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April 7th, 2010

The Niqab Debate

Submitted by Rashid.


On ‘Pak Tea House’ blog a debate is going on topic of veil in Islam. This debate reflects current activities in Europe on the issue of ‘women veiling of face’. I did a quick research on this topic on Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement website (www.aaiil.org) , but I could not find any write-up. It will be nice if someone can contribute on this topic, or provide link to any article on subject of veil. Thanks.

See link.

38 Responses to “The Niqab Debate”

  1. April 7th, 2010 at 7:39 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I have scanned in 3 pages from the old edition of The Religion of Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali on this topic.

    See pdf file here.


  2. On pg. 658 there appears to be a typo, I see the word majority, i think the word should be maturity…

    So is the AAIIL view that women should only be veiled in the workplace? Are mosques a safe-haven so to speak?

    HMGA wrote that jihad was conditional, why not hijaab? In fact, i think the entire Quran is conditional…is it not?

    I think we should be able to consume pork, now that the trichinosis bacteria has been removed..there is no harm in eating it..before humans would get sick and die…for that reason the pig was ocnsidered a useless creature…the animal had no purpose whatsoever…

    your thoughts please…


  3. Thanks Dr Zahid Bhai.


  4. April 8th, 2010 at 5:51 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    “Majority” is the correct word there. “Age of majority” is an expression meaning the age when someone become a “major” from being a “minor”.

    “So is the AAIIL view that women should only be veiled in the workplace?”

    I don’t understand. We are talking about the face covering or niqab here. AAIIL view is that it is not required anywhere. As to the workplace, please read the Maulana’s footnote on p. 657, that 90% of Muslims in rural areas can’t afford to have women veiled because they have to labour outside. Read also in the middle of that page the words: “…secular needs whose very performance would be hampered by the veil…”

    Of course what you wear is conditional. For example, within the family it is much more informal than in the presence of outsiders.

    It seems a contradiction to say that the pig was declared unlawful because it was a “useless creature”. In the time of Moses, when it was first declared unlawful, some people or nations must have been eating it, otherwise there would be no sense in prohibiting its consumption!

    According to the Quran, if your life is in danger you can consume pig to save your life.

    As to the hygiene argument, let us consider a converse case. Alcohol was used for drinking in ancient times because water was often contaminated. But now we have drinkable water everywhere. So how many people (i.e. non-Muslims) do you find now using the argument: We need not drink alcohol now because pure water is available.

    If it is correct to say that it is all right to eat pig now because it is no longer unclean due to modern technology, then it is also correct to say that alcohol should no longer be drunk because due to the same modern technology pure water is now available!


  5. One of the purposes of Quran is to promote Social (Public) Health so that morality and decency in the society is nurtured. Such attributes emanate from voluntary chaste behaviors:

    24: 21. O you who believe! do not follow the footsteps of satan. He that follows the footsteps of satan (should remember that) he (- satan) surely enjoins immorality and indecency. But for the grace of Allâh and His mercy (that rests) upon you, not one of you would ever have been pure, but Allâh purifies him who wishes (to be purified). And Allâh is All-Hearing, All- Knowing.

    Then the Quran in its arguments creates intellectual space in the society for virtuous people by outlining the psychological principle governing such virtuous behaviors:

    24: 26. The evil and impure deeds are (a characteristic) of impure people and the bad and impure people are (inclined) towards the bad and impure deeds. Similarly good and pure deeds are (a characteristic) of good and pure people and the good and pure people are (inclined) towards good and pure deeds. It is they (- the good and pure) who are innocent of all that they (- the accusers) may allege (about them). There awaits them protection and an honourable and generous provision.

    Chastity can only be nurtured with chaste intentions and chaste environment:

    24: 30. Tell the believers to restrain their looks (in the presence of women not closely related to them and so lawful for marriage) and guard their chastity. That is purer and best for them. Surely, Allâh is Well-Aware of what they do.

    24:31. And tell the believing women to restrain their looks (also in the presence of men who are not near of kin and so lawful for marriage) and guard their chastity and not to disclose their (natural and make-up) beauty except such as cannot be helped (and is apparent) and draw their head coverings over their bosoms, and they should not display their beauty save to their husbands or to their fathers or to their fathers- in-law or to their own sons or to the sons of their husbands or to their own brothers, or to the sons of their brothers or to the sons of their sisters or their women (who are their decent companions) or to their bondsmen or to such of their male attendants as have no sexual appetite or to such young children as have yet no knowledge of the frailties of women. And let them not strike (the ground with) their feet so that which they (must) hide of their beauty or adornment) may become known. And (O believers!) turn to Allâh; one and all, that you may attain (true happiness and) your ultimate goal.

