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Hijab or ḥijāb (حجاب, IPA[ħi.ˈdʒæːb]) is the Arabic word for "curtain / cover" (noun), based on the root حجب meaning "to cover, to veil, to shelter". In popular use, hijab means "head cover and modest dress for women" among Muslims, which most Islamic legal systems define as covering everything except the face, feet and hands in public.[1][2] According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality,[3] the word for a headscarf or veil used in the Koran is khimār (خمار) and not hijab. Still another definition is metaphysical, where al-hijab "refers to the veil which separates man or the world from God."[2]

Since the 1970s, hijab has emerged as a symbol of Islamic consciousness. Muslims differ as to how "hijab dress" should be enforced, particularly over the role of religious police that are enforcing hijab in Iran and Saudi Arabia.


[edit] Etymology and meaning

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, the meaning of hijab has evolved over time:

The term hijab or veil is not used in the Qur'an to refer to an article of clothing for women or men, rather it refers to a spatial curtain that divides or provides privacy. The Qur'an instructs the male believers (Muslims) to talk to wives of Muhammad behind a hijab. This hijab was the responsibility of the men and not the wives of Muhammad. However, in later Muslim societies this instruction, specific to the wives of Muhammad, was generalized, leading to the segregation of the Muslim men and women. The modesty in Qur'an concerns both men's and women's gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia. The clothing for women involves khumūr over the necklines and jilbab (cloaks) in public so that they may be identified and not harmed. Guidelines for covering of the entire body except for the hands, the feet, and the face, are found in texts of fiqh and hadith that are developed later.[4]

In Saudi Arabia, where women have been ordered to be "Properly covered" outside their homes, some wear not only head-to-toe black cloaks but also full veils over their faces without even slits for their eyes.

[edit] Hijab in Islamic texts

[edit] Qur'an

The Qur'an instructs Muslims to dress in a modest way. The following verses are generally interpreted as applying to all Muslim men and women.

The 30th and 31st verse of Surah an-Nur states,[5]

And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful. . (Qur'an 24:31)

In the following verse, Muslim women are asked to draw their jilbab over them (when they go out), as a measure to distinguish themselves from others, so that they are not harassed.

The 59th verse of Surah al-Ahzab says,[5]

Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad) That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed.

And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur'an 33:58–59)

Following verses give special directives to the wives of Muhammad though some commentators believe that all women should imitate their example.[citation needed]

O Wives of the Prophet, ye are not like any of the (other) women. If ye do fear (Allah), be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speak that is just. Abide still in your homes and make not a dazzling display like that of the former times of ignorance: and establish regular prayer, and give regular charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye Members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.

Communicate what is taught to you of the verses of God and the wisdom revealed by Him [to your visitors]. The Almighty is very discerning and all-knowing. (Qur'an 33:32–33)

Another verse in the Quran (33:53) talks about the veil as being a separation of two men and spheres of life such as the public and the private, rather than between men and women. This could very well be the definitive verse on hijab as it has been quoted as such by a number of Islamic theologians.[citation needed]

O Ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter, and, when your meal is ended, then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Lo! That would cause annoyance to the Prophet, and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of the truth. And when ye ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not for you to cause annoyance to the messenger of Allah, nor that ye should ever marry his wives after him. Lo! That in Allah's sight would be an enormity. (Qur'an 33:53)

[edit] Alternative views

Although a minority in the Muslim community, scholars such as Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and Leila Ahmed argue for a more liberal approach to hijab. Among their arguments are that while some Quranic verses enjoin women in general to Qur'an 33:58–59. “draw their clothes around them a little to be recognized as believers and so that no harm will come to them.” and Qur'an 24:31. “guard their private parts... and drape a cover [khamr] over their breasts [when in the presence of strange men]”, they urge modesty but do not mention hijab or the covering of the head, neck, etc.

