Hijab – A Religious Symbol
Channel: Bilal Philips
File Size: 20.42MB
Qatar does guest center for Islamic information under the supervision of Shakib bin Mohammed Al Thani charity Association.
Qatar's guest Center provides videotapes, audio tapes, CDs, and free literature on Islam and comparative religion and various international languages. Its activities include public lectures for Muslims and non Muslims and various languages and Islamic library,
Arabic language courses,
elementary religious studies courses, and follow up program for new Muslims.
For further information, please call or write to Qatar's guest center, PO box number 22206, Doha, Qatar, or phone us at 4862390 or 4862397.
You can fax us at 4862358
Our Lady's division phone number is 4861274 or affects the ladies division at 4861275
Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, Al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah.
on behalf of merkezi dowa, and the Qatar gas center. We welcome all of you here today to this lecture by our esteemed brother and scholar, Dr. Abu Amina beloved Phillips,
Dr. Amina, was originally from Jamaica accepted Islam in 1972. And from there he has pursued the time honored tradition of seeking Islamic knowledge wherever it is available in that any part of the world. And in that vein, he moved to Saudi Arabia, where he received his undergraduate degree in Islamic studies from the University of Medina, after which he went to Riyadh to Mr. Mohammed demonstrate route where he received his master's in either and then he pursued his PhD from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Abu Amina has written and authored over 30 books, which are available in the English language, and he has lectured in many parts of the world, from Canada to the Middle East, to the Far East in the Philippines.
And so we are honored to have him here today amongst us to discuss a topic that is of great relevance to
the Muslim Ummah today, whether they're in the east or the west, and that topic is hijab.
hijab being the rayment of modesty worn by Muslim women, and this is a topic that has become increasingly important amongst Muslims not only in the Muslim world, but in the West as well, for instance, in France and other parts of Europe. So we look forward to this enlightening lecture by Dr. Abu Amina, and without any further ado, is Dr. Berman and to please come forward and enlighten us with his lecture
and Metal Hammer hamdulillah Medina style you want to start fudo when I was a biller, hemming surely and fusina woman say Katya Melina
Mayor de la palma de la la, omega lil for la hora de la
la la la wahoo, luxury color, or shadow Anna Mohammedan Abdul rasuluh.
Indeed, All praise is due to Allah. And as such, we should praise Him, seek His help and seek refuge in Him from the evil which is within ourselves, and the evil which results from my deeds. For whomsoever Allah has guided, none can misguide. And whomsoever law has allowed to go astray and and can guide and I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is the last messenger of Allah.
And ask Dr. Heidi Chiquita law Koharu howdy howdy Mohammedan sallallahu alayhi wa sallam Sharon ohmori
Hakuna Matata in VEDA akula with as in Bala akula Bala
Lindy indeed the best form of speech is the book of Allah.
And the pure source of guidance is the guidance brought by Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa
Send them the worst of all affairs or innovations in religion, for every innovation and religion is a cursed innovation, a source of misguidance leading ultimately to the hellfire.
The topic of this evening hijaab a religious symbol,
a question which is raised due to the current
state of politics in different parts of the world,
not only in the West, where we have heard about it, most recently, but actually within the Muslim world itself, in Turkey, and Tunisia,
where the wearing of the scarf, the headscarf
commonly called hijab,
is forbidden in universities and other governmental institutions.
The point that I would like to
address this evening is that when one takes a practice, out of context,
it will appear strange, it is natural, but it will appear strange.
So to the Western eye,
this idea that women should cover their beauty,
cover themselves appears to be something strange, something which is going against the flow of globalization, modernization, technological development and everything else.
The reality, of course, is that for us to understand the hijab, we have to look at it within the context of the religion of Islam itself.
which governs all aspects of life.
It is not something which a person
practices one day a week is the personal and individual decision of the individual,
individual person, but it is the way of life of a whole society, a way of life, which Islam teaches, was revealed by God,
first and foremost, with the creation of the first human being on this earth, Adam, and his wife, Eve.
And all the subsequent prophets, who arose amongst humankind.
Mission by a law by God,
to convey to humankind a message from himself,
as to how a human being male or female should live their lives.
This way of life, which God taught,
the profits and the profits conveyed to the various peoples to whom they were sent. This way of life is known in Arabic as Islam, submission to the will of God.
We believe, as Muslims that
there was only one revealed religion which was revealed by God.
It did not reveal a variety of different religions. So people
follow different beliefs, different practices, and they are at odds with each other. No, God is not the author of confusion.
He wants people to be guided to live the way for which he created them.
So that religion,
a comprehensive way of life,
a legacy which we can see today in various parts of the world.
That legacy is a legacy of modesty.
One, which appears in the story of Adam and Eve.
When they disobeyed God
became aware of their nakedness. Their first instinct was to cover themselves
to cover their nakedness. Their private, the private parts of their body, they sought to
And this is a part of the religion of God
even till today
in the scriptures
of other major religions, as well as in the icons in the images that we can see in various parts of the world.
The West, which currently raises the biggest
objection to hijab,
when one looks in Christian tradition, one finds all of the images where the mother of Jesus, the women around Jesus are portrayed, wearing hijab.
And even when one looks at the garments, even of some of the other ancient societies, whether Egypt, or Greece, etc. Though they did go through periods of laxity, and nakedness, you will still find a basic core of covering the body parts in a modest way.
