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قديم 01-11-2011, 01:50 PM
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Islam Muslim Womens Dress (Islamic or Cultural

 

The Qur’an and Hijab
Islam has strongly emphasized the concept of decency and modesty in the interaction between members of the opposite sex. Dress code is part of that overall teaching. There are two verses in the Qur’an in which Almighty Allah talks about the issue of decency and hijab as defined earlier.

The First Verse

In Chapter 24 known as an-Nūr (the Light), in verse 30, Allah commands Prophet Muhammad as follows:

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ يَغُضُّوْا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَ يَحْفَظُوْا فُرُوْجَهُمْ, ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ.

Say to the believing men that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste). This is better for them.”

This is a command to Muslim men that they should not lustfully look at women (other than their own wives); and in order to prevent any possibility of temptation, they are required to cast their glances downwards.This is known as “hijabof the eyes”.

Then in the next verse, Allah commands the Prophet to address the women:

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَ يَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوْجَهُنَّ...

“Say to the believing women that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste)…”

This is a similar command as given to the men in the previous verse regarding “hijab of the eyes”.

This hijab of eyes is similar to the teaching of Jesus where he says, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, you shall not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”[2] So if you see a Muslim casting his/her eyes downwards when he/she is talking to a member of opposite sex, this should not be considered as rude or an indication of lack of confidence — he/she is just abiding by the Qur’anic as well as Biblical teaching.

* * * * *

After “hijab of the eyes” came the order describing the dress code for women:

وَ لاَ يُبْدِيْنَ زِيْنَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَ لْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلىَ جُيُوْبِهِنَّ...

“...and not display their beauty except what is apparent, and they should place their khumur over their bosoms...”

There are two issues about this sentence.


(1) What is the meaning of “khumur” used in this verse?

Khumurخُمُرٌ is plural of khimarخِمَارٌ, the veil covering the head. See any Arabic dictionary like Lisanu ’l-‘Arab, Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn or al-Munjid.

Al-Munjid, which is the most popular dictionary in the Arab world, defines al-khimar as “something with which a woman conceals her head—ما تغطى به المرأة رأسها .” Fakhru ’d-Din al-Turayhi in Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn (which is a dictionary of Qur’anic and hadith terms) defines al-khimar as “scarf, and it is known as such because the head is covered with it.”[3]

So the word khimar, by definition, means a piece of cloth that covers the head.



(2) Then what does the clause “placing the khumur over the bosoms” mean?

According to the commentators of the Qur’an, the women of Medina in the pre-Islamic era used to put their khumur over the head with the two ends tucked behind and tied at the back of the neck, in the process exposing their ears and neck. By saying that, “place the khumur over the bosoms,” Almighty Allah ordered the women to let the two ends of their headgear extend onto their bosoms so that they conceal their ears, the neck, and the upper part of the bosom also.[4]

This is confirmed by the way the Muslim women of the Prophet’s era understood this commandment of Almighty Allah. The Sunni sources quote Ummu ’l-mu’minin ‘A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, as follows: “I have not seen women better than those of al-Ansar (the inhabitants of Medina): when this verse was revealed, all of them got hold of their aprons, tore them apart, and used them to cover their heads...”[5]

The meaning of khimar and the con**** in which the verse was revealed clearly talks about concealing the head and then using the loose ends of the scarf to conceal the neck and the bosom. It is absurd to believe that the Qur’an would use the word khimar (which, by definition, means a cloth that covers the head) only to conceal the bosom with the exclusion of the head! It would be like saying to put on your shirt only around the belly or the waist without covering the chest!

Finally the verse goes on to give the list of the mahram – male family members in whose presence the hijabis not required, such as the husband, the father, the father-in-law, the son(s), and others.



The Second Verse

In Chapter 33 known as al-Ahzab, verse 59, Allah gives the following command to Prophet Muhammad:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ, قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَ بَنَاتِكَ وَ نِسآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ: يُدْنِيْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلاَبِيْبِهِنَّ...

“O Prophet! Say toyour wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers that: they should let down upon themselves their jalabib.


What is the meaning of “jalabib”?

Jalabibجَلاَبِيْبٌis the plural of jilbabجِلْبَابٌ, which means a loose outer garment. See any Arabic dictionary like Lisanu ’l-‘Arab, Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn or al-Munjid.

