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Monday, 19 December 2011

Hijab Qur'an And Hijab Hadith

1. Surah An-Nur 24 ayah 31

English Translation from Noble Quran by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity of them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: they should not display their ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty...."

Roman Transliteration from Yusuf Ali:

"WA QUL LIL MUMINAATI YARDUDNA MIN ABSAARIHINNA WA YAHFADNA FURUUJAHUNNA WALAA YUBDIINA ZIINATAHUNNA ILLAA MAA DAHARA MINHAA WAL YADRIBNA BIKUMURIHINNA ALAA JUYUBIHINN; WALAA YUBDIINA ZIINATAHUNNA ILLAA LIBU'UULATIHINNA...."

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, nor face veils as may mistakenly be supposed. It refers to a cloth which covers all of the hair.


2. Surah Al-Ahzaab 33 ayah 59

English Translation of The Holy Quran by Yusuf Ali

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons...."

Roman Transliteration from Yusuf Ali:

"YAA AYUHA NABIYU QUL LI AZWAAJIKA WA BANAATIKA WA NISAAA IL MUMINIINA YUDNIINA ALAYHINNA MIN JALAABIIBIHINN...."

The ayah quoted from Surah Al-Ahzab further directs Muslim women to put some outer garment over their clothes, and to draw it close around them.

It is a GREAT asset to learn Arabic if it is not our first language. If we don't we have to rely on scholars, people of knowledge, and native Arabic speakers to translate for us. When Arabic is translated into another language it loses some of its meaning...that is the unique beauty of the Quran Majid (Glorious Quran.) I am not saying that we shouldn't rely on these people because of the ayah which says "then ask those who possess the Message (Ahl adh-Dhikr) if you do not know." [Soorah 21, Aayah 7 and Soorah 6, Aayah 43] but only so that you will be able to verify for yourself. “O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with news verify it…” [al-Hujuraat 49:6].

3. Often times I have asked niqaabi sisters for proof where it says specifically that niqaab is fard or wajib. Nobody ever can answer me. They usually drop the subject or change the subject (usually attacking the person instead of daleel) This does little to back up their position that niqaab is fard. Until this momemt I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me before to ask a scholar who supports niqaab as fard. I will do so in the future and come back to update point number three insha'Allah.

Not all niqaabis believe that this type of veiling is obligatory. Why do they choose to wear it then? The following reasons have been stated: the intention to draw closer to Allah (swt) by pleasing Him; their husbands request it; more hasanat (rewards) for being more modest; living in a muslim land where face veiling is the norm rather than the exception; personal choice because they like it. The latter reason leads me to my fourth point.

4. Distinguishing between what is MUSTAHABB (encourged/recommended) and what is FARD/WAJIB (obligatory/compulsory) in the SUNNAH(path of guidance from Muhammad saws). The Sunnah has two meanings. The first meaning is in the sense of guidance and examples from the life of the Prophet (saws) There are two subcategories. Wajib is obligatory and naafil is supererogatory. The second is mustahabb, meaning encouraged. If you do it, you will be rewarded but won't be punished for it if you don't. If you neglect something wajib it is a sin and there is punishment for it.

The Prophet's (saw) wives were Mothers of the Believers so what applied to them did NOT always apply to other women in certain cirumstances for instance, after the Prophet (saw) died no man could marry them. Did Aisha (raa) narrate that the Prophet (saw) said niqaab is fard? Did Asma? Did Hafsa? Did Fatima? Is there a Hadith Qudsi that explains niqaab as being fard? If there is a hadith show it to me. Certainly the mothers of the believers veiled their faces and if one wants to strive to be like them (noone will ever be able to hold a candle to them) then masha'Allah.

I just can't shake the feeling that somewhere down the line someone took a special thing reserved for the Mothers of the Believers and turned their obligation into an obligation for ALL women. WAllahi alim. (And Allah knows best) Why do I have this feeling? Because of the following ahadith:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 22 Narrated Anas: The Prophet stayed for three days between Khaibar and Medina, and there he consummated his marriage to Safiyya bint Huyai. I invited the Muslims to the wedding banquet in which neither meat nor bread was offered. He ordered for leather dining-sheets to be spread, and dates, dried yoghurt and butter were laid on it, and that was the Prophet's wedding banquet. The Muslims wondered, "Is she (Saffiyya) considered as his wife or his slave girl?" Then they said, "If he orders her to veil herself, she will be one of the mothers of the Believers; but if he does not order her to veil herself, she will be a slave girl. So when the Prophet proceeded from there, he spared her a space behind him (on his she-camel) and put a screening veil between her and the people.

and

Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 523 Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet stayed with Safiya bint Huyai for three days on the way of Khaibar where he consummated his marriage with her. Safiya was amongst those who were ordered to use a veil.

Do we have a distinguishment here? The Prophet (saws) manumitted Safiya (raa) as part of her mahr when he married her. If Safiya (raa) was only going to be an amma (slave/lady captive) for Nabi (saws) then she would not have had to wear the veil. But since Nabi (saws) ordered her to wear the veil then her position took on a higher significance, not only would she be known as his wife but she would also be known as Umm Al Muminoon. (Mother of the Believers) "Safiya was amongst those who were ordered to use a veil." Does this sentence imply that all women wore the veil or is it used in the context to distinguish her from others? This guy Anas who narrated the above two was the most one to know about the order of veiling next to Umar (raa) who wanted so bad that an ayah would be sent down from Allah (swt) for the Prophet's wives to start veiling and of course the greatest alima (female scholar) Aisha (raa). Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 65, Number 375 Narrated Anas: I know (about) the Hijab (the order of veiling of women) more than anybody else. Ubai bin Ka'b used to ask me about it...."