So, modesty in general, when we go throughout the world,
is a part and parcel of human society
that people should cover elements of their bodies. And if we look at the actual definition of modesty, according to Webster's 20th century dictionary, it states not displacing displaying one's body.
That is the fundamental meaning of modesty, not displaying one's body.
This continues, in some sects of Christianity, like the Amish, and the Mennonites, their women are completely covered. Women and men, they cover themselves up, their heads are covered. It may not be in the form of a job, but they cover in a kind of a bonnet etc, which they cover them their heads. And this can be found in the scripture in Corinthians in the writings of Paul, where he says every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovers dishonors her head.
It is as as though her head were shaped. If a woman does not cover her head, she should shave her hair off. And if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off,
then she should cover her head.
And we know the tradition in Roman Catholicism of nuns wearing their garment known as the nun's habit, which covers her in such a way that
we're not for the particular style in which they're covered, one would have to say, she is covered like a Muslim hijab wearing hijab.
when we look at the issue of
a woman covering herself, in what is referred to as a job, and we should know that the term hijab though it is currently understood to mean just a scarf,
that the headscarf in Arabic is really called TMR.
And this is mentioned in the Quran as well as in the Sunnah, where women are told to bring their
head scarves over their bosoms, to cover their bosom areas, so that the adjusters would not be exposed. Because the wearing of a head garment was known in Arabia, people did wear it, but they wore it in such a way that it was to the back and their chest ears were exposed. They didn't have buttons and things. So next we're cut and body parts that need to be exposed. So the Quran instructed that the headscarves will be brought over the bosoms and they will be covered.
When we do find the term hijab in the Quran, that refers to a barrier between the salt waters and the freshwaters. We find it also referring to a veiling. For the wives of the Prophet, may God's peace of blessing be upon him, so that none would see them because they were not permitted to work to marry anyone after the prophet SAW that no feelings etc would develop. They were veiled from the public except for their relatives.
However, the term hijaab it,
as I said, has come to refer to the headscarf. So the headscarf is only an element of a job. And really, the concept of hijab involves covering a woman
According to most scholars, it is except for face and hands according to some scholars, it is also including the face,
but covering her completely when she's outside of her home, as well as covering her from males who she couldn't marry within her home.
Because the hijab but though people are commonly looking at it as being just the outer garment that is worn when they go outside, when a woman goes outside, but also within the home itself, if she's in the home, and she has, for example, a brother in law, I mean, she must veil herself from him, she cannot appear in a way which would expose her body whether in the form of dress which is revealing, etc. In front of such individuals, she has to treat that individual who is a brother in law, but whom she can marry just as any other person on the street with regards to veiling herself maintaining a veil, a veil, which is physical in the sense that her body should be covered. But it
is also a veil which is emotional, in that she hides her emotions, she does not expose her emotions when she speaks with people who are marriageable people, she speaks to them in a businesslike way, not in a seductive way, with a lilting voice etc. This is part of a job you could say from an emotional perspective. And even on an intellectual level, she should also maintain a job
from the perspective that she is conscious of the importance of modesty. She understands the principles behind the covering, that it is not just a cultural hand me down, which she does because her mother, female relatives did it
in her place in her tribe, in our nation, or whatever they do it, but she does it because she has understood that it is a requirement from God.
It is done with an understanding. And she understands from a religious perspective, that when she wears her job, she is worshiping God with it. So it is a means of worshiping.
So it is a very comprehensive, a job or veiling. not limited to the physical act of wearing a particular cloth,
a cloth, which, due to the exaggeration of secular Western societies have turned this into
an issue done by young girls, which would shake a whole nation.
Young girls put on a scarf and go to school and the whole nation shakes.
We have to ask ourselves why? Why should the nation shake when young Muslim girls wear the scarf? Because it's only for Muslim girls? Why does the issue of religious symbolism come into play?
Where the state argues that excessive display of religion is not tolerated. So a Christian girl if she wears a small cross, it's okay. But as she wears a big cross, you know, which is
two feet by one foot to something then No, she's not allowed to wear it, but who wears crosses like that anyway, you know. So, for the Muslim woman, or young girl, she puts a scarf on her head and immediately This is an excessive display
of a religion.
It is a symbol of religion, it has come to us be associated with religion, and Islam in particular, because of the awakening, which has taken place in the Muslim world, in the last 2550 to 25 years
on in the era of colonization of the Muslim world
Many women removed their veils.
as men change their dress to become acceptable to the colonial regime. Women were also encouraged to change their dress, so that they would also be acceptable to that colonial regime.
But with the rise of Islam in the 20th century,
the most obvious sign of its return was the woman wearing the veil,
covering herself with a headscarf as well as covering her body, etc.
So it became identified as a symbol of fundamentalism,
fundamental Islamic extremism, when in fact, it is basic to Islam.
So basic, that we have the clear statement, for example, in Surah, Al ahzab, the 33rd chapter of the Quran verse 59. Yeah, you and Abby, poorly as logica, robina Chica, Vanessa meanin Nina la hindlimb Angelababy hiner Danica Edna jaroff novella name, all prophets, tell your wives, your daughters and the women of the believers to cast their outer garments over their bodies that is best in order that they be known and not be harmed.
So there is a clear instruction in the Quran for women to wear these garments to cover themselves. So when we talk about issues of symbolism,
we cannot compare the hijab to a cross,
which is a symbol, it's a symbol of Christianity, or to a dove, which is a symbol of peace.
These symbols represent something else, the cross is not Christianity.
If a Christian wore a cross, or he didn't wear a cross, it would not change the quality of his Christianity.
