Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

The recent attacks on Niqab wearing female bring up some earlier discussions I had last year and this year with different people of different religions. in Belgium burka’s may be forbidden but not much is done against those who still wear it. The regional government of Ticino has introduced fines of up to $13,000 for women (or presumably men too) wearing a burka or niqab in public.

With the many Muslim refugees coming into Europe and with Muslim terrorists having become more active in our own regions people have become more afraid for those women and perhaps also men who are dressed so that we can not recognise who is behind the clothes.

Under Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the previous Canadian government had hoped to persuade the Supreme Court of Canada to hear its case for striking down lower-court rulings that allowed women to wear the niqab — a face covering used by some Muslim women — at citizenship ceremonies. He was floundering in the polls until he turned the niqab into a hot-button issue. Some say he’s distracting voters from his poor management of the economy, his war on the environment and his anti-refugee policy.

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Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, who was a member of the Tory government that filed the leave to appeal, issued a statement Monday following the Liberals’ announcement.

“The new government is entitled to end this appeal,”

she said.

But Ambrose added:

“As a woman who has advocated for women’s rights around the world my entire adult life, I do not believe the niqab affirms the equality rights of women and girls, nor does it reflect the values of an open, tolerant society. This is a matter for which the government must now answer.” {Liberals drop legal bid to ban niqab at citizenship ceremonies}

The hatred shown to women who wear a veil should have many to rethink how those shouting awful words are educated.

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Be careful when you want to watch this video: the language used in this video is awful and can be shocking


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People also should see that there is a big difference in the outer garments and that in the 1950ies women in our regions also wore veils and head scarf and this should still be possible today by all women, not only Muslim women and had nothing to do with giving women no rights.

In a 2014 discussion with Meditating Muslimah about the Muslim faith and some articles I wrote on the Ottoman Empire plus about the hijab to be or not to be a religious obligation she wrote:

First let me say that I think on most things we actually agree– i.e. religion should be separate from state, and no state should be dictating to its citizens what they have to do or believe when it is a matter of personal faith and choice. Our disagreement is over what the Ottoman empire and Turkish government do/ have done on this subject.

My knowledge on this subject comes from being married to a Turk, but also more than that because I have many Turkish friends; one of whom, a very good friend of mine, also happens to be a Turkish historian specializing in the Ottoman Empire and history of the early Turkish republic.

My definition of religious freedom is being able to freely practice the tenants of one’s faith without interference from the government (as long as doing so does not harm anyone else). By this definition, the fact of the matter is that under the Ottoman Empire there was religious freedom in that anyone of any faith was free to live out their faith. Yes, the empire was strongly intertwined with Islam. But they did not prevent people of other faiths, namely Christians and Jews, from living out their faith freely. No one was forced to wear anything. No one was forced to be Muslim. Christians and Jews lived peacefully and freely alongside Muslims in the Ottoman Empire for centuries.I believe what you are thinking of when you speak is about modern day Saudi Arabia. Personally, I disagree with their forcing everyone to abide by their version of sharia law; not only is it un-Islamic to force people to live by sharia, but many of the rules in their version of ‘sharia’ have no basis in the Quran or hadith.

In those articles on different platforms and on her site I also discussed the ‘Islamic Hijab (Veil)’ and wondered about the responsibility both men and women have in applying Hijab, as well as addressing the doubts one may have, and logically explaining ‘Why Hijab?’.

In my historical articles I looked at woman in the previous centuries, deprived of her human values and transposed to a material thing used by men for enjoyment or sometimes used as a slave and how the danger exist certain groups are willing to come to such a situation again. The fact remains that the exploitation of a woman and deprivation of her rights, the confiscation of her humanity reached a point where it became difficult for modern man to imagine, but we at present time can imagine how certain groups again try to push women in a certain corner and do not want them to show their own self to others.

For those who are upset by certain Muslim traditions and views I would like to bring to the attention a remark from Discovering Anthropology

In line with the specification, we were told to discuss the disadvantages that women face in the developing world and then discuss whether the West has helped the developing world to lessen the disadvantage faced by women living there.

I thought about the law in France that introduced the banning of the Burka in public. The aim of the law was, at least in part, to enable the integration of all sections of society by reducing perceived pressures on women to conform to what was thought of as male oppression in certain communities. In this example, it seems, the women who it effected most were consulted the least, thereby possibly subjecting many of them to alienation or a different form of oppression.

