Why do Muslim Men have beards and Muslim Women wear head and face coverings (veils)

{NOTE: for the latest on the face veil “ban”

and prohibition in France and Europe etc please see bottom of  page}

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To understand the present, look at history

In 1916, in Vienna, Austria, the king presented his wife entirely veiled as shown  below.
The queen was entirely covered because as the queen she was not to be looked by any man.
She was sacred and precious. And other veiled women were in the entourage also. All our Muslim women are sacred and precious, like a queen.
Note: This photo is not photo-shopped or morphed.
Its video still exists (2:15) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=473659579576

great find, Shaykh. Jazak Allah khair.

Watch the historical video of this event at the following link

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=473659579576

Not only the Queen, but many other women in the entourage also…. as in the video

See for yourself… seek and you will find.

Disclaimer : Just watch the video of Vienna, as a irrefutable historical proof,

for the commentary has some controversial and questionable points of view.

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Quote from a confident Muslim Woman
Nobel Peace Prize winner “Tawakkul Karman,” ‘The mother of Yemen’s revolution,’ when asked about her Hijab by journalists and how it is not proportionate with her level of intellect and education, replied:
“Man in early times was almost naked, and as his intellect evolved he started wearing clothes. What I am today and what I’m wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilization that man has achieved, and is not regressive. It’s the removal of clothes again that is a regression back to the ancient times.’

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NOTE Man (women) of the Year according to TIME magazine

December 26, 2011 | Vol. 178 No. 25

Why do Muslim Men have beards

and Muslim Women have

wear head and face coverings:

Some have commented – concerning this case of Daniel Boyd and his co defendants – about the beards on the Muslim men, and the head coverings, scarves and veils on the Muslim women, as if it is a crime. Since appearances count, below we will give some of the reasons why observant faithful Muslim men have beards, and observant faithful Muslim women wear head coverings, scarves and veils, and of course why the cover their entire bodies with modest clothes to avoid the lecherous glances of those that have sickness in their hearts, and need a cure. 

<> = <>  Beards of the Muslim men:

Did Abraham, Moses, King David and Jesus, peace be upon them, have a beard or not? Do observant faithful male followers of Judaism have breads or not? The beard is the natural God given sign of manhood, and the universal distinguishing mark of masculinity from femininity. This is why all prophets of God like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may Allah’s peace be upon them all, had beards and ordered their followers to keep their beards. Shaving the beard entirely or shaving the beard partially and prolonging the mustache, is only a recent innovation in mankind originating among the pagans and polytheists and then spreading among others and blindly aped by some of the believers of monotheism – the professed faith of many. Muslims seek to maintain the way of the prophets in this aspect of the God given appearance of masculinity. Its as simple as that. And yet it has become much more, like the modest covering of faithful women as mentioned below. There are specific commands of the Prophet Muhammad, may the salutations of peace and blessings be upon him and his family and followers, that order the believers to maintain their beards and to trim their mustaches, and these commands are reported in authentic narrations in various phrases that make the command one of religious obligation not voluntary choice. since there are lengthy papers and books on the subject which any diligent search will reveal, it is not necessary here to enumerate them.

<> = <> The head coverings, scarves and veils on the Muslim women

The virtues of modesty and chastity are the main reasons for Muslim women to wear head coverings, scarves and veil. Another reason is for protection from the disturbing teasing, ogling, and advances which may lead to molestation and lewdness forwarded by those unscrupulous and criminal elements in society.  Islam seeks to protect the family life of the society in general, and thus seeks to protect the chastity and moral purity of all members of the society from temptations. This is the main rational for women to wear modest clothing. If a man in western societies, for example, sees a Catholic Nun wearing her religious habit (like the famous pictures of Mother Teresa, etc), then he automatically thinks she is protecting her morality and chastity, and therefore he feels she is sacrosanct  and “off limits”. If an unscrupulous man is seeking something illegal in flirtation, fornication and adultery, he turns to see other women who flirt and wear provocative clothing and expose their feminine beauties. Thus the modest clothing  of a faithful women acts as a warning flag to stay away from this women for she is chaste and protected. As this examples portrays, and by way of this analogy we seek to bring the concept closer to comprehension, the rationale for modest clothing and covering in Muslim societies is the same. And yet Muslim women have the obligation to follow and observe specifically strict instruction in this regard, for her own honor and protection,  as mentioned below. Observant female followers of Judaism always wear head coverings as obligatory, and many Christian women wear scarves and head coverings to church, and even face veils were common. At some Jewish and Christians weddings a face veil is traditional since this is the heritage of the symbol of faith in Gods teachings about morality, modesty and chastity before marriage, and the sign the sanctity chastity and faithfulness in marriage, of family life, and of motherhood . I always naturally thought about this  – I realize now upon reflection – when as a child I looked at those bible pictures of the Holy Land, seeing the modestly dressed men always with beards, and women always with head coverings. That was a long time  before I accepting Islam, and the praise is for Allah, the One God and Lord Sovereign of the Universe who guides whom He will. As my wife and I were strolling one day in the grocery store in the same Midwestern town, a little girl said to her mother – commenting on my wife and her appearance:  mommy …mommy  look! Mary! What this innocent little girl saw was  exactly what I saw as a child: the images of middle eastern women in modest clothing, as a sign of their modesty, chastity, and faith in God. A Midwestern Christian preacher and missionary said to me that his grandmother would never go to church without her face veil, as was customary in those days. How much change in the USA have we seen in one generation after the so called sexual revolution of the 60’s. In Christianity the covering of the head in church is obligatory according to the passage of the New Testament of the Bible of Corinthians 11:4-16 which includes: 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Below: Christian women in prayer

nuns

Catholic nuns from the Missionaries of Charity order sing hymns for a special prayer during the eleventh death anniversary of Mother Teresa in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata September 5, 2008. Mother Teresa was a Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun who died in 1997, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003 at the Vatican. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw.

Below: Jewish women in prayer

Jewish Women_praying_in_the_Western_Wall-

Tzniut (Hebrew: צניעות, Tzniut, Sephardi pronunciation, Tzeniut; Ashkenazi pronunciation, Tznius, “modesty“) is a term used within Judaism and has its greatest influence as a notion within Orthodox Judaism. It is used to describe both the character trait of modesty and humility, as well as a group of Jewish religious laws pertaining to conduct in general and especially between the sexes. The term is frequently used with regard to the rules of dress for women… Halacha (Jewish law) requires married women to cover their hair;[1] Maimonides calls this requirement Dat Moshe (the law of Moses).[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzeniut <>

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Interesting satire below, showing the extent of ignorance, and Islamaphobia these days among citizens and officials, and please do not think it is a real news item, yet given our circumstances, it could have happened with slightly different details.

Jalees Rehman, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago

GET UPDATES FROM Jalees Rehman, M.D.

Catholic Nun Forcibly Removed From Plane for Wearing “Muslim Garb”

Posted: 04/ 5/11 06:49 PM ET

April 5, 2011 DAYTON, OH – Sister Cora-Ann, a Catholic nun from the Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Dayton, Ohio got the surprise of her life yesterday, when she was asked to leave the plane she had just boarded at the Omaha International Airport. “I had just sat down in my seat, and started to thank God for our blessings and recite a prayer in Latin”, she recalled, when one of the passengers sitting next to me called the flight attendant. The passenger was Elizabeth Bennet, who later stated: “It is not that we were prejudiced, but she did seem very suspicious. She was dressed in Muslim garb and just before we were about to take off, she started mumbling something in an Arabian or Talibani-sounding language. What was I supposed to do?” Damien Thorn was a passenger seated in the adjacent row and said: “I knew there was something sinister about her, the moment she stepped into the plane. She was wearing those burqa clothes that you see the Iranian women wearing, and she only had a very small carry-on bag.” The flight attendant responded to the call and asked Sister Cora-Ann for her name, boarding pass and a photo ID.

Blanche Dubois was another passenger sitting close to Sister Cora-Ann and explained: “Once I heard that her name sounded like Koran, I got worried. That does not mean that there is anything wrong with me, does it? I just did not want to die. I was so scared, that I just yelled out her name to all passengers.” Mr. Okonkwo was a passenger seated a few rows behind and stated: “Once we all heard that the passenger’s name was Koran, things started falling apart.” Frodo Baggins, a frequent traveler, said he had heard that Muslims do not eat beef. “I did not think that she was Muslim, and to help her out, I took out some of my beef jerky and asked the lady to eat it to prove that she was not a Muslim.”

However, Sister Cora-Ann politely refused the beef jerky and reminded the other passengers that it was the time of Lent, during which Catholics often abstain from eating meat. The unrest in the plane kept growing, because most passengers were now convinced that Sister Cora-Ann was indeed Muslim and they demanded that Sister Cora-Ann leave the plane. “I did not want to cause my fellow humans any distress, so I left the plane”, she said.

“We were so happy that we could continue our journey”, said Frodo Baggins. “Once she de-boarded, it felt like a huge burden was lifted from us.” Apparently, there was indeed a Muslim on the plane, by the name of Abdullah Abdullah the 23rd, sitting in the last row. “Of course I knew that she was a Catholic nun and not a Muslim, because I went to a Catholic school and my favorite teachers were Catholic nuns.” Abdullah Abdullah went on to say “But let us face it: If you are a Muslim on a plane and someone else is being asked to leave the plane, the best thing is to be quiet and enjoy the show!”

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Face Veil traditions in Judaism and Christianity

Some examples of  bridal face veils, at the happiest time of life

Some examples of  funeral face veils, at the saddest time of life

For instance,

Who alive at the time of  the assassination (conspiracy)

of President John F Kennedy,

can forget Jackie Kennedy at her husband’s funeral

Face veils at the most holy and sacred time of life, in church

I remember a Christian Assembly of God preacher and missionary, Ron Peck, in the mid western USA state of Missouri, in all honesty and pride of this noble tradition, telling me that his grandmother NEVER went to  church on any Sunday without a full face veil. This speaks volumes about the religious traditions in the USA in the times when modesty, chastity, and propriety were dominate among the people. <>

And Interesting article below on “Veil”:

A veil is an article of clothing, which is intended to cover some part of the head or face. A veil is almost exclusively worn by women, although some instances exist where men also wear a veil. The first recorded instance of veiling for women is recorded in an Assyrian legal text from the 13th century BC which restricted its use to noble women and forbade prostitutes and common women from adopting it. Greek texts have also spoken of veiling and seclusion of women being practiced among the Persian elite and statues from Persepolis depict women both veiled and unveiled, and it seems to be regarded as an attribute of higher status. Purpose For many centuries, until around 1175, Anglo-Saxons and then Anglo-Norman women, with the exception of young unmarried girls, wore veils that entirely covered their hair, and often their necks up to their chins. Only in the Tudor period (1485), when hoods became increasingly popular, did veils of this type become less common. For centuries, women have worn sheer veils, but only under certain circumstances. Sometimes a veil of this type was draped over and pinned to the bonnet or hat of a woman in mourning, especially at the funeral and during the subsequent period of “high mourning”. They would also have been used, as an alternative to a mask, as a simple method of hiding the identity of a woman who was travelling to meet a lover, or doing anything she didn’t want other people to find out about. More pragmatically, veils were also sometimes worn to protect the complexion from sun and wind damage (when un-tanned skin was fashionable), or to keep dust out of a woman’s face.

Veils with religious significance

In Judaism and Christianity the concept of covering the head was associated with propriety and can be witnessed in all depictions of Mary the mother of Christ, and was a common practice with Church-going women until the 1960s. A number of very traditional churches do retain the custom even to this day.

Women’s headcoverings

Traditionally, in Christianity, women were enjoined to cover their heads in church, just as it was (and still is) customary for men to remove their hat as a sign of respect. This practice is based on the Bible (Corinthians: 11:4-16). In many traditional Eastern Orthodox Churches, and in some very conservative Protestant churches as well, the custom continues of women covering their heads in church (or even when praying privately at home). In the Roman Catholic Church, it was customary, before the 1960s for women in most places to wear a headcovering in the form of a scarf, cap, veil or hat when entering a church. The practice now continues where it is seen as a matter of etiquette, courtesy, tradition or fashionable elegance rather than strictly of religion. Traditionalist Catholics also maintain the practice.

Western nuns

A veil forms part of the headdress of some religious orders of nuns or religious sisters ; this is why a woman who becomes a nun is said “to take the veil”. In many orders, a white veil is used as the “veil of probation” during novitiate, and a dark veil for the “veil of profession” once first vows are taken; the color scheme varies with the color scheme of the habit of the order. A veil of consecration, longer and fuller, is used by some orders for final profession of solemn perpetual vows. Nuns are the female counterparts of monks, and many monastic orders of women have retained the veil. Other orders, of religious sisters who are not cloistered but who work as teachers, nurses or in other “active” apostolates outside of a monastery, have abolished the use of the veil, or adopted a modified, short version; a few never had a veil to start with, but used a bonnet-style headdress even a century ago. The fullest versions of the nun’s veil cover the top of the head and flow down around and over the shoulders. In Western Christianity, it does not wrap around the neck or face. In those orders that retain one, the starched white covering about the face neck and shoulders is known as a wimple and is a separate garment. The Catholic Church has revived the practice of allowing women to profess vows as consecrated virgins; women who take the vows of religion without belonging to a particular order but who are under the direct care of the local bishop. These women may be given a veil as a sign of consecration. There has also been renewed interest in the last half century in the ancient practice of women and men dedicating themselves as anchorites or hermits, and there is a formal process whereby such persons can seek recognition of their vows by the local bishop; a veil for these women would also be traditional. Some Anglican women’s religious orders also wear a veil, differing according to the traditions of each order.

Eastern monasticism

In Eastern Orthodoxy and in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, a veil called an epanokamelavkion is used by both nuns and monks, in both cases covering completely the kamilavkion, a cylindrical hat worn by both monks and nuns. In Slavic practice, when the veil is worn over the kamilavkion, the entire headdress is referred to as a klobuk. Nuns wear an additional veil under the klobuk, called an apostolnik, which is drawn together to cover the neck and shoulders as well as their heads, leaving the face itself open.

Veils in Mormonism

Mormon women also wear a veil as part of ritual temple clothing. This veil, along with the entire temple ritual clothing, is worn only inside the temple. Normally, the veil is worn off the face; it is lowered to cover the face of the wearer during prayer, as part of the temple ritual. Mormons who have undertaken the temple ritual will typically be buried in this clothing. During the viewing of the body, the face remains unveiled. Immediately prior to the closing and sealing of the casket, the veil is lowered over the face of the deceased.

Muslim veils

A variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women in accordance with khimar (the principle of dressing modestly) are sometimes referred to as veils or headscarves. Many of these garments cover the hair, ears and throat, but do not cover the face. The niqab and burqa are two kinds of veils that cover most of the face except for a slit or hole for the eyes. The Afghan burqa covers the entire body, obscuring the face completely, except for a grille or netting over the eyes to allow the wearer to see. The boushiya is a veil that may be worn over a headscarf, it covers the entire face and is made of a sheer fabric so the wearer is able to see through it. It has been suggested that the Byzantine practice of wearing a veil – uncommon among the Arab tribes prior to the rise of Islam – originated in the Byzantine Empire, and then spread among the Arabs.

Other veils

Veils with hats

Veils pinned to hats have survived the changing fashions of the centuries and are still common today on occasions when women wear hats. However, these veils are generally made of netting or another material not actually designed to hide the face from view, even if the veil can be pulled down, which is not always the case.

Wedding veils

It is not altogether clear that the wedding veil is a non-religious use of this item, since weddings have almost always had religious underpinnings, especially in the West: in the Christian tradition this is expressed in the Gospel passage, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt. 19:6), but veils had been used in the West for weddings long before this (Roman brides, for instance, wore an intensely flame-coloured and fulsome veil, called the flammeum, apparently intended to protect the bride from evil spirits on her wedding day). The lifting of the veil was often a part of ancient wedding ritual. In many cultures, the lifting of the wedding veil symbolized the groom taking possession of the wife, either as lover or as property, or the revelation of the bride to the groom by her parents for approval. In ancient Judaism the lifting of the veil took place just prior to the consummation of the marriage in sexual union. The uncovering or unveiling that takes place in the marriage ceremony is a symbol of what will take place in the marriage bed. Just as the two become one through their words spoken in wedding vows, so these words are a sign of the physical oneness that they will consummate later on. The lifting of the veil is a symbol and an anticipation of this. In the story of Jacob in the Old Testament (found in the Book of Genesis), his father-in-law, Laban, tricks Jacob into marrying the wrong woman. Because of the heavily masked veil that was not raised until after the union was complete, Jacob married the older and homelier Leah instead of the young and beautiful Rachel. Rachel was his one true love, and the deceit resulted in Jacob eventually having both as his wives. The story also resulted in the Jewish practice where a groom lowers the veil before the ceremony and lifts the veil before the kiss. This practice is known as Bedeken.

Courtesans

Conversely, veils are often part of the stereotypical image of the courtesan and harem woman. Here, rather than the virginity of the bride’s veil, modesty of the Muslim scarf or the piety of the nun’s headdress, the mysterious veil hints at sensuality and the unknown. An example of the veil’s erotic potential is the dance of the seven veils. In this context, the term may refer to a piece of sheer cloth approximately 3 yards by 45 inches, sometimes trimmed with sequins or coins, which is used in various styles of belly dancing. A large repertoire of ways to wear and hold the veil exists, many of which are intended to frame the body from the perspective of the audience.

In West Africa

Among the Tuareg of West Africa, women do not traditionally wear the veil, while men do. The men’s facial covering originates from the belief that such action wards off evil spirits, but most probably relates to protection against the harsh desert sands as well; in any event, it is a firmly established tradition. Men begin wearing a veil at age 25 which conceals their entire face excluding their eyes. This veil is never removed, even in front of family members. http://www.wikigender.org/index.php/Veil <>   Reflection on Muslim women’s dress with loose clothing, head covering and face veil : Some have tried to portray the modest clothing and head scarf of observant Muslim woman and especially the face veil of some Muslim women, as a sign of oppressive male dominance and the abject subjugation of women in Muslim societies. They seek to liberate Muslim women from this repression, and call them to take off their coverings, throw away their veils, and wear revealing modern clothes which expose their feminine beauties in fashionable manners, or so they claim. They portray this as an evil that must be countered with rigorous propaganda and even rules and laws which outlaw such expressions of so called “humiliation” and “subjugation”. Some Muslim men and women have been affected by the propaganda and heeded this call.

The reality is that the modest dress of a observant Muslim woman, covering her feminine beauty, is liberation from the sex slavery that many modern women have fallen into. We say slavery because they have fallen into the degradation of their dignity and humanity by exposing their nakedness publicly, by subjugating themselves to the crass exploitation and commercialization of their precious bodies, by making themselves an object of unlawful desire by their manners and their dress, by and submitting themselves to the propaganda calling to extramarital sexual relationships.

All of this slavery is an attack upon morality and the preservation of the purity of family life.  Extramarital sexual relationships are seen by Islam, Judaism and Christianity, in unanimity, as immoral, unlawful, and sinful, deserving of punishment in this life and the Hereafter.

The commands of Islamic texts concerning women’s modest dress and coverings are unequivocal in the in the Quran and the Sunnah. Note that there is some difference of scholarly Muslim jurist opinion in interpreting the commands in the sources of  Islamic law – the Quran and the Sunnah – concerning the obligation of the face veil, and yet the controversy is only about is the face veil whether it is  obligatory or not. All competent Muslim scholars and jurist say that the head and body covering of a mature Muslim woman is obligatory.  All say that the face veil of a mature Muslim woman is recommended as voluntary and supererogatory, and some say it becomes obligatory if temptation is feared. Thus the controversy is mainly only concerning this question of Islamic law: is the face veil obligatory or only supererogatory? Just a few Evidences from the Qurán: And Allah the most Exalted said:

قوله تعالى: {يأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُل لاَِزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَـاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلاَ يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }. (الأحزاب: 59).

قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: «أمر الله نساء المؤمنين إذا خرجن من بيوتهن في حاجة أن يغطين وجوههن من فوق رؤوسهن بالجلابيب ويبدين عيناً واحدة»(2). وتفسير الصحابي حجة، بل قال بعض العلماء إنه في حكم المرفوع إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلّم، وقوله رضي الله عنه «ويبدين عيناً واحدة» إنما رخص في ذلك لأجل الضرورة والحاجة إلى نظر الطريق فأما إذا لم يكن حاجة فلا موجب لكشف العين.

قالت أم سلمة رضي الله عنها لما نزلت هذه الاية: «خرج نساء الأنصار كأن على رؤوسهن الغربان من السكينة وعليهن أكسية سود يلبسنها»(3). وقد ذكر عبيدة السلماني وغيره أن نساء المؤمنين كن يدنين عليهن الجلابيب من فوق رؤوسهن حتى لا يظهر إلا عيونهن من أجل رؤية الطريق.

The saying of Allah, Most Exalted: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the believing women to spread over themselves from their outer garments.  That is more suitable that they will be known and will not be abused (or molested). And Allah is most Forgiving and most Merciful [al-Ahzab 59] Abdullah Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said: “Allah commanded the believing women that when they go out of their homes for some need of theirs, they cover their faces starting from their heads with their “Jalabeeb” (outer garments) and they are allowed to have one eye appear (to see).” When this verse was revealed, Um Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her (the wife of the Prophet peace be upon him), said: “ The women of the Ansar came out (of their homes) as if they had (black) crows on their heads from their serenity, and they wore black clothes.”  Ibadah as-Salmani and others (who witness and testify) said that the believing women would let their outer garments cover down from the top of their heads such that nothing will show except their eyes for the sake of seeing the way.” And Allah the most Exalted said:

{وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَـاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَـارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّـابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِى الإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُواْ عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَآءِ وَلاَ يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ }. (النور: 31).

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment (and beauty), except that which appears thereof  (ordinarily) and to draw their coverings over their chests and not to display their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, and those whom their right hands possess (their slaves) or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornments. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Nur 31] And so on and so forth in the various evidences from the Quran and the Sunnah concerning the obligation of Muslim women to cover their feminine beauties for their own protection, and as a sign of their faith in God Almighty and His wise commands for their salvation in this world and the Hereafter . <> <> Each piece of truth is like finding a diamond, a pearl;  and the truth will set you free seek, ask, reflect, repent, Ask and you will receive Truth is precious, more so than pearls and diamonds and gems.

Pearl1

biggest diamond

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Some More information on Hijab and Niqab

<><><><> Ruling on covering the face with detailed evidence Ruling on covering the face with detailed evidence


Ruling on covering the face, with detailed evidence   You should note that women’s observing hijab in front of non-mahram men and covering their faces is something that is obligatory as is indicated by the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and by rational examination and analogy. /////////////////////////////////// ======================== 1 – Evidence from the Qur’aan ======================== /////////////////////////////////// (i) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment 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 brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful” [al-Noor 24:31] The evidence from this verse that hijab is obligatory for women is as follows: (a) Allaah commands the believing women to guard their chastity, and the command to guard their chastity also a command to follow all the means of doing that. No rational person would doubt that one of the means of doing so is covering the face, because uncovering it causes people to look at it and enjoy its beauty, and thence to initiate contact. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The eyes commit zina and their zina is by looking…” then he said, “… and the private part confirms that or denies it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6612; Muslim, 2657. If covering the face is one of the means of guarding one’s chastity, then it is enjoined, because the means come under the same ruling as the ends. (b) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) …”. The jayb (pl. juyoob) is the neck opening of a garment and the khimaar (veil) is that with which a woman covers her head. If a woman is commanded to draw her veil over the neck opening of her garment then she is commanded to cover her face, either because that is implied or by analogy. If it is obligatory to cover the throat and chest, then it is more appropriate to cover the face because it is the site of beauty and attraction. (c) Allaah has forbidden showing all adornment except that which is apparent, which is that which one cannot help showing, such as the outside of one’s garment. Hence Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…except only that which is apparent …” and He did not say, except that which they show of it. Some of the salaf, such as Ibn Mas’ood, al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen and others interpreted the phrase “except only that which is apparent” as meaning the outer garment and clothes, and what shows from beneath the outer garment (i.e., the hem of one’s dress etc.). Then He again forbids showing one’s adornment except to those for whom He makes an exception. This indicates that the second adornment mentioned is something other than the first adornment. The first adornment is the external adornment which appears to everyone and cannot be hidden. The second adornment is the inward adornment (including the face). If it were permissible for this adornment to be seen by everyone, there would be no point to the general wording in the first instance and this exception made in the second. (d) Allaah grants a concession allowing a woman to show her inward adornments to “old male servants who lack vigour”, i.e. servants who are men who have no desire, and to small children who have not reached the age of desire and have not seen the ‘awrahs of women. This indicates two things: 1 – That showing inward adornments to non-mahrams is not permissible except to these two types of people. 2 – That the reason for this ruling is the fear that men may be tempted by the woman and fall in love with her. Undoubtedly the face is the site of beauty and attraction, so concealing it is obligatory lest men who do feel desire be attracted and tempted by her. (e) The words (interpretation of the meaning): “And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment” mean that a woman should not stamp her feet so as to make known hidden adornments such as anklets and the like. If a woman is forbidden to stamp her feet lest men be tempted by what they hear of the sound of her anklets etc., then what about uncovering the face? Which is the greater source of temptation – a man hearing the anklets of a woman whom he does not know who she is or whether she is beautiful, or whether she is young or old, or ugly or pretty? Or his looking at a beautiful youthful face that attracts him and invites him to look at it? Every man who has any desire for women will know which of the two temptations is greater and which deserves to be hidden and concealed. (ii) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allaah is All‑Hearer, All‑Knower” [al-Noor 24:60] The evidence from this verse is that Allaah states that there is no sin on old women who have no hope of marriage because men have no desire for them, due to their old age (if they discard their outer clothing), subject to the condition that their intention in doing so is not to make a wanton display of themselves. The fact that this ruling applies only to old women indicates that the ruling is different for young women who still hope to get married. If the ruling on discarding the outer clothing applied to all, there would be no point in singling out old women here. The phrase “in such a way as not to show their adornment” offers further proof that hijab is obligatory for young women who hope to marry, because usually when they uncover their faces the intention is to make a wanton display (tabarruj) and to show off their beauty and make men look at them and admire them etc. Those who do otherwise are rare, and the ruling does not apply to rare cases. (iii) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab 33:59] Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Allaah commanded the believing women, if they go out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from the top of their heads with their jilbaabs, and to leave one eye showing.” The tafseer of the Sahaabah is evidence, indeed some of the scholars said that it comes under the same ruling as marfoo’ reports that go back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The comment “and leave one eye showing” is a concession because of the need to see the way; if there is no need for that then the eye should not be uncovered. The jilbaab is the upper garment that comes above the khimaar; it is like the abaya. (iv) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is no sin on them (the Prophet’s wives, if they appear unveiled) before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own (believing) women, or their (female) slaves. And (O ladies), fear (keep your duty to) Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Ever All‑Witness over everything” [al-Ahzaab 33:55] Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: When Allaah commanded the women to observe hijab in front of non-mahram men, he explained that they did not have to observe hijab in front of these relatives, as He explained that they are exempted in Soorat al-Noor where He said (interpretation of the meaning): “and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands…” ================================================== 2 – Evidence from the Sunnah that it is obligatory to cover the face ================================================== (i) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you proposes marriage to a woman, there is no sin on him if he looks at her, rather he should look at her for the purpose of proposing marriage even if she is unaware.” Narrated by Ahmad. The author of Majma’ al-Zawaa’id said: its men are the men of saheeh. The evidence here is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said there is no sin on the man who is proposing marriage, subject to the condition that his looking be for the purpose of proposing marriage. This indicates that the one who is not proposing marriage is sinning if he looks at a non-mahram woman in ordinary circumstances, as is the one who is proposing marriage if he looks for any purpose other than proposing marriage, such as for the purpose of enjoyment etc. If it is said that the hadeeth does not clearly state what is being looked at, and it may mean looking at the chest etc, the response is that the man who is proposing marriage looks at the face because it is the focus for the one who is seeking beauty, without a doubt. (ii) When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded that women should be brought out to the Eid prayer place, they said, “O Messenger of Allaah, some of us do not have jilbaabs.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Let her sister give her one of her jilbaabs to wear.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. This hadeeth indicates that the usual practice among the women of the Sahaabah was that a woman would not go out without a jilbaab, and that if she did not have a jilbaab she would not go out. The command to wear a jilbaab indicates that it is essential to cover. And Allaah knows best. (iii) It was narrated in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray Fajr and the believing women would attend the prayer with him, wrapped in their veils, then they would go back to their homes and no one would recognize them because of the darkness. She said: If the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw from the women what we have seen, he would have prevented them from coming to the mosques as the Children of Israel prevented their women. A similar report was also narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him). The evidence from this hadeeth covers two issues: 1 – Hijaab and covering were the practice of the women of the Sahaabah who were the best of generations and the most honourable before Allaah. 2 – ‘Aa’ishah the Mother of the Believers and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with them both), who were both known as scholars with deep insight, said that if the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had seen from women what they had seen, he would have prevented them from coming to the mosques. This was during the best generations, so what about nowadays?! (iv) It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said, “What should women do with their hems?” He said, “Let it hang down a handspan.” She said, “What if that shows her feet?” He said, “Let it hang down a cubit, but no more than that.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. This hadeeth indicates that it is obligatory for women to cover their feet, and that this was something that was well known among the women of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). The feet are undoubtedly a lesser source of temptation than the face and hands, so a warning concerning something that is less serious is a warning about something that is more serious and to which the ruling applies more. The wisdom of sharee’ah means that it would not enjoin covering something that is a lesser source of temptation and allow uncovering something that is a greater source of temptation. This is an impossible contradiction that cannot be attributed to the wisdom and laws of Allaah. (v) It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces, and when they had passed by we would uncover our faces. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1562. The words “When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces” indicate that it is obligatory to cover the face, because what is prescribed in ihraam is to uncover it. If there was no strong reason to prevent uncovering it, it would be obligatory to leave it uncovered even when the riders were passing by. In other words, women are obliged to uncover their faces during ihraam according to the majority of scholars, and nothing can override something that is obligatory except something else that is also obligatory. If it were not obligatory to observe hijab and cover the face in the presence of non-mahram men, there would be no reason not to uncover it in ihraam. It was proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that a woman in ihraam is forbidden to wear the niqaab (face veil) and gloves. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: This is one of the things which indicate that the niqaab and gloves were known among women who were not in ihraam, which implies that they covered their faces and hands. ================================================ These are nine points of evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. ================================================ The tenth is: Rational examination and analogy which form the basis of this perfect sharee’ah, which aims to help people achieve what is in their best interests and encourages the means that lead to that, and to denounce evil and block the means that lead to it. If we think about unveiling and women showing their faces to non-mahram men, we will see that it involves many bad consequences. Even if we assume that there are some benefits in it, they are very few in comparison with its negative consequences. Those negative consequences include: 1 – Fitnah (temptation). By unveiling her face, a woman may be tempted to do things to make her face look more beautiful. This is one of the greatest causes of evil and corruption. 2 – Taking away haya’ (modesty, shyness) from women, which is part of faith and of a woman’s nature (fitrah). Women are examples of modesty, as it was said, “more shy than a virgin in her seclusion.” Taking away a woman’s modesty detracts from her faith and the natural inclination with which she was created. 3 – Men may be tempted by her, especially if she is beautiful and she flirts, laughs and jokes, as happens in the case of many of those who are unveiled. The Shaytaan flows through the son of Adam like blood. 4 – Mixing of men and women. If a woman thinks that she is equal with men in uncovering her face and going around unveiled, she will not be modest and will not feel too shy to mix with men. This leads to a great deal of fitnah (temptation) and widespread corruption. Al-Tirmidhi narrated (5272) from Hamzah ibn Abi Usayd from his father that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, when he was coming out of the mosque and he saw men mingling with women in the street; the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to the women, “Draw back, and do not walk in the middle of the road; keep to the sides of the road.” Then the women used to keep so close to the walls that their garments would catch on the walls because they kept so close to them. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 929 Adapted from the words of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Risaalat al-Hijaab. And Allaah knows best.

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http://www.turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3322 <><><><><><> View that the Niqab is Obligatory

Niqaab According to Quran and Sunnah Revelation of Al-Hijab Hadith – Bukhari 1:148 The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. ‘Umar radhian Allaahu anhu used to say to the Prophet “Let your wives be veiled,” but Allaah’s Apostle did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam’a radhian Allahu anha the wife of the Prophet went out at ‘Isha’ time and she was a tall lady. ‘Umar radhian Allahu anhu addressed her and said, “I have recognized you, O Sauda.” He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allaah revealed the verses of “Al-Hijab” The Noble Qur’an – Al-Ahzab 33:59 “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils)** all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. ” **the arabic word here is Jalabeeb (plural of Jalbaab), which is the loose outer garment that covers all a woman’s body. It says here to use the Jalabeeb to cover all, and scholars say this means to use it to cover her head (agree upon by all scholars) and her face (agreed by many scholars, not all) and one or both eyes, in order for it to be known that she is a free woman and so not to be exposed to any harm. Hadith – Bukhari 6:282 ‘Aisha radhian Allaha anha used to say: “When (the Verse): ‘They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,’ was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.” Hadith – Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments. The lower half of the hijab is a garment that does not show the woman’s figure. Jeans and certain obvious garments do not meet this requirement. Hadith – Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi The Apostle of Allah was brought some pieces of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: “Divide it into two; cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a garment below it and not show her figure. ” Prescribed Methods of Covering Tafseer – Ibn Katheer “Allaah commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of their homes.” Tafseer – Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457 Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith radhian Allahu anhu the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word ‘Alaihinna in this verse” Tafseer – Alu’si, Rul-ul-Ma’ani, Vol. 22, p. 89 “Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas and Qatadah radhian Allahu anhuma. The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity). ” Colour of Garment The female companions were known to wear black and dark colors (such as the hadith above, “crows on their heads”), but other colors are also permissible for a woman to wear. She must not wear any color, however, in vanity. Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.715 …’Aisha radhian Allaahu anha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil … Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.733 ..that he had seen Um Kulthum radhian Allaahu anha, the daughter of Allaah’s Apostle , wearing a red silk garment. Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.713 The Prophet was given some clothes including a black Khamisa. The Prophet said, “To whom shall we give this to wear?” The people kept silent whereupon the Prophet said, “Fetch Um Khalid for me.” I (Um Khalid) was brought carried (as I was small girl at that time). The Prophet took the Khamisa in his hands and made me wear it and said, “May you live so long that your dress will wear out and you will mend it many times.” On the Khamisa there were some green or pale designs (The Prophet these designs) and said, “O Um Khalid! This is Sanah.” (Sanah in a Ethiopian word meaning beautiful). Hadith – Sunan of Abu Dawood #4055, Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As radhian Allaahu anhu, “We came down with the Apostle of Allaah from a turning of a valley. He turned his attention to me and I was wearing a garment dyed with a reddish yellow dye. He asked: “What is this garment over you?” I recognised what he disliked. I then came to my family who were burning their oven. I threw it (the garment) in it and came to him the next day. He asked: “Abdullah, what have you done with the garment?” ” I informed him about it. He said: Why did you not give it to one of your family to wear, for there is no harm in it for women.” Must a Woman Wear Niqaab (Veil)? The general understanding in Islam regarding Sunnah, is that if the Prophet or any of his wivesradhian Allaahu anhuna or companions radhian Allaahu anhum are recorded in authentic hadith to have engaged in an act that is not haram (prohibited) as defined by Qur’aan or Sunnah, then the act is declared halal (permissible). If the companions engaged in an act that the Prophet was aware of and did not speak out against, it is halal. It is well-known that the wives of the Prophet covered their faces any time non-mahram men were near. A woman named Asma, who was not a wife of the Prophet , was also recorded as covering her face. Easily, one can conclude that wearing veil is halal (permissible). However, Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in “hot debate” for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is obligatory upon a Muslimah. Those who argue that it is not required, point to the use of the word khimar in the Qur’aan, and explain that today’s modern khimar does not cover the face, and argue that khimar has never referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck, and bosoms. While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that the Prophet’s wives wore khimar, one must realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of non-mahram men. The group of scholars agree that it is a highly recommended act to cover the face. The scholars also agree that a woman must cover her adornment, yet some scholars argue that this does not include the face. BASING ON CULTURE VS. QUR’AAN AND SUNNAH. …Most Muslim men, even in America, would be pleased if their wives veil, but some state that a veil draws too much attention, causing men to look upon her more than normal. However, one must realize that when men ‘look’, they have nothing of her to see! Regardless, this issue must stick to understanding and implementing Qur’aan and Sunnah, and not making excuses based on the current culture. Muslims are ordered not to imitate the dress of any non-Muslim culture, so, surely, we cannot make the choice to wear Niqab based on the pressures of modern day society; instead, we choose, insha^Allaah, to fear Allaahu Ta’ala, and not mankind! When in a state of ihram, the muslimah cannot wear niqaab. However, according to several scholars, such as Sheikh ibn Baz, even when in a state of ihram, “she should lower her headcovering or outer cloak over her face when she is in the presence of non-mahram men.” So, it is to say that she should not cover her face around the other women during ihram, but that she should cover it if a non-mahram man approaches. He bases this on the hadith below, narrated by ‘Aisha radhian Allaahu anha. In Fathul Bari, chapter Hajj, a tradition reported on the authority of Aisha (RA) says: “A woman in a state of Ihram (during Hajj and Umrah) should stretch her head – cloth over to her face to hide it.” Hadith – Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah, Narrated ‘Aisha radhian Allaahu anha. [In his work Jilbab al-Marah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is hasan due to corroborating evidence. Also, in a narration from Asma radhian Allaahu anha, Asma also covered her face at all times in front of men.] Narrated ‘Aisha radhian Allaahu anha who said, “The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah ). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces.” According to Shaikh ibn Uthaiymin, “she is not required to cover her face during the prayer unless there are non-related men around her. She must then cover her face from them, as it is not allowed for a woman to uncover her face except to her husband and her male relatives i.e., mahram.” If a woman is not around any non-mahram men and does not fear that any will enter her area of salah, she may reveal her face and hands. This is agreed upon by the group of scholars. So, whether agreeing that niqab is required or not, one must surely acknowledge that it is a desirous sign of piety. What better example of sunnah to follow for a muslimah than that of the Prophet and his wives RA. Every Muslimah is encouraged to cover to the fullest, showing only one or both eyes. A woman does not have to wear a niqab (affixed veil), but she should emulate the female companions by using her hijab or other items, to lift and cover her face when a non-mahram man approaches, even during ihram (hajj), as this is in accordance with sunnah. Hadith – Muwatta 20.16 Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, “We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq radhian Allaahu anha.” The following Fatawa is from Sheikh Ibn Uthaiymin: “The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover. “The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her. Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram (i.e. father, husband, etc.). “As for those who claim that Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Shariah does no allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face? “It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman. “However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her. From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered. “There are also evidences from the Book of Allaah Ta’ala and the Sunnah of our Prophet . There are also statements from the Companions radhian Allaahu anhum , the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is obligatory upon the woman to cover her face in front of such men.” Refutation For those who claim niqaab is not wajib and the face and hands of a woman can be seen by (ghairMahrrum) strange men. Refutation from Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen This is taken from the book “Hijaab” by Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen from Saudi Arabia. Printed by Madrasah Arabia Islamia Azaadville- South Africa. Translated by Hafedh Zaheer Essack, Rajab 1416 (December 1995) The Ulamah who are of the opinion that it is permissible to look at the face and hands of a strange woman (who is not mahrrum) say so mainly for the following reasons. The hadeeth of Ayeshah radhian Allaahu anha when Asmaa radhian Allaahu anha the daughter of Abu Bakr radhian Allaahu anhu came to the Rasulullaah while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: ‘O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands. But this hadeeth is WEAK because of 2 main weaknesses. There is no link between Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) and Khalid bin Dareek, who narrated the hadith from her. And in every chain of narrators Khalid bin Dareek is mentioned. In the chain of narrators Sa’eed bin Basheer appears, who is known by most of the Muhaditheen as being a weak narrator. This has been mentioned by Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah), An-Nasai (Rahimahullah), Ibn Madeeni (Rahimahullah) and Ibn Ma’een (Rahimahullah). This is also why Imaam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) and Muslim (Rahimahullah) did not except this hadeeth to be in their books. (From Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book “Hijaab” pages # 17 and 18.) We also have to see that the Muhadith Abu Dawood when he quoted this hadeeth put with it that it is Mursal (with a broken chain that does not lead up to the Sahabah). (From The Book “Hijaab wa Safur” under the fatwaa of Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Bazz on Page #61. Also stated as being weak by Shaikh Nasiruddeen Al-Albaani in his Daeef Sunan Abu Dawud in Kitab-ul-Libas under hadeeth number 4092 (which is the original hadeeth number.) An other thing that shows the weakness of this hadith is that after the ayah for hijab (Surah Al-Ahzaab – Verse #59) was revealed then the women of Sahaba wore a complete veil and covered the faces and hands. This includes Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr, who is supposed to have narrated this hadeeth. Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) covered herself completely including the face, this has been narrated in authentic hadeeth in Imaam Malik’s “MUWATTA Book 20 Hadeeth # 20.5.16.” What Age Must a Female Wear Niqaab? It is unquestionable that a female must begin covering by the age of puberty. In all situations, Muslims are to use the Prophet’s example for guidance. The Prophet married ‘Aisha radhian Allaahu anha before she had reached puberty and consummated the marriage when she was approximately 9 years old. Getting married at such an age was not uncommon until recent times. Puberty begins two weeks before the onset of the first menstrual period, i.e. this is the time in which she is capable of becoming pregnant. May Allaah Ta’ala guide each parent to adequately prepare the daughter for hijaab and their other responsibilities, in time for puberty. Amiyn. If a mother or father recently converts to Islam and has a daughter who has reached puberty, s/he should immediately begin covering the daughter. The parents should educate the daughter to understand and appreciate the reasons and advantages for covering as a Muslimah is instructed to. The new revert to Islam should not feel apologetic for covering a daughter who was not previously covering. It is as much of an advantage to her as to the new adult muslimah revert, and children do not always know what is best for them, so, like other decisions you make daily for your children, do not leave the issue of wearing hijab up to your children. Make the transition as a family, not you first, then just hoping the children follow suit on their own. Some guidelines for preparing a child for hijab. [/center] It is encouraged that as soon as the child is able to walk, she does not wear clothes that resemble the kafr, and that she should always have her knees and as much as possible of the arms and legs covered when leaving the house or having guests over. She should be taught modesty in behavior and dress from the cradle. It is ideal to sew small jilbabs (light overcoats) and khimaar (head/neck/chest covering) for the young muslimah, properly preparing her for full coverage at puberty. It is actually less fitnah on the parent to dress her in the simple attire of a muslim, as compared to looking for fashionable clothes in a shopping mall. At the age of 7, the parent should order her to pray salaah, and of course, she must be wearing hijaab (the entire head and body covering) for the salaah. By the age of 10, her parents may and should punish her for missing fard (obligatory) salaah, and once again, she must be wearing hijaab to perform salaah. When she reaches puberty, insha^Allaah, she will wear niqaab (literally: draw the khimaar over her face). By the age of puberty, she should already be used to wearing hijaab (which is in her fitrah [natural state] to be covered). She may have already chosen to veil prior to reaching puberty, and with the proper instruction, she will look forward to and embrace this step in becoming a young woman. Hijaab is not something a muslim parent gives as an option to a child. The muslim parent is responsible for seeing that the young muslimah is properly covered according to Qur’aan and Sunnah. Parents will have to determine when their daughter has reached puberty, not the child, unless of course, she is a muslim revert with non-Muslim parents, in which case she should seek the counsel of a Muslim wali. Depending on a woman’s environment, she may simply keep her face uncovered and then draw the khimaar up over her face on the rare occasion of a non-mahram’s presence; or, if this is too much fitnah to constantly draw it over her face, such as circumstances when men are frequently present, she may choose to affix a screen (i.e. the Niqaab) that does this for her without her needing to use a hand to hold it over her face. Hadith – Bukhari, Narrated Hishams father Khadija radhian Allaahu anha died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha radhian Allaahu anha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumated that marriage when she was nine years old. Hadith – Abu Dawud, narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin [Also recorded al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and ibn Majah. Al-Albani says it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1280.] The Prophet said: ” Allaah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar. ” Hadith – Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah [Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.] The Prophet said: “Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding.” Who Can She Uncover in front of? A Muslimah should not uncover her adornment in front of any non-Mahrahm male. Muslimahs should especially be careful and remain covered, modest, and quiet around in-laws. If a gay male is aware of female body parts, he should not be allowed to view a woman uncovered. And, of course, a bi-sexual male should not be allowed to view a woman without proper covering. In addition, a Muslimah should not uncover that which she normally uncovers, in front of any non-Muslim female whom she fears may describe her to others. She may also choose to remain covered around any Muslim female whom she fears may describe her physical attributes to their husband or others. The Noble Qur’an – An-Nur 24:30-31 “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaâh is All-Aware of what they do.” “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils* all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” * the arabic word here is Khumaar, which is the plural form of Khimaar. Hadith – Bukhari 7:167 The Prophet said, “A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her.” Hadith – Muslim, narrated Aisha A eunuch used to come to the wives of Allaah’s Apostle and they did not find anything objectionable in his visit considering him to be a male without any sexual desire. Allaah’s Apostle one day came as he was sitting with some of his wives and he was busy in describing the bodily characteristics of a lady and saying: As she comes in front four folds appear on her front side and as she turns her back eight folds appear on the back side. Thereupon Allah’s Apostle said: I see that he knows these things; do not, therefore, allow him to enter. She (Aisha) radhian Allaahu anha said: Then they began to observe veil from him. Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi #3109, narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud [Tirmidhi transmitted it.] The Prophet said, “A woman should be concealed, for when she goes out the devil looks at her.” Muslimahs should not socialize with non-mahram men, and should only speak out of necessity to non-mahram men. Allah swt knew that mankind would be tempted to let their guard down and their hijab down, around in-laws. Surely Allah swt is all merciful to provide us the guidance we need in every aspect of our lives. In reference to socializing with in-laws, such close relations can easily lead to adultery which has the death penalty. Hadith – Bukhari and Muslim The Prophet said, “The in-laws are death.” Ridiculing a Woman in Niqaab The Noble Qur’an – At-Taubah 9:64-67 “The hypocrites fear lest a Sûwrah (chapter of the Qur^aân) should be revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: “(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allâh will bring to light all that you fear.” “If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allâh (swt), and His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimûn (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.). The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islâm has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allaâh’s Cause) alms, etc.]. They have forgotten Allaâh, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allaâh).” __________________ Hasbuna^Allaah wa ni’gma[t] wa kiyl
~niyqaabiy~
03-26-2008, 07:34 AM #2
Jannah03 //  Junior Member Join Date: Dec 2006 Location: Kentucky Posts: 276 Jazakallah khiar for ALL this information. I start wearing hijab at 14 and then niqab at 22 during summer of 07. I still get nervous when i go out bymyself even though i shouldnt. Inshallah i hope that completely disappears real soon. From what i know im the only niqaabi in Richmond, ky.  __________________ As-Salafiyyah

Last edited by Jannah03; 03-26-2008 at 07:35 AM. Reason: to add

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IslamIsLight
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12-04-2008, 04:56 PM #4
*Sana* //  .~.Slave of Allah.~. Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: Australia Posts: 284

Assalamualaikum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakaatu,  First of all, Jazaka Allah Khayr for the very beneficial post. It cleared a lot of misunderstandings in my head. Now I can weigh out both sides of the issue. Masha Allah Sister Jannah03! That takes a lot of Imaan to wear a Niqaab and to know that you might be the only one in the town. May Allah Ta’alah guide us all and give us enough Imaan and tawfeeq to dress according to the Shariah. Quote:

Originally Posted by Jannah03 From what i know im the only niqaabi in Richmond, ky.