    In Quran marriage is an institution that preserves chastity. It is the same institution through which Mary preserved her chastity (Chastity is a super-set of virginity):

    24:32. Arrange marriages for those of you who are single and for your male and female slaves as are deserving and fit (to lead a married life). If they are poor Allâh will grant them means out of His bounty; Bountiful is Allâh, All-Knowing.

    24:33. And those who find no (means of) marriage should (exercise restraint and) keep themselves chaste until Allâh grants them means (to marry) out of His grace and bounty. (There is another commandment,) as for those of your bondsmen (or women) as ask for a written contract (of freedom for themselves on payment of ransom), write this (deed of manumission for them) provided you find good capabilities in them and give them out of Allâh’s wealth which He has given you. (Another commandment for you is that,) with a mind to gain (by this unrighteous means) the benefits of the present life do not constrain your slave-girls to unchaste life (by keeping them unmarried) when they desire (to marry) to preserve their virtue. But if anybody forces them (to abstain from marrying and to become unchaste) they will find, after they are forced, that God is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful.

    Quran acknowledges the spectrum of chaste and unchaste tendencies in a society. There will be always be a segment of females in the society that will deliberately draw attention towards itself and in the process provoke male harassment. Thus to prevent the harassment of chaste women it gives a remedy:

    33: 59. Prophet! tell your wives, your daughters and women of the believers that (while going out of their houses) they should draw lower upon them the portions of their (loose) outer coverings from over their heads on to their bosoms (so as to veil therewith the arms, the neck, the hair and ornaments worn over them). This practice is more likely to help them to be distinguished (from other women who make a display of their beauty and ornamentation) and so saves them from trouble. Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

    Nowhere in Quran is there an injunction to enforce veil as a dress code. How can one enforce such a code in a secular work environment or on non-Muslims?

    [The Holy Quran – Allamah Nooruddin]
    See also “Reformist Quran
     


  6. @Bashir:
    read verse of Holy Quran which follows the verse banning pig. There is reason for it. In islam Spiritual and moral life is more important than healthy physical life. Companions of Jesus asked for physical food. Companions of Rasulallah asked for spiritual food.


  7. April 8th, 2010 at 8:09 pm
    From Rationalist:

    I read the PDF file several times….

    ZA: In conclusion, the AAIIL believe that the veil is not a mandatory injunction of the Quran. Am I understanding this correctly? So women must cover their body properly, but not the face or head?

    So exactly what is the responsibilty of women in this respect? Why cant their be one simple paragraph that explains this? I dont think that I have even seen an AAIIL woman in a burqa like the women of rabwah. So does the AAIIL promote its women members to wear clothes that cover the entire body, just not the head?

    The wording of M. ali kind of confused me, i must admit…
    90% of Muslims in rural areas can’t afford to have women veiled because they have to labour outside.

    ^what does that mean?

    M. ali also quotes an instance where women and men prayed together, but he doesnt give a understandable reference, the reference is: IJ-C XVIII p. 84–i have never seen a reference like this before ever! Is this a hadith book? What is this?


  8. April 8th, 2010 at 9:00 pm
    From Rationalist:

    Now I turn to the issue of the pig.

    I am not sure how many people here have researched this, but let me briefly explain.

    In the ancient world the value of an animal was based on the amount of labor it could help humans perform or the value of its meat or the milk it produces, they also valued birds and other rare animals for their beauty…

    The pig was totally useless, it didnt help in any labor, the eating of its meat was dangerous and could possibly kill…the cooking of pigs meat took a very long time…they had to cook for hours on end just to prepare the meat, and even then they were unsure if the bacteria had been killed or not…the eating of the pig was just a dangerous endeavor that needed to be avoided if possible, because of the possibility of death.

    In the late 20th century, Trichonosis bacteria was found in the meat of the pig, this bacteria was scientifically removed…

    In the USA we haev something called the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, they have not recorded an incident where someone ate pork and died, whereas smoking is the #1 killer in the USA…

    In conclusion, pork was condemned because it was possibly fatal to eat…thats the reason, now we can eat it…

    If the Quran is conditional in terms of Jihad, why not other things..

    I say the Quran is totally conditional! Every injunction is based on the conditions of 7th century arabia…


  9. In the light of some of the comments above, I would like to emphasize that discussion about veil has gravitated away from Quran to secondary opinions. For those who do not belong to AAIIL, I would like to clarify that opinions of its elders (Muhammad Ali, Nooruddin, Kamaluddin etc.) are a significant contribution to Islamic thought but are not the basis of Islam, which obviously is Quran.
     
