Posted By Veiled Muslimah on/at 6/13/2007 03:01:00 PM

Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi Wabarakath,

The issue of Niqaab has been a debated one for a long period of time. I acknowledge the fact that there is ikhtilaaf on the issue and that both sides have substantial proof and evidence to prove their statements. However, it should be noted that these Ulema accept the fact that Niqaab is a part of Islam and their debate is on whether it is compulsary or recommended.

But, surprisingly enough, I have come across people who claim that the Niqaab has no basis in Islam and is only part of 'Arab culture.' Another claim is that it is a backward thing and has no place in modern day society. Although, I myself am not a permanent Niqaabi, these comments exasperate me to no extent as do other claims which contradict the Quran and Sunnah. The Ummahat Al Mumineen [Mothers of the believers] would cover their faces and I have a lot of respect for Sisters who opt to be Niqaabis. I've noticed that usually these people lack any sort of Ilm, speak out of ignorance and/or are not practicing Muslims. Or they have a history of trying to twist things around to suit their own needs. And if they are debated with they turn a deaf ear to you. Wa Allahu a3lam.

A couple of months back, the staff of SeekingIlm wrote an excellent article on the issue of Niqaab. They compiled evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah and presented us with an article which refutes the above claims.

In Defence of the Obligation of Niqaab - Part 1

In Defence of the Obligation of Niqaab - Part 2

I recommend everyone read them, they are very well written.

May Allah subhanna wa ta'ala guide us to the straight path, allow all of us to seek ilm and make us pious Muslims. Allahumma ameen.


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Anonymous said...

If it's good and godly to put your entire body into a big draping robe, with just slits for your eyes, then why not encase yourself in a big wooden, and roll it around on wheels? There could be little holes in it for you to see out of. This would be even better than Niqaab because then men couldn't even see that you're human. They would just see all these big wooden boxes gliding around on wheels everywhere, in place of women.

The point isn't whether or not Niqaab is part of Islam or part of Arab culture. The point is that, throughout the history of Islam, Islamic rules and practices, and Arab cultural norms, have coexisted so closely, side-by-side, that it is virtually impossible to separate them and say "this is part of Islam" and "this is an element of Arab culture". The two things are inextricably fused. They exist so closely that it's obviously impossible for Arabs and Muslims to separate them.

Abul Layth said...

If I were as foolish as you I think I would lock myself in a big wooden whatever and roll myself around like a fools fool.

Firstly, the Jilbaab is not an arab custom. In fact, in our beloved Prophet (saaws's) time women dressed as whores and prostitutes, showing their breasts and becoming social exploits; similar to our times. It was with the advent of Islaam, the revelation of Surat Al-Ahzaab, that women began to cover their entire body. If you had read the research linked by the sister you would have learned such. But the blind can not see, and the deaf surely can not hear.

Get over your sick and demented westernism and accept Islam in its beautiful entirety. Submit to Allah's will and not your own. Maybe then peace and serenity will enter your material loving nafs. The covering of a woman's body liberates her from the sick and demented trash elements of society and reminds her she is a walking servant of none other than Allah ta'alaa.

I hope you enjoyed the research we worked so hard on sister Veiled Muslimah, may allah bless you with his spiritual enlightenment Aameen!

Anonymous said...

The "covering of a woman's body liberates her"? Why should women be treated any different than men? It seems many Muslims are afraid of sex -- their own sex and the sex of others. So they want to hide it, drape it, cover it over. In fact, sex and sexuality are beautiful gift from God. It should be rejoiced, not condemned.

Islam isn't fooling anyone. I don't see you as any more pure, any more chaste, any more godly because you advocate hiding and covering human sexuality. In fact, I see you as scared and terrified, like someone trapped in an eternal false childhood, trying to repress one's own -- and others -- happiness.

How sad for you.

Abul Layth said...

Yes, the covering of a woman's body does liberate her. Such has already been explained. Just because you see the issue the way you see it, does not mean that a Muslim woman does. In fact her heart sees with different eyes than yours. Why should women be treated differently than men?

Firstly, men and women have different societal roles. Women are the ones who have the children. Men are the ones obliged, in our law, to support the children as well as the woman so that she can fulfill her societal role to her fullest. I wonder, if women are to be treated the "same" why don't we all urinate in the same bathrooms? Why can't the majority of women complete the standards for men's basic training? Why do women have uteruses and breasts and men have prostates?

The fact is, God created us differently for different societal roles. So each should be treated according to their role.