If a person use the symbol of a dove, where they didn't use it, that doesn't
indicate whether they are a peaceful person or not. The dove is only a symbol of peace. It is not peace in and of itself.
Whereas the hijab for a Muslim woman, this is a badass, it is worship. It is an obligation which God has put on her. Allah
Almighty has required her to cover herself. So when we talk about removing the veil, or removing the job, it is not the same as a Christian woman removing her cross No, it would more be equivalent, as some people said, to asking a Christian woman, a practicing modest Christian woman to remove her blouse.
That is what removing a job for a practicing Muslim woman is like
as a modest practicing Christian woman would be shocked if you suggested to her to take her blouse off. I mean, there are elements in this society, Western society in particular, that don't have any problem about taking the blouses off.
So we have that.
But the modest practicing Christian woman who feel that sense of modesty and chastity etc. She would feel shy to expose herself in that way. Similarly, asking a Muslim woman to take off her job
creates the same or similar effect.
This is the equivalency that we should make. Don't equate it let us not equate it to taking off a cross or a Star of David
or a yarmulke cap worn by the Jews, you know,
a part and parcel of the religion itself.
Now, as I mentioned, even though we accept that it is part and parcel of the religion,
it is there for a reason. And it is important for us to understand that reason, those of us in the audience who are not Muslims.
This is not to say one must accept
this understanding. At least one should be clear that there is a rationale. There is a reason behind it, which has nothing to do with oppression.
Women, which is how it is normally portrayed in the media, especially after Afghanistan, and as a means of galvanizing forces against that Muslim state. The woman covered in the burqa became the symbol of oppression of Muslim women who needed to be liberated.
And in Oprah Winfrey, you know, the big figures, female figures and in the American movie industry, etc, you know, they galvanized the
support of the feminists, etc, to try to liberate and educate Muslim woman, this was the cause that they were given and excited about. Reality, of course, is that after the removal of the Taliban,
traveling in Afghanistan,
after they have been, quote, unquote, liberated, still, the vast majority 99% of Afghan women still wear the burqa.
The reality is that they were wearing it before and they would continue to wear it because it was a part of their tradition, they know it is connected with the religion, etc, etc.
So, the issue of the veil, the covering of the Muslim woman
should not be looked at as an imposition. Yes, it may be there legally, in the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, in Iran, some Muslim countries, it is a part of the law of the country, that women cover themselves and in fact, that is Islamic law.
So, it is not an extreme element amongst Muslims who would wish to require it according to state law.
It is according to Islamic law,
and every country every society has
dress codes, even in the most liberated of Western societies, women and men are required to maintain a certain minimum of dress in public.
Yes, some do allow in limited areas, nudist parks, nudist colonies, nudist beaches, etc, we do find this element there, but in general in society, people are not allowed to walk without any clothing down the main streets.
Yes, we do find it in India.
There are elements amongst the Hindu
priests, who believe that
the highest way of worshiping God is to you know, go back to one's natural state. So, they do walk you will find in certain parts of India, where these priests will come walking into town, they usually stay out in the outskirts, in their hermitages or whatever. But they do come in from time to time walking down the main streets stark naked. But this is unusual.
This says something about Hinduism. But anyway,
it is not the norm in most societies. most parts of the world, people do have dress codes, which they're obliged to follow.
The fact that Islam sets the dress code at the hijab level,
one needs to understand what are the principles behind it, if it is not oppression of Muslim women are not obliged to do this. And we should keep in mind the fact that Islam
is the fastest growing religion in America,
and Britain, and France and Germany etc. And in America in particular, where they have estimated the numbers of people converting to Islam, at close to 400 people per day,
three quarters of them meaning three out of every four are women.
We're talking about American women who have grown up with a liberal view with regards to clothing oneself, choosing to cover themselves.
so worried depression.
It should become evident in the context of America and in Britain and these other Western countries. But in fact, what we find is the opposite
Women, when you read the writings of women from the west, who have chosen to cover themselves, you will hear them using the term liberation.
That is liberate them from the oppression of fashion, the fashion industry, which oppresses the woman, to the degree that she has to spend so much of her time, you know, fixing this and fixing that, and pressing this and pressing that, and sewing this and buying this and wearing that, and
it frees her,
she can leave her home, if she wished, having just gotten up out of bed, and walk out, nobody knows any difference. She's not obliged to comb her hair in such a way and this and that and goes,
it liberates her.
So when we go and look, within the context of the Quranic verse, which I mentioned itself, we find in it the reasons which God has prescribed for women to cover themselves, he said, There
you'd need Allah hindlimb Angelababy be hidden adeleke adna you are off now allow you then
let them cast their outer garments over themselves, that is best in order that they be known and not be armed, that they be known, and not behind to principles that they'd be known.
known that the hijab is a costume or a uniform, which identifies them.
As in every society, there are costumes and uniforms, which identify people, the policeman wears a particular costume. So you know, this is the policeman.
The doctor wears a particular costume, you know, he's a doctor, you go to the hospital, you don't go to the orderly or somebody who's cleaning the place and asked him to do a heart operation for yourself. No, he's not wearing that long white coat, you know, you don't ask him for those kinds of things.
the construction worker, he's required to wear certain kinds of helmets, certain kinds of boots, etc, etc. Why
did he be protected from harm?
Did he not be harmed
by falling bricks or whatever.
So what you find is, in general,
there are a variety of uniforms people wear,
to either identify themselves, or to protect themselves from harm or both.
