Dear Brothers and Sisters Assalamu Alaikum
I want to INFORM you through the words of a sister, why and how hijab (Islamic code of dress) protects a woman and what are its advantages. This is not coming from me but from a WESTERN woman who was born and raised in the western culture, spent most of her life on the wild side, found a deep vacuum in her life, discovered Islam, accepted it wholeheartedly, and turned her life around completely - for the better. This sister is an Irish American, has a Ph.D., teaches in a prestigious US university, wears hijab wherever she goes - in the class rooms while teaching, in the conferences and meetings she attends. She is very proud of Islam and her hijab and in the following explains the advantages and wisdom of wearing hijab. So please read with an open mind. Those who are open to reason get the guidance and better their lives, but those who have "eyes but can't see, and ears but can't hear" will wander in the wilderness of life forever. No amount of logical reasoning will help them. However, our job as Muslims, i.e., those who surrendered to Allah, is ONLY to convey the message to the darkest corners of the world. Our job as Muslims is not to impose anything on disbelivers because as Allah says in Quran, "For you is your religion, and for them is theirs".
May Allah give guidance to all of us and enable us to follow Islam which is the manual of human life. May Allah grant us the wisdom to understand Islam and to live our lives to its fullest by following its teachings. May Allah make us realize that education is not only about getting a piece of paper called degree but education is about learning and understanding life, the world, and the etiquette of living. May Allah enable us to find solutions to all the problems we encounter in life in His great message - the message of Islam. Ameen.
O Allah, no amount of gratefullness will be enough to thank for the blessing of your message of guidance you have given us. O Allah, enable all human beings to know the message of Islam, so this world will become a cradle of peace and stability and so that the forces of darkness will be defeated from the face of the earth. May Allah be our guide in this journey of life. Ameen.
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, Irfan Hasan.
NOTE: The emphasis in capital letters are mine.
--------------START OF SISTER'S MESSAGE -----------------
H I J A B: MUSLIM WOMEN'S HEAD COVERING
The Quran, the Muslim's holy scripture, clearly enjoins Muslim men and women to dress and behave modestly. Muslim women are specifically instructed to cover their heads when in the presence of non-mahrem (potentially marriageable) men:
. Surah Al-Nur (the Light) (24:31) in the Quran states: "They (the believing women) should draw their head coverings over their bosoms...". . Surah Al-Ahzab (34:59) states: "O Prophet [PBUH] Tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women that they should put on their outer garments; that is most convenient in order that THEY MAY BE RECOGNIZED (as Muslims) and not be molested."
[MY COMMENT: This is an effective rebuttal to the argument some Muslim women have against wearing Hijab, that by wearing it they will be recognized and will be attacked. Allah clearly wants Muslims to be recognized in whatever community they live in. Their lives lived as Muslims will get other people interested in them and that will be a way of spreading the message of Islam. People will approach them and ask them why they dress like that, why they are different. Their curiousity will automatically draw them towards Islam. Allah is the most supreme starategist of the universe. He blessed us with the message of Islam (Islam means peace and security and told us strategies to spread the message which only benefits us and not Allah. Allah is beyond all needs.
Allah says in Quran that if the whole world gets united against a Muslim and want to harm him, they won't except if Allah wills, and if the whole world unites to benefit a Muslim, it won't except for Allah's will. Therefore security comes from Allah. Allah is the protector of believers. One should NEVER FEAR ANYONE BUT ALLAH and then all of his/her fears will be erased from the heart. Those who bow before Allah, bow to no one in the world - no one. As great poet of the east Dr. Allama Iqbal said (in Urdu) :
yeh Aik sijda jesay tu garaaN samajhta hai hazar sijdooN say daita hai aadmi ko nijat Translation: This one bow (to Allah) which is so hard for you,is the bow that saves you from thousands of other bows.
END OF MY COMMENT]
Both of the above Quranic references instruct the Muslim woman to cover herself with a large, loose overcoat (jilbab) and full head covering (khimar) so that no provacative part of her body will be visible. Her modest appearance would MAKE IT CLEAR TO EVERYONE THAT SHE IS A CHASTE, BELIEVING WOMAN, and no one is to molest her or sexually exploit her [My Comment: This is an effective solution to the problem of sexual harassment because a Muslim woman's modest appearance is a social statement that she is not to be messed with!!].
THE BENEFITS OF HIJAB (COVERING) FOR WOMEN
. For Muslim women, COVERING THE HEAD IS NOT THE SIGN OF DEGRADATION or oppression. It is a commandment from Allah, who is not male or female, and thus, would not discriminate against women, a segment of His creation.
. Rather, HEAD-COVERING IS A SIGN OF PURITY AND DIGNITY. It highlights the Muslim woman as a pure, chaste woman and sets her apart from the immoral behavior associated with women who dress immodestly.
. The HIJAB IS A SORT OF "SCREEN" BETWEEN THE CHASTE MUSLIM WOMAN AND THE EVIL THAT EXISTS IN THE WORLD. When a woman wears a hijab she is less likely to be harassed by men with lusty motives; SHE IS LESS LIKELY TO BE EXPLOITED FOR HER BEAUTY AND FEMINITY.
. The Hijab allows a woman to move about outside the confines of her home WITH HER ATTENTION ON THE TASKS SHE HAS SET OUT TO DO. The Muslim woman does not try to impress anyone but Allah when outside of her home. She is not concerned if men find her attractive, or if people are impressed because she has the latest fashions, or the newest hairstyle. She leaves her home as a SELF-CONFIDENT PART OF HUMAN RACE, not as a fashion-plate seeking stares and adoration in order to gain self-esteem.
. The hijab cuts down on competition among women. How many people in the West sacrifice financial savings and health in order to have plastic surgery - in a desperate attempt to meet up to an unrealistic standard of beauty. IN ISLAM, WOMEN ARE APPRECIATED FOR THEIR KNOWLEDGE, PIETY AND CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY. When women wear hijab one finds that the most beautiful women are not necessarily the most popular. Rather, a woman is assessed for her mind, and not just superficial physical traits.
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