question about garb

Discussion in 'Islam' started by ISFP, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. ISFP

    ISFP Well-Known Member

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    hey all-

    i have a question about muslim clothing requirements.

    for Muslim men and women both it's obligatory to cover one's head when one prays. is this the purpose of hijab? if so, is hijab sort of like the women's version of the kufi? then, why is it that women are most often seen wearing hijab all the time, when it's often less common to see a man wearing a kufi all day? is it a matter of tradition? does the hijab serve a purpose besides a prayer covering? thank you for your help!

    -ISFP
     
  2. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Salaam
    For Muslim women it's obligatory to cover her head when she prays, but for man it isn’t necessary for him to do that. It isn’t tradition behavior … Muslim women observe HIJAB (covering the head and the body) because Allah has told them to do so.
    "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..."(Qur'an 33:59)



    The word "hijab" comes from the Arabic word "hajaba" meaning to hide from view or conceal. In the present time, the context of hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. The question now is what is the extent of the covering? The Qur'an says:

    "Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..."(Qur'an 24:30-31)

    These verses from the Qur'an contain two main injunctions:
    1. A woman should not show her beauty or adornments except what appears by uncontrolled factors such as the wind blowing her clothes, and
    2. the head covers should be drawn so as to cover the hair, the neck and the bosom.

    Muslim women who wear hijab do not find it impractical or interfering with their activities in all levels and walks of life. Hijab is not merely a covering dress but more importantly, it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public. Dress is only one facet of the total being ( I’m a Muslim women and I wear Hijab daily in my work and all my outside activities and do you know my feeling I have a self esteem , this gives me trust to my self and all dealing with me respectfully ). The basic requirement of the Muslim woman's dress apply to the Muslim man's clothing with the difference being mainly in degree. Modesty requires that the area between the navel and the knee be covered in front of all people except the wife. The clothing of men should not be like the dress of women, nor should it be tight or provocative. A Muslim should dress to show his identity as a Muslim. Men are not allowed to wear gold or silk. However, both are allowed for women. remember that physically the body of a man is different from the body of woman .

    For both men and women, clothing requirements are not meant to be a restriction but rather a way in which society will function in a proper, Islamic manner.
    Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some requirements must be met. The first of these requirements is the parts of the body which must be covered. Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings: first, the Qur'an, the revealed word of Allah and secondly, the Hadith or the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S) who was chosen by Allahto be the role model for mankind. The following is a Tradition of the Prophet:
    "Ayesha (R) reported that Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr (R) came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands." (Abu Dawood)

    The second requirement is looseness. The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the woman's body. One desirable way to hide the shape of the body is to wear a cloak over other clothes. However, if the clothing is loose enough, an outer garment is not necessary. Thickness is the third requirement. The clothing must be thick enough so as not to show the color of the skin it covers or the shape of the body. The Prophet Muhammad (S) stated that in later generations of his ummah there would be "women who would be dressed but naked and on top of their heads (what looks like) camel humps. Curse them for they are truly cursed." (Muslim) Another requirement is an over-all dignified appearance. The clothing should not attract men's attention to the woman. It should not be shiny and flashy so that everyone notices the dress and the woman. In addition there are other requirements:
    1. Women must not dress so as to appear as men.
      "Ibn Abbas narrated: 'The Prophet (S) cursed the men who appear like women and the women who appear like men.'" (Bukhari)
    2. The clothing should be modest, not excessively fancy and also not excessively ragged to gain others admiration or sympathy.
    Muslim women observe HIJAB (covering the head and the body) because Allah has told them to do so.

    "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..."(Qur'an 33:59)

    Muslim woman who covers her head is making a statement about her identity ,also woman who covers herself is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to be brought out.
     
  3. ISFP

    ISFP Well-Known Member

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    thank you for your answers, Friend.

    can i ask, is there an understanding as to why Allah commands muslim women to wear hijab? you've explained that it is for modesty's sake. is the hair of a woman understood as less modest then the hair of a man? what if the woman has a short haircut that is not beautiful and would not attract attention, would she still be obliged to cover her head?

    i remember reading an article written by an observant Jewish woman about the role of tradition in women's lives. she wrote that many contemporary Jewish women were trading tradition and what the Torah commands for them for "equality" with men, disregardging God's intended roles and commandments for her. for example, a contemporary Jewish woman may desire to wear a prayer shawl, when such a commandment is only explicitely given for men. i'm not sure if i agreed with the article, but i kind of saw where the author was coming from. could a similar argument be made for the importance of fulfilling God's commandments for a muslim woman?

    many thanks,

    ISFP
     
  4. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Hi to all

    I explained that Muslim women wear Hijab because Allah command Muslim woman to do that ..........and Allah know best advantages for his creatures.

    Also i told you that
    The woman hair is one of her beauty resources , also the rest of her body and if she doesn't cover her body ...actually she allow men to embezzle seeing for her and imagine or think anything about her ...like a one who leave his door open and sleep while many thiefs attending around him ... we shouldn't stickle and refuse the truth that physically man is stronger than women and if woman excite man with her outside look ...maybe he behave out of his control while she can't defense for herself ,and this which cause many crimes against women in the west countries ...when the woman doesn't cover her body well she encourage many societies problems and destroy the families relations...when man leave his wife look and search for other women ....
    imagine that most of women cover their body and save their beauty for those whom they choose ...will u see men make many relation outside his house?

    also women save their right and prevent others from exploitation for nothing
    so i think Allah give people this system to build healthy society at individual and groups level .
     
