Covering Women with Burqa is the Divine Law of Allah, While Its Banning is the dirty Man Made Law of Ignorance

Wednesday, 20 April 2011 16:18 Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari Women - Hijab etc.
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It has been mentioned in the previous article that there are several verses in the Koran dictating the dress code for Muslim women. Allah revealed the first verse (Koran: 33. 59) directing Muhammad to ask the Muslim women to cast their outer garment over their persons when outdoor that reads -

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”(33.59) 

Then the elaborate instruction came through the verse (24.31) that says,

“And speak unto the believing women that they restrain their eyes and preserve their modesty and discover not their ornaments, except what necessarily appeareth thereof; and let them throw their veils over their bosoms and not show their ornaments, unless to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers , or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or their captives which right hands shall possess, or unto such men as attend them, and have no need of women, or unto children, who distinguish not the nakedness of women. And let them not make a noise with their feet, that their ornaments which they hide may thereby be discovered” (24/31).

And ..

“It shall be no crime in them as to their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their woman, or the slaves which their right hands possess, if they speak to them unveiled; and fear Allah; for Allah is witness of all things” (33/55).

Allah then revealed a few other verses, e.g. (33/33), (33/53) and others regarding women’s veil, e.g.

“And stay quietly in your houses, 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.”

And for a proper protection of the Prophet’s harem, Allah revealed a few other verses for the wives of Muhammad, such as, “

O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just” (33. 32). “O, ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy Allah’s Messenger, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah’s sight an enormity.” (33. 53)

The verse (33. 53) was revealed when Muhammad heard that one of his closest companions expressed his desire to marry Aisha, after Prophet’s death. Reader may recall that a similar psychology motivated Afzal Khan, the most powerful General or Sardar (Lord) in the court of Ali Adil Shah II, the Sultan of Bijapur in Southern India. In 1658, Sultan Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur was preparing to launch a military campaign against Shivaji, the indefatigable Maratha ruler. Prior to the campaign, Khan contacted astrologers who predicted doom—his death at the hands of Maratha soldiers. At that time, Afzal Khan had 63 wives in his harem. Fearing that his wives would remarry after his death, the anxious general chose to kill all of them. Some say they were pushed into a deep well, while others say that all the 63 unfortunate wives were slain by Afzal. The astrologers proved correct; for, Khan indeed died at the hands of Shivaji at Pratapgarh. [1] (To read mre, see Women in Islam: Tragic Story of Afzal Khan and his 63 Wives).

Though Allah’s laws ordained in 7th century, still appropriate today:

To every Muslim, Koran is the infallible and immutable words of their God Allah. But Allah has revealed the Koran nearly 14 centuries ago and the world has undergone so many changes which are to be accommodated in Islamic legal and social systems to keep the Muslim society up for the modern times. But the Muslim clerics and mullahs, for their vested interests, are hell bent on keeping the Muslim society stagnant as it was in 7th century Arabia. According to the Islamic theology, Muhammad was the last Prophet, and hence no other Prophet will be born to update the text of the Koran and hence any suggestion to update Koran is considered a blasphemy of the worst kind. Most importantly, this rigid attitude of the religious leaders of Islam is pulling the Muslims from the back in their race in civilization.

In one occasion, the Bangladeshi authoress Taslima Nasrin, during an interview with The Statesman, said that the Koran needs a thorough revision. Her comment enraged the Muslim clerics of Kolkata and an imam of Kolkata issued a fatwa asking the Muslims to kill her. That imam also declared a reward of 500,000 rupees for her killer. These clerics also put pressure on the Muslim appeasing government of Delhi to terminate her visa and drive her out of India, and the government carried their demands to pacify the Muslims and to stop their violent protests.

In his article Allah’s Law and Law of Ignorance (Islamic Voice, April 2009) the author Sayyid Qutb says that Allah has revealed truth in the Koran which is beyond any dispute. He begins his article with three verses of Surah Al-Maidah that reads:

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;” (5.48)

“And this (He commands):

Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah’s purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious” (5.49).

“Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?”(5.59)

The author then writes,

“The central point in this verse is that no modification of Allah’s law and no compromise with regard to its provisions is admissible for any purpose. In the second part of this passage, this principle is stated with greater clarity. In the first statement, the Prophet (Pbuh) is instructed in these words: “judge, then between them in accordance with what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their vain desires for asking thereby the truth that has come to you.” This statement may be construed as meaning abandoning Allah’s law in total and following their vain desires in preference to it. In the second part, the Prophet is warned against compromising even a portion of what has been revealed to him: “judge between them in accordance with what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their vain desire; and beware of them lest they tempt you away from any part of what Allah has revealed to you” the warning here is more precise, stricter and stronger, it also states the matter in it true nature, it is a temptation which must be resisted, the choice is either to implement Allah’s law in full, or to follow vain desires.”

The essence of all the above discussions is that, every Muslim must have blind faith in Allah’s revelations and blindly obey the laws that Allah has revealed in the Koran. They are nonbeliever kafirs, who do not believe in Allah’s divine laws. They refuse to submit to Allah alone and reject his Godhood, Indeed, a great many people, among the Muslims are also transgressors as well. There is no doubt that Allah will afflict them with their sins. But a real Muslims must not let their attitude weaken to implement Allah’s law in full. They will never compromise with Allah’s laws for any purpose and under any circumstances.

The term “pagan ignorance” does not refer to a particular period of time, but to a certain situation which may come into existence at any point of time. The people led by the pagan ignorance implement a law which is made by man. Whenever it exists, it must be described as ignorance which is contrary to Islam.

“Who can be a better lawgiver than Allah?” Who can claim that he can give people better law than that of Allah? What argument can be given to prove his hollow claim? Can he say that he knows the nature of mankind better than their creator? Can he say that he is more compassionate and sympathetic to mankind than their Lord? Can he say that he knows their interest better than the God of mankind? What can one say in justification of setting Allah’s law aside and substituting for it a law of ignorance. What can he say if, in spite of that, he still claims to be a Muslim? He commanded Muslims to implement His Law and follow His way of life and never be tempted away from any part of His revelations?”, says the author.

Many try to justify their attitude to follow man made laws of ignorance by claiming that, “Allah’s law does not cater for new needs and new situations? Were not these needs and situations known to Allah when He made His laws? A non-Muslim can say anything he wants, but what can those who claim to be Muslims? There are two distinct paths, the way of Allah and paganism or truth and falsehood. “It is Islam or ignorance, faith or unfaith, the rule of Allah or the rule of pagan ignorance, those who choose not to judge in accordance with what Allah has revealed are disbelievers, wrongdoers and transgressors. Their subjects who do not accept Allah’s law are not believers”, man has to chose one between the two. “Those who want to claim for themselves the most honorable title of being Muslims, must chose truth and reject the falsehood.” So, real Muslims must follow Allah’s law and cover their women with hijab or burqa and not uncover them following the man made pagan laws or laws of ignorance.

How nice are the divine laws of Allah? A couple of weeks ago, a Bangladeshi Sharia Court accused a 14-year-old rape victim of committing adultery and sentenced her 200 lashes. But after execution of the punishment, the unfortunate girl died in a hospital due to the injury. This single example is enough for exposing the beauty of Allah’s divine laws.

Burqa in the eye of an educated Muslim:

Asghar Ali Engineer, an Indian Muslim, is an Islamic scholar, reformist-writer and known to be a progressive Muslim intellectual. He is internationally known for his work on liberation theology in Islam and he leads the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement. Presently, he is the head of the ‘Institute of Islamic Studies’ and the ‘Centre for Study of Society and Secularism’, both of which he founded in 1980 and 1993 respectively. (source)

At the very outset, it should be mentioned that a Muslim is not permitted to take any decision on the basis of his personal ethics, experience and knowledge. Actions of every Muslim must follow two basic ideas of Islam; haram (unlawful) and halal (lawful). The deeds which have been certified by Allah as halal, every Muslim has to do that, when opportunity comes, while the deeds that are labeled as haram by Allah, every Muslim must not commit such an act, even if his personal wisdom inspires him to do that. For example, most merciful and most compassionate Allah has approved raping of a non-Muslim woman by a Muslim man and hence, raping of a kafir woman is halal for a Muslim. So, a Muslim man must rape a kafir woman, when the opportunity arrives, even if his personal ethics and conscience stands in his way.

