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 The Matter of Hijab

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رقم العضويه : 21
تاريخ التسجيل : 23/10/2010
عددالمشاركات : 24
المزاج الحمد لله رب العالمين
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مُساهمةموضوع: The Matter of Hijab   السبت أكتوبر 23, 2010 2:22 am

The Matter of Hijab
(The Headscarf)


The Meaning of Hijab:

Hijab is derived from the trilateral verb `hajaba', which
means `man'a' – to prevent or inhibit.
Imam Fayyumi says:
"It is said of the screen (satr): `hijab,' because it prevents vision
(mushahada). It is said of the doorman: `hajib', because he prevents
(others) from entering. And the origin regarding the hijab is an
object (jism) intervening between two (other) objects. It has also
been used with reference to abstractions (ma'ani). It is said:
Impotence is a hijab between man and his aim. And sin is a hijab
between the servant and his Lord."1

Allah says ((So when you petition them for a provision, petition them
from behind a hijab)). [Sura Al-Ahzab: 53]

Based upon this we know that the word hijab means `a screen, veil, or
obstruction.' It is more general than the word khimar, which we will
discuss next.

The Meaning of Khimar:
The khimar originates from the trilateral verb `khamara', which
means `ghatta' – to conceal, hide, or cover up something.

As for khimar, Imam Fayyumi says,
"The khimar is a garment by which a woman covers up her head. And the
plural is `khumur' as in `kitab' and `kutub.'"2

Allah says, ((And let them draw their khumur over their juyub)) [Nur:
31]

The Meaning of Juyub:

The word juyub is the plural of the word jayb. `Jayb' comes from the
verb `jaba', which means `to bring forth someone or something.' It
also means the same as the verb `jayyaba', which means `to cut out
the collar of the shirt.'
As for the word `jayb', as a verbal noun it means `a place from
whence something is brought out' `or an opening, pocket, or purse,'
like the opening of a shirt, the pocket of one's garments, a woman's
womb, or purse.3

Imam Fayyumi says,
"The jayb of the qamis4 is the opening at the throat area."5

This lets us know that the proper understanding to take from this
verse is that juyub means `bosoms', since the jayb is the opening of
the shirt near the throat. And the objective of this covering is to
avoid the display of a woman's ornaments as will later be discussed.
We also know from this that khimar means `head covering.' So the
khimar should be long enough to cover up both the woman's head and
bosom.

Does a Woman Have to Wear a Khimar?

Some Muslims today claim that a Muslim woman doesn't have to wear a
khimar claiming that the Qur'an makes no mention of it or that the
reason for the order to wear the khimar was simply to distinguish
free believing women from slave women.
The concern with this paper is to focus more on the second claim, and
to disprove it on the basis of the rules of proper legal
interpretation as stipulated by the scholars of Arabic language,
Legal Theory, and Law.
There are two verses we want to take a look at in tackling this
issue. The first is Allah's saying in Sura Al-Nur: 31,

((And say to the believing women that they are lower their gaze and
guard their sexual organs; and that they are not to display their
ornaments except for what appears thereof. And let them draw their
head coverings over their bosoms))

And the second is His saying in Sura Al-Ahzab: 59,

((O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters, and the women of the
believers that they are to cast their over-garments over them. That
is more convenient, that they be recognized, so that they won't be
molested)).

The claim of the faction permitting believing women to abandon hijab
and khimar altogether is that the reason Allah ordered them to cover
up was to distinguish them from slave women to avoid being harassed
as slave women were. They extract this legal justification (`illa)
from Allah's saying,

((That is more convenient, that they be recognized, so that they
won't be molested))

And women – it is believed - during the time of the Prophet – may
Allah bless and grant him peace – were molested and harassed, because
men mistook them for being slave prostitutes.
Making the following points can refute this claim:

The verse is a reference to wearing the jilbab - over-garment, not
the khimar – head covering. So if it was a legal justification
(`illa) for anything, it would pertain only to the jilbab.6
This kind of `illa (legal justification) is not decisive in
indicating that the reason for the order to have women wear their
over-garments is so that they'd be distinguished from slave women,
firstly because Allah didn't use the lam of purpose (lam al-ta'lil)
or other expressions clearly indicating reason - to express this
understanding. Secondly, Allah didn't expressly say that it is so
that they will be known from those women who are slaves. All He said
was `that is lesser or more convenient, that they'd be known, so that
they won't be molested.' This could just as well mean, `that they'd
be known as believing women, so that they won't be molested as
unbelieving women are.'

What further informs us of the fact that the matter of the khimar and
the jilbab has nothing to do with believing women being distinguished
from slave women is the fact that Allah, after ordering women to draw
their head coverings over their bosoms, He says,

((And let them not display their ornaments 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 women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male
attendants free of sexual desires, or small children who have no
carnal knowledge of women)) [Nur: 31].7

So if the reason for ordering them to do so was to be identified as
freewomen, what reason would Allah have in ordering them to conceal
their beauty from all but the above?

If you were to say:
"These are her relatives who know she is not a slave. So, Allah
allowed her to abandon the hijab and jilbab in their presence,"

Then my response would be:
"Well then, as long as a man knows that the woman is not a slave, she
can expose herself to that man."

But this is ludicrous, as we know.