Ghamidi believes that Qur'an mentions khamr or khumūr in 24:31 only as a 7th century Arabian dress, and gives no specific command for women to wear it. He argues that the context of verse “they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble”[Qur'an 33:59] indicates that women are directed to wear jalābib only in specific situations.[6][7][not in citation given]

Other verses do mention separation of men and women but they refer specifically to the wives of the prophet:

Abide still in your homes and make not a dazzling display like that of the former times of ignorance:(Qur'an 33:32–33)

And when ye ask of them [the wives of the Prophet] anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain.(Qur'an 33:53)

According to Leila Ahmed, nowhere in the whole of the Quran is the term hijab applied to any woman other than the wives of Muhammad.[8][9]

According to at least two authors, (Reza Aslam and Leila Ahmed) the stipulations of the hijab were originally meant only for Muhammad's wives, and were intended to maintain their inviolability. This was because Muhammad conducted all religious and civic affairs in the mosque adjacent to his home

People were constantly coming in and out of this compound at all hours of the day. When delegations from other tribes come to speak with Muhammad, they would set up their tents for days at a time inside the open courtyard, just a few feet away from the apartments in which Muhammad's wives slept. And new emigrants who arrived in Yatrib would often stay within the mosque's walls until they could find suitable homes. [8]

According to Ahmed, "by instituting seclusion Muhammad was creating a distance between his wives and this thronging community on their doorstep."[10]

They argue that the term darabat al-hijab ("taking the veil"), was used synonymously and interchangeably with "becoming Muhammad's wife", and that during Muhammad's life, no other Muslim woman wore the hijab. Aslam suggests that Muslim women started to wear the hijab to emulate Muhammad's wives, who are revered as "Mothers of the Believers" in Islam,[8] and states "there was no tradition of veiling until around 627 C.E." in the Muslim community. [10] [8]

According to Christoph Luxenberg, the hijab refers to a chastity belt. The verse instead commands women to "snap their belts around their waists." In the The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran, he argues that this is a much more plausible reading than the strictly Arabic one. The belt was a sign of chastity in the Christian world. Also, Jesus puts on an apron before he washes the disciples feet at the last supper.

[edit] Hadith

The hadith (Arabic plural ahādīth) are traditions concerning the practices of the early Muslim community. They were transmitted orally for more than a century before the first collections were written down. The hadith, accepted as canonical by Sunni Muslims, took their final form some three centuries after Muhammad's death.[citation needed]

The Arabic word jilbab is translated as "cloak" in the following passage. Contemporary salafis insist that the jilbab worn today is the same garment mentioned in the Qur'an and the hadith; other translators have chosen to use less specific terms:

  • ʾĀ'isha reported that Muhammad's wives went out at night-time to open fields in the outskirts of Medina to relieve themselves. Umar said "Muhammad, ask your ladies to observe veil." Sahih al-Bukhari 1:4:148
  • Narrated Anas ibn Malik: "I know (about) the Hijab (the order of veiling of women) more than anybody else. Ubay ibn Ka'b used to ask me about it. Allah's Apostle became the bridegroom of Zaynab bint Jahsh whom he married at Medina. After the sun had risen high in the sky, the Prophet invited the people to a meal. Allah's Apostle remained sitting and some people remained sitting with him after the other guests had left. Then Allah's Apostle got up and went away, and I too, followed him till he reached the door of 'Aisha's room. Then he thought that the people must have left the place by then, so he returned and I also returned with him. Behold, the people were still sitting at their places. So he went back again for the second time, and I went along with him too. When we reached the door of 'Aisha's room, he returned and I also returned with him to see that the people had left. Thereupon the Prophet hung a curtain between me and him and the Verse regarding the order for (veiling of women) Hijab was revealed." Sahih al-Bukhari 7:65:375, Sahih Muslim 8:3334
  • Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "The Prophet said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil." Sunnan Abu Dawud 2:641. Abū Dawud is considered the third most authentic collection (after Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim). However, not all hadiths in Abu Dawud are authentic.
  • Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "Asma bint Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah while she was wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands." Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4092. The collector, Abū Dawud, considered this hadith weak. Some later scholars have disagreed with Abū Dawud.
  • Narrated Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya, Ummul Mu'minin: "When the verse 'That they should cast their outer garments over their persons' was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments." Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4090. Abū Dawud classed this hadith as authentic.
  • Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: "Aisha used to say: 'When (the Verse): "They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms," was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.'" Sahih al-Bukhari 6:60:282, Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4091. This translation may be problematic; it is unclear what Arabic words have been translated as "veil", "apron", "face" and "bosom".