So the dress of the Muslim woman
is first and foremost, as we said, her way of one of her ways of worshipping God,
it is a bar that is worship first and foremost. That's why she needs to know why she's doing it.
And she needs to do it, according to how it is prescribed. Not just how she feels. So it becomes a bad day, or worship of God.
That she be known. She'd be known as what
because some people mistakenly think that when a woman wears her hijab, it's that she not be known.
And this is why Unfortunately, many Muslims, or a number of Muslims coming from this part of the world
will go to the west and transform themselves.
It's a phenomena which I observed when I was first in Saudi Arabia studying when I would fly home.
on the plane,
women when they first got on the plane, they would be wearing complete garments.
Then when the
halfway through the flight, transformation starts, by the time the pilot announces we'll be landing in New York in so many, you can't see any more of those garments anymore. People walk off the plane, you know, looking like Western women in western dress. And similarly, the opposite, getting on a plane filled with a whole bunch of Westerners, but by the time they announced we'll be landing in Jeddah or be landing in Riyadh, all of a sudden, we see all these garments worn again and people get off the plane completely covered.
The philosophy of those who do this
is that as it was explained to me,
if we were the job in America, or Canada, then people are going to stare at us.
Men are going to stare at us.
And the idea behind his job is that people don't stare at this to hide ourselves.
So if we're in Saudi Arabia, and we didn't wear this, then people would stare at us. But when we wear it, nobody stares at us. But it's the opposite when we go to America and to Canada, to Britain, when we were at people stare at us, when we dress like them, nobody stares at us.
This is what they say. But a lie explains in the Quran, that this garment is that they be known.
Not that they be unknown, that they be known. In what sense?
Do they be known in the same way that a nun in that society is known.
Because nuns wearing their full garments are not commonly seen walking the streets. If one comes walking down the street or gets on a bus, the men who stare at her, they will alternate and look at her.
Watch her as she walks.
Similarly, if a woman in the summer comes out, wearing the scantiness of clothing, they will also look at her
gets on the bus, they will look at her walking down the street. But now we have to ask ourselves
are these looks the same?
No. One look
has one meaning the other look has another meaning when they look at them, none. They are looking out of curiosity. Strange, it's all covered up but they don't have behind it any kind of desire, they know that this person is unapproachable.
This is a holy person.
And truly, when I first came into Islam in Toronto,
and my wife started to wear a job covering herself with a scarf. When we used to get on the bus,
people used to jump out of their seats and offer a seat.
They thought that she was some kind of, you know, nun. But some people even asked her what order of nuns do you belong to.
So there was this respect.
And that basically, when a Muslim woman wears a hijab, this is the kind of respect that she is seeking.
That people males in particular, would not offer would not approach her
sexual way, in a way, which is unacceptable Islamic culture, you know, they have to deal with her, they deal with her in a businesslike fashion
as a person, not as a sexual object,
which is the sad state of females in general in the West.
In Western society,
they have become sexual objects.
They're used to sell products.
If you want to sell
what do you do?
In your ad?
Do you talk about how big the tires are? how fast it goes? How long it takes to go from zero to 60
the size of the engine that may be there and small writing. But the message when they show that image in the magazine is a red Corvette
with a woman lying on top of it in a bikini,
this is the message you want to sell your Corvette whatever you sell it any car, any product, you sell it using the female body.
So Islam rejects this, this is an unacceptable This is dishonorable This is exploitative. No, a woman should be honored, held in an honored position
and not turned into a sexual object. So her dress is a fashion statement that she is not to be treated in that way.
She makes a clear statement to the society around her.
this dress is to protect her from harm as the law said, as God said in the Quran. Well, I mean that they not be harmed.
refers to what happens to women
In a society in which they are not failed women, when they come in contact with men.
And of course,
the blame lies on the men, primarily. Because all of the harm or 90% of the harm is males harming females.
Whether it's in the military, how many staff sergeants are now being charged for raping their female, female soldiers under their command,
large numbers of decorated heroes war heroes charged with rape,
the military, the Air Force, the Navy,
in the medical profession,
how many doctors are being charged for abusing their position with female patients?
whatever profession one goes into
where males and females are mixing
women or writing books about the harassment of women on the job?
harassment, which is not abating harassment in a society where people have ready access to sexual gratification. There's so many products, clubs,
a variety of other means that people have yet women are
law books that
very severe punishment, Philippines has taken up that law, India is considering it other countries, women or feminists are talking about it kill these men.
can we really apply, such as severe law without a balance from the side of the women, that they are also required to cover their charms?
It's not fair to just kill a man who steps out of line. And the woman is free to expose herself.
She might say well listen, I when I wear my miniskirt.
Right, my halter top or whatever.
I am not inviting men. This is not my intention.
My intention is just to look nice. This is this style. And this is what is considered to be niceness for how I want to look. But that's not the point. The consequence is that men are attracted in this way.
Common sense tells us that we should avoid this kind of clothing to minimize the
abuse, the harassment, which is taking place in the society, this is common sense. For example,
some years back about five years ago,
argued for the right in summer to walk the street topless.
Since in summer, men commonly will wear shorts and go walking down the main streets topless.
They call it bare chested.
They said women should have the right to do that. Because if a woman did it, she would be arrested for lewd conduct.
So why why should we be arrested for lewd conduct when the men are able to do this?
no better women are equal.
