Hijab/Head covering

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In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
*

This letter was sent to the Toronto Star. It was not published.
Re: Often hard to see peaceful side of Islam (Star, Saturday, September 24, 2011)

Contrary to Joe Killoran’s claim, the Qur’an/Islam abolished slavery and put the scepter of regality into the hands of the slave, as evidenced in the history of Afghanistan –Kutubuddin, Shamshuddin Altamash, and Subuktagin were former prisoners-of-war/slaves who rose to high ranks.
Rather than “devalues women” the Qur’an liberates women and gives her equality with man from the cradle to paradise:
-“And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner–(Qur’an 2:228);
-““Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember­–Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward”–(Qur’an 33:35).
-The Muslim woman can earn; inherit and own property.
It is ignorance of Islam to say that the Qur’an endorses “misogyny.” Islam esteems womanhood as the symbol of purity and motherhood as the gateway to paradise! Neither Joe Killoran nor anyone else can prove that the Qur’an “has caused and continues to inspire countless acts of savage violence and cruelty.”

Anthony Morris wrote: “Never in my life have I been called a Christianophobe…But criticizing Islam immediately conjoins one to this moniker.”
While truth is not Islamophobia or Christianophobia, to compare the truths expressed against the Pope and Christianity to using verses of the Qur’an out of context to vilify Islam is thoughtless if not dishonest. Any serious student of the Qur’an knows that Islam is “rational critical thinking”: “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner–(Qur’an 16:125).
Islam is blessed with the Divine allure of reason! There is no charge against Islam that is not refutable.

Donald Joshua wrote: “It is hard for the ordinary person to see the peaceful side of Islam if all we are confronted with in the name of that religion, through the media, is warfare, suicide bombings and honour killings.”
(Joshua’s letter is a classic example of one who, rather than go to the source for knowledge, relies on the media, which can be brutally biased). Islam has only one “side,” Peaceful! Islam prohibits oppression, aggression, transgression, and exploitation; Islam prohibits using our hatred as a reason to transgress or be unjust; in fact Islam requires that we give justice even it be against one’s self. Islam only allows a defensive fighting against those who first take up arms against Muslims; and requires the making of peace with the enemy, even in the face of possible deception by the enemy; (that Islam says to slay the disbelievers wherever you find them refers to the soldiers of war who would regroup against Muslims. And this is what America and entourage have done/are doing, as they claim, in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan; though Iraq and the Talibans did not take up arms against America and entourage). There is no “honour killings” in Islam!

Joshua continues: “The man in the street is uncomfortable with the hijab, sharia law and jihadis.”
(The nudist might also be uncomfortable with our clothing, including the bikini and thong!) Will you stop wearing garments you’re “comfortable” with because the “man (and woman) in the street is “uncomfortable” with them?
There is no law more equitable and just than Shari’ah! (While there is no terrorism in Islam and this is not in support of terrorism) before Palestine was stolen and given to Jews and the West began to try to run Muslim countries and control their oil/resource there was no “suicide bombings” no “warfare” and “jihadis” against the West.
                  *

                   HIJAB/KHIMAR

(The Bible also requires that women cover their heads–Num. 5:18; 1 Cor. 11:5-6. Mary, the Christian’s “Mother of God,” as Christians depict, wore hijab).

   It is stupefying how some people are terrified by the Muslim woman’s head scarf: you would think she was carrying the atomic bomb under this piece of cloth on her head. However the bomb is not under her hijab; it is in her head. And it is more potent than any human invention.

   This “bomb” in the Muslim’s head is “Allaho Akbar –Allāh God is Great– There is no God but Allāh, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allāh!’

   No amount of bigoted human legislation can diffuse this “bomb.” This “bomb” is Divinely decreed to prevail to Judgment Day–(Qur’an 9:33; 48:28; 61:9).  

Shirin Ebadi stated: “Instead of telling [Iranian] girls to cover their hair, we should teach them to use their heads.”1 Why not both? Covering hair does not diminish mental ability.

*

Islam does not require the Muslim woman to veil her face.

The Muslim woman’s head-cover is not a symbol of her “servitude.” (Is the nun’s head-cover a symbol of her “servitude”? The nudist might view all clothing, including the bikini and thong, as a symbol of “servitude” or repression). Only those unaware of the significance of the hijab would oppose, revile, or militate against it. These garments –overcoat (jalaba) and head-cover (hijab)– are to distinguish the Muslim woman from other women, a mark of devotion and of distinction: of being the exalted nation–(Qur’an 33:59; 24:31; 2:143; 3:110).

