Go, Quebec, Go! [A look into the Niqab-Ban]

March 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

Quebec has joined the list of Countries, Provinces & Cities who see ‘Niqab’ as a threat. Yes, ladies & Gentlemen the Niqab – a really simple piece of cloth seems to have people in quite a flurry. God forbid Women wear such a thing and surely they must have forced into it! Not to mention, we simply can’t speak to them when they have that thing on. So guess what? We’re going to ban it. Hah! But wait, we’re still keen on freedom you know? We support Women in their right to wear whatever they want because this is the 21st century…

If you’re thinking great blog post – I absolutely support what she has written so far you need to click on the ‘X’ button on the top right corner of your screen because the above was sarcasm.

Simply put, this is ridiculous and I’m a little surprised that this is coming from Canada. Which I have long looked upon as being at least a little lenient to Muslims compared to other Western Countries but I guess not

The issue of the face-veil has been blown out of proportion by the Media. There is a lack of understanding & the Media did its part in painting the Niqab as ‘evil’ & ‘oppressive’. What we need is interaction between Muslim Women who veil & the Non-Muslim Western public. What we need is a more positive approach to the Niqab by the Media. What we need is understanding.

What I find ironic and hypocritical that these same Countries who preach ‘Women rights’ and Women being allowed to wear what they want are now breaking  their own rules, views and laws. At the same time being discriminatory. It’s utterly okay to walk around in a ultra mini-skirt and a tanktop because that is her right – but God Forbid she cover her face.

In the end, I have to say – this is going to do nothing but fuel more Anti-Western views within the Muslim World and cause Muslim Women who cover their faces to be alienated within Quebec Society.

Quebec School Expels Niqab Student

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Re: Man claims fiancee hid behind Niqab

March 2, 2010 § 9 Comments

I originally posted this at Al Emarati – another blog I’m a guest-blogger at. Also this incident is a little old now I thought it was still worth re-posting.

This story has been the talk of the town since it hit the newspapers. And quite frankly when I first read it I was groaning with despair because Niqabis so do not need another Media bashing right now.

Ultimately though, it isn’t exactly the Niqab [face-veil] to blame but the people involved in it. However the story is written in such a way that it makes delicious food for the Niqab-haters out there.

A Man apparently married a Woman who wears the Niqab and didn’t properly see her before they got married, finding out too late that she had quite a bit of facial hair and was cross-eyed.

Dubai: An Arab ambassador said he decided to call off his wedding immediately after he discovered that his wife-to-be, who wears a niqab, was bearded and cross-eyed.

The ambassador claimed that the bride’s mother deceived his mother, when she went to see his Gulf national wife-to-be, by showing her pictures of the bride’s sister.

The Arab man, who also holds the title of minister plenipotentiary, claimed to a Sharia court judge in Dubai that the bride’s family showed his mother photos of the bride’s sister and not the woman he was going to marry.

Sources close to the case told Gulf News that the groom only saw the woman a few times. He did not realise that she had a beard because she wore the niqab the few times he met her, added the source.

First of all, islamically, it is the right of the Man and the Woman to look at each other before they marry and this is proved from the authentic narrations of the Prophet Sallalahu alayhi wasallam.

  • The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When one of you proposes to a woman, if he can look at that which may encourage him to go ahead and marry her, let him do so.” [Sunan Abu Dawood]
  • From Abu Hurayrah [RA]: “I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when a man came and told him that he had married a woman of the Ansaar. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, ‘Have you seen her?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Go and look at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansaar.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 1424; and by al-Daaraqutni, 3/253 (34)
  • From al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah: “I proposed marriage to a woman, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Have you seen her?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’” According to another report: “So he did that, and he married her and mentioned that they got along.” (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/252 (31, 32); Ibn Maajah, 1/574)

From the above ahadith it is a consensus among the scholars that it is allowed for both spouses to look at each other before they get married. Obviously the Man in question did not do so – instead he relied upon pictures and was deceived by the daughters Mother. Who is to blame here? Definitely not the Niqab.

Which brings me to another point, how could anyone, especially a Mother deceive her future son-in-law like that? Not to mention, she should’ve given her daughter at least some sort of therapy at least before marrying her off. Also, deception about physical attributes is one of the reasons a person can annul a marriage.