    Additionally, AAIIL is not an indoctrinated society that tells its members to do this or that or wear this or that. It encourages free thought, which is based on principle of logic stressed by its founder, carried forward by life long literary works of its elders and maintained by current generation.
     
    The Quranic Message is just not a heap of dogmas and stories, but clear exposition of logic:
     
    39:27. And We have set forth for the people all sorts of excellent and useful proofs in this Qur’ân that they may take heed [Nooruddin]
     
    Now coming to the food, which includes “pig,” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, discusses role of food on the moral state of man in his hallmark lecture/book “Teachings of Islam” – pg 6-10 excerpted below:
     
    It may be remarked at the outset that, according to the Muslim Scriptures, the physical conditions of man are closely connected with his moral and spiritual states, so much so that even his modes of eating and drinking play a part in the moulding of his moral and spiritual qualities. If, therefore, his natural desires are subjected to the directions of the law, they take the form of moral qualities and deeply affect the spiritual state of the soul. It is for this reason that in all forms of devotion and prayer and in all the injunctions relating to internal purity and moral rectitude the greatest stress has been laid upon external purity and cleanliness and on the proper attitudes of the body. The relation between the physical and spiritual natures of man would become evident on a careful consideration of the actions of the outward organs and the effect they produce upon the internal nature of man. Weeping whether artificial at once saddens the heart while an artificial laugh makes it cheerful. Likewise a prostration of the body, as is done in prayer, causes the soul to humble itself and adore the Creator; whereas strutting produces vanity and vainglory. These examples sufficiently illustrate the effect of bodily postures upon the spiritual state of man. Experience also shows the strong effect of food upon the heart and brain powers. For instance, the vegetarians ultimately lose all courage, and the result of giving up animal food is weakness of heart and total loss of the noble quality of courage. The same law is witnessed even among the animals, for the herbivorous animals do not possess even a hundredth part of the courage of the carnivora, and the same may be said of birds. There is not the least doubt then that food plays an important part in the formation of character. And further, as there is a defect in excluding flesh from diet altogether, excess in meat is also injurious to character and deals  death-blow to the admirable qualities of humility and meekness. But those who adopt the middle path are heirs to both the noble qualities, viz., courage and meekness. It is with this great law in view that the Holy Quran says: “Eat (meat as well as other food) but do not give way to excess (in any particular form of diet so that your character and health may not suffer from it) (VII: 29).” I have spoken of the effect of the physical upon the moral nature of man, but it should also be borne in mind that internal movements produce external actions. Grief brings tears into the eyes and joy makes a man laugh. Thus there is a natural relation between the body and the soul and all the actions of the body, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, walking, moving, resting, etc., necessarily produce a corresponding effect upon that which pertains to the states of the soul as distinguished from external actions. A shock communicated to one point in the brain causes loss of memory, and to another it brings insensibility as a consequence. Air containing the poisonous germs of the plague soon corrupts first the body and then the mind, and in a few hours the whole internal system in which reside the moral impulses is impaired and the unfortunate victim passes away like a madman. All this goes a long way to prove that there is a mysterious relation between the body and the soul of man and the solution of the mystery is beyond human comprehension.
     
    Admittedly, the above arguments are somewhat limited to the contemporary science of 1896, but the moral and intellectual logic still holds. Swine is mentioned and forbidden to consume in Quran – 2:173, 5:3, 5:60, 6:145, 16:115.
     
    6:145. Say, `I find nothing in what Allâh has revealed to me that forbids the people to eat anything except it be that which dies of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine; for (all) this is unclean, or (I find that thing forbidden) what is profane, which has been sacrificed in other than Allâh’s name, yet he who is constrained (to eat any of them), having no desire (for that) and having no intention to exceed the limit, (will find that) surely your Lord is Great Protector, Ever Merciful [Nooruddin].
     
    The above verse on the one hand forbids (regular) use of certain foods including swine, yet on the other hand provides flexibility in dire situations.
     
    Flesh of swine has parallels to alcohol, which too is restricted, yet were it not the flexibility in above verse no hospital in Muslim world can exist without use of alcohol as a chemical family (admittedly for anti-sepsis only and not for consumption, but it still touches the human tissue). I do not believe we have been able to make such an argument for pork in due course of normal life (except maybe during a famine).
     
    In light of what Mirza Sahib mentions that All this goes a long way to prove that there is a mysterious relation between the body and the soul of man and the solution of the mystery is beyond human comprehension also applies to epidemiological correlation of rampant HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and belonging to Christian faith. This does not mean that Christianity is cause of HIV, but through a third confounding factor, Christianity does not restrict sexual behavior the way the Islam in North Africa does.
     
