who sees and knows all things. (24:60, Yusuf Ali)

As for women past child-bearing, who have no hope of marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show adornment. But to refrain is better for them. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (24:60, Pickthal)

Would you care to give your understanding of this verse both from the philological as well as hermeneutical aspect? I expect you would not use any deductive reasoning in your explanation. Also, what is your understanding of the word "Jilbab"?

Yes, I do not deny that you cannot find anything in the Hadith literature about head covering. We do not find donkeys as forbidden species in the Holy Qur'an but the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have thrown over the pots of some people who would cook them. Similarly, it is only appropriate for ladies to cover their heads. What I have been saying is that the Shari'ah does not give an exhausitive list of all those deeds which should be done. Head covering is important, no doubt. But I cannot make it part of Shari'ah unless of course, we find it in the fundamental sources of Islam.

So according to you, since we don't find donkeys as forbidden species in the Holy book, it is only appropriate not to eat donkeys. If someone does eat 'em, it can only be deemed inappropriate just as "it is only appropriate for ladies to cover their heads". Is this the kind of comparison you are doing? "Head-covering" is important to you even if it is, as you say, not a part of the Shari'ah, but it raises a number of crucial questions:

Why should it remain important today?
Without divine backing, important is a relative term, isn't it?
If women of today no longer consider it a so-called decent Muslim practice and they can still be within the realm of decency while discarding this practice, why should it be considered desirable to adhere to it?

Here's a syllogism:
(1) You say: The Quran doesn't give an exhaustive list of all those deeds which should be done.

(2) I say: The Quran does list Important deeds that should or shouldn't be done and where human intellect could err (don't misconstrue this statement as implying that the Quran is simply a laundry list of do's and dont's).

(3) You say: Head covering is important, no doubt.

(4) I say: The Quran has promulgated "Head-covering" because, see (2)

Hadith is a secondary source of Islam and we find the Prophet's (sws) explanation and annotation of Quranic verses in this corpus. This is what he has been reported to have said about the issue at hand:

A’isha said: Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (May peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol 3, No 4092)

Just to clarify, Abu Dawud said: This is a mursal tradition (i.e. the narrator who transmitted it from A’isha is missing) Khalid b. Duraik did not see A’isha).

I was just saying that the Holy Qur'an has dealt with this issue of male and female interaction quite deeply like it was never touched before.

This is what you had written:
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.

I guess this is just a matter of a more careful choice of words, something of which we should all be mindful.

What you have said about the verses on polygamy is quite right. The point was that the Qur'an does make references to the prevalent practices without any intention of promulgating them. The decisive factor, no doubt, is the context and the arrangment of the directives. Once we agree, the Holy Qur'an does refer to the current practices without such intention of legislating them, the only thing to see is whether this is the case with Khimar as well, something which I have been trying to show.

The Holy Quran has referred to the then prevelant practice of polygany and has in fact legislated not in favor of it but against not having it as an option. The wisdom conatined therein is for everyone to see. Somewhat in a different manner, it has legislated in favor of "Head-covering" and the wisdom in it is for everyone to see.

I'd like this discussion to continue to the point I get convinced because, if I do, I would find it quite easy to explain the importance of head covering with reference in the Holy Qur'an.

And my purpose is to alter my understanding if it is based on shaky grounds. It would not be easy for you to explain the importance of "Head-covering" just as it is not easy to explain the importance and wisdom of a number of other Quranic directives, not least of which is the right of "Nushuz" given to men. It really depends on the audience; their state of mind and willingness to understand. I do reckon, however, that a genuine difference of opinion can exist.


Salam hkhan,
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"
I am no scholar but from whatever i have read, i have gathered that the difference of opinion is not in point of the requirement of "Head-covering" but regarding the "complete veil" or "Niqab" or 'face-covering", if you will. Some classical and contemporary scholars derive the requirement of "Niqab" from some verses. However, barring some feminist "scholars", i have yet to see any other scholar who doesn't consider "Head-covering" necessary. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi sahib is the first scholar of high intellectual merit who has arrived at this opinion and that too rather recently. Even his learned teacher had the same view as i am trying to advocate. Perhaps one could mention Muhammad Asad as a possible exception but he too is rather vague in his note on this verse --- 24:31--- but still comes across as not accepting "Head-covering" as obligatory. I may be wrong and if there are or were other reputable scholars having the same view, i would look forward to stand corrected.


In the end i would quote a reply to a relevant question by Mr Shehzad Saleem. He has dealt with the issue quite well. May Allah grant us the courage to accept the truth as it is.

