Friday, December 23, 2016

Malicious Allegations Against Hijaab – I

It is well known that the struggle between mankind and the devil is an old one, which will continue until Allah The Almighty inherits the earth and everything on it. The devil exploits man's weaknesses and uses them in enticing him, inspiring impermissible hopes and wishes in him and whispering to him until man finally responds to him and does what is prohibited by Allah The Almighty.

Satan's story with Aadam and Hawwaa’ (Eve), may Allah exalt their mention, is the first and greatest evidence behind this fact. His enticement was a reason for the uncovering of their private parts and violating their honor. This indicates that it is one of Satan's aims to spread nakedness leading to the subsequent dangerous consequences like spreading immorality and inspiring fear for one’s honor and self. Therefore, Allah The Almighty warned us against this temptation in particular. He Says (what means): {O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.} [Quran 7: 27]

Hence, it becomes clear that Satan is the pioneer of the call to uncover what must be covered, and the founder of the call to impermissible exposure of women's beauty with its different degrees and even the first leader of human devils who call to woman's emancipation from covering, protection and modesty. They are the ones who introduce the malicious allegations against Hijaab (Islamic covering) which are inspired to them by the devil and they spread them in the path of the Muslims as harmful thorns and entangling hooks so that many people fall prey to them. Only those to whom Allah The Almighty is Merciful, and who are knowledgeable (in religion) and pious will be rescued.

Before we discuss some of these satanic allegations and their refutations, it is important to explain the concept of Hijaab and its opposite. Hijaab is to cover the woman's body and adornment before non-Mahram (marriageable) men. The opposite is exposure of women's adornment and beauty before non-Mahram men. This also includes walking in a coquettish and strutting manner as well as revealing one's adornment and beauty. It is said that each adornment that makes the woman appear beautiful before men is included in impermissible exposure. Uncovering the face is also included in impermissible exposure of women's beauty. Given that, Hijaab is the opposite of impermissible exposure of women's beauty in all its forms including uncovering the face. In general, any form of beauty or adornment where one of the conditions of the Hijaab approved by the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) is not fulfilled is considered part of the impermissible exposure of women's beauty which is forbidden by the consensus of all schools of jurisprudence and the statements of scholars .

There are some common malicious allegations and feeble arguments that those who follow their desires as well as ignorant people quote in order to evade applying some Sharee‘ah rulings. We will start by mentioning and refuting them. Later, we will mention some allegations which are relevant to the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab in particular.

The first allegation:

Some say, "Islam is characterized by ease. In current times, however, wearing the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab is difficult, particularly in open societies where impermissible exposure of women's beauty is normal."

This allegation is refuted through the following points:

• It should be known that each obligation that Allah The Almighty imposed on His servants is within their capacity and power.

• Alleviating the hardship of a Sharee‘ah ruling is not approved unless it is based on evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah (tradition). It is a condition [of Islamic jurisprudence] that alleviating the hardship of a Sharee‘ah ruling should involve no contradictions to the Quran, the Sunnah, sound analogy, or outweigh the benefits of the ruling under Sharee‘ah.

• Given the second analogy, someone might say that the hardship of avoiding usury in current times entails permissibility of dealing with it, or that a pilgrim is no longer required to perform the ritual of Rajm (throwing the pebbles) during Hajj due to the hardship of going through the crowds It is obvious that such statements are invalid.

• There may be a certain degree of hardship involved in acts of worship, but it is certainly within the limits of what is bearable and befits a person's ordinary capacity. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} [Quran 2: 286] Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "If hardship occurs in the form of exhaustion, then the interests of the two worlds are accompanied by exhaustion. A person who does not experience exhaustion will never find comfort. Rather, the more exhaustion a person experiences, the more comfort he will find.

The benefit of some Sharee‘ah rulings is even proportional to the hardship and difficulty involved, such as in the ruling of Qisas (retaliation) and corporal punishments prescribed for crimes. Moreover, there are the great acts of worship which involve greater hardship, such as the hardship of performing ablution in cold weather, that of fasting during very hot and long days as well as that of the rituals of Hajj.”

• If a matter that is prohibited under Sharee`ah is prevalent and widespread, this is not a justification under Sharee`ah to permit it. Moreover, the customs and traditions of different communities as well as changes in time and place do not make something prohbited lawful.

Some naive people who claim that they are educated and cultured are under the impression that just as social customs evolve and change over a course of time, it is also necessary that the Sharee‘ah rulings change in a similar manner. They call this “the modern religion”. This entails abandoning Sharee‘ah obligations and allowing some prohibited matters in consonance with "cultural progress and modern development", as they say.

Undoubtedly, a person who has even the least degree of religious knowledge realizes that these allegations are void and false. Had such claims been acceptable, this would have entailed that all Sharee‘ah rulings are contingent on people's customs and traditions, which are continuously subject to corruption and deviation by the course of time. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that there is no age, except the next is more evil than it.

What should be said is that rulings which are established by authentic Sharee‘ah proofs abide forever, and they are subject to neither change nor evolution, such as the rulings of purification, prayer, retaliation, corporal punishments prescribed for crimes, the woman’s Hijaab in front of non-Mahram men, conditions of the matrimonial guardian for the marriage to be considered valid, and so on.

It is only possible to say that customs are considered in rulings that are not definite and are connected from the beginning to people's changeable customs and interests. For example, there are some rulings that are relevant to human nature with no intervention of will or religious obligation, such as the difference among countries in the age of puberty, the period of menstruation and past-partum bleeding.

The second allegation:

Someone may say that having a good intention is the most important thing. A barefaced woman may say, "I am self-confident. I do not intend to tempt men and I have a good intention.

Consequently, I am not meant by what is said about impermissible exposure of women's beauty and those who do it”.

Having a good intention is a justification that is usually heard from those whose hearts are full of desires and fancies and are indulging in guilt and sins. Such an allegation is refuted in different ways:

• A woman is required to worship Allah The Almighty through covering her body and wearing the Hijaab concerning which there is a definite command in the Quran. Consequently, a woman is required to hear and obey, regardless of any other considerations.

• Having a good intention neither justifies the prohibited deed nor makes it permissible. Even if one has a good intention, a forbidden deed remains as such and the perpetrator is deemed guilty. As evidence, the polytheists of Makkah worshiped idols with a good intention; however, their intention did not benefit them and they are still described as polytheists. Allah The Exalted Says (what means) through their words: {"We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position."} [Quran 39: 3]

• Even if she is certain that she will not be tempted, as she claims self-confidence, she is not certain that those who look at her will not be tempted, and this is most likely to happen. Consequently, she will be responsible for the sin of tempting and enticing others while she is not aware. Therefore, the scholars said, "A woman who is certain that a non-Mahram man looks at her while she is required under Sharee‘ah to cover her face before him, is supporting him to do what is prohibited is therefore deemed guilty".

• Impressionable and young women are enticed and influenced by her action, particularly when she is a role model, such as a mother or teacher.

• Though a good intention is a very important pre-requisite for one's deed to be accepted, it is not enough on its own. When a person is content with only his good intention, it is as if he is walking on one leg or flying with one wing, for compliance to the Sharee‘ah-approved manner is indispensable along with the right intention.

 

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