From this viewpoint, every Muslim, whether educated or uneducated, including Mr Asghar Ali, has to support the practice of covering a Muslim women with burqa because Allah has declared it haram for a Muslim women not to cover her with Burqa. As a matter of fact, the people like Asghar Ali cannot defy the opinion of the ulama and their main business is to hide the true or bloody face of Islam and hence misguide the kafirs by telling dark lies. After all, going against the ulama is a very risky business, which may lead to death.

That is the reason why the people like Asghar Ali are not seen to raise their voice against the killing of hundreds and thousands of innocent Muslim girls each year as honor killings. They also not raise their voice when the shariah courts across the world accuse young rape victims of adultery and declare death by stoning as the punishment. These so called Muslim intellectuals also keep silence regarding other vices of the Muslim society like polygamy, pedophilia, easy divorce of wife or wives and wife beating. They also remain silent when the fanatics prevent Muslim girls from attending schools and receiving education. Because, a protest in such cases would invite enmity of the fanatic clerics.

However, Asghar Ali has discussed the banning of burqa by the French Government in an article GUESTVIEW: Wearing a burqa will now be a crime? [2] In that article he has described the banning of face covering burqa as simply a political stunt by the President Sarkozy to gain political mileage. In fact, more and more people of France now are becoming supporters of the far right political parties those are trying to fight Islam and stop Islamization of Europe.  And Sarkozy, by banning burqa is trying to pretend that his party is also anti-Islamic and thus trying to bring back his supporters, who have turned into supporters of the rightist parties.

Presently, many Western intellectuals are criticizing the Islamic evil practice of covering the women with hijab or burqa. But Asghar Ali refrained himself from making any critical comment on veiling the women with burqa, lest such comment irritate the clerics. On the contrary, he said that it is also a fundamental right of the Muslim women to cover them with veil or burqa. In so many words, Asghar Ali wanted to say – As Muslim women cover themselves following the divine law of Allah, ordained in the Koran, it legitimate to allow them to obey the divine law. It is their fundamental right and they should not be prevented to follow that divine law by enacting man made law of ignorance. It should be mentioned here that, though the clerics claim that the Koran prescribes head to toe covering of a woman’s body, this author has failed to find a verse of Koran that suggests such a dress code. The Koran prescribes a dress code as a part of modesty.

The reader may recall that in October 2006, a controversy arose in the UK regarding the use of veil by school teachers. A Muslim teacher Ayesha Azmi of the Headfield Church of England Junior School, in the West Yorkshire, England, was instructed by the school authorities to uncover her face during teaching sessions in the class. According to their belief, a face to face communication was necessary between the students and the teacher. But she refused to abide by that instruction and as a consequence, the school authorities suspended her from service.

Meanwhile, on October 28, Bollywood film actress Sabana Azmi went to England to receive the International Gandhi Peace Prize. After receiving the award at the House of Commons, Ms Azmi, in her address said that the Koran did not say a woman to cover her face. The Koran only said to preserve modesty in one’s dress code. Though her statement was quite correct, it made Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the orthodox and fanatic imam of Delhi, furious. He said that, Sabana Azmi was a dancer and singer and she should remain in her domain of entertaining people by dancing and singing. She should not poke her nose in religious matters and, as a matter of fact, she had no right to interpret the Koran. He further said that the chapters (suras) 18 and 22 of the Koran clearly mention that a woman must cover her entire body with head to toe burqa. But this author has failed to find verses in chapters 18 and 22, containing such instructions.