No, that's what we said in the Constitution. They're equal. So we should have the right they argued and one
in Ontario, Toronto and the rest of Ontario, it is permissible for a woman in summer because this is when they would do it to walk down the main streets topless. However, since that law was passed five years ago,
there is no record of a single woman doing it.
Common sense tells them that if they did it in public and gone down the main streets, they would suffer.
They would suffer. So they choose not to do it. It's common sense telling them. So similarly, when we talk about dress, we should
Keep this in mind that women should be required to cover themselves. And at the same time, we should have strong laws dealing with those who are involved in rape, who would harm women in this way.
And there's an article I have here, which is from the USA Today,
called men, women and sex. We need your help.
Darren Snyder, reporter for USA Today, non Muslim, he's writing he's writing he says,
do your skirts have to be so short?
Do your jeans have to be so tight? Can't your clothing be less provocative,
is a non Muslim writer.
And he goes into discussing the need on the part of women who complain about harassment of men but they should also dress themselves in a more modest way.
And he actually states in here.
He says, talking about the men first and he puts the blame. He says yes, men, it's men's fault. He says that that's the men's fault. But he says this is a difficult dilemma for women. Many women, many men have one track minds. Even if women wore bedsheets and drapes, some men would still be able to indulge in whatever visions tickle their fantasies. But if you dressed say in long flowing loose fitting garments, like some traditional Muslim women,
you don't have to cover your face. In my book, he said this is him. It could be easier on men trying to overcome the entrenched notion of man as a sexual hunter gatherer
is that men need your help. Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak.
This is a non Muslim writing on this matter. This is reality. So when we look at
the rates of
rape, for example, in North American society, where if we just look at three years 1994 1995 1996
in 1994, you had
251,560, rapes and sexual assaults.
In 1995, you had 354,607.
In 1996, you had 4300. For 432,000, sorry, but the figures that we're using here, first one was 251,005 60, and 94 354,670, and 95, and 432,330. In 96.
We're jumping almost by 100,000. Every year. This is a trend,
which you can extrapolate backwards to the turn of the century.
So that the graph appears to be going down. It's rising as we go forward into the 2002 1001 2002.
If we look at that graph,
and we look at the graph for women's clothing from the turn of the century, where women used to go bathing in full dresses.
In America, women went bathing in full dresses.
And men even covered themselves completely.
Till today, where people go black bathing virtually naked, wearing bits and pieces of clothing, they call bikinis and a variety of other things, but in fact, they're virtually naked.
You see a graph going in the opposite direction, going from fully dressed to Fully undressed.
rapes going from few to many.
There is a correlation. Yes, there are figures which have to do with rape. And yes, that, you know, it tends to happen amongst those people who are in the families, etc. It's not that it's strangers are fewer. But even amongst the strangers. I'm just saying that the rate of strangers committing rape is on the rise. And if we put rape aside and just go and the figures they have in the America that said every minute, five women are raped in America, every minute, five women are raped in America. Leaving those figures aside, just go to the harassment.
The reality is that harassment is on the increase.
So harm, harm is directed at women.
In a very obvious way,
Islam prescribes the hijab,
the garment to protect the woman
and also to identify her in the society.
It is not a means of oppression
low, some people might go press with it, I'm not saying that that does not occur somewhere in the world, that there are some people are pressing
with a hijab, as people may or press with virtually anything.
But as a basic principle, the religion of Islam, it is not the principle of oppression, but one of protection and identification,
it is one in practice of liberation for the woman, as we said from the oppression of the fashion industry.
And if we look at the goals of dress in general
and Muslim society, we find that the first goal is the covering of the private parts, second is the protection from the elements. And third is beautification and attraction.
Primary is covering the private parts, secondary protection from the elements and thirdly
that global culture which is coming on MTV and you know, all the other sources, we can see that the primary purpose of clothing, is beautification and attraction,
beautification and attraction.
And after that, it is protection from the elements and last, it is covering the privates, it's the total opposite.
This is why you will find in the dead of winter in Chicago, where the cold wind known as the Hawk, you know, ripped through you know,
2030 degrees below zero, you know, you shiver, just thinking about it, you will find women walking out in miniskirts in the dead of winter. How?
What is the intent here?
Obviously, it is attraction of the opposite sex. Well, the woman might say, as I said, it's just style. But the bottom line, the fashion industry is geared towards attraction. That is the goal.
So, Islam seeks to bring all of these principles under control, it's a part of a system.
And this system actually does not exclude men.
The system actually does not exclude men, there is a job for men to
know they're not required to wear the scarf.
But they are required to cover
primarily between the navel and the knee, that is the minimum should be covered in a loose garment, which does not
form and shape the private parts and expose it.
That is the requirements. Unfortunately, many men today in the Muslim world
while being very vigilant, to ensure that their women are properly covered,
will leave their homes improperly covered.
They will wear garments, which in fact, expose their private bites,
garments which they wouldn't accept for their
wives, their daughters, etc. But they're wearing it themselves.
And this is something that men also need to keep in mind.
So, in summing up the topic, a job
the job as it faces the secular
system, which is now being globalized secularism, which seeks to remove religion, from all elements of government, public policy,
which says basically religion is all the same. You can follow whichever one you wish but don't use it as a symbol don't symbolize it.
In public schools, etc.
global culture which is coming
finds in front of it,
the Islamic culture,
there is a clash, head on clash, Islamic culture, which requires that the woman cover herself
This is a part of the religion.
Yes, some Muslims may be lacks, not practicing properly in different parts of the world. But, as a whole, the Muslim nation recognizes that this principle of modesty is a part and parcel of the religion.