Question: I am a student of the Qur’an. After going through it many many times, I have come to the conclusion that nowhere does it mention that women should cover their heads. In the following verse, God is asking women to cover their bosoms with a Khimar (a dress, a coat, a shawl, a shirt, a scarf, etc.), not their heads or their hair.
And tell believing women to lower their eyes, and maintain their chastity. They shall not reveal any parts of their bodies, except that which is necessary. They shall cover their chests, [with their Khimar] and shall not relax this code in the presence of other than their husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, other women, the male servants or employees whose sexual drive has been nullified, or the children who have not reached puberty... (24:31)
After all the Almighty does not run out of words. If He required of the believing women to cover their heads, He would have clearly said so. Is not then covering the head a cultural tradition? Is it not that it is this tradition which scholars have erroneously identified with Islam? Please comment.

Answer: You see it is imperative while interpreting the verses of the Qur’an to determine the addressee of a particular verse otherwise one is bound to end up misinterpreting the verse. The address in the Qur’an changes among the various groups present (Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hypocrites), and if one reflects on the context of a verse and has a flare for the language of this Divine masterpiece, it is not difficult to grasp who among the groups is addressed.
As far as 24:31 is concerned, it is obvious from its very first words that the believing women of the Prophet’s times are addressed. The Arabic word used for believing women is ‘Al-Mu’minat’. People normally translate this word without taking into account the article ‘Al’ (alif-lam) appended to the word ‘Mu’minat’. The particle ‘Al’ if properly translated together with the word ‘Mu’minat’ to which it is attached would mean ‘these believing women’ and not ‘believing women’. The phrase ‘these believing women’ obviously refers to the believing women who were present at the time these verses were revealed. It is an established historical fact the believing women of those times used to wear a khimar (a covering) on their heads and then made it fall along their bodies without covering their chests. It is they who are addressed and told that they must cover their chests as well.
In other words, since the directive is given to women who already covered their heads but did not cover their chests, it was not required to mention the covering of the head. So the point which needs to be understood is that while translating these verses one must give due consideration to the word ‘Al-Mu’minat’ and see in what form believing women already dressed and what was the additional directive given to them.
Moreover, the nature of this directive is such that it cannot be confined to the believing women of the Prophet’s times: it pertains to every believing women. All directives which have moral implications are general. For example if it had been said in the Qur’an that ‘these believing women should always uphold the truth and never lie’, then though the believing women of a particular age are addressed, it obviously cannot be concluded that believing women of later times are not bound by this directive.
Therefore, in my opinion, covering the head is neither a cultural tradition nor the product of some scholar: It is the purport of the Qur’an.










Edited by - Razi Allah on March 15 2004 04:44:04


Edited by - Razi Allah on March 15 2004 04:48:28
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Monday, March 15, 2004  -  6:11 PM Reply with quote
jazak'Allah for time from both of u
pls carry on your healthy discussion/arguement as i'm sure its helping many

as far as javed sb is concerned, and as i told one of my my sisters who asked me recently(v. angrily!!) to send his opinion to her, one must read his other research work re: basics like Qura'n n Sunnah first before reading his opinion about head cover or other disputive issues;
b/c its only then that one can understand/recognize that a person who has done the research work of such high standard and calibre within such restricted limits of Allah's and His beloved's sws Word, cannot b talking out of blue wen he talks about head cover--
there must b a solid ground for this. so its the matter of trust as well.

i hv noticed that after many lectures of his the only and one dua' he has asked persistently is "rabbana la tuzegh quloobana ba'da iz hadaitana..." o Allah pls do not turn our hearts to wrong after guiding us to right...)
I hope and pray Allah has not let him go astray while giving this ruling then. insha'Allah

re: shehzad saleem's opinion, as far as i know this reply from him was a few yrs back
i think his opinion is not different from javed sb's now after his research work

wud b nice to hear from the horse's mouth though

may Allah guide all of us to His Paradise, in all aspects. amen

in my situation atleast javed sb's opinion has helped me stop rushing to the doors of the changing room in operating theatres calling people to give me a surgical cap before i cud step out to the shelf a few steps ahead in the corridoor. to get the cap myself while switching over from the head scarf to the cap
and then nonmuslim staff around frowning n asking"what happens dr. khan if aur hair is shown for a while while getting to ur surgical cap? is it something like sikhs that they will b punished if their hair was seen?"