Al-Munjid, for instance, defines jilbab as “the shirt or a wide dress—القميص أو الثوب الواسع.” While al-Turayhi, in Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn, defines it as “a wide dress, wider than the scarf and shorter than a robe, that a woman puts upon her head and lets it down on her bosom...”[6]

This means that the Islamic dress code for women does not only consist of a scarf that covers the head, the neck and the bosom; it also includes the overall dress that should be long and loose.

So, for instance, the combination of a tight, short sweater with tight-fitting jeans with a scarf over the head does not fulfill the requirements of the Islamic dress code.



Notes:

[2] The Gospel of Matthew, chap. 5, verses 27-28.

[3] Al-Munjid (Beirut: Daru ’l-Mashriq, 1986) p. 195; at-Turayh¢, Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn, vol.1 (Tehran: Daftar Nashr, 1408 AH) p. 700. See at-Tusi, at-Tibyan, vol. 7 (Qum: Maktabatu ’l-l‘lam al-Islami, 1409 AH) p. 428; at-Tabrasi, Majma’u ’l-Bayan, vol. 7 (Beirut: Dar Ihyai ’t-Turathi ’l-‘Arabi, 1379AH) p.138; also see the famous Sunni commentator, Fakhru ’d-Din ar-Razi, at-Tafsiru ’l-Kabir, vol. 23 (Beirut: Daru ’l-Kutubi ’l-‘Ilmiyya, 1990) p. 179-180. Even the Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Ithaca, NY: Spoken Languages Services, 1976) defines al-khimar as “veil covering head and face of a woman.” (p. 261) No one has excluded the covering of the head from definition of “al-khimar”.

[4] Ar-Razi, at-Tafsiru ’l-Kabir, vol.23, p. 179, and other famous commentaries and collections of hadith such as at-Tabataba’i, al-Mizan, vol. 15 (Tehran: Daru ’l-Kutub, 1397AH) p. 121; al-Kulayni, al-Furu‘ mina ’l-Kafi, vol. 5 (Tehran: Daru ’l-Kutub, 1367AH) p. 521. Also see the commentaries of al-Kashshaf, Ibn Kathir, at-Tabari, and al-Qurtubi.

[5] Ibid, also see, al-Bukhari, Sahih (Arabic & English) vol. 6 (Beirut: Daru ’l-‘Arabiyya) p. 267; Abu ’l-A‘la Mawdudi, Tafhimu ’l-Qur’an, vol. 3 (Lahore: Idara-e Tarjuman-e Qur’an, 1994) p. 316.

[6] Ibid. al-Munjid, p. 96; at-Turayhi, Majma‘u ’l-Bahrayn, vol. 1, p.384.
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  #2  
قديم 01-11-2011, 01:51 PM
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افتراضي

The Sunna and Hijab
The sunna —the sayings and examples of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)— is the second most important source for Islamic laws. It is impossible to truly understand the Qur’an without studying the Prophet’s life that provided the con**** in which the holy Book was revealed. Almighty Allah says,

“And We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) the Reminder (i.e., the Qur’an) so that you may clarify to the people what has been revealed to them, and so that they may reflect.” (16:44)

“Sunna” is that “clarification” mentioned in this verse.

There is a tendency among the so-called progressive and liberated Muslims to claim that they only follow the Qur’an and ignore the sunna of the Prophet. Responding to such Muslims, Drs. Murata and Chittick write, “We are perfectly aware that many contemporary Muslims are tired of what they consider outdated material: they would like to discard their intellectual heritage and replace it with truly ‘scientific’ endeavors, such as sociology. By claiming that the Islamic intellectual heritage is superfluous and that the Koran is sufficient, such people have surrendered to the spirit of the times. This is a far different enterprise than that pursued by the great authorities, who interpreted their present in the light of a grand tradition and who never fell prey to the up-to-date—that most obsolescent of all abstractions.”[7]

From the Shi‘i point of view, the authentic sayings of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt portray the true sunna of the Prophet and further clarify the meaning of the Qur’anic verses. The Prophet himself introduced the Ahlul Bayt as the twin of the Qur’an.[8]
* * * * *

The following two sayings from the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt on the issue of hijab are presented here as an example.

Al-Fudayl bin Yasar asked Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) about the forearms of a woman: whether they are included in the “beauty” as described by the Almighty when He says, “and they should not display their beauty except for their husbands...” The Imam replied, “Yes, and what is beneath the veil covering the head (khimar) is from the beauty [as mentioned in the verse], and also what is beneath the wristbands.”[9] As one can clearly see in this authentic hadith, the Imam has exempted the face and the hands, but everything else has been counted as “the beauty that should not be displayed except for their husbands...”

