Islamic or Cultural?
version of a talk given on the
November 1st 1997
episode of the Islam in Focus television program.
Muhammad Rizvi Ja‘fari Islamic Centre (Tabligh
Committee)C a n a d a
Introduction … 1
A. The Term “°ijăb”
B. Studying the Qur’ăn … 2
C. The Qur’ăn &
D. The Sunna &
E. Muslim Culture & the Style of
Conclusion … 15
Appendix A “Some Common Questions” … 17
Appendix B “Hijab Jokes” … 20
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلاة و السلام على محمد و آله الطاهرين
In the name of Allăh, the Beneficent,
the Merciful. All praise is due to Allăh, the Lord of the Universe.
May Allăh shower His blessings upon Prophet Mu¦ammad
and his progeny.
Islam is a world religion; its presence can be felt all over
the world through conversion or migration. However, the most visible
symbol of Islam’s presence in the West is the
headdress used by a Muslim woman to cover her head. In the Greater
Toronto Area, you can see Muslim women in
at schools, in colleges and universities, in the workplace, in
malls, and on the streets.
Being the most obvious symbol of Islam’s presence, it is also
the easiest target for harassment against Muslims. Whenever a racist
politician or the media or any hate group attacks Islam, the very
first target is the Muslim woman’s
Also, some so-called experts on Islam and the Middle East assume a
patronizing attitude and try to teach Muslims that
is not a religious requirement in Islam, saying it is more a
cultural issue used by Muslim men to oppress the women. Some
self-loathing Muslim journalists, politicians and intellectuals also
jump on that back wagon to prove themselves as “progressive” and
really a cultural tradition of the Persians or the Turks that was
adopted by the Arabs who implanted it into Islam? Or is there a
religious basis in the Qur’ăn and the tradition of the Prophet for
A. THE TERM “°IJĂB”
The term “¦ijăb—الحجاب”
literally means a cover, curtain or screen. It is not a
technical term used in Islamic jurisprudence for the dress code of
women. The term used in Islamic jurisprudence that denotes the
conduct of unrelated men and women towards one another, and their
dress code, is “satr or sătir—الستر،
In the last two decades however, the Muslims in the west, as
well as the media, use the term “¦ijăb”
to define the headdress and the overall clothing of Muslim women.
It is in this latter meaning —headdress as well as the overall
clothing— that we have used the term “¦ijăb”
in this article.
B. STUDYING THE QUR’ĂN
The holy book of the Muslims is the Qur’ăn; it is the
revelation of Almighty Allăh upon Prophet Mu¦ammad
(peace be upon him and his progeny). The 114
chapters of the Qur’ăn were revealed in a piece-meal form in around
twenty-two years; some of the verses were revealed in Mecca while
others were revealed in Medina. For Muslims, the Qur’ăn is the first
and the foremost source of Islamic laws and values. It is considered
the final message of God for mankind, and it is to be followed at
all times and in all places until the end of this world.
“These days we are often told that we must keep up with the
times,” writes Dr. Nasr, a prominent Muslim scholar who currently
teaches Islam at the George Washington University in D.C. “Rarely
does one ask what have the ‘times’ to keep up with. For men who have
lost the vision of a reality which transcends time, who are caught
completely in the mesh of our time and space and who have been
affected by the historicism prevalent in modern European philosophy,
it is difficult to imagine the validity of a truth that does not
conform to their immediate external environment. Islam, however,
is based on the principle that truth transcends history and time.
Divine Law is an objective transcendent reality, by which man and
his actions are judged, not vice versa. What are called the
‘times’ today are to a large extent a set of problems and
difficulties created by man’s ignorance of his own real nature and
his stubborn determination to ‘live by bread alone’. To attempt to
shape the Divine Law to the ‘times’ is therefore no less than
spiritual suicide because it removes the very criteria by which the
real value of human life and action can be objectively judged and
thus surrenders man to the most infernal impulses of his lower
nature. To say the least, the very manner of approaching the problem
of Islamic Law and religion in general by trying to make them
conform to the ‘times’ is to misunderstand the whole perspective and
spirit of Islam.”