  5. sangam

    sangam Member

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    thanks friend for your enlightening arguments. why wasnt it obvious to me before this that there are no crimes against women in muslim communities, or that poor members of my gender are never responsible for any atrocities against wemen. they ask for it, they tempt us to abuse them by not following strict hijab.
    next time i wont resist jumping on any women who dare expose her thong ;) . excused on grounds of improper provocation, innit.

    hmm very interesting.

    maybe the moderators should put this post on belif and spirituality forum for proper dissection:D
     
  6. farhan

    farhan Well-Known Member

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    May be this fact didnt cross your mind that most of the muslim countries dont have Islamic rules . Most of them have got a mixed Islamic/western culture b/c they have been ruled by the west for a long time .

    And if U see the verses from Quran posted above , it also asks the men to lower their gaze .

    Fuethermore , there R ahadeeth ( Sayings of Prophet Mohammad ) that say that muslims should not delay marriage after they attain puberty . This way , the main reason for sexual crimes is removed .

    what gave U this Idea??

    Well though in my opinion its provocation , but still U R responsible for your actions .

    regards
    -fern
     
  7. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Salaam

    Despite of your ridicule way in this reply .I should explain that I didn't say that women is the only reason for the bad behaviour of men in the west societies , but if u remember i said encourage ...which mean both of them (man and woman) have certain responsibility about that...in the woman side Hijab is the right path to take her responsibility.

    Yes ,the rate of Crime against women in the west countries is very high comparing with Islamic countries.
     
  8. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| sangam,
    First, as it has been pointed out, no one is saying that it is somehow the sole responsibility of women in this area. On the contrary, the Quran speaks about the 'Hijab' of men [Quran, 24:30] before it speaks of the Hijab of women [Quran, 24:31].
    Secondly, please note that this is the ISLAM forum and not the comparative section of the site where u can say something however you like. You could have made a similar comment as above without the attitude. Please behave. Thirdly, the topic is about the garb, not about women in Islam in general. If that is what you are looking to talk about, you can search the other threads... i believe there is a thread that deals with 'women in Islam'.
    And, no, the thread is fine where it is.
     
  9. ISFP

    ISFP Well-Known Member

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    interesting, thank you all for your ideas.

    there was a website i was reading that gave various arguments for or against hijab...

    many arguments for were social in view and said things like "hijab protects me from the immodest gaze of men", "it allows me to be treated as an individual, not as a sex object", and "my body is my own business, not anyone else's".

    there was another argument that stated "this is all well and good, but what i disagree with is the view that women's bodies are in the first place so arousing by nature and must be wrapped up in shapeless cloth to be presentable to men". i can see truth in this, as well. regardless of what it says in the Quran, the reality of many communties is that women will tend to wear hijab and dress modestly, where as many men will feel free to wear tight clothing that shows off the body. it seems to me that this disharmony would imply that Islamic garb is more about the woman's body, and views it in a more negative light than the man's.

    is this the case?
     
  10. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| ISFP,
    The simple answer is no. Please go back to the 'Friend' 's long and very detailed post. Hijab is a concept that applies to both men and women and as he also said, the Quran speaks about the 'Hijab' of men [Quran, 24:30] before it speaks of the Hijab of women [Quran, 24:31]. As far as the actions of individuals are concerned, they do not necessarily speak for Islam. People have a free will. Allah has shown us right from wrong but it is upto us to follow it. If a certain society does what you speak of, then it is wrong and not according to Islam. It is the fault of the individuals of that society, not Islam's.
    In short, there are 6 criteria for Hijab and as 'Friend' 's post pointed out, the extent of the covering is the only point on which the requirement differs. The wearing of tight clothing that reveals the figure is prohibited to both men and women. As an example, i live in saudi arabia and men also wear loose clothing. Im hoping you would have seen the saudi garb which is a single long & loose piece of white cloth.
    Finally, as I have pointed out a couple of times on other posts of this nature; men and women are different & it is an inescapable fact. Islam believes in equality between men and women - Equality does not mean identicality. Men and women are overall equal in Islam.
    Hope this helps.
    And Allah knows best.
     
  11. ISFP

    ISFP Well-Known Member

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    thank you, thipps. i guess i see your point... it's just a different point of view on gender and the definition of equality than what i hold. but thank you, your answers are certainly helpful.
     
  12. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| ISFP,
    well, thats what we are here for; an exchange of different viewpoints on the same issues:) . All around the world people are different. Look at one of your hands, even the 5 fingers are not all the same. Just as an extra example which I also give in such discussions is that the concept of equality in Islam between men and women is like the following situation:
    Take two students (A & B) from a class which has taken an exam. When you look at the marks obtained for individual questions, you find that in some questions A has gotten more, in some questions B has gotten more and in some both have gotten equal marks BUT when you add it all up, the overall score for the exam is equal.
    Hope this also helps.
    And Allah knows best.
     

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