If there’s one thing that Islam and Muslims gets attacked for, it’s women!
It’s made out, in the ‘western world’, in the non-Muslim media and by ordinary people on the streets, that Muslim women are oppressed by Islam and by Muslim men. This is simply not true!
This is no different than Muslims being slammed for forced marriages. For a long time, people thought that having a forced marriage was normal in Islam and it was something that Islam supported. They thought that Muslim women were being oppressed, by the men, and being forced into marriages, against their wills. It took years of Muslims speaking out before it actually started to sink into the minds of the public at large, that Islam was against forced marriages and that this was a custom, a tradition, that was prevalent in cultures throughout the world – but not in Islam.
The Muslim World continues to be attacked where women are concerned. The latest attention has focused on the clothing of a Muslimah – not a new topic but one that’s been gaining momentum in Europe and the UK. The western world is complaining and campaigning hard against the Burqa, also known as the niqaab or chadur, and it has been banned in France, Belgium and is being heavily debated in the UK, Spain and other countries. The main thrust is that it is oppressive, poses a security threat and divides communities. I have already written a post on this:
Sisters! Stand Up!
The thing is sisters, if a Muslim man argues about the merits and benefits and blessings of hijaab, niqaab/burqa or jilbaab, he’ll just be seen as one of the oppressors. This situation requires for sisters to act, for sisters to stand up and defend their rights, the rights given to them in Islam by Allah, subhana wa ta’ala.
So stand up sisters. Be proud of being a Muslimah, of looking like a Muslimah, of being identified as a Muslimah. Stand up and tell the disbelievers that they are wrong. Ask them why they don’t ask the hundreds of thousands of Muslim women, who do wear Islamic dress, if they are oppressed. I don’t recall Muslim women asking the west for help!
- Tell them that you are not oppressed.
- Tell that that you don’t need their ‘protection’, that you don’t need to be ‘saved’ from Muslim men and Islam.
- Tell them the many reasons why you wear your hijaab, your niqaab, your jilbaab.
- Tell them that those who think the hijaab, niqaab or jilbaab are oppressive, are those who don’t wear it and those who want to show themselves off to a society that lusts after women.
And don’t stop there. Challenge them about their morals, about how they portray women in this society and what a lowly position they give to women. Don’t be a feminist – there is a better and higher position than that – that of Islam and the high status that it gives to Muslim women.
Some non-Muslims understand the benefits of being covered up, as can be seen from the link below:
This is a non-Muslim speaking – surely Muslim women can say more!
Don’t be apologetic – you have nothing to apologise for.
And sisters, don’t look down on other sisters who are not yet practising this – insha’Allah they will learn and grow in deen and take strength from women like yourselves – help them to understand. And sisters, don’t speak out against those who are trying to wear Islamic dress in a society that frowns upon them. Support your sisters, wherever you are – don’t undermine them.
It won’t stop at the Niqaab!
Sisters, you need to realise that the attacks won’t stop. Now it’s the burqa and niqaab. What will it be tomorrow? If you don’t stand up now, the disbelievers will continue to walk all over us, spreading ‘their version’ of our deen.
Sisters, you are the cornerstone of the family! Do you want your children, nephews and nieces, to grow up without seeing their mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts protected by the Commands of Allah? Do you want them to see you in the same ilk as the disbelieving women? Think about what separates the believing women from the disbelieving women.
Stand Up 4 Islam!
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Some Notes: Proofs for the veil
Surah 24 (An-Nur), verse 31:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juhubihinna (ie. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers,or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (ie. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. All all of you beg Allah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.”
Sahih Bukhari, Vol 6, Hadith No. 282:
Narrated Safiyah bint Shaibah: ‘Aishah used to say: ‘When the Verse: “And to draw their veils all over Juhubihinna (ie. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” (V24:31) was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their heads and faces with those cut pieces of cloth.’
Four Schools of Thought:
There is a difference of opinion amongst the Maaliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Shaafi’ee, over whether a Muslim woman should cover her face and hands. I will not go any further into the fiqh of this issue, as it is not needed here and there are more learned people that you can get an answer for this on. And it’s especially not needed for the non-Muslims. The point is though that we should not undermine the sisters who choose to wear burqa/niqaab but recognise that they are doing a good thing.
Story of a pious Sister
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