* * * * *
Some Muslim sisters have started incorporating Western
feminist ideology in studying the Qur’ăn; they believe that
and other related issues have been interpreted from almost
exclusively male perspective. Some of them go to the extent of
saying that since all Prophets and Messengers were men, and so the
laws are also biased towards men.
The problem with this trend of thought is that there is no
evidence to support it. It is baseless to accuse the Prophet
(s.a.w.), the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and even the jurists —who
are only considered an authority if they are just and upright in
character— of having a male bias in interpretation of the divine
laws. Are we going to have now a gender-based interpretation of the
Qur’ăn where the men and the women will study the holy Book
differently? The Qur’ăn clearly says, “And do not covet that by
which Allăh has made some of you excel others; men shall have the
benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what
they earn; and ask Allăh of His grace; surely Allăh knows all
* * * * *
Such Muslim “feminists” are also of the opinion that a woman
has a right to interpret Qur’ăn according to her own
understanding, and that she has the right to choose how she
interprets her dress code. In their discussion, the famous verse
2:256 is brought as evidence: “There is no compulsion in the
First of all, the verse 2:256 is not
giving the choice for a Muslim to do whatever he or she likes.
“Muslim” means someone who submits to God’s commandments. To say
that a person can be a “Muslim” and still have “choice in
everything” is a true oxymoron. Secondly, such brothers and sisters
conveniently ignore the context of that verse. The verse is talking
about the choice of religion before coming into Islam—submission to
the will of God. It means that no one can be forced to become a
Muslim. “There is no compulsion in the religion; truly the right
way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever
disbelieves in the Shaytăn and believes in Allăh, he indeed has
got hold onto the firmest rope which shall not break off; and Allăh
is Hearing, Knowing.” The verse is clearly talking about
rejecting the Shaytăn and believing in Allăh. It does not mean that
a Muslim has a choice in whatever he or she wants to do.
Once a person has submitted to God,
there is no choice left for him or her in the matters already
decided by Allăh and His Messenger. See the following verse that
makes the issue of obedience clear for both men as well as women:
“And it behoves
not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any
choice in their matter when Allăh and His Messenger have decided a
matter; and whoever disobeys Allăh and His Messenger, he [or she]
surely strays off a manifest straying.” (33:36)
And so the Qur’ăn is for all: man and woman, young and old,
white and black, Arab and non-Arab, easterner and westerner; but it
has to be studied on its own terms without imposing the personal
likes or dislikes upon it and without strait-jacketing it into this
or that ‘ism’.
* * * * *
C. THE QUR’ĂN &
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’ăn in which Almighty Allăh talks about the issue of decency
as defined earlier.
The First Verse:
In Chapter 24 known as an-NŁr
(the Light), in verse 30, Allăh commands Prophet Mu¦ammad
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 “¦ijăb
of the eyes”.
Then in the next verse, Allăh commands the Prophet to address
قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَ يَحْفَظْنَ
“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
of the eyes”.
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
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’ănic as well as Biblical teaching.
* * * * *
of the eyes” came the order describing the dress code for
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
There are two issues about this sentence.
(1) What is the meaning of “khumur” used in this
خُمُرٌ is plural of khimărخِمَارٌ
, the veil covering the head. See any Arabic dictionary
like Lisănu ’l-‘Arab, Majma‘u ’l-Ba¦rayn
Al-Munjid, which is the most popular dictionary in the
Arab world, defines al-khimăr as “something with which a
woman conceals her head —ما
تغطى به المرأة رأسها .” Fakhru ’d-Dīn
in Majma‘u ’l-Ba¦rayn
(which is a dictionary of Qur’ănic and
terms) defines al-khimăr as “scarf, and it is known as such
because the head is covered with it.”
So the word khimăr,
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’ăn, 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 Allăh 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.
This is confirmed by the way the Muslim women of the Prophet’s
era understood this commandment of Almighty Allăh. The Sunni sources
quote Ummu ’l-mu’min˘n
‘Ă’isha, the Prophet’s wife, as follows: “I have not seen women
better than those of al-AnĄăr
(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...”