It seems to me most things we talk about in our society are linked to some core values that we hold. We are, I think, often unaware of how much our Western values shapes the way we think and how that can result in us imposing what we believe to be helpful measures that can dis-empower people from various minorities or from other parts of the world. {Cultural Bias}

When women who want to live according to their faith are feeling no t at ease to wear a headscarf in public our society is at risk to bring discrimination under its citizens. when women (or men) feel that anything they say or do is perceived as representing Islam, even if it is not correct, and they get the feeling always to be walking on eggshells and when they do not like being labeled and therefore have to abandon that what they would love to do, we are in big problem. {Why we stopped wearing the hijab – Canadian Muslim women reveal their reasons for removing the headscarf in public –}

Women wearing hijab

No objections should be made for women in the West wearing a headscarf, a hijab, a shayla, a khimar or wearing a al-amira or the more closed chador. Concerning the niqab there may be many debates and controversy, but in the West we should reject when it leaves only some place for the eyes and does not see the whole face. The use of a burka should be prohibited for security reasons and for the possible restrictions for the person wearing it, that may be behind it. though we must recognise there are also many differences in sorts of burkas. The burka worn throughout Middle Eastern nations and most Muslim nations around the world, with a few liberal or democratic governments being less strict about its use can leave just a small line open in front of the eyes or can show more of the eyes..

According to me Islam may be a religion of balance, moderation, and modesty that places a strong emphasis on the maintenance of proper boundaries, whether social or moral. The practice of hijab among Muslim women is grounded in religious human doctrine, yet the Qurʾan does not require it. To cover their faces is according to me a man-made religious ordinance and not a Low from Allah, but in case women would like to wear a head scarf this they should be able to do. Concerning the burka, that is a whole different matter and this should not be allowed for the reasons said above.

Meditating Muslimah reacted

It doesn’t matter whether or not YOU believe hijab to be a religious obligation. Many Muslim women (including myself) read the Quran and decide for themselves that it IS a religious obligation, or at least that they believe it is an important part of their faith, something that God wants them to do as a part of being modest. This is their opinion, and their right to decide. They have a right to live their faith how they feel they are supposed to. However, I do want to point out that there is a flaw in your understanding of the Quran verse you quoted. The flaw is in the translation of the original Arabic word: “they should draw their veils over their bosoms.” The word ‘veil’ here is ‘khimar’. It means a garment/ scarf / veil that covers the head (and possibly also face). So the implication is that the head covering should also cover the chest (there is some disagreement as to what exactly a khimar was, but most agree it was a shawl type garment that covered the head. This is why some such as myself do not feel it obligatory to cover the head). There is also another verse that discusses covering, again using the word ‘jelabib’ in Arabic: “O (most illustrious) Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, as well as the women (wives and daughters) of the believers, to draw over themselves some part of their outer garments (when outside their homes and when before men whom they are not forbidden to marry because of blood relation). This is better and more convenient for them to be recognized (and respected for their decency and decorum) and not harassed.

God is indeed All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate” (Quran 33:59). The word “outer garment” here is actually the word ‘jelabib.’ There is of course some disagreement between Muslims regarding what exactly a jilbab/ jelabib is, but most agree that it means a loose outer garment that also covers the head. But because neither of these verses are clear, many, including myself, understand when Muslim women choose not to cover their heads.

Those who insist that covering completely in niqab (covering the face, i think this is what you mean by burka) or even insist on telling Muslim women that they MUST were hijab are wrong in forcing their beliefs on others, however, it does not mean they misinterpret the Quran or that they say there is something there that is not — who are we to judge who is right or wrong in the interpretation of something that is not clear today?
It is however considered a historical fact, and discussed throughout authentic hadiths, that the wives of the Prophet Muhammad were required to cover their whole bodies and faces (in order to protect themselves and the Prophet from rumors of adultery). Some of the believing women may have chosen to follow their example in that time. I believe there is nothing wrong if someone chooses to follow this example too in modern society, though personally it is not my preference. For more on the definitions of khimar and jilabib you can see here: http://www.al-islam.org/hijab-muslim-womens-dress-islamic-or-cultural-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/quran-and-hijab

Hijab

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #2
  2. Mother of Ukraine or Crimea
  3. Caliphs and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government
  4. Turkey witnessing a surge in xenophobia
  5. Is Turkey attempting to resurrect the Ottoman Empire
  6. RIA Novosti: The West’s Turkey Problem
  7. The trigger of Aurora shooting
  8. Caliphs and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government

