Hijab - (English/Arabic) - (PB)
The hijab has become a very controversial issue. As more and more people get involved with it, the lay person often becomes confused and frustrated in trying to figure out what Islam really requires in this regard. This work follows a scholarly approach and presents conclusions from the Quran, the hadith literature, and history in order to clarify the wisdom behind wearing the hijab.
There are many issues when there have not been any differences of opinion among the Muslim Umm ah since the beginning of Islam. In fact, there has been an almost complete consensus on these issues. But, these are the days of 'reform'. 'Freedom from old traditions' seems to have become the motto. Attempts are being made to approve and accept as lawful everything that was forbidden in Islam. Many consented matters are being presented as controversial. One such issue is that of Hijab. One hears claims from everywhere that there is no Commandment in Islam about Hijab. Some present inaccurate translations of the Holy Verses in this regard. Others bring forth uncommon interpretations of the Qur'anic Verses about Hijab. Still others refute the Ahadith in this respect.
In western countries non-Islamic ideologies are more prevalent than Islamic education. The literature about Islam found in these countries has been written mostly by Christians and Jews, or by those so-called Muslims who have been heavily influenced by western education, or have obtained degrees in Islamic Education under the training of Jews and Christians. They, therefore, view the holy Qur'5n and Ahadith of the Prophet (s.a.w.) through their coloured glasses. As a result, they themselves go astray and lead others on the wrong pall as well. Doubts are being created about the Commandments of Hijab also.
Hijab, with its established limits, is a Divine Law and Guidance based on the Holy Qur'5n and the Traditions (Ahidith) of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the interpretations of these by the Islamic jurists as well as on the practices of our pious predecessors. Its on these bases .that it has been practiced continuously at all times by the Muslim Ummah. It is not something fictitious that was contrived by people and given the status of Islamic Law in Muslim societies based on cultural practices. Such is not the case, nor is it befitting to expect from a comprehensive, complete and protected Divine Constitution of Islam that has no room for any modifications. But, for sometime now, people are going to extremes in its practices and beliefs. Consequently, doubts have been raised in people's minds about the legal status and the basic truth about the Hijab, and it has become the target of questions and doubts.
Under the influence of western civilization, the practice of women going about without Hijab has resulted in reactionary and extreme points of views about it. This has caused further doubts about its principles and its legal limits. On the one hand, the legal limits of Hijab are claimed to be the results of conservatism of Islamic scholars and, instead of simply choosing not to observe Hijab for oneself, people are made to believe that bringing women out in the open is the need of the day as well as go; objective of the Divine Law. On the other hand, pointing out legitimate flexibility in the Divine Law about Hijab is considered heresy. This has gone on to the point where the traditional and cultural limits imposed on women are also being incorporated in the Divine Law.
It is therefore, necessary to present the true teachings of the holy Quran and Ahadith In the end, I would like to thank my dear sons Mohammed Mansur and Mohammed Ibrahim, who truly proved to be my hands and arms in writing this book. I am also thankful to my dear friend Maulana Mohammed Abdul Moez who reviewed the transcript and suggested vaulable changes which have made the book better organized and more beneficial. May Allah enrich their knowledge and accept them in the service of His Din, and bless them with success of this world and of the world Hereafter.
NOTE: These days the word Hijab is often translated in English as Head Scarf, which is not in accordance with its meaning and intent in the Holy Qur'an and Ahadith. It is, therefore, misleading. The correct translation is 'Something that covers and conceals completely'.