(i know many wud say why can't u keep a couple of surgical caps handy, and i do that as well, but i just mentioned this occasional situation for an example of situations many of us must b facing in day to day life and we ought to b v. clear what is actually the logic behind this head cover so that we do not convict our sisters who wud rather like to wear a hat or another sort of head cover instead of the typical scarf only, as per dress/culture of the country/area and may hv to b in situations where keeping the rest of the body covered as such, head cover may hv to b flexible on and off- and this helps to make our nonmuslim colleagues understand as well why we cover our heads, when we explain to them the concept of modesty in islam, including inner and outer purity of self and society
i hv seen this also takes away their resentment against head cover and they sound more understanding and cooperative once the logic re: this matter reaches them

wassalaam/peace

.
Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, March 16, 2004  -  2:45 PM Reply with quote
Salam hkhan,

as far as javed sb is concerned, and as i told one of my my sisters who asked me recently(v. angrily!!) to send his opinion to her, one must read his other research work re: basics like Qura'n n Sunnah first before reading his opinion about head cover or other disputive issues

You have very rightly pointed out an extremely important principle for studying Javed sb's approach towards understanding Islam. What normally happens is that people get to know his opinions on the most disputive and sensitive of issues without any perspective on his overall approach. Hence the first reaction is that of sheer disbelief and vituperative sckepticism.
To pass a fair judgement on Javed sb or, for that matter, any other intellectual scholar/researcher of high calibre, one first needs to develop an appreciation of his Weltanschauung, epistemology and hermeneutical principles. That done, an application of his principles should be meticulously studied in relation to the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith and Fiqh. The whole excercise would assuredly be iterative for it is a highly cerebral excercise. Undeniably, there would be disagreement in details or application of his principles but this method would atleast allay the concerns and pacify the reactions of most of his unwitting detractors.

b/c its only then that one can understand/recognize that a person who has done the research work of such high standard and calibre within such restricted limits of Allah's and His beloved's sws Word, cannot b talking out of blue when he talks about head cover-- there must b a solid ground for this. so its the matter of trust as well.

I fully agree with the first part of your statement that he cannot be talking out of the blue when he talks of head-cover, and this is not what i intended when i wrote that this a a recent development in his thought. Whatever little i have in terms of the understanding of Islam and the impetus to learn more, i owe it to him and his learned students. However, it is when you write: there must b a solid ground for this. so its the matter of trust as well, that i find myself in slight disagreement with you. Naturally, one comes to repose trust in a particular scholar after continuous exposure to and study of his/her ideas and this is an ineluctable progression but one must avoid the pitfall of blind complacency. Trust you must but saying that "there MUST be a solid ground for his opinion", without subjecting it to analytical rigour, is a premature statement. This is where trust starts turning into uncritical acquiescence and it can be tolerated for people with little education, intellect and exposure but not for such highly educated and discerning individuals as yourself.

shehzad saleem's opinion, as far as i know this reply from him was a few yrs back

I am quite sure that Shehzad sb's opinon on this matter has undergone a metamorphosis since the writing of that response, and it now squares with Javed sb's. My only point in quoting him was that i still find his reasoning quite compelling and his evidence incontrovertible.




Edited by - Razi Allah on March 16 2004 14:50:51
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, March 16, 2004  -  8:51 PM Reply with quote

The Holy Qur’an says why it is that the Muslims do not fight for the feeble/the oppressed among the men and the women and the children (4:75).

This is an evident directive of the Lord asking the Muslims to fight yet there can be a difference of opinion about the ‘application’ of this directive. In other words, we definitely need to ascertain who are really the oppressed or the feeble and it is an arena where a difference of opinion may arise. But no one will call that the directive itself is implicit.

I am amazed to read that the clear words ‘save what is ordinarily displayed’ can be part of an implicit directive. The Holy Qur’an has evidently said that women should not use display their ornaments but which are normally revealed. No doubt, what is normally revealed is subject to debate and deliberation but I do not know if the directive itself can be termed implicit.

The words ‘Draw your head-covering over your bosom’ should be carefully read. You are considering an implied clause within this sentence. ‘Wear head covering and draw it over your bosoms.’ And this is why I have said: Implicit +Explicit . Is this the case with ‘save what is ordinarily displayed’?

You write:

It would be interesting to see how you understand the word "Thuab".

I think I did write my understanding of this word. The verse 24:60 exempts the old ladies, who are beyond marriage age, from the directive of covering their bosoms though it is still desirable for them to do so. Here a general word, Thaub (cloth, garment), has been used instead of Khimar. Thaub does not have the connotation of head covering, I think you would agree. This shows that the original concern of the Shariah is not Khimar but the directive given about covering of the bosoms.