    So, in sum total, with modern science, we have been able to provide an infection free pig in America, but how its consumption might still relate with chastity of its consumers, it still has to be worked out. This is where, Mirza Sahib’s argument carries sway.
     
    Outside United States (or developed countries), Trichinosis remains a public health problem.
     
    Wikipedia: It is also important to keep in mind that major socio-political changes can produce conditions that favor the resurgence of Trichinella infections in swine and, consequently, humans. For instance, “the overthrow of the social and political structures in the 1990s” in Romania led to an increase in the incidence rate of trichinosis. There is also a high incidence of trichinosis among refugees from Southeast Asia.  China reports approximately 10,000 cases every year and is therefore the country with the highest numbers of cases. In China, between 1964-1998 over 20,000 people were infected with Trichinosis and over 200 people died.

    With the above discussion, when someone says “I say the Quran is totally conditional! Every injunction is based on the conditions of 7th century arabia…” it seems a thought with a very limited scope.

    Note: Trichinella is a worm not bacteria.


  10. Thank you for the explanation, it makes sense.

    I really appreciate what M. ali brought to the table. His book “The Religion of Islam” discusses every aspect of Islam.

    I just always thought it was strange that jihad was conditional but other injunctions were not.


  11. April 9th, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Jihad as such is not conditional but required under all circumstances. It is the form that Jihad takes which depends on the conditions. Whether Jihad can be in the form of armed fighting depends on the strict conditions laid down in the Quran. But a Jihad, or struggle for Islam, is still required when Jihad by arms does not apply.


  12. rationalist:

    IJ refers to  Jami‘ al-Bayan f i Tafsir ul-Qur’an (Commentary), by Imam Abu Ja‘far
    Muhmmad ibn Jarir al-Tabari.

    Not sure about IJ-C.

    As for the AAIIL “dress code” I think Ikram clarified that that very well.  btw I have seen AAIIL women in full burqa with niqaab also.  Its also a cultural thing.


    Note by Zahid Aziz: In The Religion of Islam (see “List of Authorities and key to references”) IJ-C is the abbreviation for Ibn Jarir’s Commentary (tafsir), while IJ-H is the abbreviation for Ibn Jarir’s History (tarikh).


  13. Bay pardah nazzar aayeen joe chund bebe-yaan
    Sighting of unveiled women

    Akbar zameen mein ghay-rut-e-quomi say garh gay-aa
    Induced a chauvinistic guilt in Akbar (-the poet)

    Poo-cha joe oun say aap kah pardah woh kaya hoo-ah
    When asked about their (missing) veil

    Kah-nein lugeen keh uqqal pee murd-oon key purh gay-aa
    Women retorted, it’s veiling the minds of the men

    I agree with the response of the women. Its men, who create, dictate and enforce dogmas. Veil is one of such dogmas.


    Another couplet by Akbar Allahabadi in Urdu
     
    Hum aye-see sub kitabein kabil-e-zabth sumajh-tay hain
    Such books are worth confiscating 
     
    Keh jinko parh kay bay-tay baap koh khab-ti sumajh-tay hain
    Reading which (thus enlightened) sons declare (their) dads lunatics
     
    These verses were written by a conservative poet as a mockery of neo-liberalism emanating from westernization of Indian Muslims. But, with time the mullahs by their conduct and ill logic have reversed this mockery into actual parody. With passage of time, now the “sons” i.e. modern ideas (of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) have proven how wrong were the “dads” i.e. the medieval mullah mentality, with polemic of veil and pig as a case and point.


  14. April 10th, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Here is another couplet by Akbar Allahabadi:

    Raqibon nay likha’ee hay rapat ja ja kay thanay main
    My opponents have reported to the police against me again and again,

    Kay Akbar naam layta hay Khuda ka is zamanay main.
    That Akbar mentions the name of God in this day and age.

    I was reminded of this by incidents in hospitals in the U.K. in which health professionals (who were Christians, by the way) were reported for mentioning “prayer” and “God” to some patients.

    Here is a joke told by Akbar Allahabadi (quoted by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi).

    God the Father went to Europe. He introduced Himself to people (i.e. Christians in those days) as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. People took no notice. He said: I made all mankind. People took no notice. He said: I am the one who sent the prophets mentioned in the Bible. People still took no notice.

    Then he said: “I am the father of Jesus”. People immediately recognised and welcomed Him and said: “Why didn’t you tell us this before? Now we know who you are.”


  15. What Vidyarthi Sahib has been able to convey humorously in a few sentences, cannot be effectively explained in volumes i.e. when a religion takes a turn towards mythology, it relies more on secondary sources than primary. In our case it’s the mullah over imams over hadith over Quran, while totally ignoring common sense.  
     
