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Islamic Sharia Laws (09 Nov 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Qur'an Does Not Mandate Hijab

By Ibrahim B. Syed, New Age Islam

09 November 2016

In my previous communication I wrote that the Qur’an aims to eliminate all sources of temptations and enticement in society, and does not want women should bear the brunt of the burden in this process. However, the vast majority of Muslim men want that women should be covered from head to toe except perhaps for one roaming eye, and men may happily swagger around undisturbed by scrumptious female parts. Worst of all, this fundamentally male-indulgent view is presented as God’s unquestionable truth.

In this context I quoted from the book of Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl who is an accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar, and a Professor of Law at the UCLA's School of Law where he teaches Islamic law. He is a world renowned expert in Islamic law who previously taught Islamic law at the University of Texas, Yale Law School and Princeton University. A high-ranking Shaykh, Dr. Abou El Fadl also received formal training in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt and Kuwait.

My quote is not directed at any individual directly or indirectly.

Abou El Fadl argues that in contemporary Muslim society people tend to become authoritative by imposing a single viewpoint to the total exclusion of others. Shariah (Islamic law) is then invoked to quash debate by people who are themselves not adequately qualified to do so.

To counter this trend Fadl wrote the book "And God Knows the Soldiers" (University Press of America, pp.204, 2002), noting that it was his aim to “challenge those who invoke the moral weight of Islamic law to their side as a way of foreclosing the debate. The message of this book is: "If you carry Islamic law as a weapon to silence others, you better know how to use it.” (p.20)

In America the scholars and writers follow Islamic guidelines of etiquette:

1. AVOID FLAMING which is name calling, personal attacks, and character assassination.

2. STICK TO THE FACTS or at least label speculation as such.

There is no doubt the Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., respects opposing points of view and people have a right to espouse those points of view. It is my understanding that the Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., has a bedrock policy to encourage critically constructive discussion and debates. However, discussion should be based on facts and not become shrill and emotional or make uncomplimentary remarks about individuals.

I have been taught that a strong scholar is like a mighty rock who is not shaken but allows the winds of criticism to pass by. A weak debater, lawyer or scholar makes a case with speculative thinking, subjective interpretation and forgets the guidelines of etiquette.

This is a good discussion and extremely important to debate with sincerity as people's lives are at stake. We need to distinguish between the tenets of Islam and cultural customs. My intention is to engage in a scholarly discussion and not to ridicule those who oppose my points of view.

Islam does not mandate or prescribe any specific type of dress. Thus, as long as the dresses are not revealing or too tight, cultural variations can add tremendous diversity in the fulfilment of this guideline.

Hijab, a terminology that is NOT to be found in the Qur'an or Hadith in the context of dress code.                                                                                                                                       (Source: globalwebpost.com/farooqm/writings/islamic/scarf_revel.htm)

A word-for-word translation of the Qur'anic text (Surah 24: 31) will prove my point:

Wal Yazribna - and should draw

Bi-Khumurihinna - with their head covering

Alaa Juyuubihinna - across their bosoms

A Muslim scholar wrote “Surely a female dress covers all of the body except the hair and the face. The verse forcefully commands that these beautiful parts and features should not be displayed to the stranger, but only to the husband and very close relatives." (Source: Dr. Bashir Ahmad, "Veil/Hijab Becoming a Symbol of American Muslims" in Pakistan Link, August 26, 2005)

The words "except the hair" are the author's own subjective interpretation which he cannot provide proof as these are the Qur'anic words.

The scholars who read ‘The Message of the Qur'an’ ( published by Dar al-Andalus Ltd, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar, 1980) wrote, "Muhammad Asad's translation and commentary is widely considered the best in the English language, renowned for its intellectual insight and frequent reference to classical commentaries such as Zamakshari. Asad's interpretation to be the most bona-fide and coherent, it is scrupulously referenced so he does not give his opinion rather quotes some of the greatest scholars after the manifestation of the Qur’an such as Zamakshari, Ibn Kathir as well as Qurtubi to name a few."

Some Muslim scholars are under the impression that the Arab women used to roam around with their head and bosoms totally uncovered; and the Qur’anic verse (24:31) instructed them to pull their ‘Khimar’ from their back onto their exposed bosoms. This assumption is correct as it is based on historical facts.

A Qur'anic scholar should know "Asbab Un-Nuzool" causes or reasons for revelations (of the Qur’anic verses).