[edit] Dress code required by hijab

Traditionally, Muslims have recognized many different forms of clothing as satisfying the demands of hijab.[11] Debate focused on how much of the male or female body should be covered. Different scholars adopted different interpretations of the original texts.

[edit] Women

A woman wearing a headscarf in Turkey.

All four Sunni schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali) hold that entire body of the woman, except her face and hands, is part of her awrah, that is the parts of her body that must be covered during prayer and in public settings.[12][13]

Some Sunni Muslims recommend that women wear loose clothing that is not form fitting to the body either modest forms of western clothing (long shirts and skirts), or the more traditional jilbāb, a high-necked, loose robe that covers the arms and legs. A khimār or shaylah, a scarf or cowl that covers all but the face, is also worn in many different styles. Some Salafi scholars encourage covering the face. Many of them say it is mandatory to cover the face. Other scholars oppose face covering, particularly in the west where the woman may draw more attention as a result. These garments are very different in cut than most of the traditional forms of ħijāb, and they are worn worldwide by Muslims.

A woman wearing a chadri in Afghanistan

Detailed scholarly attention has been focused on prescribing female dress. Most scholars agree that the basic requirements are that when in the presence of someone of the opposite sex (other than a close family member - see mahram), a woman should cover her body, and walk and dress in a way which does not draw sexual attention to her. Some scholars go so far as to specify exactly which areas of the body must be covered. In some cases, this is everything save the eyes but most require everything save the face and hands to be covered. In nearly all Muslim cultures, young girls are not required to wear a ħijāb. There is not a single agreed age when a woman should begin wearing a ħijāb; however, in many Muslim countries, puberty is the dividing line.

In private, and in the presence of mahrams, the rules on dress are relaxed. However, in the presence of husband, most scholars stress the importance of mutual freedom and pleasure of the husband and wife.[14]

[edit] Alternative viewpoint

A minority viewpoint of scholars such as Javed Ahmed Ghamidi considers "head-covering" for women a cherished part of Muslim social custom and tradition but not compulsory.[15][16]

Some contemporary Muslims take a relativist approach to ħijāb. They believe that the commandment to maintain modesty must be interpreted with regard to the surrounding society. What is considered modest or daring in one society may not be considered so in another. It is important, they say, for believers to wear clothing that communicates modesty and reserve in the situations in which they find themselves.[17]

Along with scriptural arguments, scholars argue that head covering should not be compulsory in Islam because the veil predates the revelation of the Qur'ān. Head-covering was introduced into Arabia long before Muhammad, primarily through Arab contacts with Syria and Iran, where the hijāb was a sign of social status. After all, only a woman who need not work in the fields could afford to remain secluded and veiled.[18][8]

The above viewpoints are however contradictory to the Qur'an which is always interpreted not by the surrounding circumstances in which the verses (or ayahs) were revealed, but according to current day emotions and 'necessity' rather than a commandment of obedience and submission. No doubt, man's desires always reign supreme above all and thus the mixed and alternate interpretations of the Holy Scripture will always remain.

[edit] Garments

The burqa is the garment that covers women most completely: either only the eyes are visible, or nothing at all. Originating in what is now Pakistan, it is more commonly associated with the Afghan chadri. Typically, a burqa is composed of many yards of light material pleated around a cap that fits over the top of the head, or a scarf over the face (save the eyes). This type of veil is cultural as well as religious.