Here is a very interesting point to note. I do not know what you understand of this verse by quoting translation outer garment . However, from both translations that you have quoted, we learn that Allah has make an exemption for the old ladies, which means that it would not be going against the Law if they do not comply with a certain directive, yet Allah says: it is better for them to cover. An act should not only be done when it is IMPERATIVE. One can abide by decent acts and these will still be desirable.

You ask me to give an explanation of the word at hand in the perspective of philological and hermeneutical aspects. I am sorry I am not the right person for that. I really do not know the exact implication of these two words not to mention giving explanation in the perspective of both.

Jilbab means Caadar . This word has been used in 33:59. If you state your concerns in this regard, I would be better able to respond.

You write:

So according to you, since we don't find donkeys as forbidden species in the Holy book, it is only appropriate not to eat donkeys. If someone does eat 'em, it can only be deemed inappropriate…

Yes, you are right. It is inappropriate to eat donkeys.

You further write:

just as "it is only appropriate for ladies to cover their heads". Is this the kind of comparison you are doing?


Yes, it is exactly the kind of comparison I am trying to make.


Why it should remain important today?

Because it is the immanent part of Islamic civilization. And because Muslim women have been wearing head covering under their innate concept of Haya (modesty) all through these ages.

Without divine backing, important is a relevant term, isn’t it?

Yes it is.

Why it should be consider desirable to adhere to?

Explained above in response to question two.

If some ladies do not consider that head covering has anything to do with modesty and to them, the Islamic civilization has no value, we can do nothing about it; people are missing their obligatory prayers, which is evidently obligatory and can we do nothing about it? For such ladies, we however cannot change our stance. If a couple contends that it is not the Law which binds them to get married with the consent of their parents, I will agree to them. However I will explain to them that they should not proceed with marriage on their own; the marriage should only be solemnized with the consent of their parents. This is another beautiful ‘form’ which is an immanent part of Islamic civilization.

I will respond to your syllogism if you answer my one question.

Do you mean by ‘deeds’ the actual ‘acts’ described in the Holy Qur’an as important ones or deeds falling under the general category made up by some general verdict?


What the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has said is what every elder of a family should explain to his family members. And this is why the head covering is also important to me. If however you believe that whatever the Holy Prophet (pbuh) constitutes the Shari’ah, we should discuss this standing first.


I thank you for pointing out a mistake in my wording. I apologize for choosing carelessly some words. However, when I read what you had quoted from the Bible, I wanted to ask you if you had brought something to the ‘effect of male and female interaction’. I mean what you have quoted clearly relates to the context of worship. And the quotation was also unintelligible in offering that ‘woman’ is the glory of ‘man’, therefore it should wear head covering. Anyhow I knew that there are things which could be presented as regards male and female interaction. Therefore I clarified further my viewpoint with one example from the Bible, a clarification which, it seems, turned out to be insufficient.

cherim

USA
Posted - Wednesday, March 17, 2004  -  4:16 AM Reply with quote
Salam alaikum evryone. I am new muslim and still trying to perfect my eman but since I have read the Holy Quran and embraced islam . My belief is that women should always wear hijab because it is in the Quran for women to cover their hair that makes it law and I also feel if a woman chooses to it makes her feel closer to Allah . I always wear hijab and stand proud insha allah all muslim women will feel that way or atleast not worried what people think which is a problem in my town .
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, March 17, 2004  -  11:26 AM Reply with quote

I also feel if a woman chooses to it makes her feel closer to Allah.

I agree. May you feel closer to Allah each day that passes you by.

On the point of what is Law and what is not, I however think we should be very careful. Because if it is Law and we consider it not; Allah will hold us accountable and coversely, if it is not Law and we make it, that would be tantamount to assuming the position of God.

Razi Allah

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, March 18, 2004  -  3:59 AM Reply with quote
I don't know what created confusion in my previous post; this is what i wrote:

This is an Implicit +Explicit directive in that "save those which are ordinarily displayed" is clearly an implicit referrence.

What i was getting at is that the directive in itself might be clear BUT the implicit reference is a part of this directive which makes it easily susceptible to disagreement. Therefore, the argument of unambiguous and unequivocal reference doesn't work.
Likewise, i believe that the directive of "drawing head-covering over their bosoms" is explicit but the reference to "Head-covering" is an implicit directive subject to debate.

I think I did write my understanding of this word. The verse 24:60 exempts the old ladies, who are beyond marriage age, from the directive of covering their bosoms though it is still desirable for them to do so. Here a general word, Thaub (cloth, garment), has been used instead of Khimar. Thaub does not have the connotation of head covering, I think you would agree. This shows that the original concern of the Shariah is not Khimar but the directive given about covering of the bosoms.