As for human sexuality, the reality is you are just jealous. You are jealous of the fact that our Lord has informed us that we are rewarded in the hereafter every time that a couple has relations with each other. Sex, in Islam, is a beautiful and pure thing - but it is between spouses and no other.

Lastly, your claim that we suppress happiness only shows your own stupidity. Happiness to a Muslim is being in the presence of the divine, not following the temporal mundane. Our goal, oh pagan, is not your gods that you worship. It is not who makes the most money, who has the biggest house, which company to invest in tommorrow; rather, it is Love of God, and befriending Him in all affairs. Living for God is our goal. Total submission to his glorious commands. So as you seek the temporal trash world, we rejoice knowing our hereafter is with our Lord for having worshipped Him Alone, without partners or associates.

So believe in your self as you must, we will believe in the eternal beloved. We will continue to HAPPILY love our Lord, while you delve into your mundane whims - becoming a slave to the material. We are slaves to our Lord and none other.

How sad that you are a slave and worshipper of the created, whereas we are rejoicing in God's eternal grace.

Veiled Muslimah said...

Assalam Alaykum

Jazakumallahu khairan brother Abu Layth for the excellent posts. I couldn't have said it better.


Anonymous said...

Abul laith, in places like Dubai, I see Muslims worshiping material wealth. I see them driving Mercedes; wearing gold rings and diamonds; building gigantic skyscrapers with luxury pavilions and swimming pools; the women wearing furs and the highest fashion; the men eating steaks and eating caviar. I see indoor-skiing, massive highways, luxury yachts, and more. And you say that Muslims do not care about the material of this world? Or do you say these people are not Muslims???

Abul Layth said...

It is as Hamza Yusuf said, "It is not religion that has failed man, rather it is man that has failed religion!"

In this age of Materialism, many muslims have fallen for the spiritually bankrupt concept that desires and the temporal mundane should be sought.

In the mind of the true Muslim, material is insignificant, for it is the temporal, whereas what they seek is the infinite.

Allah says, "Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:" [42:36]

Allah says in the Qur'an in reference to the disbeliever,

"Disdaining ungratefully Our gifts, and giving themselves up to (worldly) enjoyment! But soon will they know."

He ta'alaa warns against this extravagant culture of capitalism when he states,

"ولا تسرفوا إنه لا يحب المسرفين"

And do not be extravagant, Verily Allah does not love the extravagant!"

And He says:

"Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (To return to)."

He states in this verse, "wa 'indahu - and with Him" other words this worldly life is but a passing test, whereas with Allah is the eternal abode of beauty and love.

Simplicity and contempt for the fleeting worldly things have always been attributes of the righteous Muslims for over a thousand years. Their altruism, living in the presence of Allah ta'alaa, were sure signs of their dedication to their Lord.

So you ask, "Or do you say these people are not Muslims..."

Such a Vain question! The belief of the Muslims, as stated by At-Tahaawi in his creed, "We do not label anyone a Disbeliever by mere sin."

Seeking this worldly life, its worthless luxuries and being deceived by the material world, is a sin. It does not mean, however, that the person apostates from Islaam.

The disease of materialism has been damned in the Qur'an in more places than I have placed here. Our Prophet Muhammad (saaws) said, "“The food of the children of Adam strikes a parable of this worldly life. From what comes out of humans, even after they had seasoned it and added salt to it [making it tasty], look at the end result!” [Sahih Ibn Hibbaan]

And our Lord has said,

“Oh Mankind! The promise of Allah is Truth! So let not the life of this world delude you, and be not deceived about Allah by the deceiver (i.e. Shaytawn).”

This is the view of the one who makes Allah their sole intent. It is the way of those who cling to the Love of their Lord.

For an example of this abandonment see the following link:

And May Allah guide us to his true path, the path of those that have received his pleasure! Aameen!

Dubaite said...

To annoymous ,

Are muslims not to eat steak and caviar? is it not halal ? Allah has made both those foods halal for us .
How can you also judge them on their wealth and buildings? they are working this life just like anyone else is. The phrophet (saw) chose the best camel or horse as they are dependable so why not buy a mercedes if you can afford it , you only get what you pay for in the end. Shame you did not get to know the people you looked down upon , you wll find that they are the most genourous in their charity and perhaps you can come and visit those same people during the month of Ramadan and then see if they are worshipping only this life.
They are not perfect by a long shot and waste is forbidden in Islam , but you should not judge others by what they wear and eat . And your commentabout gold I m assuming your talking about the women bcause if it was a man , perhaps you have mistaken a chrisitan as muslim , I have yet to see a muslim man wearing gold here .
As for the diamonds , a word to the wise here , you can buy a ring that looks like the real thing for 9 dollars so all that glitters is not always gold !!