Traditionally Muslims in general, and Salafis in particular believe the Qur'ān demands women wear the garments known today as jilbāb and khumūr. However, Qur'ān translators and commentators translate the Arabic into English words with a general meaning - such as veils, head-coverings and shawls.[19] Ghamidi argues that verses [Qur'an 24:30] teach etiquette for male and female interactions, where khumūr is mentioned in reference to the clothing of Arab women in the 7th century, but there is no command to actually wear them in any specific way. Hence he considers head-covering a preferable practice but not a directive of the sharīˤah (law).[20]

[edit] Men's dress

Although certain general standards are widely accepted, there has been little interest in narrowly prescribing what constitutes modest dress for Muslim men. Most mainstream scholars say that men should cover themselves from the navel to the knees; a minority say that the hadith that are held to require this are weak and possibly inauthentic. They argue that there are hadith indicating that the Islamic prophet Muħammad wore loose clothing that uncovered his thigh when riding camels, and hold that if Muħammad believed that this was permissible, then it is surely permissible for other Muslim males.[citation needed]

As a practical matter, however, the opinion that Muslim men must cover themselves between the navel and the knees is predominant, and most Muslims believe that a man who fails to observe this requirement during salah must perform the prayer again, properly covered, in order for it to be valid. Three of the four Sunni Madh'hab, or schools of law, require that the knees be covered; the Maliki school recommends but does not require knee covering.

According to some hadith, Muslim men are asked not to wear gold jewellery or silk clothing. Some scholars say that these prohibitions should be generalized to prohibit the lavish display of wealth on one's person.[21]

[edit] Sartorial hijab as practiced

In more secular Muslim nations, such as Turkey or Tunisia, many women are choosing to wear the Hijab, Burqa, Niqab, etc. as an act of defiance against the secularization of society, but also because of the widespread growth of the Islamic revival in those areas[citation needed]. Similarly, increasing numbers of men are abandoning the Western dress of jeans and t-shirts, that dominated places like Egypt 20 to 30 years ago, in favour of more traditional Islamic clothing such as the Galabiyya.

In Iran many women, especially younger ones, have taken to wearing transparent Hijabs instead of Chadors to protest but keep within the law of the state.

The colors of this clothing varies. It is mostly black, but in many African countries women wear cloths of many different colours depending on their tribe, area, or family. In Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India, many Muslim women wear bright orange and red garments which look similar to the Hindu Sari.

In Turkey, where the hijab is banned in private and state universities and schools, 60% of women wear hijab [22][23].

In many of the western Nations, there has been a general rise of hijab-wearing women. They are especially common in Muslim Student Associations at college campuses

Some Muslims have criticized strict dress codes that they believe go beyond the demands of hijab, using Qur'an 66:1 to apply to dress codes as well; the verse suggests that it is wrong to refrain from what is permitted by God.[citation needed]

[edit] Types of sartorial hijab

[edit] Historical and cultural explanations

John Esposito, professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, writes that the customs of veiling and seclusion of women in early Islam were assimilated from the conquered Persian and Byzantine societies and then later on they were viewed as appropriate expressions of Quranic norms and values. The Qur'an does not stipulate veiling or seclusion; on the contrary, it tends to emphasize the participation of religious responsibility of both men and women in society.[24] He claims that "in the midst of rapid social and economic change when traditional security and support systems are increasingly eroded and replaced by the state, (...) hijab maintains that the state has failed to provide equal rights for men and women because the debate has been conducted within the Islamic framework, which provides women with equivalent rather than equal rights within the family."[25]

Bloom and Blair also write that the Qur'an doesn't require women to wear veils; rather, it was a social habit picked up with the expansion of Islam. In fact, since it was impractical for working women to wear veils, "A veiled woman silently announced that her husband was rich enough to keep her idle."[26]

[edit] Modern practice

[edit] Governmental enforcement and bans

Some governments encourage and even legally obligate women to wear the hijab, whilst others have banned it in at least some public sectors.