The meaning of khimăr and the context 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’ăn would use the word khimăr
(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 ma¦ram
– male family members in whose presence the
is 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-A¦zăb,
verse 59, Allăh gives the following command to Prophet Mu¦ammad:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ, قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَ بَنَاتِكَ وَ نِسآءِ
الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ: يُدْنِيْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلاَبِيْبِهِنَّ...
“O Prophet! Say to your wives, your
and the women of the
they should let down upon themselves their jalăbīb.”
What is the meaning of “jalăbīb”?
the plural of jilbăbجِلْبَابٌ
, which means a loose outer garment. See any Arabic
dictionary like Lisănu ’l-‘Arab, Majma‘u ’l-Ba¦rayn
Al-Munjid, for instance, defines jilbăb as “the
shirt or a wide dress—القميص
أو الثوب الواسع.” While a§-±uray¦˘,
in Majma‘u ’l-Ba¦rayn,
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
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.
D. THE SUNNA AND
The sunna —the sayings and examples of the Prophet Mu¦ammad
(s.a.w.)— is the second most important source for Islamic laws. It
is impossible to truly understand the Qur’ăn without studying the
Prophet’s life that provided the context in which the holy Book was
revealed. Almighty Allăh says, “And We have revealed to you (O Mu¦ammad)
the Reminder (i.e., the Qur’ăn) 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
There is a tendency among the so-called progressive and
liberated Muslims to claim that they only follow the Qur’ān 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.”
From the Shī‘ī 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’ănic verses. The Prophet
himself introduced the Ahlul Bayt as the twin of the Qur’ăn.
* * * * *
The following two sayings from the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt on
the issue of
are presented here as an example.
bin Yasăr asked Imăm aĄ-Żădiq
(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 Imăm replied, “Yes, and what is beneath the veil covering the
head (khimăr) is from the beauty [as mentioned in the verse],
and also what is beneath the wristbands.”
As one can clearly see in this authentic
the Imăm 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...”
quotes Imăm ‘Ali as-Ri¤a
(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.”
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 Mălik˘,
and the °anbal˘
views, the entire body of a woman is ‘awrah and therefore it
should be covered with the exception of the face and the hands.
* * * * *
The two verses discussed above put together clearly show
as a decent code of dress for Muslim women, is part of the Qur’ănic
teachings. This is also confirmed by how the Prophet Mu¦ammad
(s.a.w.) understood and implemented these verses among the Muslim
women. This is further confirmed by how the Imăms of the Ahlul Bayt
(a.s.), and the Muslim scholars of the early generations of Islam
understood the Qur’ăn.
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
has nothing to do with Islam, it is just a cultural issue and a
matter of personal choice!
E. MUSLIM CULTURE & THE STYLE OF
It is quite probable that these so-called experts of Islam and
of the Middle East have confused the basic order of the Qur’ăn with
the style of
worn by Muslim women of various ethnic backgrounds.
The requirement of
is a Qur’ănic command. The basic requirement is that a Muslim woman
should cover her head and bosom with a khimăr (a head
covering), and her body with a jilbăb (a loose over-garment).
Of course, she can leave her face and hands open.
When it comes to the style, colour, and material of the
khimăr and jilbăb, 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’ānic 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 ‘abăya; the Persian Muslim women use chădor;
the Afghăni Muslim women use burqa; the Indo-Pakistani Muslim
women use niqăb 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
Islam is not
concerned with the style as long as it fulfills the basic
requirement of khimăr and jilbăb. This is where the
religion and culture interact with one another, and therein lies the
dynamic aspect of the Islamic sharī‘a; and this interaction
might have confused some of the so-called experts of Islam who
erroneously believe that
is a cultural tradition and not a religious requirement.
One of the many questions that I have been asked is why
does Islam make
mandatory for women? Islam has introduced
as part of the decency and modesty in interaction between members of
the opposite sex. Verse 59 of chapter 33 quoted previously gives a
very good reason; it says, “This is more appropriate so that they
may be known [as Muslim women] and thus not be harassed [or
Men, whether they confess it or not, are slaves of lust and
°ijăb protects women from such men; it symbolizes that
she has been sanctified to one man only and is off-limit to all
°ijăb contributes to the stability and preservation of
marriage and family by eliminating the chances of extramarital
• Finally, it compels men to focus on the real personality of
the woman and de-emphasizes her physical beauty. It puts the woman
in control of strangers’ reaction to her.