   That these garments were not of temporary usage is evident from the Prophet’s saying to Asma, who was wearing thin clothes at the time: “O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands” Abu Dawud Vol. 3, #4092.
While this hadith is said to be “mursal” –lacking the name of the narrator who transmitted it from ‘Aisha– it is in accordance with Qur’an 24:31 and 33:59. These verses and hadith also show that the Muslim woman’s face is to be uncovered. That when the verse on hijab was revealed women cut cloth and covered their faces except their eyes were only the women’s understanding. As clearly shown in Qur’an 24:31 women are to “wear their head-coverings over their bosoms” not over their faces).

   Allāh God has conferred upon the Woman of Islam the loftiest position. Islam has ennobled woman. It has adorned her with a crown of excellence. The scarf is more than a piece of cloth on the head; it is embroidery for the soul. To help mould the Woman of Islam into a fortress of modesty and virtue. (Men are to be covered from the navel to the knees and one part of the chest). Islam intends the scarf to be a symbol of piety and humility. A symbol of beauty and excellence: a beauty and excellence manifesting from within –manifesting through love and obedience to serve our Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer. A beauty that never ages nor tarnishes. A beauty that becomes increasingly resplendent with time.

   There is no beauty more lustrous, more alluring and more enduring than beauty of the soul; and no woman more beautiful than she who vests her self for the love of Allāh, God.

   Islam does not forbid women from wearing fine garments and jewelry, (Allah God likes to see His bounties on His servants). But it does not allow such appareling for the purpose of display.  

   A person cannot attain piety until and unless he has achieved humility. To achieve humility one must exercise simplicity and modesty. The act of covering one’s self helps to build modesty.

   (While women and men are to be physically fit, and groomed). It may be advanced that the khimar and jalaba liberates woman from slavery to form and looks; to focus on function. It frees her from the folly and exploitation of fashion to focus on the exercise of self-control, economy, and dignity. A person’s worth lies not in looks but in character).

(According to one view, women who wear the veil and burqa run the risk of suffering from a deficiency of vitamin D. That vitamin D supplement is necessary to maintain health.

That the Islamic head-cover and over-garment result in a deficiency of vitamin D seems to imply that Allah requires Muslim women to dress in manner that is injurious to her health.

Incidentally, Catholic nuns are similarly dressed as Muslim women and are secluded in convents and monks are confined in monasteries; has any test been done on them to determine if they suffer from any vitamin D deficiency?

Muslim women or not, the woman who are mostly indoors would suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. This would also be true of men.

Islam does not require women to cover their faces: the face, hands and feet [though feet are usually in shoes], as taught by the Prophet, are to remain uncovered. If this precept is followed, women should not suffer from vitamin D deficiency [unless one is in a wintry country, in which even non-Muslim women would then require supplement]. For we have men in the middle Eastern countries who dressed similarly as women–with head wear and long robe with only their faces and hands and feet being exposed–and there is no report of them suffering from vitamin D deficiency. In fact, people in warm climates are mostly covered–wearing full shirts and pants and shoes, and even suits and ties; and also in cold countries men and women are deprived of sunshine for most of the year.

Enough sunlight on the face and hands should be sufficient for health. And many food products and health tonic are fortified with vitamin D. Though periodic checkup at your doctor is a good consideration).

   Seemingly, pre-Islamic usage of the headscarf is also being used to dissuade Muslims from wearing it. So what if the head-scarf was worn 5000 years ago in the Sumerian era by certain women “initiating” young males into “sex”? The Ka’ba once housed hundreds of idols and was circuited by naked men.

   Are the many non-Muslim women of today who wear head-scarves do so for the purpose of “initiating” young males into “sex”? Allāh, God, has made the Muslim’s headscarf a mark of identification and a symbol of purity and honor.

(To women who are of the view that it is discrimination against them, in that men are not required to cover their heads: men have to shave their heads at the hajj, women do not; men are required to be circumcised, women are not; men are required to give women dowry, even though she may possess greater wealth than him; men are required to maintain women, whereas women are free to do whatever with their finances. And men also have a dress code–to cover the area from, and including, the navel to the knees and half of the chest. Even without comprehending the excellence of the hijab, covering the head when required is no price to pay for Allah’s everlasting beauty.