Read the original story here:- Link

Nasheed for Hijabis [By Ahmed bin Ali Al-Ajami]

November 15, 2009 § 1 Comment

Came across this and I loved it. Shaykh Ahmed bin Ali Al-Ajami has a beautiful voice – especially his Qiraat of the Qurán. 🙂

Stay strong if you wear the Hijab or the Niqaab – in the end, the ajar is with Allah SWT.

May Allah subhanna wa ta’ala give all our Sisters sabr who are facing problems be it at home or from the government because of their Hijab or Niqaab. Ameen.

Provision for divorcees

October 25, 2009 § 8 Comments

A couple of weeks back I had to review Surah Al Baqarah for an assignment I had to submit. More specifically the second Juz’ of the Qurán regarding divorce.

As I was going through it I came across this specific verse that caught my attention.

وَلِلۡمُطَلَّقَـٰتِ مَتَـٰعُۢ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ‌ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ

And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqûn (those who fear Allah). (2:241)

If we ponder upon this verse and more specifically the Arabic of this verse, Allah subhanna wa ta’ala says this is a ‘Haqq’ a religious duty and an obligation for those who fear Allah. [IE – Have taqwa].

One of the conditions of Imaan is to fear Allah subhanna wa ta’ala, no body can claim to be a Muslim and say they don’t fear Allah azza wa jal. However, to actually become one of those who are Muttaqun, you have to have a deep sense and recognition of that fear and be acting upon it.

In this verse, Allah subhanna wa ta’ala is saying that if anyone truly deeply fears Allah, they will provide for divorcees in a reasonable manner. And it should not just be limited to provision but should extend to kindness and dealing with them justly.

Thirdly, this verse is not directed just at the family of the divorcee but the society as a whole. The word, ‘Muttaqun’ is used which is plural.

In our societies this verse is rarely acted upon or much less known. Especially in the Asian region, a divorced Woman is considered the lowest of society and isn’t given her rights. Much less spoken to properly. Although this has been changing over a period of time, it still exists in some Muslim societies.

Two of my Sisters are divorced and I remember when we’d first visted Pakistan after her divorce a relative of ours blatantly pointed her out to another Woman loudly whispering, ‘Look, its her, the one who got divorced’. This was done in public at someone elses wedding we were attending.

This was a long time back, but it still shows the absolute state of ignorance some people are in. When my second Sister was divorced, we heard someone had said that it was a ‘family problem’.

Divorcees rarely get married again and have a stigma attached to them. It’s okay if her husband is abusive and an alcoholic and that going through everyday is hell – but God Forbid she seeks a divorce or he gives it her. As it is, any divorcee, be it Man or Woman has a difficult time dealing with seperation, they also have to deal with the crap from society as well.

Whats deeply saddening is that this view is held by a lot of Muslims, maybe ignorant-about-the-deen Muslims, but Muslims all the same.

If we look at the time of the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam and even during the time of the Sahaaba radi allahu anhum, divorce was a common matter and divorcees weren’t looked down upon. Although it should be used as a last resort, when you’ve exhausted all means to stay married, it still is something you can use which is permitted by Allah subhanna wa ta’ala and the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam.

Anyway, one of the parts of assignment consisted of looking into the iddah period every Woman who is seperated with her husband either through divorce or his death or Khulda. And guess what, its different according to each Woman and her condition. Any fiqh which is related to Women is considerably so much more complicated apparently.

Oh and the person who bad-mouthed my Sister? Sadly, a couple of years later her own daughter got divorced too.

In the end, if only people actually read the Qurán and understood it.

The Niqaab – Fact Vs. Fiction

October 19, 2009 § 16 Comments

Picture Source

I’ve been wearing the Niqaab for the past two years and although in the beginning I wasn’t so strict about it I’ve become steadfast in the past year alhamdulilah. That’s not what this post is about though, it’s more about how people tend to perceive munaqabbas. Although I live in a Muslim/Arab Country where Niqabis are spotted, the city is inhabited mostly by Non-Muslims.

As my experience as a Munaqabba I’ve had the most funniest, craziest and silliest experiences. The questions I’ve been asked sometimes made me laugh and other times made me cringe. What sometimes saddened me though was when they were asked by Muslims themselves. I’m tempted to do a series of posts on some of the questions, it should be fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time. Maybe in the future inshaAllah. 🙂

Anyway, I came across this article by Sister Fatima Barakatulla [I love her work!] on Niqab which was posted on TimesOnline. Although it was mainly in response to the claims that were made against Niqab in the UK & recently in France, i think it’s still relevant.