    In a similar vein, Khawaja Kamal-uddin while making a case for Montheism states:
     
    “Pure monotheism would go to the real Fountain Head of all light, but the polytheistic tendency, innate in an undeveloped mind, would blight its judgment and benight its reasoning. Man would take the agent for the principal, the husk for the kernel, the effect for the cause, and the immediate for the ultimate. This psychology creates polytheism. All forms of “isms,” ranging from fetishism to Man-worship, thrive under it.”[Islam and Zoroastrianism by Khawaj Kamal ud din, pg 18, Basheer Muslim Library, The Mosque, Woking, pub: 1925]

    Even more simpler is the following Urdu couplet:
     
    In aqal kay andhon koh ulta nazar aa-ta hay
    These brain dead (-mullahs) see the opposite
     
    Majnoon nazar aa-tee hay laila nazar aa-taa hay.
    Majnoon (-the male) is taken for female; Laila (-the female) for male.


  16. BBC online reports:

    “Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban.
    Belgium’s lower house of parliament has voted for a law that would ban women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public.”
     
    I don’t know whether it is ignorance of BBC reporter or s/he does not know.
    S/he is calling veil an ‘Islamic face veil’. If veiling a face was Islamic then how come on occasion of Hajj and Umra, Muslim women are NOT required to veil their faces? We cannot ignore the fact that Hajj and Umra are the ultimate forms of Islamic rituals.  There is nothing more that could be added to that ritual. In Hajj and Umera strangers men and women are in close proximity in a very crowded space.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8652861.stm
     


  17. ‘Islamic face veil’ is nothing but a cultural baggage of ancestral Islam of the old world. Besides veil, facial hair/beard also falls in the same category.  I cannot help but give some leeway to such journalists because in life “perception is reality.”

    It is ironic that outward appearance is becoming gateway to Islam. It is a sorry state that Islam has fallen into the same category where it can be identified by its dress just like a catholic priest or a rabbi. On the contrary Islam stresses morality of intentions, behaviors and actions. Instead of following principles of a dress code, a specific dress has itself become the principle. It is a classical example of maintaining the shell of the religion rather than its soul and Surah Baqarah is full of such examples about Bani-Israel.

    Globalization and the freedom of thought that it provides give us individual freedom to choose a dress of our liking. But I see it as a problem when a given dress is worn and enforced in the name of Islam, for which the latter gives no basis. The closest case that can be made for a veil in the name of Islam is that it nurtures chastity. But this kind of chastity preservation is no different than the chastity belt of the Europeans in the dark ages.

    The reality and purpose of this veil thing can be summarized by the quote from Henry Kissinger:

    The real distinction is between those who adapt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in the light of their purposes.


  18. If the UK were to ban the wearing of the face veil would that be considered an infringement on religious freedom? Or should it be welcomed? (since Islam doesn’t seem to at all warrant the wearing of the face veil) I think any nation would be within their right to ban it in public. Could you imagine if everyone in the world were to fully veil their face?

    It’s interesting that Qadianis (based upon their tafsir to the Quran) call for the wearing of the face veil amongst Muslim women.


  19. May 1st, 2010 at 4:58 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Appeals against decisions of European governments can be made to the European court of human rights. However, in all cases involving the wearing of religious symbolism or dress identifying a religion (whether Muslim, Christian or Sikh) that have gone up to this court, it has upheld the right of the government to restrict display of religious dress and symbols within certain environments such as schools or other establishments which are required to treat everyone equally.


  20. 7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence.

    Clearly Quran defines basic standards of a dress: raiment that covers your nakedness.

    And the purpose of dress: a source of (your) elegance and protection.

    Goal of a dress: so that they may attain eminence.

    Niqab defies the above requirements of a dress i.e. it neither covers nakedness nor is a source of elegance; yet in present times is a source of scrutiny thus denying the protection except that of a sun blocker.  Niqab has yet to provide eminence in the work place.

    As far as chastity is concerned, it lies in intentions and actions: Yet the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best (of robes).

    [Holy Quran – Nooruddin]


  21. May 8th, 2010 at 10:35 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    “…the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best”

    This is the essential point. To wear the spiritual dress that is visible in your character and behaviour is the real aim.

    If we take the translation:

    “We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and (clothing) for beauty; and clothing that guards against evil — that is the best”

    then we could say that one side (i.e. many Muslims) regards the purpose of dress as the covering of the body, while the other side (i.e. modern West) regards the purpose as display of beauty.

    But the Quran says that both purposes have their role physically, but the real aim is to protect your character from evil and to show beauty in it to the world, by covering yourself with the teachings given through Divine revelation.


