Monday, 31 December 2012

Eye Veils and Gloves? Or Fitnah?

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmathullah wa barakatuhu

It seems strange that there should be so much heated discussion amongst muntaqabāt as to whether it is fardh, mustahabb or totally unnecessary to cover one's eyes and hands in public or in the presence of na-mahram.  
For me, this answer is simple; whenever possible 'in public' I do cover my eyes and hands for two reasons:

Firstly, I do this as I feel it pleases Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
Secondly, because I feel that leaving eyes and hands exposed is contrary to the idea that all of a woman is awrah.  This point is confirmed by many daleels, the two most evident being:

Tirmidhi with a Sahih chain reports... "Rasulullah (Sallallaahu “layhi Wasallam) said “All of a woman is “awrah.”
(Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid quotes this hadith narrated by Tirmidhi with a sahih isnaad and says this is a direct hadith from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu “layhi Wasallam ) and has made it clear that a woman must cover everything including the face and hands!)

Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid Quotes All of the woman is awrah based on the hadith of "Rasulullah (Sallallaahu “layhi Wasallam) said “All of a woman is “awrah.”
(Narrated by Tirmidhi with a sahih isnaad). (This is the correct view according to the madhhab of the Hanbalis, one of the two views of the Maalikis and one of the two views of the Shaafa”is. )

But even if I leave aside such daleels, as an ordinary muslimah I have to ask myself if leaving exposed such potent parts of a woman’s body as her eyes and hands can possibly be correct.  If we feel we must cover our faces, is it not strange that we should leave the most attractive parts of our faces -  our eyes  -  exposed? 

There is an old proverb that says “The eyes are the windows to the soul”, and a glance at them, especially when framed between niqaab and head veil, can show the mood of the muslimah wearing niqaab. Eyes reveal laughter or sorrow without showing the rest of the face, and sadly they can and are used for seduction and causing fitnah. So it must be simple logic that they should be concealed in front of na-mahram if possible.

Also are not the hands always being used to convey messages? Anyone who lives in the Middle East will know that no conversation is carried on without a lot of hand movements to reinforce the speakers points. Watch an Indian dancer and you can see how hands can be used as tools of seduction. In addition our hands say a lot about us and can undermine our anonymity and even hint at our beauty - a young woman’s hands are normally smooth while her mother’s will show her age.

So to me it seems logical that in front of na-mahram and in public places I need to cover eyes and hands so as to ensure I do not cause fitnah. Obviously there are times when I have to uncover my eyes to a degree or totally, like when driving or reading something in small print. But walking in the street or in rooms where there are na-mahram, it is not any trouble or handicap to flip down an eye veil. Yet we often see muntaqabāt walking in the souks, or on buses, or where they are many men, with the eye veils attached to the niqaabs flipped back so as to expose their often highly made-up eyes. I have to ask why these sisters bother to wear niqaab at all when they are showing, even accentuating, the most expressive parts of the face

My own belief is that covering eyes and hands whenever possible is mustahab. However I do sincerely think that it is up to every sister to make up her own mind as to the answer to this question. The fact that someone wears niqaab and covers her hands and eyes does not necessarily means that she is good muslimah, but I do think we should all individually look at this problem with open minds and come to our own answers. Surely it is a small matter, specially when niqaab equipped with eye veils are so easily made or bought with very little more effort or expense than ones without them.

And to those muntaqabāt who wear theirs flipped back all the time, I would say that lowering your eye veils does not make you freaks or half blind people who are liable to walk into lampposts. What the simple act of pulling down a thin eye veil does do is to help prevent fitnah. It is something done in a second or two that may well have beneficial consequences out of all proportion to the VERY minor inconvenience caused to the individual muntaqabāh.

If you don't wear eyes veils of gloves, as I said earlier, it is your choice. But I hope you at least consider the points I have put forward in this short blog insha'Allah.

"Niqab is Necessary in Islam" A Repost from Niqablovers

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmathullah wa barakatuhu

I have never reposted other bloggers writings.  But I have just read a remarkably well argued and yet straightforward argument why Sisters in Islam should wear niqaab.  

It comes from Niqab Lovers wonderful Niqab Nuances blog

I hope you will visit her site as her blogs are all so worth reading insha'Allah



I already made a post on whether wearing the Niqab is necessary in Islam here.
But not all people are convinced of the necessity of the Niqab. The other day in Madrasa, my teacher was explaining the importance of the Niqab in the light of the Quran and Hadith. I think I wrote everything in my post about the Niqab being obligatory. But here are a few more proof that wearing the Niqab is actually very important and obligatory in Islam.

People who argue that the Niqab isn't necessary in Islam usually bring forward two Hadith. The first one is:

1) Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) 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. (Narrated by Abu Dawood # 4092).

As we all know, the Quran wasn't revealed overnight. It was revealed in stages. Which brings us to the time the verse from Surah Noor was revealed.

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.” Volume 6, Book 60, Number 282: (Sahih Bukhari)
So, this proved that the Sahabi women covered their faces the moment that verse from Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 59 was revealed. Now tell me, wouldn't Asma (ral), the daughter of Abu Bakr (ral) a prominent Sahaba, have covered her face too? Of course she would have! They were the Sahaba women, and they followed Allah's orders the moment it was revealed!

So, isn't it obvious that the Hadith mentioned above would probably have taken place before the revelation of the verse in Surah Ahzab? Niqab wouldn't have been necessary before that verse was sent down, but it's obvious that the wives and daughters of Prophet Muhammad sallalahu alaihi wasallam clearly saw the Niqab as obligatory after that verse from Surah Al-Ahzab- which is why they covered their faces immediately after that verse was revealed!

The next Hadith now.

2) The Prophet (saws) said: "A pilgrim woman must neither cover her face nor wear gloves." Related by Bukhari and Ahmad

People who argue that the Niqab isn't necessary bring forward this Hadith too saying that if women weren't required to cover their faces in Hajj they obviously wouldn't have had to cover their faces outside of Hajj as well.
Well, this Hadith doesn't show the Niqab isn't necessary. It shows that the Niqab IS necessary. Doesn't this Hadith actually imply that women outside of their Ihram actually covered their faces? Otherwise, Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) wouldn't have mentioned that women should uncover their faces in Hajj if they weren't required to cover it in the first place.

Furthermore, there is another Hadith that you'll be interested in:

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces, and when they had passed by we would uncover our faces. [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1562]

You see sisters, this is the difference between us and the Sahabi women. When Allah ordered them to do something, they did it immediately. They recognized that verse in Surah Al-Ahzab. They understood that they were required to cover their faces. So they never hesitated in following it.

And we? When the Sahabi women never wasted a minute after that verse was revealed to cover their faces, we spend years and years contemplating- even arguing- that the Niqab isn't necessary!

If the women at the time of Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) covered their faces, shouldn't we be doing it as well? After all, aren't they the women we should be following?
It's up to us to decide whether we ought to wear the Niqab or not. I've done by best explaining it. Following it or not is up to you.

Wallahu 'Alam.
Jazakallah Khair!