Dress guidelines in Banda Aceh (Indonesia). The text at the bottom reads: Following the leading Islam principles according to article 13, paragraph 1, every Muslim has to wear Islamic clothing. Whosoever does not follow these accepted Islamic customs will be punished with Tazir crime.[citation needed]

Some Muslims believe hijab covering for women should be compulsory as part of Sharia law. Wearing of the hijab was enforced by the Taliban regime, and is enforced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Prosecutor-General, Abolfazl Musavi-Tabrizi, has been quoted as saying: "Any one who rejects the principle of hijab in Iran is an apostate and the punishment for an apostate under Islamic law is death."[27] The Taliban's Islamic Emirate required women to cover not only their head but their face as well, because "the face of a woman is a source of corruption" for men not related to them.[28] While some women wholeheartedly embrace the rules, others protest by observing the rules in slipshod or inconsistent fashion, or flouting them whenever possible.

Turkey and Tunisia are the only Muslim countries where the law prohibits the wearing of hijab in government buildings, schools, and universities. In Tunisia, women were banned from wearing hijab in state offices in 1981 and in the 1980s and 1990s more restrictions were put in place.[29] The Turkish government recently attempted to lift a ban on Muslim headscarves at universities, but were overturned by the country's Constitutional Court.[30]

On March 15, 2004, France passed a law banning "symbols or clothes through which students conspicuously display their religious affiliation" in public primary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools. In the Belgian city of Maaseik, Niqāb has been banned.[31] (2006) These are seen by some (mostly those who support a conservative interpretation of female hijab[citation needed]) to be part of a general trend of intolerance in the Western world.

[edit] Non-governmental

Non-governmental enforcement of hijab is found in many parts of the Muslim world.

Successful informal coercion of women by sectors of society to wear hijab has been reported in Gaza where Mujama' al-Islami, the predecessor of HAMAS, reportedly used "a mixture of consent and coercion" to "`restore` hijab" on urban educated women in Gaza in the late 1970s and 1980s.[32]

Similar behaviour was displayed by Hamas itself during the first intifada in Palestine. Though a relatively small movement at this time, Hamas exploited the political vacuum left by perceived failures in strategy by the Palestinian factions to call for a 'return' to Islam as a path to success, a campaign that focused on the role of women.[33] Hamas campaigned for the wearing of the hijab alongside other measures, including insisting women stay at home, segregation from men and the promoting of polygamy. In the course of this campaign women who chose not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed, including stonings, with the result that the hijab was being worn 'just to avoid problems on the streets'.[34]

In France, according to journalist Jane Kramer, veiling among school girls became increasingly common following the 9/11 Attack of 2001, due to coercion by "fathers and uncles and brothers and even their male classmates" of the school girls. "Girls who did not conform were excoriated, or chased, or beaten by fanatical young men meting out `Islamic justice.`" [35] According to the American magazine Weekly Standard, a survey conducted in France in May 2003 reportedly "found that 77% of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups." [36]

In India a 2001 "acid attack on four young Muslim women in Srinagar ... by an unknown militant outfit, [was followed by] swift compliance by women of all ages on the issue of wearing the chadar (head-dress) in public." [37][38][39]

In Basra Iraq, "more than 100 women who didn't adhere to strict Islamic dress code" were killed between the summer of 2007 and spring of 2008 by Islamist militias (primarily the Mahdi Army) who controlled the police there, according to the CBS news program 60 Minutes.[40]

Islamists in other countries have been accused of attacking or threatening to attack the faces of women in an effort to intimidate them from wearing of makeup or allegedly immodest dress. [41] [42] [43]

Islamic groups have sometimes used financial inducement to encourage Muslim women to wear hijab. Some French Muslim families, have reportedly been paid 500 euros per quarter in return for hijab use by their daughters.[citation needed]