On Surah, An-Nur 24: 31, Muhammad Asad gives the translation "… let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms." In his commentary No. 38, he wrote, "The noun Khimar (of which Khumur is the 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 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 word Khumur (singular, Khimar), is generally understood to be a head-covering worn by both male and female Arabs at the time of the Prophet.  Some Muslims had discussions about whether or not it is permissible to wipe over a head-covering when making ablution for prayer refer to the Prophet wiping over his Khimar. (Source:brandeis.edu/projects/fse/Pages/veilinglink1.html)

"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 Makkan women, led by Hind at the Battle of Uhud…….While modesty is a religious prescription, the wearing of a veil is not a religious requirement of Islam, but a matter of cultural milieu." (Cyril Glasse: The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam. Harper and Row Publishers, New York, N.Y., 1989, p. 156 and p. 413).

My main contention is that covering of hair for a woman is not mandatory as written by many scholars including Shaykh Zaki Badawi. Dr. Zaki Badawi (head of the Muslim Council in London, England and the Chairman of the Council of the Mosques and Imams) wrote, "The Hijab veil (which covers all of a Muslim woman's hair) is also not obligatory" (Source: http://www.mostmerciful.com/Hijab.htm)

Parents have problems in some Gulf countries where the education ministry, the teachers' union and the students' union had all fallen under Islamist control. One mother described what happened when she moved her 11-year-old daughter to a new school: "After about three months she said: 'Mummy, I want to wear Hijab'." The mother, thinking she was too young for Hijab, asked her why. A teacher had said the girl's hair would be burnt on Judgment Day if she did not wear it.

Years of research on Hijab (head cover) has convinced me to make a challenge. The challenge is for any one (Muslim or non-Muslim) to prove that the Qur'an mandates the women to cover their hair.

India born Dr Ibrahim B. Syed is a doctor in nuclear medicine sciences from john Hopkins university and is is a founder and president of the Islamic research foundation international inc., Louisville. He contributed this article to www.newageislam.com

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/ibrahim-b-syed,-new-age-islam/the-qur-an-does-not-mandate-hijab/d/109055

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  • Simple point from the Quran for those who say covering the face is mandated:

    The blessed Messenger Muhammad [S] was asked not to marry any more "even if their beauty" inspired him. 

    33:52 Henceforth, no other women shall be lawful to you (O Prophet), nor can you substitute anyone with other wives even though you admire their beauty and qualities. None beyond those you already have. Verily, Allah is Watchful over all things.

    By Mubashir - 11/12/2016 8:34:43 AM

  • Assalamua'laikum,
    Mr. Ibrahim B. Syed  wrote The Qur'an Does Not Mandate Hijab for New Age Islam. Pl. click this link and read all of it to fine that he wrote all this to its end, just to find that he discussed the details of aayah 24:31 discussed by Dr. Khalid Abu El Fadl in his book "And God knows the sodiers".
    Dr. Khalid knows very well that some times Quran does tafseer of one verse by another verse. 
    Here the tafseer of 24:31 is adequately done by 33:59 as is discussed by Ibn Katheer in a little detail that I have pasted below. Please read it to its end just to find that Hazrat A'li Karrmallahu A'laih says that jilbab is a rida or a sheet of cloth that was used by men and women before and after Islam and that at one occasion Rasoolullah Sallallahu A'laihi wa Sallam did 'Masah' on this rida spread on his blessed head. This is this sheet that was ordained by Allah and asked Rasoolullah Sallallahu A'laihi wa Sallam to tell his wives, daughters and the momin ladies, to pull it on their heads and faces in a way that only one eye is left uncovered so that the ladies could see the area they happen to walking through. Se also a Sahabi demonstrated the way that the ladies used to pull this rida on their heads and partly on their faces for others to know that these ladies are "Hurrah" and respectable and not to be abused.
    Mr. Ibrahim should have read this tafseer of 33:59 by Ibn Katheer to know that 'Quran does mandate hijab" and that it is mandatory for ladies to cover their heads along with their faces.
    He also mentions 'Asad' in this connection who or Dr. Khalid must not be preferred over the Ajillah Sahabah A'laihimurRidhwaan like Hazrat Ali Karramallahu Wajhahu and Ibn Mas`ud, Ubaydah, Qatadah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ata' Al-Khurasani and others.
    Please find in this tafseer that this 'Rida' was worn over the Khimar by Muslim ladies since the early days of Islam to this day. This clears the confusions of Ibrahim B. Syed and of Dr. Khalid, who is a shaikh and not an a'alim in its true sense. Such people try to show their own opinions and avoid the ways of Sahabah, Tabiy'oon, Luminaries of Islam and true Ulama. I didn't mean to disrespect any one but to bring the actual knowledge to our Muslims.
    This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Sahih.''
    33:59.  يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٥٩﴾ 
    O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their
    Jalabib over their bodies.
    That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-
    Forgiving, Most Merciful.
     33: 60. لَّئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا 
    If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who spread false news
    among the people in Al-Madinah stop not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they
    will not be able to stay in it as your neighbors but a little while.
     مَّلْعُونِينَ ۖ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا أُخِذُوا وَقُتِّلُوا تَقْتِيلًا 
    Accursed, they shall be seized wherever found, and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.
     سُنَّةَ اللَّـهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّـهِ تَبْدِيلًا ُ
    That was the way of Allah in the case of those who passed away of old, and you will not find any
    change in the way of Allah.
    The Command of Hijab
    Allah says:
    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
    O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their Jalabib
    over their bodies.
    Here Allah tells His Messenger to command the believing women -- especially his wives and
    daughters, because of their position of honor -- to draw their Jilbabs over their bodies, so that they will
    be distinct in their appearance from the women of the Jahiliyyah and from slave women.
    The Jilbab is a Rida', worn over the Khimar.
    This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, Ubaydah, Qatadah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-
    Nakha`i, Ata' Al-Khurasani and others.
    It is like the Izar used today.
    Al-Jawhari said: "The Jilbab is the outer wrapper."
    83Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that;
    Allah commanded the believing women, when they went out of their houses for some need, to
    cover their faces from above their heads with the Jilbab, leaving only one eye showing.
    Muhammad bin Sirin said,
    "I asked Ubaydah As-Salmani about the Ayah:
    (to draw their Jalabib over their
    bodies). He covered his face and head, with just his left eye showing.''
    That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed.
    means, if they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not servants or whores.
    And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    means, with regard to what happened previously during the days of Jahiliyyah, when they did not have
    any knowledge about this.

