Saturday, April 28, 2007

Muslims are not Required to Cover Up

Muslims are not Required to Cover Up

This is an interesting article from a site that is moderate muslim (link is on my blog) and has articles criticizing some things about Muslims or Islam.

A few quotes from the article:

There is not a single reference in the Koran that obliges Muslim women to cover their hair or their face. The only verse that comes close to such a dress code (Sura 24, "The Light," verse 31) directs believing women to let their head coverings obscure their bosoms...

Beyond fashion, however, this supposed symbol of modesty has assumed a decidedly political and religious tenor, dominating the debate on civil liberties and religious freedoms in the West. Any opposition to the hijab is viewed as a manifestation of Islamophobia...

An inquiry into historical precedent, however, suggests the Koran does not mandate the hijab at all.

It should be noted that the khimar, a head scarf that predated the hijab, was worn by Arab women before the Koran's stipulations on modesty of dress and demeanour. Verse 24:31 did not introduce the garment, but modified its use when it said that Muslim women should "wear their head-coverings over their bosoms" -- previously, they were left bare, although decked with jewellery and ornaments.

The intent of the verse was to exhort believing women to cover their nakedness rather than their hair, which was left partially uncovered even though the khimar was a head dress. Moreover, the khimar was never rooted in religious precept -- it was rooted in custom. Modifications for its use were introduced into Islamic practice when the religion spread into Byzantine and Persian territories, where once again the head dress was prevalent as a social custom.

Their conclusion:

Islamists have turned the hijab into the central pillar of Islam. They consider Muslim women who do not cover their heads -- the vast majority -- as sinners or lesser Muslims. They should come out and debate the issue rather than using young Muslim girls as shields to pursue a political agenda.

I agree with the fact that Muslims who do wear hijab look down on other Muslims who don't wear it. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Hijab isn't a piller of Islam. When you become Muslim you don't swear to wear it. Why is it the end-all and be-all of being Muslim? Isn't what is more important what is in your heart and how you treat others?

I got a comment this week that says:

What makes you think that Islam treats women like dirt? Is it because of the order from Allah swt to cover parts of your body that can make men go wild?

Ok, so women's body parts MAKE men go wild? They don't have their own brain that can say, "Hey, stop looking at that woman's breasts/butt/any body part?" This is ridiculous! Men take responsiblity for yourselves! Don't blame women if you are staring at a woman. Don't act like she MADE you look at her or she MADE you want her! Yes Islam treats women like dirt if they blame the woman if the guy stares at her or wants her. Men do have a big brain, they don't just think with their little brain all the time (just most of the time).

I once saw a cartoon in a Muslim magazine with 2 men sitting on a bench. Several non-muslim (meaning not covered) women walked by and one guy would be staring at them. But when a covered woman went by, he didn't look at her at all. Double standard anyone? Is it ok for muslim men to treat non-muslim women like they are sex-objects, but to treat women who cover like they are not? Not all muslim men act like that, I know some who don't.

But is this person being serious, blaming women for what men do? "Oh she made me rape her officer, because she was wearing a mini-skirt." Riight. Don't even get me started on countries such as Pakistan where women are jailed for saying they are raped, but of course there is not enough evidence to put the man in jail.

A, who doesn't take the blame for what anyone else does!

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Anonymous chickpea said...


This is such a great post! I was never one to cover my hair, and when I was around Muslims (family friends, students on campus), a lot times I did feel as if they looked down on me for not covering.

I wish Muslims would realize that wearing a scarf/hijab is not the end all be all of Muslim women. Covering your hair does not automatically make you a pious Muslim. I know many Muslimas that cover their hair and even their faces that are horrid mothers, and just down right nasty to people. But because they cover, they are more "observant" and more Muslim than those females who don't.

It's sad.

April 28, 2007 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Cairogal said...

Very interesting commentary! I've read that covering the hair w/ khimar was a way to distinguish between married and unmarried women; an "I'm off the market" sign (oddly enough, some women in certain predominantly Muslim cultures use the hegab in ths same manner once married). Still, I've had this discussion many times w/ women and men who insist the Quran is explicity.

May 7, 2007 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Not Muslim Anymore said...

Cariogal, I think in some countries (maybe Pakistan), when they do hennah on the hands, they do the top for only married women (or only single women, can't remember), and the bottom for the other. Then when women go out, a man can tell by her hands if she is taken or not.

May 7, 2007 at 2:28 PM  
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May 7, 2007 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the wonderful person who wrote this article; you rock!

May 14, 2007 at 5:36 AM  

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