[edit] Hijab by country

[edit] Debate and controversy

The veil has become the subject of lively contemporary debate, in Muslim countries as well as within other countries with Muslim populations. For example, British government minister Jack Straw was recently drawn into the debate after he suggested that communication with some of the Muslim members of his constituency would be made significantly easier if they ceased covering their faces.[44] In broader terms, the sweep of the debate is captured by Bodman and Tohidi, stating that 'the meaning of the hijab ranges from a form of empowerment for the woman chosing to wear it to a means of seclusion and containment imposed by others'.[45] The subject has also become highly politicized. See for example Rema Hammami on the role of the hijab in becoming a totem for the 'physical integrity of the intifada' for some in Palestine and being pushed into an 'appropriate subject of political discipline'.[46] In this view the hijab becomes a political symbol rather than a religious choice. There is a diverse range of views on the wearing of the hijab in general. Sadiki interviews a women who views it as 'submission to God's commandments'.[47]. Rubenberg illustrates how even secular woman in Muslim countries can be made to wear the veil due to a social or political context.[48] Some critique the hijab in its own right as a regressive device, such as Polly Toynbee stating that it 'turns women into things'.[49] Faisal al Yafai meanwhile argues that the veil should be debated, but that more pressing issues like political and legal rights of women should be a greater priority. [50]It is this diversity of opinion that continues to make the hijab the subject of debate.

Writers such as Leila Ahmed and Karen Armstrong have highlighted how the veil became a symbol of resistance to colonialism, particularly in Egypt in the latter part of the 19th Century, and again today in the post-colonial period. In The Battle for God, Armstrong writes:

“The veiled woman has, over the years, become a symbol of Islamic self-assertion and a rejection of Western cultural hegemony.”[51]

While in Women and Gender, Ahmed states:

“...it was the discourses of the West, and specifically the discourse of colonial domination, that in the first place determined the meaning of the veil in geopolitical discourses and thereby set the terms for its emergence as a symbol of resistance.”[52]

The issue of the veil has thus been “hijacked” to a degree by cultural essentialists on both sides of the divide.[citation needed] Arguments against veiling have been co-opted, along with wider “feminist” discourse, to create a colonial “feminism” that uses questions of Muslim women’s dress amongst others to justify “patriarchal colonialism in the service of particular political ends.”[citation needed] Thus, efforts to improve the situation of women in Muslim (and other non-Western) societies are judged purely on what they wear.[citation needed] Meanwhile, for Islamists, rejection of “Western” modes of dress is not enough: resistance and independence can only be demonstrated by the “wholesale affirmation of indigenous culture”[53]—a prime example being the wearing of the veil.

[edit] Support

Tracing the Victorian law of coverture, Legal Scholar L. Ali Khan provides a critique of the British male elite that wishes to impose its own "comfort views" to unveil Muslim women from Asia, Africa, and Middle East.[54]

Some women choose to wear styles that are more ostentatiously restrictive than local mores might require - perhaps as a sign of Islamic enthusiasm, piety, or both.[citation needed]

In her discussion of findings from interviews of university-educated Moroccan Muslim women who choose to wear the Hijab, Hessini argues that wearing the Hijab is used as a method of separation of women from men when women work and therefore step into what is perceived to be the men’s public space, so in this case, when women have the right and are able to work, a method has been found to maintain the traditional societal arrangements.[55]

[edit] Critics

Critics of conservative interpretations of the hijab point out that while many claim wearing it does not necessarily signify oppression, those for whom it does are not always free to state their true views on the matter.[citation needed]

Academic Rema Hammai quotes a Palestinian woman reflective of an "activist" resistance to "hijabization" in Gaza saying that "in my community it's natural to wear" hijab. "The problem is when little boys, including my son, feel they have the right to tell me to wear it."[56] Similarly Iranian-American novelist Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic novel Persepolis, and Parvin Darabi who has authored Rage Against the Veil are some of the famous opponents of compulsory hijab, which was protested when first imposed.[57]

Cheryl Benard, writing an opinion piece in Rand Corporation, criticized those who used fear to enforce the hijab and stated that "in Pakistan, Kashmir, and Afghanistan, hundreds of women have been blinded or maimed when acid was thrown on their unveiled faces by male fanatics who considered them improperly dressed."[58]

In fiction it has been criticized by Bengali writer Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain in her work Sultana's Dream (1905).

