Shaking Hands with Women: An Islamic Perspective

Shaking Hands with Women: An Islamic Perspective

By Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Question: As-Salamu `alaykum. What is the correct view in regards to shaking hands with women, especially relatives who are not mahram to me, such as my cousins, wives of uncles, or sisters-in-law? Many pious Muslims face this problem, particularly on certain occasions such as coming back from travel, recovering from an illness, returning from Hajj or `Umrah, or similar occasions when relatives, in-laws, neighbors, and colleagues usually visit, congratulate each other and shake hands with each other. What I am asking is, is it proven in the Glorious Qur’an or the Sunnah that shaking hands with women is totally prohibited within the social and family relations when there is trust and no fear of temptation? I would appreciate if you would enlighten me in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Jazakum Allah Khairan [Hassan]

 

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

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

 

Wa `alaikumus-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakātuh bother Hassan.

An eminent contemporary Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:

There is no doubt that shaking hands between males and females who are not mahrams (illegal for marriage) has become an intricate issue. Reaching an Islamic verdict on this issue away from extremism and dispensation needs a psychological, intellectual, and scientific effort so that the Mufti gets rid of the pressure of all imported and inherited customs unless they are based on the textual proofs of the Qur’ān or the Sunnah.

Before tackling the issue in point, I would like to exclude two points on which I know there is agreement among the Muslim jurists of the righteous predecessors.

Firstly, it is prohibited to shake hands with a woman if there is fear of provoking sexual desire or enjoyment on the part of either one of them or if there is fear of temptation. This is based on the general rule that blocking the means to evil is obligatory, especially if its signs are clear. This ruling is ascertained in the light of what has been mentioned by Muslim jurists that a man touching one of his mahrams or having khalwahfitnah (temptation) or provocation of desire.

Secondly, there is a dispensation in shaking hands with old women concerning whom there is no fear of desire. The same applies to the young girl concerning whom there is no fear of desire or temptation. The same ruling applies if the person is an old man concerning whom there is no fear of desire. This is based on what has been narrated on the authority of Abu Bakar As-Siddiq (radiallahu`anhu) that he used to shake hands with old women. Also, it is reported that `Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair (radiallahu`anhu) hired an old woman to nurse him when he was sick, and she used to wink at him and pick lice from his head. This is also based on what has been mentioned in the Qur’ān in respect of the old barren women, as they are given dispensation with regard to their outer garments. Almighty Allāh says in this regard: “As for women past child bearing, who have no hope of marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show adornment. But to refrain is better for them. Allāh is Hearer, Knower.” (An-Nur, 24: 60)

Allāh explains that there is no sin on the old barren women if they decide to remove their outer garments from their faces and such, so long as they do not do it in a manner in which they would be exposing their beauty wrongly.

Here the object of discussion deals with other than these two cases. There is no surprise that shaking hands with women is haram (unlawful) according to the viewpoint of those who hold that covering all of the woman’s body, including her face and the two hands, is obligatory. This is because if it becomes obligatory to cover the two hands, then it would become haram for the opposite sex to look at them. And, if looking at them is unlawful, then touching them would become haram with greater reason because touching is graver than looking, as it provokes desire more.

But it is known that the proponents of this view are the minority, while the majority of Muslim jurists, including the Companions, the Successors and those who followed them, are of the opinion that the face and the hands are excluded from the prohibition. They based their opinion on Almighty Allāh’s saying, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent …” (An-Nur, 24: 31).

So, where is the evidence on prohibiting handshaking unless there is desire?

In fact, I searched for a persuasive and textual proof supporting the prohibition but I did not find it. As a matter of fact, the most powerful evidence here is blocking the means to temptation, and this is no doubt acceptable when the desire is roused or there is fear of temptation because its signs exist. But when there is no fear of temptation or desire, what is the reason for prohibition?

Some scholars based their ruling on the action of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. When he wanted to take the pledge of women he said to them, “Go, for you have given your oath of allegiance.” But it is known that the Prophet’s leaving a matter does not necessarily indicate its prohibition, as he may leave it because it is haram (forbidden), makruh (reprehensible), or because it is not preferable. He may also leave it just because he is not inclined to it. An example of this last is the Prophet’s refraining from eating the meat of the lizard (dhob) although it is permissible. Then, the Prophet’s refraining from shaking hands with women (other than his wives) is not evidence of the prohibition, and there should be other evidence to support the opinion of those who make shaking hands absolutely prohibited.

However, it is not agreed upon that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) refrained from shaking hands with women to take their oath of allegiance. Umm `Atiyyah Al-Ansariyyah (radiallāhu`anha) reported another narrative that indicates that the Prophet shook hands with women to take their oath of allegiance. This is unlike the narration of the Mother of the Believers `A’ishah (radiallāhu`anha) who denied this and swore that it had not happened.

