Monday, July 10, 2017

Muslim Woman's Hijab

Date: 10th July 2017

Today's entry are about the 2 YouTube video that someone I've been following shared in her Insta story this morning vis-a-vis my thoughts on this issues. Let's watch the video first:-

Nouman Khan's (Bayyinah) on topic to cover of not to cover?

Samina Ali spoken about what does the Quran really say about a Muslim woman's Hijab

*Claimer: read this with your own research and interpretation from many scholars, being your duty as a Muslim and as clearly instructed by Allah to those deserving His favor. For the record I can’t stand a Muslim woman who insulted another Muslim woman publicly for veiling as if those wearing hijab are uneducated and undeserving of beauty. Because in the Muslim context, the Quran clearly stated that veiling or covering indicates the high status of believing women. See the evidences:-  

Surah An-Nur 24:31 “And say to the faithful women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their head coverings (khimars) to cover their bosoms (jaybs), and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband's fathers, or their sons, or their husband's sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their womenfolk, or what their right hands rule (slaves), or the followers from the men who do not feel sexual desire, or the small children to whom the nakedness of women is not apparent, and not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments. And turn in repentance to Allah together, O you the faithful, in order that you are successful”; and

Surah al-Ahzab, 33:59 says “O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle”.

The commandments in the above verses are related to behavior of:
  • lowering the gaze
  • guarding the private parts
  • not striking the feet on the ground so as to give knowledge of what is hidden
  • not displaying the beauty beyond "what is apparent of it" except to the people highlighted in bold in 24:31
  • extending the head covering to cover the bosom
  • drawing the outer garment close aroun

Historically, the first recorded instance of veiling or covering the hair for women is recorded in Assyrian legal texts from the 13th century BCE.  Its use was restricted to noble women. Prostitutes, slaves and poor women were forbidden to cover their hair/heads.

From monotheism perspective, the origins of the hijab is Jewish and that is why, the mother of Jesus, wearing a hijab. The Old Testament (Torah) mentions head or hair covering only briefly but these few words have evolved into a complex hijab ritual practiced by devout Jews across the globe.

The Bible’s New Testament, First Epistle to the Corinthians verses 11:5, says that   “Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved”; to which Christians refer to when explaining why women should cover their heads, especially in prayer or in church come to us from Saint Paul in his letters to the Corinthians.  Corinth was a city situated on the peninsula of Southern Greece and was part of the Roman Empire during the time Corinthians was written.  It was a cultural melting-pot of Roman, Greek, and Jewish cultures, thus it is pertinent to wonder what cultural norms were retained as the city changed hands and empires.  

The early Christian women veiled their heads in church and anytime they were in public and Christian women continued to maintain this practice to some degree throughout the centuries until the 19th and 20th centuries when the practice rapidly declined. A Christian woman who becomes a nun is said "to take the veil".  This is said in reference to her head covering.   Nuns throughout Christian history have been recognisable by their distinctive head coverings many of which resemble Muslim hijab.  In medieval times, across the western world married women normally covered their hair outside the house, and nun's veils were often based on secular styles.

As a conclusion it's up to you, a Muslim woman to choose whether or not to adorn head scarves. Should you feel doing so, just do it confidentally and without any sense of obligation to justify and/or debate with anyone. Stand believing in your faith and obligations to follow what the Holy scriptures (Holy Books) asked you to do. The matters are to be dealt between you and the Rabb.

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