Notion of another Muslim author on veil:

The October 2008 edition of Islamic Voice, a Bangalore based monthly, carries an article Islamic Dress Code for Women, written by Dr Arshad Ahmed. At the very beginning Dr Ahmed writes, “Complete covering including the face is neither desirable nor essential in real life situations like a working woman who has to interact with the employer, colleagues and clients.” This starting sentence reflected that Dr Ahmed possesses a liberal attitude regarding dress code for Muslim women. The author then writes that essentially the dress code is a part of modesty and in this case the dress code has to be such as not to indulge in undue exposure body parts to attract the attention of the opposite sex. This aspect does not demand covering the entire body, including the face, by a head to toe garment but only to cover the bosom according to most interpretations of Quran. In fact, the verses (24.30-31) of the Koran suggest such a dress code for the woman. Moreover, this view is by the following Hadith:

“Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse “That they should draw their veils over their bosoms” was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them.” (Abu Dawood Book #32, Hadith #4091)

The author also mentions several disadvantages arising out of complete covering the body, including the face, such as:

1) It is not desirable for a working woman who has to interact with the employer, colleagues clients etc.(2) For a doctor attending to a patient of opposite sex.(3) When travelling overseas, identity has to be verified by the immigration authorities.

(4) While driving, say a car, for law enforcing agencies, to verify Driver’s license, etc.

Dr Ahmed has put more emphasis on the conduct of a woman than on her dress code and writes,

“In respect of modesty, more important than the dress code is the conduct, a commandment directed to both men and women, to lower the gaze according to the aforesaid verses. Lowering the gaze obviously means that one can see the face and recognise the opposite sex, but yet not stare at them. Hence it is implicit that complete covering of the face is not required as far as modest appearance and conduct is concerned.”

The author then says that a dress code covering the entire body, including the face, may be recommended when it is not desirable to disclose the identity of the woman. For example, during the times of the Prophet, the women folk used to go out in the open for answering nature’s call. During such movements too, it was necessary to conceal the identity of the Prophet’s wives. (Bukhari, Book#4, Hadith#148, Book#60 Hadith#313) Such a necessity of concealing the identity of the women on their way to and back from the mosque (Book #8, Hadith #368) Bukhari). Indeed even today, women who go to mosques regularly may prefer to go unrecognized. So, in such cases, a head to toe burqa  may be approved.

To conclude his essay, Dr Ahmed writes, “The requirement of complete covering, in the present day, may be limited to a small section of women that too in very limited spheres of their lives.  …  In Islamic regimes, if the authorities take a very rigid stand and insist on the most rigorous dress code for women of complete wrap up except allowing one eye to see the way, as a Saudi cleric has recently demanded, obviously based on interpretation (actually misinterpretation) of the verses (24. 31) and (33. 59) of the Koran, women will be incapacitated severely. They will not be able to perform simple functions like driving a car, let alone become doctors and serve the people of both the genders.”

Conclusion:

To summarize the discussions narrated above, it may be said that, Koran does not recommend covering the women with a head to foot hijab or burqa. It is a later invention of the orthodox mullahs to keep the women subdued, always dependent on males, so that they could treat the women worse than domestic animals. Non-Muslim political or religious leaders are very eager to liberate the Muslim women from the moving prison called burqa. But they are not being able to do that due to the rigid opposition by the fanatic Muslim clerics, who are hell bent on to keep their women as their chattel, or simply their slaves.

So, whenever a non-Muslim nation takes any step to liberate the Muslim women from the moving coffin called burqa by banning the use of this dress code, the Muslim clerics, to retain their vested interest, raise cry and say that we cover the women following the divine law of Allah, but these kafirs are infringing into our divine rights. They also say that they are humble servants of Allah, humble followers of Allah, want to be guided by the divine laws of Allah, as ordained in the Koran, but these kafirs are compelling us to bow down to dirty man made law of ignorance.


References:

[1] To read more, see Women in Islam: Tragic Story of Afzal Khan and his 63 Wives,by this author..
[2] http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/01/23/hold-guestview-wearing-a-burqa-will-now-be-a-crime/