It is narrated that `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), said, “When the believing women migrated to the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), they would be tested in accordance with the words of Allāh, ‘O Prophet! If believing women come unto thee, taking oath of allegiance unto thee that they will ascribe nothing as partner unto Allāh, and will neither steal nor commit adultery nor kill their children, nor produce any lie that they have devised between their hands and feet, nor disobey thee in what is right, then accept their allegiance and ask Allāh to forgive them. Lo! Allāh is Forgiving, Merciful.’ (Al-Mumtahanah, 60: 12)”

`A’ishah said, “Whoever among the believing women agreed to that passed the test, and when the women agreed to that, the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam)  said to them, ‘Go, for you have given your oath of allegiance.’ No, by Allāh, the hand of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never touched the hand of any woman; rather they would give their oath of allegiance with words only.” And `A’ishah said, “By Allāh, the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) only took the oath of allegiance from the women in the manner prescribed by Allāh, and the hand of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never touched the hand of any woman. When he had taken their oath of allegiance he would say, ‘I have accepted your oath of allegiance verbally.’” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

In his explanation of the saying of `A’ishah, “No, by Allāh, the hand of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never touched the hand of any woman …” Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: she swore to ascertain the news as if she (`A’ishah) wanted to refute the narration of Umm `Atiyyah. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Hibban, Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabari, and Ibn Mardawih that Umm `Atiyyah said in respect of the story of taking the oath of allegiance of women, “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) held out his hand from outside the house and we (the immigrating women) held our hands from within the house, then he said, ‘O Allāh, bear witness.’” In another narration reported by Al-Bukhari, Umm `Atiyyah said, “… thereupon a lady withdrew her hand (refrained from taking the oath of allegiance)…” This narration indicates that they (the immigrating women) took their oath of allegiance by shaking hands. Al-Hafiz said: we reply to the first saying that holding out hands from behind a veil is an indication of the acceptance of the allegiance even if there was no shaking of hands. As for the second narration, withdrawing hands indicates the postponement of accepting the pledge of allegiance or that taking the pledge of allegiance happened from behind a veil. This is supported by that narration of Abu Dawud on the authority of Al-Sha`bi that when the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam)wanted to take the pledge of allegiance of the immigrating women he brought a garment and put it over his hands saying, “I do not shake hands with women.” Furthermore, in his book Maghazi, Ibn Ishaq is reported to have said that when the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) wanted to take the pledge of allegiance of the immigrating women, he would dip his hands in a vessel and a woman would dip her hands with him in the same vessel.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: it is possible that taking the pledge of allegiance happened on more than one occasion. Sometimes, it happened without touching hands by any means, as narrated by `A’ishah. Another time it happened that the women’s oath of allegiance was accepted by shaking their hands with the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), as narrated by Al-Sha`bi. A third time it happened that they dipped their hands in the vessel as mentioned by Ibn Ishaq.

The most correct view seems to be that it occurred on more than one occasion, if we realize that `A’ishah talked about taking the pledge of allegiance from the immigrating women after the Truce of Al-Hudaibiyah, while Umm `Atiyyah talked about what seems to be the oath of allegiance of the believing women in general.

By transmitting these narrations, I mean to clarify that the evidence of those who are of the opinion that shaking hands with women is prohibited is not agreed upon, as is thought by those who do not resort to the original sources. Rather, there is some controversy concerning this evidence.

Furthermore, some contemporary Muslim scholars have based their ruling concerning the prohibition of shaking hands with women on the Hadith narrated by Al-Tabari and Al-Baihaqi on the authority of Ma`qil ibn Yassar that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “It would be better for one of you to have himself stabbed on the head with an iron needle than to touch a woman that is illegal for him.”

Here, the following should be noted:

1. The scholars and Imams of Hadith have not declared the authenticity of this Hadith. Some of them say that its narrators are trustworthy, but this is not enough to prove the authenticity of the Hadith because there is a probability that there is an interruption in the chain of narrators or there was a hidden cause behind this Hadith. That is why Muslim jurists in the periods that followed the death of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) have not based their ruling on the prohibition of shaking hands with women on this Hadith.

2. Some Hanafi and Maliki jurists stated that the prohibition is not proven unless there is a certain qat`ie (definitive) piece of evidence such as textual proofs from the Qur’an or authentic Hadiths on which there is no suspicion regarding the chains of narrators.

3. If we suppose that the above-mentioned Hadith is authentic, it is unclear to me that the Hadith indicates that it is prohibited for males and females who are not mahrams to shake hands. That is because the phrase “touch a woman that is illegal for him” does not refer to the mere touching without desire as happens in normal handshaking. But the Arabic word “al-mass” (touching) as used in the Shar`ie texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah refer to one of two things:

1. Sexual intercourse, as reported by Ibn `Abbas (radiallāhu`anhu) in his commentary to Almighty Allāh’s saying, ‘… or ye have touched women …’ He stated that “touching” in the Qur’an refers figuratively to sexual intercourse. This is clear in the following Qur’anic verses that read: “She (Mary) said: ‘My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me?’” (Al `Imran, 3: 47) and “If ye divorce them before ye have touched them …” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 237)

2. Actions that precede sexual intercourse such as foreplay, kissing, hugging, caressing, and the like. This is reported from our righteous predecessors in the interpretation of the word “mulamasah”.