Commenting on the attire of women in North Africa and South
East Asia, Germaine Greer, one of the pioneers of the women’s
liberation movement, wrote:
“Women who wear cortes or
huipiles or saris or jellabas or salwar kameez or any
other ample garments can swell and diminish inside them without
embarrassment or discomfort. Women with shawls and veils can
breastfeed anywhere without calling attention to themselves, while
baby is protected from dust and flies. In most non-Western
societies, the dress and ornaments of women celebrate the mothering
function. Ours deny it.”
Note that she
also specifically mentions the salwar, kameez and jellabas
that are used by Muslim women in the East.
Feminists and the Western media often portray the
as a symbol of oppression and slavery of women. This sexist angle of
reflects the influence of Western feminists who are subconsciously
reacting to the Judea-Christian concept of veil –– “the symbol of
woman’s subjection to her husband”.
To look at one’s own religious or cultural history and then to pass
a judgment against another religion is, on the milder side, an
intellectual miscalculation, and, on the harsher side, outright
cultural imperialism! My father made an interesting observation in
an article that when the Europeans penetrated the interior of Africa
a century ago, they found some tribes who went about naked. They
forced the tribes to wear clothes as mark of civilization.
“Now those advocates of ‘civilization’ are
themselves discarding their clothes. One often wonders if the
‘primitive tribes’ of the last century were not more civilized than
the rest of the world. After all, it is rest of the world which is
now imitating the ways of the so-called primitive society.”
I am surprised at the society which shows tolerance towards
those who would like to go around topless but finds it difficult to
tolerate a lady who by her own choice wants to observe
According to Naheed Mustafa, a Canadian Muslim, “In
the Western world, the
has come to symbolize either forced silence or radical,
unconscionable militancy. Actually, it’s neither. It is simply a
woman’s assertion that judgment of her physical person is to play no
role whatsoever in social interaction. Wearing the
has given me the freedom from constant attention to my physical
self. Because my appearance is not subjected to scrutiny, my beauty,
or perhaps lack of it, has been removed from the realm of what can
legitimately be discussed.”
°ijăb is not a symbol of oppression. Women are oppressed
because of socio-economic reasons even in countries where women have
never heard about hijāb. On the contrary, the practice of displaying
pictures of almost naked women in the commercials, billboards, and
in the entertainment industry in the west is a true symbol of
Neither does the
prevent a woman from acquiring knowledge or from contributing to the
betterment of human society. Historically women have also greatly
contributed to Islam. Lady Khadījah, the first wife of the Prophet,
played a significant role in the early history of Islam. A
successful businesswoman in her own right, she was the first person
to accept the message of Prophet Mu¦ammad
(s.a.w.). Her acceptance and faith were a great source of emotional
support for the Prophet. She stood by her husband in the difficult
days of early Islam, and spent her wealth for the promotion of the
The first Muslim person to be martyred in Muslim history was a
woman by the name of Sumayya, the wife of Yăsir and the mother of
‘Ammăr. She was killed along with her husband for refusing to
’z-Zahră’, the daughter of Prophet Mu¦ammad,
was a beacon of light and a source of guidance for the women of her
time. She faithfully stood by her husband, Imăm ‘Ali, in his
struggle for his right of caliphate, and strongly protested against
the first violation of the right of inheritance for daughters in
One of the
most important events in the early history of Islam was the event of
Karbala, which was a protest led by Imăm
against the tyranny of Yazīd. In that protest, the soldiers of Yazīd
°usayn and about seventy-two of his supporters. It was
sister, Zaynab, who continued the social protest and was very
influential in bringing about the awakening among the people to
stand up against the tyranny of the rulers. Zaynab greatly
contributed to the factors that eventually brought about the
downfall of the Umayyads.