   As stated, these garments–overcoat (jalaba) and head-cover (hijab)–are to distinguish the Muslim woman from other women, a mark of devotion and of distinction: of being the exalted nation–(Qur’an 33:59; 24:31; 2:143; 3:110).

Women who are wearing jeans under their over-garment in revolt against Islam must know that they are dressing themselves for the Fire. There is nothing in Islam to protest against–Islam regards womanhood as the symbol of purity; and motherhood as the gateway to Para-dise.

Whereas choosing to not wear the hijab (and jalaba) is one matter, why would the Muslim woman desirous of Allāh’s everlasting grandeur revile the hijab? Revolt against the hijab is revolt against Islam; revolt against Islam is revolt against Allāh; revolt against Allāh is the Sureway to Hell-fire).

   Significantly, whereas the critics of Islam charge that Islam discriminates against women and that the hijab is a symbol of the Muslim woman’s subservience; Islam requires that:

-men give a gift to their brides even though she may be wealthier than he is
-men maintain their wives even though she may have a mountain of money
-men be circumcised and women not
-men shave their heads at the Hajj and women not

yet no critic of Islam has charged that Islam discriminates against men; or that Islam teaches hatred of men; or that Islam favors women over men; or that these are symbols of the Muslim man’s subservience to women.

   Interestingly, whereas Allāh reveals in His Qur’an 2:228 that women have rights similar to those against her He did not say that men have rights similar as those against him; thus, argu-ably, women would seem to have more rights on men than men have on women.  

   Allah is a Just God. He will not discriminate against Woman because of her form and physiology –a form and physiology He gave her; a form and physiology of which she had no choice. In fact, if form and physiology is the measure of superiority, Woman is superior to Man –she having carried man, gave birth to him and nursed him. Three degrees of excellence and superiority that Man have yet to acquire. Women even have a fourth degree of excellence over men –cloning! Whereas the male sperm can be dispensed with in duplicating the being, the female’s ovum is necessary to develop the clone.

*

About the Muslim woman’s covering her body Nonie Darwish wrote in her book Cruel and Usual Punishment (p. 77) that “in reality a woman’s body is considered a thing she should be ashamed of.”

But even Mary, the Christian’s “Mother of God” (and mother of their son of God), as Christians show us in their depictions of her, is covered like the Muslim woman. Why then bitch at Muslim women? In fact, Muslim women are to be praised. And as their “Mother of God” covered herself, are Christian women not to imitate their “Mother of God” and cover themselves? And (except for nuns) by not covering themselves like their “Mother of God” what are these Christian women conveying? that they know better than their “Mother of God”? or that they are more liberated and knowledgeable than their “Mother of God”? or that their “Mother of God” was backward and “ashamed” of her body?

Doesn’t Christianity require the Christian woman to cover her body? Didn’t God clothe Adam and Eve?–(Gen. 3:21; and there was no one then to see them). And Jesus (the Christian’s God and son of God) was covered from neck to toe in flowing robe (as Christians show us). Coptic priests are covered in head-to-toe black and Fundamentalist Jews are covered from head to toe in black, are these “ashamed of” their bodies? Shouldn’t you, Nonie Darwish, and Christian women in general cover up like your “Mother of God”? And shouldn’t the Pope and Bishops and Christian men be covered in flowing robes and wearing long hair and beard as Jesus?

Interestingly, contrary to Christian’s depiction of Jesus as being long-haired, blue-eyed and white-skinned, John in the Isle of Patmos described Jesus as being white-haired, red-eyed and yellow-skinned: “His head and his hairs were WHITE like WOOL, as WHITE as SNOW; and his eyes were as a FLAME OF FIRE; And his feet like unto fine BRASS, as if they burned in a furnace”–(Rev.1:9,14-15. This difference in appearance could not be because Jesus is in “heaven;” the dead/resurrected is spiritualized as angels are–(Matt. 22:23-30; Luke 20:34-36), not chameleonized.    

The Muslim woman’s body is not a thing to be “ashamed” of. Islam esteems womanhood as the symbol of purity and motherhood as the gateway to paradise. The Muslim woman covering her body –which is an identification and a reflection of her being of the exalted nation (Qur’an 33:59; 24:31; 2:143; 3:110)– is no “shame” but part of her passport to Paradise.

*

NOTES

1. The Weekly Standard; cited in Readers Digest, Aug; 2008; p. 49.

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