So, it will stand in opposition
to the culture which calls to
calls to liberalizing a liberation
exposure which is transformed or manifests in the exposure of
the bodies of males and females, and in particular, in the case of females.
So, there is
a clash happening,
that clash does not have to be
if that global culture
it accepts the rights of people to practice their religion as it has been prescribed,
then there is no need for the clash.
They accept the principle of a job within the context of Islam
within the context of a system, which promotes modesty
encourages prescribed modesty
that this is the right of that system
and those involved in the system to practices.
those who are currently raising such a clamor against a job,
were to wake up to the realities
and accept it and embrace it as a part of the cultural diversity of human beings, then there is no problem. In fact, those countries that see
a scarf, Muslim school girls wearing a scarf, as a challenge to the system.
They want them to conform.
They want them to be absorbed by the culture, the home culture,
that is their goal. In fact, banning the headscarf will not achieve that goal, it will actually defeat it because many Muslim families will choose instead to take their children out of schools, the state schools and put them into Muslim schools
where their values will be reinforced. And whereas the society sees it, fundamentalism will thrive.
So actually, they are shooting themselves in their feet.
The goal that they intend will not be achieved by the methods that they are applying.
So he job
though it is a symbol
of an awakening to Islam.
It is among the practices of Muslims.
It is not a religious symbol in and of itself. It has symbolic value, but it is not a religious symbol in our life itself. It is an act of worship, it is a religious obligation.
And as such
Muslims as well as non Muslims need to understand it in this context.
And having understood it, then, the problems which we are facing today in the Muslim world as well as the non Muslim world, so most of the problems seem to be in the non Muslim world. These can be resolved quite easily, because Islam is not confrontational.
It is not a violent religion, religion, it doesn't seek to impose its way on people.
It is a religion which thrives in peace in times of peace, it spreads most rapidly. When there are tensions, when there aren't conflicts, when we consider the spread of Islam to Indonesia
200 million Muslims.
Not a single Muslim soldier set.
The largest Muslim country became
a Muslim country from trade, merely from the trade of Muslim traders leaving Western south south south eastern Arabia, Oman, Yemen, traveling there, and trading.
Islam is a complete way of life.
The hijab is a part and parcel of that way of life.
It is not imposed and it is not oppression.
a means of worship.
for females, they worship God by wearing it.
And it is also practically in the society, a means of identifying themselves and a means of protecting themselves from harm.
It also protects the society from the harm which comes from exposure.
So it protects themselves, and it protects the society as a whole.
is not only a physical,
but it is also a state of mind.
A state of emotion
where a person, a female,
wears that garb, to worship God
and maintains all of the requirements of that garb, in all of their dealings in the society, whether outside their homes, are within their homes,
whether among males or even among females, there are requirements in dress, though it may be relaxed amongst females, it is not relaxed to zero,
there are still requirements of Muslim females, even in the presence of other Muslims.
Similarly, a job
is not restricted to females, it is also a part and parcel of male dress, there are requirements, a job requirements of modesty, of covering of
maintaining a, an even keel in the society with regards to sexuality, sensuality, that is kept under control. Law today, from a Western perspective, when one thinks of the veil and the the,
The image which comes up in many people's minds is that of the 1001. knights, the harem, the women, belly dancers, this is some of the images which people conjure up. Of course, these are stories, entertainment, novels, fiction.
Yes, there may be elements of truth in them. But the whole truth is that the veil the hijab is
an element or an instrument of worship in Islam and not one of heightened sense reality, it in fact lores in the society, and this is the purpose for which Islam prescribing.
With that, I conclude my presentation and
we will give you an opportunity now for questions. a female's may give their questions. There's amongst you,
one of the sisters who can take those questions down to her father,
brother Niaz who can collect them and bring them forward.
Questions for males, we can take them in the written form,
as well as if you'd like to just raise your hand. We can also take questions directly from the floor.
while they come sit down
your brother's question concerning the pub, or the face veil is this a must and a requirement for Muslim women? Well, this is an issue over which Muslim scholars have differed.
Some hold that it is not an obligation. But those who hold it's not an obligation hold that it is a strong recommendation.
And others hold that it is an obligation.
You do have an element amongst modernists, who would even go so far as to claim that it isn't an obligation at all.
Even the kaymar or the scarf itself, but this is something cultural. And that modesty is only a principle and an idea that can vary from society to society. And as long as you maintain what may be classified as modesty or okay.
So, if you're in the West, what constitutes modesty, which might constitute nakedness in the Muslim world is okay, you know, but this is, of course, an extreme view, which steps outside of the bounds of Islamic law.
And Egyptian scholars stated that France is permitted to pass a law banning a job.
Muslims should move to Muslim countries, what is your view, especially for Muslims whose home is in the West? Well,
whether France is permitted to or not, that is up to them. Of course, it's their country, they can do what they want to do in the country. But it is something which may be fought legally, because there are also people from various
human rights who
have actually opposed this. There is an article which is available on the internet,
written by the one of the big human rights
organizations in which they
recommend that they call on France actually, to take this back.
Human Rights Watch.
They said the proposed law is an unwarranted infringement on the rights of religious practice, said Kenneth Rogoff, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. For many Muslims wearing a headscarf is not only about religious expression, it is about religious obligation, he has understood the crux of the matter.
