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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why They Argue on Hijab?

The wearing of Hijab is the religious obligation which is ignored by Muslim women. To certain extent, some people argue that, wearing a hijab is an individual freedom. Even they know that it is compulsory to cover their aurah, but they still neglect to obey the obligation.

For one thing, there are that certain parties which are promoted the Islamic value and dignity, but they did not totally uphold what Islam had been prescribed in The Quran and The Hadith. It should be noted that, they allege that the veiling is discriminate the right of women.

Norani Othman (2006) pointed out that, "the discriminate of Muslim women through the mechanism of hijab, gender segregation and social control is sustained and reinforced in contemporary society because quite often it coincides or intersects with the postcolonial politics of cultural identity (p.89)".

Thus, for them the hijab is one of the violence which is against the dignity of women. It is because by wearing hijab, it makes a limitation in doing things.

However, they should not argue the command in the religious obligatory. More noteworthy, most of the people who assert about this issue, they used to misinterpret the meaning in the verse 26 in Surah al A'raf (Mohammad Marmaduke pickthall, 2001, p.206): The Almighty said which means: "O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah that they may remember."

Thus, from this verse they tend to translate the sentence "the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best" which refer to the "TAQWA" is vital clothe rather than the proper way of covering the aurah.

Zainah Anwar (2000) stated the following: "Sisters in Islam takes the position that the state should not use force in its desire to see women covered up. Religion depends on faith and will. Imposing laws and regulations on dressing does not necessarily lead to more piety among the believers, but instead commands compliance based on fear of the state and of Islam. This is not the right path to taqwa." (p.4)

Perhaps, they insist that what is inside in the heart is more essential in spite of the good and pious deeds. Conversely, all verses that had been revealed in the Quran have more interpretation. Its should not understand literally.

But, there are some more verses will support to one another verses in the Quran. Furthermore, they should refer how the real concept of Hijab in Islam and all the principles are clearly mentioned in the Quran and The Hadith.

In addition, a primary concern need to be noted that there are some Muslim women who refuse to wear a hijab based on the verse in the Quran especially in Surah Al Baqarah, verse 256 in which the verse said about there is no compulsion in religion. Therefore, in their interpretation, Islam does not force people to do what they did not want to do.

As far as the Islamic shari'ah is concerned, in order to understand the whole message in the Revealed Book, it is necessary to refer to the other verses. It will give understanding in comprehensively meaning in order to avoid any misinterpretation.

However, they still manage to questioning and arguing the obligation rather than to obey the commands. Some people may agree with the party who claim that Hijab is an individual freedom through their relevant proofs.

On the other hand, after seeing these arguments, there is no way that we can agree with what they say. It is because, we are Muslim and we should not tolerate on this issue. The edict of the religion we can not simply ignore it. In fact, to be a good Muslim is to obey what Islam command to do, not to against or make a confusion upon the subject matter.

Allah said in Surah At Tawbah verse 71, (Mohammad Marmaduke pickthall, 2001, p.267): Allah said, which means: "And the believers, the men and the women, are friends one of the other; they bid to honour and forbid dishonour; they perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and they obey God and His Messenger. Those upon them God will have mercy".

Hence, this verse shows that the important to obey what Allah asks us to do in order to get His blessing in worldly life as well as in the hereafter. For one thing, what is discussing here is not what they are trying to prove. But, instead of to bring back what they had been misunderstood upon the matter.

Do they really comprehend what is the meaning of hijab?. Do they really know what is the real concept of hijab in Islam and what are the reasons behind this obligation?. These are the things that need to be considered as to show that their argument is irrelevant.

According to Murtaza Mutahhari (1987) explained that, "the words hijab means covering or a veil. The Philosophy behind the hijab for women in Islam is that they should cover her body from the non mahram" (p.13). Therefore, it is obligatory to women to cover their aurah.

The relevant verses embodied to this issue such as in Surah An Nur verse 31 and Surah Ahzab, verse 59 (Mohammad Marmaduke pickthall, 2001, p. 604): Allah said, which means: "O Prophets! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to Their cloaks close round them (when thay go abroad). That will be better, that So they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful"

As highlighted from Yusuf Qardawi (2006) pointed out, "This verse shows that to cover the aurah is compulsory upon Muslim women. Islam is already given the guideline how Muslim women should observe their way of dress" (p.45).

Thus, In surah An Nur, verse 31 and Surah Al Ahzab, verse 59 clear explained the way Muslim women should observe their dress. They need to lower their veil and this is the best way to avoid any disturbing, such as sexual harassment and getting involve in adultery.

Some people may argue that, either cover or not, women still become the victim of the rapist. So, there is useless to cover the aurah. However, it is should be noted that, the command from Allah was in the early age of the coming of Islam.

Furthermore, the obligation of wearing hijab is a dignity to women. The emergence of Islam honored the status of women. Unlike the dark ages in Arab, women were the lower status and become the servant for man (M.J Bahonar, 1988).

Perhaps, the coming of Islam gives an appreciation to women. Women require to express their thankful to Allah and should not question what Islam had been commanded to do.

Zaharuddin (2007) stated that, the obligation of hijab is differentiate between man and animal. An animal did not require to wear a clothe. It should to be noted that in Surah Al A'raf, verse 26 in the Holy Quran (Mohammad Marmaduke pickthall, 2001,p.206): The Almighty said, which means: "O children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame and splendid vesture.."

He further highlighted that, wearing hijab is such as 'uniform' to muslim Women. It differentiates between the Muslim and non Muslim. Perhaps, this is the identity to be as a Muslim. As highlighted by Salbiah Ahmad (2007) explained that, "the 'Muslim Dress' today is powerful because of a personal identity and collective association. It is reflected the importance of religion as a basis of personal and sacred identity" (p.10).

Hence, it is clearly mentioned that wearing hijab is the Islamic identity. We need to be proud on the entitled of the identity. It is not an individual freedom, but the command from Allah. Indeed, it is important to pay particular attention, the inside pious intention is not enough. The good deeds are manifest throughout the action and personality goes hand in hand, not the good intention alone.