[edit] Other elements of hijab

Both genders are told to lower their gaze and not to stare at each other in public. This is made evident in Qur'an Chapter 24:30-31

"Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and not display their ornaments except what appears there of, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their or name except to their husbands..."[59]

Muhammad has said, "...the adultery of the eyes is looking at [that] which is not allowed..."[60]

He has also said,"A man should not look at the awrah of another man, and the woman should not look at the Awrah of another woman..."[61]

Muhammad also said "The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytaan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness, which he will find in his heart on the day he meets Him."[62]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Glasse, Cyril, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, Altamira Press, 2001, p.179-180
  3. ^ Esposito (2003), p. 112
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2003), p.721, New York: Macmillan Reference USA
  5. ^ a b Hameed, Shahul. "Is Hijab a Qur’anic Commandment?," IslamOnline.net. October 9, 2003.
  6. ^ Ghamidi, Javed (2001). "Norms of Gender Interaction (The Social Law of Islam)". Mizan. Dar ul-Ishraq. OCLC 52901690. 
  7. ^ The Qur'anic Concept of Hijab, Renaissance, Al-Mawrid Institute, Vol. 6, No. 11, November, 1996.[1]
  8. ^ a b c d e Aslan, Reza, No God but God, Random House, (2005), p.65-6
  9. ^ Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate By Leila Ahmed
  10. ^ a b [2]
  11. ^ Kausar Khan, "Veiled Feminism: The dating scene looks a little different from behind the veil," Current (Winter 2007): 14-15.
  12. ^ The Hanbali school of thought also views the face as the awrah, though this view is rejected by Hanafis, Malikis and Shafi'is.
  13. ^ Hsu, Shiu-Sian. "Modesty." Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. Ed. Jane McAuliffe. Vol. 3. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2003. 403-405. 6 vols.
  14. ^ Heba G. Kotb M.D., Sexuality in Islam, PhD Thesis, Maimonides University, 2004
  15. ^ Ghamidi, Javed (2001). "Norms of Gender Interaction (The Social Law of Islam)". Mizan. Dar ul-Ishraq. OCLC 52901690. 
  16. ^ The Qur'anic Concept of Hijab, Renaissance, Al-Mawrid Institute, Vol. 6, No. 11, November, 1996.[3]
  17. ^ Syed, Ibrahim B., Women in Islam: Hijab (published 2001), http://www.islamfortoday.com/syed01.htm 
  18. ^ Ahmed, Leyla, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, New Haven: Yale University Press (published 1992), ISBN 0300055838, http://books.google.com/books?id=U0Grq2BzaUgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Leila+Ahmed+women+islam+hijab&sig=ACfU3U1ixheuk9nIholbxdOP72qop7oziA#PPA53,M1 
  19. ^ See , compared verse by verse
  20. ^ Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Mizan, Chapter: The Social Law of Islam, Al-Mawrid.
  21. ^ Shehzad Saleem. Wearing Silk, Renaissance-Monthly Islamic Journal, 9(6), June, 1999
  22. ^ Rainsford, Sarah (2007-10-02). "Women condemn Turkey constitution". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7025294.stm. Retrieved on 2008-08-04. 
  23. ^ Clark-Flory, Tracy (2007-04-23). "Head scarves to topple secular Turkey?". Salon. http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2007/04/23/headscarf/. Retrieved on 2008-08-04. 
  24. ^ John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path,, p.98, 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  25. ^ Haddad/Esposito pg.xvii
  26. ^ Bloom (2002), p.46-47
  27. ^ Dress CodeAugust, 15, 1991
  28. ^ M. J. Gohari (2000). The Taliban: Ascent to Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 108-110.
  29. ^ Tunisia's Hijab Ban Unconstitutional, 11 October 2007
  30. ^ Turkey's AKP discusses hijab ruling JUNE 06, 2008
  31. ^ Mardell, Mark. Dutch MPs to decide on burqa ban, BBC News, January 16, 2006. Accessed June 6, 2008.