Ssters like you are such an inspiration Masha Allah. Wasalaam __________________ There is NO example as beautiful as Rasulullah, NO song as melodious as the Azhan, NO charity as meaningful as Zakat, NO Encyclopedia as perfect as Al-Qur’an, NO exercise as perfect as Salah, NO diet as perfect as Fasting & NO journey as perfect as Hajj. Islam is ever beautiful and perfect! May we (the women of today) have the Mind of Hawaa, Purity of Maryam, Faith of Asiyah, Love of Khadijah, Affection and Knowledge of Aisha and the favour of being neighbours with them in Jannah Insha Allah. Ameen Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, they become destiny.

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12-13-2008, 01:53 PM #5
amelia //  Newly Registered User Join Date: Dec 2008 Posts: 1 wearing niqaab

Salaam alaikhoum all. I am completely new here so apologies if I get things wrong. I am a revert to islam who wishes to cover completely. However I do not like to do things by halves so what I would like to do is to take it to the extreme by veiling myself so heavily, especially in the facial area so as I am 100% sure that not even the slightest outline of my eyes are visible by ensuring that the design of my face covering- whatever that maybe will not only minimalise my own field of vision but also its clarity also in order that I can see the way, but bareley so. I would also like to really know that I am completely covered by experiancing REAL breathing difficulties also (within reason), not nerve inspired false difficulties. If anyone could help me obtain the right outfit it would be appreciated. Maasalaam.

amelia
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02-19-2010, 06:49 AM #6
sandra canada //  Laa ilaha illa Allah Join Date: Jun 2008 Location: canada Posts: 414 السلام عليكم و رحمة الله وب ركاته Thanks for this informative postMay Allah bless you sis,jazaki Allah khayran. (((((((((((women in islam are like the Diamonds They’ re covered and in safe place preserved.)))))))))))) Muslim Woman as Defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah 1. She is truthful 2 She does not cheat, deceive or stab in the back 3. She is not envious 4. She is sincere 5. She keeps her promises 6. She has a good attitude towards others and treats them well 7. She is characterized by shyness 8. She is gentle towards people 9. She is compassionate and merciful 10. She is tolerant and forgiving 11. She is easy-going in her business dealings 12. She is of cheerful countenance 13. She has a sense of humor 14. She is patient 15. She avoids cursing and foul language 16. She does not falsely accuse anyone of fisq (transgression) or kufr (blasphemy) 17. She is modest and discreet 18. She dose not interfere in that which does not concern her 19. She refrains from backbiting and slander 20. She avoids giving false statements 21. She avoids suspicion 22. She keeps secrets 23. She does not converse privately with another person when there is a third person present 24. She is not arrogant or proud 25. She is humble and modest 26. She does not make fun of anyone 27. She respects elders and distinguished people 28. She mixes with people of noble character 29. She strives for people’s benefits and seeks to protect her from harm 30. She strives to reconcile between Muslims 31. She calls people to truth 32. She is wise and eloquent in her da`wah (Islamic Propagation) 34. She is not a hypocrite 35. She does not show off or boast 36. She is straightforward and consistent in her adherence to the truth 37. She visits the sick 39. She repays favors and is grateful for them 40. She mixes with people and puts up with their insults 41. She tries to make people happy 42. She guides others to righteous deeds 43. She is easy on people, not hard 44. She is fair in her judgment of people 45. She does not oppress or mistreat others 46. She loves noble things and always aims high 47. Her speech is not exaggerated or affected 48. She does not rejoice in the misfortunes of others 49. She is generous 50. She does not remind the beneficiaries of her charity 51. She is hospitable 52. She prefers others to herself 53. She helps to alleviate the burden of the debtor 54. She is proud and does not beg 55. She is friendly and likeable 56. She checks her customs and habits against Islamic standards 57. She follows Islamic manners in the way she eats and drinks 58. She spreads the greeting of salam (peace) 59. She does not enter a house other than her own without permission 60. She avoids yawning in a gathering as much as she can 62. She follows the Islamic etiquette when she sneezes 63. She does not look into other people’s houses 64. She does not imitate men __________________ __________________ May Allah Forgive my Mum & Enter her jannah اللهم ارحم أميلا اله الا اللهبخطها
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02-19-2010, 07:45 AM #7
al-fajr //  Junior Member Join Date: Apr 2007 Location: the coast Posts: 1,826 ^ BarakAllaahu feeki sis Sandra, bumping these threads, excellent reminders.  Simple beautiful truths. Wa-alaykum salaam. __________________ أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأۡتِكُم مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلِكُم مَّسَّتۡہُمُ ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءُ وَٱلضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلۡزِلُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ مَتَىٰ نَصۡرُ ٱللَّهِ أَلَآ إِنَّ نَصۡرَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ۬ Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allaah?Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allaah is near.. {2:214}

http://www.turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25418 Niqab is not Obligatory by Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee


From the Book Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee The main errors of those who make the face veil obligatory 1. The interpretation of al-idnaa’ in the verse of the Jilbaab to mean “covering the face”. This misinterpretation is contrary to the basic meaning of the word in Arabic which is “to come close”, as is mentioned in authoritative dictionaries like al-Mufradaat by the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee. However, there is sufficient evidence in the interpretation of the leading commentator on the Quran, Ibn ‘Abbaas, who explained the verse saying, “She should bring the jilbaab close to her face without covering it.” It should be noted that none of the narrations used as evidence to contradict this interpretation are authentic. 2. The interpretation of jilbaab as “a garment which covers the face.” Like the previous misinterpretation, this interpretation has no basis linguistically. It is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars, past and present, who define the jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar). Even Shaykh at-Tuwaijree himself narrated this interpretation from Ibn Mas‘ood and other Salafee scholars. Al-Baghawee mentioned it as the correct interpretation in his Tafseer (vol. 3, p. 518) saying, “It is the garment which a woman covers herself with worn above the dress (dir ‘) and the headscarf.” Ibn Hazm also said, “The jilbaab in the Arabic language in which the Messenger of Allaah () spoke to us is what covers the whole body and not just a part of it.” (vol. 3, p. 217). Al-Qurtubee declared this correct in his Tafseer and Ibn Katheer said, “It is the cloak worn above the headscarf.” (vol. 3, p. 518) 3. The claim that the khimaar (headscarf) covers the head and the face. In doing so “the face” has been arbitrarily added to its meaning in order to make the verse: “Let them drape their headscarves over their busoms” appear to be in their favor, when, in fact it is not. The word khimaar linguistically means only a head covering. Whenever it is mentioned in general terms, this is what is intended. For example in the hadeeths on wiping (mas-h) on the khimaar and the prophetic statement, “The salaah of a woman past puberty will not be accepted without a khimaar.” This hadeeth confirms the invalidity of their misinterpretation, because not even the extremists themselves – much less the scholars – use it as evidence that the covering of a woman’s face in salaah is a condition for its validity. They only use it as proof for covering the head. Furthermore, their interpretation of the verse of the Qawaa “to remove their clothing” to mean “jilbaab” further confirms it. They hold that it is permissible for old women to appear before marriagealbe males in her headscarf with her face exposed. One of their noteable scholars openly stated that. As for Shaykh at-Tuwaijree, he implied it without actually saying it. After checking the opinions of the early and later scholars in all the specializations, I found that they unanimously hold that the khimaar is a head covering. I have mentioned the names of more than twenty scholars, among them some of the great Imaams and hadeeth scholars. For example, Abul-Waleed al-Baajee (d. 474 AH) who further added in his explanation, “Nothing should be seen of her besides the circle of her face.” 4. The claim of a consensus (Ijmaa‘) on the face being considered ‘awrah. Shaykh at-Tuwaijree claimed that scholars unanimously held that the woman’s face was ‘awrah and many who have no knowledge, including some Ph.D. holders, have blindly followed him. In fact, it is a false claim, which no one before him has claimed. The books of Hambalite scholars which he learned from, not to mention those of others, contain sufficient proof of its falsehood. I have mentioned many of their statements in Ar-Radd. For example, Ibn Hubayrah al-Hambalee stated in his book, al-Ifsaah, that the face is not considered ‘awrah in the three main schools of Islaamic law and he added, “It is also a narrated position of Imaam Ahmad.” Many Hambalite scholars preferred this narration in their books, like Ibn Qudaamah and others. Ibn Qudaamah in al-Mughnee explained the reason for his preference saying, “Because necessity demands that the face be uncovered for buying and selling, and the hands be uncovered for taking and giving.” Among the Hambalite scholars, is the great Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee about whom Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said, “There is no one under the dome of the sky more knowledgeable about the school of Imaam Ahmad than Ibn Muflih.” And his teacher, Ibn Taymiyyah, once told him, “You aren’t Ibn Muflih, you are Muflih!” It is incumbent on me to convey Ibn Muflih’s statements for the readers because of the knowledge and many benefits contained in them. Included in them is further confirmation of the falsehood of Shaykh at-Tuwaijree’s claim and support for the correctness of my position on the issue of uncovering the face. Ibn Muflih stated the following in his valuable work al-Aadaab ash-Shar‘iyyah – which is among the references cited by Shaykh at-Tuwaijree (something which indicates that he is aware of it, but has deliberately hidden these crucial facts from his readers while claiming the contrary): “Is it correct to chastise marriageable women if they uncover their faces in the street? The answer depends on whether it is compulsory for women to cover their faces or whether it is compulsory for men to lower their gaze from her. There are two positions on this issue.

  1. Regarding the hadeeth of Jareer in which he said, “I asked Allaah’s Messenger about the sudden inadvertent glance and he instructed me to look away.” Al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad commented, “The scholars, May Allaah Most High have mercy on them, have said that there is proof in this hadeeth that it is not compulsory for a woman to cover her face in the street. Instead, it is a recommended sunnah for her to do so and it is compulsory for the man to lower his gaze from her at all times, except for a legislated purpose. Shaykh Muhyud-deen an-Nawawee mentioned that without further explanation.”
  2. Then al-Muflih mentioned Ibn Taymiyyah’s statement which at-Tuwaijree relies on in his book (page 170), while feigning ignorance of the statements of the majority of scholars. Statements like those of al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad and an-Nawawee’s agreement with it.

Then al-Muflih said, “On the basis of that, is chastisement legal? Chastisement is not allowed in issues in where there is a difference of opinion, and the difference has already been mentioned. As regards our opinion and that of a group of Shaafi‘ite scholars and others, looking at a marriageable woman without desire or in a secluded circumstance is permissible. Therefore, chastisement is not proper.” This answer is in complete agreement with Imaam Ahmad’s statement, “It is not proper that a jurist oblige people to follow his opinion (math-hab).” And this is if the truth were on his side. What of the case where the jurist proudly, dishonestly misleads people and declares other Muslims to be disbelievers as at-Tuwaijree did on page 249 of his book saying, “… Whoever permits women to expose their faces and uses the proofs of al-Albaanee has flung open the door for women to publicly flaunt their beauty and emboldened them to commit the reprehensible acts done by women who uncover their faces today.” And on page 233 he said, “… and to disbelief in the verses of Allaah.” Those are his words – May Allaah reform him and guide him. What would he say about Ibn Muflih, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad and other Palestinian scholars, as well as the majority of scholars who preceded them and who are my salaf regarding my opinion on this matter? 5. The agreement of at-Tuwaijree and the extremists with him to explain away the authentic hadeeths which contradict their opinion. At-Tuwaijree did this with the Khath‘amiyyah hadeeth. They developed a number of comical methods to nullify its implications. I have refuted them all in ar-Radd and one of them in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah. Some reputable scholars have said that the hadeeth doesn’t contain a clear statement that her face was exposed. This is among the farthest opinions from the truth. For, if her face wasn’t exposed, where did the narrator or the viewer get the idea that she was beautiful? And what was al-Fadl repeatedly looking at? The truth is that this is among the strongest and most clear proofs that a woman’s face is not ‘awrah. In spite of that, there remains a group that insists that she was in ihraam while knowing that her ihraam does not prevent her from draping some of her clothing over her face. At-Tuwaijree does accept sometimes that her face was uncovered but he cancels its implication by saying, “There is no evidence in it that she continuously exposed her face!” He means that the wind must have exposed her face and at that instant al-Fadl ibn ‘Abbaas saw it. Is it possible for an Arab to say that after reading in the hadeeth “al-Fadl began to stare while turning towards her,” and in another narration “… so he began to look at her and her beauty amazed him.” Isn’t this pride with two protruding horns? At other times at-Tuwaijree interprets it as al-Fadl looking at her size and stature. 6. The frequent use of inauthentic hadeeths and unreliable narrations. For example, the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas about exposing only one eye is commonly used by those who insist that women are obliged to cover their faces in spite of their knowledge of its inauthenticity. In fact, one among them also declared it inauthentic. Perhaps the most important of these unreliable hadeeth commonly used as evidence is the one in which the Prophet is reported to have said, “Are you both blind?” They blindly followed at-Tuwaijree and the others in claiming that this inauthentic narration was strengthened by other supportive narrations and that it was evidence for the prohibition of women from looking at men, even if they are blind. They took this position in spite of the fact that the narration was classified inauthentic by the leading verification experts among the hadeeth scholars like, Imaam Ahmad, al-Bayhaqee and Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr. Al-Qurtubee related that the narration was not considered authentic among the scholars of hadeeth. Consequently, many Palestinian hambalite scholars made their rulings on that basis. Furthermore, that is what the science of hadeeth and its methodology requires as was clearly stated in al-Irwaa. However, in spite of all that evidence to the contrary, Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir as-Sindee had the nerve to go along with Shaykh at-Tuwaijree and others and claim that its chain of narration was authentic. By doing that he exposed himself and his ignorance or feigned ignorance. It is unfortunate that he took this position, because the hadeeth’s chain contains an unknown narrator from whom only one person narrated along with its contradiction to what leading scholars have narrated. Contrary to the level of scholarship that we are used to from Shaykh as-Sindee, he has brought in support of his claim the most amazing things. He arguments unexpectedly contain deception, misguidance, blind following, hiding knowledge and turning away from his own fundamental principles. Among the amazing positions is Shaykh as-Sindee’s feigned ignorance that the narration contradicts the hadeeth of Faatimah bint Qays which contains the Prophet’s permission for her to stay at the home of the blind companion, Ibn Umm al-Maktoom, whom she would be able see. The Prophet gave the reason for that instruction in his statement to her, “For if you take off your head scarf, he won’t see you.” In at-Tabaraanee’s narration from Faatimah, she said, “He instructed me to be at Ibn Umm Maktoom’s home because he couldn’t see me whenever I took my head scarf off.” There are also a number of other unreliable hadeeths gathered by at-Tuwaijree in his book. I mentioned ten of them in my response, and among them are some fabricated traditions. 7. The classification of some authentic hadeeths and confirmed narrations from the Companions as inauthentic. The extremists have declared well-established reliable narrations as unreliable and feigned ignorance of strengthening narrations. They have further declared some narrations extremely inauthentic, like the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah concerning the woman who reaches puberty, “Nothing should be seen of her besides her face and hands.” They have persistently declared it inauthentic – the ignorant among them blindly following others devoid of knowledge. In so doing, they contradict those among the leading scholars of hadeeth who strengthen it like al-Bayhaqee and ath-Thahabee. Most of them, including some prominent scholars, feign ignorance of its various chains of narration. In fact, at-Tuwaijree openly stated on page 236 of his book that this statement was only narrated in ‘Aa’ishah’s hadeeth. Even though he has seen with his own eyes on pages 57-9 of my book two other chains: one of which is from Asmaa bint ‘Umays and the other from Qataadah in the abbreviated (mursal) format with an authentic chain of narration. Many of the blind followers followed him, including some female authors as in Hijaabuki ukhtee al-muslimah [Your veil, my sister Muslim], page 33. They also pretend to be ignorant of the leading hadeeth scholars and others who strengthened it, like al-Munthiree, az-Zayla‘ee, al-‘Asqlaanee and ash-Shawkaanee. Some of those who promote themselves as being among the well versed in this noble science – in their forefront Shaykh as-Sindee – claim that some of its narrations are extremely weak and unreliable in order to escape from the hadeeth science rule that ‘unreliable narrations are strengthened by narrations similar to them’. In doing that, they delude their readers into thinking that no one ruled the weak narrators, like ‘Abdullaah ibn Lahee‘ah, trustworthy and that they cannot be used as supportive evidence. In doing that, they contradict the methodology of the hadeeth scholars in using supportive evidence. Among them is Imaam Ahmad and Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allaah have mercy on them. Likewise, they all feign ignorance that the scholars – among them Imaam ash-Shaafi‘ee –confirm the hadeeth mursal if most scholars use it as evidence, as is the case of ‘Aa’ishah’s hadeeth. Other strengthening factors may be added to the above. (a) The hadeeth has been narrated by Qataadah from ‘Aa’ishah. (b) It has been narrated in another chain from Asmaa. (c) All three narrators of the hadeeth ruled according to it.

  1. Qataadah stated in his interpretation of the verse on draping, “Allaah has placed on them the requirement to cover the eyebrows,” That is, “and not on their faces” as stated by at-Tabaree.
  2. ‘Aa’ishah said, regarding the female in ihraam, “She may drape the garment on her face, if she wishes.” This was narrated by al-Bayhaqee in an authentic chain of narrators. There is clear evidence in ‘Aa’ishah’s giving the female pilgrim a choice in draping that in her opinion the face was not ‘awrah. Otherwise she would have made it obligatory on them as those who contradict it do. Because of their position, most of the extremist authors, with at-Tuwaijree in the forefront, hid this statement of Umm al-Mu’mineen, ‘Aa’ishah from their readers. The author of Faslul-khitaab [The Definitive Statement] deliberately deleted this portion of al-Bayhaqee’s narration in his book. This being only one of a number of similar disreputable acts which I have exposed in my book. The supportive evidence is that this authentic narration from her strengthens her hadeeth from the Prophet. This is among the facts that people are unaware of or they pretend ignorance of, either choice is bitter to swallow.
  3. As for Asmaa, it has been authentically reported from Qays ibn Abee Haazim that he saw her as a woman of white complexion with tatoos on her hands.

(d) The narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas earlier mentioned, “She should pull the jilbaab (cloak) close to her face without putting it on her face.” His interpretation of the verse of adornment “except what appears from it” as referring to“the face and hands” was similar. There is also a similar narration from Ibn ‘Umar to the same effect. At this point, a bitter reality must be noted due to the lessons which may be gained from it, the knowledge which it contains and is service as a reminder of the wise saying: “The truth is not know by people, know the truth and you will know people.” At the same time that Shaykh at-Tuwaijree insists on rejecting the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and its supporting evidences, among them Qaatadah’s mursal narration, he willingly accepts another inauthentic hadeeth from her with mursal support. In that hadeeth it is mentioned “…that she wore a niqaab (face veil)…” and that she was supposed to have described the Prophet’s wife Safiyyah and the Ansaar women as “… a jewess among jewesses…” which is considered by scholars to be a very erroneous statement (munkar jiddan). The Shaykh argues on page 181, “It has mursal supportive evidence,” and quotes one of the mursal hadeeths of ‘Ataa containing a known liar in its chain of narration. One should reflect on the great difference between this fabricated supportive evidence and the authentic supportive evidence of Qataadah further supported by other evidences, then ask, “Why did at-Tuwaijree accept the second hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and not the first?” The obvious answer is that the accepted one contains reference to wearing the niqaab – even though it does not indicate obligation – while the rejected one denies it. Thus, in this regard, the Shaykh did not base his position on Islaamic legal principles, but on something similar to the Jewish principle: The ends justify the means. May Allaah help us. 8. Placing unreasonable conditions Among the amazing practices of some latter day blind following hanafite scholars and others is that on one hand they agree with us regarding the permissibility of women exposing their faces, because that was the position of their Imaams, but on the other hand they agree with the extremists in opposition to their Imaams. They make ijtihaad (while claiming taqleed) by adding the condition that the society be safe from fitnah to the position of the Imaams. This refers to the fitnah caused by women to men. Then one of the ignorant contemporary blind followers went to the extreme of actually attributing this “condition” to the Imaams themselves. Among some of those having no knowledge, this resulted in their concluding that there is essentially no difference between the position of the Imaams and the extremists. It is obvious to jurists that this condition is invalid because it implies that humans know something which the Lord missed knowing. That is, the temptation of women did not exist during the time of the Prophet () thus we had to create a special ruling for it which did not exist previously. In fact, the fitnah did exist during the era of divine legislation and the story of al-Fadl ibn ‘Abbaas’ trial with the Khath‘amiyyah woman and his repeated looking at her is not far from the readers’ memories. It is well known that when Allaah Most High instructed men and women to lower their gazes and instructed women to veil themselves in front of men, He did that to block the road to corruption and prevent temptation. In spite of that, He – Most Great and Glorious – did not command that they cover their faces and hands in front of them. The Prophet () further emphasized that in the story of al-Fadl by not commanding the woman to cover her face. And Allaah was truthful when He said, “And your Lord is not forgetful” </B>The reality is that the condition of there not being fitnah was only mentioned by scholars regarding the man’s looking at the woman’s face, as in al-Fiqh ‘alaa al-mathaahib al-arba‘ah, page 12. They said, “That [the woman’s face may be uncovered] is permissible on condition that there is safety from temptation,” and that is true, contrary to what the blind followers practice. They conclude from it that the woman is obliged to cover her face, when in fact it is not a necessary consequence. They know that the condition of safety from temptation also applies to women. For it is not permissible for them to stare at a man’s face except where there is safety from temptation. Is it then a necessary consequence that men also veil their faces from women to prevent temptation as some tribes called the Tawareg do. They would have a basis in fiqh of the Quraan and Sunnah if they said that a woman veiled in correct jilbaab who fears being harmed by some corrupt individuals due to her face being exposed is obliged to cover her face to prevent harm and temptation. In fact, it could even be said that it is obligatory on her not to leave her home if she feared that some evil authorities supported by a leader who does not rule by what Allaah revealed, as exists in some Arab countries since a few years ago, would pull her jilbaab from her head. As to making this obligation a compulsory law for all women everywhere and in all eras, even if there did not exist any harm for veiled women, No. Absolutely not. Allaah was truthful when He said, “Do they have partners who legislated for them in the religion what Allaah did not permit??” These are the most significant of the extremist opposition’s mistakes which I thought needed brief mention due their strong link to the contents of this book. I then closed ar-Radd al-Mufhim with a reminder that extremism in the religion – considering that the Wise Legislator forbade it will not bring any good. And it is not possible for it to produce a generation of young Muslim women carrying Islaamic knowledge and practice moderately balanced, with neither excesses nor deficiencies. Not like what I have heard about some young female adherents in Arab countries when they heard the Prophet’s statement, “The woman in ihraam should neither wear a niqaab nor gloves,” they did not accept it saying instead, “We will wear our niqaabs and gloves!” No doubt, this was a direct result of the extremist views which they heard regarding the obligation of covering their faces. I certainly cannot imagine that this type of extremism – and this is only one example from many which I have – can possibly produce for us salafee women able to do everything their religiously guided social life demands of them in a way similar to the righteous women of the Salaf. __________________ Who Is Allah? What is a Muslim? Proof of Allah’s Existance from the Quran The Status of Women in Islam http://www.turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3105 Tips for Beginning to Wear Hijab


This is a good article from al Muhajabah’s Islamic Blog: Introduction One of the most difficult decisions many Muslim sisters face is the decision to start wearing hijab. This is certainly true for reverts, but may also be true for sisters whose families or even whose cultures are not particularly observant. As a revert myself, I have been through the whole thing. I would like to offer some advice that I hope inshallah will be helpful to sisters who are considering wearing hijab but find that something is holding them back. Learning About Hijab The first step is to learn about hijab. There is so much information out there and unfortunately much of it seems to be conflicting. Although most of what you see agrees that the sister must cover everything but her face and hands, some groups say that it is fard to cover everything but the eyes. Meanwhile, certain other groups are dedicated to claiming that covering the hair is not obligatory. It is very easy to get confused. And there are other questions. What is a jilbab? Is it fard to wear one? What do all the names mean? I have spent about two years researching these issues for myself and I have written several articles that set out what to the best of my knowledge are the correct rules of hijab. Each of these is linked below for you to look at. Special Focus on Hijab – This is a section in a larger article. It explains where the ruling on covering everything but the face and hands comes from, and the conditions of the headscarf. It also refutes the claims of those who say that covering the hair is not fard. Evidences for Jilbab – The jilbab seems to be the forgotten obligation of hijab. This article presents dalils from Quran and Sunna, and opinions of many scholars, to show that wearing a jilbab is fard, and it also discusses the conditions and rules of the jilbab. Examining the Dalils for Niqab – In this article I examine the dalils that are presented by those who claim that niqab is fard and I show that these are not as compelling as they seem at first. I am actually a strong supporter of the opinion that niqab is mustahabb and sunna but I do not believe that it is fard and I believe that saying that it is fard is to introduce into the religion an obligation that Allah SWT and the Prophet (sAas) did not. Bonus: See my Glossary of Hijab Styles. For your convenience, I present a brief guide to the rules of dress for the Muslim sister for different situations. 1) Around her husband, a sister may dress however she chooses. There are no restrictions on what the husband can see or touch. 2) Around the mahram relatives, women, and children (a complete list of exemptions is given in Surah an-Nur ayah 31), a sister should cover her awra. There are different opinions on the extent of this. The most sensible that I have seen is from the upper chest to the knee. This includes the region that is also awra in men (navel to knee) and extends upwards to cover the woman’s bosom, which is a special concern for her. Display of the hair, arms, lower legs and feet, is universally agreed to be halal for this category. 3) Around non-mahram men, a sister must cover all of her body except her face and her hands. The face is the circle of the face only and does not include the ears or any of the hair. Just think about what you wash in wudu. The covering of the hair, neck, shoulders, and upper chest must specifically be accomplished by the khimar (headscarf). The arms, torso, and legs should be covered by loose, opaque clothing that obscures the shape of the figure. A long-sleeved blouse and a jumper, a long loose tunic and a long skirt, or shalwar kameez are all examples of what is acceptable. As well, most scholars say that the feet must be covered with socks and shoes although a few scholars allow the wearing of sandals. 4) Outdoors and in open public places (such as the market or the masjid), a sister must wear a jilbab as an outergarment, that is, over her other clothes. If she is wearing a khimar, then the jilbab only needs to cover from the shoulders to the ankles, such as a long coat. If she is not wearing a khimar, then the jilbab should cover the head and neck as well. The above rules set out what you need to wear in each situation in order to be observing correct hijab. Note: Most sisters, including myself, approached hijab in several stages. Usually the first stage is the modest clothing such as the blouse and jumper, tunic and skirt, or shalwar kameez. The second stage is to add the headscarf (properly called khimar). The third stage, often taken much later after reading up on the dalils, is to add the jilbab when outdoors. In the way of things, I expect that most sisters who are reading this have already adopted the modest clothing and are worried about the khimar. Deciding to Wear Hijab This is where the difficulties usually come in. For many sisters, it truly is a jihad. I remember very vividly how scared I was the first day I put on the headscarf and went out into public. As long as you are just wearing the modest clothes, nobody has to know that you are a Muslim. Once you complete your hijab with the headscarf, you are suddenly announcing to everyone who sees you that “I am a Muslim”. Here is some advice based on my own experiences. Wear it for the sake of Allah SWT Various statements are made about why you should wear hijab, such as for modesty or for protection, but the real reason that we wear hijab is that Allah SWT has commanded it. Whenever anyone asks you, why do you dress like that, that’s the only answer you need to give them. Allah SWT is the source of everything we have, our existence, our life, our capability, even our goodness. If He ever stopped sustaining us, we would vanish in that instant. If He ever took away what he gives us, we would never have even a speck of it. If we worked for millions of years, we could never repay Him for all that He has given us. And yet He does give it to us, and all He asks in return is that we do our best to obey what He has commanded us. Surely wearing hijab is a very small thing that you can do for Him compared to what He does for you! Wear it for the hope of Jannah Allah SWT makes tests for us in this world. He makes things difficult for us. He wants to see if we will remember Him, if we will have faith in Him, and if we will trust in Him. These qualities are what is meant by “sabr“. Allah SWT does not lose the work of anyone, ever (see Surah Ali Imran ayah 195). Even if it seems like nobody is paying attention to you or notices or appreciates good things that you do, Allah SWT has seen them, and He will not forget them. Even when it seems like the whole world is against you, Allah SWT is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember this. Allah SWT always wants the best for us and in His wisdom He knows why each thing that happens to us is in fact best for us. When it seems like everything is going wrong and life is just one disaster after another, it is easy to forget this and to become bitter and skeptical. Yet we must remember always to have faith that Allah SWT knows best why He has willed this for us, and we must always ask Him only “Make me pleased with what You have willed for me”. This world we live in, although it seems at times to be the only real thing, is actually fleeting compared to the Hereafter, which is better and more abiding. The trials of this world will seem as fleeting as a nightmare when seen from the Hereafter, and the pleasures of this world will also seem as fleeting as a dream when seen from the Hereafter. It’s our happiness in the Hereafter that we should be most worried about attaining, because it is what will last forever; and it’s our suffering in the Hereafter that we should be most worried about avoiding, because it also will last forever. Allah SWT has promised Jannah to those who remain steadfast in their faith in Him and who trust in Him. The more difficult it is for you to have sabr, the greater the reward for it. So what will it be? Ease in this world, and perhaps the eternal sufferings in Hell? Or difficulty in this world, and inshallah the eternal bliss of Jannah? Let’s face it, the old cliches are true: there’s no such thing as a free lunch and you can almost never have your cake and eat it too. We’ve all got to face difficulties some time. Better by far that they be in the world than in the Hereafter. So that’s what you should set your mind to. Yes, it’s difficult to wear hijab. You may be rejected by your family or your friends, you may face harassment and persecution or be fired from your job. These are very scary thoughts. But if you have sabr and keep trusting in Allah SWT, I swear to you sister, this is the path to Jannah, and when you look back on the Day of Qiyamah you will know that it was worth it and have no regrets. Wear it today and trust in Allah SWT for tomorrow What do I mean by that? What I mean is that you should take it one day at a time, or even one outing at a time. Sometimes the future seems to stretch on forever and ever and you don’t think you can make it that long. You want to give up before you even begin. So sometimes the best thing to do is to keep you mind focused on what is immediately at hand. Allah SWT will take care of the future. If you have to go out to the market, then concentrate on being able to wear hijab just for this activity and on getting through it. If you do get through it and nothing bad happened, then give thanks to Allah SWT for making it easy for you, and turn your mind to your next outing. Or if you have to go out to school or work, then concentrate on being able to wear hijab just for this one day and on getting through it. And give thanks to Allah SWT when you have made it, and turn your mind to the next day. Eventually the outings will turn into days and the days into weeks, and the weeks into months. One day you will realize that you have been wearing hijab for quite a long time and it isn’t really as bad as you feared, and Allah SWT helped you get through it. Don’t be ashamed. Sometimes it is like this. The most important thing is to have sabr and keep your trust in Allah SWT always. Wear it and spite the shaytan My dear sister, the worries and fears in your mind are the whisperings of the shaytan. He wants to talk you out of obeying Allah SWT. It is very easy to keep going around in circles in your mind and to dwell on all the things that could go wrong. I know that I myself have a tendency to do this, I put it off and I dither and I wait for “the perfect time”. If I let myself, I would never do anything at all! So the thing you have to remember is that you do not need to be perfect in iman to wear hijab. If perfection were a qualification, where is the sister who could wear it?? You must also not fall into the trap of thinking that you should wait until all your worries and fears have disappeared. They never will! Trust me on this, sister. True courage is going ahead to do what’s right even though you are still nervous and scared. So don’t listen to the shaytan. Ignore the worries and fears he whispers into your mind. Tell him that you will not let him keep you from obeying Allah SWT and you will not let him rule your life. Make the decision to wear it Once you have come to know in your heart that you must wear hijab, then you have to set a day and JUST DO IT This is the only way. Set a day and when that day comes, you have to do it. Don’t back down. Don’t give up. Do it. Offer salat al-istikhara. Make du’a. Make lots of du’a. Do not stop making du’a. Ask Allah SWT to give you strength. Ask Him to make it easy for you. Ask Him to help you. He will, I swear it to you. He is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember how much He has given you, how everything that you have, even your very existence, is due to Him. Remember that He deserves this from you. Remember the promise of Jannah. Remember that remaining patient and faithful through difficulty now may lead to Jannah, inshallah. Even if bad things happen, keep these thoughts in your mind. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Just concentrate on getting through today, and leave tomorrow to Allah SWT until it gets here. That’s how you do it. Final Words of Encouragement I have been wearing hijab since September 1999. I do not regret it. I have never for one instant regretted it. I do not regret it even one iota. Inshallah, you will discover that you feel the same. Even within a few months I came to feel that I would not be properly dressed if I went out not wearing hijab. This is when you know that you have made it! Never feel that you are alone, or that you are the only one who is scared and worried and nervous. Just about every other sister who has travelled down this road has gone through the same things. I know I have. Your sisters are here for you. We have been where you are. We are encouraging you and cheering you on. We know what it takes because we had to find that in ourselves too. We are praying for your success just as we prayed for our own. Come and join us. Allah does not burden a soul except what it can bear. For it is what it has earned, and upon it is what it has made due. “Our Lord and Sustainer, do not condemn us if we forget or do wrong. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us like the burden You put on those who were before us. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us that we cannot endure. And blot out (our sins) and forgive us, and be gentle to us. You are our Protector. So help us against the rejectors.” (Surah http://www.turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=711 <> <> <> And the search for truth and justice, and for what pleases Allah our ONE LORD and GOD continues, with knowledge and action <>

The Muslim Woman’s Dress

Shaykh Nassir-uddeen al-Albani Below, is an abridgement of the book “Muslim Women’s Dress” by our Sheikh Nassir-uddeen al-Albani complied by Sheikh Mahmud Murad. Although the following provides the fiqh details of the dress of a Muslimah, the word “hijaab” itself needs to be understood. In Islam, a woman is commanded to cover her body and not show herself to strange men. Thus hijaab when applied to a Muslimah not o*!nly includes the physical dress, but also the manner of living in society (for example, staying at home, praying at home, not coming out of the house unless due to necessity etc.). So when we read these articles, it is to be kept in mind that the correct understanding of hijaab includes vieling of women by means of clothing as well as correct behaviour in society.  Introduction The outer garment worn in public must cover all of the body except the face and hands. The outer garment must not be decorative itself or a means of beautification. The outer garment must be thick and opaque so as to conceal the clothes worn. Muslim women should not wear perfume in public. The clothes of Muslim women should not resemble men’s clothes. The clothes of Muslim women should not resemble those of the disbelievers. The clothing of Muslim women should not be ostentatious. Introduction Praise be to Allaah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and upon his honourable Companions and those who have followed his example with piety. This brochure has been prepared in response to a deterioration in the condition of Muslim women of this day and age, which is a consequence of the misconception that how a woman dresses is of little importance, as long as she performs her obligatory acts of worship. This misconception is not restricted to Muslim women in the West, but unfortunately is shared by many of their sisters in the East. In the Glorious Qur’an, we are told: “And let there arise out of you a nation inviting to what is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are the o*!nes who are successful.” (3:104) Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri relates that he heard the Prophet say: “He of you who sees something wrong should correct it with his hand; if he is unable to do that, he should condemn it with his tongue; if he is unable to do that, he should at least resent it in his heart, and that is the lowest degree of faith.” [Muslim] It is clear that we must draw the attention of our Muslim sisters to the importance of wearing Islamic dress. This is not imposed upon us by the mere opinion of a scholar or a Sheikh. It is a Divine Command, and is necessarily in the best interest of the society of every age and place. In this we stand opposed to the opinion of some `modernists’ who maintain that those living in a western society are justified in adapting to its norms and morals. We believe that our religion is that which has been transmitted to us through the Prophet Muhammad , his Companions and our Pious Predecessors. A careful study of relevant Qur’anic ayah (verses) and ahaadeeth (Prophetic traditions), along with the works of our Pious Predecessors, will reveal a strict emphasis o*!n the need for women to observe modesty in their dress when they appear in the public by covering all their bodies and any ornaments or other means of beautification they might wear. Allah the Exalted says in Surat an-Noor, ayah 31: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not show of their adornment except o*!nly that which is apparent, and draw their veils over their (necks and) bosoms and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no knowledge of women’s awarah (that which is covered). And let them not stamp their feet to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn you all to Allaah in repentance, O believers, that you may be successful.” And He says in Surah al-Ahzaab, ayah 59: “O Prophet! tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments close around them. That will be better, that they may be known and so not to be bothered. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” From these two ayah of the Noble Qur’aan and from the authentic sources of guidance provided for us; we can derive the following principles of proper dress and adornment for Muslim women: The outer garment worn in public must cover all of the body except the face and hands Surat an-Noor, ayah 31 (quoted above) contains clear a command that a woman’s natural beauty and her adornment are to be concealed from strangers, except that which might show unintentionally (ie. parts of the dress or ornaments) or which show as a matter of course because it is not prohibited that they be shown (ie. the face the hands). Abu Dawood authentically narrated that ‘Aaishah said: “Asmaa came to see the Messenger of Allah. She was wearing a thin dress; the Prophet turned away from her and said to her: “O Asmaa! o*!nce a woman reaches the age of puberty no part of her body should be uncovered except her face and hands.” It should be noted that the Arabic word khumur (plural of khimaar) which has been translated above in the ayah from Surat an-Noor as veils, means head covers, not face veils as may mistakenly be supposed. It refers to a cloth which covers all of the hair. Furthermore, the word juyoob (plural of jaib), also found in the ayah of Surat an-Noor, refers not o*!nly to the bosom, as is commonly thought, but also to the neck. Qurtubi, an eminent mufassir (Qur’anic commentator) stated: “Women in those days used to cover their heads with the khimaar, throwing its ends o*!n their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, along with the ears, in the manner of the Christians. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the khimaar.” “And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment.” Women at the time of the Prophet used to wear anklets, which they could employ to attract attention by stamping their feet, making the anklets tinkle together. This practice was now forbidden, but even more important for us, these words make it absolutely clear that the legs and ankles are to be covered. Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated: “The Prophet said: “On the Day of Judgement, Allah will not look upon o*!ne who trails his garment along out of pride.” Umm Salamah then asked: “What should women do with their garments?” The Prophet said: “They may lower them a hand span.” She said: “Their feet would still be uncovered.” The Prophet said: “Then a forearm’s length, but no more.” (Tirmidhee) The ayah from Surat an-Noor quoted above gives us specific and detailed information about what a Muslim woman should be sure to cover when she is in the company of strangers, and it gives a detailed list of those with whom she is permitted to be less inhibited. The ayah quoted from Surat al-Ahzab further directs Muslim women to put some outer garment over their clothes, and to draw it close around them. Abu Dawood related that when this ayah was revealed, the women of the Ansaar appeared like crows (because of the black cloaks which they wore). Some outer garment, whether a cloak or a coat, must be worn by a Muslim woman when she is in public, and even when she is in her own house or that of a close relative, if she is in the presence of strangers. It was mentioned above that the face need not be covered. If, however, the woman is wearing make-up, she should cover her face, since the make-up is adornment beyond what is permitted. Similarly, she should cover her hands if she is wearing nail polish or some other decoration or ornament. Furthermore, although it is permissible to leave the face uncovered in the presence of strangers, it is praiseworthy to cover it, as that was the practice of the wives of the Prophet according to authentic ahaadeeth. The outer garment must not be decorative itself or a means of beautification When Allah commands women not to reveal their beauty, He means both the natural beauty, with which He has endowed them, and all means which they might employ to enhance that beauty. Clearly, the garment which is used to screen the woman’s beauty and her adornment from public view should not itself be a thing of beauty. Fudaalah ibn ‘Ubaid reported that the Prophet said: “There are three people that you should not concern yourself about: a man who parted from the Jamaa’ah and disobeyed his Imaam and died in that state; a slave who ran away from his master and died without returning; a woman whose husband departed from her after providing for her worldly needs and who then beautified (tabarrajat) herself in his absence. Do not worry about any of them.” (Ahmad)
__________________ “I am not a racist in any form whatsoever. I don’t believe in any form of discrimination or segregation. I believe in Islam. I am a Muslim and there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, nothing wrong with the religion of Islam” Malcolm X  

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Old 08-19-2007, 06:59 PM #2
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The word tabarraja means not o*!nly to beautify o*!neself, or to make o*!neself pretty, but also to display o*!neself, to play up to o*!ne’s charms for the purpose of exciting desire. Imam ad-Dhahabi said in his book Kitaab al-Kabaa’ir (The Book of Great Sins): “Of the deeds woman is cursed for are displaying the ornaments which she is wearing, wearing perfume when going out, and wearing colourful clothes and silky short cloak.” The verb `tabarrraja’ includes all of these actions. `Tabarruj’ is so abhorrent that it is associated with shirk, fornication, stealing and other (major) sins.  Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said: “A woman came to the Messenger of Allah to give her pledge for Islam. He said: “I accept your pledge that you will not associate partners with Allaah, nor steal, nor fornicate, nor kill your child, nor commit a sin between your arms and legs, nor wail over the dead, nor beautify and display yourself (tatabarraji) after the fashion of the pre-Islamic days.” (Ahmad) The outer garment must be thick and opaque so as to conceal the clothes worn Proper covering cannot be achieved by wearing tight or transparent apparel. The Prophet said: “There will be in the last days of my ummah (nation), women who are dressed and undressed. Curse them: they are accursed.” (At-Tabarani) Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet referred to: “… women who are naked even though they are wearing clothes, go astray and make others go astray, and they will not enter paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelt from afar.” (at-Tabarani) The dressed and undressed women are those who wear transparent or very tight clothes, or clothes which are cut in such a way that they expose the body. Such clothes reveal more than they conceal. The Prophet said: “Belief and the sense of shame are tied together; if o*!ne is lost, the other is lost.” (Al-Hakim) It should be noted that a woman should wear a loose over-garment for offering prayer. It should cover her whole body (as far as going out) and should be such that it conceals the shape of her arms and legs, as well as that of the rest of her body. Muslim women are not to wear perfume in public Abu Musa narrated that the Prophet said: “Any woman who wears perfume and passes by some people who smell her perfume is like o*!ne who commits fornication.” Abu Hurairah said that: “A woman passed by him smelling strongly of scent. He called to her, “O slave of the powerful. Are you going to the mosque?” She said that she was. He said: “Go back and wash it (the perfume) off. I heard the Messenger of Allaah say: “Any woman who goes to the mosque wearing perfume will not have her prayer accepted by Allaah; first she should go back home and have a bath (to wash the perfume off).”” It is inappropriate for a woman to wear perfume in the mosque, where people are attending to the worship of Allah; how much more inappropriate is it that she should wear scent elsewhere, where people are more liable to distraction? Scent attracts attention to woman and may thereby stimulate sexual desires; this is improper in the marketplace and mosque. The clothes of Muslim women should not resemble men’s clothes. Abu Hurairah said that: “The Messenger of Allah cursed the man who wears women’s clothes and the woman who wears men’s clothes.” Ibn Umar said that he heard the Messenger of Allaah say: “He is not of us who imitates women nor is he of us who imitates men.” (al-Hakim) Abdullah ibn Umar reported that the Prophet said: “Three people will not enter paradise, and Allaah will not look to them o*!n the Day of Judgement: the o*!ne who is disobedient to his parents, the woman who imitates men and the ad-Dayooth.” (Ahmad) Ad-Dayooth[1] is the man who permits women for whom he is responsible (eg: mother, wife, sister etc.) to engage in illicit sexual relations, or to display their beauty to strange men, thereby stimulating their sexual desires.
__________________

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Orthodox Jewish hair and face veil

From The Times March 7, 2008

Going under cover:

the Jewish women who are taking the veil

Sheera Frenkel in Beit Shemesh, Israel

Read Libby Purves on the Jewish veil Several cars slow and one stops when Sarah walks down the street in her home town of Beit Shemesh, an ultra-orthodox Jewish enclave west of Jerusalem. On this morning, the streets teem with women herding their children to school in the modest garb and head-coverings befitting their religious beliefs. For years, Sarah walked among them similarly dressed, but today a dark cloth is secured across her face, hiding everything save her eyes. It resembles the head-to-toe covering that is associated with religious Muslim women in the Gulf States. “People in cars driving by often stop and stare. Some people are rude — they shout things at me because they think I am Arab,” said Sarah (not her real name). Top of Form Bottom of Form Top of Form Bottom of Form Sarah is part of a budding movement of about 100 Jewish women in this city who have begun covering their bodies. Some cover just their hair and neck; others wrap their entire face, save their eyes, with the loose cloth. They call their head-covering a sal, refusing to acknowledge the resemblance to its Muslim twin, the hijab. In Beit Shemesh, the political line is strictly right wing, with many of the religious leaders advocating expulsion of Arabs from the biblical boundaries of the land of Israel. But the two communities may have more in common than they think. Orthodox Jewish women have long concealed their hair with a scarf or wig upon marriage. Muslim women, who don a covering upon reaching puberty, traditionally sheath their necks as well as their hair. Depending on the country, the covering could be fashioned into a number of variations such as the chador, a loose cloak worn by women in Iran, or the burka, an enveloping garment that allows only for mesh netting over the eyes, worn in Afghanistan. “The full body, or full face covering that people think is only part of the Arab world actually started with Jewish women,” said a woman who asked to be identified by her first initial, M. “Muslim women are imitating Jews to try to gain God’s favour with modesty. The truth is that the women of Israel are lessening in God’s eyes because the Arabs are more modest in dress. If the Jews want to conquer the Arabs in this land they must enhance their modesty,” added M, who covered her face for over a year, but currently wears just a loose cloak over her garments. The first time that M saw a sal was at the Western Wall, one of the holiest Jewish sites. “I saw a woman who looked like an Arab and I was scared. I got near her, to try to determine why she was there, and saw that she was praying in Hebrew. I began to talk to her and became curious and then attended her classes,” she said. The woman M met that day was a religious instructor in Beit Shemesh, and the founder of the sal style. “We have been criticised by so many in the community who see what we are doing as the opposite of Jewish law. Many women have stopped wearing the sal because of pressure from their husbands or rabbis,” said M, who adds that her family persuaded her to stop wearing the garment. Part of Jewish religious teaching states that a woman should not draw unnecessary attention to herself — a rule that some rabbis feel the sal breaches, said Chevy Weiss, a liaison between the religious community in Beit Shemesh and its leadership. “If that is what these women need to do to feel a stronger connection to God, I have respect for them,” she said. For Sarah, wearing the sal is worth the stares and occasional harassment. “In my heart I know this is what God wants me to wear. God willing, more women will see the truth.” Dressing down — Hair covering among Jewish women can be traced to Jewish law. The 13th-century scholar Moses Maimonides is quoted in the Mishneh Torah as stating that the covering of a woman’s hair is from the teachings handed down to the biblical figure of Moses, or rather from the Old Testament. Times Database http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3499122.ece <>

