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What the Quran Says About Hijab or Veil - By Mohammad Asghar

What the Quran Says About Hijab or Veil - By Mohammad Asghar

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Published by Gilbert Hanz
Why He wants women to draw their veils over their bosoms, while requiring strange men not to look up, and gaze at them?
Why He wants women to draw their veils over their bosoms, while requiring strange men not to look up, and gaze at them?

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Published by: Gilbert Hanz on May 07, 2014
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What the Quran Says about Hijab or Veil!
 by Mohammad Asghar  07 Feb, 2009 We read in the Quran:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will
for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Q
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty;
that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms except to their husbands, their
fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their  brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their w
omen, or the slaves whom their right hands  possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain
Bliss.” [Q 24:31]
 I understand that it was necessary for Allah to make such rules, as, in His judgment, were necessary to regulate the uncivilized social behavior of a people Muhammad and his
companions were going to rule once Allah’s mission to establish Islam in the Arabian
Peninsula was accomplished. But what about those rules through which He had sought to instill a sense of purity and modesty in Muslim men and women? Let us briefly go over those rules. Avoiding eye contact and covering sexual organs appropriately are two of the ways through which, Allah believes, both Muslim men and women can avoid commission of adultery or fornication among them. It was this knowledge of human behavior that had prompted Allah to ask both Muslim men and women to lower their gaze, when they find themselves face to
face with strangers. He prohibited women from ‘displaying her figure or appear in undress
except before their husbands, near relatives who would be living in the same house, and with
whom a certain amount of negligee is permissible.’
 He has also asked them not to display their ornaments
 before anyone, but the men mentioned in the above verse, in order to protect themselves from their lustful desire. Believing that what Allah had thought were the appropriate measures for preventing Muslims from committing adultery or fornication, we wonder why He asked only the women to cover their bosoms and to refrain from displaying their beauty before none, but their husbands and close relatives? Why He asked them to hide their ornaments and also not to strike their feet in
order not to avoid drawing strange men’s attention to them? Why He wants women to draw
their veils over their bosoms, while requiring strange men not to look up, and gaze at them? Veil worn by Muslim women is a highly sensitive and contentious issue. The Western world does not understand why Muslim women should cover themselves from head to toe, and continue to suffer discomfort, among others, in humid and fetid climate. Muslims counter that wearing of veil is not at all uncomfortable for their women and that it is an obligation that Allah has imposed on them so that they may be able to maintain their physical and spiritual purity. Many Muslim women claim that covering their bodies with burqa liberates them, and enhances their sense of safety. They also contend that when the Western world does not find any problem with the Christian nuns covering themselves up with veil, why it should feel concerned with the Muslim women wearing the same attire! A complex issue, such as the wearing of veil by the Muslim women, calls for a detailed discussion. I, therefore, wish to do exactly the same here by relying on other statements of the Quran that are connected with the subject of veil. But before doing that, I must point out an important fact, it being: three different words have been used in the Quran to describe what Muslim women need to do to protect themselves from the prying eyes and assault of strange
men. These words are: “khimar,” “hijab” and “jilbab.” We find the word “khimar” in verse 24:31, quoted above. Here are two other verses with the words “hijab” and “jilbab” in them:
“O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s house,
- until leave is given to you, - for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen {hijab}: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and theirs. Nor is it right for you
that ye should annoy Allah’s Apostle, or that ye should marry his widows a
fter him at
any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah’s sight an enormity.”
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should
cast their outer garments {jilbab} over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-
Forgiving, Most Merciful.
 To understand the true implications of the above and other verses, I must also note that the
revelation of each of the Quran’s verses had a reason, and an
occasion. Accordingly, verse 33:53 was revealed when Muhammad was celebrating his success at acquiring Zainab, the divorced wife of his adopted son Zaid, through a grand reception he had arranged at his home in Medina.
The reception, held by Muhammad, to celebrate an event that the Pagans considered to be highly licentious and therefore harmful to, and contagious for, their social order, brings to light one of his hitherto hidden characteristics, it being: though he had taken a multiple of women in his wedlock, he is not reported to have ever thrown a party to welcome any one of them to his harem. The strange behavior he displayed in case of Zainab was representative of a sadistic pleasure he derived from the successes he achieved through manipulations and illegal and unethical maneuvers he is known to have used throughout his life to fulfill his desires, goals and ambitions.
What had followed after Muhammad’s invited guests arrived at his home is clearly
mentioned in verse 33:53. This verse came to him from a Book that Allah had written down, and preserved in Luh-e-mahfooz,
 long before He began the process of creating the Universe
and everything it contains. Allah’s Plan called for Muhammad’s guest to arrive at his home
 before the time of feast not only to satisfy their hunger, but also to have a glimpse of his new,  but unwed, wife. Their early arrival caused Muhammad a serious problem: though he wished
to ‘spend’ with Zainab – 
 his life-long passion - as much time as was possible for him, the early arrival of his guests forced him to come out of her cabin to give them company. And, he did not like this at all and became angry at them. Again, all the guests did not leave his home immediately after partaking of their meal; instead, three of them became engrossed in a conversation, thus delaying their departure.
 Since Muhammad could not leave them to themselves, he failed to return to Zainab at the height of his craving for her. This made him impatient and restless. While being in the company of his guests
, Muhammad’s desire to have sex with Zainab (or should we say ‘to torture her’), drove him crazy. Restlessness was visible on his face, but his
insensitive guests failed to take notice of his condition. But Allah was not insensitive like them. Having dedic
ated Himself to Muhammad’s service,
Allah came to his rescue and required the three callous guests, through the above revelation,
to leave Muhammad’s house immediately, telling them simultaneously that although their
host was shy at asking them to leave him alone, but He (Allah) was shameless, hence His directive to them. Allah also told them that if they needed anything before leaving, they should ask
Muhammad’s wives from before a screen (‘hijab’); for, it was good for keeping the hearts of
theirs and the
Prophet’s wives pure. Taking advantage of a gathering of many guests, Allah also asked them not to marry Muhammad’s widows after he was gone from the earth...
 A close reading of verse 33:53 makes the following points clear: 1. Allah put the responsibility for creating, and observing the barrier (hijab) between
Muhammad’s wives and his male visitors squarely on the guests, hence the words “when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen.”
Above instruction was given to men;
so, it were they, and not Muhammad’s wives, who were
responsible for creating a barrier (hijab) in front of their eyes, before asking anything from
Muhammad’s wives. It does not say, nor imply, that Allah had required Muhammad’s wives
to go behind the scre
en before attending to their male guests’ requests.

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