  32. ^ "Women and the Hijab in the Intifada", Rema Hammami Middle East Report, May-August 1990
  33. ^ Rubenberg, C., Palestinian Women: Patriarchy and Resistance in the West Bank (USA, 2001) p.230
  34. ^ Rubenberg, C., Palestinian Women: Patriarchy and Resistance in the West Bank (USA, 2001) p.231
  35. ^ "TAKING THE VEIL; LETTER FROM EUROPE", by JANE KRAMER. The New Yorker. New York: Nov 22, 2004
  36. ^ "The Veil Controversy-Islamism and liberalism face off" by Olivier Guitta, 12/04/2006
  37. ^ The Pioneer, August 14, 2001, "Acid test in the face of acid attacks" Sandhya Jain
  38. ^ Kashmir women face threat of acid attacks from militants, Independent, The (London), Aug 30, 2001 by Peter Popham in Delhi
  39. ^ 10 August, 2001, Kashmir women face acid attacks
  40. ^ 60 minutes, CBS News, "Hostage Recalls Basra Kidnapping Ordeal" Feb. 22, 2009
  41. ^ Molavi, Afshini The Soul of Iran, Norton, (2005), p.152: Following the mandating of the covering of hair by women in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a hijab-less woman `was shopping. A bearded young man approached me. He said he would throw acid on my face if I did not comply with the rules."
  42. ^ In 2006, a group in Gaza calling itself "Just Swords of Islam" is reported to have claimed it threw acid at the face of a young woman who was dressed "immodestly," and warned other women in Gaza that they must wear hijab. Dec 2, 2006 Gaza women warned of immodesty
  43. ^ Iranian journalist Amir Taheri tells of an 18-year-old college student at the American University in Beirut who on the eve of `Ashura in 1985 "was surrounded and attacked by a group of youths -- all members of Hezb-Allah, the Party of Allah. They objected to the `lax way` in which they thought she was dressed, and accused her of `insulting the blood of the martyrs` by not having her hair fully covered. Then one of the youths threw `a burning liquid` on her face." According to Taheri, "scores -- some say hundreds -- of women ... in Baalbek, in Beirut, in southern Lebanon and in many other Muslim cities from Tunis to Kuala Lumpur," were attacked in a similar manner from 1980 to 1986. Taheri, Amir, Holy Terror : the Inside Story of Islamic Terrorism, Adler & Adler, 1987, p.12
  44. ^ "Straw’s veil comments spark anger". BBC News Online. 2006-10-05. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5410472.stm. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
  45. ^ Bodman, H., and Tohidi, .N.,Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity within Unity(USA, 1998), p.66
  46. ^ Rubenberg, C., Palestinian Women: Patriarchy and Resistance in the West Bank (USA, 2001), p.231
  47. ^ Sadiki, L., The Search for Arab Democracy (London 2004) p.300
  48. ^ Rubenberg, C., Palestinian Women: Patriarchy and Resistance in the West Bank (USA, 2001), p.231
  49. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/oct/17/comment.politics3
  50. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/08/religion.gender
  51. ^ p.295, Armstrong, K, 2001, “The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, London, HarperCollinsRoutledge
  52. ^ Ahmed (1992), p. 235
  53. ^ Ahmed (1992), p. 244
  54. ^ SSRN-The Veil and the British Male Elite by L. Khan
  55. ^ Hessini, L., 1994, Wearing the Hijab in Contemporary Morocco: Choice and Identity, in Göçek, F. M. & Balaghi, S., Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East: Tradition, Identity & Power, New York, Columbia University Press
  56. ^ "Women and the Hijab in the Intifada", Rema Hammami Middle East Report, May-August 1990, p.26
  57. ^ Photos. Right to choose. First protests against mandatory hijab
  58. ^ Commentary. "French Tussle Over Muslim Head Scarf is Positive Push for Women's Rights" by Cheryl Benard
  59. ^ Qur'an Chapter 24:30-31
  60. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 74, Hadith 260 and Book 77, Hadith 69
  61. ^ Authority of Abu Sa’eed in Sahih Muslim
  62. ^ Mishkat

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