Guidance for Sexual Health

(An Islamic perspective)

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Source: islamway.com
One of the rights of human beings is to satisfy their sexual needs. This may be aural, by listening to amorous words; visual, by looking at that which arouses sexual desire; or physical, by engaging in sexual acts of different types. However, the only legal way to satisfy sexual urges is that which occurs between married couples. It is not permissible for a Muslim to engage in sex before marriage. Youths of both sexes must avoid all forms of sexual arousal; they should get married early and not delay it; because this is the safer route for them. Whoever cannot get married should depend on fasting to help curb their desires. The Purpose of Sex Islam strives to suppress illicit sexual urges so as to bring good back to human sexual intercourse, and to make its aim the establishment of a family and to have children. Allah said, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” (Quran, 30:21) In fact, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) made the relationship between a married couple a source of reward for Muslims in the following wonderful hadeeth. He (PBUH) said “… and in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is Sadaqah (act of charity).” They (the Companions) said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?” He said, “Tell me, if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.” (Muslim) Islam acknowledges the existence of sexual desire, and considers it to be one of the pleasures of this worldly life. Allah said, “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return (i.e., Paradise).” (Quran, 3:14.) Sexual desire is instinctive, and life without pleasure, enjoyment, and happiness becomes miserable, dreary and uninteresting. Is there anything better than the romantic hours spent by a loving married couple in the marital home? Protection from Sexual Arousal Islam’s philosophy in life is clear and unchanging. It is founded on firm principles, including the great principle that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and among the applications of this great concept is Islam’s recognition of the danger of sexual arousal between the two sexes. For this reason, laws and systems were introduced that prohibit sexual arousal, stirring of desires, and inflammation of passions, other than those between a married couple. If you think about modern day life, you will realize that men flirt in the street, at work, at school, and in the shops. It is a game of cat and mouse. You will find that it is expected of a woman to make herself up and beautify herself with the most splendid finery when she goes out. For this reason, Islam ordered women not to beautify and adorn themselves when they go outside, but to limit their beautification for when they are with their husbands or when they are with other women. In relation to this, two verses of the Quran were revealed, which later came to be known as the two verses of the hijab. They are the following words of Allah, “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves (part) of their outer garments.” (Quran, 33:59). The second verse is, “… and not to display their adornment except that which (ordinarily) appears thereof.” (Quran, 24:31) Islam also warned both sexes about listening to music that arouses passions, because arousing romantic music, which has an immeasurable effect on youths, is unchanging with the passing of the centuries. This prohibition came before the invention of television and its stark portrayals of sexual acts. The Call for Marriage When Islam forbade sexual arousal, and prohibited sexual relationships before marriage, it did not just leave youths without an outlet for their natural instincts. Islam invited them in a clear and open way to get married early. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e., his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast; as fasting diminishes sexual power.” (Bukhari) If a youth does not have the way or means to get married, then what is the solution? The following verse of the Quran has the answer, “But let them who find not (the means for) marriage abstain (from sexual relations) until Allah enriches them from His bounty.” (Quran, 24:33) Repulsion towards Adultery and Homosexuality It is unfortunate that modern civilization is so eager to turn a blind eye to prohibited sexual behavior, that it gives it different euphemisms so that people are not revolted by it. These euphemisms do not directly signify the word ‘adultery’ or the term ‘illegal sexual relationship’, but rather say that someone is ‘sexually active’ or ‘has multiple partners’. Muslims, on the other hand – even those who are religiously weak -consider extramarital relationships to be adulterous and greatly sinful; sins that would never befit a Muslim. This repulsion, which people feel towards adultery, arises from the many legal texts that condemn adultery and make it unattractive in the eyes of a Muslim. These include: “And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is a Fahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits), and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” (Quran, 17:32) Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked what most commonly causes people to enter the Hellfire, he said, “The two hollow things, the mouth and the private parts.” He was (then) asked about what most commonly causes people to enter Paradise, he said, “Fear of Allah and good character.” (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) Ubadah ibn-us-Samit said, “I was one of the Naqibs (a person heading a group of six persons), who gave the (Aqaba) Pledge of Allegiance to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). We gave the pledge of allegiance to him that we would not worship anything other than Allah, that we would not steal, would not commit illegal sexual intercourse, would not kill a person whose killing Allah has made illegal except rightfully, and would not rob each other. We would not be promised Paradise if we did the above sins, and if we commit one of the above sins, Allah will give His Judgment concerning it.” (Agreed upon) Conclusion Islam is an amazing religion that has changed the lives of the Companions and of believers around the world. Once there was a time when adultery was deemed a normal part and acceptable happening in society and Islam rectified that notion by placing clear guidelines on sexual behaviors within a society, thus ridding the complications of liberal sexual behavior – both the physical and mental – of its believers. We can learn much by becoming observers of the heartaches and hardships non-Muslims encounter because of the lack of sexual abstinence amongst non-married couples and how that impacts their lives as individuals and that of their communities. We can take pride and respect ourselves as Muslims by living our lives following the examples of the pious predecessors of the past, who followed the righteous teachings of our Prophet (PBUH). Islam has generously and thoughtfully provided its believers with the prevention to the societal ills of pre-martial sexual relations, where others can spend millions of dollars and many hours seeking in desperation just waiting on the cure. Let us each take a proactive stance in our lives to ensure that our families and ourselves are utilizing the preventive measures our religion has given us so that we may be able to thwart the day when it is too late, and we too, are left in desperation, seeking the cure.
[Al Jumuah Vol. 14 – Issue: 8]
<> Taken from: islamway.com <> Courtesy: www.everymuslim.net

<> More on the face veil constriction laws <><><> Monday, Nov. 13, 2006

Today’s Nun Has A Veil–And A Blog

By Lisa Takeuchi Cullen and Tracy Schmidt For the iPod generation, it doesn’t get more radical than wearing a veil. The hijab worn by traditional Muslim women might have people talking, but it’s the wimple that really turns heads. And in the U.S. today, the nuns most likely to wear that headdress are the ones young enough to have a playlist. Over the past five years, Roman Catholic communities around the country have experienced a curious phenomenon: more women, most in their 20s and 30s, are trying on that veil. Convents in Nashville, Tenn.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and New York City all admitted at least 15 entrants over the past year and fielded hundreds of inquiries. One convent is hurriedly raising funds for a new building to house the inflow, and at another a rush of new blood has lowered the median age of its 225 sisters to 36. Catholic centers at universities, including Illinois and Texas A&M, report growing numbers of women entering discernment, or the official period of considering a vocation. Career women seeking more meaning in their lives and empty-nest moms are also finding their way to convent doors. This is a welcome turnabout for the church. As opportunities opened for women in the 1960s and ’70s, fewer of them viewed the asceticism and confinements of religious life as a tempting career choice. Since 1965, the number of Catholic nuns in the U.S. has declined from 179,954 to just 67,773, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The average age of nuns today is 69. But over the past decade or so, expressing their religious beliefs openly has become hip for many young people, a trend intensified among Catholic women by the charismatic appeal of Pope John Paul II’s youth rallies and his interpretation of modern feminism as a way for women to express Christian values. As this so-called JP2 generation has come of age, religious orders have begun to reach out again to young people–and to do so in the language that young people speak. Convents conduct e-mail correspondence with interested women, blogs written by sisters give a peek into the habited life and websites offer online personality questionnaires to test vocations. One site, Vocation-network.org frames the choice much like a dating service, with Christ as the ultimate match. “For a long time, we neglected to invite people to see what we are about,” says Sister Doris Gottemoeller of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of America, a national order. “I think we’re more ready to do that now.” And although the extreme conservatism of a nun’s life may seem wholly countercultural for young American women today, that is exactly what attracts many of them, say experts and the women themselves. “Religious life itself is a radical choice,” says Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago. “In an age where our primary secular values are sex, power and money, for someone to choose chastity, obedience and poverty is a radical statement.” That radicalism is, ironically, embodied by the wearing of the veil. Decreed unnecessary by Vatican II and shed happily by many older nuns, the headdress is for many of today’s newcomers a desired accessory. “A lot of my older sisters would never wear the veil,” says Sister Sarah Roy, 29, who is the only member of her Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Ill., to do so. (The others wear a simple dark dress adorned by a pin.) Though she admits “people just stare at you like you’re a freak,” she adds, “It’s a trend with younger women wanting to wear the veil now.” Newer nuns see the veil as a public expression of faith, says Cheryl Reed, author of Unveiled: Inside the Hidden Lives of Nuns. “You can understand why a woman who has given up sex, freedom and money would want to wear her wedding dress–which is what they consider their habits to be. You want to say, ‘I’m special. I gave this up.'” Katharine Johnson isn’t sure yet which wedding dress she will choose–a white one or a black one. At 21, she is in her third year of discernment. For now the senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dresses as her classmates do, though on her ring finger she wears a miniature rosary and a favorite T shirt reads, EVERYONE LOVES A CATHOLIC GIRL. She still dates but limits physical contact to kissing. “As I date men and I date convents, I am waiting for God to say, ‘This is where your heart belongs,'” she says. Becoming a nun typically takes seven to nine years. After the period of discernment, a woman enters a religious community as a postulant, and she reflects upon her vocation and helps with chores around the convent. At the end of what is primarily a yearlong spiritual retreat, the postulant and her advisers in the community decide whether she will become a novice and study Catholic theology and ministry for up to two years. She may then take her temporary vows. After an additional four to eight years during which she serves the convent’s mission, she makes her final vows and becomes a professed nun. At the Sisters of Life Formation House in the Bronx, N.Y., 16 young women are making their way through that journey. They include a former Marine, a professional opera singer, a United Nations aide and a recent Yale grad. They have left behind paychecks, apartments, even boyfriends. Sister Thérèse Saglimbeni, 27, a novice who joined the convent in 2005, recalls watching the sisters playing volleyball while she was a student at the nearby State University of New York Maritime College. “I was with my boyfriend and had said how fun the sisters looked,” she says. “He said, ‘Well, why don’t you join them?’ And I replied, ‘Well, maybe I will!'” The other sisters chuckle when Saglimbeni recounts her saucy retort. But many of their loved ones feel less jovial about the women’s decision to take the veil. “For those who are called, there is a real falling in love. You are filled with a joy and desire to be with God,” says Sister Mary Gabriel Devlin, 32, vocation director at Sisters of Life. “Their families are not experiencing this, so it can be hard for them to understand.” The sense of alienation can be even greater when women choose an order that isolates them from their families and others so that they can devote themselves to strict schedules of regimented prayer. Convents like Sisters of Life that combine contemplation with active ministry to the public are the most popular among young women. While the JP2 generation seeks order and community, Gen Xers are coming to religious life in a quest for meaning after secular society has failed to meet their needs. “It’s been my experience that women who are older–in their 30s and early 40s–feel that they’ve accomplished a lot with their life, but there’s still something missing,” says Sister Laurie Brink, 45, a professor of biblical studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago who has lectured on the subject and who took her vows at 37. Her generation, she adds, growing up in the wake of Vatican II, was not as schooled in catechism as were baby boomers and millennials. Many also broke from the church when their parents divorced. “My generation,” says Brink, “is not good with commitment because we haven’t seen a lot of it.” Now they’re finding a sense of wholeness by binding themselves to their faith. Sister Melissa Schreifels, 37, first considered becoming a nun when a teacher at her high school in St. Cloud, Minn., suggested it. Because it seemed that “nobody was doing that anymore,” Schreifels attended college and launched a career as a pharmacist, volunteering at her church, a hospital library and a pregnancy crisis center in her spare time. “But there was just an emptiness inside that doing the volunteer work and the pharmacy work didn’t fill in me,” she says. When a pastor again suggested sisterhood, Schreifels reconsidered. In 2003 she joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Mankato, Minn., who do not mandate a habit or discourage her from continuing to work as a pharmacist for Target. Schreifels gave up her Subaru Forester and apartment and moved into a house with the sisters, but her work is considered part of the order’s mission to serve the community; her salary goes to support the sisterhood. “I am open to whatever God is asking,” says Schreifels. Although Bea FitzGerald, 66, first heard the call as a young woman, she pushed it aside to raise her seven children. After her husband left in 1968, she put herself through school and supported her family as a registered nurse. Once her children were grown, the call grew louder. She obtained an annulment, joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, based in Louisville, Ky., and, at 51, became one of the growing number of so-called Sister Moms. While widowed or divorced women with grown children have long entered religious life, Sister Moms in the U.S. are now establishing a distinct identity for themselves. Spurred by a dissertation project for her Ed.D. at Spalding University, FitzGerald tracked down 125 of them in 98 religious communities around the country. In the 1990s, she began an annual conference at which the women bond over such unique experiences as telling their children about their choice (“98% are supportive,” says FitzGerald). Nuns of all ages at convents in the U.S. say modern technology is helping them give the world–and prospective applicants–a more realistic picture of their lives. “There are people out there who wonder what being a nun is like,” says Sister Julie Vieira, 36. “These are people who were exposed to stereotypes of nuns and don’t understand how we really live.” So last summer Vieira began a blog titled A Nun’s Life, in which she has chronicled her days as a sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and also a conventional-dressing, apartment-dwelling, master’s degree–holding production coordinator at the Loyola Press, a Catholic publisher in Chicago. “Being a nun has not always been my lifelong goal,” she writes in one entry. “The whole ‘nun’ thing kind of snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying much attention … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called ‘Sister Julie’ that it doesn’t jolt me or make me look around and wonder who they are talking about.” Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, vocation director at the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, credits e-mail to some extent with what can only be described as her order’s astonishing growth. Founded in 1997 as an offshoot of a large convent, the Sisters now have 73 members with an average age of 24. In 2006, 15 women entered as postulants. Next August, more than 20 women are scheduled to join them. The order is fund raising for a new convent for them to live in. “We cannot build fast enough. It’s incredible,” says Bogdanowicz, 50. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, whose average age is 70, are seeking a similar youth infusion. The order, based in Mantiowac, Wis., hired a marketing company from nearby Milwaukee to hold focus groups on college campuses around the state. The marketers then launched a website featuring a blog written by the nuns, along with a slickly produced podcast about a young nun joining the order. There’s also a downloadable song of the month donated by a Christian artist, in response to the focus groups’ revelation that “music was one of the highest ways to communicate with” young people, says vocation director Sister Julie Ann Sheahan. Thus the order’s radio and TV ads feature a theme song based on a Franciscan hymn. The tune is also available on the website as a ringtone. Its title: Called to Be. Read profiles of new nuns and link to their blogs and websites at time.com

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Generic Catholic Phorum

Why Do Nuns Wear Veils?

…A nun is consecrated to God… in the past, that which is consecrated to God has always been veiled. i.e., the Tabernacle, sacred vessels, etc. Also, a woman’s hair is considered her glory, traditionally. She veils her hair to express humility before the glory of God, whom she wishes to glorify with her being, disappearing completely in him. This is why the color of the veil has such meaning. For Poor Clares, the black veil means death, whereas the white symbolizes purity. And it is bridal symbolism… The Habit is her wedding gown. Womanhood has a particular holiness that calls for veiling, namely that she partakes in God’s creative work by bearing life, in a special way, which is primarily why brides wear a veil, and nuns simply always wear their wedding gown, because they have an eternal groom, and are preparing for an eternal wedding feast… … A few thoughts. In general most peoples in the past had some kind of head covering. When you think that they didn’t have central heat, sun screen… you can understand why. Women would have worn a veil or bonnet of some kind. In early times, at least in the east, women did not show their hair in public once they were married. In Europe, a married woman would never wear her hair down. They may also have had limits like in the east in some places, but I don’t know for sure. Even in my grandmother’s day, you did not leave the house without your hat and gloves. Then, up until Vatican II, women would never have gone into a church without a head covering, whether that be veil or hat. Like many things that we use or do in Church, the veil has developed symbolic meanings. The wearing of a veil does have bridal symbolism. Probably because a woman would wear a veil, after marriage. Black, possibly because a married woman or a widowed woman would wear a black veil. Also, like a tabernacle is veiled, the veil is a sign that the one wearing it is consecrated to the Lord, set apart. http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=97859 <><><> <><><> Denomination of Christian nuns who are completely veiled from head to toe proving that the claim that the  veil is an exclusively  Muslim invention is not true. This was practised by the Christians. NOTE  text from the New Testament on veil and head cover 1Cor.11 [1] Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [2] Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. [3] But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. [4] Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. [5] But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

Source(s):

[6] For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. [7] For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. [8] For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. [9] Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. [10] For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. <><><>

German nuns ‘face headscarf ban’

A German court has ruled that a regional ban on Muslim teachers wearing headscarves in state schools must also apply to Christian nuns, reports say. The south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg passed a law in April, preventing teachers from wearing Islamic-style headscarves. But Germany’s highest administrative court says the law must apply to all faiths, Der Spiegel magazine reports. Last year, the Constitutional Court said states could ban headscarves. No exceptions “Exceptions for certain forms of religiously motivated clothing in certain regions are out of the question,” the federal judges of the Federal Administrative Court wrote in their ruling as quoted by Der Spiegel, in an advance copy of its Monday issue. A copy of the ruling was not available. The court’s decision means that nuns, who often work in state schools in the predominantly Roman Catholic Black Forest region of Baden-Wuerttemberg, will have to remove their habits before going into classrooms. But the author of the legislation in Baden-Wuerttemberg, law professor Ferdinand Kirchhof, said the nuns’ habits were “professional uniforms” and so not subject to the ban. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s parliament – dominated by a coalition of the opposition Christian Democratic Union and liberal Free Democrats – backed the legislation almost unanimously. Another five out of 16 states are in the process of passing similar legislation. The issue has been fiercely debated in Germany since Fereshta Ludin, who was denied a job in Baden-Wuerttemberg in 1998 because she wore a headscarf in school, went to court. She argued that the German constitution guaranteed her religious freedom. Last September, the federal Constitutional Court ruled by five votes to three that, under current laws, she could wear the scarf. But it also said new laws could be passed by individual states banning them if they were deemed to unduly influence pupils. In France, there is similar controversy about a ban on the wearing of religious symbols by pupils in state schools. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3731368.stm <><><>

German Ban on Headscarves Violates Rights,

Says Watchdog

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Half of German states have laws banning headscarves

According to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the law banning female teachers from wearing the Islamic headscarf in parts of Germany violates the rights of Muslim women.

In its 67-page report, published Thursday, Feb. 26, HRW said that ban, in force in half of the 16 German states, “discriminates against Muslim women, excluding them from teaching and other public sector employment on the basis of their faith.” The laws were all introduced in the last five years, following a 2003 Constitutional Court ruling that restrictions on religious dress are only permissible if explicitly laid down by law. The remaining eight German states have no such restrictions. Based on extensive research and interviews with women affected by the law over an eight-month period, the HRW “Discrimination in the Name of Neutrality: Headscarf Bans for Teachers and Civil Servants in Germany,” analyzes the human rights implications of the bans and their effect on the lives of Muslim women teachers, including those who have been employed for many years. It says that the bans have caused some women to give up their careers or to leave Germany, where they have lived all their lives. Teachers forced to choose between job and religion “The measures effectively force women to choose between their employment and the manifestation of their religious beliefs, violating their right to freedom of religion and equal treatment,” the New York-based HRW said. “The regulations are not abstract concerns. The restrictions have a profound effect on women’s lives.” “These laws discriminate on the grounds of both gender and religion and violate these women’s human rights,” said Haleh Chahrokh, researcher in the Europe and Central Asia division at HRW in a statement. According to the HRW report, while none of the laws explicitly target the headscarf, parliamentary debates and official explanatory documents prior to their introduction make clear that the headscarf is the focus. “Every court case about the restrictions has concerned the headscarf issue,” the report states. “The claim that these restrictions don’t discriminate doesn’t stand up,” said Chahrokh, “In practice, the only people affected by them are Muslim women who wear the headscarf. “People should be judged on the basis of their conduct, not views imputed to them by virtue of a religious symbol they wear,” Chahrokh added. “If there are concrete concerns about individuals, they should be addressed through ordinary disciplinary procedures, on a case-by-case basis.” Compromises rebutted, says HRW The HRW report claims that teachers wearing the headscarf have been told to remove it and been have subject to disciplinary action if they refused. Some of the teachers affected told Human Rights Watch that they had offered to wear alternatives to the headscarf, such as large hats, or to tie the scarves in atypical styles, but that these offers were rejected. The Islamic headscarf has been the subject of heated political debate in Germany, home to three million Muslims and the biggest Turkish community outside Turkey. Following a series of court cases, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled it was up to Germany’s states to decide their policy, prompting an even split amongst the 16 regions. HRW recommended that the eight states where a ban is in force should repeal the laws. “State governments should … ensure that their legislation and procedures are compatible with Germany’s international human rights obligations, guaranteeing in particular that these do not discriminate on grounds of gender or religion,” the group said. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4058110,00.html <><><>

Headscarf ban applies to nuns

National Catholic Reporter, Oct 29, 2004 by Dennis Coday

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STUTTGART, Germany — A German federal court has ruled that a regional ban on Muslim teachers wearing headscarves in public schools must also apply to Christian nuns.

The Federal Administrative Court has ruled that a law passed in April in the southwestern state of Baden-Wurttemberg was unfair because it only applied to Muslim women yet permitted. Christian symbols, newsweekly Der Spiegel reported. Nuns, who often work in public schools in the predominantly Roman Catholic Black Forest region of the state, will no longer be permitted to wear their habits in the classroom, the report said.

COPYRIGHT 2004 National Catholic Reporter
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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Hijab Ban Debate Heats up in Tunisia

Additional Reporting by Mohammad Al-Hamroni, IOL Correspondent

Veiled girls and women are being discriminated against in Tunisia.

TUNIS — The heated debate on the hijab ban has renewed in Tunisia as the government defends its stance on claims of protecting women’s rights, while female students’ sufferings go non-stop with the start of a new academic year. “It will slow our progress. We will take a step back and it will hit the basis of society’s stability and people’s prosperity,” Hedi Mhenni, general secretary of the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party said defending the ban, Reuters reported Friday, October 6. Mhenni said the legislation must be respected in educational institutions and public buildings. Otherwise, he warned, the issue could become a hurdle for the country’s development process. “If today we accept the headscarf, tomorrow we’ll accept that women’s rights to work and vote and receive an education be banned and they’ll be seen as just a tool for reproduction and housework.” In 1981, then Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba (1956-1987) ratified law no. 108 banning Tunisian women from wearing hijab in state offices. Worse still, the government issued in the 1980s and 1990s more restrictive enactments. Hijab have been making a comeback among young women and students in the North African country, despite the 108 law which describes the hair covering as a “sectarian dress”. Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. Violation Tunisian human rights activists, lawyers and intellectuals lashed out at the government oppressive campaign launched every academic year stressing that the hijab ban violates Tunisian women’s rights. “The way the government deals with the issue of hijab infringes upon the fundamentals of human rights and contradicts with the tenets of our religion and identity,” Ziad al- Dolati, ex leader of al-Nahda movement in Tunisia, told IslamOnline.net. Al-Dolati criticized woman rights organizations in Tunisia for their double standards, saying they do not practice what they preach when it comes to hijab-clad students expelled from classes. “It is shocking that they are staunch advocates of women’s right to education, but turn a blind eye to hijab-clad girls deprived of this basic right,” he said. These organizations adopts ideologies that negate the very sense of Arab and Islamic identity, echoed Nour al-Din al-Awaidi, editor en-chief of Aqlaam online magazine. “They consider hijab a symbol for women’s retardation and lack of freedom,” he said. Harassments Human rights activists and Tunisian parents voiced their deep concerns about the rising harassment cases against veiled students in schools and universities whether by security personnel or government officers. “Veiled students were not allowed to join school classes in Sfax and the education local official refused to meet their parents,” said a hijab-clad student, who requested anonymity. She added that in other institutes veiled girls were kicked out and others forced to sign a paper pledging to take off their hijab in order to continue their studies. Caught between a rock and a hard place, some of the hijab-clad students were forced to give up their education to escape the continuous abuse. Tunisia is among a minority of Muslim countries that impose restrictions on hijab. Turkey’s secular state bans women from wearing hair covering at government-run universities. In Europe, France has triggered a controversy in 2004 by adopting a bill banning hijab and religious insignia in state schools. French Muslims — a sizeable six-million minority — along with practicing Jews, Sikhs and international human rights groups strongly condemned the law, saying it violated the freedom of religion right in secular France. http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2006-10/06/06.shtml <><><><>

Interesting viewpoint:

The French headscarf ban and the tragedy of fear

PDF 03/2004 Andrew Cameron and Tracy Gordon | Briefing #000

Facts:

  • France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population—5 million.
  • The lower house of the French Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalise the ban on wearing “ostensible religious symbols” such as veils, yarmulkes and large crucifixes in public schools.
  • The vote was 494 for vs 36 against
  • Belgium and Germany have indicated they would consider a similar law.
  • Long history of struggle between religion and the republic—
    • 1792—Jacobins seize power in France. Result—concerted attack on religion, leading to civil war claiming hundreds of thousands
    • 1880—militantly atheistic Jules Ferry—expelled all religious staff from public schools, and nuns from hospitals. Moderate elements intervened.
    • 1902—militant atheist Emile Combes—closed down 2500 religious schools, Combes’ government forbade all people from religious orders to teach.
    • 1905—separation of church and state law was an attempt to balance the different forces. Reaffirmed freedom of worship. But it caused strife by forbidding any religious instruction at all in public schools, nationalized much church property and forbade the erection of new religious symbols in any public space (incl graveyards).
    • Post World War I—diplomatic relations resumed between the Vatican and France
    • 1941—Vichy government repealed 1905 law.
    • Charles de Gaulle—restored some, but not most of the 1905 laws.

Today it is not Christianity but Islam that is the challenge to the unitary state and republican secularism. Demographers estimate that 20-30% of the population under 25 is now Muslim. Given current birth rates it is not impossible that in 25 yrs France may have a Muslim majority.

Arguments for:

  • French leaders argue the law is needed to protect the principle of secularism underpinning French society. A presidential commission that studied the state of secularism for 6 months concluded that French values were under attack and a ban on headscarves was needed.
  • French leaders say it is needed to counteract what they say is rising Islamic fundamentalism and a Muslim population that isn’t integrating into the mainstream.
  • Headscarves are multiplying in classrooms and perceived as carrying a political message
  • French citizens, whatever their origins, are expected to melt into the mainstream, place France above their community and guarantee the secular nature of public life by keeping religion a private matter. Secularism is meant to guarantee equality for all.
  • The new law is an attempt by the government to show that it can still control rising anti-Semitism and Islamist militancy (the movement for Islamic rule and culture) in the outer suburbs of the big cities, and rising “incivility” (including violent misogyny among some Muslim boys).

Arguments against:

  • Opponents say the ban is likely to stigmatize France’s 5 million-member Muslim population
  • Opponents see the legislation as discrimination, particularly against the country’s Muslim population
  • Fears that one of the consequences of the ban will be radicalization amongst the Muslim population
  • Arguments that the majority of Muslims want to practice their religion in peace and in total respect of the law.
  • Sociologists have warned that the law would be “the beginning of the problem”.
  • Sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar said that 20% of France’s Muslims are “religiously minded” but that “even those who do not wear the head scarf will feel offended because it is a denial of personal rights”.
  • By banning symbols and depriving people of the right to religious expression they are stirring up trouble but are not targeting the real problem—the failure of French society to integrate its Muslim youth, and the consequent rise in the influence of radicals.
  • [too complex:] [Not necessarily about prejudice, but a problem of mixed messages: French politicians and intellectuals denigrating their heritage, particularly that of non or pre-Jacobin France, yet at the same time they are most punitive if young people do not show respect for the “saints” of the Revolution, and for “republican values”. Young people end up not respecting anything at all about their country.]
  • French government is hoping for the cultural and legal assimilation of Europe’s Muslims—the “French church of Islam”. But for Islamists, assimilation is contamination.
  • Adolescent Muslim girls will see wearing banned veils as a symbol of rebellion, and may hence be more tempted to try.
  • Fundamentalist families who oblige their daughters to wear veils will only be too happy to pull their girls out of state schools, depriving them of a broader education, whereas successful integration and development of a French sensibility can depend to a significant degree on all participating in common public education.
  • Jewish and Catholic leaders are against it too, arguing that it will only fuel religious strife.

Christian response

It is difficult for people in Anglo-American nations to respond to these French developments, because we find it hard to imagine their appalling history of religious conflict over the last four hundred years. But the remembrance of this conflict comes through very clearly when French people speak and write about the new law. Both opponents and proponents of the new law share great fear. Opponents fear that Muslim people will radicalize, and fear that the new law will trigger the very conflict it seeks to avoid, and fear that it will increase, rather than diminish, religious fundamentalism. If such fears are expressed even by opponents to this law, the fear that motivated the overwhelming vote in its favour can only be guessed at. Of course there is more to the debate than merely fear. Many French people pride themselves on the enormous and ongoing experiment in their country to forge a distinctive identity and culture, without reference to any religion. Nonetheless it would be foolish to ignore the role played by fears of a return to the violent past, and we can only marvel sorrowfully at a society so dominated by such fear. To say as much is not meant to belittle these fears or suggest that they are groundless, for France has seen the worst excesses of what human beings can do to each other. The French strategy for dealing with such turmoil has been to adopt the principle of laicite, a strict neutrality by the state toward all its citizens. The logic of laicite is that by disallowing religious expression on government property, community diversity is respected. Community life can then be conducted without reference to religious claims, and peace and good order kept intact. laicite is a radical example of the view that peace and respect are best achieved by keeping painful differences hidden. It is a way forward that is self-evident to the French. Like a family who has learnt to be silent about its most painful disagreements, entire nations will react in such a way after a deep trauma. Whole cultures grow up around the avoidance of pain. Again, it is possible to overstate the point here, for rather than remaining silent about the differences highlighted by the Muslim scarf, the French don’t stop talking about it. But this is not perhaps the kind of talk that celebrates the difference of ‘the Other’ in their midst, as some of their postmodern thinkers would have them do. All people have a great tendency to fear strangers, particularly if they are multitplying (Australia’s absurd overreaction to tiny numbers of boat people testifies amply to this reaction); and without grasping the emotional roots of laicite, the French logic is hard for others to understand. For Anglo-Americans, the best way to keep peace and order is to allow members of a society to be open and honest in the expression of what they believe, so that each can understand and accept the other even if they disagree. Freedom of speech and self-expression by individuals follows. These are the luxurious fruits of a society that has not repeatedly torn itself apart over religious differences. But increasingly, radical fear of disagreement is emerging in Anglo-American societies. The choice therefore becomes whether or not to pursue peace and order with strategies, such as laicite, which encourage differences to stay hidden and silent, or through strategies that enable the clear, free expression of we believe. To that end, perhaps the time has come to publicly air and discuss the different religious claims within this pluralist society. Liberal thought tends to swing between the comforting platitude that all religions are the same, and the angry shout that religious difference causes the world’s conflicts. Neither of these thoughts resonate particularly well with the experience of religious people, of course. Should liberals promote and sponsor religious conversation, in direct opposition to ideas such as laicite? Yes, because then everyone will be better informed about what account each religion gives about peace, rule, government, order, harmony and the like. Christianity’s account of these matters often evoke surprise. Christians strongly believe in the lordship of Christ, and yet have the strongest reasons to protect and affirm the lives of those who do not. This same lordship of Christ results, paradoxically, in strong conceptions of the independence of church from state, particularly in Protestant thought. Christians understand good government as a precious gift to be nurtured and respected, yet their confidence in the lordship of Christ means that there is no need to utilise government for the expansion of Christianity, since Christ enacts this expansion quite effectively on his own terms. Such theology has generally made for a robust, if sometimes stormy, relationship between states and churches. States have even found themselves inadvertently borrowing from Christian habits of dispute resolution, judgment of crime, freedom of speech and social equality. (If these claims seem surprising, that is because liberals generally work hard to bury their Christian paternity.) What account do other religions give of the way to a peaceful, ordered, plural society? Their exponents would need to state their case, but in the process of so doing, we might rediscover reasons why the West became renowned for its equality, free speech and good order. We might also begin to suspect that laicite is a high-risk strategy for preserving them. However laicite is deeply understandable in a society as traumatized as France. It is ironic that the home of enlightenment reason and pluralism, and postmodern concern for the Other in its midst, struggles in a seemingly naive and defensive way. We can only hope (and the believers amongst us pray) that France will find a way out of fear, into the kind of firm, clear discussions where people can disagree about their beliefs while still accepting one other. Even on government property.

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“Jihad” of the Hijab

By Amal Hageb, Aramica, 15 November 2004. For months, Cennet Doganay, a 15-year-old Turkish Muslim girl living in Strasbourg, said that France’s Ministry of Education’s pressure policies – France referred to these as dialogue sessions – regarding the ban on wearing the hijab drove her crazy. She, along with other hijab-wearing girls, tried everything to find a compromise. Cennet, after showing up for the first day of classes this year wearing a beret (is there anything more French than a beret?), was sent home and advised to take correspondence courses. In protest, she asked her parents to shave her hair off. She was allowed back in school. Apparently, it’s OK for a bald girl to attend classes, but not one who covers her hair, especially not a Muslim girl. For Cennet, and hundreds of other girls who want to stay in school, a piece of their identity had to be sacrificed before being allowed to rejoin their schoolmates, resulting in widespread psychological problems. France might say that they are not targeting Muslims, but the fact is that, aside from Catholics, there are more Muslims in France than any other [religious] group, so it shouldn’t surprise us that Muslims pose a threat. By the end of this year, hundreds of Muslim girls will be taken out of school – not by their parents, but by the French government. Why? An “unofficial” policy of de-hijabing Muslim girls has been put into place, in order to maintain the “Frenchness” of France. France may try to convince the rest of us that it is merely separating religion from state, and that it does not want religious ideology represented in the school system. Why then are they stepping up efforts to expel as many Muslim girls as possible before the upcoming Catholic holiday? [According to a New York Times article]. Arabs and Muslims have been in France for generations now, having raised their families there and calling France home. France does not want its own people taking low-wage jobs, so they happily hand over this responsibility to the Muslims and foreigners, keeping its doors open to millions of North Africans for many years, after their own economies were destroyed at the hands of Mother France. It’s ironic that France, a country which demoralized most of North Africa and tried to “liberate” Muslim women from the backwardness of Arab civilization by promising new freedoms for all, is now holding female Muslim students hostage in school study halls, keeping them away from classes to face trial for the crimes of identity. Hijab around the world According to BBC News, France is not alone in banning hijab. Turkish students have, for quite some time now, waged protests at high schools and universities for the right to wear a hijab. They have even held hunger strikes and engaged in violent altercations with Turkish authorities. Some have been imprisoned or killed during confrontations. Their families have been “warned” about promoting religious ideologies. But the hijab issue is central to Turkey’s history, when Attaturk’s policies of westernization and secularization first started in the 1920s. Turkey’s current ruling party is the Islamist-based AKP party. They have been careful not to cause conflict within the establishment and have not attempted to change the policy about hijab. Many political leaders, however, see the hypocrisy in Turkish girls being allowed to wear hijab in western countries but not in their own. According to BBC News, the issue rose to the surface last year when the country’s president refused to invite any headscarf-wearing wives of senior officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to a reception marking the republic’s 80th anniversary. Nearly all the AKP’s MPs boycotted the event in protest. At one point in Egyptian history, women who wore hijab were seen as backwards and keeping the country from modernizing. More recently, a group of Egyptian female TV broadcasters alleged that they had been banned from appearing on screen because they were wearing hijab; some even said they were considering legal action. However, the hijab has made a strong comeback alongside Islamic revival movements in Egypt. The government is widely believed to be wary of the public display of Islamic symbols such as hijab, fearing it could play into the hands of Islamic activists. Singapore, keen to avoid racial and religious tensions between its ethnic Chinese majority and the Malay Muslim minority, has banned the hijab from schools. The Singapore government believes the ban is necessary to promote racial harmony, but Muslims say it infringes upon their religious freedom. The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has already given initial approval for a law to stop teachers from wearing hijab, and seven other states are considering similar legislation. Legislators believe hijab is a political symbol and that children in state education should be protected from “fundamentalist” influences. Two politicians from Belgium are hoping to push legislation through parliament that would ban the headscarf from state schools. They believe that many young Muslim schoolgirls do not wear the scarf by choice, and that imposing a ban would protect them from those who impose it upon them. Last year in Russia, Muslim women won the right to wear the headscarf for identification photos, which was banned in 1997. The women argued in court that the ban infringed upon their civil liberties, and were backed in this by a number of human rights groups, who also alleged that Russia was fermenting anti-Muslim sentiment to aid its mission against separatists in Chechnya. A Muslim woman last year lost a high profile court case against a large supermarket chain in Denmark, after she was fired for wearing a headscarf at work in 2001. The court ruled that her contract contained a dress code banning headgear. Many other Muslim countries have experimented with the issue of women and hijab and don’t often agree about the end results. In contrast, countries like Iran, Yemen, some of the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia mandate that girls and women wear the head scarf in public, including in schools. Britain has actually allowed hijab in the workplace, including for women in civil service positions such as police officers. hijab in the United States In no other country, however, is the hijab situation discussed and debated as much as it is here in the United States. Imams at mosques lecture about what’s required and what’s not, and encourage women to continue wearing hijab under all circumstances, even after increased discrimination post-9/11. In the news, I read about violent attacks by conservative communities against women who don’t wear hijab and harsh criticism for those who do wear it by Muslim and non-Muslim women who see hijab as oppressive. Yet, scholars of Islam (male and female) don’t agree about this issue at all. I myself own approximately 40 books about women and Islam, and at least half of these emphasize different views on hijab. We have immigrants who wear hijab. as a way of maintaining cultural customs and beliefs brought from their home countries. We also have the daughters of these very immigrants questioning whether “to hijab or not to hijab,” as a result of being acculturated into American society. Yet another group of girls see it as a symbol of political protest, securing the right to wear the hijab by any means necessary, and an increasing number of university students putting on the head scarf as a way of establishing their identity, beyond matters of faith. Others study Islam for years and are convinced that they should wear it for religious reasons. There are those who don’t see a reason to wear it at all. They become either slaves to fashion or simply resistant and uninterested in a muhajaba lifestyle. There are even some Muslim parents and husbands who may actually discourage girls and women from wearing the hijab. There are women who are forced to wear it, either through pressure from the community or due to threats from home, like families not allowing them to attend college unless they wore a the hijab. There are occasional “hijabers” who slip in and out of the hijab world for occasions like Eid, Ramadhan or Jumu’ah prayers, or “whenever necessary.” The Muslim Women’s League explains that this sort of behavior is due to the tremendous pressure placed on Muslim girls and women to wear the hijab when these women are not really aware or convinced of their own feelings, leading them to wear it on occasion to please their communities. They also agree with many scholars that a majority of Muslim girls and women do not have access to a solid understanding of and unbiased education in Islam, so they remain caught between two worlds, ambivalent about their own faith. I’ve known many “cultural hijab-wearers” in my day, who wear the head scarf out of tradition, without really knowing the rationale behind it. Finally, there are the American converts to Islam who are attracted to the hijab and embrace it with faithful enthusiasm, making the native Muslims question their own ambivalence. A study in contrasts I recently interviewed six Muslim Arab women of different backgrounds, each with a sister, about the hijab issue. Within this group, one sister wore the scarf and one didn’t. The first two sisters both work for the United Nations, one in England and the other in Italy. One embraced the hijab during her adolescent years and was deeply religious. She took her conviction to the workplace, and found tolerance in her host country and was able to practice her faith without much effect. The other worked in a socially liberal environment where Arabs and Muslims are considered the underclass, if not detested. Anxious to fit in and not really feeling an urgent necessity for wearing the head scarf, she abstained from her duty. She is the breadwinner in a family of five. Her husband, a Ph.D. of Comparative Religion, relayed that he has found nothing to convince him that his wife is obligated to wear a hijab. He says that the Koran calls for the modest dress and behavior of both men and women and doesn’t specify that a woman’s head should be covered. The second two sisters were raised in New York. Both, discouraged by their father from wearing a hijab from a young age, led completely Americanized lives. One, after having grown weary of her past life, took to Islam with intense passion and put on the hijab a year after she married. Although her husband was pleased with her decision, he does not believe in forcing women to wear the scarf. She is currently a professional in Canada. The other sister who is single and still lives in New York, is also a professional and sees Islam as a religion that discriminates against women, and refuses to acknowledge or respect the practice of the hijab for personal reasons. The last two sisters are both unmarried. One, a fashion designer in Paris, considers herself an artist and finds the hijab restricting. Although she’s attended prayers at Mosques and participates in Arab cultural events, she couldn’t imagine herself ever wearing it. She hopes to marry an Arab man who is open minded. The other is a student activist involved in many issues. She admits to putting the hijab on initially to please her parents, who are deeply religious and, secondly, as a way of establishing her own identity. All six women acknowledged that it is difficult to wear the hijab in western countries due to discrimination, stigma, and loss of opportunity. Women who were married and “taken care of” financially were more open to the hijab. Being that more women and girls now have to support themselves, it’s understandable that economics has become a factor for many women when deciding whether or not to wear the head covering. What I have observed in my 20 years in New York is that the women who wear the hijab fall into three categories: either they don’t have a need to work or they work in businesses owned by other Muslims, Arabs or Indians (who don’t have a problem with this custom), or they work in jobs that don’t require much contact with the public (thus not posing a ‘threat’). Of the six women I interviewed, only one was able to defend her decision to wear the hijab using a verse from the Koran and a Hadith. The politics of hijab Zakia Mahasa, the first Muslim woman judge in America was profiled in Azizah Magazine. After many years in the judicial system, Zakia decided to put on the hijab and has since persevered. She, like many other professional Muslim women, has learned to take it in stride. When asked about the hijab during an interview, she explained, “I don’t wear it on my sleeve. But I don’t hide it. It’s who I am. If you stand for what you are, even if it is different from the mainstream, others will respect you. Unfortunately, Zakia’s case is the exception and not the rule. According to the New York Times, a Federal district court in Brooklyn recently charged the New York City Transit Authority with discrimination due to their hijab policy, which affected women working on buses and trains. In addition, there have been hundreds of complaints of discrimination received by CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), mostly by hijab-wearing Muslim women who worked for companies such as J.C. Penny, Taco Bell, Holiday Inn, Domino’s Pizza, Sears, Office Depot, Old Country Buffet, Pathmark Stores, United States Postal Service, Boston Market, Bank of America, U.S. Airways, and Dunkin’ Donuts. I commend those who have had the courage to fight discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 entitles all employees to reasonable religious accommodation by their employers. The debate on the hijab will continue long after this article, but I would add that Muslim communities need to stop putting so much emphasis on what a woman wears, and appreciate the strength of her character instead. There is not enough talk about other more pressing issues like, why is it that Muslim girls and women are abused and exploited all over the world; why isn’t there more being done about the education of girls and women; why aren’t there sincere efforts to include women in religious affairs or to accommodate women at mosques and Islamic schools; why aren’t there enough books written and protests made by Muslims, rather than westerners, about social and economic policies that affect the quality of a woman’s life; and when will our women be respected as human beings and mothers of our communities, instead of being reduced to a piece of clothing? In Editorials section of Edition 144: 18 November 2004 http://www.indypressny.org/nycma/voices/144/editorials/editorials/ <><><> University of Pennsylvania Law School Scholarship at Penn Law NELLCO Year 2008 Undressing Difference: the Hijab in the West Anita L. Allen University of Pennsylvania, aallen@law.upenn.edu http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1225&context=upenn_wps <> <><> <><><> <><> <> <><><>

The Hijab 100 years ago

Of special note in the Arabic language article below, is the picture with the caption that the European women’s dress was similar to the Muslim women’s dress 100 years ago, as seen below in the picture of some examples of their attire.  Of course moan of them  also wore very revealing dresses at times.