Abu Nasr al-Bazinli quotes Imam ‘Ali as-Rida (a.s.) as follows: “A woman does not have to cover her head in the presence of a boy who has not yet reached the age of puberty.”[10] The implication of this statement is obvious that once a boy who is not related to a woman reaches the age of puberty, she has to cover her head in his presence.

Even the founders of the Sunni schools of law are unanimous in this view. According to the Maliki, the Hanafi, the Shafi‘i, and the Hanbali views, the entire body of a woman is ‘awrah and therefore it should be covered with the exception of the face and the hands.[11]

* * * * *

The two verses discussed above put together clearly show that hijab, as a decent code of dress for Muslim women, is part of the Qur’anic teachings. This is also confirmed by how the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) understood and implemented these verses among the Muslim women. This is further confirmed by how the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and the Muslim scholars of the early generations of Islam understood the Qur’an.[12]

It is an understanding that has been continuously affirmed by Muslims for the last fourteen centuries. And, strangely, now we hear some so-called experts of Islam telling us that hijabhas nothing to do with Islam, it is just a cultural issue and a matter of personal choice!





Notes:

[7] Sachiko Murata & William C. Chittick, The Vision of Islam (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 1995) p. xi.

[8] For more information on the sunna and also the connection between the Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt, see my Introduction to Islamic Laws.

[9] Al-Kulayni, al-Furu‘ mina ’l-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 64.

[10] As-Saduq, Man la Yahduruhu ’l-Faqih, vol. 2, p. 140; Qurbu ’l-Asnad, p. 170. See Wasa’ilu ’sh-Shi‘ah, vol. 14 (Beirut: Dar at-Turath al-‘Arabi, n.d.) p. 169.

[11] ‘Abdu ’r-Rahman al-Juzari, al-Fiqh ‘ala ’l-Madhahibi ’l-Arba‘ah, vol. 5 (Beirut: Daru ’l-Fikr, 1969) p. 54-55.

[12] Besides the references quoted earlier, also see at-Tabrasi, Majma‘u ’l-Bayan, vol. 7-8, p. 138, 370; at-Tusi, at-Tibyan, vol. 8, p. 361; Fakhru ’d-Din ar-Razi, at-Tafsiru ’l-Kabir, vol. 23, p. 179-180.
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  #3  
قديم 01-11-2011, 01:52 PM
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افتراضي

Muslim Culture & the Style of Hijab
It is quite probable that these so-called experts of Islam and of the Middle East have confused the basic order of the Qur’an with the style of hijab worn by Muslim women of various ethnic backgrounds.

The requirement of hijab is a Qur’anic command. The basic requirement is that a Muslim woman should cover her head and bosom with a khimar (a head covering), and her body with a jilbab (a loose over-garment). Of course, she can leave her face and hands open.[13]

When it comes to the style, colour, and material of the khimar and jilbab, each Muslim ethnic group can follow the Qur’anic injunction according to their own cultural background. The variety in styles of implementing the same Qur’anic law is so because Islam is a world religion, it is cannot be confined to one region or tribe or culture. Therefore you see that the Muslim women in Arabia use ‘abaya; the Persian Muslim women use chador; the Afghani Muslim women use burqa; the Indo-Pakistani Muslim women use niqab or purdah; the Malaysian/Indonesian Muslim women use kerudung; the East African Muslim women use buibui; and now in the West, the Canadian Muslim women use mainstream clothes worn with a bigger scarf over the head and a loose outfit.

Islam is not concerned with the style as long as it fulfills the basic requirement of khimar and jilbab. This is where the religion and culture interact with one another, and therein lies the dynamic aspect of the Islamic shari‘a; and this interaction might have confused some of the so-called experts of Islam who erroneously believe that hijab is a cultural tradition and not a religious requirement.



Notes:

[13] Putting a veil to cover the face is not the initial requirement of the rules of hijab. The Shi‘i as well as majority of Sunni jurists say that the face should be covered only if there is a danger of fitna, a situation that could lead to committing a sin.
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  #5  
قديم 01-12-2011, 09:51 AM
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افتراضي

اقتباس:
المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة نسيم الفجر مشاهدة المشاركة
jazakumullau khairan
many thanks my sister
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