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Further reading

  1. The Freedom of the Hijab
  2. Cultural Bias
  3. An Imagined Offence
  4. US Muslim Women Debate Safety of Hijab amid Backlash
  5. Lifting Veil off Attitudes about Niqab, Hijab
  6. Is the Burqa truly Islamic?
  7. MPs in Swiss canton of Ticino back burqa ban
  8. Switzerland bans the burqa, imposes £6,500 fine on Muslim women
  9. Swiss niqab law carries $13,000 fine, and other reasons to fear for humanity
  10. Why the intention to ban burkas in Switzerland is more than just right-wing politician rhetoric.
  11. Is a ‘burka ban’ really necessary in Switzerland?
  12. Veil of Isolation: Britain Tackles the Niqab Debate
  13. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  14. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  15. Woman with Burka
  16. Hijab
  17. The niqab ban: 2011-2015 – The new Liberal government officially puts an end to the former Conservative government’s attempt to ban the niqab during the citizenship oath
  18. June 24, 2015: Under the Niqab
  19. The Niqab Debate
  20. Niqab row: Canada’s government challenges ruling Zunera Ishaq can wear veil while taking oath of citizenship
  21. Niqab issue being ‘pushed on the populace’
  22. Niqab issue is thinly veiled racism
  23. Niqab issue is about fear of the unknown
  24. Niqabs are harmless and legal
  25. A must watch: Why are you wearing that?
  26. Is Muslim female face covering nothing more than sharia Bolshevism?
  27. The Niqab Time Bomb
  28. Worse than niqab issue: pajamas worn in public
  29. Lawyer in niqab case says Canada must confront anti-Muslim sentiment
  30. The Niqab Is Dominating Canada’s Election
  31. Tory laws on Liberals’ hit list
  32. Niqab Subject to New Court Rules
  33. Federal government formally drops niqab appeal
  34. Liberals drop legal bid to ban niqab at citizenship ceremonies
  35. Show your face or don’t come to Canada
  36. Niqab issue is hijacking federal election
  37. No face coverings in Canada
  38. Britain First breaks another irony meter
  39. The ‘enemies of reason’ are inside the gates
  40. What other customs will be imposed on us?
  41. Why we stopped wearing the Hijab
  42. Islamism, Feminism & Defiance
  43. Chad: Now the most intelligent and forward-thinking country on earth
  44. Cameroon Bans Face Veil
  45. This Election has become a scandal beyond all proportion — Voter Fraud being encouraged by FB group.
  46. A most colonial strategy: Saving Muslim women, demonizing Muslim men | rabble.ca
  47. The “Racist” Man at Target
  48. Glasgow Based Hate Incident Shows Aggression Levels That Are Concerning
  49. Video: Pregnant Muslim Woman Verbally Abused On London Bus
  50. Muslim Woman Allegedly Abused In Hospital Maternity Ward
  51. Assault On Niqab Wearing Women Shows The Male Violence Many Suffer
  52. Muslim Girl Punched In face In Birmingham For ‘Wearing A Hijab’
  53. Man Attacked Muslim Woman And Stabbed Boy In The Face Outside Melbourne State Library
  54. Muslim Woman Abused In Tesco Store For Wearing Face Veil Urges Victims To Report Hate Crime
  55. You’re as Cold as ISIS
  56. Al Queda Leader Captured Dressed As Woman. Should The U.S. Ban Burqas?
  57. OH oh!!! Armed cops rushed at a suspicious looking man wearing a hijab – to find he’s cheating on his wife
  58. Meet me in the Middle
  59. Middle East Lifestyles – What about the ladies?
  60. Bigotry veiled as liberation
  61. YSL or “Shut Up and Run”
  62. Unveiling the reality
  63. Jet Ski (In a Niqab)
  64. Welcoming Syrian refugees: with or without the niqab
  65. Advice to the Muslim Women by Sheikh Saalih al Fawzan
  66. My Thoughts On Religious Headscarves
  67. UK: Multi-faith peace gathering of women in Baitul Futuh Mosque of Morden
  68. Immigrants have already changed Canada
  69. Citizenship rules should apply equally to all
  70. God she’s hot! (Wait isn’t there something written about lust?)
  71. I’m the Pretty One…
  72. Oops!
  73. Religie, democratie & vrijheid
  74. Voile intégral: Couillard confiant de pouvoir légiférer malgré l’approche d’Ottawa
  75. Frankreich gewinnt gegen Extremistin
  76. Terror-Schleier verboten
  77. Ale będziesz musiała chodzić w burce? Czyli o wyprawce do Iranu
  78. இஸ்லாமியப் பெண்கள் அணியும் ஆடை (பர்தா) பற்றி அகில இலங்கை ஜம்இய்யத்துல் உலமா

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14 thoughts on “Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

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  5. Yet again, these “Holy books” can be interpreted in so many different ways…
    If they were TRULY inspired by a god, they would be UNAMBIGUOUS, not open to different interpretations!! If modern writers of science books can achieve this, why can’t god & his appointed writers?!

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    • The God His words are correct but what people interpretation people will give to that text shall always be dependent on that person his mind sand way of thinking and not on the God.

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      • Sorry – maybe I wasn’t clear.
        My point was that the text itself should be UNAMBIGUOUS i.e. not in any way open to interpretation or disagreement.
        Wouldn’t a god who wants to share his message ensure that it was clear and NOT open to interpretation, as they presumably have full knowledge of how people will read their text?
        I can write a work submission that is unambiguous – why can’t a god do it for the most important message of all?

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        • I think most of the Bible is very clear, but lots of people want to keep to human dogmas and church teachings where they are asked to belief certain things which are not in the Bible, which confuses them or make things very complicated. (From one lie an other has to created.)

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