  22. 7:31. O Children of Adam! look to your elegance (by dressing properly) at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds, for He does not love those who exceed the bounds.

    Thus the whole mankind is addressed and advised to look to your elegance (by dressing properly) at every time and…eat and drink but exceed not the bounds in either liberalism or conservatism of dress because He does not love those who exceed the bounds.

    7:32. Say, `Who has made unlawful Allâh’s beautiful things of adornment and elegance which He has produced for His servants and the delicious and pure things of (His) providing?’ Say, `They are primarily meant for the believers (and for the disbelievers too) in this present life (but) exclusively for (the believers) on the Day of Resurrection.’ In this way do We explain the Messages for a people who would know.

    Thus, who has made unlawful Allâh’s beautiful things of adornment and elegance which He has produced for women which Niqab tries to prevent. At least from women’s point of view, it would be a fallacy that the world is for men only and to overcome their fetish and guilt to gawk at women, men have to force women to wear Niqab.

    7:33. Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin and aggression, which is never justifiable; and (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’

    Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin
    irrespective of Niqab, and aggression, which is never justifiable to enforce Niqab. Niqab being a point and case where (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’

    [The Holy Quran – Nooruddin]


  23. This sublime interpretation of the Quran as described by Dr. ZA regarding “libas” and “libas al-Taqwa” is of course related to the story of Adam and Eve, which most Muslims take as literal while Ahmadis tend to have an allegorical interpretation.  This just reminded of a recent article in the Daily Dawn Pakistan which mentions Dr. Iqbal’s interpretation of the same story; and it is also allegorical and philosophically similar to Maulana Muhammad Ali.

    Read it at this link.


  24. Syria bans niqab at universities [Daily Times]

    DAMASCUS: Syria has banned niqab from the country’s universities. The Education Ministry’s ban on the niqab comes as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims. An official at the ministry says the ban affects public and private universities and aims to protect Syria’s secular identity. The official spoke on condition of anonymity. Sunday’s ban does not affect the headscarf, which many Syrian women wear. The niqab is not widespread in Syria, although it has become more common recently. It’s growing popularity has not gone unnoticed in a country governed by a secular, authoritarian regime. Last month, hundreds of primary school teachers who wear the niqab were moved to administrative jobs, local media reported. AP



    France Moves One Step Closer to Criminalizing Full Muslim Veil [VOA]
    Excerpt:
    “This is something which is absolutely contrary to our history, to our traditions and to our principles,” said Myard. “The principle of dignity for a person, and the principle of equality of the sexes.  And of course it is also a question of security because you do not know who is behind this veil.”
     
    Spanish parliament to debate ban on public burqas [Associated Press]
    Excerpt:
    Justice Minister Francisco Caamano said on June 15 that garments like the burqa are “hardly compatible with human dignity.”

    Head-covering veils would not be included in a ban as they form a part of traditional Spanish dress, with women often covering their heads with a garment called a mantilla, especially during church services in the south of the country.

    Other European nations that have debated regulating the use of body-covering burqas or face-covering niqabs include Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

    A notable exception has been Britain, where Immigration Minister Damian Green described calls to outlaw such garb as “un-British.”


  25. Widespread Support For Banning Full Islamic Veil in Western Europe – A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project

    An interesting observation in the survey statistics is that the “infidels” who were directly attacked by the “jihadis” on 9/11 and are now mutually fighting, are the most tolerant of the veil.


  26. New Australian law to make Muslims lift veils

    Muslims introduced un-Islamic practice of making their women wear Burqa.
    Now non-Muslim countries are forcing to shun unislamic practice.
    http://news.yahoo.com/australian-law-muslims-lift-veils-050625536.html

    Similarly, Pakistani Muslims are making Qadiani to shun un-Islamic practice of wearing Burqa/Niqab.
    According to news:

    “I have been informed that in Pakistan Ahmadi women living in larger cities have been advised to not wear their traditional burqa and use a chadar only to avoid being conspicuous and an easy target.”

    Muslim and Qadiani women in Europe; and Qadiani women in Pakistan are adopting practices of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement women.


  27. i do not take any criticism against a particular dress (burqa – covering of face) as an attack on Islam rather i take it genuine dislike or criticism to dress in a hideous manner. 

    I have a question

    24:31And say to the believing women that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions and do not display their adornment except what appears thereof. And let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms. And they should not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or guileless male servants, or the children who know not women’s nakedness. And let them not strike their feet so that the adornment that they hide may be known. And turn to Allah all, O believers, so that you may be successful.
    I do not have anything against head-covering. in my opinion a woman appears more feminine.