How much do you really know about the niqab? An insider guide to common misconceptions.

1. The niqab is a symbol of female subjugation.

None of the niqab-wearing women who I know, wear it because they have been forced to. They see it as an act of devotion to their Creator: the culmination of a spiritual journey. In fact most of them are women who were born and brought up in the UK; many are White or Afro-Caribbean Muslim converts to Islam who have chosen to observe it.

The hijab, niqab and abaya are outer garments and are worn only when outdoors or in the presence of men who are not close relatives and so, contrary to popular belief, underneath their robes, in family and female-only settings Muslim women are often very fashion conscious and outgoing.

They dress in everyday clothing; they get their hair done, go on holiday and even buy lingerie!

2. Women who wear the niqab cannot possibly contribute to society

People are surprised to hear that niqab-wearers come from varied vocational backgrounds. They include doctors, teachers, dentists, authors, social workers, university graduates, lecturers and more. They usually prefer to work in a female environment and so would not wear the face-veil all the time.

Other women say that wearing the niqab actually makes them feel more comfortable when they are working with men. It is ironic that the very women who are the subject of debate are far from being a burden on society: they don’t get drunk and disorderly, don’t smoke and are likely to be very good citizens. Many of them are full-time mothers who take pride in raising well-educated children who will be an asset to British society.

3. The niqab isn’t in the Qur’an

The Qur’anic worldview presents a complete system of living, which permeates the daily lives of observant Muslims. This includes everything from rituals of personal hygiene, advice on neighbourly behaviour and animal rights to regulations for dress. Some women see the niqab as a religious obligation, others, as an act of worship following in the footsteps of notable Muslim women of the past. Numerous verses in the Qur’an contain directives for Muslim women’s dress, amongst them:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the Believers to draw their outer garments all over their bodies. That will be better, so that they may be known and so as not to be annoyed, and God is Ever-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:59)

The Qur’an was interpreted by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his disciples and their teachings form the basis of Islamic law. There are two orthodox schools of thought with regards to the interpretation of this verse. One orthodox interpretation is that it means covering the whole body including the face. The other school of thought is that, though not obligatory, covering the face is a virtue.

4. Wearing the niqab implies that all men are predatory

Just as locking our doors at night doesn’t imply that all members of society are burglars, wearing the niqab doesn’t imply that all men are predatory.

The Islamic worldview recognises that attraction between men and women exists and, if left unharnessed, has the potential to break down the moral fabric of society. It also acknowledges the physiological and physical differences between men and women and therefore Islamic legislation for dress and behaviour reflect these differences and aid adherents to avoid situations that could lead to extra-marital sexual relations. Hence both men and women have been commanded to lower their gazes and given directives on dress.

5. The niqab poses a security risk at banks and airports

By simply going to the side and showing their faces and ID to female members of staff, Muslim women who wear the niqab, have been, for decades, passing through airport security in major airports all over the world without cause for security concern. The same sort of arrangement can be made for any situation where ID needs to be checked.

6.Niqab wearers can’t possibly be teachers.

There are many highly qualified and experienced Muslim teachers. A Muslim teacher, who wears the niqab, would not need to do so if men were not present, therefore many female Muslim teachers choose to teach women or children and uncover their faces whilst teaching.

7. Banning the niqab will free those Muslim women who are coerced into wearing it.

Banning the face-veil would be totally counter-productive: it would cause many Muslim women to feel targeted and persecuted and is likely to cause many talented women to withdraw from society. The majority of niqab-wearing women in Europe, wear it out of personal choice, so if, for the sake of a suspected minority, the niqab was to be banned, this would be clear discrimination against the majority.

If we want to empower women from any community who are oppressed or abused, effective public services where such abuse can be reported need to be made more available and accessible to the women involved.

Geert Wilders: Fine Women for wearing Hijab

September 30, 2009 § 18 Comments

This Man… is not a Man. He’s a pathethic excuse for a Man. Honestly, the stupidity he comes up with is just… ridiculous.

Geert Wilders said women observing the Islamic dress code or Hjiab should be fined 1,000 eu ros (1,461 dollars) per year.

The leader of the liberal-right Freedom Party PVV made his remarks during a parliamentary debate about the government’s budget plans on Wednesday.