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كيف كان الحجاب قبل 100 عام

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

قال الحافظ ابن حجر : “لم تزل عادة النساء قديمًا وحديثاً يسترن وجوههن عن الأجانب” ونقل ابن رسلان “اتفاق المسلمين على منع النساء أن يخرجن سافرات الوجوه”. وظل احتجاب النساء هو الأصل في جميع مراحل التاريخ الإسلامي، فقد كان ولا زال أحد معالم الأمة المؤمنة قال الغزالي: ” لم يزل الرجال على ممر الزمان مكشوفي الوجوه، والنساء يخرجن منتقبات” .. وقال ابن حجر: ” العمل على جواز خروج النساء إلى المساجد والأسواق والأسفار منتقبات لئلا يراهن الرجال” . ومما يؤكد هذا أنك لا تجد مسألة كشف الوجه من عدمه قد أخذت حيزًا كبيرًا في مصنفات الأئمة ، ولم تستغرق جهدهم ووقتهم ، بل لا تكاد تجد – فيما أعلم – مصنّفًا خاصًا بهذه المسألة ؛ ولو على شكل رسالة صغيرة ؛ مما يدل دلالة واضحة أن هذه القضية من الوضوح بمكان ، وأن عمل المسلمين كما هو قائم ، يتوارثه الخلف عن السلف ، وهذا التواتر العملي يدلنا أيضًا على طبيعة تلقي العلماء لمثل هذه المسائل ، وأنهم يرشدون أمتهم لما فيه العفة والطهر والإستقامة على أرشد الأمور ، وأفضل السبل . ولم يبدأ انتشار السفور وكشف الوجه إلا بعد وقوع معظم بلاد المسلمين تحت سيطرة الكفار في العصر الحديث، فهؤلاء الكفار كانوا يحرصون على نشر الرذيلة ومقدماتها في ديار الإسلام لإضعافها وتوهين ما بقي من قوتها. وقد تابعهم في هذا أذنابهم من العلمانيين المنافقين الذين قاموا بتتبع الأقوال الضعيفة في هذه المسألة ليتكئوا عليها ويتخذوها سلاحًا بأيديهم في مقابلة دعاة الكتاب والسنة. لا سيما في الجزيرة العربية ، آخر معاقل الإسلام. وقد كانت المرأة المسلمة في كل الأقطار الإسلامية لاتعرف كشف الوجه وكانت متمسكة بالحجاب الحقيقي وبستر وجهها عن الرجال الأجانب فهل من عودة أختي المسلمة إلى ما أمر به ربك ، لكي تحفظي حيائك وعرضك ورضى ربك . فكل مسلمة تعلم بفطرتها أن لف الشعر بمنديل ليس حجاباً حقيقياً يستحق أن يسمى ستراً للمرأة وتوقن من قلبها أنها ليست ساترة لمفاتنها عن أعين الأجانب وأطماع الذئاب والغريب أن الضالين من عباد القبور وأبناء المتعة والديوثين لليبرالين ومن على شاكلتهم من المنافقين يقولون أن ستر الوجه فقط في جزيرة العرب وليس بواجب !! يريدون أن يروجوا لهذه الخدعة الباطلة ولكن الحكم الشرعي المستند على الكتاب والسنة وإجماع العلماء يقول العكس وايضاً التاريخ ! فصور المرأة قديماً وقبل عصر الإستعمار النصراني تثبت أن المرأة المسلمة لم تعرف غير الحجاب الشرعي الكامل ومن ضمنه غطاء الوجه وسوف أنقل بعض الصور لبعض الأقطار المسلمة التي غلبت عليها فتنة كشف الوجه الأن على الرغم من عدم وجود ذلك في لدى أمهاتهن من قبل !! . …. <> نقولات في الإجماع على تحريم خروج النساء من بيوتهن سافرات الوجوه قال ابن عابدين : وتستر وجهها عن الأجانب بإسدال شيءٍ متجافٍ لا يمسُّ الوجه، وحكى الإجماع عليه. (حاشية ابن عابدين 2/488). قال السهارنفوريُّ الحنفيُّ، رحمه الله: ويدلُّ على تقييد كشف الوجه بالحاجة: اتفاق المسلمين على منع النِّساء أن يخرجن سافرات الوجوه، لاسيما عند كثرة الفساد وظهوره (بذل المجهود شرح سنن أبي داود 16/431). قال إمام الحرمين الجوينيُّ، رحمه الله: اتفق المسلمون على منع النِّساء من الخروج سافرات الوجوه؛ لأنَّ النَّظر مظنَّة الفتنة، وهو محرك للشهوة، فاللائق بمحاسن الشرع سدُّ الباب فيه، والإعراض عن تفاصيل الأحوال، كالخلوة بالأجنبية. (روضة الطالبين 7/24)، و بجيرمي على الخطيب (3/315). وقال ابن رسلان، رحمه الله: اتفق المسلمون على منع النِّساء أن يخرجن سافرات عن الوجوه، لاسيما عند كثرة الفسَّاق (عون المعبود 11/162). وقال ابن حجر، رحمه الله: استمر العمل على جواز خروج النِّساء إلى المساجد والأسواق والأسفار منتقبات؛ لئلا يراهنَّ الرِّجال. وقال الغزَّاليُّ، رحمه الله: لم يزل الرجال على مرِّ الزمان مكشوفي الوجوه، والنِّساء يخرجن منتقبات (فتح الباري 9/337). وقال الموزعيُّ الشافعيُّ، رحمه الله: لم يزل عمل النَّاس على هذا ، قديماً وحديثاً، في جميع الأمصار والأقطار، فيتسامحون للعجوز في كشف وجهها، ولا يتسامحون للشابَّة، ويرونه عورة ومنكراً، وقد تبين لك وجه الجمع بين الآيتين، ووجه الغلط لمن أباح النَّظر إلى وجه المرأة لغير حاجة. والسلف والأئمة كمالك والشافعيِّ وأبي حنيفة وغيرهم لم يتكلموا إلا في عورة الصلاة، فقال الشافعيُّ ومالك: ما عدا الوجه والكفين، وزاد أبو حنيفة:القدمين، وما أظنُّ أحداً منهم يُبيح للشابَّة أن تكشف وجهها لغير حاجة، ولا يبيح للشابِّ أن ينظر إليها لغير حاجة (تيسير البيان لأحكام القرآن 2/1001). وقال ابن تيميّة، رحمه الله: وقبل أن تنزل آية الحجاب كان النِّساء يخرجن بلا جلباب، يرى الرِّجال وجهها ويديها، وكان إذ ذاك يجوز لها أن تُظهر الوجه والكفين … ثم لما أنزل الله -عز وجل- آية الحجاب بقوله: [يَـأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلاَبِيبِهِنَّ ]حجب النِّساء عن الرِّجال. وقال: وكشف النِّساء وجوههنَّ بحيث يراهنَّ الأجانب غير جائز، وعلى ولي الأمرِ الأمرُ بالمعروف والنهي عن هذا المنكر وغيره، ومن لم يرتدع فإنَّه يعاقب على ذلك بما يزجره.قال بكر أبو زيد: معلوم أن العمل المتوارث المستمر من عصر الصحابة -رضي الله عنهم- فمن بعدهم حجة شرعية يجب اتباعها، وتلقيها بالقبول، وقد جرى الإجماع العملي بالعمل المستمر المتوارث بين نساء المؤمنين على لزومهن البيوت، فلا يخرجن إلا لضرورة أو حاجة، وعلى عدم خروجهن أمام الرجال إلا متحجبات غير سافرات الوجوه، ولا حاسرات عن شيء من الأبدان، ولا متبرجات بزينة، واتفق المسلمون على هذا العمل المتلاقي مع مقاصدهم في بناء صرح العفة والطهارة والاحتشام والحياء والغيرة، فمنعوا النساء من الخروج سافرات الوجوه، حاسرات عن شيء من أبدانهن أو زينتهن. فهذان إجماعان متوارثان معلومان من صدر الإسلام، وعصور الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان، حكى ذلك جمع من الأئمة، منهم الحافظ ابن عبد البر، والإمام النووي، وشيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية، وغيرهم رحمهم الله تعالى، واستمر العمل به إلى نحو منتصف القرن الرابع عشر الهجري، وقت انحلال الدولة الإسلامية إلى دول. <> في مكة والمدينة في الــــعـــراق صورة من سوق في العراق 1900 صورة من الأعظمية 1904 نقاب المرأة المصرية الموافق للشرع في القرن الماضي نساء مصر قبل 100 سنة ومن يعيش في القاهرة هذه الأيام .. سيلاحظ عودة النقاب بشكل كبير بائعة في مصر قبل قرن من الزمااان وأيضاً هذه الصورة التي تدل عدم وجود كشف للوجه قديما ,, فأين أنتن اليوم أيتها المتكشفات عن هؤلاء النسوة ؟ وأيضاً هذه الصورة التي تدل عدم وجود كشف للوجه قديما ,, فأين أنتن اليوم أيتها المتكشفات عن هؤلاء النسوة ؟ فـــي الــــــــــجــــزائــــــــــ ـــر ترتديه المرأة الجزائرية فوق ملابسها عند الخروج من البيت عبارة عن قطعة قماش كبيرة تلفها بطريقة خاصة جدا تستر بها جسمها بالكامل من الاعلى الى الأسفل وتغطي نصف وجهها بالعجار التقليدي المطرز (النقاب). صورة معبرة عن الحجاب الشرعي صورة معاصرة للمرأة المسلمة في الجزائر ونرى ثبات الحجاب الشرعي رغم المؤامرات والمكر الذي قد تزول منه الجبال . وهذا الإلتزام لم يكن فقط في الجزائر بل كان يمثل دول المغرب العربي . والأن علمنا حقيقة الحجاب في العراق ومصر والجزيرة العربية وهذا هو الحق الذي لا مرية فيه فمتى نرى نساء المسلمين قد عدن للحق ؟ ومن الغريب أن نساء الغرب كن يقلدن نساء المسلمين في لبساهن المحتشم الذي يضفي عليها الهيبة والوقار وهذا لا يخفى على أحد . كان الجميع في كل مكان يقلدون المسلمين أيام عزتهم وتمسكهم بدينهم عندما ستشاهد هذه الصور لاتظن نفسك في السعودية أو أفغانستان أو أحدى الدول العربية … ابداً أنت في وسط أوربا …. في النمسا الصورة الاولى: إلتقطت عام 1916في وداع القيصر النمساوي فرانس جوزيف أثناء تأبينه أمام كنيسة الكابوتسينا، حيث رفاة ملوك الهابسبورغ . الصورة الثانية: إلتقطت عام 1922م في دفن القيصر كارل الاول ============================== ========= يقول أحد الأشخاص من سوريا : وحتى ثلاثينات وأربعينات القرن العشرين كانت المسيحيات واليهوديات العربيات يرتدين الحجاب الكامل الشرعي ( المنديل على الوجه والملاءة ) بل وحتى سبعينات القرن الماضي (من حوالي 40 سنة ) شاهدت بعض المسيحيات الحلبيات العجائز يرتدين الحجاب الكامل والملاءة في حي السليمانية في حلب ، كما شاهدت أيضاً بعض اليهوديات العجائز وفي نفس الفترة وأيضا في حلب ولكن في حي الجميلية كُنَّ يرتدين الحجاب الكامل مع الملاءة . فتعري النساء في الشوارع نزعة صليبية أستعمارية . نساء أوربيات يتشبهن بالمرأة المسلمة . لايمكن بعد مشاهدة هذه الحقائق أن يقول أحد الديوثيين الليبرالين أو الرافضة المجوس أن غطاء الوجه ليس بواجب . فهذه الأدله الشرعية والعقلية توضح أن الحجاب الذي فرضه الله هو الحجاب الساتر لبدن ووجه المرأة قال تعالى : (“يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا) لا يجوز أن تخدع المرأة بصوت كل من لا فقه عنده فتنساق وراء الذين قال الله تعالى عنهم : ((ويريد الذين يتبعون الشهوات أن تميلوا ميلا عظيما )) لا تحرمونا دعواتكم ايها الفضلاء الكرام

<><><> France’s ban on the Islamic veil has little to do with female emancipation A focus on women’s rights is being used to justify intervention in religious and public life that would otherwise be unacceptable

Outlawing the wearing of the veil in public is part of a campaign to protect ‘true Frenchness’ and capture the xenophobic vote. Photograph: Fred De Noyelle/Corbis If there were any doubt about the motivation for the ban on Islamic face coverings passed by the French national assembly in July, the Sarkozy government’s actions in August have laid them to rest. The issue isn’t women’s emancipation, for all the pious rhetoric we’ve heard about equality being a “primordial value” of the French nation. It isn’t the danger that terrorists and robbers will hide behind burqas in order to blow up buildings or rob banks – the exemptions in the law for motorcycle helmets, fencing and ski masks, and carnival costumes quickly dispel that argument. And it isn’t about enforcing openness and transparency as an aspect of French culture. Outlawing what the French call “le voile intégral” is part of a campaign to purify and protect national identity, purging so-called foreign elements – although many of these “foreigners” are actually French citizens – from membership in the nation. It is part of a cynical bid by Sarkozy and his party to capture the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim animus that has brought electoral gains to the rightwing National Front party and to disarm the Socialist opposition, which has so far offered little resistance to the xenophobic campaign. The national assembly’s action came on July 13, as the country prepared to celebrate the birth of republican democracy in the revolution of 1789. Banning the burqa on the eve of the Fête Nationale provided a clear affirmation of true Frenchness. It followed a year in which President Sarkozy included a minister of immigration and national identity in his cabinet. The title of the new post conveyed the message that if national identity were in trouble immigrants were the source. The president and his minister called for a countrywide conversation on the meanings of national identity. There were to be contests and town-hall meetings to articulate what it meant to be truly French. When that effort fizzled, they came up with more draconian measures. Sarkozy proposed, this month, to take away the citizenship of foreign-born French citizens if they were convicted of crimes such as threatening the life of a police officer. Children born in France to foreign parents (once presumed to automatically qualify for citizenship) would be denied citizenship if there were any evidence of juvenile delinquency. This month, too, began the expulsion of the Roma, said to be illegally camped throughout the country and responsible for all manner of crimes. Despite an outcry from those who denounced the expulsions as echoes of Vichy (the government that collaborated with the Nazis in the 1940s), these activities have made “security” a prime focus for politicians and public opinion pollsters. Whether it will deliver another term to Sarkozy in 2012 remains to be seen. The immediate effect is to conjure a fantasy spectre in which foreigners endanger France and are made to take the blame for all its economic, social and political problems. Instead of real solutions to economic stagnation, high unemployment, discrimination against minorities, violence in the banlieue, and a deteriorating educational system, to name a few, the country is offered a nightmare vision of veiled women and their male handlers, an enemy within the borders who must be uncovered and, in this way, disarmed. That only a few thousand women wear face coverings in a country that has 4-6 million people from Muslim countries in its population raises the question of why this issue has become the focus of nationalist campaigns, not only in France, but in other western European countries as well. What is it about covered women that so draws the ire and fear of so many, some western feminists included? How have politicians, many of whom have worked hard to keep women out of political office, been able to use feminist themes of emancipation and equality in the politics of the “clash of civilisations”? Why has it been so easy to identify the veil as an instrument only of oppression, even when ethnographers and historians tell us it has multiple meanings, and when some women who wear it insist that they have chosen it because it positively signifies their femininity and their devotion to God? One answer – and there are many more to be explored – is that the focus on Muslim women’s rights covers over some of the dangerous elements of the “security state”. The claim to be protecting women justifies state intervention in religious, family, and public life that would otherwise be unacceptable. The same politicians who have long resisted laws on sexual harassment and the punishment of domestic violence become advocates for women when these are identified as Muslim offences. This puts aside the continuing issue of gender inequality as a national problem. And politicians demonstrate their prowess to their national constituencies by acting to protect these supposedly vulnerable women from the men who are said to violate their rights: the proposed law levies a small fine of €150 on a woman wearing a burqa in public, while the men presumed to have forced her compliance get a year in prison and a fine of €30,000. The state’s role is figured as the protection of its citizens (the analogy is to gallant men protecting the weaker sex), even if that requires the suspension of liberties in the name of security – now the country’s highest priority. Joan Wallach Scott is Harold F Linder professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study (US). She is the author, most recently, of The Politics of the Veil. http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/aug/26/france-ban-islamic-veil <><><>

Comment: Sarkozy’s Values & the Honour of Women

On the 22nd June 2009 French President Sarkozy announced that the Burqa is incongruous with French values. He said “In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy continued “The burqa is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience.”[1]

Despite Sarkozy’s political opportunism, his ideological contradictions expose his conscious ignorance, and some may say, out right hatred for the Islamic way of life. Sarkozy who advocates and propagates liberal secularism has forgotten his intellectual heritage. Liberal secularism rests upon the premise of individualism, in other words, viewing the self – the human being – as an abstract entity divorced from social attachments. Two key values are built from this premise, individual freedom and individual rights. According to individual freedom, also explained as freedom of choice, the Burqa shouldn’t be a problem and should be tolerated under French liberal values. So why the contradiction? Sarkozy is a liberal secular ideologue who doesn’t want to understand or discuss the Islamic way of life. The Islamic way of life is not based upon the false premise of individualism, rather it views the human being as an entity with social links and obligations. This correct view on mankind develops and builds sublime values, which include honouring and protecting women. In the Sarkozy paradigm these values do not exist hence he wants to fight against their emergence, even if it means contradicting his own ideological beliefs. For example in a liberal secular context, individual freedom allows and, in the case of Sarkozy (his wife is an ex-nudist model), promotes pornography. However pornography has been shown to facilitate rape. According to academic research by Diana E. Russell in her publication ‘Pornography & Rape: A causal model’ she states, “ My theory about how pornography – violent and non-violent – can cause rape…drawn on the findings of recent research….I believe there are many factors that play a causal role in this crime. I have not attempted here to evaluate the relative importance of these different causal factors, but merely to show the overwhelming evidence that pornography is a major one of them”[2] In this study journals and academic research were cited which concluded that 56% of rapists implicated pornography in the commission of their offences, 66% of rapists claimed they were incited by pornography and 30 % of college students would rape if they could get away with it.[3] Sarkozy’s world view would not ban or criminalise pornography. This is because society itself is not considered or taken into account due to the core value of ‘individual freedom’. As a result Sarkozy’s values have contributed to the increase in sexual crimes in France. There are more than 25,000 rapes a year in France alone, and before Sarkozy points the finger at the Muslims or immigrants, 91% of those convicted are of French nationality.[4] France is not alone in failing to protect and honour women either, in the UK 167 women are raped everyday[5] and in the US a woman is raped every 6 minutes and battered every 15 seconds. [6] However in Islam, pornography is banned and is viewed as a dishonor to women. Islam protects women by honoring and providing mechanisms in its social model to protect them. The noble Qur’an highlights the immense responsibility men have towards women. The Qur’an says “Men are qawwamoona over women”[7]. The key word here is qawwamoona which comes from words such as qiwaamun meaning means of support, qaama almarata meaning he undertook the support of the woman, qaama alaiha meaning he looked after her, and qaama bihi he supported it. Therefore the Qur’an tells society to look after, protect and honour women. But Sarkozy would rather flaunt that his wife was an ex-nudist model. References [1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8112821.stm [2] Diana Russell. Pornography and Rape: A Causal Model, in Feminism and Pornography. Oxford Readings in Feminism. 2000. [3] Ibid. [4] http://www.sosfemmes.com/english_rape/rape_statistics.htm [5] http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10309 [6] Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: Torture and Ill Treatment of Women, Amnesty International, 2001 [7] Qur’an 4:34 http://hamzatzortzis.blogspot.com/2009/07/comment-sarkozys-values-honour-of-women.html <><><>

Comment: The Niqab Ban – Unveiling the Facade

The recent ban on the niqab in the French parliament and the attempt of Conservative MP Philip Hollobone to initiate a ban in the UK, coupled with the subsequent media furore, has exposed some glaring contradictions.
If politicians, the media and social commentators care for women and believe that their world view facilitates the emancipation of women, then why have they focused on a cloth that covers her body rather than focus on the contemporary facade effecting women in the west. In Britain, for example,
Domestic Violence
  • 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence.
  • Two women are murdered every week by a current or a former partner.
  • In any one year, there are 13 million separate incidents of physical violence or threats of violence against women from partners or former partners.
  • 1 in 5 young men and 1 in 10 young women think that abuse or violence against women is acceptable.
Empowerment and Self-esteem
  • 66 % of women in the UK would consider plastic surgery because of concerns about their looks.
  • 63 % of young women aspire to be glamour models or lap dancers.
  • 54 % of women became aware of the ‘need’ to be attractive between 6 – 17 years of age.
Unequal Pay & Employment
  • In 2006, female graduates earned, on average, 15% less than their male counterparts at the age of 24; with this gender pay gap widening with age increasing to 40.5% for women graduates aged 41-45.
Prostitution
  • There are estimated to be around 80,000 people involved in prostitution in the UK. However, many people believe that this figure is an underestimation.
  • A 2002 study found that 74% of women involved in prostitution cited poverty, the need to pay household expenses and support their children, as a primary motivator for entering sex work.
Mental Health
  • The NHS reported in 2009 that more than one in five of the adult female population experiences depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
Poverty
  • Many older people, especially women over 75, experience severe poverty due to institutional failure, as levels of state pensions are determined according to years of employment.
  • One in five single women pensioners live in poverty. In 2004, almost 1.3 million older women lived below the poverty line and suffered significant financial disadvantage – compared with men of the same age.
Safety
  • Research published in 2006 identified that women aged 16 or over are 5 times as likely as men to feel very unsafe walking alone in their area after dark.
Child Abuse
  • An NSPCC prevalence study in 2000 found that around 21% of girls surveyed experienced some form of child sexual abuse. The majority of children who experienced sexual abuse had more than one sexually abusive experience.

I acknowledge that certain western ideologues have lost the debate concerning women and Islamic values. This is proven by the fact that they have failed to persuade Muslim women to reject manifestations of Islamic values such as the niqab. The insistence on banning these symbols of Islam exhibits their inability to articulate a positive case for their world view and indicates their unwillingness to engage in a productive debate. Therefore I conclude that these commentators and ideologues should start to think about how to fix the miserable situation for many women in the UK. And I suggest that looking at Islam is a viable and positive solution.

“Muslim men and Muslim women, and Believing men and Believing women, and devout obedient men and devout obedient women, and truthful men and truthful women, and patient constant men and patient constant women, and humble men and humble women, and charitable men and charitable women, and men who fast and women who fast, and chaste men and chaste women, and men who remember God much and women who remember God much – God has prepared for them all forgiveness and a great Reward.” The Noble Qur’an 33:35
Let the positive discussions begin!
Related Post
References

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis is an international public speaker on Islam, a writer and intellectual activist. He has debated prominent intellectuals and academics. Some of his interlocutors include the leading humanist and best selling author Peter Cave, the editor of the Philosophy Now mazagine Rick Lewis and the highly acclaimed Professor Simon Blackburn. More recently Hamza debated one of the leading American atheists and secular activists Dr. Ed Buckner, the president of American Atheists.

<><><> The Christian Woman=s Head Covering Through the Centuries Christian Women=s Head Coverings When I first saw some Mennonite women with their head coverings, I couldn=t imagine why they were wearing those things on their heads. I figured it was simply some type of quaint costume. But then I read the writings of the early Christians. And then I understood why Mennonite and Amish women wear prayer veils or head coverings. I realized that it was in obedience to 1 Corinthians 11:5, which says, AEvery woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.@ The early Christian women veiled their heads not only in church, but also anytime they were in public. From my later study of church history, I discovered that Christian women continued to maintain this practice through the all centuries up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During the nineteenth century, many Christians in the United States and western Europe began arguing that long hair constituted the only covering women needed. Others said that women only needed to wear a covering when in church. The middle class and wealthy women switched from veils and caps to ornate bonnetsCif they wore a covering at all. Bonnets became more a matter of fashion than of modesty or obedience to 1 Corinthians 11. By the turn of the twentieth century, the ornate bonnets of the nineteenth century had given way to ladies= hats. Until the mid-century, women in Europe and America typically wore a hat or scarf in public, but they were simply following tradition and fashionCwithout realizing that there was originally a spiritual reason behind the practice. Similarly, until about 1960, western women wore hats when in church. But the meaning behind the hat was lost. Today, Christian women in eastern churches still cover their heads in church. Some of them cover their heads all of the time. In the west, some Plymouth Brethren women still wear the prayer veil in church, as do many black women. But usually these sisters do not wear a head covering at other times. Generally speaking, in the west today, only the Mennonite, Amish, Brethren and Hutterite women still practice wearing a head covering at all times. However, in recent years, they have been joined by thousands of Christian women from house churches and other independent congregations who have re-discovered this New Testament practice. But, as it has been said, Aa picture is worth a thousand words.@ So I have set forth below pictures of the Christian woman=s head covering from the early Christian era to the present day. woman=s head covering-Reformation-02 1500’s: Europe Christian woman=s head covering-1900s-14 1960: Nuns http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/head-covering-history.html <><><> A Christian view for comparison

Veils and Other Coverings

by COGwriter Some have been confused about whether women need to wear veils or hats to church services or while praying. An acquaintance recently asked me to look into I Corinthians 11:2-16 regarding the subject of women wearing veils and local customs. This paper is intended as a brief, biblically-based, review of the subject. I Corinthians 11:2-16 As most of the confusion about this matter centers in I Corinthians 11:2-16, it is probably best to first list the NKJV translation of the passage: “2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God”. Reading this passage in NKJV English clearly shows that the context has to do with hair length. Hair length is specifically referred to in verses 5, 14, and 15 and is clearly and directly mentioned. Although it may be inferred that verses 5 and 6 allows for the possible concept of veils, no veil is directly mentioned, nor does the context require that veils are alluded to. One simple truth is that a woman with short hair can be shorn and thus verse 6 does not require that a veil is being referred to. And verse 15 specifically states that a woman’s long hair, not a veil, is given to her for a covering. And while long hair is encouraged for women, head coverings are not prohibited for them. And if a women is bald, that type of covering would possibly be required–but if she can have long hair, a veil is not required. Greek Of course, the New Testament was not written in English, as it was nearly exclusively written in Greek. It is my limited understanding that those who have a different interpretation than the Church of God has historically held are mainly basing it on how a certain Greek word, akatakaluptos, is translated. Akatakaluptos means uncovered or possibly unveiled and is only used in the Bible in verses 5 and 13 of I Corinthians 11. It apparently comes from the Greek words a (which is a negative participle), kata (which means according to, down, or against), and kalupto (which means cover up). When Paul wanted to convey being unveiled (which he apparently did in II Corinthians 3:18), he used the Greek term anakalupto (combination of ana and kalupto), but this may have been referring to a masculine, not feminine, veil. The Greek word for veil in the New Testament is kaluma, but it is only used in the Bible to refer to Moses’ veil (II Corinthians 3:13-16). However, since the Hebrew words in the Old Testament for Moses’ veil and a woman’s veil are different, this does not appear to shed any light on this subject. However, what is clear is that there is no other Greek term used in the New Testament directly referring to a woman’s veil (the only other term translated as veil in the New Testament has to do with a curtain). Thus it is not clear from the Greek that a woman’s veil is being referred to in I Corinthians. The Old Testament There are no indications in the Old Testament that a woman should wear a veil to Church or when praying. In Genesis, when a veil is mentioned, it appears to be for the purposes of veiling oneself before a certain man (24:65;38:14,19). In the Song of Solomon, two words are translated as veil–one that possibly appears to mean hair locks (4:1,3;6:7) and the other that apparently means veil (5:7). But in none of those verses does it mention praying, prophesying, or church attendance. The only other verse in regarding a woman’s veil in the Old Testament is Isaiah 47:2 where the ‘virgin daughter of Babylon’ (verse 1) is shamed (verse 3). The word translated as veil may mean ‘locks’ as that is how BibleSoft translates it. That would be consistent with Paul’s comment that it is a shame for a woman to have short hair (I Corinthians 11:6). Paul never said it was a shame to not wear a veil. These verses in Genesis, Song of Solomon, and Isaiah appear to be the only verses in the Old Testament that a veil is mentioned (the other type of veil mentioned is a curtain-like object, which is a different Hebrew word, and it is never mentioned in the context of a woman’s covering). Each time a woman is mentioned in the Old Testament praying or prophesying, there is never a mention of a veil (i.e. I Samuel 1:10-13). Furthermore, although the Bible mentions various aspects regarding holy convocations (i.e. Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 16) and the congregation of Israel (e.g. Deuteronomy 23:1-8), the wearing of a veil for any woman is never even hinted. Perhaps it should be mentioned in the Old Testament, in Leviticus 16:4-21 the high priest (who was always male) was told to pray and attend services while wearing head ware (see also Zechariah 3:5-7). Job wore a turban when he made judgments (Job 29:14). Ezekiel was told by God to prophesy while wearing a turban (Ezekiel 24:17-24). But as the Apostle Paul wrote, there was a change in the administration of the priesthood after Jesus was resurrected (Hebrews 7:11-12), hence this would explain why true Christian leaders have short hair. Thus, in accordance the New Testament admonition that males NOT have their heads covered true Christian male leaders do not have long hair, nor do they wear headcoverings like hats, mitres, or veils when they publicly pray. Paul Paul, on at least two other occasions in the New Testament appeals to nature as proof of some doctrinal position: Romans 1:19-20, where Paul indicates that the natural creation should show people God’s attributes and Romans 1:26-27, where Paul indicates it is natural for a man to have sexual relations with a woman, but not another man. On each occasion, it is to something natural that Paul is referring to. Since veils are not natural, a woman’s hair length would seem to be the only logical reference to what nature is teaching in I Corinthians 11:2-16. Paul also wrote, “24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Here Paul is telling people to attend Church. James warned, “2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:2-4). Hence James seems to be warning against treating someone who attends services wearing something better than one who cannot afford such things-clothing was fairly expensive in those days. Peter admonished, “3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands” (I Peter 3:3-5). Peter seems to be warning about trying to make hair too fancy, if all women were required to wear veils, it would seem that he would have probably mentioned them there. Furthermore, since the women in former times were never commanded in the Old Testament to wear veils, this suggests that veils were never required. With all these verses in mind, it does not make sense that Paul was installing a new rule about women wearing veils. Roman Pronouncement? Many seem to believe that Linus of Rome first required that women should not attend church services without covering their heads. Here is a claims made by many Roman Catholics about him:

2. LINUS, ST. (67-76)…He made disposition for women to be admitted to the holy places and attend functions with their heads covered…(Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni, Roma, 1997, p. 1).

Is that true? Here is some of what the Catholic scholar J.P. Kirsch wrote in The Catholic Encyclopedia about Linus:

The “Liber Pontificalis” asserts that Linus’s home was in Tuscany, and that his father’s name was Herculanus; but we cannot discover the origin of this assertion. According to the same work on the popes, Linus is supposed to have issued a decree “in conformity with the ordinance of St. Peter”, that women should have their heads covered in church. Without doubt this decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the “Liber Pontificalis” from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

In other words, Roman Catholic scholars admit that Linus did not do what the Vatican book says he did, and that this head covering statement was arbitrarily attributed to Linus. He did not make it. Custom In some parts of the world, woman traditionally wear head ware to church services. Unless they are intending to imitate some pagan custom, there is no verse in the Bible that prohibits them from doing so. If due to style, custom, necessity (sun/rain/cold), or tradition, a woman wants to wear appropriate head ware, this seems to be fine. It is also fine if she thinks she needs to as Paul wrote, “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1) and “for whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). However, should other women be required to do so who do not believe they should not? No, as Paul also wrote, “1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things…13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:1,13). Wearing veils is a doubtful thing. There is no requirement in the Old Testament, nor any example, of any woman wearing a veil while praying, prophesying, or attending services. There are several examples of males in the Old Testament wearing head gear while praying, prophesying, and attending services–but not a single one for women. The context of I Corinthians 11:2-16 is clearly hair. Hair is definitely and specifically mentioned. Although the Greek supports the concept that veils might be alluded to, this is only a possible allusion, not a clear requirement. While Peter clearly taught, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), he also supported the concept that the leadership of the Church is authorized to clarify unclear matters (Acts 15:6-29). Conclusion It is my understanding that a woman can be in the Living Church of God and wear a veil or other head covering as long as she is not trying to promote disputes over doubtful things. A woman can clearly be in the Living Church of God and not wear a veil or similar head covering. Even though some might conclude based on various interpretations of the Greek that veils may be the subject of I Corinthians 11:2-16, it is obvious when the entire Bible is reviewed that this is not the appropriate doctrinal interpretation. The context of I Corinthians 11:2-16 is clearly hair. There is simply insufficient scriptural justification to insist that women wear veils or similar head coverings to attend church services. Some may wish to believe otherwise, but that is not something they should be proclaiming. The scripture is simply not clear enough to require veils and the judgment of the Church on this matter should be sufficiently proper for those who accept Philadelphia era Church governance. Hopefully those who prefer to hold a different position on veils will understand that the Church’s judgment on this matter is appropriate. Thiel B. Veils and Other Coverings. http://www.cogwriter.com (c) 2004/2005/2006/2008 0425 <><><> Another Christian view for comparison

“…Let her Be Veiled.”
An in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

edited by Tom Shank Our testimony concerning this subject; and Many commentaries from great Christian leaders on 1 Cor. 11 Pictures #1 of ancient Veils of Christian from 3rd century Pictures #2 of ancient Veils of Christian from 3rd century Pictures #3 of ancient Veils of Christian from 4rd century


See our classic from some Revivalists: ‘The Right Way to “Train up a Child.”


first edition – 1988 second edition – 1991 third edition – 1992   Torch Publications A ministry of Kootenai Christian Fellowship available from Kootenai Christian Fellowship P.O. Box 907 Eureka, MT 59917 Permission granted to publish on Internet. Retyped by Rick Friedrich in 05/1999.

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Table of Contents Preface Chapter 1. An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 11 Chapter 2. The Hidden Power of Women Chapter 3. Head Covering Chapter 4. Can History Speak? Chapter 5. The Veil In Early Christian Art Chapter 6. Covering Some Basic Issues Chapter 7. Praying and Prophesying Chapter 8. Testimonies of Sisters Chapter 9. In Answer to Common Objections Chapter 10. Ten Principles of Headship Chapter 11. In Conclusion


 