    By Qaseem - 11/12/2016 4:15:24 AM

  • When the Quran calls covering/head covering/shawl/scarf "Khumar" then why is it called Hijab? Nowhere the Quran refers to it as Hijab.
    Can any body give an explanation? Thanks.
    [It seems as if Khumar has been turned into Hijab to load it with secondary sources material]

    By Mubashir - 11/11/2016 7:02:09 PM

  • Well this had been said many times.

    The Hijab, Niqab or lots of different dressing is more about projecting the we Muslims are different, and that also through women, look at the man how they dress Mordern.

    Arrogance had quality to kill itself.

    Quran even do not mentioned 5 times prayer time, that is also inventions.

    By Aayina - 11/11/2016 3:02:37 PM

  • Islamic Hijab as detailed below is mandatory & does exist in Qura’n & authentic Ahadees, the devout & pious Muslim Khawateen do observe this with their own free will & do not consider it something imposed on them by men.

    Whatever be reputation, knowledge & interpretation of some scholar, it is a fact Islam mandate for women when they go out or even in home before Na Mehram, the entire body from head to toe should remain covered means hair & skin not visible & also covered such that the body curves should not be visible. Only the face & the hands below the wrists are allowed to be open. This is as per Qura’n & as per Sunnah. There is no doubt in it.

    The entire face also to be veiled is the extremist view & their imposed practice in some parts of the world, however it may not be mandatory but if someone observe willingly there is no sin in it. 

    By Zaheer Husain Khan - 11/10/2016 10:38:27 PM

  • Brother Ibrahim you and the Newage Islam are only seaching ways to uncover Muslim Women. It seems you have lot of free time to spend thinking and writing on old beaten redundant topics. 
    By Naseem Ahmed - 11/10/2016 11:07:07 AM

  • Agreed, “Islam does not mandate or prescribe any specific type of dress. Thus, as long as the dresses are not revealing or too tight, cultural variations can add tremendous diversity in the fulfilment of this guideline.”

     Identical conclusion as tabled below is reached in my joint exegetic work referenced below, based on textual scrutiny of the related Qur’anic verses 24:30/31 using the Qur’anic vocabulary: 

     “She (A woman) is therefore asked to dress modestly, commensurate to the prevailing custom, and to bear herself in a non-provocative manner. Wearing of any external head to toe veil, covering of head, and gender-based segregation are not specified.”

     Ch. 24.2, Essential Message of Islam,

    Re: http://www.newageislam.com/books-and-documents/by-muhammad-yunus---ashfaque-ullah-syed/essential-message-of-islam-(full-text)/d/104768

    Islam does not mandate or prescribe any specific type of dress. Thus, as long as the dresses are not revealing or too tight, cultural variations can add tremendous diversity in the fulfilment of this guideline. - See more at: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/ibrahim-b-syed,-new-age-islam/the-qur-an-does-not-mandate-hijab/d/109055#sthash.K3S7eimS.dpuf

    By muhammad yunus - 11/10/2016 12:28:53 AM

    By ZAHEER HUSAIN KHAN - 11/9/2016 11:32:04 PM

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