“Everyone who wants to wear a headscarf, should first apply for a headscarf license,” DPA quoted Wilders as saying.


Read the whole article here: Source

What will it be next? Ban Women from covering their bodies? Or has he failed to realise that the Hijab is not just a Muslim covering but worn [albeit in a different manner] by Jewish Women too?

May Allah SWT protect our Sisters’ in Netherlands who wish to practice their deen. Ameen.

Ramadan thoughts 4: How Can a Menstruating Woman Observe Laylatul-Qadr?

September 10, 2009 § 9 Comments

I normally wouldn’t have posted something like but there is such a lack of knowledge within Muslim Women themselves regarding this concept that it’s worrying. A lot of Women think they shouldn’t do any ibaadah, especially during Ramadan if they start menstruating which makes them miss out on the ajar available during Ramadaan.

Excellent article on what Women can do:

Question:

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. If a woman is menstruating then how can she pray in Laylatul-Qadr? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, thank you very much for having confidence in us. We ask Allah to guide the whole Muslim Ummah to make the best use of the blessed days of Ramadan and to seek the great blessings Allah grants His sincere servants during these days.

As for your question, you have to keep in mind the fact that during their menses, women can read the Qur’an and make dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and du`a’ (supplication), though they are forbidden from fasting, performing Salah (prayer) and touching the Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an). In this way, they still have the opportunity to observe Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power) by reciting the Qur’an and making dhikr.

In his response to the question in point, the prominent Muslim scholar, Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah, professor of the Islamic Studies & Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar Univ. states:

A menstruating woman should not perform Salah (prayer) nor touch the Qur’an, but she can make du`a’ (supplication) and share with other Muslims their prayer by watching and listening to TV channels or radio stations that broadcast Tarawih prayer live.

She can ask someone to put the Mushaf on a table or a stand and read from it without touching it. She can take a cassette and listen to Qur’anic recitation.

Stressing the permissibility of a woman reciting the Qur’an in their menses, we would like to cite the fatwa issued by the Saudi House of Fatwa headed by the late Sheikh `Abdul-`Aziz Ibn Baz (may Allah bless his soul):

There is nothing wrong with a menstruating woman or a woman in post-natal bleeding to recite the Qur’an, because there is no clear-cut authentic Hadith that forbids them from doing so. However, it is reported in an authentic Hadith that one who is Junub (one in a state of impurity following sexual intercourse or wet dream), must not read the Qur’an while he or she is impure, according to the Hadith reported by `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him).

The Hadith reported as regards the menstruating woman and the one experiencing post-natal bleeding reads: “The menstruating woman and the one who is Junub are not to read Qur’an”. This Hadith is reported by Ibn `Umar, but it is Da`if (weak), because the Hadith was reported by Isma`eel Ibn `Ayyaash from the Hijaaziyeen, and he is famous for narrating Da`if Hadiths from them.

However, such woman (in menstruation or post-natal bleeding) should not touch the Mushaf; she can recite from her own memory [or from a copy of the Qur’an without touching it, as per the above opinion]. As for the Junub, he or she is not to recite the Qur’an, whether from memory or from the Mushaf, until he or she has performed Ghusl (purificatory bath). The difference between them is that the time span for the one who is Junub to have himself or herself purified is very short; he or she can do Ghusl right away after lovemaking or wet dream. The Junub does not stay in this condition for long, and it is up to him/her when he/she wants to make Ghusl; if he/she does not find water, he/she can do Tayammum (dry ablution) and then he or she can pray and read the Qur’an. But the woman in menses or in post-natal bleeding has no control over her situation – the matter is up to Allah the Almighty.

Therefore, it is permissible for them to recite the Qur’an so that they do not forget it and they do not miss learning the teachings of Shari`ah from the Book of Allah. If that is the case, then it should certainly be permissible for them to read books containing du`a’ that are mixed with verses and Hadiths, etc. This is the view believed to be the most correct.

Finally, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, concludes:

A menstruating woman is not supposed to pray. She can do the following:

  1. Read as much as she can to increase he knowledge about Islam.
  2. Make du’a’ and spend time making dhikr to Allah Almighty.
  3. Listen to the Qur’an or read from her memory.
  4. Watch Islamic programs or shows on TV or video to educate herself about Islam.
  5. Attend religious classes to be always around the committed sisters.

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