Preface

Why do you wear that thing on your head?”, is a question which many a faithful sister has been asked, and one which we want to address in this study. The fact that so many Christians don’t know the reason for the wearing of the head veiling is a sad commentary on the state of the church in this late day, especially when the inquirer claims to be a Bible believing and following Christian. With the ‘religion’ of humanism infiltrating every segment of society arid the church, with its inverted doctrines and egocentric mentality, It is no small wonder that many foundational biblical principles have been lost sight of and therefore their applications explained away. Survey a host of Bible commentaries on 1 Corinthians 11 and you will find that generally only since the beginning of this century has the practice of wearing the veiling been interpreted away by liberal scholars, and the church has followed their lead. Woe to the shepherds and leaders who are alluded to In Song of Solomon 5:7: “The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took my veil away from me.” Through the influence of humanistic theories of equality, which haze over God’s governmental distinction of the sexes, women are cast or enticed out of their God-given, honorable roles and positions into those of man. In this process, women step out from under their spiritual covering and head, man, arid are much more exposed to the onslaughts of the enemy. Satan, who was, as Eze. 28:14 points out, “the anointed cherub who covers” (the word cover here literally means ‘entwines’) can then more easily employ his covering power over them. The results are seen in the havoc that he Is causing in her sometimes deserted sphere, the home, with the alarming divorce rate, careers at the expense of mother-child relationships, reversed husband-wife roles, and all the competition, jealousy, bitterness, etc. which comes with any such disruption in God’s governmental arrangement. The woman’s head veiling is not some antiquated cultural or denominational momento from another era; nor is it a relic with sacramental power in and of itself. But the veiled woman does exert authority and power in the spiritual realms if she is a submissive saint of God in her rightful position before Him. Rather, the veiling of women and what it represents, stands alongside of other essential apostolic doctrines from the earliest days of the church. It was none other than the Holy Spirit of God who inspired both the principles and their application, and who moved Paul to write of them in order that with full scriptural authority this teaching could be established and practiced until the Lord’s return. We have undertaken this study not in order to major in a ‘minor’ doctrine. Our goal in doing such an exhaustive study as this is to reveal, in the process, some of the foundational biblical principles which the woman’s veiling represent, principles which the church is tragically losing sight of. The church is God’s building, and must be according to His design. When man rejects some of it divine building blocks, then the enemy has easy access through the gap. Our prayer in sending this study fort] is that it will end up In the hands of God’s faithful remnant, for it will speak only to them those who have a heart to be submissive to and obey God’s Word. To such saints alone has God promised the endless riches of His Son and the glory of living in His eternal presence.Tom Shank To the topChapter 1An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 11:1—16by Tom Shank Introduction The purpose of this chapter will be to give a brief but thorough exposition of 1 Corinthians 11:1 -16. Realizing that the Holy Spirit’s Inspiration is upon the original Greek text, we will give as literal a translation as possible and concentrate on the specific meanings. grammatical constructions arid tenses of the words. Words or phrases in parentheses are not in the original, but are needed to complete the translated thought. It is Important to keep in mind that in writing this epistle to the Corinthian Christians, Paul was speaking not only to them, but also to “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…” (ch. 1:2). With prophetic foresight, Paul was perhaps seeing that his letters, as statements of apostolic doctrine, were going to be widely circulated. All of his epistles had universally applicable messages even though he was also speaking to local needs and problems. With this in mind, we realize that his teaching concerning the veiling of women was not to a specific socio-cultural situation, but to all the churches everywhere, as 1 Cor. 11: 16 also clearly points out. verse 1 “Imitators of me be, according as I also (am) of Christ.” Imitate (mimetes) – The English noun ‘mime’ Is derived from this Greek word and is in this case is used in the continuous tense, suggesting a constant habit or practice.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the N.T.) In the same way that for Paul “to live is Christ”, so we are to live out His life in our flesh. This is possible only as the old man is kept in death and He is released by the Holy Spirit through us. This is not cheap Imitation, but the very life and power and will of Christ being the mover and doer in and through us (Ph.2:13). It is not a humanly manufactured replication we are called to, full of inevitable imperfections, but the manifestation of Him as He is now within us. (Related verses are 1 Cor.4:16; Ep.5:1; Heb.6:12; 1 Th.1:6, 2:14.) Would that we had more models of such deep Christlikeness about us! verse 2 “And I praise you, brothers, that in all things you have remembered me, and according as I delivered to you, you hold fast the traditions.” The first thing that stands out In this verse is that he is addressing himself to the brothers, which underscores the fact of their headship and that It is to them primarily that he needs to clarify the subsequent principles. If there was a governmental equality among the men and women, he surely would have addressed the women. However, this isn’t the case, so he speaks to the men, who needed to assume their God-given role of headship over the sisters. Even when there were many reasons to rebuke his brothers in the Lord, Paul was generous with words of praise and encouragement. His caring, father’s heart sought to comfort arid strengthen them even in the midst of admonishment. He deeply loved them, and that love always found a way to express Itself. This Is a good reminder to us in all our relationships in the body – agape love finds a way. They held fast (katecho) to what he had delivered to them, which speaks of the degree of commitment they had to cling to and obey his teaching, lest they fall away and offend their dear Lord. (This is always a primary evidence of a faithful church, that they “continue steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine…” Acts 2:42). We hold fast to what is precious to us. The teachings the Lord gives us are priceless and full of blessing as we obey them, because they serve to minister His life to us and thereby glorify Him.. The word ‘traditions’ paradosis literally means ‘a handing down or over’, the substance here being the doctrines (‘ordinances’ KJV) and teachings he had previously given them in person. The purpose of apostolic doctrine is to serve as a vehicle for the Spirit and life of the Christ. It was to encapsulate the scriptural truth of who Jesus Is, what He has done and Is doing, and how to walk by the power of His resurrection life In this place of pilgrimage. The remainder of chapter 11 deals with two foundational teachings upon which they obviously needed further instruction – the woman’s head veiling and the Lord’s supper. verse 3 “But I wish you to know, that the head of every man is the Christ, and the head of woman (is) man, and the head of Christ is God.” With this verse Paul begins to lay a deep foundation- that of the authoritative governmental relationships between God, Christ, man and woman. In dealing with individual and church problems, Paul had the spiritual discernment to see the importance of going to the root principles of the matter at hand. In this way he taught his fellow believers to build their faith and its practice on a solid basis and to avoid the sinking sand of situational ethics. The fire and wind could test the building of a person whose life was thus grounded and it would stand because it was secure upon God’s impregnable Word. We are challenged to inspect the foundations we are upon, and if they are faulty, we must, with a holy zeal, clear the rubble and erect a building of God upon the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Ep.2:20). Paul says that the head of every man is Christ, not just Christians–those who live under the lordship of Christ daily. In the grammatical structure of v.3, every women is implied in the same sense. In creating and dying for all, all are sovereignly Christ’s, but not practically, since God respects our free will and does not impose His lordship by force. Man’s headship over woman is a relationship for this age, and has Its origin in the creation account itself. Man’s headship is not just a result of the fall, but was established in the Garden of Eden in that she was created out of man and was a “helper comparable to him’ (Gen.2: 18). Eve’s sin in the Garden was in one sense her breaking this headship principle by disobeying God and enticing Adam, She thereby overstepped her place as helpmeet, and thus nullified her authority and influence Man’s headship over woman is not abolished in the church, because it is an aspect of God’s government ii this world for the effectual achieving of His purposes. However, in the spiritual realm “there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Ga.3:28) There is a spiritual equality between the sexes which will continue beyond this age in the full consummation of the kingdom of God after the administrative arrangement of this age has come to an end. God is the head of Christ (1 Cor.3:23; John 14:28), in that He willingly subjected Himself in His mediatorial role for the salvation of mankind. This great truth is the rock bottom basis for all that follows in chapter 11. It is through just such a voluntary subjection that man and woman cover their glory, deal a death blow to the old nature, and are then able to reveal (the word means ‘uncover’) the vibrant life of the Father. The teaching of the veiling (verses 1-16) speaks of the covering and crucifixion of self, while the teaching on the Lord’s supper (verses 17-34) speaks of our remembrance of Jesus having done the same – His giving of Himself on the Cross for our sins. This was Jesus’ way; If we would enter into His life, It Is done only by the very same means. verse 4 “Every man praying or prophesying having (a veil or something) on the head puts to shame his Head.” Again, the all inclusive term ‘every’, arid he speaks specifically of times of praying and declaring the Lord’s Word. By Christ’s propitiatory work, man can (and must) now approach God with uncovered head. The Jews of this era worshipped arid prayed with a covering called a tallith on their heads. With the precious blood of Christ as our permanent and all-powerful covering, man can stand bareheaded in the presence of the Almighty. We can say with the Hebrew writer; “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus…” (Heb.10:19). Tertullian (153-222 A.D.) said, “We pray bareheaded because we blush not.” What Is the relationship here between the head-ship order and praying/prophesying? That can only be understood in a figurative sense. Since man is called to reveal the glory of God, when he prays and prophesies in Christ’s name he must do so with uncovered head (as a type of revealing Christ), else he manifests his own glory, thereby putting his head, Christ, to shame. So too the woman in the next verse if she, representing man in general, does not cover her head in praying and prophesying, it is a type of her revealing the carnal nature of her head, man, thus impairing her prayer in the name of Jesus. The ministry of Christ through us in praying and prophesying is released as we are obedient to the governmental arrangements He has established. They are the orderly boundaries within which we are to function in the church and before the world. In 2 Cor.3: 13-16, Paul explains that those of the old covenant still have veiled hearts In reading the O.T., just as Moses was veiled to cover God’s glory, but that “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” Therefore, both literally and spiritually, Christian men no longer had to wear a veil as the Jews of the former covenant. We put our Head, Christ, to shame, if we cover what He has covered with His own blood and glory. verse 5 “And every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled puts to shame her head, for it is one and the same thing with the one shaven.” Again the term ‘every’ is used and it refers not to her own head which is being dishonored, but to her immediate spiritual head, man. As Watchman Nee has said; “Someday the whole world will know that Christ is the head of all men, for this Is God’s governmental decision. Today this is only known in the church; the world has no knowledge of it…. Likewise, God’s appointment of man as head of woman is also known only in the church today. Do you get the point? Today the church alone knows that Christ is the head of man and that man is the head of woman.” (Unfortunately, most churches today have completely lost the knowledge of these truths, and therefore women are In leadership and do not cover their heads In the literal or spiritual sense.) This dishonoring is not only the case within the marriage relationship, as to a husband, but to all men. This statement concerning the praying and prophesying of women in public tempers the absoluteness of Paul’s directives In chapter 14:34-35 and makes it clear that she could ‘speak forth publicly’ (which is the literal meaning of the word (propheteia), but not in the assembly In such a way as to teach and have authority over man (1 Tim.3: 12; see also Acts 2:17:21:9). Prophecy is a public proclaiming, and clearly she is to prophesy at appropriate times. Among the Jews, an adulterous woman was to have her head shaved (Is.7:2). “Among the Greeks, only the prostitutes, so numerous in Corinth, went about unveiled; slave women wore the shaven head – also a punishment of the adulterous.” (Findlay). Although the cultural context could lead one to think that Paul’s directives were meant to be merely a temporary social custom so the sisters would not be identified with the harlots of Corinth, one need only remember the foundational principles which under gird the practice of the woman’s veiling and that it is upon these that it transcends social customs throughout the world in any nation or culture. A sister who prays or prophesies without a veil, then, Is rejecting the authority of her head, man, by rejecting the sign of it, and in so doing is dishonoring God’s governmental design arid Word. verse 6 “For if a woman be not veiled, let her also be sheared; but if (it is) shameful to a woman to be sheared or to be shaven, let her be veiled.” If a woman refused to wear the veil, she should also cut her hair short, a practice which would have been shameful in most cultures throughout most of history until now, when the natural sense of the distinction of the sexes has degenerated and unisexism has become vogue. Shear (kiero) is the word used in shearing sheep; thus it means to cut the hair very short. But since it is a shame for a woman to shave or cut her hair short, as it is her glory, and a badge of her femininity, then she should wear a veil. The word for veil is katakalupto,, which literally means ‘something hanging down which completely covers’. Why would Paul demand that if a woman refused to wear a veil she should then cut off all her hair? Plainly it is because her glory is to be covered, and if she rejects the veil, which serves that purpose, then her hair (glory) should be sheared off. A Christian woman then has the choice of wearing the veil or having her hair sheared like a sheep, which even today Is not a popular hair style for women. The word ‘also’ in this verse shows without a doubt that a covering other than the hair is in view here, and excludes any possibility that he is Implying that the long hair Is given for her sole covering. If the hair is the only covering, and she refuses to have hair (!), how could she then still have her hair cut off! Those who hold this position – that the hair is the only covering, quickly get tangled In some verbal absurdities. verse 7 “For man indeed ought not to have the head veiled, being the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. These words would have cut deeply to the Jews of the day, because of their religious practice of covering their heads in worship. Perhaps the Judiazers who plagued Paul wherever he went Insisted on maintaining the use of the tallith. We must keep in mind that Paul himself had done so prior to his conversion, and no doubt had felt strongly about it. Now, in the liberty he had experienced in being a new creation in the image and glory of God, he teaches that the veil must not be worn by the man. When a Christian man abandons himself fully to his Head, the Lord Jesus, his own glory Is covered in the process and Christ’s glory Is then revealed (uncovered= apokalupto). The working out of our salvation Is this His-life-out-of-our-death principle. For as we put to death the flesh by the Spirit we are releasing the life and light of Christ through our mortal bodies, and are transformed into His Image. Man is the image and glory of God and woman is the glory of man. Obviously Paul didn’t consider, as many today, the Genesis account of the creation of woman to be a myth for children’s story books. In originating from man, she represents God most fully as she functions in her place alongside of man, but under his authority, for she was created for man (Ge.2:20-23) and is his glory. This certainly doesn’t mean that she is some sort of inferior species, but expresses that in this earthly dispensation, although she is his spiritual equal, she is yet called to be subject to man in regards to family, church and social relationships. verse 8 “For man is not of woman, but woman (is) of man.” This verse refers again to Ge.2:21-22 as to the origin of woman. In being the last created being, one could say she is the crown and climax of God’s creative work. verse 9 “For man was not created on account of the woman, but woman on account of the man.” Again, according to the creation story, woman was created as a helper comparable to and corresponding to man. She was created to stand beside man, before God, and to be, in holy matrimony, in a one flesh relationship with one man. Ephesians 5 gives Important insight into the kind of power the man Is to have over the woman – it Is the power of agape love. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it…” (Eph.5:25). This is a calling to self-sacrifice and ministry through the Word (verse 26) for her edification and sanctification (verse 27). In the kingdom of God, and thus in the church, headship implies the kind of self-giving which Christ perfectly manifested for us. The type of headship which domineers and tyrannizes Is of the spirit of this world. The submission (hupotasso – literally ‘to be arranged under’) which the wife Is to give her husband is like unto the kind that the church Is to give Christ. verse 10 “Because of this, the woman ought to have authority on her head – because of the angels.” The woman ought to have a veiling on because it functions to represent the subjection she shows to her authority, man, and ultimately to God. The veil Is meant to represent the inner reality of her relationship with God and specifically with man as her head she has the continuous reminder of what her life should exemplify by it. Rebekah, when she was told that it was Isaac, her future husband, coming across the field to meet her, took a veil and covered herself. (Gen.24:64-65). The veiling simply serves to outwardly express the God-ordained fact that in this age woman is governmentally under man’s headship and authority (Gen.3:16 “…he shall rule over you. “). One is challenged to think this somber thought-what if Christ had rejected the sign and reality of God’s headship over Him – to refuse to drink that bitter cup, to not obey even the most seemingly Insignificant of God’s commands. We all know the tragic answer…. The phrase ‘because of the angels’, or messengers, has caused much speculation. Most likely this refers to both good and bad angels (see ch.6:3). The Jews, and Tertullian, among others, saw it as a possible reference to Gen.6:1-2 where perhaps it was the angels who were tempted to doom by the beauty of the uncovered daughters of men. Oriental Jews believed that evil spirits delight in unveiled women and good angels avoid them so as not to be tempted. Certainly there is a measure of truth in much of this. The simplest explanation is that angels, who themselves are veiled before the throne of the Almighty, and in a relationship of perfect and total submission to Him, are present at all times, and especially during worship, and are shocked at the impropriety of unveiled women in the assembly, who are to be veiled as a sign of their submission to their head (Lk.15:10; Ep.3:10; Heb. 1: 14; Ecc 1.5:4-6). It has become clear by experience to this writer and to many others that the veiled woman has great protection from the enemy if her heart is in the attitude of the submission which the veiling is symbolizing. Many have been the testimonies of women who were protected by lustful men because the conscience of such men were smitten through the presence of the veiling. We may not get a clear enough glimpse into the spiritual realms to fully understand just why this is so, but proof of this truth has been abundantly evidenced. When a person is in their God-given position and obedient to His Word, it is then that God can commit Himself to them. By this they have power with God, and thus against Satan. Satan and his cohorts hate the head covering because of what it represents; it reminds them and puts them to shame because of their own rejection of God’s headship. Faithful, veiled sisters also represent the church, which covers Its glory, “…to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (Ep. 3:10). What a high calling the sisters have in exemplifying the submissive, obedient church as it reproves the fallen angels! The faithful, veiled woman can exercise and unleash tremendous influence and power In heavenly places as she ministers in prayer and Intercession before the Father. This groaning creation so badly needs the kind of church that such a sister represents, and the church likewise desperately needs such women as can truly minister In their God-ordained place of power. verse 11 “However neither (is) man apart from woman, nor woman apart from man, in the Lord.” Paul, In order to add balance to what was previously said, expresses the interdependence of man and woman ‘in the Lord’. Outside of the Lord, social convention will rarely realize the scriptural understanding of God’s design and the headship order, because His truths are spiritually discerned and thus foolishness to the natural man (1 Cor.2:10-16). But ‘in the Lord’, where ‘Christ is all in all’, His lordship over each sets in order the interpersonal relationships of the members of the Body, causing them to function In their specific place harmoniously, bonding them together in love (Col.3: 14). verse 12 “For as the woman (is) of the man, so also the man (is) by (means of) the woman, but all things (are) of God.” Again, he stresses their interdependence and that man is born of woman, the case even of Jesus in His great condescension. But all things originate in God, for “…of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Ro. 11:36). verse 13 “Judge within yourselves – is it becoming for a woman to pray to God unveiled?” Paul challenges the believers to reflect deeply upon the truths and their application which he had conveyed to them. Based upon the important principles he had established, could it possibly be fitting for a woman to pray to God with an unveiled head? He knew what answer they could only but give, according to his teaching, which had full apostolic authority and was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We too are continually called to make judgments of spiritual significance for our own lives and the lives of others based upon our spiritual discernment of God’s word and will. Such responsibility motivates us to seek Him, and in His word, and stirs us to maturity and further revelation in the Lord. verse 14 “Or does not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a dishonor to him.” The word ‘nature’ here (phusis) would Imply Instinct, or a native sense of what is right, as in Ro.2: 14, and negatively as in Ro. 1:26. Dishonor (atimia) means just that – a disgrace, and It stands in contrast to ‘glory’ In v. 15. Paul Is saying that God’s perspective on the matter is that long hair is a dishonor to man. Outward distinctions between the sexes is a scriptural injunction and the length of hair is meant to be a primary witness of it. Though the definition of ‘long’ will vary among different cultures and times, a spiritually discerning person should be able to sense just where the line is for himself and those under his authority. verse 15 “But if a woman have long hair, it is glory to her, for the long hair in behalf of a covering is given her.” The woman’s long hair is one of her chief glories, a most beautiful expression of her femininity. As Daniel Kauffman has said, ‘The long hair is the sign of the natural relation which exists between men and women; the veiling is the sign of the spiritual relation which should exist between them as men and women in the Lord.” Much unnecessary confusion has originated in this verse, in that some conclude that this must mean the long hair is given instead of a veiling. However, the confusion ends when one goes to the original text. The Greek word here for ‘covering’ is peribolaion, which literally means ‘something cast or thrown around’. The only other place this word is used in the N.T. is in Heb. 1:12, where it says, “like a cloak (peribolaion) You will fold them up… . The verb form of the word (periballo), found about 23 times, almost always refers to being covered with a robe cast around oneself. This is a completely different word than katakalupto. which is the ‘veiling’ mentioned in verses 5, 6, 7, & 13, and which again means ‘something covering completely and hanging down’. The word translated ‘for’ in the KJV, NKJV, etc. in the phrase ‘for a covering’ is the Greek word ‘anti’, which has a range of meanings. but the context clarifies its definition to be ‘in behalf of or ‘to serve as’ – this is verified by the best lexical authorities. So what does this seemingly obscure statement mean? Paul is saying that the glory of woman, her long hair, is given to her to serve as a natural covering to be cast or wrapped around. A deep principle is again the root of this declaration – that the woman’s glory is to be cast about or wrapped up and covered with a veil to represent the covering of her self life so that Christ can be manifested in her life. Thus the covering of her glory is a sign that stands as an exquisite reflection of one of the foundational principles of the Christian life – that as we by the Spirit die to self, thus covering our own glory, His life and light is uncovered (apokalupto) in and through us and manifested to scatter the darkness of this world. verse 16 “But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the churches of God.” With full apostolic authority, Paul emphatically states that if anyone is contentious (philaneikos – to love strife) on this matter, they had no such practice in all the churches of God. What practice – veiling, or unveiling? One has to be amazed at the commentators who imply that Paul is in this one verse abolishing all that he has said in verses 1-15. The word translated ‘such’ here is ‘toioutos’, which simply means ‘such as’, and not ‘other’ as some translations misinterpret. It is soon obvious to anyone studying this passage that ‘such custom’ is referring to and answering his question in verse 13, “Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with, her head uncovered?’. In the Greek, the grammatical structure of this verse is such in case, number and gender to make it agree only with the pronoun ‘yourselves’ in verse 13. Thus verses 14 and 15 are a parenthesis between verses 13 and 16, where he appeals to their native sense in the matter of hair length for each sex. Paul proclaims boldly that in every church the sisters wore the head veiling, and he flatly commands them to step in line with universal apostolic practice. Early church writings and pictures in the earliest Christian art in the catacombs of Rome give clear evidence that this was the case. There can be no doubt that God expects and commands that every Christian woman wear the head veiling. Any church which claims to be biblical will recognize that the apostles’ doctrine is essential to her realization, and that the veiling of women is an aspect of that doctrine. To say this is not to imply that the headship veiling is essential to one’s salvation. It obviously is not to be equated in importance with such apostolic teachings as the incarnation, the atonement, etc.. However, the veiled head is an Important symbol instituted by God to express deeper spiritual principles, as Is baptism arid the Lord’s supper. We serve a God who for various reasons has put great emphasis upon symbols and their meaning. The O.T. Is full of types and symbols which point to and prepare for the fuller revelation and reality of the new covenant. Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham; baptism corresponds to It. The head veiling serves to remind us that even though we are in a new covenant and have entered into the boundless freedom of Christ, yet God’s governmental distinctions which were established in the Garden are yet in force while this creation lasts. To the top Chapter 2The hidden Power of Womanby Roman Miller  Why all the fuss about 1 Corinthians 11 and a little piece of cloth on a woman’s head? Yes, why? Quite obviously, a sincere attempt to search out the simple teaching In the passage leads one to conclude that it was a practice at Corinth. Further, in our attempt, by God’s grace, to preach the gospel of the kingdom, this issue of the woman’s veiling inevitably becomes a focal point of resistance. Why? I believe it is for the reason that In a very tangible way It confronts two of the greatest demonic subversions of the church that this world has ever seen. First, it is an attack on the validity of making a conscientious commitment to a simple obedience of the Scripture as a result of a changed heart and a pure love for Jesus. Secondly, it exposes and expresses a stand against the Jezebel spirit that so pervades the church of today. The refusal to wear the veil among Christian woman today effectively weakens their power in prayer, much to Satan’s delight. A veiled head is a direct blow to Satan on two primary aspects of his fall – pride and rebellion. The veiled head very effectively deals with slavery to hair styles, and may I add, feminine pride. If you don’t believe me, wear one or try to promote it in today’s Christian circles. Remember that it was simple pride that turned an angel into a devil. Rebellion also is uniquely Satan’s territory. He Is a legalist and knows his rights. If you dabble in the occult you must reap the results. Similarly, É Sam. 15:22-23 states that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. In other words, even as in the occult, rebellion places you in Satan’s legal territory. In 1 Cor. 11, a woman with an unveiled head, or a man wearing long hair, are both employing symbols of rebellion. Are symbols really so Important after all? Communion practices are spoken of in 1 Cor. 11 also. Why not substitute for the bread and wine, root beer floats and potato chips? Do the symbols of the bread and wine just have significance for their day? We can have some idea of how God looks at such things by what He said when Moses ‘merely’ smote the rock the second time instead of speaking to it as he had been commanded. What he did was misrepresent the fact that Jesus was only smitten once to make living water available to us. And what did God say? He said, “You have despised Me!” Moses, by this one act, forfeited the promised land. Well, that was law and Old Testament. But what about the time Jesus wanted to wash Peter’s feet and Peter refused? It was clearly a symbolic washing, because when Peter wanted to be washed all over, Jesus said, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean…” But what did Jesus say when Peter wanted to refuse the feetwashing? “If I wash you not, you have no part with Me.” Am I saying, then, that any woman who refuses to wear a veiling is not a Christian? Not directly. However, I add without apology that no one is a Christian in a true sense of the word who has not sincerely repented of their own thoughts and ways and made Jesus the Lord of their lives. Jesus never saves anyone whom He does not also govern. Simple obedience to clear scriptural commands flows basically from two fountainheads. First, from a sincere repentance from our rebellion and resistance to God, and second, out of a pure love of Jesus. In Scripture, Jezebel is the woman singled out to represent those who paint their faces and use their natural feminine powers to control men and circumstances. She was the queen of the king of Israel, the king being the one who was to be a type of Christ. She became the symbol in Scripture of the harlot church who claims to be the bride of the King but who walks in the stubbornness and rebellion of her own heart while she pollutes the church with the Idols of the world. God’s word to anyone in such a situation is, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in tier sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4). On the other hand, 1 Cor. II is written for the benefit of any woman who wants to enter into a deeper life with God. It is the woman who wants God’s best that will not passively accept her failures, but longs for victory in the areas of her personal life and experience. She wants to enter into the full power that God desires to give her. The Scriptures give a high place of honor to a faithful, God-fearing woman. Pro. 12:4 says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.” The crown is symbolic of the pinnacle of man’s earthly aspirations. Pro.31:30 states that, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised”. And also, “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” (Pro. 19:14) These scriptures point out the value God places on faithful women. Godly women also had an honorable part in the life of Jesus. His friendship with Mary and Martha is an example of this. You too, as a woman, can be a personal friend of Jesus. As you learn to enter into His areas of concern and ministry within your own Immediate circle of Influence, you will find your relationship with Him becoming richer and more meaningful. Mary and Martha were His friends and they had His interests. Further, they were open-hearted to His teachings. It is worthy of note that it was women who were last at the cross, first at the tomb, and the first to whom Jesus made His resurrection appearance. The First ‘Hidden Power’ Considering now the positive ways in which a woman is called to serve, I would like to point out areas both of strength and weakness. The first ‘hidden power’ of a woman is the power of wise counsel. Often the real power behind an office is a hidden counselor. Much of David’s success as king was due to the counsel of Ahithophel of whom the Scriptures testify had counsel as the oracles of God. It is very easy for one who is not in a position of leadership to come to the leader with forceful counsel. The counselor will not be held responsible for the out-come, even though his counsel may be explicitly followed. Therefore, a wise leader w111 always maintain the freedom to make the final decision as to the direction he will personally pursue since he is the one who will be held accountable for the decision. Let’s consider a few more biblical examples of counsel. One of the most outstanding examples In the entire Scripture of both good and bad counsel and their results is found in the book of Esther. Hamaan was a proud man. In Persia, he was second only to the king. When Mordecai refused to bow to him, he controlled himself with difficulty and went home, and called his wife and friends together to brag about his successes and to complain about Mordecai. Who was the first to counsel Hamaan to build a gallows 50 cubits high? It was his wile Zeresh. His friends gave him the same counsel. Esther 5:14 says, “The counsel pleased Hamaan and he had the gallows made.” Esther 2:20 states that Esther had not yet made herself known to her kindred or her people even as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther did what Mordecai had told her as she had done when under his care. It is very Interesting to note that in this time when all the Jews were condemned to death that Mordecai, who was a man, was unable to do anything about it. God was pleased to use a woman to bring about deliverance. But it was a woman who knew the place God had for her. When Mordecai pled with her to intercede to the king for the Jews, her first counsel was to gather everyone together for prayer and fasting. She realized that it is God who makes the final difference. She was hesitant at first to use her own influence, but then courageously consented with the words, “If I perish, I perish”. After fasting and prayer, she did not rush into the king’s presence with complaints, criticisms, or condemnation, but simply made herself known and then waited to be asked. When he invited her to come forward, she went up and caressed the top of the scepter with her hand, showing respect for his authority and his right over her. She then tactfully prepared the king for her request with kindness and honor, pleasing him with a delicious banquet. Certainly Esther would have gotten nowhere, and no doubt would have lost her life, if she had used the same tactics that many Christian women use today on their husbands when they want something. When Esther finally made her request, it was a simple plea for her own life and the lives of her people. There was no hint of blame or accusation against her husband, though there would have been plenty of reason for it. Of course, God was in all these circumstances, and it was really He who saved the Jews. However, Esther was His instrument in doing so, and because of this, women have some beautiful examples here of God’s principles to follow. Esther was quite a woman. She was keenly aware of the limits of her power and how to best exercise it. In ch. 8:3 she even used a few tears. When Esther vas given the king’s signet to write whatever she wanted, which was to revoke Hamaan’s decree, she once more stepped back and gave the responsibility to Mordecai. In evaluating a woman’s counsel, we must remember that there is a basic difference between men and women and the process each uses to arrive at decisions. There are general areas that each of them consider, but in different order of priority. Men tend to lean most heavily on reason, then on emotion and feeling, arid lastly, on intuition. Women tend to lean most heavily on intuition, then emotion or feeling, and lastly on reason. The primary reason for this Is that God created woman to be a complement to man, not a competitor. What Is more contrary to God’s design for the companion suitable for man than a hands-on-hips, calculating, bossy woman? Such a woman stifles a man’s role and effectiveness. The Scripture that every God-fearing woman will want to have indelibly imprinted on her heart is 1 Peter 3:1. It is a sermon in four words; “…won without a word”. A woman was not created for argument, criticism, condemnation, harassment, etc. Rather her role next to man is one of caring, feeling, sharing and understanding. Intuition is interesting. It is a function of the human spirit. It seems to be the avenue which the Holy Spirit uses in the gift of prophecy, which actually means to share something that cannot be known by natural wisdom. When a man receives revelation, he is wise to check it out carefully with the Scriptures to satisfy his intellect that it is right. However, if he relies on intellect alone, he is only a natural man trying to understand spiritual things, which the Bible says is impossible. Since a woman leans more on intuition, spiritual insights often come more clearly or forcefully to her than to her husband. If she Is not careful, she will soon take the lead spiritually, and since her intuition is not always correct, this can lead to serious errors. 1 Tim. 2 teaches that the woman was deceived, not the man. This establishes irrevocably that women are to be under man’s authority as a means of protection to both. This is not a count against women, because as I said before, the reasoning and decision making process is not their role. A praying, godly woman’s insights are very valuable, but they should be shared and then left there. They are not to be pushed through with strong words. If the Lord Is in it, He will see that it is not overlooked or forgotten. The Second ‘Hidden Power’ The second ‘hidden power’ of a woman Is the power of future generations. Let’s look at some N.T. scriptures on this subject. 1 Tim.5:9-10,14 says, “Let a widow be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children. Therefore I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach, for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.” God established this principle of the power of future generations in the very first chapter of the Bible. Gen. 1:28 says, “And God blessed them and said to them. ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it….'” This same blessing and command was given again to Noah after the flood. It is evident that the secular humanist’s campaign to reduce family size has influenced the minds of Christian parents. Consider a few historical facts concerning the value of large families. Jacob had a large family. His last son was Benjamin, who was the ancestor of the apostle Paul. If Jesse would have had one less son, there would have been no David. In the famous Wesley family, Suzanna, the mother, was herself the twenty-second child! Her son John was her fifteenth and Charles her eighteenth child! Aside from all this, the power of future generations is a woman’s privilege arid responsibility. If it is rightly understood, it can become one of her greatest sources of happiness and fulfillment. Titus 2:4 states; “That they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored” 1 Tim. 2:15 says; “But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” What is needed is the faith to see the almost unlimited potential of future generations. Those little ones in the cradle or clinging to the skirts are never-dying souls. Their lives will go on long after you are gone, if the Lord tarries. Their influence, either for good or bad, is incalculable. As mothers, women will no doubt mold them more than anyone in those tender, formative years. What a challenge to be the kind of mother who inspires faith, courage, diligence, and love in their little hearts! God longs for and needs the dedication and cooperation of godly women to raise up the foundations of many generations. This world is sadly in need of faithful mothers who sense the great honor of this task. Truly ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. The Third ‘Hidden Power’ The third ‘hidden power’ of a woman is that of prayer. This is the biblical example used in 1 Cor. 11 as a time when the veiled head for women is especially in focus. A woman comes to God In prayer from the natural vantage point of weakness and need. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is kingdom of heaven”. (Mat. 5:3). Many times in Scripture, God pledges His protection and provision to three classes of people; orphans, widows, arid strangers. God Himself is the avenger of anyone who would lower himself to exploit them because of the natural weakness of their position. Our great need and faith in God’s abundant provision is the heart and soul of intercession. Scripture calls a woman the weaker vessel in 1 Peter 3:7. In today’s Jezebel rebellion, many women are out to prove that this simply Is not so. A woman can do anything a man can do! The crafty enemy lures them on with thoughts of equality and greatness while he blinds their minds to the fact that they are being drawn away from the heart of an all-powerful, all-wise God to be cast back upon their own meager resources. The church is symbolized in the N.T. by two figures- the bride of Christ, and the body of Christ. A woman finds her fulfillment primarily in the bridal role of the church. A man’s calling is more directly related to the mature man Christ Jesus (Eph.4: 11-16). There is, however, an inter-association. Anyone who desires to come to Christ without the simple, trusting faith of a child can never enter into the kingdom. Where there is no maturing in faith through an ever deeper understanding in the true knowledge of Jesus, there can never be a powerful manifestation of God’s kingdom. But we never ‘graduate’ from the simple, trusting faith. It always remains as the fundamental principle upon which we rest as our foot reaches out for its next step in God. Paul, even though an aged warrior, could say he had not yet attained; he had not outgrown his need. The more mature our faith, the larger the vista of territory which is ours to possess, the greater the battle the Lord commissions us to enter, the deeper and more real our personal weakness and need becomes. A lack of power in prayer is a sure sign of self-sufficiency. Hand in hand with self-sufficiency walks frustrated desire, lust, covetousness, fighting and war. A woman’s veiled head says; I am content to live with need, that I might experience Christ’s sufficiency. Even as Ruth asked Boaz to spread his covering over her, so all mankind may come to our near kinsman, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a mighty Man of wealth and power who is well able to include us in His household. He has redeemed us back to our original inheritance and beyond. We, with Ruth, need to surrender our independence, renounce our gods, and seek Him with our whole heart. We must humble ourselves and ask. The high place of prayer is undisputed. In the tabernacle, it was the altar placed in front of the ark and the mercy seat. Now the veil of the temple is gone and we have direct access to the Father through Jesus. Jesus Himself now occupies the high position of intercessor at the right hand of God. This is the place where spiritual battle will be won at last. Put very simply, I believe that one God-fearing woman who cultivates the inner beauty of a Christlike spirit and perseveres in prayer will exert more influence and power for good than all man’s legislative power combined. The Fourth Hidden Power The fourth ‘hidden power’ is that of prophecy. This simply signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God. We have a number of examples of this In the New Testament. When Mary came to visit, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She then spoke forth a prophecy concerning Jesus (Luke 1:41-45). Immediately following, we have the song of Mary (verses 46-55). In Luke 2:38, the prophetess Anna confirmed the purposes of God conquering Jesus. In the book of Acts, we also have the example of Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9). The gift of prophecy for the sisters Is cleanly a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29. “And it shrill come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see Visions; and also on My menservants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” In the other callings of a Godly woman, we have noticed that each had a hidden or behind-the-scene aspect. So what is hidden about speaking forth the mind and counsel of God? Further, why is this another occasion in the sister’s ministry when the veiled head is especially in focus (1 Cor. 11:5)? Elizabeth prophesied at home, possibly only with Mary present. Anna prophesied in the temple, apparently to anyone who would listen. So, is the reference in 1 Cor. 11 to prophesying speaking of public worship service? The answer to this question is found very specifically in 1 Cor. 14. Here the subject concerns speaking forth both by tongues and by prophecy. This passage clearly deals with a public worship service. Notice verse 19, “in the church”, verse 26, “when you come together”, and verse 23, “the whole church comes together in one place”. Then verses 34-35 say; “Let your women keep silent in the churches (assemblies), for they are not permitted to speak: but they are to be submissive as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church ( the assembly).” 1 Timothy 2:14 teaches the same thing. “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” These scriptures certainly are in harmony with the prescribed roles of men and women in the Word. A woman’s background, supportive role clearly is the revealed will of God throughout the Scripture and church history. There are many, many opportunities for women to exercise the gift of prophecy outside of the assembled gathering of the church. There are homes to be visited, sick to be cared for and encouraged. poor to be ministered to, hospitality to be exercised, and much more. Wherever there are people, whether many or few, there are persona] words of education, encouragement and comfort that sisters are in a unique position to give. No doubt there are multitudes of individuals to whom God would like to speak directly from His heart if He had a pure, willing sister that could be His chosen vessel for that moment. If you have a problem with this teaching, I would caution you to further consider the words of Jesus to the church of Thyatira in Rev. 2 :18-29. “… I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols …. “I recommend that you read the entire passage. I believe that the veiled head symbolizes a willingness to forego the role of public leadership to better fulfill the call God has for the sisters. There is certainly no lack of territory to claim by faith and to enter into by faith. Why chafe at doors that God has closed to you for your own protection when there are more open doors to you than you can possibly ever enter if you only had eyes to see and a willing heart to obey? I personally have been greatly blessed and encouraged many times by the inspirational sharing of sisters at appropriate times. Further, the fact that the Scripture so clearly teaches against the sister’s prophesying in the public assembly very specifically emphasizes that the teaching on headship and the veiling is not just for the public worship service as some erroneously believe. God’s call upon men and women is always to be in focus. The testimony to God’s order of authority is always appropriate. Certainly the angels, verse 10, are not just present during worship! The veiled head is God’s chosen symbol to remind all of His children of some very fundamental truths which He has ordained for our personal happiness and success as well as His glory. To wear the symbol and not live the principles is to give a mixed testimony and to destroy its meaning and effectiveness. The answer would not be to remove the veil, but rather to commit oneself to live up to the life it symbolizes. Two wrongs never make one right. If you feel unworthy to wear the veiling because of deep needs in your life in this area, I would encourage you to put it on in obedience to the Lord’s clear command as a testimony to what you know God wants and then strive by His grace to walk in Its message! Much more could be said concerning the opportunities of a woman to serve in the church effectively In harmony with the principles of 1 Corinthians ll. I am excited for any church where Godly men and women are enthusiastically and conscientiously fulfilling their God-given roles; it cannot help but be a powerful, effective church. So why all the fuss about 1 Corinthians 11 and a little piece of cloth? Simply because 1 Corinthians 11 with Its teachings on headship, order, authority, submission, and holy communion is a foundation for 1 Corinthians 12. There never will be an effective body as long as these foundational principles are ignored or neglected. If we want the church to be powerful, It will be God’s way, or not at all. Many churches today are like the shallow soil in the parable of the sower. They have no roots in themselves! There are few deep commitments, very little emphasis on personal responsibility, and the way of the cross they have not known. Therefore, when the hot wind blows, they wither and die. But God be praised, there is a way. It is the way that few walk in because it is a hidden way – hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed to babes: those who are single-hearted enough to receive and believe the clear Scripture and follow the Lamb wherever He goes. To the top Chapter 3Head Coveringby Watchman Nee (Excerpts from the chapter by this title In the book ‘Love One Another’, by Watchman Nee. Reprinted by permission of Christian Fellowship Publishers, Richmond, Va.: copy-right 1975) When the Lord Jesus was on earth, on the one hand He came to be Savior of the world, to deliver men from sin. This is according to the system of grace. On the other hand, God sent Him to the world that through the work of the cross He might establish His own authority and set up His kingdom so that the heavens might rule on the earth. This Is the system of government. Its work will continue until the power of the devil Is destroyed and the kingdom and the new heaven and the new earth are brought in…. Many hold to a fundamental error: they foolishly maintain that grace can set government aside. The truth is that what God does in grace never alters God’s government…. Grace only complements government…. Grace is for the purpose of redeeming and restoring those who are insubordinate and rebellious so that they may be subject to God’s governmental system…. Grace can never nullify government; rather, grace enables people to obey government. May I say with all Seriousness that grace gives us strength to be subject to government…. Head Covering and God’s Government The matter of head covering belongs to God’s government. For those who do not know God’s government, it is impossible to exhort them to have their heads covered. They will not be able to understand how much is involved in this matter. But those who have seen God’s government in God’s revealed Word are able to appreciate the tremendous connection between head covering and government. … The meaning of head covering is: I submit myself to God’s government: I accept God’s appointed position: I dare not nullify His government by the grace I have received; I do not even dare to think about it; on the contrary, I accept God’s government. As Christ accepts God as His head, so should every man accept Christ as his head. Likewise, woman should representatively accept man as her head. In covering the head, the woman signifies that she is not head, that she is as if she has no head – for it is covered…. God calls upon the sisters to show this arrangement. It is through the sisters that God’s governmental system is to be displayed. It is the sisters who are responsible to have the sign of obedience on their heads. God specifically requires women to have their head covered when praying or prophesying. Why? Because they ought to know God’s government when they come before Him. In going before God to pray for people or in going before people to prophesy for God, whether In praying or in prophesying, whether in that which goes to God or in that which comes from God, in whatever is related to God, head covering is demanded. The purpose Is to manifest the government of God…. Today woman has a sign of authority on her head because of the angels, that is, as a testimony to the angels. Only the sisters in the church can testify to this, for the women of the world know nothing of it. Today when the sisters have the sign of authority on their heads, they bear the testimony that, “I have covered my head so that I do not have my own head, for I do not seek to be head. My ‘head is veiled, and I have accepted man as head, and to accept man as head means that I have accepted Christ as head and God as head. But some of you angels have rebelled against God.” This is what it meant “because of the angels.” I have on my head a sign of authority. I am a woman with my head covered. This Is a most excellent testimony to the angels, to the fallen and to the unfallen ones. No wonder Satan persistently opposes the matter of head covering. It really puts him to shame. We are doing what he has failed to do. What God did not receive from the angels, He now has from the church…. When many of the sisters in the church take the place given to women and learn to cover their heads, they send out an unspoken word of testimony to the angels in the air, to the effect that God has obtained in the church what He desires. Because of this, woman must have on her head a sign of authority, a testimony to the angels…. Let us remember that although m practice it is only the woman who has her head covered, yet, in reality, Christ has His head covered before God and every man has his head covered before Christ. Why is it that God only requires woman to have the practice of having her head covered? This indeed is marvelous, for it involves a very deep principle…. When a sister covers her head, she is standing before God on the basis of Christ’s position before God and man’s position before Christ. God wants the woman to cover her head in order to manifest His government on earth. This privilege falls only to the woman. She does not cover her head merely for her own self; she does it representatively, It is because she represents man before Christ arid Christ before God. So when woman covers her head before God, it is Just the same as if Christ covered His head before God…. Man and woman should have no head since Christ is the head. If one’s head is not covered, there will be two heads. Between God and Christ, one head must be covered; so too must it be between man and woman and so between Christ and every man. If one head is not covered, the result will be that there are two heads, and God’s government does not allow two heads. If God is head, then Christ is not; if Christ is head, then man is not; if man is head, then woman is not…. Regarding the Contentious So, for man to be uncovered and woman covered is a charge that only Christian apostles have given. It is a practice the churches of God alone hold, for it is different from both the Jewish and the Gentile custom. It is something few, and it is from God. All the apostles believed that woman should have her head covered. If anyone today professes to be an apostle and yet does not believe in the head covering of woman, he cannot be counted as one of the apostles. He must be taken as an outsider. There is no such practice among the apostles of not believing this. If any church does not believe, Paul’s answer is, “We have no such custom, neither the churches of God” None of the local churches which the apostles had visited had any such custom as arguing about woman’s head covering. So the answer to any who argue is that there is no such practice as arguing about It. In verses 145, Paul is willing to reason, but after that he reasons no more. If any seems to be contentious, Paul says no apostle will approve of that one’s opinion. If anyone wants to argue, no church will agree with his view. You are outside the fellowship of the churches as well as of the apostles. Therefore, let our sisters cover their heads in the church when praying or prophesying. Why? To manifest that in the church God has obtained that which He has failed to get In the world, in the universe, and among the angels. To the top Chapter 4Can History Speak?by Dwight Strubhar Can history speak? Can it say anything to the issues of today? Can it be trusted? Yes, history can speak. It may report facts fairly well. But beneath history’s familiar voice, one may detect a quavering note of uncertainty. History never has all the facts, and can never put all the facts it does have together completely straight. And history comes up short in another way. While it may report what people did and said In some past time and place, it cannot tell us what God thought about what people did and said. That leaves our limited and darkened minds to judge and sort the “facts”, and to try to figure out the why and wherefore of the past. On this point history can only mumble confusion. We hear it give conflicting answers to the same questions; questions such as; “Why did it happen?” ‘What motivated people?” “What was God’s part in it?” ‘What did He think about it?” Of course, the confusion really centers in our own darkened minds. “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 1 Cor. 1:14. The natural man cannot comprehend history from God’s point of view. Standing apart from the revelation of Scripture and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, history can only mumble confusion and half-truths at best. But bowing under the authority of God’s Word, history can speak the truth clearly. To the mind enlightened by the Holy Spirit, history can aid the understanding of such things as human nature, cause and effect, the march of events toward God’s eternal purpose, and God’s ways and dealings with the human family. So, how about an issue such as the woman’s head veiling? Does history have a helpful word? The answer is both yes and no. No. We cannot ascertain God’s mind on an issue by the prevailing practice of any period, past or present. For example, we cannot conclude that God desires cut hair and uncovered heads by the prevailing practice of North American women in the last 75 years or so. Nor can we conclude that God desires long hair and covered heads by the prevailing practice of another time-say, the early church. Here history has nothing to say; no authoritative word. Only God’s Word can speak God’s mind with authority on this or any issue. Yes. For one thing, history can help us understand the effect that follows obedience or disobedience to the commands of Scripture. For example, let’s try to look at the churches of America through God’s perspective, using the head covering as a case in point. Fact: For nearly a century, most Christian men have allowed or encouraged Christian women to uncover their heads. Fact: Our society today is marked by moral weakness, confused sex roles, shattered lives, and broken homes. Many churches and even pulpits are overcome by a fornicating, divorcing spirit. Too much, the church is emaciated with the cancer of the world. Now, one of our all time great challenges is to correctly link cause and effect. As strange as it may seem to some, a relationship exists between the abandoned veils and the unhappy condition of the church and society today. I believe that God wants us to see that the second set of facts above is In part a result of the first fact. God’s commands are for our well-being. We disobey to our detriment. We have rejected both the substance and the symbols of the first part of 1 Corinthians 11, and now we suffer the bitter consequences. We have displaced Christ, the rightful head, with our own exalted thoughts and ways. We have overturned God’s order for man and woman. We have uncovered our fleshly glory. We have enthroned our glory and found God’s glory departed. Ichcabod! 1 Samuel 4:19-24. History can help us another way with an issue such as this. The consistent testimony of Godly men and women down through history underscores the testimony of Scripture. Even In times of deep spiritual darkness, courageous men have seen and spoken arid lived the truth. They are to us a great cloud of witnesses. And history can help us in yet another way. Sometimes it can help clinch our understanding of given scriptures. A New Testament passage obscure or controversial today was certainly clear to the first readers who lived in the culture and the time in which the New Testament was written. Writings that come down to us from the first centuries of the church sometimes give insight Into how the first believers understood the New Testament. Although false teaching had already sprouted in New Testament times, the excesses and errors of the new church had not yet grown to later proportions. In general, the closer to the time of the first apostles, the more closely the teachings and practice of the church followed their doctrine. For this reason, the history of the early church is of special interest to us. Sometimes we are blessed with a particularly clear word, as in this quote from Tertullian (ca.200 A.D.). “So, too, did the Corinthians understand him” (the apostle Paul – that unmarried girls as well as married women should be veiled.). “In fact, at this day the Corinthians do veil their virgins. What the apostles taught, their disciples approve.” Several things come through clearly from this single, informative quote. The writer understood the Scripture to teach a veiling for Christian women, and that this veiling was an article in addition to the natural covering of the hair. Also, the Corinthians themselves had originally and continuously so interpreted I Corinthians 11! Paul’s letter was surely correctly understood by them, and that understanding was that the women should have veiled heads, period. Of interest too is the plural ‘apostles’, Implying a unified, universal authoritative teaching. This testimony from Tertullian boldly underscores what the Scripture Itself clearly teaches. Those who argue that the hair Is the only covering required may argue, if they wish, with the Corinthians who personally knew Paul, and who held and read his original letters. So we see from this example that history can speak to clarify and support the Scripture through trustworthy observers and commentators. Now, let’s listen to some voices from the past which speak to some issues related to the veiling. The Catacombs. The numerous pictures on the walls of the catacombs depict Christian women veiled and men bareheaded. (The catacombs were underground burial places used by Christians for that reason and as places to meet during times of severe persecution). Catacomb art spans several centuries, beginning about A.D. 100. Clement of Alexandia (A.D. 150-220.) This church leader appealed to 1 Corinthians 11 to strengthen the conviction for the veiling. He also appealed to a sense of modesty. In his prescription for the veil, he went beyond the Scripture and for the sake of modesty called for the sisters to cover even their faces in public. Tertullian (ca. A.D. 160-215). About the year A.D. 200, Tertullian wrote an essay entitled ‘On the Veiling of Virgins’. As the title suggests, he argues that unmarried girls as well as married women should be veiled. Throughout his essay, Tertullian never questions the veiling of married women. In his appeal to 1 Cor. 11, he only makes is sue with the word woman, showing that the term included the unmarried as well as the married. He seems unconcerned with such questions as: Is the hair the only covering? Is 1 Cor. 11 authoritative for Christians of every time and place, etc.? Apparently, the veiling issues of our day were not the same as they were in Tertullian’s day. He opens his treatise with these words: “I will show in Latin also that it behooves our virgins to be veiled from the time that they have passed the turning-point of their age: that this observance is exacted by truth, on which no one can impose prescription-no space of items, no influence of persons, no privilege of regions. For these, for the most part are the sources whence, from some ignorance or simplicity, custom finds its beginning; and then it is successfully confirmed by usage, and thus is maintained in opposition to truth. But our Lord Christ surnamed Himself Truth, not custom.” Near his conclusion he writes: “Herein consists the defense of our opinion, in accordance with Scripture, In accordance with nature, in accordance with discipline. Scripture founds the law; nature joins to attest it; discipline exacts it. Which of these (three) does a custom founded on (mere) opinion appear in behalf of? or what is the color of the opposite view? God’s is Scripture; God’s is nature; God’s Is discipline. Whatever is contrary to these is not God’s. If Scripture is uncertain, nature is manifest; and concerning nature’s testimony Scripture cannot be uncertain. If there is doubt about nature, discipline points out what is more sanctioned by God. For nothing is to Him dearer than humility; nothing more acceptable than modesty; nothing more offensive than “glory” and the study of men pleasing.” To make his point, Tertullian argues both for and against custom; but he refuses to make custom his authority. To him, only Scripture can speak with authority. Tertullian, like most of his contemporaries, had a deep concern for modesty. He too stressed veiled heads for modesty’s sake, but he seems to apply the principle with a severity not taught in the New Testament. Also, he was concerned about the adequacy of the covering. as his words show: “…because you cannot refuse it, to take some other means to nullify it, by going neither covered nor bare. For some, with their turbans and woolen bands, do not veil their head, but bind it up: protected, indeed, in front, but where the head properly lies, bare. Others are to a certain extent covered over the region of the brain with linen coifs of small dimension…. The region of the veil is (should be) coextensive with the space covered by the hair when unbound: in order that the necks too may be encircled.. .(who) when about to spend time in prayer itself, with the utmost readiness place a fringe, or a tuft, or any thread whatever, on the crown of their heads, and suppose themselves to be covered? Of so small extent do they falsely imagine their head to be!” Finally, it is of interest to note that Tertullian expressed a concern that the veiling be worn consistently out of the assembly as well as in it. “Identity (sameness) of nature abroad as at home, identity (sameness) of custom in the presence of men as of the Lord, consists in identity (sameness) of liberty. To what purpose, then, do they thrust their glory out of sight abroad, but expose it in the church? I demand a reason. Is it to please the brethren, or God Himself…? What cannot appear to be done for God’s sake (because God wills not that it be done in such a way) is done for the sake of men – a thing, of course, primarily lawful, as betraying a lust for glory.” Hippolytus (died ca. A.D. 236). “And let all the women have their heads covered with an opaque cloth, not with a veil of thin linen, for this is not a true covering.” The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (ca. A.D. 250-325). This collection of writings cite 1 Corinthians 11 as authority, uphold man’s headship and requires women to be covered in worship. “Finally, let me suggest that there are fragments of the apostle’s (Paul) instructions everywhere scattered throughout his epistles, such as the minute canon concerning the veiling of women in acts of worship, insisting upon it with a length of argument which in one of the apostolic fathers would be considered childish. He also insisted that his tradition is from the Lord.” Apparently the truth of the woman’s need to be covered was so plain to them that they thought it “childish” that Paul spent so much time explaining the reasons for it; but then they weren’t anticipating the darkness of this present generation! Chrysostom (A.D. 344-407). In a sermon on 1 Corinthians ll, Chrysostom urged women to worship with veiled heads and men with bared heads. He warned women against “pride and undue assumption of authority.” Jerome (A.D. 345-429). Jerome confirms that Christian women wore the veil in his time in both Egypt and Syria. Augustine (A.D. 354-430). Augustine insisted that women not uncover their hair. He also based his argument on the teaching of the N.T. as these quotes will show: “It is not becoming even in married women to uncover their hair, since the apostle commands the women to keep their heads covered.” And at another place: “For she is instructed for this very reason to cover her head, which he is forbidden to do because he is the image of God.” The above testimonies lead to several conclusions: 1. Leading church men of the first centuries essentially interpreted 1 Corinthians 11 the same way, that is, that God wants Christian women to be veiled. 2. Practice in the early church generally kept with this interpretation. 3. This interpretation apparently was not opposed or exposed as false doctrine by teachers of the first several centuries. What of succeeding periods of church history? Throughout the Middle Ages women veiled their heads. At least one of the reformers, John Calvin, clearly understood the N.T. to require a covering. “Should anyone now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering, Paul says it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another thing to be made use of for covering it.” J.C. Wenger describes the veil worn in Swiss Reformed cities of the 17th and 18th centuries. He concludes; ‘The wearing of this white or black veil seems to have been common in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and England – and likely in all of Europe.” Wenger also points out that the American churches in the late 19th century replaced the veil of England and the Continent with ordinary headgear. “It was usual in American Christian churches for women to have their heads at least covered in worship until the latter years of the 19th century (testimony of Bishop S. F. Coffman, 1872-1954). That which altered the practice of many American Protestant groups was the introduction of huge hats in the 1890’s (these hats were nicknamed ‘Merry Widows’). We’ll conclude with Wenger’s words: “If one reviews the historical evidence fully, it becomes evident that the bulk of the Christian church to this day believes that the command for men to worship with bared head, and for women to wear the veil, is permanently valid.” Christians of the 20th century who courageously obey the principles and keep the symbols of 1 Corinthians 11 stand with saintly Christians of all time. May their number increase, and may the Lord use them to the reviving and uniting of His church, and to the healing of our land. To the top Chapter 5The Veil in Early Christian Artby Tom Shank The catacombs of Rome are an extensive underground series of cemeteries where the early Christians buried their dead during the first four centuries. They consist of countless narrow passageways, along which are carved niches for burial, and which lead at times to small chambers or rooms. The catacombs carved in the substrata rock beneath the city of Rome extend to an almost unbelievable 550 miles, are often six levels deep, and contain the room for the interment of over six million bodies! During the various intense persecutions of the church, Christians were forced to retreat for brief periods of time for refuge in these dark and silent hand-carved caverns. Throughout the first few centuries, and even after Constantine legalized nominal Christianity, saints continued to bury their dead and to paint the likeness of their departed loved ones, scenes from Scripture, and Christian symbols, in the catacombs. Herein is the first Christian art. On the following pages are reproductions, poor though they are, of several frescos, which give the earliest pictorial evidence of the fact that Christian women of the first centuries did veil their heads. It goes without saying that these paintings speak conclusively of the universal apostolic practice of the use of the veil as taught in 1 Corinthians 11. The dates of these paintings cannot but be approximate – some could be considerably earlier than is mentioned, as the construction and use of the catacombs by Christians had begun even in the latter part of the first century. Also included here are pictures from an early manuscript and a mosaic from an early church building. In surveying these pictures, a few conclusions can be drawn: 1. There is no single style of veiling used, although most are of the draping type. A couple are cap-like, and most of this style also have draping material attached. 2. Modest dress is evidenced throughout, with a conspicuous absence of jewelry and other finery. The example of the Samaritan woman at the well is given to stand in contrast with this, with her earrings, hairdo and uncovered head. 3. Of interest is the representation of the majority of the departed saints with hands raised up in worship, for they were depicted as experiencing the joy of fellowship with their Lord in heaven. I have, in some cases, had to outline the shape of the veils for greater clarity. Veiled woman Early 3rd. century Catacomb of St. Peter and Marcellinus Pictures #1 of ancient Veils of Christian from 3rd century Pictures #2 of ancient Veils of Christian from 3rd century Pictures #3 of ancient Veils of Christian from 4rd century To the top Chapter 6Covering Some Basic Issuesby Timothy Heaps Permit me to speak subjectively of the things of God; spiritual authority, men and women relations, and head covering. You see, in my own simple way, God has more often revealed Himself, or something of His character, long before He gave me understanding of the how, what, and why; not always, just most of the time. Before I met the Lord, like most, I had bought into the ways of the world. Foremost in this ‘package deal’ was the distorted concept of the equality of the sexes. It is all around us, mostly exalting women and debasing men. This is not to say that we (men and women) didn’t deserve it or have it coming to us. It’s just that since the world does not know the Lord, this wasn’t the true spiritual equality through grace spoken of in Gal.3:28, but instead, the denial of God’s government; His order in the universe, if you will (Rom.1:25). I suppose it was my reaction in attempting to make two wrongs equal one right. With this reaction, and without the blessing of God upon me, I was rather weak; spiritually impotent would be more honest. But then I had an unwritten agreement with my wife that I could pretend to be the head of the house while I relied on her feminine strengths in the area of intuition arid ‘spiritual things’. I didn’t like it, but then I had to be honest – I definitely lacked God’s power and she had a measure of it. And besides, as if in reaction to the male chauvinism of the past generation, this appeared much more honorable and ‘equal’ to both of us; and of course, it was applauded by most of our ‘liberated’ peers. This seemed to work well (?) for awhile; that is, until we had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Then gently, but suddenly, things began to change. Sensitivities and perceptions into spiritual things began to develop in me, and much to our surprise, this happened by a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit – not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord (Zech. 4:6). Now, as if this weren’t enough, It clearly appeared to both of us that gifts, strengths, and spiritual receptivities were on the wane in my wife. It was as if the Lord was testifying to us both of His government, His ways, and His order of things, calling her to lay things down and me to pick them up. I might add that this arrangement did not decrease my wife’s spirituality, but In fact, increased Its usefulness. Since that process began years ago, the Lord has continued to work in the same way. While it appears to happen as a sovereign, miraculous act of God, I know it Is Invited in by our obedience to His government and order. 1 Samuel 26:23 states the principle; “May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness.” His transformation of us begins with our submission to His ways, by our being not conformed to this world but by being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.3:1 6-18). This transformation begins on the day of our salvation and must continue as we die daily to “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16). I’ve heard it said that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman arid that He’ll never push His way into our lives, but must be invited in. Our lives, like the wine containers at the wedding feast, must be emptied before He can do a miracle in us. It really is quite simple-the more we die to self, the more He will live in us. In the same way in which we view the relationship of Christ, man, and woman (1 Cor. 11), we will then bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Once again, it is in the form of a life poured out for Him. As woman submits to man, and man loves his wife (Eph. 5). this is a testimony of obedience to God’s government, and in that we are both able to honor God arid be blessed. This Is the order of creation established from the beginning (Gen. 2). Only when Eve was deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) and did not submit in this fashion was the serpent able to sneak in. She stepped outside of her covering and provision in God. Should we not all fear both God and Satan when we act in such a manner? Rather than resisting God’s way, we must search diligently how we might submit to God and resist the devil (Jam. 4:7). Shouldn’t we rush headlong into the ways in which we might lose our lives rather than be preoccupied with saving them? (Mat. 10:39). One such way in which we have recently been convicted by the Holy Spirit relates to the woman’s head covering. This speaks of obedience and dying to self, and not to a mere legal requirement; it is an Issue of obedience to God, and not man. For the woman is not only covering her glory to reveal Christ’s, and submitting to man, but is also testifying to the angels of her obedience (1 Cor. 11: 10). Considering our past history and relationships, this was a necessary testimony of commitment to God (and His angelic hosts) and of our understanding and obedience to this most basic aspect of His government. While initially many questions and struggles arose (mostly from the flesh), it was rather simply and supernaturally a next step in the transformation into His image that we have been called to from the beginning. In a sense, it represented a completion for us, a graduation, thus freeing us to better humbly serve and obey so that the Lord might be able to use us and reveal even more to us (John 16:12). I shudder to think how long we tarried on this one principle, but thank God for His long-suffering for us. How often the Lord longs for our faithfulness in small things that He might say; “Well done good and faithful servant: you were faithful over a few things: I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the Joy of the Lord.” (Matt.25:21). As Watchman Nee concluded when speaking on this subject; “Head covering in itself is a small matter, but it constitutes a very great testimony.” So be it! [Illustration of Moravian women at worship in book] To the top Chapter 7Praying and Prophesyingby Delbert Headings “Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his Head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head; for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved.” (1 Cor. 11:4-5, NASB) Others have written on the meaning of the word ‘covered’ in this study, as well as the last phrase of verse 5. It is necessary to also focus on the meaning of the phrase ‘praying or prophesying’, as set forth In these verses. Praying: the Greek word here is ‘proseuchomai’, which literally means to pray to God (ie. supplicate, worship), to will, to wish. So we ask ourselves – when do I as a man need to be unveiled? Or, when do I as a woman need to be veiled? (I use the word ‘veiled’ here instead of covered as this Is the proper translation and gives the thought of a sign-type covering and not just any covering.) When am I making supplication to God? Many times through the week as I go about my work, the Holy Spirit will suddenly remind me of a need in my own life or in someone else’s, so as I continue to work, I lift up a supplication to God for that need. I may come home from work and my wife might say, ‘While I was doing dishes this morning, Mr. Jones suddenly came to mind, so I prayed for him while I finished the dishes.” Why would someone who you had not thought about for a long time suddenly come to mind? The Holy Spirit is trying to tell you, “Hey, this person needs to be prayed for. Do you say to yourself, ‘Yeah, I’ll try to remember to mention him for prayer on Sunday or at prayer meeting’, or ‘I’ll pray for him when I have my special time with God today.’ No! He was brought to mind now, and needs to be prayed for now. The destiny of a soul could depend on whether you make supplication to God now for this person. We talk about being in tune with God, which includes being ready to pray to Him no matter what the circumstances are. Another aspect of prayer is worship, and I want to ask just one question regarding worship through song: How often do you praise God throughout the day with a song or chorus in your heart? And yet another question comes to mind in terms of the meaning of prayer – how often during the day do you will or wish God to do something, in your life or others? Prophesying: The Greek word here Is ‘propheteuo’, which literally means ‘to speak under divine inspiration’. So be it a word given during worship service, or while visiting another believer, or sharing the Lord to an unbeliever; it all can come under the category of prophesying. What it boils down to is this – are you, dear sister, committed to being a vessel that God can use anytime, any place, for any word to share from Him? Perhaps you are convinced that you should be veiled when praying or prophesying. So in light of what we have already discussed, if you are a committed Christian woman, then you are praying and/or prophesying most of your waking hours. In that case, you would certainly want to be veiled all the time if you truly believe in a total obedience to God and His Word. A consecrated Christian woman wears the veiling not out of respect to a person or a group, but because God has asked her to in His Word. And if you are convicted to wear it but refuse, you will be grieving the Holy Spirit arid possibly bringing your spiritual life to a standstill. I would like to clarify one more word here, and that is the word ‘church’. I have seen sisters wear the veil to what they call ‘church’ but no other time (apparently they think that is the only place to pray and prophesy). The Greek word for ‘church’ is ekklesla. which literally means ‘the assembly of those called out or forth'; in other words, believers. So let’s remember, ‘church’ is not a building nor does it need to refer only to the whole congregation, but is any time two or more believers are gathered together. That is church. To the top Chapter 8Testimony of Sisters That Truth Prevail in our Livesby Margaret Huckeba Recently, my sister, who was having trouble with her teenager, came to visit us. The problem was so extensive it had actually become life threatening. She was quite surprised to see my sister, Elizabeth, and ‘wearing the head veiling. We shared with her how and why we had come to that decision. As É shared with her, I related how I had been quite angry with the idea of wearing a head veiling, and had been very defensive of my position, but had finally asked the Lord to show me what He wanted regarding 1 Corinthians 111. The Lord helped me to recall a teaching I had heard concerning the difference between men and women – that women are always seeking security, and so naturally move into a leading position in order to feel more secure, even though that doesn’t really make them feel secure either. Men, on the other hand, are visual and are therefore more vulnerable to the physical manipulation and seduction of women. I could then understand why the majority of men today are either domineering and tyrannical (which is not of God, but satanic), or spineless and controlled, which is also not God’s plan for men. The problem is overwhelming in scope! I could see why so many churches and the world were in the mess they are in. The truth can be staring us in the face but we are so blind to it. I could also then understand that if women would step down and allow men to take the lead with gentle strength, which Is Godly, then things would come under God’s control through a properly established headship. It also seemed that this drive in women is so strong that we need a constant reminder – so the Lord gave us the head veiling. As I put it on, I asked the Lord to do a work in my heart daily. I can see that He is doing it, but I think I have a long way to go. I was so blest to see at the church where we had learned these truths and had begun to fellowship that the men were taking the spiritual lead and baring their hearts, which is not natural for them to do, and the women were stepping down not taking the spiritual lead, which is not natural for them, as it is easier for them to be leaders and to bare their hearts. It is clear that God wants what is natural in us to be put to death so we can truly come under His control and authority. Well, to make a long story short, my sister went home and told her husband (who was at his wit’s end) that she would submit to his decision regarding their son. He was overwhelmed and said at last he felt he had a real wife, a helper at his side. This change totally transformed their marriage. She was overjoyed as she related all the wonders this change of attitude did for them! I praise God for this, arid I also thank precious brothers and sisters for being such a beautiful example of God’s truth. Bless each one Of you who are faithful in this! Never! by Elizabeth Heaps “I’ll never wear one of those things!”, were the words from my mouth years ago to some Mennonite friends. “Where does it say that in the Bible?” They told me where…. My prayer became “Oh Lord, why me! You convict my heart if it’s true and I’ll obey.” They were only words. But in time, the need for obedience was to follow, and that’s where it got very difficult. Every fleshly argument prevailed. My husband laughed at each one and said, ‘Why don’t you stop fighting and just obey!” It was not the head veiling Itself that was my stumbling-block, but all the things it represented – dying to the flesh, and to the desire to be accepted; ‘standing out'; being judged for religious bondage, for real submission to my husband, and in spotlighting different areas that weren’t submitted – ouch! I had to ask the Lord to deal with and cleanse my rebellious heart and to help me simply obey Him, despite all the circumstances, and the emotions and feelings that were so intense. He gave me 1 Peter over and over again through my struggles. Yet it was so very simple and peaceful once I put it on physically and spiritually! And following my obedience God has blessed to reveal much more fully the deeper meanings of His own covering over me personally and through my husband. Instead of ‘religious bondage’ it has meant spiritual freedom, for God so blesses a simple obedience to His Word. In such obedience He gives us a glimpse into some of the mysteries and ways in which He covers His faithful children from both the enemy and ourselves. And I praise God for that. Amen! Ugly Self Covered by Barbara Miller I’d like to share a little on what the woman’s head veiling means to me. I know that for most of my life (and that was until I was almost thirty years old) the only understanding I had of the covering was that a woman must have her head covered when she prays or reads God’s Word. I used to think God wouldn’t hear me if I wasn’t wearing it. I praise God that my shallow understanding has deepened, but wish that It had happened a lot sooner. That it didn’t was partly due to a lack of solid teaching on the subject and partly due to my own lack of interest and ability to study God’s Word deeply. His Word cannot be understood rightly by just a casual reading without the Holy Spirit within to reveal it to us personally, or through God’s ministers, it does not become living to us. “For man ought not to have his head covered since he is the image and glory of God ; but the woman is the glory of man.” (1 Cor. 1 1:7). This verse shows us God’s order in human relations. Since God is the Creator, the Almighty and Supreme, and worthy of all the glory and honor that we as His creatures can give Him, we should be uncovering or exposing His glory and worthiness. Man represents Him in human form as His image, and so his head is to remain uncovered. Just as man represents God, so woman represents man in general. We are to be vessels through which the glory of God can shine. We cannot keep any glory and honor for ourselves, as that is the essence of pride. Humans cannot handle glory in a right way – what righteousness and goodness we do have is only as filthy rags in comparison to the divine righteousness in God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus our glory or goodness must be covered, and the woman represents this through the wearing of the head veiling. She also represents her to husband the submission she seeks to have towards God. Therefore, the meaning of wearing a veiling has taken on a new depth and thrill to me. As I wear it, I express the desire to be totally emptied of self and sin to be only a clean vessel that can let the glory of Christ shine through. It testifies that I commit every aspect and detail of my life to Him in true submission. As the Lord reveals our own imperfections to us, we can be deeply encouraged by seeing Jesus’ perfection and that with Him in us we can have the victory. “Brethren, ‘do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect (mature) have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you..” (Ph.3:12-15 NASB). It is with joy that I wear the sign of having my own glory covered. How I despise it when ugly self even tries to lift its head again. May Jesus be glorified! The Power of the Covered Head By Kay Miller I would like to share a testimony concerning the power of the veiling as it Is worn in obedience to and for the glory of God. As a church, we had been working with a young teenage girl who had been attending our services and visiting in our homes for several months. She had come from a broken home, had been abused as a child, and was deeply Involved in rock music. She had also had a nervous breakdown a few years before. Although she made partial commitments and seemed open to the truth of God’s Word, there seemed to be a hopelessness about it all. I often wondered if she had the mentality to understand what Jesus had done for her. When she would spend the night with our daughter, her conversation was erratic and foolish, and I often had a sense of uneasiness in leaving them alone together. Our daughter had the same feeling, but we prayed for God’s protection over us and rested in Him, knowing that He loved her too. One weekend we were all gathered together for a time of special meetings. She responded at one of the invitations and her repentance was undoubtedly genuine. There was a brokenness in her that we had never seen before. Her childlike joy was a blessing to all of us, and we praised God for His power to bring her to true repentance and conversion. Later, throughout the following day she was asked about wearing the head veiling – would she want to yield herself in this way to God’s authority over her life, and have the protection of the angels over her? She was full of doubts and fears at the very suggestion, so we didn’t press the issue. But the turmoil within her continued. One moment she wanted to, and the next moment she didn’t. Somehow she couldn’t seem to lay the thought aside. Finally, on her own, she asked for a veiling, and when one of the sisters was putting it on her she began to cry. She cried so hard they came to ask the rest of us sisters what to do. I asked her, “Don’t you want to wear it?” She insisted that she did, so I asked her, “Then why are you crying?” She didn’t know why – only that she felt so frightened. We asked her if we should take It off, and she said “No”, and then “Yes”, and then she didn’t know. We decided to pray for her, and as we did we asked the Lord to give her a peace and even a joy about this – like the joy she had when she first realized her sins were forgiven. But her crying continued and her sobs became more violent. We were perplexed. Finally we decided to take the veiling off, thinking perhaps that the trauma of her conversion made this too much for her to handle at this lime. We explained to her why we were taking it off and told her to forget about it at this point and just concentrate on Jesus and what he has done for her. Her violent crying stopped, but she was not at all happy; in fact, she looked simply miserable. After talking to her for awhile, I gave her a hug. She began to cry again, and clung to me almost frantically. I didn’t know what to do. I said to her bluntly, “You will just have to tell Satan to leave you alone in Jesus’ name!”, not knowing why I said it, or that I was going to. She took me literally and said it out loud. Then she began to scream it out with such violence that some of the sisters went after the brothers to help us. While everyone gathered in prayer, she was delivered that evening from Satan’s control. Her joy was so contagious and so complete, we couldn’t help but rejoice with her. She was a different person. And before we had scarcely adjusted to this new young woman, she asked for the veiling again. This time her face was radiant as she wore it, and there was no fear. The point I would like to bring out In this testimony is the rewards of a simple, uncomplicated obedience to God’s Word. The power of wearing the veiling is evident. Even the demons tremble before it! We praise God for the way He used the veiling to bring out the evil roots that we had no way of knowing were there. If these inner bondages had not been exposed by the turmoil of putting on the veiling, she certainly could not have gone on with the Lord. And of course, God receives all the glory! Peace – Agreeing With God by Susie Hofer Strubhar I’ve found it thrilling to come to a deeper understanding of the many beautiful meanings God has for me in wearing a head veiling. I am saying when I wear it that I agree with God’s order of headship. I agree to submit to Him first and then to my husband and the other leaders he has set over me. This spiritual covering is really a security every woman craves. My veiling reminds me of the hidden life of prayer and victory I am called to. The love, Joy and peace that comes from my communion with Him is essential in our frustrating world. It also reminds me that I am Christ’s bride, and of the longing He has for me to be pure, arid to have my own expectations fulfilled in Him. The ‘hidden glory’ speaks to me of covering my ideas and laying down my feelings, so I can hear His voice, and so His glory can be revealed. It reminds me to be instant in prayer and alert to His leading; to remain at rest In Him, and in those He has placed over me. For only then can we be under His control and prophesy for Him. I believe it does me no good to wear a veil if my life is not in accord with what It symbolizes. We women need special protection. I’ve experienced the protecting power of being covered. The angels are our ministering spirits against the enemy. There is tremendous power in a quiet, restful spirit and devoted prayer life. Mountains do move! “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’, says the Lord. ‘Who are you, O great mountain?” (Zech. 4:6-7a) A Witness to the World by Loretta Headings “Is there any significance to the way you wear your hair?” Yes, I’m a Christian and it’s a witness to the world of my life in Christ. I’ve had many opportunities this past year during the different times Delbert, my husband, was in the hospital to share about why I have my head veiled. It became a real blessing to me because in the process of testifying to others it became more meaningful In my own understanding. It Is hard to know exactly what to say when we meet people in passing and they ask mainly out of curiosity. I began to realize that often they were seeking to find out my identity – a nun, Mennonite, what? That is what prompted the answer given above to a man I once met on an elevator. This exchange of two sentences was all that time allowed us, and also, once he knew my identity, he seemed anxious to be on his way! Other times, we meet people who really are interested in hearing more and we must trust the Spirit to direct as to how we should share with them. I remember a time when a young Catholic man, who knew his Bible, asked me about my veiling. He knew about I Corinthians 11, and said, “Oh yes, St. Paul talks about a woman being covered when she prays or prophesies”, and then questioned me about wearing it all the time. Then I had the blessing of sharing how that personally by wearing the veiling all the time I was continually in the position to pray or share Christ with others. However, the joy of wearing the head veiling goes much deeper than this. I can wear it with joy as I understand that I am who and what and where God wants me to be. It tells me that He wants me to give up my own ideas, my own desires, my own selfish nature and to come under His authority and plan for my life, expressed to me through my husband and the other leaders He has placed over me. God has chosen my covered head to show the world that man’s glory is to be covered and man’s uncovered head is to show that His glory is to be revealed. Living this way brings such joy, peace, and security! Because of the Angels… by Judy Headings Recently, as I was sitting in my Sunday School class listening to the teacher’s comments on angels, I suddenly had a new understanding of the verse: “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” (1 Cor. 11:10). Since that time, the significance of it has become more exciting to me as I have pondered over it and shared it with others. Angels are not omniscient beings. They are wise, they are powerful, they are both invisible and visible at times, they are immortal, and they are holy. But they are not all-knowing. Angels operate by signs. On that long ago, eventful night in Egypt, when the death-angel passed through the land, claiming the firstborn of every household, the Israelites were protected by a sign – the blood that was painted on their door posts. The power and protection of the veiling is that it is evidence that I am under the authority of another. As the angels recognize this sign, they are ministering in my behalf and protecting me from the attacks of Satan. I’m sure that I cannot begin to comprehend all of the warfare that is going on in the spiritual world and the tremendous protection that is mine; not only in wearing the veiling, but also in being covered by the authority God has placed over me. I thank God for His many blessings in wearing the head veiling. To the top Chapter 9In Answer to Common Objectionsby Tom Shank To almost every one of God’s truths, there will be people who object, and for any number of reasons. Consciously or unconsciously, it is usually in order to rationalize not having to obey some application of it. Certainly, that is the most ‘convenient’ way to avoid His commands – to convince yourself and others that you know that is just not what the Word is saying. The sister’s head veiling is a prime example of this. Following are the most frequently encountered objections to this scriptural injunction. 1. It was only a local custom of the day and not meant to be practiced perpetually. Let’s take a glimpse at just what the historical data tells us. Among the Jews, the men and women covered their heads in worship: it was an expression of humility, just as the angels in Isaiah 6. However, ‘The Greeks (both men and women) remained bareheaded in public prayer…” (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the N.T.; see also Pulpit Commentary, etc.). Corinth, of course, was a Greek city, and reflected this custom. In public, only the harlots went about with unveiled heads and cut hair. So although it is true that Paul was, by his teaching, commanding that the Christian women not be identified by appearance as harlots in public, it is clear from the headship principles he takes pains to establish that the Christian women’s head veiling stood for much more than just that. He never mentions that they should wear the veiling in order to not be identified with harlots. One realizes too that he meant for the veiling to be worn in public at all times, or they would have been identified with them. In the carnal church at Corinth (l Cor. 3:1-3), the sisters had apparently abused their freedom in the gospel in this area. Those of Jewish background would have been used to this practice of worshipping with veiled heads (the men too, however!), but not the Greek women. Paul too would have spent his entire life as Saul worshipping with a covered head. Therefore, it wasn’t a general custom for all to worship in such a mariner, until Paul had taught God’s principles on the subject. We remember too that in writing this letter Paul had in mind “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ..” (1 Cor. 1:2). This included Jewish Christians in Israel and other places where harlots didn’t necessarily go about unveiled (Tamar, when she wanted to appear as a harlot, and of course disguise her identity, put on a veil in order to seduce Judah. Gen.38: 14f.). Quite obviously, the veiling of women was not a local custom to which Paul was enslaving the sisters for the sake of cultural conformity, convention, propriety, or the like, but because God commanded that His governmental headship principles were to be exemplified by the sisters of the church as a testimony to the world and the heavenly powers. 2. The woman’s long hair takes the place of a veiling. (See exposition on verse 15). In verse 15 of 1 Cor. 11, Paul is, in part, appealing to an illustration from nature (the long hair for women versus the short hair for men) to clarify the necessity of the veiling. Certainly he isn’t contradicting everything he had said thus far in verses 3-13 about the importance of the veiled head. Again, the word translated ‘covering’ in verse 15 is peribolaion, which means “something cast around”, as opposed to the word translated covering, uncovered, etc. in the previous verses – katakalupto, which means “something which covers completely and hangs down”. Paul obviously used an entirely different word in verse 15 so as to not confuse the natural hair covering with the veiling. If one thinks that her hair is the only covering implied in this chapter, they need only replace the word ‘covering’ in verses 4, 5, 6, 7, and 13 with the word ‘hair’, and they will quickly see how absurd such a notion is. The final blow to this argument is found in verse 6, where Paul says “If a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn”. The word ‘also’ (kai) can’t but be implying an artificial covering besides the hair. To paraphrase this verse with this assumption in mind, it would read, “If her head is not covered with hair, then let her hair be cut.” How can you cut something that isn’t there?! The long hair alone is not the sign of authority spoken of in verse 10 since anyone, male or female, Christian or non-Christian, could have it. 3. This was just a temporary custom and therefore to command it for today is the bondage of legalism. An important principle in Bible interpretation is that one must discover, if possible, exactly how particular verses were understood by those to whom they were written, therein discerning their true meaning. Certainly, Paul’s teachings were not confusing to his hearers (readers). Tertullian was able to testify about 150 years after this epistle was written that the Corinthians still faithfully practiced the wearing of the head veiling. There can be no doubt as to how they had interpreted his teaching an this subject. Again, the principles upon which the head veiling is based are part of the Word of God which will stand “until heaven and earth pass away”. To not believe this reflects a low view of the inspiration of the Scripture, for it is a tradition (lit, something handed down’) and ordained of God, and we are told to “…stand fast and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” (2 Thes. 2:15). Later on, Paul said to the Corinthians; “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:37; see also I Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:16; Tit. 2:10). Is it legalism to obey the clear and simple command of God? No! In fact, it is sin and idolatry not to obey the Lord. The commands of God are not options to Christians, and it is a harlot system that says they are. Through obedience to His Word one enters into His life; partakes of His life. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He asks for a heart obedience, motivated by pure love, which far transcends the pharisaic legalismwhich attempts by its own righteousness to earn favor before God. Every faithful sister who wears the veiling out of such a loving obedience can testify of the blessings that are inherent in so doing. However, one can only fully understand the deep principles it represents when they are experiencing them in their heart and walking them out in their daily life. 4. I see the need to wear it only during worship. Paul does not necessarily have a church gathering in mind in 1 Cor. 1-16, because in verses 17, 18, and 20, as he changes his subject to communion, he says “when you come together”. This makes it clear that he did not have just the assembly in mind with his previous instructions on the veiling. The primary purpose of the sign of the veiled head is to show God’s headship order, and the faithful sister’s submission to her part in it. Although it is in focus in praying and prophesying also, that is not its primary function, else one could assume that perhaps its use could be limited to worship services alone. However, if a sister was to keep silent in the assembly, how could she then prophesy, even with a veiling? This would imply an unlovable contradiction in Paul’s teachings, which were from the Lord. Even so, God forbid that the few hours one spends a week in the assembly is the only time a sister is praying and speaking forth God’s Word. The Lord also commands that we pray without ceasing and to always be ready to confess to others of the hope that is within us – if a woman is to be covered at such times, then let her be covered at all times. One could also briefly mention that the grammatical structure of the phrase “let her be covered” is in the present, active, imperative form, which would literally translate “let her continue to be covered.” 5. My church, as most, does not practice wearing the head covering. Unfortunately, this is not the only command of God that most churches fail to practice… The enemy has blinded countless churches to any spiritual discernment of these things because the desire to simply love and obey the Lord at whatever cost is lacking. James said that to him that knows to do good but does it not, to him it is sin (Ja. 4:17). If your church is disobeying God by failing to teach and practice any essential biblical truth, and refuses to repent, perhaps you had better find a church that does teach the whole counsel of God (2 Cor. 6:17). Jesus had commanded His apostles to teach the believers all that He had commanded, and a church that fails to proclaim the fullness of His truth Is inviting the judgment of a righteous and holy God. In the sometimes popular quest today for a return to the New Testament church, many don’t realize that the veiling of women and other practices mentioned are essential elements of that renewal and return. The early church in Acts “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). Paul mentions too in 1 Cor. 11:16, in concluding the discussion on the head veiling, that all the churches of God of his day practiced it. Some would say that wearing the head veiling is just a tradition within some denominations. True, it is practiced only by a few groups, but it was also practiced by another church – the church of the New Testament. The fact that it is so little practiced today does not speak to its lack of importance, but rather to the lack of faithfulness to God’s Word among so many churches. 6. I would be embarrassed to wear the head covering. As Scripture says, a woman’s hair is her glory – all woman instinctively know this, whether they have read and believed it in the Bible or not. Billions of dollars are spent each year in this country alone for the primping and prettying of woman’s hair. To cover the hair under a veil is one of the best opportunities a sister has to strike at the root of pride and vainglory in her life. Some would say the head veiling is bondage; how about being bound to the hair styles and fads of the world? If there is any bondage one should be concerned about being freed from it is the idolatry of bondage to the prideful old self, which seeks continually to grasp for glory through the vanity and lust of the flesh. If a Christian woman truly loves the Lord, will there be any cost too great in her abandonment to Him? No – in fact, she will have an enthusiasm for anything which deals with that self-root in her life; a passion to be rid of any obstacle to a deeper love and relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus. If one feels embarrassed to wear the head veiling, they should recognize that it is due to a fear of man. When a sister puts on the veiling, she must realize that she will be persecuted; what hurts the most is that this persecution will come primarily from other Christians who don’t share the conviction. Only a sister who has been through this will know how hot that persecution fire can get, and how brutal it can be. This is because the veiling is a direct threat to the fleshly spirit which frantically clutches for what it considers to be its rights. However, a faithful sister never needs to apologize for her obedience to God’s Word. 7. I just don’t feel the conviction to wear it. That is too bad, but then one must remember this foundational truth- we aren’t to depend on or trust our feelings, but rather depend on and trust God and His revealed Word and will. In the process of growing to greater maturity in Christ, there will be many times when He will ask us to do something on faith, not feeling, and as we are obedient, He then blesses that faith obedience with a deep and solid conviction. In our faith-and-not-sight walk with the Lord, He can purge out our self-sufficiency and dependence on self-polluted feelings. When it comes to obeying the clear command of Scripture, what is crucial is not that the Spirit has been able to develop a conviction in our hearts for it, but that we simply obey. There were many things in the O.T. which God commanded the children of Israel to do for which the only reason was that it was God who commanded it. If we have a heart for the Lord, and have surrendered our own will to Him – in other words, if He truly is our Lord, then we will obey simply because of who He is. If God says it, do it! In that step of faith and obedience He will honor you with something much more dependable than fleshly feelings – a deep, heart-felt conviction, based on His Word. 8. The husband, or the pastor of the unmarried, is the women’s covering. There certainly is some truth to this statement, since the man is head of the woman (v.3) and as her head, his responsibility includes his covering her in the sense of protection and the accountability of his God-given authority. So, positionally, he is her covering. Nevertheless, there is no feasible way to interpret 1 Corinthians 11 to allegorize away the simple and plain teaching of the necessity for a visible sign of the headship order. Our Lord taught principles and their accompanying signs. Thus we believe in the cleansing from sin and receiving the Spirit and practice its symbol, baptism; we believe in remembering Christ’s death and resurrection and its symbol, holy communion; we believe in humbly serving our brothers and its symbol, feet washing; we believe in the headship order and its symbol, the head veiling. We don’t hold to the principle but reject the symbol. In maintaining the signs and symbols instituted by Christ, the church is able to witness of the government and grace of God to the world and the heavenly powers. To the top Chapter 10Ten Principles of Headshipby Roman Miller Man and woman in 1 Corinthians 11 each represent primarily their individual callings. Secondarily, they represent the calling of all mankind before God, each from different perspectives. * * * * * * * * * * 1. God’s design for man and woman is in many ways similar to the relationship of Christ to the Father. John 5:19,30, 6:38, 8:28, 12:49,14:10,24,17:1; 1 Cor. 15:27-28. 2. The headship and authority of Christ are absolute because He is in total submission to His head, God. Likewise, the head ship and authority of man and woman are limited to and dependent upon their submission to their respective heads. Matt. 8:8-10; Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 4:19, 5:29, 42; 1 Cor. 11:1, 3; Heb.13:17. (The word obey in this last passage means ‘to persuade, to win over’. The obedience suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.) 3. All mankind, but especially men symbolically, are to exalt and expose the glory and wisdom of Jesus. Rom 8:19; 1 Cor. 11:7; 1 Thes. 2:12; 2 Thes. 2:14; 2 Pet. 1:3 4. All mankind, but especially women symbolically, an to cover and conceal the glory and wisdom of mankind. ] Cor. 11:7, 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:8-15. 5. The ability of mankind to accomplish the supernatural is the hidden power of God operating through the human instrument. John 14:10-14; 1 Cor. 1:25-31. 6. The principle attitudes which release God’s power are first, a realization of personal weakness and need, and secondly, faith in God’s power and provision. Matt. 5:3; Cor. 12:7-10. 7. Man and woman are interdependent, as also are Christ and mankind, and the Father and Christ. John 14:10,20; 1 Cor. 11:11-12, 15:27-28. 8. Man’s pride, causing him to fail to seek God’s glory and wisdom, and to prefer his own, will always cause division and strife. 1 Cor. 1:11-17, 11:17-19 (Verses 18-31 explains a cause of divisions. Note especially the concluding verses. 9. A woman’s covered head says for her personally: a. I will not use any outward power, such as beauty, words, or withholding favors to manipulate or control men. 1 Pet. 3:1-6 b. I will put my full trust in God for security and provision. Matt. 6:25-34 c. I am no longer deceived by Satan’s lie that equality is a thing to be grasped. Gen. 3:4-5: Phil. 2:5-6. 10. A man’s uncovered head says for him personally: a. I will forego the honor and glory of mankind so I may seek the honor and glory of God. Luke 16:15; John 5:41,44; Rom. 2:6-8. b. I will lead out in following God’s order by submitting to my head, Christ. 1 Cor. 11:1,3. c. I will be a self-giving instrument of Christ’s love and provision to all those who are under my authority, demonstrating to them all the virtues of Christ. Eph. 5:25; 1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Pet. 5:2-4. [The following was part of an illustration from the book–the pictures are missing] Man was made to image the glory of his head (God), so his literal head remains uncovered. Man’s uncovered head symbolizes the uncovering of the glory of his head, God. “Man is the image and glory of God” “The head of man is Christ.” 1 Cor. 11:3 1 Cor. 11:7 Man must not reveal his vain, sinful glory. So woman, because she is “the glory of man” covers her literal head. Her veiled head symbolizes the covering of her figurative head, man. “The woman is the glory of man.” “The head of the woman is man.” 1 Cor. 11:3 1 Cor. 11:7 Both men and women are called to veil the vainglory of humankind and to unveil the glory of God in their daily walk of life. Glory: Of God: God’s hidden excellence manifested | uncovered | imaged in man Of Man: Man’s vanity and sin | covered | imaged in woman Of Woman: The long hair | covered | symbolizes the vainglory of man. To the top

