By Farooq Ahmad Bakloo
Since a month after the episode of Karnataka where some Muslim girls were not allowed to enter the school because of a violation of the school dress code. After that, the issue has become a national sensation and nourishment to those Media channels that repeatedly are a forerunner in unfurling the poison against the Muslims and the entire Muslim community.
These news channels are doing discussions with a high velocity on the issue of whether doing pardha is in Islam or not. These channels tried to endorse or cultivate the opinion that doing Pardha by Muslim women is a sign of suppression and a tool of male domination in their households. During these debates, some participants even called that there is no word Hajib in the noble Quran and some misquoted the verses and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to cook their bogus argument. In reply to these faulty arguments about the Pardha of Muslim women presented and posed by controlled media. Some Muslim sections tried to respond to these posed undesirable questions. Those who are presenting the questions about the Pardha did not know the status and significance of doing pardha in Islam. To cite the example the Muslim girls most often said that doing Pardha is our choice and identify some say it is our culture. However, one must know that the Pardha of Muslim girls is an act of worship it is no choice, it is obligatory as it is a commandment in the noble Quran by Allah.
The reason why I said this worship, the noble Quran says “I did not create Jin, or mankind, except to worship me. (Al Quran 51: 56). Here the word worship has a comprehensive meaning it means every action and saying that Allah loves and is pleased is included in the worship.
According to the
Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah ( d. 728H ) worship is a comprehensive term that brings together everything that Allah loves and is pleased with from actions or sayings both inward and outward ( Majmu al-Fatawa 10/49).
According to Ibn Kathir (d. 774H) rahimahullah worship is obedience to Allah by acting what Allah commands and abandoning what Allah forbids (Tafsir al Quran al- Adhim).
From the above definitions of both great scholars of Islam, it is crystal clear that worship is obeying the orders of Allah through the way Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his companions. Therefore, the matter of Pardha of Women in Islam is undoubtedly the instruction of Allah mentioned in (An-Nur, 24) and (Al – Ahzab, 33 ) of the noble Quran. Allah says in Chapter 24 An-Nur verse 31 as: And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity and not reveal their adornments except what normally appears. Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their hidden adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their father–in–law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters sons their fellow women, those bondwomen in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women nakedness. (Translation Saheeh International Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the clear Quran).
Another place where the Noble Quran commands the believing women to cover their entire body is chapter 33 Al – Ahzab verse, 59 as:
O Prophet! Ask your wives, daughters, and believing women to draw their cloaks over their bodies. In this way, it is more likely that they will be recognized as virtuous and not be harassed. (Translation Saheeh International Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the clear Quran).
Hence, it is evident that Pardha is an obligatory ruling and if anybody obeys this ruling as shown teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is doing the act of worship and fulfilling the commandment of Allah.
THE WORD HIJAB IN THE NOBLE QURAN:
Mostly the Word Hijab is famously associated with the covering of the body but the Quran does not use the term Hijab in this covering body context. We Muslims significantly used the word Hajib as equal to the Burka and regard the Hajib and Burka as identical. However, the word Hijab which is mentioned seven times in the Noble Quran is not used in this context. If we see the word Hajib according to the terminology of the noble Quran the Word Hijab refers to a curtain, barrier and in all seven places, it is used as a curtain and barrier as shown below:
· Al – Ahzab Chapter 33, Verse 53.
· Al- Mutaffin chapter 83 verse 15.
· Al – Araf Chapter 7 verse 46.
· Sad Chapter 38, verse 32.
· Fussilat chapter 41, verse 5.
· Ash-Shura chapter 45, verse 51.
· Al – Isra chapter 17 verse 45.
· Maryam chapter 19 verse 17.
From the above verses of seven places of the noble Quran, it is clear that the word Hijab is used to define a barrier, and curtain. It is a big slap for those who are advocating that there is no word Hijab in the noble Quran and some ignorant people say that it is an Urdu word. These guys have never seen the noble Quran in their eyes. They only know how to spread the venom against the Islam and Muslim community.
However, the Hijab that the Muslims used as the garment by which the woman has covered acts as a barrier and protects her from the unwanted gaze of the people.
QURANIC WORDS FOR THE COVERING OF THE BODY OF THE MUSLIM WOMEN
As far as the covering of the body of the Muslim women is concerned the noble Quran instructs the believers in two places in An-Nur chapter 24 verse 31 and Al- Ahzab chapter 33 and verse 59. In both places, the noble Quran used two different words for covering the body. In An-Nur the word Khimaar and in Al- Ahzab the word is Jalbaab.
SCHOLARS AND THE MEANING OF KHIMAAR
According to ibn Kathir: “Khumur is the plural of khimaar which means something that covers, and is what is used to cover the head. This is what is known among the people as a khimaar.”
Shaykh Muhammad al-Munajjid defines “Khimaar comes from the word khimaar, the root meaning of which is to cover. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Khammiru aaniyatakum (cover your vessels).” Everything that covers something else is called its khimaar. But in common usage khimaar has come to be used as a name for the garment with which a woman covers her head; in some cases, this does not go against the linguistic meaning of khimaar. Some of the fuqaha has defined it as that which covers the head and the neck. The difference between the jilbaab and the khimaar is that the jilbaab is something that covers all of a woman’s body, whilst the khimaar, in general, is something with which a woman covers her head.”
Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddin Albani: “The word khimaar linguistically means only a head covering. Whenever it is mentioned in general terms, this is what is intended.
Imam Abu Abdullah Qurtubi: “Women in those days used to cover their heads with the khimaar, throwing its ends upon 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.”
Ibn Kathir: “‘Draw their khumur to cover their bosoms’ means that they should wear the khimaar in such a way that they cover their chests so that they will be different from the women of the jahiliyyah who did not do that but would pass in front of men with their chests uncovered and with their necks, forelocks, hair, and earrings uncovered.
“The dictionary of classical Arabic, Aqrab al-Mawarid: “[The word khimaar refers to] all such pieces of cloth which are used to cover the head. It is a piece of cloth that is used by a woman to cover her head.
From the statements of these Islamic scholars, Khimaar is the garment that covers the head, neck, shoulders, and chest of the women. It is the obligatory dress commandment by Allah in the noble Quran for the believing women.
MEANING OF JALABAAB
The Noble Quran commands to the believing women to cover their entire body are chapter 33 Al – Ahzab verse, 59 as:
O Prophet! Ask your wives, daughters, and believing women to draw their cloaks over their bodies. In this way, it is more likely that they will be recognized as virtuous and not be harassed.
In this verse, the noble Quran mentions the word Jalbaab
The word “jalabaab” is the plural of “jalbaab”. This ayah states an instruction for Muslim women to wear a garment which Allah SWT has called “jilbab.
“The jilbab is the outer garment, mantle, or cloak. It is derived from the word tajalbaba, which means to clothe. Jilbab is the outer sheet or covering that a woman wraps around her on top of her garments to cover herself from head to toe. It hides her body completely” (Lisan al-Arab )
JILBAAB AND THE HADITHS OF PROPHET (PBUH)
Beyond this, the hadiths record how the sahabiyat (r.a) went about obeying Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 when it was revealed: Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 #4090. Narrated Umm Salama, Umm al-Mu’minin: When the verse, “That they should draw their jilbaab close around them” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing jilbaab.
And there is more even than this. Some of the women remained in seclusion and never went out so that they did not own the garment called “jilbaab”. The hadiths record that the Prophet (sAas) commanded the women to come out for the Eid gathering, and what he said about the issue of the garment called “jilbaab”:
Sahih Bukhari Book 8 #347. Narrated Umm Atiyya: We were ordered to bring out our menstruating women and screened women to the religious gatherings and invocation of the Muslims on the two Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from the musalla. A woman asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What about one who does not have a jilbaab?”. He said, “Let her borrow the jilbaab of her companion.
From the noble Quran and authentic Sunnah, it is apparent that covering the entire body from head to toe. This is an act of worship for the Muslim women. By doing this act Allah is pleased to those Muslim believing women who perform this action as shown by the authentic Sunnaha of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
All the scholars are agreed on this, that covering the entire body by Muslim women is obligatory. And if any Muslim sister is not doing the complete pardha she is not obeying the order of Allah. The point of disagreement among the scholars is on the obligatory status of face veil and hand cover. However, these scholars also state Muslim women must cover the entire body including the face and hands.
Besides this, the word Hijab in the noble Quran is used to refer to the barrier while for the complete coverage of the body of the believing women the word khimaar and Jalbaab is used in the noble Quran. The Khimaar, is an garment covering the head, neck shoulders, and the chest. it is the dress that is mandatory and obligatory when the believing women is at home with Muharrams.
The Jalbaab is used when the believing women went out to the market, school, or any other public place. She must cover by the the entire body by an outer garment including the face and hands. The scholars defined the Jabaab as Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baaz rahimahullah the previous grand Mufti of Saudia Arabia stated that Jalbaab is the outer garment covering all the body except eyes. Molana Maududi rahimahullah defined jilbaab as an outer garment covering the face. Sheikh Yousuf Qaradawi hafzahullah explains the Jalbaab as a loose outer garment and the sheik Nasir ul din Albani rahimahullah says the Jalbaab as an outer garment that is thick and opaque and covers the clothing under it and the women form.
Apart from this some of the untaught people who say that covering the entire body by Muslim women is a sign of backwardness and suppression, those people must understand that covering the entire body including face and hands is not backwardness. Nevertheless, it is the state of undress which linked with the backwardness and Stone Age.
Modernization has nothing to do with the clothing of the person as modernization means the emergence of new ideas, inventions, and discoveries that have benefited the entire humanity. We see how the Muslim women who are strict ardent of parda are attaining good positions at the international and national level.
Instructions related to the covering the body of women especially hair is also found in other religions as well like Judaism and Christianity. In Judaism, it is called (Kissui Rosh). But it is some anti-Islamic forces only target Muslim women because of their religious identity and their faith.
Farooq Ahmad Bakloo is a research scholar. Views are personal.