    The command is to cover the bosoms. my question is – Islam is not meant for a particular culture and time. If in prophet’s time women used their head-coverings to cover their bosom does this imply that muslim women of other cultures and times are now bound to imitate their style or they just follow the command with what ever means available to use? for example women of cold climate – they use woolen caps or wear hooded jumpers.

    The injunction (Ghamidi sahib refers to them as Islamic manners and differentiates between Islamic manners and Islamic ordinances) is not about to cover the head but it is to make use of it to fulfill another advice. 
    It would be a problem for those who insist on that it is mandatory for women to use a head covering, exactly in the manner it was used in prophet’s time, to cover their bosoms. 

    because i have come across this article, which quotes Muhammad Asad:

    The respected scholar, Muhammad Asad, commenting on Qur’an 24:31 says ” The noun khimar (of which khumur is plural) denotes the head-covering customarily used by Arabian women before and after the advent of Islam. According to most of the classical commentators, it was worn in pre-Islamic times more or less as an ornament and was let down loosely over the wearer’s back; and since, in accordance with the fashion prevalent at the time, the upper part of a woman’s tunic had a wide opening in the front, her breasts were left bare. Hence, the injunction to cover the bosom by means of a khimar (a term so familiar to the contemporaries of the Prophet) does not necessarily relate to the use of a khimar as such but is, rather, meant to make it clear that a woman’s breasts are not included in the concept of “what may decently be apparent” of her body and should not, therefore, be displayed.”

    The aticle also says:

    …….When the pre-Islamic Arabs went to battle, Arab women seeing the men off to war would bare their breasts to encourage them to fight; or they would do so at the battle itself, as in the case of the Meccan women led by Hind at the Battle of Uhud. This changed with Islam, but the general use of the veil to cover the face did not appear until ‘Abbasid times. Nor was it entirely unknown in Europe, for the veil permitted women the freedom of anonymity. None of the legal systems actually prescribe that women must wear a veil, although they do prescribe covering the body in public, up to the neck, the ankles, and below the elbow. In many Muslim societies, for example in traditional South East Asia, or in Bedouin lands a face veil for women is either rare or non-existent; paradoxically, modern fundamentalism is introducing it. In others, the veil may be used at one time and European dress another. While modesty is a religious prescription, the wearing of a veil is not a religious requirement of Islam, but a matter of cultural milieu.

    http://www.islamfortoday.com/syed01.htm


  28. Head covering is on a spectrum from no covering, to hijab, to niqab. It does not end there. Now here is the latest, the pasta strainer of “atheist religion.” Enjoy it!
     
    News: Austrian Man Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer In License Photo
    Interview: Austrian ‘Pastafarian’: License Photo Was A Win For Freedom From Religion
     


  29. An interesting way to explain a Muslim Women Pardah

    British Man and the Sheikh

    A British man came to Sheikh and asked: Why is it not permissible in Islam for women to shake hands with a man? The Sheikh said: Can you shake hands with Queen Elizabeth? British man said: Of course not, there are only certain people who can shake hands with Queen Eli…zabeth. Sheikh replied: our women are queens and queens do not shake hands with strange men.

    Then the British man asked the Sheikh: Why do your girls cover up their body and hair?

    The Sheikh smiled and got two sweets, he opened the first one and kept the other one closed. He threw them both on the dusty floor and asked the British: If I asked you to take one of the sweets which one will you choose?
    The British replied: The covered one.
    The Sheikh said: that’s how we treat and see our women.


  30. January 28th, 2012 at 6:46 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Finally one enemy of Islam is making Muslim women follow Islam by NOT covering their faces.

    Dutch to ban Muslim face veils next year

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/01/201212720294828225.html


  31. During an inter-faith meeting a Christian asked one of our learned member the following question.

    “Why do Muslim women cover their head with a scarf”. Our member replied while pointing to the depiction of Hazrat Maryam “Have you ever seen a dipiction of mother Mary without a head covering”. The christian person replied “no”. Our member said “then what is wrong if Muslim women do the same”.


  32. January 29th, 2012 at 4:49 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    @Abid Aziz sahib,

    I agree with what you wrote. Dutch are banning only face veils. 


  33. 1. I have myself heard Muslim commentators, who should have known better, saying: The hijab has been banned in France, Italy, etc. It is the face veil that has been outlawed in public.

    2. In UK we have youngsters known as “hoodies” who, as a fashion or as a mark of belonging to some form of youth culture, cover their faces with hoods. They are usually male. In some public areas, such as shopping centres, they are required by the regulations governing entrance to those places (not by the law of the land) to have their faces uncovered on the premises. But in UK this does not apply to Muslim women who are wearing face veils, and “hoodies” have complained about being treated unfairly!