Chapter 11 In Conclusion by Tom Shank

1. Does the Bible clarify a specific form that the head veiling should take?

Not specifically, but in a technical study of the words used in 1 Corinthians 11, several conclusions regarding the form can be drawn.

According to the literal meanings of the original Greek terms, the woman’s hair, which is her glory and serves as her natural covering, is to be cast around, which is the definition of the word peribolaion in verse 15. The term ‘veiling’ is the word katakalupto, which means something that covers completely and hangs down.

The picture one can easily visualize here is that a woman put her hair up (cast or wrapped around) in such a way that her veil can cover it; for the sign is the covered head, not just the covering itself, and it is meant to cover her own glory which, in part, is her hair. Another possible picture from these words is that a woman have her hair cast about (down her back), but with a veiling sufficient enough to then basically cover it. It seems from early Christian art and other sources that this latter style was the most common way of veiling the head in the earliest centuries of the church, from the New Testament times on.

A true covering, then, wouldn’t be a self-glorifying hair-do with a little doily perched on top! A draping (hanging down) type of veil seems to best represent what the Word is referring to here. However, certainly a cap or bonnet type covering fulfills the scriptural injunction.

One point to keep in mind is that the material of the covering should be opaque, so as to truly cover the hair.

Frilly, see-through gauze seems to serve more to draw attention to the hair underneath and is a feminine supplanter of the sign God would intend.

Should the veil cover every hair? No – the long hair is her glory, not just her hair alone; therefore, the veil should cover the length or bulk of her hair, not necessarily every single strand.

2. Can one specify a certain age at which girls or young women should begin wearing the head veiling?

This is a very debatable question, and only a few thoughts will be mentioned. It would seem the time of accountability and the time when a young lady first begins to wear the veiling should basically correspond. We are speaking here of young persons who are under the authority of Christian parents. Tertullian, writing about the year 200 A.D., said, in his treatise on prayer, several things regarding the veiling of virgins (later he wrote an essay on the subject in particular). He says in chapter 22; “…that period of life which is unaware of its own sex should be excused. Granted that it should retain the privilege of its innocence; for both Adam and Eve, when realization came to them, immediately covered what they had come to know.”

There are often several factors which greatly influence when a young person feels led to put on or not put on the head veiling, peer pressure being probably the most powerful. Head covering is not necessarily meant to correspond with conversion and a decision for the Lord. The head ship principle and her responsibility to it is meant for all women (1 Cor. 11:3). Scripture says nothing about the veiling being for Christian witness, except indirectly in the sense that it will only be among Christians that God’s governmental headship will be exemplified. Therefore, the veiling does not correspond with conversion, but rather with the awareness of God’s government and our needed submission to it. This is why, at some point, Christian parents will ask their daughters to submit to this command of God.

3. Should the local church body require that each sister wear the exact same style of veiling?

True uniformity has as its only source the deep spiritual unity we can have in Christ – one body and one Spirit.. .one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…. (Eph.4:4-5). If this is not the living foundation of the body, no amount of artificial or law-made uniformity in outward things will stand in peace for long. Nor can the rigid rule and definition of what an outward form must be serve to create the spiritual unity which the body should have in Christ. In fact, it actually militates against it, because it is an attempt to use the law to implement what only the Holy Spirit can create as each have the same Head; the One in whom we have become dead to the law through His body (Ro.7:4).

The unity a church has in the Spirit will not necessarily bear the fruit of a precise uniformity of practice and form in appearance. Why? Because there is no scriptural basis for it. It is man who would desire to see replication among the saints regarding this or any other outward thing. The stamp of Christ’s person upon His children is not unlike what we see in nature. Among a certain species there is a clear witness of the common genes and bloodline, but each individual is a perfectly unique representation of that basic family. So it is in the church – in the encounter with Christ, individuality is not destroyed (as in eastern religions) but is transformed in the direction of His nature. In outward and inward matters, that individuality will uniquely reflect the image of the New Man Christ Jesus.

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Now that this study is concluded, the Lord would have us apply, in the simplicity of a child, the truths of His Word and get on with the essentials of the kingdom of God. The enemy would have a person or an entire church major in a doctrine such as this, as a mint and cummin type ordinance, and ignore the weightier matters of the faith. Head covering is biblical, it is to be obeyed, it is to be taught; but it is not be majored in at the expense of certain other commands of great importance which the church is in fact disobeying. How many of us are being fully obedient to confess Christ before men? How many pour large amounts of their time and money into reaching souls for Jesus? Disobedience to these two clear and essential commands alone is probably the reason our lives and the church are so often powerless. God will commit Himself only to an obedient people! He would have us search His Word and come to faithful obedience in every area. Only then, and by the power of His Holy Spirit, will we as individuals and corporate bodies be able to effective bear witness of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May He alone be glorified!

O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full off thy riches

PS 104:24 http://truthinheart.com/EarlyOberlinCD/CD/Doctrine/BeVeiled.htm <><><>

a scene of modern christian marriage veils

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A biblical answer to why Apostolic women wear veils

http://thepopeofpentecost.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/a-biblical-answer-to-why-apostolic-women-wear-veils/

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Some Jewish women walking in public

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Jewish wedding

Jewish bride in above wedding  coming to the ceremony

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Another Jewish bride in another  ceremony

[the glasses are to be broken according to tradition]

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Behind the veil lives a thriving Muslim sexuality

Naomi Wolfe

A woman swathed in black to her ankles, wearing a headscarf or a full chador, walks down a European or North American street, surrounded by other women in halter tops, miniskirts and short shorts. She passes under immense billboards on which other women swoon in sexual ecstasy, cavort in lingerie or simply stretch out languorously, almost fully naked. Could this image be any more iconic of the discomfort the West has with the social mores of Islam, and vice versa? Ideological battles are often waged with women’s bodies as their emblems, and Western Islamophobia is no exception. When France banned headscarves in schools, it used the hijab as a proxy for Western values in general, including the appropriate status of women. When Americans were being prepared for the invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban were demonised for denying cosmetics and hair colour to women; when the Taliban were overthrown, Western writers often noted that women had taken off their scarves. But are we in the West radically misinterpreting Muslim sexual mores, particularly the meaning to many Muslim women of being veiled or wearing the chador? And are we blind to our own markers of the oppression and control of women? The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women’s appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling – toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home. Outside the walls of the typical Muslim households that I visited in Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, all was demureness and propriety. But inside, women were as interested in allure, seduction and pleasure as women anywhere in the world. At home, in the context of marital intimacy, Victoria’s Secret, elegant fashion and skin care lotions abounded. The bridal videos that I was shown, with the sensuous dancing that the bride learns as part of what makes her a wonderful wife, and which she proudly displays for her bridegroom, suggested that sensuality was not alien to Muslim women. Rather, pleasure and sexuality, both male and female, should not be displayed promiscuously – and possibly destructively – for all to see. Indeed, many Muslim women I spoke with did not feel at all subjugated by the chador or the headscarf. On the contrary, they felt liberated from what they experienced as the intrusive, commodifying, basely sexualising Western gaze. Many women said something like this: “When I wear Western clothes, men stare at me, objectify me, or I am always measuring myself against the standards of models in magazines, which are hard to live up to – and even harder as you get older, not to mention how tiring it can be to be on display all the time. When I wear my headscarf or chador, people relate to me as an individual, not an object; I feel respected.” This may not be expressed in a traditional Western feminist set of images, but it is a recognisably Western feminist set of feelings. I experienced it myself. I put on a shalwar kameez and a headscarf in Morocco for a trip to the bazaar. Yes, some of the warmth I encountered was probably from the novelty of seeing a Westerner so clothed; but, as I moved about the market – the curve of my breasts covered, the shape of my legs obscured, my long hair not flying about me – I felt a novel sense of calm and serenity. I felt, yes, in certain ways, free. Nor are Muslim women alone. The Western Christian tradition portrays all sexuality, even married sexuality, as sinful. Islam and Judaism never had that same kind of mind-body split. So, in both cultures, sexuality channeled into marriage and family life is seen as a source of great blessing, sanctioned by God. This may explain why both Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women not only describe a sense of being liberated by their modest clothing and covered hair, but also express much higher levels of sensual joy in their married lives than is common in the West. When sexuality is kept private and directed in ways seen as sacred – and when one’s husband isn’t seeing his wife (or other women) half-naked all day long – one can feel great power and intensity when the headscarf or the chador comes off in the the home. Among healthy young men in the West, who grow up on pornography and sexual imagery on every street corner, reduced libido is a growing epidemic, so it is easy to imagine the power that sexuality can carry in a more modest culture. And it is worth understanding the positive experiences that women – and men – can have in cultures where sexuality is more conservatively directed. Westerners should recognise that when a woman in France or Britain chooses a veil, it is not necessarily a sign of her repression. And, more importantly, when you choose your own miniskirt and halter top – in a Western culture in which women are not so free to age, to be respected as mothers, workers or spiritual beings, and to disregard Madison Avenue – it’s worth thinking in a more nuanced way about what female freedom really means. Naomi Wolf is the author, most recently, of The End Of America: Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot and the upcoming Give Me Liberty: How To Become An American Revolutionary, and is co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign, a US democracy movement. This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/08/29/1219516734637.html <><><> How I Came to Love the Veil Yvonne Ridley I used to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures — until I was captured by the Taliban. In September 2001, just 15 days after the terrorist attacks on the United States, I snuck into Afghanistan, clad in a head-to-toe blue burqa, intending to write a newspaper account of life under the repressive regime. Instead, I was discovered, arrested and detained for 10 days. I spat and swore at my captors; they called me a “bad” woman but let me go after I promised to read the Qur’an and study Islam. (Frankly, I’m not sure who was happier when I was freed — they or I.) Back home in London, I kept my word about studying Islam — and was amazed by what I discovered. I’d been expecting Qur’an chapters on how to beat your wife and oppress your daughters; instead, I found passages promoting the liberation of women. Two-and-a-half years after my capture, I converted to Islam, provoking a mixture of astonishment, disappointment and encouragement among friends and relatives. Now, it is with disgust and dismay that I watch here in Britain as former foreign secretary Jack Straw describes the Muslim nikab — a face veil that reveals only the eyes — as an unwelcome barrier to integration, with Prime Minister Tony Blair, writer Salman Rushdie and even Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi leaping to his defense. Having been on both sides of the veil, I can tell you that most Western male politicians and journalists who lament the oppression of women in the Islamic world have no idea what they are talking about. They go on about veils, child brides, female circumcision, honor killings and forced marriages, and they wrongly blame Islam for all this — their arrogance surpassed only by their ignorance. These cultural issues and customs have nothing to do with Islam. A careful reading of the Qur’an shows that just about everything that Western feminists fought for in the 1970s was available to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Women in Islam are considered equal to men in spirituality, education and worth, and a woman’s gift for childbirth and child-rearing is regarded as a positive attribute. When Islam offers women so much, why are Western men so obsessed with Muslim women’s attire? Even British government ministers Gordon Brown and John Reid have made disparaging remarks about the nikab — and they hail from across the Scottish border, where men wear skirts. When I converted to Islam and began wearing a headscarf, the repercussions were enormous. All I did was cover my head and hair — but I instantly became a second-class citizen. I knew I’d hear from the odd Islamophobe, but I didn’t expect so much open hostility from strangers. Cabs passed me by at night, their “for hire” lights glowing. One cabbie, after dropping off a white passenger right in front of me, glared at me when I rapped on his window, then drove off. Another said, “Don’t leave a bomb in the back seat” and asked, “Where’s bin Laden hiding?” Yes, it is a religious obligation for Muslim women to dress modestly, but the majority of Muslim women I know like wearing the hijab, which leaves the face uncovered, though a few prefer the nikab. It is a personal statement: My dress tells you that I am a Muslim and that I expect to be treated respectfully, much as a Wall Street banker would say that a business suit defines him as an executive to be taken seriously. And, especially among converts to the faith like me, the attention of men who confront women with inappropriate, leering behavior is not tolerable. I was a Western feminist for many years, but I’ve discovered that Muslim feminists are more radical than their secular counterparts. We hate those ghastly beauty pageants, and tried to stop laughing in 2003 when judges of the Miss Earth competition hailed the emergence of a bikini-clad Miss Afghanistan, Vida Samadzai, as a giant leap for women’s liberation. They even gave Samadzai a special award for “representing the victory of women’s rights.” Some young Muslim feminists consider the hijab and the nikab political symbols, too, a way of rejecting Western excesses such as binge drinking, casual sex and drug use. What is more liberating: being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your surgically enhanced breasts, or being judged on your character and intelligence? In Islam, superiority is achieved through piety — not beauty, wealth, power, position or sex. I didn’t know whether to scream or laugh when Italy’s Prodi joined the debate last week by declaring that it is “common sense” not to wear the nikab because it makes social relations “more difficult.” Nonsense. If this is the case, then why are cellphones, landlines, e-mail, text messaging and fax machines in daily use? And no one switches off the radio because they can’t see the presenter’s face. Under Islam, I am respected. It tells me that I have a right to an education and that it is my duty to seek out knowledge, regardless of whether I am single or married. Nowhere in the framework of Islam are we told that women must wash, clean or cook for men. As for how Muslim men are allowed to beat their wives — it’s simply not true. Critics of Islam will quote random Qur’anic verses or hadith, but usually out of context. If a man does raise a finger against his wife, he is not allowed to leave a mark on her body, which is the Qur’an’s way of saying, “Don’t beat your wife, stupid.” It is not just Muslim men who must reevaluate the place and treatment of women. According to a recent National Domestic Violence Hotline survey, 4 million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period. More than three women are killed by their husbands and boyfriends every day — that is nearly 5,500 since 9/11. Violent men don’t come from any particular religious or cultural category; one in three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to the hotline survey. This is a global problem that transcends religion, wealth, class, race and culture. But it is also true that in the West, men still believe that they are superior to women, despite protests to the contrary. They still receive better pay for equal work — whether in the mailroom or the boardroom — and women are still treated as sexualized commodities whose power and influence flow directly from their appearance. And for those who are still trying to claim that Islam oppresses women, recall this 1992 statement from the Rev. Pat Robertson, offering his views on empowered women: Feminism is a “socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Now you tell me who is civilized and who is not. http://english.islammessage.com/articledetails.aspx?articleId=1103 <><><> A World Where Womanhood Reigns Supreme Mary Walker MARY WALKER was Production Coordinator on the BBC2 series “Living Islam”. When I joined the team of “Living Islam” two years ago, my perception of Islam was dominated by prejudice and ignorance, and I found its treatment of women abhorrent. To me the veil symbolized the oppression of women, making them invisible, anonymous and voiceless, and the cause of this oppression lay in the will to perpetuate the family and maintain a patriarchal framework – the very basis of an Islamic Society. I thought women were entirely submerged by divine justification of their role as wife and mother. “Living Islam” was filmed over two years in 19 different countries and on location I was a lone female in an otherwise male team. I was aware that I especially should behave appropriately. In my mind, women were to be neither seen nor heard. My first trip took me to Mali – to an untypical Muslim community in the bush. Making sure to cover every bit of naked flesh while the men wandered around in short sleeves, I wondered what rooms I was permitted to enter and who I was permitted to talk to. But I also wondered whether my new-found meekness was not in part a reaction to the overpowering atmosphere of the patriarchal society I found myself in. Was this how Muslim women felt – resignation in the face of impossible odds? The first Muslim woman I met in Mali was far removed from my preconception about the Muslim female. She was the wife of a Shaikh dedicated to converting pagan villagers to Islam. A sophisticated, well-educated woman, previously married to a diplomat, she had renounced a Western lifestyle for a life in purdah. In my eyes she had sentenced herself to life imprisonment. But here was no prisoner, no poor downtrodden slave. A sharp intelligent and influential woman stood before me, clearly the one “who wore trousers” round here. Here seclusion gave her a status of honor and allowed her to exercise control from behind closed doors without confrontation. She was the bargainer, the head of the household, and the manager of her husband’s affairs and schedule. The emancipated woman in the West faces the conflict between confirmation of her femininity and the privileges that she associates with it, and repudiation of the confines of her female role and all the limitations that men want her to assume. From where I stood, this woman had transformed those limitations into privileges. On my next trip to northern Nigeria I met two more women who would alter my views even further. Zeenah Ibraheem and Fatima Yunus, her friend, had agreed to be interviewed about the role of women in Islam. They were in purdah and would only speak to another woman. The producer asked me to interview them. I was nervous apart from the fact that I had never interviewed anyone before. I was worried that my feminist sympathies would antagonize the women. But it was precisely these sympathies that Zeenah and Fatima themselves were questioning. Once again, the women were educated and articulate. And once again they had rejected the Western lifestyle which I considered so superior to Islam in its treatment of women. As I took my seat on a carpet in the courtyard, the invisible boundary between men and women was a welcome partition, and within this boundary womanhood reigned supreme. This was a sharp contrast with the feelings from the previous days in locations where my presence had been acceptable only as an “honorary man”. We had been filming the medieval theatrics of the ‘Salla’ celebrations that marked the end of Ramadan. Men, men, men everywhere: 500,000 men gathered for prayer on the morning of the Salla, men pouring into the inner courtyard of the Emir of Kano’s inner courtyard to pay homage – I was grateful to be allowed to witness these events but at what price? The complete annihilation of my female identity? But now I was taking the reins because of my gender. No more the feeling of inferiority and exclusion, as a novice in things Islamic surrounded by a team of experts, as a woman in a patriarchal society. Now the men were excluded. Apart from the cameraman and sound recordist, they were encouraged to stand well back. The cameraman covered his head and the camera with a black cloth – his very own veil. I was now in a world where the men had no voice. The women talked and in their answers I saw the seeds of my own re-evaluations. They argued that the veil signified their rejection of an unacceptable system of values which debased women while Islam elevated women to a position of honor and respect. “It is not liberation where you say women should go naked. It is just oppression, because men want to see them naked.” Just as to us the veil represents Muslim oppression, to them miniskirts and plunging necklines represent oppression. They said that men are cheating women in the West. They let us believe we’re liberated but enslave us to the male gaze. However much I insist on the right to choose what I wear, I cannot deny that the choice is often dictated by what will make my body more attractive to men. Women cannot separate their identity from their appearance and so we remain trapped in the traditional feminine world, where the rules are written by men. By choosing to wear the veil, these women were making a conscious decision to define their role in society and their relationship with men. That relationship appeared to be based more on exchange and mutual respect (a respect that was often lacking in the personal relationships I saw in the West), than the master/servant scenario I had anticipated. The Veil to them signified visual confirmation of their religious commitment, in which men and women were united, and for Zeenah and Fatima an even stronger commitment to a political ideal. So were my notions of oppression in the form of the veil disqualified? If my definition of equality was free will then I could no longer define that oppression as a symptom of Islam. The women had all exercised their right to choose. To some extent, they were freer than me – I had less control over my destiny. I could no longer point at them and say they were oppressed and I was not. My life was influenced by male approval as theirs – but the element of choice had been taken out of mine. Their situations and their arguments had, after all, served to highlight shortcomings in my view of my own liberty. Article courtesy of Impact Magazine http://english.islammessage.com/articledetails.aspx?articleId=747

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women converting to Islam? Casual sex, excess drinking and shallow values are blamed

Why ARE so many modern British career women converting to Islam?