He said some supporters of the proposed law known as the draft law concerning the application of the principle of secularism in schools, junior high schools and high schools, which has come into force in September, believe it is necessary to uphold the separation of church and state in education, and to protect the secular state from the perceived threat of religious fundamentalism, particularly Islamic fundamentalism.
However, protecting the rights of all students to religious freedom does not undermine secularism in schools. On the contrary, it demonstrates respect for religious diversity, a position fully consistent with maintaining the strict separation of public institution from any particular religious message. Human Rights Watch recognizes the legitimacy of public institutions seeking not to promote any religion via their conduct, or statements. But the French government has taken this step further by suggesting that the state is undermining secularism if it allows students to wear religious symbols. So this is Human Rights Watch a non Muslim organization opposed to the ban which
is being proposed in France. Now.
Muslims should move to Muslim countries Well, I mean, this of course, is something which may not be practical at all. Of course, Muslims wherever they find that practicing Islam becomes difficult, they are obliged to migrate to make hedra is an obligation which remains on Muslims until the last day.
So the obligation to migrate
is a general obligation
which Muslims are faced with wherever they are. Even in Muslim countries where they have difficulty practicing Islam, they're obliged to migrate to another area where they can better practice Islam.
As for the majority of Muslims, for example, in western countries who cannot migrate, their responsibility is to try to implement
Islam as best they can, and to convey the message of Islam to the non Muslim society in which they live.
In case a woman is alone
in her home,
what clothing should she wear? Well,
she's absolutely alone. Of course, there is.
She's free, she has to take a bath, whatever, when people take baths, they don't usually wear clothing when they take baths, you know. So that means that sometimes she may take off all of her clothing. So it depends on the circumstance, you know,
she is not, she doesn't have any particular
minimum which is prescribed but but for herself, whenever she feels, you know, most comfortable in within the bounds of her own personal modesty, then she is permitted to wear as she wishes within the bounds of her own home when she's alone.
What is the exact wear way of wearing the veil?
This is the same question we looked at earlier.
What is the sin for not wearing Hijab? Well, of course, this is this obedience to Allah subhanaw taala. Allah Almighty women who expose themselves, depending on the severity of the case, could end up
being a source of punishment for them on the Day of Judgment, in the Hellfire to some degree for some period of time or whatever, it just depends on the severity of their acts.
But in general, Muslim, a Muslim is required to try to obey laws commands as much as they can.
The nature of women and men are different. Is it also the nature or the way a man is created according to the Quran?
as one of the reasons why men look at women in desirous ways?
from the nature of men,
they are more easily aroused by females,
just looking at them, etc.
It is part of the difference.
And this is why a law when speaking about the covering,
says tell the men, Muslim men, the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard, their private parts are told, as women are told, they're also told,
of course in to is this conforming, by other countries, the banning of the hijab for Muslims is a sign that non Muslims are fearful of Islam. Yes, it does represent something of a fear they see in Islam, this wearing of the the job, a fundamentalist
upsurge, and they link it to terrorism, which of course is a false link. Because fundamentalism going back to the fundamentals of Islam is something required of all Muslims. And this has no link with terrorism, terrorism is something else. A person may be a, an atheist, and a terrorist.
He could be, you know, a Muslim who is not practicing Islam and is a terrorist. It doesn't necessarily link with practicing Islam. So
it's a miss understanding the part of many people in the West, unfortunately promoted by the media, that fundamentalism
If women were completely job covering the face, then identification will be difficult, as per the for the Prophet saying that they should be identified when she goes with a man. Well, I don't know about that thing. In fact, the idea is that she is not identifiable, easily identifiable.
It is sufficient that she knows who her husband is, and
where they have to meet is not necessarily the husband be able to identify his wife. You know, when she is amongst other women in a similar dress, which is not a necessity.
Some parents say I will leave it up to my daughter to decide.
What do you have to say to them? Well, this is a mistake.
This is a mistake.
Something which Allah has already decided. So to say I will leave it up to my daughters to decide is to go against the commandment of Allah is to give the right to have decision which belongs to a law to your doctor.
This is a big mistake. Of course,
who are not applying Islam
find themselves in a difficult situation, when they recognize culturally, that a girl has now become a young woman, and she needs to be covered. And they asked her to cover and she doesn't want to have to struggle with this.
Then they say okay, I'll leave it up to you.
But the reality is that the prophet SAW Selim said, teach your children prayer. By the time they're seven.
I'll be more logical masala, the sobra teach them prayer. By the time they're seven. Teaching them prayer involves teaching them a job
goes to teach a young girl how to pray. It doesn't mean the physical actions alone, it means the dress that accompanies it, that she must cover herself accordingly, what is acceptable for prayer?
As she learns that dress, from the time she's seven, by the time she reaches puberty, you will not have any problems,
encouraging her to wear the hijab, because you'll already be doing it. Maybe not as complete maybe at that time should be where is it in the most complete sense. So that only becomes a problem for those people who are not following the prophetic instructions.
How long would it take for Arab women to take off the job going at the president trends? While I'm not a fortune teller, so I really can't give you an answer to that one.
And in any case, you know,
these trends are cyclic.
If we were to go to Egypt, for example, 60 years ago, you would hardly find any woman wearing a scarf.
hardly find it. Today, you can't go anywhere without finding women wearing skirts.
When I was in Malaysia, in the 60s, I lived in East Malaysia, which is Muslim country. I never saw a single woman in a job.
Now the single woman, not one.
I found myself when I went to Medina to study during Hajj. And I saw these women that look like the women of Malaysia all covered up you know except for their face and hands. I asked some friends of mine, where are these people from?