Also, I found one other hadith that shows a woman who was not the Mother of the Believers. Sunan Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2482: Narrated Thabit ibn Qays: A woman called Umm Khallad came to the Prophet (saws) while she was veiled. She was searching for her son who had been killed (in the battle) Some of the Companions of the Prophet (saws) said to her: You have come here asking for your son while veiling your face? She said: If I am afflicted with the loss of my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty. The Apostle of Allah (saws) said: You will get the reward of two martyrs for your son. She asked: Why is that so, Apostle of Allah? He replied: Because the people of the Book have killed him.

Is that disapproval from the sahabi men when she came to them with her face veiled? And nabi (saws) did not tell them they were wrong for asking her that. If he disapproved of them criticizing her for wearing a face veil he would have immediately corrected them for he does not forget anything. If it was a fard practice then the sahabi men would not have said anything to her? From what I can understand it is not shown that the Prophet (saws) disapproved of her wearing face veil either. It certainly doesn't specifically say that face veiling is fard. Which must mean she have had a choice right?

5. Some pro-niqaabis claim that Asma (raa) wore the face veil but where is the hadith that says she did? I have never seen or even heard of it. Not to say it doesn't exist. There has been a limited amount of ahadith translated from Arabic into other languages. I did however find the following hadith concerning Asma (raa) "Aisha reported that Asmaa, the daughter of Abu Bakr, entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allaah wearing thin transparent clothing, So the Messenger of Allaah turned away from her saying : ‘O’ Asmaa, when a women reaches the age of menstruation, it is not allowed that any of her should be seen except this’ - and he pointed to his face and two hands." (Sahih, reported from Abu Dawud and Al-Bayhaqee.)

Tan 2 Piece Al-Amira Hijab in Textured Jacquard FabricThe pro-niqaabis claim that this hadith is weak. [1] It would make so much sense to make it weak in order to make the order of face veiling more stronger. Some even claim that this hadith is interpretated as an exception for prayer. Ok let's assume this particular hadith is in fact da'if (weak) but we still have these:

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (saws) brought Fatimah a slave which he donated to her. Fatimah wore a garment which, when she covered her head, did not reach her feet, and when she covered her feet by it, that garment did not reach her head. When the Prophet (saws) saw her struggle, he said: There is no harm to you: Here is only your father and slave. Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 32, Number 4094.

and

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Safiyyah, daughter of Shaybah, said that Aisha mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: When Surat an-Nur came down, they took the curtains, tore them and made head covers of them. Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 32, Number 4089.

and

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. Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 32, Number 4090.

Commentary from Sheik Al-Albani on the preceding ahadith: Here, the Prophet was waiting for his daughter to cover from her head to her feet, the mother of the believers was praising the women for their understanding and implementation of this verse. If they were wrong, it would have been correction, not praise. Did our great Prophet, himself, not understand? Did his beloved daughter not understand? Did Aisha, the mother of the Believers, who is undisputedly one of the greatest scholars of al Islam, not understand? It is inconceivable that the Prophet and these gre at woman who lived with and learned from the Prophet himself, would understand Islam less than these modern self-appointed scholars of Islam. May Allah guide them and protect us from them!"

6. That tafsir of the above hadith is from Sheikh Al-Albani, the most respected muhadith amongst all of the scholars! Skeikh ibn Baaz and Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on both) met in Minaa and Sheikh ibn Baaz used to pass all hadith questions to Al-Albani. This is not to forget that Sheikh ibn Baaz himself was an unchallenged imam of hadith.

7. Men are commanded to observe hijab as well. Hijab of the eyes. They are commanded to look down when they see a woman and if they happen to look at her the first glance is excused but if they follow it with a second one they will be held accountable. If men upheld up their part of the bargain then fitnah will not be so rampant. I ask again as I did in point #2, if it is true that Allah (swt) commanded women to cover everything except one or two eye(s), then why would He order the believing men to lower their gaze?

8. To sum all of this up, I would like to list the main errors of those who make the face veil obligatory from Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips who translated Ar-Radd al-Mufhim by Sheikh Nasir Ud-Din Al-Albani found in pages 5-20 of the introduction of his book Jilbaab "Al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah", 3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah. Because of its longevity I am only posting the main points so if you would like to view the article in its entirety go to THE FACE VEIL

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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?

f. 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.

g. 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.

h. 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.

These types of errors are astounding!

Conclusion

No matter how we decide to cover we all have one thing in common and that is being a Muslimah in this glorious Din al-Islam (Religion of Islam.) Amongst us Muslim women there is the one who doesn't cover at all because she doesn't think it is obligatory; the one who doesn't cover and is striving to; the hijabi who covers everything except her face and hands; the hijabi who is striving for niqaab; the niqaabi that believes covering everthing is wajib and the niqaabi who believes it is only encouraged. Who is the best? The one that is the most pious. Which one is the most pious? Allahu Alim (Allah Knows Best)!

May Allah guides us all to the straight path, ameen.

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