Women converting to Islam?
Casual sex,

excess drinking

and shallow values are blamed

By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 10:32 AM on 27th October 2010

Tony Blair’s sister-in-law announced her conversion to Islam last weekend. Journalist Lauren Booth embraced the faith after what she describes as a ‘holy experience’ in Iran. She is just one of a growing number of modern British career women to do so. Here, writer EVE AHMED, who was raised as a Muslim before rejecting the faith, explores the reasons why.

Rejecting her faith: Writer Eve Ahmed was raised a Muslim

Much of my childhood was spent trying to escape ­Islam. Born in London to an English mother and a ­Pakistani Muslim father, I was brought up to follow my father’s faith without question. But, privately, I hated it. The minute I left home for university at the age of 18, I abandoned it altogether. As far as I was concerned, being a Muslim meant hearing the word ‘No’ over and over again. Girls from my background were barred from so many of the things my English friends took for granted. Indeed, it seemed to me that almost anything fun was haram, or forbidden, to girls like me. There were so many random, petty rules. No whistling. No chewing of gum. No riding bikes. No watching Top Of The Pops. No wearing make-up or clothes which revealed the shape of the body. No eating in the street or putting my hands in my pockets. No cutting my hair or painting my nails. No asking questions or answering back. No keeping dogs as pets, (they were unclean). And, of course, no sitting next to men, shaking their hands or even making eye contact with them. These ground rules were imposed by my father and I, therefore, assumed they must be an integral part of being a good Muslim. Small wonder, then, that as soon as I was old enough to exert my independence, I rejected the whole package and turned my back on Islam. After all, what modern, liberated British woman would choose to live such a life? Well, quite a lot, it turns out, including Islam’s latest surprise convert, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth. And after my own break with my past, I’ve followed with fascination the growing trend of Western women choosing to convert to Islam. Broadcaster and journalist Booth, 43, says she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’. She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom, and says: ‘It was a Tuesday evening, and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy.’ Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she says. How, I wondered, could women be drawn to a religion which I felt had kept me in such a lowly, submissive place? How could their experiences of Islam be so very different to mine?

Convert: Lauren Booth, who is Cherie Blair¿s half sister, decided to convert to Islam after what she described as a holy experience in IranConvert: Lauren Booth, who is Cherie Blair’s half sister, decided to convert to Islam after what she described as a holy experience in Iran

According to Kevin Brice from ­Swansea University, who has specialised in studying white conversion to Islam, these women are part of an intriguing trend. He explains: ‘They seek spirituality, a higher meaning, and tend to be deep thinkers. The other type of women who turn to Islam are what I call “converts of convenience”. They’ll assume the trappings of the religion to please their Muslim husband and his family, but won’t necessarily attend mosque, pray or fast.’ I spoke to a diverse selection of white Western converts in a bid to re-examine the faith I had rejected. Women like Kristiane Backer, 43, a London-based former MTV presenter who had led the kind of liberal Western-style life that I yearned for as a teenager, yet who turned her back on it and embraced Islam instead. Her reason? The ‘anything goes’ permissive society that I coveted had proved to be a superficial void.

CAMILLA LEYLAND
CAMILLA LEYLAND

Changing values: Camilla Leyland, 32, pictured in Western and Muslim dress, converted to Islam in her mid-20s for ‘intellectual and feminist reasons’

The turning point for Kristiane came when she met and briefly dated the former Pakistani cricketer and Muslim Imran Khan in 1992 during the height of her career. He took her to Pakistan where she says she was immediately touched by spirituality and the warmth of the people. Kristiane says: ‘Though our relationship didn’t last, I began to study the Muslim faith and eventually converted. Because of the nature of my job, I’d been out interviewing rock stars, travelling all over the world and following every trend, yet I’d felt empty inside. Now, at last, I had contentment because Islam had given me a purpose in life.’ ‘In the West, we are stressed for super­ficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God. It was a completely different value system.

‘In the West, we are stressed for super­ficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God’

‘Despite my lifestyle, I felt empty inside and realised how liberating it was to be a Muslim. To follow only one god makes life purer. You are not chasing every fad. ‘I grew up in Germany in a not very religious Protestant family. I drank and I partied, but I realised that we need to behave well now so we have a good after-life. We are responsible for our own actions.’ For a significant amount of women, their first contact with Islam comes from ­dating a Muslim boyfriend. Lynne Ali, 31, from Dagenham in Essex, freely admits to having been ‘a typical white hard-partying teenager’. She says: ‘I would go out and get drunk with friends, wear tight and revealing clothing and date boys. ‘I also worked part-time as a DJ, so I was really into the club scene. I used to pray a bit as a Christian, but I used God as a sort of doctor, to fix things in my life. If anyone asked, I would’ve said that, generally, I was happy living life in the fast lane.’ But when she met her boyfriend, Zahid, at university, something dramatic happened. She says: ‘His sister started talking to me about Islam, and it was as if ­everything in my life fitted into place. I think, underneath it all, I must have been searching for something, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled by my hard-drinking party lifestyle.’

Liberating: Kristiane Backer says being a Muslim makes her life purerLiberating: Kristiane Backer says being a Muslim makes her life purer

Lynne converted aged 19. ‘From that day, I started wearing the hijab,’ she explains, ‘and I now never show my hair in public. At home, I’ll dress in normal Western clothes in front of my husband, but never out of the house.’ With a recent YouGov survey ­concluding that more than half the ­British public believe Islam to be a negative influence that encourages extremism, the repression of women and inequality, one might ask why any of them would choose such a direction for themselves. Yet statistics suggest Islamic conversion is not a mere flash in the pan but a significant development. Islam is, after all, the world’s fastest growing religion, and white adopters are an important part of that story. ‘Evidence suggests that the ratio of Western women converts to male could be as high as 2:1,’ says Kevin Brice. Moreover, he says, often these female ­converts are eager to display the ­visible signs of their faith — in particular the hijab — whereas many Muslim girls brought up in the faith choose not to. ‘Perhaps as a result of these actions, which tend to draw attention, white Muslims often report greater amounts of discrimination against them than do born Muslims,’ adds Brice, which is what happened to Kristiane Backer. She says: ‘In Germany, there is Islamophobia. I lost my job when I converted. There was a Press campaign against me with insinuations about all Muslims supporting ­terrorists — I was vilified. Now, I am a ­presenter on NBC Europe. ‘I call myself a European Muslim, which is different to the ‘born’ Muslim. I was ­married to one, a Moroccan, but it didn’t work because he placed restrictions on me because of how he’d been brought up. As a European Muslim, I question ­everything — I don’t accept blindly. ‘But what I love is the hospitality and the warmth of the Muslim community. London is the best place in Europe for Muslims, there is wonderful Islamic ­culture here and I am very happy.’ For some converts, Islam represents a celebration of old-fashioned family values.

Ex-MTV Presenter Kristiane Backer with Mick Jagger in the late EightiesEx-MTV Presenter Kristiane Backer with Mick Jagger in the late Eighties

‘Some are drawn to the sense of belonging and of community — values which have eroded in the West,’ says Haifaa Jawad, a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, who has studied the white conversion phenomenon. ‘Many people, from all walks of life, mourn the loss in today’s society of traditional respect for the elderly and for women, for example. These are values which are enshrined in the Koran, which Muslims have to live by,’ adds Brice. It is values like these which drew Camilla Leyland, 32, a yoga teacher who lives in Cornwall, to Islam. A single mother to daughter, Inaya, two, she converted in her mid-20s for ‘intellectual and feminist reasons’. She explains: ‘I know people will be surprised to hear the words ­“feminism” and “Islam” in the same breath, but in fact, the teachings of the Koran give equality to women, and at the time the religion was born, the teachings went against the grain of a misogynistic society.

Convert: Former DJ Lynne AliEscape route: Former DJ Lynne Ali is happy to pray five times a day

‘The big mistake people make is by confusing culture with religion. Yes, there are Muslim cultures which do not allow women individual freedom, yet when I was growing up, I felt more oppressed by Western society.’ She talks of the pressure on women to act like men by drinking and ­having casual sex. ‘There was no real meaning to it all. In Islam, if you begin a relationship, that is a ­commitment of intent.’ Growing up in Southampton — her father was the director of Southampton Institute of Education and her mother a home economics teacher — Camilla’s interest in Islam began at school. She went to university and later took a Masters degree in Middle East Studies. But it was while living and working in Syria that she had a spiritual epiphany. Reflecting on what she’d read in the Koran, she realised she wanted to convert. Her decision was met with bemusement by friends and family. ‘People found it so hard to believe that an educated, middle-class white woman would choose to become Muslim,’ she says. While Camilla’s faith remains strong, she no longer wears the hijab in public. But several of the women I spoke to said strict Islamic dress was something they found empowering and liberating. Lynne Ali remembers the night this hit home for her. ‘I went to an old friend’s 21st birthday party in a bar,’ she reveals. ‘I walked in, wearing my hijab and modest clothing, and saw how ­everyone else had so much flesh on display. They were drunk, slurring their words and dancing provocatively. ‘For the first time, I could see my former life with an outsider’s eyes, and I knew I could never go back to that. ‘I am so grateful I found my escape route. This is the real me — I am happy to pray five times a day and take classes at the mosque. I am no longer a slave to a broken society and its expectations.’ Kristiane Backer, who has written a book on her own spiritual journey, called From MTV To Mecca, believes the new breed of modern, independent Muslims can band together to show the world that Islam is not the faith I grew up in — one that stamps on the rights of women. She says: ‘I know women born Muslims who became disillusioned an d rebelled against it. When you dig deeper, it’s not the faith they turned against, but the culture. ‘Rules like marrying within the same sect or caste and education being less important for girls, as they should get married anyway —– where does it say that in the Koran? It doesn’t. ‘Many young Muslims have abandoned the “fire and brimstone” version they were born into have re-discovered a more spiritual and intellectual approach, that’s free from the cultural dogmas of the older generation. That’s how I intend to spend my life, showing the world the beauty of the true Islam.’ While I don’t agree with their sentiments, I admire and respect the women I interviewed for this piece. They were all bright and educated, and have thought long and hard before choosing to convert to Islam — and now feel passionately about their adopted religion. Good luck to them. And good luck to Lauren Booth. But it’s that word that sums up the difference between their experience and mine — choice. Perhaps if I’d felt in control rather than controlled, if I’d felt empowered rather than stifled, I would still be practising the religion I was born into, and would not carry the burden of guilt that I do about rejecting my father’s faith.

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Why Muslim Women Wear the Veil

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Description: Even in the face of adversity Muslim women choose to obey God.
By Aisha Stacey (© 2009 IslamReligion.com)
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The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 1 of 3)

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Description: The veil and its meaning in Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as a brief look at the Islamic stance towards women.  Part 1: The concept of veiling in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
By AbdurRahman Mahdi, http://www.Quran.nu, (edited by IslamReligion.com)
Published on 23 Mar 2006 – Last modified on 22 Jun 2010
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The Islamic veil or hijab refers to the loose-fitting, plain and opaque outer garments which cover a Muslim woman’s body.  While basically identical to the clothing depicted in traditional Christian representations of Mary (may God praise her and her son), and every nun who has sought to emulate her since, the hijabis readily singled out as sign of extremism, the supposedly inferior status of Muslim women, Those who see Muslim women as little more than sex objects are dismayed at the phenomena of educated, professional or, in any case, ‘free’ Western women turning to Islam.  The claim that female converts are either brainwashed fanatics blinded by their veils or suppressed victims frantic to be liberated is no longer accepted.  Although, sensationalist and often politically-motivated reports of oppressed Muslim women in some contemporary backward societies still enforce the negative stereotype.  What follows is a brief look at the status of women in Islam though comparing the role of the veil in both Islam and Christianity.“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily , to them We will give a new life, good and pure.  And We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.” (Quran 16:97)In what would form part of a ‘New Testament’, St. Paul obligated the then common practice of the veil for all women:‘And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head – it is just as though her head were shaved.  If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head.  A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.  For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.[1] For this reason, and because of the angels, woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.’ (I Corinthians 11:4-10)St. Tertullian (the first man to formulate the Trinity), in his treatise, On the Veiling of Virgins, even obliged its use at home: ‘Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church; you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers.’So Islam didn’t invent the veil, it merely endorsed it.  However, while Paul presented the veil as a sign of man’s authority, Islam clarifies that it is simply a sign of faith, modesty and chastity which serves to protect the devout from molestation.“O Prophet!  Tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their c1oaks over their bodies (when outdoors) so that they be recognized as such (decent, chaste believers) and not molested…” (Quran 33:59)The 19th century Orientalist, Sir Richard Burton, observed how:‘The women who delight in restrictions which tend to their honor, accepted it (the veil) willingly and still affect it, they do not desire a liberty or rather a license which they have learned to regard as inconsistent with their time-honored notions of feminine decorum and delicacy.  They would think very meanly of a husband who permitted them to be exposed, like hetaerae, to the public gaze.’In truth, the Muslim’s veil is but one facet of her noble status ­a status due in part to the tremendous responsibility that is placed upon her.  Simply put, woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society.  This is why from the most important individual obligations upon a person is to show gratitude, kindness and good companionship to their mother.  Once, the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was asked:“O Messenger of God!  Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me?  ‘The Prophet replied: ‘Your mother.’  The man asked: ‘Then who?’  The Prophet said: ‘Your mother.’  The man asked: ‘Then who?’  The Prophet repeated: ‘Your mother.’  Again, the man asked: ‘Then who?’  The Prophet finally said: ‘(Then) your father.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)While the mother is given precedence over and above the father in kindness and good treatment, Islam, like Christianity, teaches that God designated man to be the natural head of the household.“…And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to the rights of their husbands) over them­ according to what is equitable.  But men have a degree (of responsibility) over them…” (Quran 2:228)In Islam, man’s authority is in proportion to his socio-economic responsibilities,[2] responsibilities which reflect the psychological and physiological differences with which God created the sexes.

“…And the male is not like the female…” (Quran 3:36)[3]

Marriage is the means by which both sexes can fulfill their different but complementary and mutually beneficial roles.


Footnotes:

[1] Islam teaches that God is not a man, but the Creator of man (and woman); and He created both sexes for one noble purpose: “I have not created jinn (spirits) and humans except that they may worship and serve Me (alone).” (Quran 51:56)

[2] Hence, the Muslim man is granted a greater share of inheritance than the woman. He is legally bound to provide for and maintain all the females of the household from his personal wealth while the woman’s wealth is hers alone to spend, invest or save as she pleases.

[3] Dr. Alexis Carrel, the French Noble Laureate, reinforces this point when he writes: ‘The difference existing between man and woman do not come from the particular form of the sexual organs, the presence of the uterus, from gestation or from the mode of education. They are of a more fundamental impregnation of the entire organism … Ignorance of these fundamental facts has led promoters of feminism to believe that both sexes should have the same powers and the same responsibilities. In reality, woman differs profoundly from man. Every one of the cells of her body bears the mark of her sex. The same is true of her organs and, above all, of her nervous system. Physiological laws … cannot be replaced by human wishes. We are obliged to accept them just as they are. Women should develop their aptitudes in accordance with their own nature, without trying to imitate males.’ (Carrel, Man and the Unknown, 1949:91)

The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 2 of 3)


Description: The veil and its meaning in Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as a brief look at the Islamic stance towards women.  Part 2: Women in relation to sex, education, and the original sin in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
By AbdurRahman Mahdi, http://www.Quran.nu, (edited by IslamReligion.com)
Published on 23 Mar 2006 – Last modified on 22 Jun 2010
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“And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves; that you may dwell with them in serenity and tranquility.  And He has put love and compassion between your hearts.  Truly in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)‘Islam’s appeal, wherever it has triumphed, has been in its simplicity.  It requires submission to some basic, straightforward rules which are easily kept, and in return it offers that most wonderful and rare commodity, peace of mind … its discipline, safety and certainties have an appeal for girls lost in the churning seas of permissiveness, whose own families have been weakened by the crumbling of the two-parent family, the absence of fathers and the impermanence of husbands, if there are husbands in the first place rather than boyfriends and “baby-fathers”.  And in most societies it is the women who sustain religions in the home and among children.’ (Peter Hitchens, Will Britain Convert to Islam?  Mail on Sunday, 2/11/03)“…They (your wives, O men) are a garment for you and you (men) are a garment for them…” (Quran 2:187)Sex itself is not taboo in Islam.  On the contrary, lawful sexual relations are regarded as deeds of charity!  Renowned scholar and former nun, Karen Armstrong, writes:‘Mohammed certainly did not think that women were sexually disgusting.  When his wife had her period he used to make a point of reclining in her lap, of taking his prayer mat from her hand, saying for the benefit of his disciples, “Your menstruation is not in your hand.”  He would drink from the same cup, saying, “Your menstruation is not on your lips” … The harsh sexual punishments meted out to sexual offenders in some Islamic countries is because sexuality is valued and the ideal has been debased, not, as in the past in the West, because sexuality is abhorrent.’ (The Gospel According to Woman, 1986:2)The Church’s traditional justification for man’s authority is one it inherited from Judaism: the inherent evil of woman!  According to the bible, Satan seduced Eve to disobey God by eating from a forbidden tree and Eve, in turn, seduced Adam to eat with her.  When God rebuked Adam for his disobedience, Adam blamed Eve, and so God condemned her:“I (God) will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will bear children.  Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)It was this image of Eve as a deceiving temptress that left a negative legacy for women throughout both Judaism and Christendom.  Paul, himself a once vehemently anti-Christian Jew, wrote in the bible: ‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam wasn’t the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner, but women shall be saved through childbearing.’ (I Tim. 2:11-5)[1]Again, the Islamic conception of woman is radically different.  The Quran clarifies that Satan was the only deceiver in the story of the Garden, while Adam and Eve receive equal blame for their disobedience.  There is not the slightest hint that Eve was the first to eat the forbidden fruit or that she tempted Adam to do so.  Both Adam and Eve committed a sin, asked God for His Forgiveness, and He duly bestowed it:“They said: ‘Our Lord!  We have wronged our own souls and if You forgive us not and do not bestow upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” (Quran 7:22-23)Linguistically, the Quranic terms for ‘womb’ and ‘mercy’ are synonymous.  This is because, rather than God’s punishment, childbirth in Islam is seen as one of His countless blessings.  Besides, the notion that God condemns the innocent is quite blasphemous!  And, while Christianity holds every newborn baby to be a sinner – the fruits of its mother’s punishment, Islam teaches that all children are born innocent and sinless upon the fitra: a natural monotheistic and righteous disposition.  Hence, one who embraces Islam is said to revert back to their natural religion.  It is only the child’s immoral upbringing that converts it into a rebellious sinner.“Whosoever works evil will not be requited except with its like; and whosoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a true Believer, such will enter Paradise, wherein they will have provision without limit.” (Quran 40:40)Paul’s words, earlier, also show how Eve’s sin was used to justify limiting women’s educational aspirations.  In Islam, however, women are equal to men in the pursuit of knowledge.  The Prophet said:“The seeking of knowledge is compulsory upon every (male or female) Muslim.” (Ibn Maja)Furthermore, the most honored position one can reach in Muslim society is that of a scholar [Islam has no Priesthood].  The Prophet’s wife, Aa’isha, from whom leading Companions acquired knowledge, is but one example of learned women who continue to greatly influence Islamic society.  As were several female teachers of the celebrated sage, warrior and master of the Islamic sciences, Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328).

“…Are those who know equal to those who know not?  It is only those with understanding who will remember.” (Quran 39:9)


Footnotes:

[1] The Church’s founding fathers, men who formulated Christian belief and canonized the Bible, supported this view: ‘Don’t you know that you are each an Eve?’ God’s sentence on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil wasn’t valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. (St. Tertullian)

“Woman is a daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of peace; through her Adam lost paradise.” (St. John Damascene)

‘God created Adam Lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if they (women) grow tired or, even, die (from giving birth), it does not matter. Let her die from in childbirth; that’s why they are there.’ (Martin Luther).

The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 3 of 3)


Description: The veil and its meaning in Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as a brief look at the Islamic stance towards women.  Part 3: Status of women in some Muslim countries, why ‘free’ Western women are turning to Islam, and a brief look at some of the rights Islam granted to women.
By AbdurRahman Mahdi, http://www.Quran.nu, (edited by IslamReligion.com)
Published on 23 Mar 2006 – Last modified on 22 Jun 2010
Viewed: 18676 (daily average: 11) – Rating: 4 out of 5 – Rated by: 34
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Category: Articles > Current Issues > Women


Many of the resurgent pre-Islamic cultural practices that have tragically come to be associated with Islam, such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation, bridal (as opposed to groom-paid) dowries, honor killings and the criminalization of rape victims, only resurfaced following the disruption caused by colonialism and the resulting disconnect between the common Muslims and their sources of knowledge.  It is always the learned scholars of Islam, men and women, who are the first victims of any imperialist purge.  Nevertheless, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, the veil of misinformation cloaking the true status of women in Islam is easily removed.  Moreover, Islam continues to grow faster than any other way of life with women, accounting for some 75% of all European and American reverts – ironic, given the widespread Western prejudice that ‘Islam oppresses women!‘Westerners despairing of their own society – rising in crime, family breakdown, drugs and alcoholism – have come to admire the discipline and security of Islam.  Many converts are former Christians, disillusioned by the uncertainty of the church and unhappy with the concept of the Trinity and the deification of Jesus.’ (Lucy Berrington, “Why British women are turning to Islam”, Times, 9/11/93)These women have acknowledged the same truth that led the Christian Negus of Abyssinia to embrace Islam following a speech in which the Companions informed him: ‘God’s Messenger forbade us to speak evil of women.’ (Ibn Hisham)“Verily, those who slander chaste women; innocent unsuspecting believing women: they are cursed in this world and the next.  And for them will be a great torment.” (Quran 24:23)Today, many nuns and devout women of the Orthodox, Catholic, Near Eastern and African churches still wear the Christian veil.  The Muslim woman too wears her hijab, declaring her faith in humility and servitude before God.  Only those given divine sanction – her immediate family and other believing women – may view her bodily beauty.  In effect, she is saying: ‘Judge me for my faith, not my body – I give you no other choice.’  When faithfully implemented, as it was by its earliest adherents, Islam offers women the freedom, dignity, justice and protection that have long remained out of their reach.  Mankind inherited from the Prophet a great Islamic tradition when he said:‘The best of you (men) are those who best treat their women.’While Christian women inherited a tradition of misogyny from both Jewish rabbinism and Greek thought.  It was Western woman’s reaction to this poor status afforded to her and to her ‘sexploitation’ that led to the rise of the feminist movement.“The believing men and women are protectors of one another.  They enjoin the good and forbid the evil; they establish prayer and give alms (to the needy); and they obey God and His Messenger.  These, God will have mercy on them.  Lo!  God is Mighty, Wise.” (Quran 9:71)Islam granted women contractual rights, conjugal rights, the right to inherit, to initiate divorce, to independently own and control wealth and property, to set up and run businesses, to earn and receive equal pay, to retain their maiden names, etc., over 1400 years ago while the democratic West granted similar rights only in the last 50 years of the 20th century!  In fact, besides casual abortion, much of what feminists still fight for had already been sanctioned by Islam.  Not to mention that Western-style emancipation – essentially women copying men – ­has not only imposed impossible demands on the weaker sex, but has also left womanhood without any intrinsic value.  As for the veiled Muslim celebrating her womanhood, she is but a reflection of chastity, humility and dignity, a mirror of her devotion to and belief in God – factors which liberate, not subjugate – and for this she can expect a great reward.“For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for patient men and women, for humble men and women, for charitable men and women, for fasting men and women, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise: for them has God prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (Quran 33:35)
Parts of This Article
The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 1 of 3)
The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 2 of 3)
The Veil Unveiled: The True Status of Women in Islam (part 3 of 3)
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سبحان الله
ايعقل هذا في بلاد التوحيد
اقرأ الخبر
قالت سارة بنت عطية الزهراني، الموظفة في شركة مشغلة للموظفات في جامعة الملك عبدالله للعلوم والتقنية بثول” في جدة، أنها أرسلت برقية هي وأربع من زميلاتها الموظفات في “كاوست” الخميس الماضي إلى ولاة الأمر، يطالبن فيها بحمايتهن في عملهن، بعد أن أبلغهن مسؤول في الشركة بأنه لا يريد منتقبات في العمل،مؤكداً أنه قرار نهائي، وسوف يصل كل منهن قرار رسمي بذلك عبر الإيميل. وقالت الزهراني في حديث لها عبر الهاتف مع “سبق“: القصة بدأت قبل إجازة الحج، عندما اجتمع بنا مسؤول وقال لنا إن هناك قراراً بمنع دخول أي منتقبة في منطقة العمل، وإن القرار واضح وصريح، وإنه سيعطينا فرصة للتفكير في القرار إن كنا نريد الاستمرار في العمل دون النقاب أم لا”.

وتضيف “الزهراني”: لقد عُيّنا منذ سنة ونصف السنة، مع العلم بأنه لم تحدث منا أي مخالفة، ونحن نقوم بالمرور على مكتب نسائي عند دخول الجامعة، يتم التأكد فيه من شخصية كل منا، ونُمنح ورقة مختومة من المكتب مكتوباً فيها ومصرحاً لنا بها بالدخول”.

وتكمل الموظفة سارة الزهراني حديثها: بعد أن عُدْنا للعمل عقب انتهاء إجازة الحج بأسبوعين طلبنا المسؤول الذي ينوب عن مدير الأمن للاجتماع به، وأبلغناه بأننا مُصرّات على ارتداء النقاب الذي عُيّنا ونحن نرتديه، وأننا لن نكشف وجوهنا في منطقة العمل، وفي اليوم التالي اجتمع بنا مسؤول في الشركة المشغلة، وأبلغنا بأنه لن تكون هناك منتقبات موظفات في الشركة ، وكان هذا يوم الأربعاء الماضي، وأن قرارات إنهاء عملنا سوف تصل لكل منا على الإيميل.

وتضيف سارة الزهراني قائلة: حاولنا الاستفسار عن سبب القرار من مدير الموارد البشرية بالشركة ؛ فقال إنه لأسباب أمنية، فقلنا له هناك زوجات للموظفين في سكن الجامعة منهن منتقبات ويرتدن أماكن في الجامعة مثل الملاعب والمسبح، فلم يرد. وأضافت: نحن في انتظار وصول قرار الشركة بإنهاء وظائفنا في الجامعة, مطالبة بالالتزام بشروط العمل التي تم تعينهن بها.

وقالت سارة الزهراني، وهي خريجة كلية الآداب قسم اللغة الإنجليزية، وتعمل في “كاوست” منذ عام ونصف العام، إنها وزميلاتها متضررات من هذا القرار؛ فحقهن في الاحتفاظ بوظائفهن يكفله نظام العمل، وأنهن أبناء هذا البلد، وفي حاجة إلى وظائفهن، ويرفضن إملاء شروط جديدة عليهن لا تتعلق بالعمل ولا الكفاءة والأداء.

المصدر

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الأعـــراض تكـــــــــشف عنــــــــوة !
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
إن لعقد الفضيلة خرزات، يجتمع على إزاحة الواحدة منها جهات وأفراد، ليتتابع العقد انفصالاً، وينفرط في حين غفلة وتغافل من أهل العلم والرأي والعقل والغيرة.
عاش المجتمع زمناً والإعلام يروج للتبرج والسفور، في صور التحضر والتمدن والتقدم، وهو نوع من قسر العقول، وأطرها على اللحوق بركب الحضارة، والبراءة من التخلف، ومع هذا بقي المجتمع مستمسكاً في غالبه، ومدركاً للفرق بين الحضارة الحقة والحضارة المزيفة.
دعي بعدها إلى حق المرأة في حرية اللباس، ولكن قد جاءت النصوص من وحي الخالق سبحانه صريحة في إثبات الحجاب وفرضه، ووجوب الستر وصلته في توازن الفطرة وضبط الغرائز، نودي إلى تعبيد الطريق الصعب وتذليله، دعي إلى أن الحجاب ( عادة) و(تقليد) وليس من الدين في شيء، وذلك حتى تسمع الأذان المعرضة للأصوات المنادية بضده، وتلين الفطرة المتصلبة في رفض تلك الدعاوى، لم تكن النصوص الحاملة لمعاني الحجاب والستر تلين بأفواه أولئك الداعين ليمضغوها ويصيروها كيف شاؤا، فهي لا تقبل إلا الامتثال والتسليم أو الجحود والنكران.
جاءت المرحلة الثانية: بعد الإياس من التدليس في ذلك، إلى التحول من قسر العقول والنفوس إلى قسر الأبدان وهتك الأعراض بالقوة:
هاتفتني فتاة تعمل في جامعة (كاوست)، تقول: إنها وزميلاتها أبلغهن نائب الجامعة: ( نظمي نصر ) بأنه يجب عليهن نزع النقاب أو الطرد من العمل ! وقال: لن أقبل بمن تغطي وجهها ولو كانت بدرجة الامتياز
لم يكن يخطر في بال عاقل غيور أن مثل هذا يحصل في هذه البلد، ونساؤها على الستر والعفاف وستر الوجه، فطلبت الاستيثاق من ولي أمرها، وأكد الأمر بنفسه، بأسماء المبعدات يوم الأربعاء 9/محرم/1432، وكان آخر حديثه معي: هل أنا في بلد الإسلام أم لا ؟!
وإني أوجه هذا الرسالة إلى كل من تحمّل سلطان العلم وسلطان الأمر في هذه البلد خاصة؛ وذكره بالتخصيص يفتح باب الإطالة، وهو معنيَ وإن لم يُسم، إذ لا يقدر أحدٌ على أن يتولّى تخصيص الكل باسمه فيراعيه بلفظه ومعناه، وذلك لكثرة من يستحق أن يوجه إليه الخطاب من أهل العلم والأمر والحمد لله.
وإني أقدم ما لا أستجيز تأخيره من النصيحة، وأضع نفسي بينكم، قابضاً بيديَّ على يمين عالمها وشمال سلطانها، ماشياً معهم إلى حيث تصير البلاد ! أتولى قارها راضياً، وأتولى حارها ناصحاً صابراً .
وإنّ عيناً ترقد على انطلاق البلد إلى ما لا يُرضي الله للعمى أحسن بها، وإن نفساً تقِرُّ على ما لا يُرضي الله للموت أولى بها من حياتها.
في الصحيحين عن عائشة قالت: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ( تحشرون – يوم القيامة- حفاة عراة غرلاً، قالت عائشة: يا رسول الله الرجال والنساء ينظر بعضهم إلى بعض، فقال: الأمر أشد من أن يهمهم ذاك، قالت امرأة – كما عند الطبراني-: يا رسول الله ادع الله أن يستر عورتي قال: اللهم استر عورتها.
ظهرت لوعة القلب وهمه على العفيفة في ظهور العورة في يوم العرض فسألت ما لا حاجة إلى سؤاله لانشغال كل بنفسه، وينبغي أن تسأل أولى منه، ومع ذا أجاب رسول الله طلبها، لأن للعفيفات هم قلب لا يدركه من نشأ على الانفلات والانسلاخ، وقد أجابها رسول الله في هم عورتها يوم القيامة والفزع، فمن يجيب العفيفات في أعراضهن أن يكشفهن من لا يقيم للحرمات والحياء وزناً ..
إن المرأة العفيفة لتحمل هم العرض على الله أن تكشف عورتها في حال شخوص الأبصار عنها، فكيف إذا كشف منها ما لا تريد كشفه والأبصار كلها إليها !
اللهم استر عوارتهن .
وأقول وإني أعرف معنى الحضارة، وأٌدرك مراتب الأخلاق والفطرة، وأُفرق بين حضارة تطير فيها الطائرة وبين حضارة يطير فيها الجلباب والحجاب، وأن كثيراً ممن يحاول الخلط بين هذه المفاهيم المنفكة، يدور في فلك الوهم الذي صنعه لنفسه.
وهذه رسائل حول هذه الحادثة:
أولاً : لن تجد هؤلاء الفتيات من يقف معهن من أي كاتب أو وسيلة إعلامية، كما يتم الجلبة على قضايا العفة والستر، لأن الإعلام لا يسيره الإنصاف.
ثانياً : الذي أدين الله به أن من أكره مسلمة على نزع نقابها الذي تدين الله به وتستتر امتثالاً لأمر ربها به، وهو تحت ولاية المسلمين أنه يجب عزله، ومحاكمته لدى القضاء الشرعي، وإن لم يرجع عن عمله، فيُحبس حتى يرجع أو يقضي الله في أمره.
فالحجاب فريضة الله في سائر الشرائع، وتغطية الوجه شرعة الله لنساء المسلمين، قال تعالى: (يا أيها النبي قل لأزواجك وبناتك ونساء المؤمنين يدنين عليهن من جلابيبهن ذلك أدنى أن يعرفن فلا يؤذين) ولا تُعرف المرأة برجلها أو بكفها وإنما بوجهها.
روى ابن جرير بسند صحيح عن علي عن ابن عباس، في تفسير هذه الآية: أمر الله نساء المؤمنين إذا خرجن من بيوتهن في حاجة أن يغطين وجوههن من فوق رءوسهن بالجلابيب.
وكانت عائشة تحث حتى المحرمات بحج وعمرة وهن من يحرم عليهن التنقب، تأمرهن بتغطية الوجه عند الرجال، فروى ابن سعد في “الطبقات” بسند صحيح من حديث إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن أمه وأخته أنهما دخلتا على عائشة يوم التروية فسألتها امرأة: أيحل لي أن أغطي وجهي وأنا محرمة؟ فرفعت خمارها عن صدرها حتى جعلته فوق رأسها.
روى ابن خزيمة في صحيحه، عن هشام بن عروة عن فاطمة بنت المنذر عن أسماء قالت: كنا نغطي وجوهنا من الرجال، وكنا نمتشط قبل ذلك.
وقال إمام أهل المناسك عطاء بن أبي رباح: يرفع المحرم ثوبه إذا كان مضطجعا إلى عينه ، وتشدد المحرمة ثوبها على وجهها.
رواه ابن أبي شيبة بسند صحيح.
وقال فقيه المدينة القاسم بن محمد: تخمر المحرمة وجهها كله.
رواه ابن أبي شيبة بسند صحيح .
والمرأة السافرة هي من كشفت عن وجهها في لغة العرب، قال ابن المنذر في الأوسط: معروف في كلام العرب قولهم أسفرت المرأة عن وجهها، وأسفري عن وجهك اكشفي.
قال القرطبي المالكي (14/243): (كانت عادة العربيات التبذل، وكن يكشفن وجوههن كما يفعل الاماء، وكان ذلك داعية إلى نظر الرجال إليهن، وتشعب الفكرة فيهن، أمر الله رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يأمرهن بإرخاء الجلابيب عليهن إذا أردن الخروج إلى حوائجهن، وكن يتبرزن في الصحراء قبل أن تتخذ الكنف).
وقال الزمخشري -وهو من أئمة أهل اللغة- : (3/569): (ومعنى (يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ) أي: يرخينها عليهنّ، ويغطين بها وجوههنّ وأعطافهنّ يقال : إذا زل الثوب عن وجه المرأة : أدنى ثوبك على وجهك ) .
إن التعدي على لباس الرجال الأحرار، لا تتقبله النفوس، فكيف التعدي على دين امرأة وعرضها، بإلزامها أن ترفع وتنزع ما تدين الله به، وليس هذا من كرامات الرجال، فضلاً عن أن يكون من دين الله الحق، روى ابن الجوزي في كتابه المنتظم بسنده عن القاضي محمد بن أحمد بن موسى قال: حضرت مجلس موسى بن إسحاق القاضي بالري سنة ست وثمانين فتقدمت امرأة فادعى وليها على زوجها خمسمائة دينار مهراً فأنكر فقال القاضي: شهودك؟ قال: قد أحضرتهم، فاستدعى بعض الشهود أن ينظر إلى المرأة ليشير إليها في شهادته فقام الشاهد وقال للمرأة: قومي ! فقال: الزوج تفعلون ماذا؟ قال الوكيل: ينظرون إلى امرأتك وهى مسفرة لتصح عندهم معرفتها .
فقال الزوج: فإنى أشهد القاضى أن لها علي هذا المهر الذي تدعيه ولا تسفر عن وجهها !! فأخبرت المرأة بما كان من زوجها، فقالت: فإنى أشهد القاضي أن قد وهبته هذا المهر وأبرأته منه في الدنيا والآخرة.
فقال القاضي: يكتب هذا في مكارم الأخلاق.
ثالثاً : أن هذا البلد أنعم الله عليه أن قام على الدين القويم، والخلق المتين، والفطرة السوية، وأعظم أسباب استدامة النعمة والتمكين الثبات على تلك النعم، فالمُنعم عليه لا يتهنّأ بنعمته الواصلة إليه إلا بالشُّكر لواهبها، وأن الانقلاب على ذلك علامة تحول، وانخراط عقد الثبات، والتاريخ شاهد، وإن ترك المتهاون في ثوابت هذا البلد وما قام عليه، تجرأ هو وغيره، ولن يتجرأ أهل الباطل على باطلهم إلا عند أمان العقوبة.
وأعظم ما يجعل المحسن يتهاون في بذل إحسانه، أن يرى الرفعة والإحسان للمسيء وحينها يفسد الأمر ويضيع العمل، وكما قيل: إذا كان للمحسن من الثواب ما ينفعه، وللمسيء من العقاب ما يقمعه، بذل المحسن ما عنده رغبة، وانقاد المسيء للحق رهبة .
رابعاً : أن إصلاح وضع جامعة كاوست وما فيها من منكرات كالاختلاط والإكراه على السفور من الأمور الواجبة المتحتمة على أهل العقل، وإن التغافل عما عليه، واصطناع الوهم أن الحضارة والتقدم لا تأتي إلا بالتخلق بأخلاق الغرب، فهذا مما لا يجري على أصول الفكر ولا على قواعد النظر في كل حضارة تفرق بين الخير والشر الممتزج في الذات الواحدة.
والغرب بصورته اليوم بينه وبين عداء الإسلام كدين مفاوز بعيدة، فهو الآن يواجه الفطرة الإنسانية بجميعها، التي تشترك فيها سائر الملل قبل أن يصل إلى مواجهة الإسلام، وقد رأيت بنفسي قبل أسابيع خبراً بثته قناة سويسرية تبشر بدراسة قانونية تمكن الرجل أن ينجب من ابنته، وإنما يدرسون إمكان تلافي الأمراض الوراثية طبياً فقط.
أيها العقلاء ..
إني أرى أحوال المجتمع في جوانب عدة تسير يميناً وشمالاً لا تدري أي الطريقين تسلك، تُغرِّب أبناءها أم تثبت على مبادئها ودينها، يجذبها إلى الشمال أناسٌ، ويجذبها إلى الاعتدال آخرون، والإعلام فوق رؤوس أهل الشمال يقول: (أَنِ امْشُوا وَاصْبِرُوا عَلَى آلِهَتِكُمْ إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ يُرَادُ مَا سَمِعْنَا بِهَذَا فِي الْمِلَّةِ الْآخِرَةِ إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا اخْتِلَاقٌ أَؤُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ مِنْ بَيْنِنَا) .
وأهل الحق فوق رؤوس الناصحين يقولون: (اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ).
ولقد وهبنا الله عقولاً ومدارك، لا نحتاج معها إلى أن نضع أيدينا في النار ونحن نرى دخانها، نرى الإعلام يُسيِّر البلاد ويلوي قراراتها ودساتيرها، ويضرب الأكف مثيراً للفتنة بين الحاكم والمحكوم، ويمضي يفت من صخرة التوحيد، وجبل الفضيلة، ويُذيب صلابة الغيرة شيئاً فشيئاً، يتعاملون مع أصول هذا البلد وثوابته تعامل الغزاة الذين يسابقون الزمن لكسر شوكته حتى لا تقوم له قائمة من ورائهم، ويقود هذه الحرب الضروس على الدين ودستور البلاد، شخص أو أشخاص معدودون، هم الحلقة المفقودة من هذا الصراع.
إلى العقلاء في هذا البلد .. أقول لكم ما قاله ابن يعمر لقومه:
يا قومُ إنّ لكمْ مِنْ عزّ أوّلكم … إرثاً قَدَ اشفَقْتُ أنْ يودي فينقطعا
وما يَرُدُّ عليـــــــــــكم عزُّ أوَّلكم … إنْ ضاعَ آخره أو ذَلَّ فاتّضعَا
لا تعتنوا بالأموال دون الرجال فالبلد يثبت باصطفاء الرجال أحق منه باصطفاء الأموال، لأن كل درهم يسد مكان أخيه، وما كل رجل يسد مكان رجل.
إلى أهل العلم والمعرفة ..
لا نرى من العلماء الناصحين قدراً يكفي في صد البغي على الدين والأعراض، والنصيحة إن قصرت عن مستوى ظهور الشر لا تُسمى نصيحةً تبرأ بها الذمة .
على العلماء أن يخافوا دول العلم، كما يخاف الملوك دول الملك، فالعلم ليس أعياناً توَرَّث، بل هو أقرب إلى الضياع من الملك والمال، فالإصلاح والإنكار لا يكون موزوناً حتى يكون مكافئاً للمنكر ظهوراً، ومن أعظم ما يقصر فيه العالم أن ينكر في الظلام ما ظهر في الشمس، أو يكتفي بمقولة على منبرٍ في شر طار على ألف منبر، وإذا بٌلي العالم ببطانة تُعظِّم له فعله وأثره القاصر في الناس، أو لبّس عليه الشيطان فعظّم له القاصر من إصلاحه بعرضه بين عينيه قيامه وقعوده، فيظن أنه على أذهان الناس يُعرض ذلك العرض، فهذا من أعظم أسباب تنامي المنكر، والنفوس تركن إلى إعذار متوهم.
جمع الله على هذه البلاد أمرها، ووفق الراعي والرعية أن يضعوا اليد حيث ينبغي أن توضع.
عبدالعزيز الطريفي

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Why Does Islam Degrade Women by Keeping Them Behind the Veil?

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PostDateIcon July 25th, 2009 | PostAuthorIcon Author: islamforsalvation
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Question : Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?

Answer:
The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The ‘hijaab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated ‘hijaab’, let us first study the status of women in societies before the advent of Islam


1.   In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust

The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity:

1.      Babylonian Civilization:
The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.

2.      Greek Civilization:
Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.

3.      Roman Civilization:
When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.

4.      Egyptian Civilization:
The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.

5.      Pre-Islamic Arabia:
Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.


2.   Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them to maintain their status.

Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.

Hijaab for men

People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for men before ‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”
[Al-Qur’an 24:30]

The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.

Hijaab for women.

The next verse of Surah Noor, says:

” And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons…”
[Al-Qur’an 24:31]


3.   Six criteria for Hijaab.

According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing hijaab:

1.       Extent:  The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijaab’.

All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.

2.       The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.

3.       The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.

4.       The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.

5.       The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.

6.       The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.

4.   Hijaab includes conduct and behaviour among other things

Complete ‘hijaab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijaab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijaab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijaab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijaab’ of the eyes, ‘hijaab’ of the heart, ‘hijaab’ of thought and ‘hijaab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.

5.   Hijaab prevents molestation

The reason why Hijaab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[Al-Qur’an 33:59]

The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being molested.

6.   Example of twin sisters

Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijaab i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini? Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Qur’an rightly says that hijaab prevents women from being molested.

7.   Capital punishment for the rapists

Under the Islamic shariah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is given capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence. Some even say that Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion! I have asked a simple question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God forbid, someone rapes your wife, your mother or your sister. You are made the judge and the rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said they would put him to death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you want to put him to death. But if the same crime is committed on somebody else’s wife or daughter you say capital punishment is barbaric. Why should there be double standards?

8.   Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women

Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers, hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.

Consider a scenario where the Islamic hijaab being followed in a country. Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze.
9.   Western Countries have high rates of rape

Every woman wears the Islamic hijaab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist. After this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of rape increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease?

10.   Implementation of Islamic Shariah will reduce the rate of rapes

Naturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is implemented positive results will be inevitable. If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier. Hijaab does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.

By Zakir Naik

http://www.islamforsalvation.com/2009/07/25/why-does-islam-degrade-women-by-keeping-them-behind-the-veil/

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Women in face veils detained as France enforces ban

11 April 11 15:08 ET

Kenza Drider wears her niqab on a French train, despite it being banned under a new law

At least two women have been briefly detained in France while wearing Islamic veils, after a law banning the garment in public came into force.

Police said they were held not because of their veils but for joining an unauthorised protest, and they were later released.

France is the first country in Europe to publicly ban a form of dress some Muslims regard as a religious duty.

Offenders face a fine of 150 euros (£133; $217) and a citizenship course.

People forcing women to wear the veil face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.

The two women detained had taken part in a demonstration outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Police said the protest had not been authorised and so people were asked to move on. When they did not, they were arrested.

One of the women, Kenza Drider, had arrived in Paris from the southern city of Avignon, boarding a train wearing a niqab, and unchallenged by police.

“We were held for three and a half hours at the police station while the prosecutors decided what to do,” she told AFP news agency.

“Three and a half hours later they told us: ‘It’s fine, you can go’.”

Under the law, any woman – French or foreign – walking on the street or in a park in France and wearing a face-concealing veil such as the niqab or burka can be stopped by police and given a fine.

It is a small fine, but symbolically this is a huge change, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.

Guidelines issued to police say they should not ask women to remove their veils in the street, but should escort them to a police station where they would be asked to uncover their faces for identification.

The French government says the face-covering veil undermines the basic standards required for living in a shared society and also relegates its wearers to an inferior status incompatible with French notions of equality.

The ban on face coverings – which does not explicitly mention Islamic veils, but exempts various other forms – has angered some Muslims and libertarians.

A French Muslim property dealer, Rachid Nekkaz, said he was creating a fund to pay women’s fines, and encouraged “all free women who so wish to wear the veil in the street and engage in civil disobedience”.