There was a reason for my asking you for your understanding of this verse. Your insistence on the use of the same word is uncalled for since it is a divine prerogative. I can reverse it and ask you why, if the Quran's sole intent was the promulgation of the directive of chest-covering, did it use "Khumr" in 24:31? It should have simply used "Thaub" to convey its intent. And we will get into a never-ending loop of circular-reasoning.

Here is a very interesting point to note. I do not know what you understand of this verse by quoting translation outer garment . However, from both translations that you have quoted, we learn that Allah has make an exemption for the old ladies, which means that it would not be going against the Law if they do not comply with a certain directive, yet Allah says: it is better for them to cover. An act should not only be done when it is IMPERATIVE. One can abide by decent acts and these will still be desirable.

I never disputed the fact that abiding by decent acts, prima facie, is desirable. What i said was that the definiton of decency is as varied as human thought itself, and in this particular case, the Almighty Himself has stated what is decent and modest.

Jilbab means Caadar . This word has been used in 33:59. If you state your concerns in this regard, I would be better able to respond.

I am unaware of the word "Caadar". Could you please explain it further. You might be referring to "Chaddar" but i am not sure. I see 33:59 as a situational directive, hinging upon peculiar circumstances. My concern was the use of the word "Jilbab". Seeing your insistence on the usage of a particular word, i am beginning to think why the Quran didn't use "Khumr" in place of "Jilbab" in 33:59, or conversly, "jilbab" in 24:31. Since you say that the usage of "Khumr" was simply a reference to an existing practice among Arab women, "Jilbab" too was a prevalent practice among decent Arab women. Why the choice of "Khumr" and not "Jilbab" in 24:31, especially when, as Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi notes, "jilbab" was generally worn by women while going outside? To me, it is a clear case of choosing "Khumr" as the preferred code of dress which has been made mandatory by the Quran in giving a universal directive vis-a-vis etiquette of dress for women.

For me, it is not JUST inappropriate to eat donkeys; rather it is amongst the prohibitions of nature. Just as it is not just inappropriate to eat lions, tigers, hyenas, skunks etc but our nature's abhorrence points to their prohibiton.

Because it is the immanent part of Islamic civilization. And because Muslim women have been wearing head covering under their innate concept of Haya If some ladies do not consider that head covering has anything to do with modesty and to them, the Islamic civilization has no value, we can do nothing about it; people are missing their obligatory prayers, which is evidently obligatory and can we do nothing about it? For such ladies, we however cannot change our stance. If a couple contends that it is not the Law which binds them to get married with the consent of their parents, I will agree to them. However I will explain to them that they should not proceed with marriage on their own; the marriage should only be solemnized with the consent of their parents. This is another beautiful ‘form’ which is an immanent part of Islamic civilization. (modesty) all through these ages.

I see it as a dismantling of history, that it is simply an immanent part of Islamic civilization and that Muslim women have been wearing head covering ONLY because it is an innate concept of Haya. What you are doing is conflating your opinoin with the conduct of women from the advent of Islam till today. It is like saying: Muslims have been cutting hands of thieves because of a strong sense of justice which has always been a part of Islamic civilization. Well, it surely is justice to do so but from where Muslims have been deriving this concept is not their innate sense of justice but the book of Allah. Similarly, Muslim scholars have throughout considered "Head-covering" obligatory and that is why they do not even go into justifying its observance when commenting on 24:31. They take it as a given and move on. And this is precisely the source from where Muslim women throughout history have drawn the concept of "Head-covering" which for them has also become a concept of Haya.
The question of parental consent in marriage is debatable. I am not saying that i disagree with you; just that it is your opinion and hence you will justify it through the civilizational route.

Do you mean by ‘deeds’ the actual ‘acts’ described in the Holy Qur’an as important ones or deeds falling under the general category made up by some general verdict?

I couldn't understand the implication of the underlined statement of yours. Would you care to elaborate with an example?

What the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has said is what every elder of a family should explain to his family members. And this is why the head covering is also important to me. If however you believe that whatever the Holy Prophet (pbuh) constitutes the Shari’ah, we should discuss this standing first.

I don't think of it as a mere explanation of a family-elder to his family. I see it as the explanation of a Quranic directive. I don't believe that whatever the Prophet(sws) utters constitutes Shari'ah. However, i do believe that he explains and annotates Shari'ah in the best possible way and that's what he's done here. If you try to understand this hadith with a preconceived interpretation, i.e. "Head-covering" not being obligatory, you will have to explain it away.