To those who very harshly and quickly judge
as a symbol of oppression of women, I ask: When you see a nun in her
habit, what do you think of that—is that a symbol of oppression or a
dress that demands dignity and respect? The habit of a nun is
Why then the double standard? Is this not cultural imperialism? When
a Catholic nun dresses in that way, she becomes dignified, but when
a Muslim woman dresses in that way, she becomes the symbol of
oppression?! In Islam, we want that dignity and respect for each and
every Muslim woman, not only a few selected ones who have decided to
serve the cause of their faith.
I salute those Muslim women who
have found the courage in themselves to observe
in this non-Muslim society, and I strongly urge their
male-counterparts to appreciate women’s great contribution in being
at the forefront in the struggle to carve out a niche for Islam in
the multicultural society of Canada.
thing that I must say is that in spite of all the talk about
suppression of rights of women in Muslim societies, we have had
three countries in the world of Islam—Turkey, Pakistan and
Bangladesh—which have had female Prime Ministers. Against this track
record, the United States of America or Canada have not yet shown
that openness for the advancement of women where a lady could be
elected for a full term as a President or Prime Minister. I think
that says a lot about Islam and the Muslims.
* * * * *
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS
°IJĂB & RELATED
1. Meaning of “casting
down the glances” mean?
It means that a person should not look at the member of the
opposite sex except for those parts that may be uncovered.
So, for instance, a man is allowed to look at the face and
hands of a non-ma¦ram
lady who is not related to him provided it is not done in with a
lustful intention. (“Ma¦ram”
means person in whose presence
¦ijăb is not required. See the list at end
of this section.)
2. Is it
permissible to shake hands with a person of opposite sex?
If the person is ma¦ram,
then it is permissible. But if the person is non-ma¦ram,
then it is forbidden.
3. Is a woman
allowed to line eyes with kohl, to put mascara on her
eyelashes, and to wear rings in both hands?
A woman is allowed to put kohl or similar cosmetics on her
eyelashes and also to wear rings provided it is not done with the
intention of drawing lustful attention of men towards herself.
4. A vast
majority of Muslim women who observe hijab are used to keeping their
chins and a small part of the under chin exposed while they
cover the neck. Is this permissible? And how big an area of the face
can women expose; are the ears included in that?
The ears are not part of the face, therefore it is obligatory
to cover them. As for the part of the chin and the under chin that
is seen when putting on the common head scarf, it is to be
considered as part of the face and, therefore, can be exposed.
5. Is it
permissible for a woman who observes
¦ijăb to get rid of her facial hair,
to straighten her eyebrows, and to wear natural and light make up?
Getting rid of facial hair, straightening of eyebrows, and
wearing of light make up do not prevent her from keeping her face
uncovered provided it is not done with the intention of drawing
6. Can a woman
put on a wig as replacement of the head-covering (¦ijăb)?
Since the wig is an item of beauty (zinat), it must be
covered in presence of non-ma¦ram
7. A Muslim
woman wears high heeled shoes that hit the ground in such a
way that they draw attention. Is she allowed to wear them?
If it is intended to draw the attention of non-ma¦ram
men to herself, or if it generally causes temptation for committing
sin, then it is not permissible.
8. If a woman
puts on a scarf and wears a tight-fitting shirt and
tight-fitting jeans or trousers or a tight-fitting qamees and
shalwar – is that considered an acceptable
¦ijăb in the presence of non-ma¦ram
Any dress that reveals the contours of her body or that would
normally arouse temptation is not permissible and does not fulfill
the requirements of
¦ijăb. It is a pointless
9. Is it
permissible for a Muslim man to go to unisex swimming pools
and other similar places where people go about half-naked?
It is not permissible for a Muslim man to go to unisex
swimming pools and other similar places if it entails a
¦arăm act. Based on obligatory precaution,
according to Ayatullăh
he must refrain from going to such places even if it does not entail
10. Is the
brother-in-law or a cousin included among the list of the
people in whose presence a lady does not have to observe
¦ijăb? Is she allowed to shake their hands
or hug them?
The brother-in-law or a male cousin is not included in that
list and, therefore, it is obligatory upon a Muslim lady to observe
¦ijăb in their presence, and also it is
not permissible for her to shake their hands or hug them. The
reverse will apply to a Muslim man in relation to his sister-in-law
or a female cousin.
