~Eratkan Ukhuwah Gerakkan Islah~


~ Friday, July 23, 2004


Hijab: Always A Woman’s Business?
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty Dear Sister in Islam, it is pleasure to see the Muslim youth are interested in knowing the teachings of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants as a way of life. According to the Qur’an, a true Muslim should refer to scholars to get himself well-acquainted with the sound image of Islam. First of all, it should be clear that Hijab is meant to preserve Muslim woman’s dignity. Like all other Shari`ah-based commands, Hijab should be given due care, for it brings about countless fruits and wards off evils. Hijab is the proper Islamic dress code, which is primarily intended to safeguard the modesty, dignity and honor of men and women.

Allah, the Creator of humans, knows our nature better than ourselves, and thus He has prescribed appropriate rules of behavior and appearance to be observed when men and women interact with one another in a social milieu. These rules of interaction also include a prescription for modest dressing, which, I should hasten to add, apply to males as well as females.

 A Holistic Program Of Islamic Ethics

Hijab thus forms part of a holistic program of Islamic ethics and morals governing male and female interaction. Prescribing the rule of Hijab, Allah says, “Say to the believing men to lower their gazes and guard their chastity,” (An-Nur: 30) “And say to the believing women to lower their gazes and guard their chastity, and let them not display of their charm - except what is apparent.” (An-Nur: 31) Not Meant To Segregate WomenMoreover, the evidences in the sources – the Qur’an and the Sunnah - are overwhelming in showing that the Hijab as prescribed by Islam was not meant to segregate women or shut them out of the social involvement and participation in the affairs of the Muslim community since the participation of Muslim women - at all levels of Islamic life - is fully documented beyond a shadow of doubt in the sources of Shari`ah. Such active participation as described in the sources is conceivable only if we assume that women were not wholly covered from head to toe. In light of the above, we conclude: a Muslim woman is required to cover all her body except her face and hands, according to the majority of scholars belonging to all schools. Covering the head, however, is not at all a disputed issue among them - they all agree that this is a necessary part of Hijab.

Chastity Of The Muslim Society

A very important point has to be made here as it is seldom mentioned in discussions on Hijab. Unfortunately, the onus of guarding the honor and chastity of the Muslim society is often laid solely on the backs of women. While recently, there has been more of a stress on the rules of Islamic dress for men, what needs to be addressed is the requirement of Muslim men to lower their gaze and maintain Islamic decorum in relations with all women - and not just Muslim women. It is not rare to see a Muslim couple walking where the woman is in full Hijab while her husband is gawking at other women, or to see a father instructing his daughter to cover properly before going out, and then turning back to watch a TV show full of improperly attired women. There is wisdom in the Qur’anic injunction to women to cover themselves, and this stated alongside the order to men to lower their gaze. Allah is Just and justice would not be served if women were to be the only guardians of honor.

Tool Of Oppression If Muslim Males...

The Hijab can become a tool of oppression if Muslim males do not maintain their part of this balance. It is often stated that it is difficult for Muslim men to avert their gaze and interact in business-like-ways with women in a society where such behavior is considered anti-social. To this we can answer that it is just as difficult or even more so for a Muslim woman to maintain Hijab in such a society. These tasks can be a struggle and Muslim males and females should view their respective duties as a social responsibility as well as acts of worship. As Allah states in the last part of the verse on Hijab, “O you who believe, turn ye altogether towards Allah in repentance that you me be successful.” (An-Nur: 31)

A Requirement Mandated By Allah

Now coming to the final part of the question - whether we are allowed to put out a person from the fold of Islam because of her refusal to comply with the rules of Hijab. The answer is that we are certainly not allowed to do so. If a person refuses to wear Hijab, after having known that it is a requirement mandated by Allah, then she is certainly a transgressor, and guilty of a serious offence in the sight of Allah, and yet such an offence does not justify anyone to question her basic faith. We must know that in Islam no person possesses the authority to put out people from the fold of Islam based on their sins or violations.”

Maa ashobani min hasanatin faminallah...wamaa ashobani min sayyiatin famin nafsi (segala yg baik tu dari Allah dan yg buruk tu dari diriku)
Wallahu a'lam bishowaab.Wassalam

posted by scouser at 9:12 AM