poetic muslim said...

asalam alaykum stumbled on ur blog ...I wear hijab and jilbaba but I dont believe niqab is fardh I have yet to see evidence to prove it its purely based on 'commen sense ' well if we wanted to use commen sense in everything then women shouldnt leave the house at all . the problem with these muslim men is they come along and use certain hadeeths and then twist it to their own advantage . islam these days is either too extreme or too liberal we need to be moderate thats islam middle ..simple not extreme and complicated . btw I have even heard some muslims go as far as women cant be ullama ! based on what their hadeeeths that they have twisted makes me soooo angry have they forggotton that allah will ask them about this on yom al qiyamah ?

Anonymous said...

Did you even read the research produced in the research paper that was linked by the sister on Common sense was not even mentioned! Tafseer, Ahadeeth, statements of the Sahaabah, taabi'een etc regarding the original - classical meaning of Jilbaab is honestly enough to refute your entire post.

BuJ said...

Thanks for the post ya VM, but I understand your point of view and I understand the viewpoint of the writer of the website you linked to, however I cannot bring myself to agree 100% with what is mentioned.

Honestly to talk about this properly and fairly I think we need many days of long comments, so I will try to be brief.

I always take al sunna as guidance and never as absolute truth in the same way as al quran al kareem. I feel sunna is useful to clarify things that were made halal or haram in the qoran, but never to give rulings on things not mentioned in the qoran.

Having said that and after examining the evidence in the website, it seems that there are two kinds of qoranic evidence relating to niqab. One is based on what is rule of law for the Prophet's wives, and the second is the rule of law for all women including the Prophet's wives. As thus it has been implied by the website that whatever applies to the wives of the Prophet will apply to all women because of this unrelated aya that puts them all in one sentence.

This is not logical at all unfortunately. Plus the wives of the Prophet had a much higher standing than other women, and they probably lived with the Prophet in the mosque, whereas other women would live outside the mosque. The mosque where people would come from all over to ask the Prophet etc.

Levels of exposure are thus not the same.

to support my argument with the Qoran I quote you this aya:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ

I don't think it could be any clearer!

Plus let me extend the argument a bit further, as we all know it's absolutely haram for any man to marry an ex-wife of the Prophet. If we extend this rule mentioned in the website of 3ilm, then it means that when any woman in our time loses her husband (e.g. if he dies) then she can't re-marry because the wives of the Prophet cannot re-marry!

Also I always take texts written like that with a lot of salt. One of the first arguments and references in your website is this quote from al 7adith:

الْمَرْأَةُ عَوْرَةٌ فَإِذَا خَرَجَتْ ‏ ‏اسْتَشْرَفَهَا ‏ ‏الشَّيْطَانُ

To be honest, assuming the Prophet did say this indeed (and I am not debating it) then I would argue that it's not the best place to use it here! I would argue that women and men are equal in the eyes of Islam, and a man has as much responsibility as a woman to cover up. A woman covers, and a man is obliged by islam to cover his eyes as in ghadd al basar. Plus on that basis then women should stay at home all the time, but as you know even the wives of the Prophet used to go out, even in times of war to help with the efforts.

I really don't want to be too long in this, but I'll finish with this, and it's the Islamic v Arabic thoughts. Niqab is rife amongst a lot of non-Arabs. On the other hand not all Arabs wear niqab. So let's be a bit careful and not generalise. Like I mentioned before Niqab is worn by people of the GCC as well as more eastern places like Pakistan/Afghanistan. Niqab is totally absent in places of the Levant and Egypt, even though Al Azhar is a major centre of Islamic learning and a lot of women in those countries observe hijab.

Anyway jazaki allah kheir for bringing up this interesting topic.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaikum
You know ... it just came into my mind that even and even IF someone (woman) wants to wear a box with only two holes for the eyes to see..that is her right!

do i sound so weird~~~

but hey if people want to wear what is comfortable for him/herself WITHOUT harming his/her ownself and without harming others..why not? go ahead.

as far as i can remember there is no niqabi or hijabi or a turbaned-sikh ever cause me any harm on the street regarding on the way they dress.

and i think if someone says 'yes they harm my view' or 'my eyes hurt to see them on the street like that' i think it wont be difficult for me to classify such someone as a 'busy-body'person

~~~~well~ im okay with whatever they want to wear

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Musings, Articles and Ramblings of a Muslim Woman which range from a variety of different subjects.

Location: Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'ân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).
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