Edited by - Razi Allah on March 18 2004 04:07:11
aslam

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, March 18, 2004  -  8:30 PM Reply with quote
Salams,
Ghamidi Sahib,s opinion about Hijab has provoked a very strong reaction,in some cases "vituperative skepticism"as Razi Allah put it, in some circles.Not to talk of the "vituperative flak"Ghamidi Sahib,s opinion about Hijab has elicited,Some Serious scholars have taken exception to Ghamidi,s opinion and this mostly to his opinions expressed in newspapers, interviews.I have yet to come across a detailed and scholarly work by Ghamidi Sahib or his students.The scholars at Al-Mawrid have done commendable research on 'Tasweer" and "Islam and Musiq'.A researched and scholarly work on "Hijab" is overdue.Is it forthcoming?
Junaidj

CANADA
Posted - Friday, March 19, 2004  -  2:14 PM Reply with quote
The issue of head covering was non-existent in the prophetic age as well as later during the Golden Age of Islam. The head cover was almost universal in those ages and so the issue was non-existent or perhaps too anachronistic and uninteresting for any luminary’s attention.

But, when change occurred and the head cover remained no more universal during the last century, there was no celebrated Ghazzali or Ibn Taymmiah to comment. But had these giants dealt with the issue we would still have debated. :)

For poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.

Even the issue of the beard, which had risen earlier than the head veil has become more pressing with the advent of the modern technology that is called a ‘Mach III – the best a man can get’. :)

Let us consider the beard before the head veil.

Shez writes on the beard:

Abu ‘Umamah reports from the Prophet: ‘Clip your moustaches and lengthen your beards and do not follow these People of the Book’. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hambal, vol. 5 p. 264)

…the directive of growing a beard occurs in tandem with the directive of clipping the moustache. This paired mention adds a certain stress to the whole directive. It has NOT been said: ‘Grow a beard’, in which case the directive would mean … Muslims must grow beards

http://www.renaissance.com.pk/mayq205.htm

This indicates that command related to the beard must be EXPLICIT

One may extend the same logic to the head veil

However, then some questions arise?

1) When a man is NOT required to cover his head while praying, is a woman required to cover her's while praying? And if so why? And will it have any bearing on the issue at hand.

2) Another question that arises is that why did the Divine use two words, head veil and cloak, i.e., KHIMR and THAUB respectively? Is it poetic license or is there something more to it?

The reason for this question is that most probably both young and old women wore the head veil in 7th century Arabia, then why use different words?

3) Has the Divine used different words for some other term and if so, does it have a bearing on his directives related to those?

So far I lean toward the head veil NOT being part of the law despite the above questions.

The reason is that other directives as to physical cleanliness were strongly promoted in the imperative and hence EXPLICIT.

But beard was not done so, and hence beard is not part of the Divine law.

Likewise for head veil, by analogical deduction


Edited by - junaidj on March 19 2004 14:21:17
khargoshjr

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Friday, March 26, 2004  -  12:51 AM Reply with quote
salams
the other day wen it was my canoeing session, my instructor offered that i cud bring my family along
so my mum, baba, and my two teenage sisters joined too
my mother and sisters wear scarves
for canoeing all of us were given wet suits to wear
the ladies of my family managed that with life jackets on top. they were relieved because it helped to cover better.
they were also given helmets which they wore over the scarves
we were obviously going v. fast
my middle sister got worried of her flying scarff from her back, she let go of the string to put it right, holding the string just with one hand
and there she went, zoom!!!up in the air with a scream,landing straight in water.
luckily/alhamdulilla, she is a swimmer 'n the steamer was close by
so she was pulled up

i just thought my mum was right wen she was advicing my sisters before the session that not to worry about the scarves in particular,as they were nicely covered from head to toe
and also wearing helmets on top!!!but my aunties frowned at her as they think she is impressed by ghamidi sb's ideas lately, re: head cover

wat do ya guys tink???
my dear and precious 'thinking tanks'...
thankful regards
Mohammad Thomas Basil
nadya

USA
Posted - Saturday, March 27, 2004  -  5:13 AM Reply with quote
Asalamu Alaykum

Quran addresses the ordinary man and women, its purpose is to guide every man and woman. The style of language it adopts is therefore that of man's literature and not of logic or science or any specific sphere of our categories of knowledge. I am not saying that Quran does not possess the marvels of reasoning or that its does not contain cosmological truths, ofcourse the book of the Creator would by its very nature contain such truths.
We must remember that it is a book of moral guidance, employing abstract logic in its understanding is being unfair to it. More often that not I have seen the cyclical nature of pure logic, reverse arguments can be advocated on rhetoric logic and logical claims and more often than not I feel that such logic was not that which the Quran ever applied or the Prophets in their preaching, rather the rational faculty of man with emphasis to his, I would say 'sensible reasoning' highlighted.
The student of the Quran is not a promptor of philosophy!