    3. Now in UK we see thousands of non-Muslim women wearing head-coverings. These are women who have come from countries such as Romania and Hungary since the extension of the EU. No longer can we assume, when we see a woman on the road wearing a head scarf, that she is a Muslim.

    4. The Queen of England herself is often seen with a scarf over her head, tied under the chin. Only a few years ago, in our lifetimes, women in England were often seen wearing scarfs of the same kind.

    5. In 2006 I was watching a question/answer programme on the “Islam” Channel on Sky TV in UK. In answer to one question it was stated that if a woman performs the pilgrimage at Makkah while wearing a face-veil, she must make an expiation for this fault (by, for example, giving in charity).

    6. I have come across a Hadith report mentioned by Maulana Muhammad Ali in his Urdu commentary on Sahih Bukhari. He writes in a footnote:

    “A woman was conversing with the Prophet while wearing a face veil. The Prophet said: Show your face, for showing the face is a part of faith (‘Aini). It seems from this that the Holy Prophet did not only consider showing the face to be permissible but necessary.”

    The work ‘Aini that the Maulana refers to is a classical commentary on Sahih Bukhari.


  34. January 29th, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Follow up on Dr. Zahid Aziz:

    In a famous incident Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS showed face of his wife Aisha RA in light of oil lamp to his friend Umar RA, in the street where they met.  


  35. Narrated ‘Ali bin Al-Husain (from Safiya, the Prophet’s wife):

    The wives of the Prophet were with him in the mosque (while he was in Itikaf) and then they departed and the Prophet said to Safiya bint Huyai, “Don’t hurry up, for I shall accompany you,” (and her dwelling was in the house of Usama). The Prophet went out and in the meantime two Ansari men met him and they looked at the Prophet and passed by. The Prophet said to them, “Come here. She is (my wife) Safiya bint Huyai.” They replied, “Subhan Allah, (How dare we think of evil) O Allah’s Apostle! (we never expect anything bad from you).” The Prophet replied, “Satan circulates in the human being as blood circulates in the body, and I was afraid lest Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds.”

    (Sahih Bukhari, Muhsin Khan translation, Volume 3, Book 33, Number 254)

    The Holy Prophet’s followers were so devoted that they would have believed and trusted his word. But he backed up his word with evidence, and regarded himself as answerable for his actions before them!


  36. January 29th, 2012 at 7:29 pm
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    @Dr. Zahid Aziz,

    Thanks for correcting me. That act of Holy Prophet was so important that today it is giving one less reason to people like Robert Spencer to criticise his (Holy Prophet) life and character.
      


  37. I am convinced if ALL Muslims in Europe had continued the approach taken by Khawaja Kamal ud Din sahib and his friends at Woking Muslim Mission, today European Muslims would not facing troubles in Propagation and Practice of Islam.  Following Al Jazeera article tells what more is to come for European Muslims:
     
    Europe’s failure to integrate Muslims
     
    Laws restricting Islamic symbols in the public sphere are fuelling political distrust and a shared sense of injustice.
     
    Last Modified: 15 Mar 2012 07:56
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/201231473832412963.html


  38. March 16th, 2012 at 11:02 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    1. Who is a “British agent” now! Please read the following news from the present-day Woking Mosque website:

    Shah Jahan Mosque Welcomes The Royal Anglian Regiment

    Yes, the Woking Mosque was welcoming British troops on their way to Afghanistan.

    I (Zahid Aziz) am an eye-witness to the fact that in the 1960s non-Ahmadis in U.K. used to say to us: The British allowed you to open the Woking Mission because Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a British agent. So who is the agent now!

    Of course, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (thousands of blessings be upon him) had said that those who hurl such false charges against innocent believers will then find the same epithets reflected back on them.

    2. Now read the history of the Woking Mosque by the present-day Woking Mosque website, Part 2 and Part 3, and their fulsome praise for Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. In Part 3 it says at the beginning:

    “One of the things that is impressive about this early movement, and for this the Khwaja must take the credit, was the simplicity of the message. It is evident that this is one of the things that were most influential in persuading converts to adopt Islam. He preached a message that was free of cultural baggage, a pure message based on faith and belief that encompassed the spirit of Islam. He was always positive, always gentle and always good-natured. It was obvious that he embodied many of the qualities that believers would expect in a man of faith; peacefulness, kindness and a quiet certainty, but failed to witness in the clergy, where dogma and the ecclesiastical hierarchy were the dominant features.”

    (To clarify, by “early movement” they mean the Woking Muslim mission.)


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