Because they look like Malaysia said Malaysia said what? I never saw anybody dressed like that in Malaysia? No, because what they would do, they knew that when you pray you have to cover yourself. They would carry these garments in bags when they go to the mosque and then they when they get inside they put it on and they print it and put it back in the bag and leave. So I never saw it the whole time I was there in Malaysia. Now when I went back in the 90s it was everywhere. The school the public places everywhere.
So even if you may find the society liens at one point towards a relaxing, the overall trend of Islamic awakening will help it come back in line.
So I don't fear for the future in that regard.
Question you speak of extremes in the West populist miniskirt etc. But our gloves niqab to the point where women cannot see etc. Not extreme as well.
Why can there not be a respectful middle ground of conservative modest dress? Thank you. Well,
the degree to which a woman covers herself if she chooses to cover herself to the point that you said where she can't see well, I mean, of course, that may be a bit of an extreme. You know where it's gonna hinder. You're walking you're bumping into poles and falling and tripping and things like this.
We say this is an extreme, you should at least have a minimum of being able to maneuver in society. Right. So But still, even with the niqab and the glove, we can say Nick kominek, gloves is extreme.
If it is sanctioned by the religion and a woman chooses to do so, then that is her option. There is no harm coming from it to the society or to herself.
There's no harm coming from it.
To the society, on and to herself. In fact, one recent study, Dr. I was reading talking about societies where women were the face, they'll have fewer incidences of
Nose and Throat infections because it acts as a screening screening out.
So there's benefits in fact, now if we go to the other extreme, you know, where people the topless in the miniskirt, we say this, this harm is obvious harm there, you know, so where are we going to find the modest mean? Okay. What do you consider modest, this, what you consider modest, another person may not consider Mondays.
So we have difficulties, if it's left to the individual to decide, then we have problems. This is why as Muslims, we say, leave it to God.
Let God decide. Because we really don't know what's best for us.
So this is the the Islamic approach to it.
As I said, abuse of women, you know, harassment of women in general sexual harassment of women, which sometimes may reach the point of rape, and many times many other times it's not to that point, we
we do common sense does tell us that this is going to be related to clothing.
This is just basic
for a person to say no, it has nothing to do with clothing. If I wear a bikini,
it's not going to excite men.
And in fact, if I were a complete covering, you can't see anything of me that might even excite them. Yes, there may be a man excited by that.
But all men are excited by the bikini. That's reality. You know, let us not fool ourselves.
Okay, our Time's running out, we have hit the
the hour of 10 o'clock.
And though we have a number of questions remaining, what I can do is maybe I'll save them for the center, we can answer them at the
Qatar guest center where we have regular classes in the evening, I have regular Friday classes there I can answer some of them in my question answer period, because time will not permit going through all of them. And if you didn't receive a brochure Before leaving, please collect one which informs you about the Qatar gas Center, which is the main body involved with setting up this program. And inshallah we'll be having other public programs, we hope that you will continue to take part. Okay, just running through a few of the last these other questions.
Is it permissible for children of the age 13 and 14 to wear hijab, that is the head cover it only at school
where the girls and the boys are separate? The job doesn't cover the chest? Well, you know, 1314 is the age of puberty. So a proper job should be worn by a girl of that age, the point at which it becomes a requirement and obligation religious obligation is the age of puberty.
In your speech, you mentioned that there in the US is around 400 people converting to Islam daily in the US, as you're improving this comment. Yes, it is. research done by Yvonne had dad from the University of Michigan and F sandbelt to be
both professors. But we both of them concluded with these fingers close to that 300 Plus, etc.
To me TV media plays an important role to in unveiling the woman if you provide liquor to a drunkard, and then you tell him not to drink it is very difficult for him first banned the liquor then tell him not to drink. Similarly, Ban those TV channels which inspire women to unveil and then tell them I guess, to Well, well,
we should of course try to control the media to the degree that we are able but even if the media
is not in our hands, and it is not complying with Islamic principles, does that mean
Now become justification for us not to comply with those principles, of course, that in the end, a person has an obligation to worship God, to obey the commandments of God in his or her life.
Whether the whole society doesn't do it, or whether they do, ultimately they will be asked about themselves, first and foremost. And as such, they should consider the obligation, a personal obligation, the implementation of Islam is a personal requirement, then it is one a family, community and society, etc. But first and foremost, we must begin with an end with ourselves, because we have to answer each and every one of us to God.
With that, close, thank you all for being with us this evening and hoping that you will continue to take part in our various programs that we're offering subhanak Allahumma, Ambika shadow Allah, Allah and stop Furukawa to blue lake. And just in passing, just like to mention that on the 28th of this month, there will be another public lecture given at the Qatar charitable Association,
which is near the mall. Their Hall will be holding another
entitled, The pursuit of inner peace. So now they come around to
Qatar is guest center for Islamic information.
Under the supervision of Shakib bin Mohammed Al Thani charity Association,
Qatar's guest Center provides videotapes audio tapes, CDs, and free literature on Islam and comparative religion and various international languages. Its activities include public lectures for Muslims and non Muslims and various languages and Islamic library,
Arabic language courses,
elementary religious studies courses, and follow up program for new Muslims.
For further information, please call or write to Cathars guest center, PO box number 22206, Doha, Qatar, or phone us at 4862390 or for 862397.
You can fax us at 4862358
Our Lady's division phone number is 4861274 or fax the lady's division at 4861275