There is no one scholar, there is no one school of thought, there is no truly comprehensive one man authored book! Just because one man or woman is very learned does not imply that all others never were or arent and neither does that imply that his/her knowledge is comprehensive and his/her conclusions true! The biggest reason of the intellectual stagnation of Muslims has been that they have let a few men and women do their thinking for them! On the Day of Judgement we will be asked about our personal intentions, endeavours, and beliefs. To entrust someone else with personal salvation is too big a gamble. I am not saying that every man and woman should be a scholar and I do acknowledge the differences in learning and knowledge but I fail to understand the phenomena of acceptance of ideas merely because they were advocated by a person who one may revere ! Allah has given us intellect and He asks us repeatedly to use it so I suggest that we should and then evaluate the merit of the purposed theory and judge it with a clear mind and clear intentions and then arrive at a conclusion regarding it, which may I say would not signal the end of this endeavour, but it shall go on.



Edited by - nadya on March 27 2004 05:15:23
hkhan

UNITED KINGDOM
Posted - Saturday, March 27, 2004  -  6:44 PM Reply with quote
peace
i think thomas's mum's adoption of a scholar's opinion is based on the fact i mentioned in one of my previous postings here vide infra:
"one must read his other research work re: basics like Qura'n n Sunnah first before reading his opinion about head cover or other disputive issues;
b/c its only then that one can understand/recognize that a person who has done the research work of such high standard and calibre within such restricted limits of Allah's and His beloved's sws Word, cannot b talking out of blue wen he talks about head cover--
there must b a solid ground for this. so its the matter of trust as well."

if one has been reading ghamidi sb's/shehzad sb's/moiz sb's research work/opinions for a while including v. basic facts like history of Qura'n, authenticity of Sunnah and many more; (or as a matter of fact any other scholar's, he/she trusts is working in accordance with the Word of Allah and the beloved sws, )
then,wen they talk about propping up issues like this or others and give their opinion, one wud think they hv been working on it for a while, and know wat i hv read about the subject from Qura'n and Prophet's Sunnah better, as well as hv been spending more time on it than did i;
besides one wud check that it does not contradict the basic islamic teachings and logic about that issue, will ask Allah to guide and finally agree with that opinion.
i'm sure if intention is to stay on sira't e mustaqeem/the right track, Allah will not let go astray insha'Allah
just a humble thought
open to comments


.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Thursday, April 01, 2004  -  9:36 AM Reply with quote

I am sorry for the delayed response.

quote:

I don't know what created confusion in my previous post; this is what i wrote:

This is an Implicit +Explicit directive in that "save those which are ordinarily displayed" is clearly an implicit referrence.

What i was getting at is that the directive in itself might be clear BUT the implicit reference is a part of this directive which makes it easily susceptible to disagreement. Therefore, the argument of unambiguous and unequivocal reference doesn't work.
Likewise, i believe that the directive of "drawing head-covering over their bosoms" is explicit but the reference to "Head-covering" is an implicit directive subject to debate.


My point is simply that the directive in question is not mentioned in words. We are inferring. In case of 'those which appear ordinarily thereof', the directive itself is mentioned, though there can debate as to the nature of 'what appears ordinarity thereof'. In simple words, the point of contention is not the 'nature of head covering; how it should be, its color,or size etc. The directive itself is debatable. Even in case of 'private parts', there is a debate among the scholars. But this does not make the directive of 'covering private parts' implicit. Does it?

quote:

Your insistence on the use of the same word is uncalled for since it is a divine prerogative. I can reverse it and ask you why, if the Quran's sole intent was the promulgation of the directive of chest-covering, did it use "Khumr" in 24:31? It should have simply used "Thaub" to convey its intent. And we will get into a never-ending loop of circular-reasoning.


It is interesting to see that insistence has been attributed to me. I think you yourself vehemently asserted that since the Holy Qur'an has used a specific word, Khimar, therefore head covering is promulgated. Your whole point loses worth if you happen to believe that usage of any word is merely a divine prerogative.

Words, to me, are nevertheless important since there is no other means to know about the will of God though one has to find out 'why' any word has been used. It is the quest which should represent one's life.


quote:

I am unaware of the word "Caadar". Could you please explain it further. You might be referring to "Chaddar" but i am not sure.