Mr Nekkaz said he and “a female friend wearing the niqab” were arrested at a separate demonstration in front of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Elysee Palace.

“We wanted to be fined for wearing the niqab, but the police didn’t want to issue a fine,” he told AFP.

But opposition protests by Islamists and libertarians are unlikely to make much of an impression, our correspondent says.

What is more open to question, he says, is whether an out-and-out legal ban is necessary when, on most estimates, only 2,000-or-so women in France actually wear the niqab or burka.

Critics of French President Nicolas Sarkozy say it suits him to play up the Muslim question because he is an unpopular president in need of an easy vote-winner.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-europe-13031397?SThisEM

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The Islamic veil across Europe

11 April 2011 Last updated at 12:31 ET

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Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil – in various forms such as the body-covering burka and the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes.

The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.

The veil issue is part of a wider debate about multiculturalism in Europe, as many politicians argue that integration of minorities was neglected in the past.

FRANCE

France has become the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places.

France has about five million Muslims – the largest Muslim minority in Western Europe – but it is thought only about 2,000 women wear full veils.

Headscarves are allowed at French universities – but not schools

President Nicolas Sarkozy has said veils oppress women and are “not welcome” in France.

Under the ban that took effect on 11 April 2011 no woman, French or foreign, will be able to leave their home in France with their face hidden behind a veil without running the risk of a fine.

The penalty for doing so is a 150-euro (£133, $217) fine and instruction in citizenship. Anyone found forcing a woman to cover her face risks a 30,000-euro fine.

Most of the population – including most Muslims – agree with the government when it describes the face-covering veil as an affront to society’s values. Critics – chiefly outside of France – say it is a violation of individual liberties.

A ban on Muslim headscarves and other “conspicuous” religious symbols at state schools was introduced in 2004, and received overwhelming political and public support in a country where the separation of state and religion is enshrined in law.

Muslim headscarves

The word hijab comes from the Arabic for veil and is used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in myriad styles and colours. The type most commonly worn in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.

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BELGIUM

The lower house of Belgium’s parliament has passed a bill to ban clothing that hides a person’s identity in public places such as parks, buildings and on the street.

The bill still needs approval in the Senate. It has broad cross-party support, though the Greens oppose it.

Although the legislation does not specifically refer to full-face Islamic veils, it would outlaw the use of garments such as the niqab and the burka.

Currently, the burka is banned in several districts under old local laws originally designed to stop people masking their faces completely at carnival time.

In Antwerp, for example, police can now reprimand, or even imprison, offenders. They say the regulation is all about public safety.

SPAIN

Though there are no plans for a national ban in Spain, the city of Barcelona has announced a ban on full Islamic face-veils in some public spaces such as municipal offices, public markets and libraries.

At least two smaller towns in Catalonia, the north-eastern region that includes Barcelona, have also imposed bans.

Barcelona’s city council said the ban there targeted any head-wear that impeded identification, including motorbike helmets and balaclavas, rather than religious belief.

It resisted calls from the conservative Popular Party (PP) to extend the ban to all public spaces, including the street. The PP also wants the ban to be adopted throughout Spain.

BRITAIN

There is no ban on Islamic dress in the UK, but schools are allowed to forge their own dress code after a 2007 directive which followed several high-profile court cases.

Former Schools Secretary Ed Balls said in January 2010 it was “not British” to tell people what to wear in the street after the UK Independence Party called for all face-covering Muslim veils to be banned.

In 2009 UKIP came second in the European elections in Britain, winning 13 seats in Brussels. Their leader Nigel Farage has said the full veils are a symbol of an “increasingly divided Britain”, that they “oppress” women, and are a potential security threat.

UKIP is the first British party to call for a total ban, after the anti-immigration British National Party had already called called for the veil to be banned in Britain’s schools.

THE NETHERLANDS

In 2006, the Dutch government considered but abandoned plans to impose a ban on all forms of coverings that obscured the face – from burkas to crash helmets with visors – in public places, saying they disturbed public order and safety. Lawyers said the move would likely be unconstitutional and critics said it would violate civil rights.

The government suggested it would instead seek a ban on face-covering veils in schools and state departments, but no legislation has yet been passed.

Around 5% of the Netherlands’ 16 million residents are Muslims, but only around 300 are thought to wear the burka.

TURKEY

For more than 85 years Turks have lived in a secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who rejected headscarves as backward-looking in his campaign to secularise Turkish society.

Scarves are banned in civic spaces and official buildings, but the issue is deeply divisive for the country’s predominantly Muslim population, as two-thirds of all Turkish women – including the wives and daughters of the prime minister and president – cover their heads.

In 2008, Turkey’s constitution was amended to ease a strict ban at universities, allowing headscarves that were tied loosely under the chin. Headscarves covering the neck and all-enveloping veils were still banned.

The governing AK Party, with its roots in Islam, said the ban meant many girls were being denied an education. But the secular establishment said easing it would be a first step to allowing Islam into public life.

ITALY

The north-western town of Novara is one of several local authorities that have brought in rules to deter public use of the Islamic veil, passing a by-law in January 2010.

In 2004 local politicians in northern Italy resurrected old public order laws against the wearing of masks, to stop women from wearing the burka.

Some mayors from the anti-immigrant Northern League have also banned the use of Islamic swimsuits.

DENMARK

In 2008, the government announced it would bar judges from wearing headscarves and similar religious or political symbols – including crucifixes, Jewish skull caps and turbans – in courtrooms.

That move came after pressure from the Danish People’s Party (DPP), known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric, which has since called for the ban to be extended to include school teachers and medical personnel.

After a Danish paper published a controversial cartoon in 2005 depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a bearded man with a bomb in his turban, there were a series of protests against Denmark across the Muslim world.

GERMANY

In September 2003 the federal Constitutional Court ruled in favour of a teacher who wanted to wear an Islamic scarf to school.

However, it said states could change their laws locally if they wanted to.

At least four German states have gone on to ban teachers from wearing headscarves and in the state of Hesse the ban applies to all civil servants.

RUSSIA

Russia’s Supreme Court has overturned a 1997 interior ministry ruling which forbade women from wearing headscarves in passport photos.

But in Chechnya the authorities have defied Russian policy on Islamic dress. In 2007 President Ramzan Kadyrov – the pro-Moscow leader – issued an edict ordering women to wear headscarves in state buildings. It is a direct violation of Russian law, but is strictly followed today.

President Kadyrov even voiced support for men who fired paintballs at women deemed to be violating the strict dress code.

AUSTRIA

Austria’s Women’s Minister Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek has said a ban should be considered in public spaces if the number of women wearing the veil increases dramatically.

SWITZERLAND

In late 2009, Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said a face-veil ban should be considered if more Muslim women begin wearing them, adding that the veils made her feel “uncomfortable”.

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France should return the rights of Muslim women

By Karmen King

Recurring Columnist

For weeks now, some of you have seen me writing about issues in the Middle East, but today I’m going to write on a new topic, women’s rights. More specifically, France’s ban on women wearing the burqa or niqab. You really didn’t think I’d stray too far from issues related to the Middle East, did you?

On Monday, France began its enforcement of the ban on women wearing full face coverings. For those of you not sure the difference between a hijab and the burqa or niqab, I’ll explain it to you. The hijab is the most commonly seen outward sign of Muslim women, and only covers the hair and sometimes neck of a woman. A niqab adds to this a face veil and only the eyes of a woman are seen. The burqa includes a screen that covers even the eyes.

Some people say that this ban is for security reasons, and they have a point. But it can also be seen as blatant discrimination of one small minority within a larger minority. It is estimated that this ban in France only affects 2000 women, so why even bother?

It seems that politicians in France are using this issue to create or exploit a culture of fear so that they can raise their sagging polling numbers. But, how is that fair to the women it affects? Hint: It’s not.

Now let’s get back to how this is an issue of women’s rights.

Recently, British politician and leader of the UK Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob, was interviewed on al-Jazeera’s Frost Over the World program and had this to say, “what I take exception to is a state law being brought in to tell women what they can wear or what they can’t wear. Many people, rightly I believe, criticize countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran where women don’t have a choice, they are told ‘you have to wear the chador or burqa’ and that is taking away the dignity of choice in my opinion and now I see the mirror image of that happening in France where women are told ‘if you choose to cover up, actually you can’t, indeed you are now a criminal.'”

Yaqoob goes on to refer to the ban as a “cowardly, bullying gesture.”

On the other side, some have said that they are liberating the women who may be forced to wear the face veil by their husbands or fathers. But through this so-called liberation, they are taking away the rights of women who feel called by their religious beliefs to wear the coverings. Yaqoob continues by saying, ” indeed the true test, I believe, of tolerance isn’t whether I allow you to do things that I happen to agree with you on, it’s actually about tolerating and indeed accepting people even when you might not. So that’s why I would champion the right of women to wear miniskirts as well as the right to a burqa, whether I choose to do that or not myself.”

My question is: where do we draw the line? One day we are banning a woman covering her face, when do we start measuring how long or short her skirt is? No one has a right to tell a person what they may or may not wear. No one has the right to make a woman go against her personal religious convictions. No one has the right to make this decision for those 2,000 women who now live in fear in France.

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10 March 2011 Last updated at 14:18 ET

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Chechnya women’s Islamic dress code: Russia blamed

HRW says the compulsory Islamic dress code in Chechnya violates Russia’s secular constitution

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Russia has been criticised for letting Chechen authorities impose a compulsory Islamic dress code for women.

A report by Human Rights Watch includes testimonies from dozens of Chechen women who were threatened or even attacked with paintballs by young men enforcing the ‘virtue campaign’.

The rights group says some attacks involved Chechen security forces.

The campaign has the backing of President Ramzan Kadyrov, relied on by Moscow to stabilise the region.

In 2007, President Kadyrov issued an edict that banned bareheaded women from entering state buildings. Though this is in direct violation of Russian law, it is strictly followed today.

Since then, an unofficial campaign limiting Chechen women’s freedoms has been gaining strength, Human Rights Watch says.

A Russian rights activist, Natalya Estemirova, who had publicly criticised the Islamic dress campaign, was abducted from Grozny in July 2009 and her body was later found in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia.

Bruised and scared

In June 2010, dozens of women were targeted in paintball attacks for not donning headscarves or because their skirts or sleeves were not long enough.

One woman interviewed for the report described her terror as she thought a real gun was being aimed at her. She said the incident left her bruised and scared ever to leave the house without a headscarf again.

Mr Kadyrov praised the paintball attackers

President Kadyrov praised the paintball attackers, and leaflets later surfaced warning that women who failed to wear headscarves could face “more persuasive measures”.

“The enforcement of a compulsory Islamic dress code on women in Chechnya violates their rights to private life, personal autonomy, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion, thought, and conscience,” the HRW report says. “It is also a form of gender-based discrimination prohibited under international treaties to which Russia is a party.”

“These attacks against women are outrageous, and the alleged involvement of law enforcement officials is of special concern,” HRW’s Russia researcher Tanya Lokshina says. “The Kremlin should publicly and unambiguously make clear… that Chechen women, like Russian women, are free to dress as they choose.”

Chechnya was devastated by two separatist wars following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

34-year-old Mr Kadyrov has been credited with bringing some stability to the region but he has come under heavy criticism from international rights groups over alleged human rights abuses.

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15 June 2010 Last updated at 05:33 ET

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Barcelona to ban Islamic veils in some public spaces

The Catalan town of Lleida announced a ban on Islamic veils last month

Barcelona has become the first large Spanish city to announce a ban on the wearing of full Islamic face-veils in some public spaces.

The ban was designed to include any head-wear that hindered identification, officials said.

At least two towns in Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona, have already announced bans.

Belgium and France have both recently taken steps towards restricting the use of full veils in public.

Barcelona’s city council said the ban would be largely symbolic, since it was uncommon to see women in the city wearing the full veil.

“Barcelona will forbid the use of the burqa, niqab and any other item which hinders personal identification in any of the city’s public installations,” a council statement said.

The ban would cover public spaces such as municipal offices, public markets and libraries – but not the streets.

The mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, said the measure was aimed purely at ensuring people could be identified, and would therefore include balaclavas, motorbike helmets and ski masks.

“In no way does it target religious belief,” he said.

The ban is scheduled to take effect in Barcelona after the summer.

The Conservative Popular Party (PP) called for the ban to be extended to all public places, including on the street.

Full veils have already been banned in public spaces in the Catalan towns of Lleida and El Vendrell.

Others are reported to be considering similar measures.

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The Jilbaab and what Garments can Substitute It AbdurRahman.org | July 20, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Categories: women | URL: http://wp.me/p1VJ3-DQ

AUTHOR:     Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
SOURCE:     Masaa’il Nisaa’iyyah Mukhtaarah (pg. 125-131)
PRODUCED BY:     Al-Ibaanah.com

The following excerpt was taken from the book “Masaa’il Nisaa’iyyah Mukhtaarah min Fiqh al-‘Alaamah Al-Albaanee” [Selected Women’s Issues from the Fiqh of Imaam Al-Albaanee] compiled by Umm Ayoob Ghaawee. This book contains a collection of Al-Albaanee’s opinions on various issues related to women transcribed from his books, recorded lessons and lectures.

Shaikh Al-Albaanee was asked the following question in a recorded talk: “We would like more details on the definition of a jilbaab, since you have stated that your view on the jilbaab is that it is a garment that covers the body from the head to the feet. However, we have come across a rather large difference of opinion in the language books concerning this. Amongst the linguists are those who say it is a large gown, while others say it is a khimaar. And others hold the same view you mentioned, Shaikh. So we would like a further elaboration, may Allaah reward you, as well as which one is the strongest opinion.”

The Shaikh responded to the questioner: “I’m sorry but I’m having difficulty understanding the part where you said that some people hold the jilbaab to be the khimaar. What is the khimaar that you are referring to when you say that they consider it to be the jilbaab? This is because it is well-known that the khimaar is a head-covering and not an ample garment that covers a woman’s entire body from her head to her feet. So who is it that claims that the jilbaab is a khimaar from what you know, according to what I mentioned? This is truly a very strange thing. Who said this?!”

The questioner said: “This is mentioned in the book Lisaan-ul-‘Arab, where it states that such a definition for it is held by some people.”

The Shaikh said: “It states that the jilbaab is a khimaar?”

The questioner said: “Yes.”

So the Shaikh replied: “It is not possible to say this because as you know there are two ayahs in the Qur’aan – one ayah that orders women to wear the jilbaab while the other orders them to put on the khimaar. It is not possible to say that both ayahs contain a repetition of the same meaning, thus the jilbaab would be the khimaar, while the khimaar would be the jilbaab. Rather, both of these terms – the jillbaab and the khimaar – have their own respective meanings that are distinct from one another.

You know, for example, that when a woman is at home and she gets up to pray her obligatory prayers, for the most part, she is normally at home with her hair uncovered. So she just places her khimaar over her head. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Allaah does not accept the prayer of a mature woman unless she has a khimaar.’

What is meant here is not the jilbaab at all, but rather what is meant is the head-covering. From the evidences that indicate this is that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to wipe over the turban or the khimaar or the socks.

My objective behind this hadeeth is to show that it indicates that the khimaar is a garment that both men and women – males and females – share in wearing.

It cannot be understood from this, for those who understand the Arabic language, that a man can place a jilbaab over himself! Rather, it means that he can place a khimaar (head-covering) over himself.

So it is permissible for a person that places a khimaar over his head to wipe over it (when performing ablution), regardless of whether it is a man or a woman. My objective behind this discussion is to firstly confirm the quote according to the Arabic language, and secondly if it is finally confirmed that the quote is indeed found in Lisaan-ul-‘Arab and that it states that the meaning of a jilbaab is held to be a khimaar, then it is sufficient proof, from what you quoted, that such a statement is weak because of the fact that the author said: ‘It is held to mean such and such.’ (i.e. uncertainty)

Furthermore, if we study the texts from the Book and the Sunnah, of which we already mentioned some of them, we would derive with certainty that the khimaar is not a jilbaab and nor is the jilbaab a khimaar.

In brief, a khimaar covers less that a jilbaab while a jilbaab has a more ample range in terms of the parts that it covers. Also, a jilbaab is specific for only women. They were the ones who were ordered to wear it and not men. But as for the khimaar, then that is a garment that both men and women share in wearing. Even though a man is not obligated to wear it, regardless, it is a garment that both men and women partake in wearing, just like a shirt. In the same manner that a man wears a shirt to cover his ‘awrah – which is different from the ‘awrah of a woman – so does a woman. But her ‘awrah is ampler than the ‘awrah of a man.

This is why we said in the book ‘The Muslim Woman’s Hijaab’ that when a Muslim woman leaves from her home, she is obligated to do two things:

(1) To place a khimaar over her head, and (2) then to apply a jilbaab over that, thus going out dressed with the khimaar and the jilbaab. So when a woman goes out of her home, one garment does not suffice without the other – a woman must combine between both the khimaar and the jilbaab. You are aware of the Qur’anic verse related to the khimaar in which Allaah says: ‘And (tell them) to draw their khumur (veils) over their bosoms.’ [Surah An-Noor: 31]

Drawing a garment close to the bosom cannot be achieved with a jilbaab. This can only be achieved with a khimaar, since it is possible to wrap it. But as for the jilbaab, you know that it cannot be wrapped around the chest or on the neck. You can see here how the men wrap their khimaars and how they affix them to their necks. So due to this, what has been particularized here is the khimaar and not the jilaab. When a woman goes out from her house, she is obligated to place a khimaar over her head and to wrap it over her neck and her chest. This is since a jilbaab does not correspond in her attempt to achieve this comprehensive covering since it is ample and long whereas the khimaar is ample and short. So each of these garments has its own specific effect in fulfilling what a woman is obligated to cover. This is my response to what you have asked. If there is anything left that I have not covered in my discussion, then remind me of it.”

The questioner asked: “So then I understand from this that the jilbaab is not the wide gown that women wear today, here (in this country) for example, from the neck to the feet?”

The Shaikh responded: “No, not at all. This is not a jilbaab. However, this leads us to elaborate further on discussing what is related to the jilbaab. As we stated before, according to the language, a jilbaab is not a garment like that which is known as the balto. So what needs to be clarified now is:

The command directed towards women, particularly with regard to wearing the jilbaab, is not an obligatory act of worship which has a meaning that we can’t comprehend. Rather, on the contrary, it does have a meaning we can understand. And the meaning that is derived from it, which we indicated previously, is to achieve the covering that a woman must abide by.

So if, for example, a woman wears two garments or she makes the jilbaab into two pieces – one upper piece and one lower piece – and both of these pieces fulfill the objective of the jilbaab, which has been mentioned in the Qur’aan, at this point, even though we don’t refer to these two pieces as a jilbaab from a linguistic standpoint, we hold that it still fulfills the desired objective of the command to wear the jilbaab from a religious perspective.

There used to be found in Syria up to recently, and there still continues to be found in some practicing women that stick to the Religion, a garment called Malaa’at-uz-Zamm. Have you heard anything about this during your lifetime?”

The questioner replied: “We have something called a Malaa’ah (cloak).”

The Shaikh said: “No, I said Malaa’at-uz-Zamm.”

The questioner replied: “No, not with this term. We say Malaa’ah.”

The Shaikh said: “This is an Arabic term. The point is that this garment which we have with us in Syria consists of two pieces. The first piece is a skirt known as a tannoorah – are you familiar with this word?”

The questioner said: Yes.”

The Shaikh said: “A tannoorah is a skirt that is affixed to the waist with an elastic strap. So naturally it is wide and ample.

A woman wears this from here, thus covering the entire lower part of her body. Then over this tannoorah, which is called a kharraatah (skirt) in Syria, is placed the upper part of the garment, which is placed over the head and which a woman uses to cover her head, shoulders, sides, hips and even the belt strap that is tightened around the waist by this tannoorah or this kharraatah. No part of this skirt’s waist-strap is visible since it goes under it. Is the image clear?”

The questioner replied: “Yes.”

The Shaikh continued: “Amongst us here, they call this garment Malaayat-uz-Zamm (or Malaa’at-uz-Zamm), since the skirt is strapped at the waist with a plastic waistband. So if you have grasped a perception of this dress with us, then the point that I am trying to make is that even though this cloak-like garment is not a jilbaab (linguistically), it still fulfills the obligation of a jilbaab, which consists of covering the body completely. Is this clear to you?”

The questioner said: “Yes.”

The Shaikh said: “If the matter is clear, then we see that we are not obligated to adhere to the literal wording of the jilbaab, but rather to its end-result, objective and goal. Now I will go back to this ‘balto’ which I talked about previously, which the Muslim women wear today and which is of various types. It may be produced in long sizes for some of the practicing women reaching up to their feet. However, this is not a jilbaab. In spite of this, it is still not like the Malaa’at-uz-Zamm since it does not cover the head and what it consist of, for example. But what does the woman do today? She wraps a garment known as the esharp around her head – is this term known to you?”

The questioner answered: “Yes.”

The Shaikh said: “A small khimaar (i.e. the esharp) that is fastened to the head but which exposes parts of the forehead and temple and which also exposes parts of the neck since it is small in size, naturally does not fulfill the objective of a jilbaab according to its proper definition. The objective of a jilbaab is as we have discussed concerning the Malaayat-uz-Zamm. Is this clear? So let’s take the example of this woman who is wearing this balto – what would you call this?”

The questioner[1] said: “We call it a Hijaab.”

The Shaikh said: “No, this is wrong. The point is that if a woman wears this type of ‘Hijaab’ then places a khimaar over her head, then there must be a Hijaab, i.e. jilbaab placed over this khimaar. We have stated that there are two verses in the Qur’aan. This jilbaab may be divided into parts as we stated before when we discussed the Malaayat-uz-Zamm.

So therefore, if a woman wears that garment which you call a Hijaab and then places a valid khimaar over her head and not that which is known as the ‘esharp’, then places over this khimaar a partial garment that covers half of her body, such as one that covers her shoulders and hands, at this point, this becomes valid and acceptable according to the Religion.” [2]

Footnotes:

[1] The questioner was from Algeria.

[2] Silsilat-ul-Hudaa wan-Noor (tape no. 232)

Published: June 6, 2006
Related Links: The Jilbaab is Worn from the Head, And the Impermissibility of the Shoulder Abaaya

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Subhanak Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu anlaa illaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.
If I said anything correct, then it is from Allaah (subhanahu wa taa’ala), and if I erred, then that is from me and shaytan.

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The Jilbaab is Worn from the Head, And the Impermissibility of the Shoulder Abaaya

May 31, 2010 AbdurRahman.org Leave a comment Go to comments

2 Votes

In the Name of Allaah, Ar-Rahmaan, Ar-Raheem…

Question posed to Shaykh ‘Ubayd al-Jaabiree

[Q]: Is it permissible for a woman to disobey her parents if they command her not to wear the ‘abaaya?

[A]: It seems to be apparent that you, O my daughter, are from the khalaeej (the Gulf States) if in fact you are not from Saudi Arabia. It is obligatory upon the Muslim woman to wear the jilbaab. The jilbaab is an outer covering that conceals the beauty of a woman and her clothing; it covers her body from head to toe. This means that it covers the entire body.

As for the ‘abaaya that is most popular in the Gulf States, then it has taken the place of the jilbaab.

I say that if in your area the jilbaab is predominately worn by the people, then do not wear the ‘abaaya. However, if in your area or country the people predominately wear the ‘abaaya then do not obey your parents (i.e. wear the jilbaab not the ‘abayaa) as there is no obedience to the creation when it involves disobedience to the creator.

At this point I would like to clarify that the ‘abaaya of the woman is be worn upon the head, and for her to wear it upon the shoulders is an error, even if some of the people of knowledge have given verdicts that the ‘abaaya can be worn on the shoulders.

Verily, those who have given the verdict (stating) that a woman can wear the ‘abayaa on the shoulders have only done so because they were unaware that the ‘abayaa has taken the place of the jilbaab; and the jilbaab is worn from the head.

Understand this, may Allaah bless you.

Source :
http://www.en.miraath.net/content/parents-order-their-daughter-remove-her-‘abaya – Translated by Anwar Ibn ‘Arif

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Khaula’s Story with the Hijab – Inspirational Read !!

May 28, 2011 AbdurRahman.org

A View through Hijab – By Sister Khaula From Japan 10/25/1993 [57]

“A view through Hijaab” is an informative account of life in Hijaab. Written by Khaula Nakata, it is the experience of Hijaab as seen through the eyes of a Japanese woman who embraced Islam.

My Story To Islam :

As most of the Japanese, I’d followed no religion before I embraced Islam in France. I was majoring in French Literature at the university. My favorite thinkers were Sartre, Nietchze and Camas, whose thinking is atheistic. At the same time, however, I was very interested in religion, not because of my inner necessity but of my love for the truth. What was waiting for me after death did not interest me at all; how to live was my concern(58). For a long time I had a sort of impression that I was not doing what I should do and I was wasting my time. Whether God existed or not was the same to me; I just wanted to know the truth and choose my way of life-to live with God or without God.

I started to read books on different religions except Islam. I had never thought that Islam was a religion worth studying. It was for me, at that time, a sort of primitive idolatry of the simple mind (how ignorant I was!). I made friends with Christians, with whom I studied the Bible, to come to realize a few years later the existence of God. But then I had to face a dilemma because I could not “feel” God at all, in spite of my conviction that he should exist. I tried to pray in church, but in vain. I felt nothing but the absence of God.

I then studied Buddhism, hoping I would be able to feel God through Zen or Yoga. I found as many things in Buddhism that seemed to be true as I had in Christianity, yet there were many things I could not understand or accept. In my opinion, If God exists, He should be for everyone(59) and the truth should simple and clear to everyone. I could not understand why people should abandon ordinary life to devote themselves to God.

I was really at a loss for what to do to reach the end of my desperate quest for God. It was then that I met an Algerian Muslim. Born and raised in France, he didn’t even know how to pray and his life was quite far from the ideal of a Muslim; nevertheless, he had very strong faith in God. However, his belief without knowledge irritated me and made me decide to study Islam. To start with, I bought a French translation of the Qur’an, but I could not read more than two pages. It seemed so strange and boring. I gave up my effort to understand it alone and went to the mosque in Paris to ask someone to help me. It was a Sunday and there was a lecture for women. The sisters welcomed me warmly. It was my first encounter with practicing Muslim women. To my surprise, I felt myself very much at ease with them, although I’d always felt myself a stranger in the company of Christians. I started to attend the lecture every weekend and to read a book given to me by one of the Muslim women. Every minute of the lecture and every page of the book were, for me, a revelation, giving me great spiritual satisfaction I’ve never known before. I had an excited feeling that I was being initiated into the truth. What was wonderful, Subhaanallah (Praise be to Allaah), was my feeling the presence of God very close to me while in the posture of Sajdah (prostration).
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(57) Sister Khaula visited the Women’s Office of The Islamic Guidance Center in Buraidah, Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia on 10/25/1993. She shared this information with other Muslim Sisters in the Office. 1 found it important to share with our Muslim brothers and sisters the Story of Khaula’s coming to Islam followed by her experience and advice concerning the Hijab.
(58) This is the concern of so many people in the World and especially in the West or in countries dominated by Western culture. People become “workaholic” to keep up with more and more of what they want to have. The secondary things of today are the necessities of tomorrow! The Medium way described by the Creator, Allah, is ignored except by the few.(Dr.S. As-Saleh)
(59) Allah is the God of everyone. This thought translates that God must be one. There is no nationalistic belonging to God! Being the God of everyone, He does not command some people to worship Him alone while at the same time makes it permissible for others to set up rivals with Him in worship. This means that His worship must be one and that it is not up to us to define this type of worship. The way of worship belongs to the One and Only One True God, Allah. This constitutes His religion and He had named this way: Islam.

Khula’s Story with the Hijab :

“Two years ago when I embraced Islam in France, the polemic around the wearing of the hijab at school was very hot. The majority of people thought it was against the principle of the public school which should keep its neutrality towards the religion. I, who was not yet Muslim then, could hardly understand why they were worried over such a tiny thing as a small scarf put on the head of Muslim students…but, apparently, French people who had faced the serious problem of the increasing non-employment rate and the insecurity in big cities became nervous over the immigration of workers from Arab countries. They felt aggrieved by the sight of the hijab in their town and in their school.
In Arab countries, on the other hand, a great wave of coming back of the hijab was being observed especially among the young generation, against the expectation, shared by some Arab people and the most of Western people, of its passing away from the scene as Westenerization took root.

The Islamic revival symbolized by the current resurgence of the hijab is often considered as an attempt of Arab Muslims to restore their pride and identity which have been repeatedly undermined by colonization and economic retardation. For Japanese people, the actual adherence of Arab people to Islam may seem a kind of conservative traditionalism or antiwesternism, which (the) Japanese knew themselves in the Meiji era at the first contact with the Western culture, and because of which they reacted against the Western life-style and the Western way of dressing. Man has always had a conservative tendency and reacts against which is new and unfamiliar without realizing whether it is good or bad for him. Some people still think the Muslim women insist on wearing hijab which is the “very symbol of the oppressed situation because they are enslaved by the tradition and are not sufficiently aware of their lamentable situation. If only, they probably think, the movement of the women’s liberation and independence awakes those women’s mind, they will take away the hijab.”

Such a naive point of view is shared by the people who have little knowledge of Islam. They, who are so accustomed to the secularism and the religious eclecticism, are simply unable to understand that the teaching of Islam is universal and eternal. Anyway, there are more and more women, beyond the Arab Nationality, all over the world embracing Islam as the true religion and covering the hair. I am but an example of these women. The hijab is surely a strange object for non-Muslim people. For them, the Hijab does not cover the woman’s hair but also hides something to which they have no access, and it’s why they feel uneasy. From the outside, effectively, they can never see what is behind the Hijab. I have kept the hijab since I became Muslim in Paris two years ago…In France, soon after my conversion, I put a scarf, matched in color to the dress, lightly on the head, which people might think a sort of fashion(60). Now in Saudi Arabia, I cover in black all my body from the top of my head till the tip of my toes including my eyes…At the time I decided to embrace Islam, I did not think seriously about whether I would be able to make the five prayers a day or put the hijab. May be I was afraid that I might find the negative answer, and that would affect my decisions to be Muslim. I had lived in a world which had nothing to do with Islam until I visited, for the first time, the Mosque of Paris. Neither the prayer nor the hijab were yet very familiar to me. I could hardly imagine myself making the prayer and wearing the hijab. But my desire to be a Muslim was too strong to worry about what was waiting for me after my conversion. Indeed, it was a miracle that I embraced Islam, Allah Akbar.

In hijab I felt myself different. I felt myself purified and protected. I felt the company of Allah. As a foreigner, I felt sometimes uneasy in a public place, stared by men. With hijab, I was not seen. I found that the hijab sheltered me from such impolite stares. I was also very happy and proud in hijab which is not only the sign of my obedience to Allah but also the manifestation of my faith…besides, the hijab helps us to recognize each other and to share the feeling of sisterhoods. The hijab has also the advantage of reminding the people around me that God exists and reminding me of being with God(61). It tells me: “be careful. You should conduct yourself as a Muslim” As a policeman becomes more conscious of his profession in his uniform, I had a stronger feeling of being Muslim with hijab.

Soon, I started to put the hijab before my going out from the house whenever I went to the Mosque. It was a spontaneous and voluntary act and no body forced me to do so. Two weeks after my conversion, I went back to Japan to attend the wedding ceremony of one of my sisters, and decided not to go back to France, Now that I became a Muslim and found that I’d been looking for, the French literature did not interest me any more. I had rather an increasing passion for learning the Arabic(62).

For me…it was a trial to live in a small town in Japan, isolated completely from Muslims, But such isolation helped me to intensify my consciousness of being a Muslim. As Islam prohibits the women to disclose the body and to wear clothes which accentuate the body line, I had to abandon many of my clothes such as mini-skirts and half-sleeve blouses. Besides, the Western style fashion does not match with the hijab. I decided, therefore, to make a dress by myself. I asked a friend of mine who knew dress-making to help me, and in two weeks I made a dress with a “pantaloon” after the model of a “Pakistani dress”. I did not mind people looking at my strange “fashion”.

Six months had past since I went back to Japan, when my desire to study the Arabic and Islam in a Muslim country grew so intense that I decided to realize it. I went to Cairo where I knew only one person.

I was at a loss to find none of my host family spoke English. To my great surprise, furthermore, the lady who took my hand to lead me into the house covered herself all in black from top to toe including the face. Such a “fashion” is now familiar to me and I adopt it for myself in Riyadh, but at that time, I was quite surprised at the sight.

I attended once in France a big conference for Muslims, and in that occasion I saw for the first time a woman in black dress with a face-cover. Her presence among the women in colorful dress and scarf was very strange and I said myself: ” there she is, a woman enslaved by the Arabic tradition without knowing the real teaching of Islam”, because I knew few things of Islam at that time and thought the covering of the face was but an ethnical tradition not founded in Islam.

The thought which came to me at the sight of a face-covered woman in Cairo was not very far from that. She’s exaggerating. Its unnatural…Her attempts to try to avoid any contact with men seemed also abnormal.

The sister in black dress told me that my self-made dress was not suitable to go out with. I was not content with her because I thought my dress satisfied the conditions of a Muslima’s dress…I bought a black cloth and made a long dress and a long veil called “Khimar” which covers the loins and the whole of the arms. I was even ready to cover the face because it seemed good “to avoid the dust”, but the sister said there was no need. I should not put the cover-face for such a reason while these sisters put it because they believed it a religious duty. Although most of sisters whom I got acquainted with covered the face, they constituted but a small minority in the whole city of Cairo, and some people apparently got shocked and embarrassed at the sight of black Khimar. Indeed the ordinary more or less westernized young Egyptians tried to keep a distance from those women in Khimar, calling them “the sisters”. The men also treated them with a certain respect and a special politeness on the street or in a bus. Those women shared a sisterhood and exchanged the salaam (the Islamic greeting) on the street even without knowing each other… Before my conversion I preferred an active pants-style to a feminine skirt, but the long dress I started to wear in Cairo got to please me very soon. It makes me feel very elegant as if I had become a princess. I feel more relaxed in long dress than in a pantaloon …

My sisters were really beautiful and bright in their Khimar, and a kind of saintliness appeared on their faces…Every Muslim devotes his life to God. I wonder why people who say nothing about the “veil” of the “Catholic Sisters” criticize the veil of the Muslima, considering it as a symbol of “terrorism” or “oppression”.

I gave a negative answer when the Egyptian sister told me to wear like this even after my return to Japan….If I show myself in such a long black dress on the street in Japan, people might think me crazy(63). Shocked by my dress, they would not like to listen to me, whatever I say. they would reject Islam because of my appearance, without trying to know its teaching(64). Thus I argued with her.

Sixth months later, however, I got accustomed to my long dress and started to think I may wear it even in Japan. So, just before my return to Japan, I made some dresses with light colors and white Khimars, thinking they would be less shocking than the black one.

The reaction of the Japanese to my white Khimar was rather good and I met no rejection or mockery at all. They seemed to be able to guess my belonging to a religion without knowing which it is. I heard a young girl behind me whispering to her friend that I was a “Buddhist nun”…

Once on a train I sat beside an elderly man who asked me why I was in such a “strange fashion”. I explained him that I was a Muslim and in Islam women are commanded to cover the body and their charm so as not to trouble men who are weak to resist this kind of temptation. He seemed very impressed by my explanation, may be because he did not welcome today’s young girls’ provocative fashion. He left the train thanking me and saying he would have liked to have more time to talk with me on Islam.

My father was sorry that I went out even on the hottest day in summer with a long sleeve and a head-cover, but I found the hijab convenient for avoiding the direct sunlight on the head and the neck… I felt rather uneasy in looking at the white thigh of my younger sister who wore short pants. I’ve often been embarrassed even before my conversion by the sight of a woman’s busts and hips traced by the shape of her tight thin clothes. I felt as if I had seen something not to be seen. If such a sight embraces me who is of the same sex, it is not difficult to imagine what effect it would give to men.

Why hide the body in its natural state?, you may ask. But think it was considered vulgar fifty years ago in Japan to swim in a swimming suit. Now we swim in a bikini without shame. If you swim, however, with a topless, people would say you are shameless, but go to a South-France’s beach, where many women, young and old, take a sun-bath in a topless. If you go to a certain beach on the west coast in America, the nudists take a sun-bath as naked as when they are born. On the other side, at the medieval times, a knight trembled at a brief sight of a shoe of his adoring lady. It shows the definition of women’s “secret part” can be changed. How you can answer to a nudist if she asks you why you hide yours busts and hips although they are as natural as your hands and face? It is the same for the hijab of a Muslima. We consider all our body except hands and face as private parts because Allah defined it like this(65). Its why we hide them from male strangers. If you keep something secret, it increases in value. Keeping woman’s body secret increases its charm. Even for the eye of the same sex, the nape of a sister’s neck is surprisingly beautiful because it is normally covered. If a man loses the feeling of shame and starts to walk naked and excrete and “make love” in the presence of other people, he would then become no different than an animal. I think the culture of men started when men knew the sense of shame.

Some Japanese wives (put their) make up only when they go out, never minding at home how they look. But in Islam a wife tries to be beautiful especially for her husband and a husband also tries to have a nice look to please his wife. They have shame even between themselves and towards each other. You may say why we are “over-sensitive” to hide the body except the face and the hands so as not to excite men’s desire, as if a man looks always at a woman with a sexual appetite.

But the problem of sexual harassment so much talked about recently shows how men are weak to resist to this kind of attraction. We could not expect prevention of sex harassment only by appealing men’s high morality and self-control…As a short skirt might be interpreted by men to say: ” if you want me, you may take me”, a hijab means clearly, “I am forbidden for you. “

Three months after coming back from Cairo, I left Japan to Saudi Arabia, and this time with my husband. I had prepared a small black cloth to cover the face with…Arriving at Riyadh, I found out that not all the women covered the face. The non- Muslim foreigners of course put only a black gown nonchalantly without covering the head, but the Muslim foreigners also uncovered the face(66). As for the Saudi women, all of them seemed to cover perfectly from top to toe. On my first going out, I put the niqab and found out (that) it (was) quite nice. Once accustomed to it, there is no inconvenience. Rather, I felt quite fine as if I became a noble and special person. I felt like the owner of a stolen masterpiece who enjoyed the secret pleasure: I have a treasure that you don’t know and which you are not allowed to see. A foreigner might see a couple of a fat man and a woman all covered in black who follows him in the street in Riyadh as a caricature of the oppressing-oppressed relationship or the possessing-possessed relationship, but the fact is that the women feel as if they were queens guarded and lead by servants.

During the first several months in Riyadh, I covered only the part beneath the eyes. But when I made a winter cloth, I made on the same occasion a thin eye-cover. My armament then became perfect and my comfort also. Even in a crowd of men, I felt no more uneasiness. I felt as if I had become transparent before the eyes of men. When I displayed the eyes, I felt sometines uneasy when my eyes met a man’s eye accidentally, especially because the Arab people have very keen eyes. The eye-cover prevents, like black sun-glasses, the visual intrusion of strangers.

Khaula further says that the Muslim woman “covers herself for her own dignity. She refuses to be possessed by the eyes of a stranger and to be his object. She feels pity for western women who display their private parts as objects f or male strangers. If one observes the hijab from outside, one will never see what is hidden in it. Observing the hijab from the outside and living it from inside are two completely different things. We see different things. This gap explains the gap of understanding Islam. From the outside, Islam looks like a ‘prison’ without any liberty. But living inside of it, we feel at peace and freedom and joy that we’ve never known before…We chose Islam against the so-called freedom and pleasure. If it is true that Islam is a religion that oppresses the women, why are there so many young women in Europe, in America, and in Japan who abandon their liberty and independence to embrace Islam? I want people to reflect on it. A person blinded because of his prejudice may not see it, but a woman with the hijab is so brightly beautiful as an angel or a saint with self-confidence, calmness, and dignity. Not a slight touch of shade nor trace of oppression is on her face. ‘They are blind and cannot see’, says the Qur’an about those who deny the sign of Allah, but by what else can we explain this gap on the understanding of Islam between us and those people.” (3/1993)

Note: Khula’s article was sent (late 1993) to the Women’s Office of the Islamic Guidance Center, Buraidah, Al- Qassim, KSA.

Source: http://abdurrahman.org/women/The_Hijab_Why.pdf 

(pg 43-55) –by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)

<>

And here in a Jewish wedding picture, we note that

“The bride usually wears a veil. She should wear long sleeves or gloves. The bridegroom and all other men attending the orthodox or Reform synagogue must wear hats. In orthodox synagogues the women, too, should have their heads covered.”

An outstanding feature of the wedding ceremony

>

and another Jewish bride

Remember Rebecca  wore a veil before Issac as in Genesis 24:65

King James 2000 Bible
For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walks in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

<>

also note

Veiled Hindu women during marriage Ceremony

>

A denomination of Christian nuns who are completely veiled from head to toe.
The point is that the veil are NOT the inventions of the Muslims, but  practiced where humans value chastity, and the role of marriage in life .

Nuns

and  see

pilgrim nuns climb Rome’s Scala Santa (Holy Steps) on their knees.

<><>

<>

52 Responses to Why do Muslim Men have beards and Muslim Women wear head and face coverings (veils)

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  8. Abe Lever says:

    Your articles prove that the veil has been worn for centuries by peoples of various cultures and religions and that it is not exclusively the attire of Muslim women. It is little surprise that women who wore the veil at the advent of Islam continued to do so, it was already a cutural practice at the time, as the head veil donated social status. The Qur’an orders modest dress and behavior for men and women. But as many scholars agree there is nothing in the Qur’an that dictates covering the face veil.

    Your reference above to a “verse” where you quote “Abdullah Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said: “Allah commanded the believing women that when they go out of their homes for some need of theirs, they cover their faces starting from their heads with their “Jalabeeb” (outer garments) and they are allowed to have one eye appear (to see).”

    The above is not a verse, so it is misleading of you to present this a verse from the Qur’an while it is the saying of Ibn Abbas.

    This saying refers to an outer garment; I agree a woman should wear an outer covering for modesty, but even the early scholars of Islam disagreed as to what that was exactly.

    So to present this as the final proof of the obligation to cover the face does not stand. No one knows what the “Jibab” of the 7th century looked like. The jibab of today originated in 1970’s Egypt when it was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood. In Indonesia the word Jibab is taken to mean the headscarf alone and not the outer garment. This shows the disparity of opinion existing through time regarding what the garment actually consisted of.

    Since the 1970’s mainstream Islamic opinion has been overridden by radical minority Wahabi and Salafi interpretations in respect of female dress code. Wahabism was founded in the 18th century and was rejected as extremist by mainstream scholars for years after. Today we see the dictates of this sect hijacking mainstream Islam and presenting Islam to the world as an intolerant, belligerent and oppressive religion. Little wonder that Muslims find themselves on the receiving end of negative publicity and actions, we can only hope that Islam will free itself from the ideologies forced upon us by extremists who try to justify their misogynist attitudes by laying the burden solely upon woman to the exclusion of responsibility of themselves, even though it is clear in the Qur’an that men as well as women are responsible for public decency.

    • supportdanielboyd says:

      If you read close, I never said that Ibn Abbas’s statement is a verse of the Quran, may Allah be pleased with him, but his commentary of the Quranic verse. This manner of commentary is well know to those who understand books of Tafseer.

      To quote from above:

      And Allah the most Exalted said:

      قوله تعالى: {يأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُل لاَِزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَـاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلاَ يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }. (الأحزاب: 59).

      قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: «أمر الله نساء المؤمنين إذا خرجن من بيوتهن في حاجة أن يغطين وجوههن من فوق رؤوسهن بالجلابيب ويبدين عيناً واحدة»(2). وتفسير الصحابي حجة، بل قال بعض العلماء إنه في حكم المرفوع إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلّم، وقوله رضي الله عنه «ويبدين عيناً واحدة» إنما رخص في ذلك لأجل الضرورة والحاجة إلى نظر الطريق فأما إذا لم يكن حاجة فلا موجب لكشف العين.

      قالت أم سلمة رضي الله عنها لما نزلت هذه الاية: «خرج نساء الأنصار كأن على رؤوسهن الغربان من السكينة وعليهن أكسية سود يلبسنها»(3). وقد ذكر عبيدة السلماني وغيره أن نساء المؤمنين كن يدنين عليهن الجلابيب من فوق رؤوسهن حتى لا يظهر إلا عيونهن من أجل رؤية الطريق.

      The saying of Allah, Most Exalted: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the believing women to spread over themselves from their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and will not be abused (or molested). And Allah is most Forgiving and most Merciful [al-Ahzab 59]
      Abdullah Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said: “Allah commanded the believing women that when they go out of their homes for some need of theirs, they cover their faces starting from their heads with their “Jalabeeb” (outer garments) and they are allowed to have one eye appear (to see).”
      When this verse was revealed, Um Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her (the wife of the Prophet peace be upon him), said: “ The women of the Ansar came out (of their homes) as if they had (black) crows on their heads from their serenity, and they wore black clothes.” Ibadah as-Salmani and others (who witness and testify) said that the believing women would let their outer garments cover down from the top of their heads such that nothing will show except their eyes for the sake of seeing the way.”

      End of quote.

      Also, I am not providing this as a final proof for covering the face, but as one of the proofs cited by the jurists and scholars on the well known issue among the jurists.

      Can someone deny that the wives of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, the Mothers of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with them all, covered their faces? Are they not the example of righteousness to be followed by believing and faithful Muslim women? Does not the fact that they covered their faces prove that this type of veiling and covering is noble, chaste and the best way, which we as Muslims must defend as a right of all Muslim women? Regardless of the issue of whether it is obligatory or a beloved voluntary act of devotion, it must be acknowledged as those scholars that did not say that it was obligatory, did say that it remains a beloved voluntary act of devotion: therefore is is legislated in Islam and

      Show me a scholar of the traditional Muslim jurists and scholars who denied that the face veil was a noble act and a legislated act in Islam?

      As for repetition of the attacks against Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and his revitalization movement, and the other revitalization movement of Muslims after centuries of decline, this forum is not a place for the reply in detail as their are many who have spooled forth the repetitions of this propaganda for the reasons which Allah knows best, and many have replied in detail, which suffices for those who seek a balanced view of Islamic history and for the truth.

      In the era preceding our era, the revitalization movements –from west to east- of Uthman Dan Folio of Nigeria, As-Sunussiya of Libiya, Al-Mahdi of Sudan, ash-Shaukaani of Yemen, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahaab of Arabia, Ahamd Irfaan of India, and many others, although different in many ways and not above some criticism of certain aspects of their movements, all sought to renew Islamic faith and the sincere worship of Allah and to struggle against idolatry. polytheism, and certain innovated practices that had become entrenched in what may be called “mainstream” Islam. Thus this is not extremism, but revitalization and renewal of that which has been neglected.

      As for the idea that it is implied anywhere in the post that we are “laying the burden solely upon woman to the exclusion of responsibility of themselves…” this ludicrous accusation does not need any reply for anyone who can read the post and has a rudimentary understanding of Islamic principles and jurisprudence.

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