In addition, it would suggest that Allah lacks wisdom and has wasted
His words in revealing the above verse by detailing those in front of
whom a woman may display her beauty, when all He had to say was that
as long as the man knows that the woman is not a slave, she may
expose herself in front of him.


Difficulty:

"Ok! We concede that the reason for the order was not so that free
believing women could be distinguished from slave women. But we still
say that the khimar and jilbab are not compulsory for women to wear,
because a command in Arabic can have a variety of indications, like
that the thing being ordered is merely favorable to do, or even
permissible. And we hold that the command in the verse is merely a
recommendation. So it cannot be said of one who doesn't do something
that is recommended that it is a sin."

Response:
Yes! An order can have a variety of meanings including those you
stated. However, the overwhelming majority of Arabic linguists and
legal theorists have clarified thoroughly that the apparent and
original indication given by an order (amr) is that the action being
ordered is compulsory to do (wujub). And the only time it carries the
indication of recommendation, permissibility, intimidation,
supplication, prohibition, or any of its other facets is when there
is some inherent or extraneous indicator that it cannot be taken as
such.
As for Imam Shafi'i, there are two different statements reported from
him. In one statement, he holds the same view of the majority in that
it indicates that the act is compulsory to carry out. And the second
view is that the action is recommended. The version accepted by most
Shafi'is is this latter statement.
Nevertheless, this still has no bearing on the point under
discussion, because despite Shafi'i's view, he still holds it to be
compulsory for a woman to wear khimar and jilbab in the presence of
those who are marriageable, as do all over Imams of our tradition,
based on other indicators to that effect.
So to contravene this view is to contravene a long well-established
un@-@@-@@-@@-@@-@ocal and decisive unanimous agreement that threatens the very
foundation of the person's Islam who claims that it is permissible
for Muslim women to abandon the khimar and proper covering.

Imam Tahawi says in his Aqida,

"And we do not ascribe unbelief to anyone from the People of the
Qibla due to a sin as long as he doesn't declare it to be
permitted."

What this clearly means is that when a Muslim considers a sin to be
permissible, he/she apostatizes from Islam. Of course, that is with
the condition that there is unanimous agreement among the qualified
scholarship of the Ummah that that particular act happens to be a
sin, and that it is something the knowledge of which must be known by
necessity without distinction between the learned and unlearned.

Imam Bayjuri says while commenting on some of the words of Shaykh
Ibrahim Laqqani's Jawhara al-Tawhid,

"The meaning is that whoever has denied a matter known from the
proofs of the religion with the semblance of immediateness (darura)
in such a manner that the highborn (khawass) of the Muslims as well
as the laity (`awamm) know it – (things) like the obligation of
Salat, Fasting, the impermissibility of illicit sexual intercourse,
and the like – (then he) will be killed due to his unbelief (kufr),
because his denial of that necessitates belying the Prophet – may
Allah bless and grant him peace. And his execution is neither a hadd
(determined penalty) nor an expiation (kaffara) for his sin as in the
case of the other determined penalties (hudud). (Whereas) They are
expiators for sins."8

He also says,

"And like he who denies a matter known from the religion by necessity
is he who negates a judgment that has been unanimously agreed upon
decisively (ijma' qat'i)…And the preponderant view is that one
doesn't fall into unbelief unless he negates something unanimously
agreed upon unless it is known from the religion by necessity."

And who is it that doesn't know until recent arguments that it is a
woman's obligation to conceal her hair and other ornaments from those
who are not permitted to see her in such a way?

Difficulty:

Ok! We concur that there is a consensus among Sunnis from the past
that a woman must conceal her legally defined beauty from certain
people. But this consensus is not binding, and is not sufficient to
expel one from Islam, because the Shiites don't consider ijma' to be
authoritative or binding.

Response:
Even if we accepted the objections made by Shiites against the
authority of `ijma to be valid, your argument would still not hold
any weight because if – on one hand - they deny the authority
of `ijma – on the other hand – they don't deny the authority of the
Qur'an. For Allah says, ((And whoever splits with the Messenger after
guidance has become plain to him and then follows other than the way
of the believers, We'll turn him to what he turned to and enter him
into Hell. And how evil a destination!)) [Nisa: 115].

Notice how Allah made entering Hell a consequence of not just
splitting with the Messenger. He made it also a consequence of not
following the way of the believers. And the way of the believers has
dictated since the inception of Islam up to the present day that
women are obliged to observed proper khimar and hijab in the presence
of non-family members and those who they have not been permitted to
expose themselves to.

And this is a matter that even Shiites have also agreed with
historically until the present day. So this is the way of the
believers for both Sunnis and Shiites.

And even if we don't attribute unbelief to the one who deems the sin
of not observing proper covering to not be a sin, we still know from
the explicit words of the Creator that such a person will enter Hell
for not following the way of the believers.
How long will they tarry there? Temporarily or forever? I guess we'll
find out. But would you really want to chance such a thing?
If it's temporary, it will be clear that such a person was still a
Muslim. And if it is forever, it will be clear that one was a
rejecter of faith.

May Allah protect us from going astray after guidance has come to us.
Amin



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رقم العضويه : 1
تاريخ التسجيل : 06/07/2010
عددالمشاركات : 347
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: The Matter of Hijab   الثلاثاء نوفمبر 02, 2010 3:31 am

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