Yes, it is Chaadar just as the sound 'Ch' is found in Al-Pacino though I now feel I should not have guessed the sound merely on an italian name.

quote:

I see 33:59 as a situational directive, hinging upon peculiar circumstances. My concern was the use of the word "Jilbab". Seeing your insistence on the usage of a particular word, i am beginning to think why the Quran didn't use "Khumr" in place of "Jilbab" in 33:59, or conversly, "jilbab" in 24:31. Since you say that the usage of "Khumr" was simply a reference to an existing practice among Arab women, "Jilbab" too was a prevalent practice among decent Arab women. Why the choice of "Khumr" and not "Jilbab" in 24:31


There is a difference between Khimar and Jilbab. Khimar means Head covering and Jilbab means Chaadar or Shawl.

Khimar: Something with which women cover their heads. (Muheetul Muheet, Page 254)

Jilbab: A large piece of Cloth (Chaadar). (Muheetul Muheet, page 115)

It is a difference that I still observe in our cultural. Muslim ladies do not cover themselves with Chaadar while they are home and with Dupata only instead. It is only when they would leave for outside that they cover themselves with a large piece of cloth, which is termed Chaadar in Urdu. Similarly, in Arabia, it seems that Khimar was not not a garment for outside. Because, being in the relaxed environment of home, they be would somewhat careless in covering their chest, which is obviously inappropriate no matter if it is home. Zamakashri writes:

Their neck would be too large, from which there neckline and chest and whatever was around these would appear. And they would lower their Khimar backward, which would reveal their front, i.e. chest. So they were commanded to lower their Khimar on their front side so that they cover the chest. [commentary on 24:33]

It is obvious that the Holy Qur'an corrected one inappropriate practice. Since covering the head was not an issue at that time as it appears from the explanation quoted above, the Holy Qur'an did not give any verdict against/in favor of the head covering.

However, the fact that the Qur'an has left the issue untouched does not negate the importance of head covering, since there are many important acts which are not decreed in the Shari'ah yet there are so much importantance attached to them.


quote:

For me, it is not JUST inappropriate to eat donkeys; rather it is amongst the prohibitions of nature. Just as it is not just inappropriate to eat lions, tigers, hyenas, skunks etc but our nature's abhorrence points to their prohibiton.


Can you please explain the mere notion of 'nature'? And how you substantiate that it is among the 'prohibitions' to eat the animals in question? You have often implied that the importance of head covering is no importance if it is not backed by divine decrees. How can your notion of prohibiton be correct if it is not backed by divine revelation? I request you to present some tangible reference to the prohibition of eating these animals. And what is your view of lizards, snakes, monkeys, special delacies of the some eastern countries?

quote:

I see it as a dismantling of history, that it is simply an immanent part of Islamic civilization and that Muslim women have been wearing head covering ONLY because it is an innate concept of Haya. What you are doing is conflating your opinoin with the conduct of women from the advent of Islam till today. It is like saying: Muslims have been cutting hands of thieves because of a strong sense of justice which has always been a part of Islamic civilization. Well, it surely is justice to do so but from where Muslims have been deriving this concept is not their innate sense of justice but the book of Allah.
quote:



If Muslims are deriving cutting off hands from the Book of Allah, they have been presenting it throughout the Muslim history and not today. The question for us is, whether throughtout the Muslim history, the importance of head-covering has been presented as derived from the Book of Allah, which you yourself negate in words:


quote:

Similarly, Muslim scholars have throughout considered "Head-covering" obligatory and that is why they do not even go into justifying its observance when commenting on 24:31. They take it as a given and move on. And this is precisely the source from where Muslim women throughout history have drawn the concept of "Head-covering" which for them has also become a concept of Haya.


It is so interesting what the Holy Qur'an left implicit was also left by the scholars as implicit.


The prayer, Salah, refers to an important act. Does the Holy Qur'an describe actual acts which should be considered important or the mere basis on which such importance is to be derived?



quote:

I don't think of it as a mere explanation of a family-elder to his family. I see it as the explanation of a Quranic directive. I don't believe that whatever the Prophet(sws) utters constitutes Shari'ah. However, i do believe that he explains and annotates Shari'ah in the best possible way and that's what he's done here. If you try to understand this hadith with a preconceived interpretation, i.e. "Head-covering" not being obligatory, you will have to explain it away.


Conclusion on the discussion of the meaning of the Qur'anic verse can only help us udnerstand the Hadith. We cannot move backward.

Edited by: jhangeer hanif on Thursday, April 01, 2004 11:38 AM


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