(IN WHOSE PRESENCE
°IJĂB IS NOT
OF THE WOMAN OF THE
2. Grandfather. 2.
4. Father-in-law. 4.
8. Son-in-law. 8.
9. Nephew. 9.
10. Uncle (paternal). 10.
11. Uncle (maternal). 11.
12. Minor boy. 12.
13. Women. 13.
“Appendix II” consists of a humorous write up
the pointless hijab that some Muslim sisters
This is reproduced here from the internet.
Broadcasted on BICNews 20 November 1997
Although it may seem humorous it can serve as constructive criticism
both for the sisters, and the brothers. We learn from this that all
those outward actions which Islam requires must be done correctly
and with the correct intention, i.e. not for fashion or to fit into
a certain group. That is it must all be solely for the sake of Allah
(swt). The purpose of this article is not to offend anyone, rather
it was written to make a point. Enjoy...
been my personal observation that some Muslim girls and women do not
realize the significance of hijab. Hijab is Arabic for protection
and cover. Some people put a lot of effort into their hijab, yet it
serves no purpose. I am referring to the pointless hijab that
some girls wear.
first pointless hijab is referred to as the headband hijab.
It is a band of fabric approximately 4 inches wide. It covers the
back of the head and allows all the hair to be exposed. It doesn't
serve much in terms of modesty, but at least it comes in handy in
case of an unexpected tennis match.
second pointless hijab is the dupetta, also known as the
Saran wrap hijab. It covers all the hair, but it is
totally transparent. Again it doesn't serve much in terms of
modesty, but it keeps the hair nice and fresh.
third type of hijab is known as the Mickey Mouse Hijab.
It is when a girl wears a black scarf and tucks it behind her ear,
so that her ears stick out.
move to my favorites: the yo-yo hijabs. The first
yo-yo hijab, also known as the Benazir Bhutto hijab, is the scarf
that keeps falling down and needs to be constantly pulled back
up....up, down, up, down, just like a yo-yo. The second yo-yo hijab
is also referred to as the convertible hijab. This type of
hijab is predominant at any type of social event, i.e. an Aqeeqah,
Bismillah party, Ameen party, wedding, etc. This is when an Imam or
Qari comes up to the microphone and starts to recite Qur'an. At this
point, all the convertible hijabs come up...until he says "Sadaqallahul
adheem". I'm not sure, but apparently in some cultures that
translates to "Ok sisters, you may now take off your scarves". I'm
sure this may seem odd, but what's even funnier is when people do
not anticipate the recitation of Qur'an at a social event, and are
forced to be creative and use accessories such as a purse to cover
one's hair. I was surprised to see a women hold her purse over her
head as "hijab"...as if the multitudes of men surrounding her are
not a good enough reason to wear hijab, but some guy reciting du'a
compels her to hold a purse over her head. Her friends were more
creative...one friend used her dinner napkin. I was also laughing
when I saw the communal hijab---two or
more girls draped under one dinner napkin during the recitation of
Qur'an. Her other friend was still more creative. She used her
coffee saucer on the back of her head. I wasn't sure if it was hijab
or a Yamaka. I didn't know if she was a Muslim or a Jew. I felt like
going up to her and saying "Shalom alaikum, sister".
people should remember that hijab is not just a protection from
guys, but from a girl's nafs (ego) as well. It should prevent girls
from having to spend hours in front of the mirror doing their hair.
But, unfortunately, you see girls in front of the mirror for hours
doing their hijab as they would do their hair, with all sorts of
elaborate braids and the like. I wanted to go up to a sister and say
"Is your hijab naturally curly?" I also felt compelled to go up to
another girl and say "pardon me, but is your hijab naturally that
color, or did you dye it?"
the point to remember is that some people make an effort to wear
hijab, but it is futile, because it is not fulfilling its purpose.
It's like using an umbrella with holes in it. Hijab is used for
protection from guys as well as from the girl herself, and should
not be used as an accessory or for beautifying one's self. Anyway,
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