Al-Hakim stated in his Al-Mustadrak `Ala as-Sahihain: Al-Bukhari and Muslim have narrated many Hadiths that show that the meaning of the word “lams” (touching) refers to actions that precede sexual intercourse. Among them are:

a) The Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “…The hands fornicate. Their fornication is the touch …”

b) The Hadith narrated by Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “You might caress her.”

c) The Hadith narrated by Muslim that Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud(radiallāhu`anhu) is reported to have said that a person came to Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and told him that he had kissed a woman or touched her with his hand or did something alike. He inquired of him about its expiation. It was (on this occasion) that Allāh, Glorified and Exalted be He, revealed this Qur’anic verse that reads “Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! Good deeds annul ill deeds …” (Hud, 11: 114)

d) `A’ishah (radiallāhu`anha) is reported to have said, “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam)  used to visit us (his wives) and it was his habit to kiss and caress us and do actions other than sexual intercourse until he reached the one whose turn was due and he stayed there.”

e) `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (radiallāhu`anhu) is reported to have said in his commentary to Almighty Allāh’s saying, “… or ye have touched women …” that it refers to actions that precede sexual intercourse for which ablution is obligatory.

f) Ibn `Umar (radiallāhu`anhu) is reported to have said, “Kissing is to be considered among the touching acts, so perform ablution if you do.” (Al-Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 135)

Hence, the opinion of Imam Mālik and the substantial meaning of the legal verdict issued by Imam Ahmad in this respect are that the touching of a woman that nullifies ablution is that which is accompanied by desire. And this is the way they interpreted Almighty Allāh’s saying, “… or ye have touched women …”

That is why Ibn Taimiyah regarded as weak the opinion of those who interpreted “mulamasah” or (touching) in the Qur’anic verse to mean mere touching without desire. In this regard, he says, “As for the nullification of ablution with mere touching, it does agree with the original rulings of the Shari`ah, the unanimous agreement of the Companions and the traceable traditions reported in this respect. Moreover, those who held this opinion have not based their ruling on a textual proof or an analogical deduction.”

So, if “touching” in Almighty Allāh’s saying “… or ye have touched women, …” refers to touching with hands, kissing or the like, as said by Ibn `Umar and others, then it is known that when “touching” is mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sunnah it refers to that which is accompanied by desire. We would like to cite here the following verse that reads, “… and touch them not, while ye are in retreat (I’tikaf) in the mosques …”

Here, it is not prohibited for the one who retreats to the mosque for devotion and worship to touch his wife without desire, but touching that is accompanied by desire is prohibited. Also, this includes the Qur’anic verses that read “O ye who believe! If ye wed believing women and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon …” (Al-Ahzab,33: 49) “It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them …” (Al-Baqarah,2: 236) For if he (the husband) touches his wife without desire, then the waiting period is not required and he is not required to pay her the whole dowry, according to the agreement of all Muslim scholars.

So, whoever assumes that Almighty Allāh’s saying, “… or ye have touched women,” includes general touching without desire has exceeded far beyond the language of the Qur’an and that of people. For if “touching” in which a man and a woman are included is mentioned, it is known that it refers to touching with desire. Similarly, if “sexual intercourse” in which a man and a woman are included is mentioned, it is well known that it refers to actual sexual intercourse and nothing else. (See the collection of Fatawa Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah, vol. 21, pp. 223-224)

In another context, Ibn Taimiyah stated: The Companions had debate regarding Almighty Allāh’s saying, “… or ye have touched women,” Ibn `Abbas, supported by a group, held the opinion that touching here refers to sexual intercourse and added: Allāh is modest and generous. He euphemizes with what He wills in respect of what He wills. Ibn Taimiyah added: This opinion is believed to be the most correct.

The Arabs disagreed regarding the meaning of touching: does it refer to sexual intercourse or actions that precede it? The first group said that it refers to sexual intercourse, while the second said that it refers to actions that precede it. They sought the arbitration of Ibn `Abbas, who supported the opinion of the first group and regarded that of the second as incorrect.

By transmitting all these sayings, I mean to show that when the word “al-mass” or “al-lams” (touching) is used to mean what a man does to a woman, it does not refer to mere touching but rather refers to either sexual intercourse or actions that precede it such as kissing, hugging, and any touching of the like that is accompanied by desire and enjoyment.

However, if we investigate the sahih (sound) Hadiths that are narrated from the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), we will conclude that the mere touching of hands between a man and a woman without desire or fear of temptation is not prohibited. Rather, it was done by the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), whose actions are originally a source of legislation. Almighty Allāh says: “Verily in the Messenger of Allāh ye have a good example …” (Al-Ahzab, 33: 21). It is narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (radiallāhu`ahu) that he said, “Any of the female slaves of Madinah could take hold of the hand of Allāh’s Messenger and take him wherever she wished.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

The above mentioned Hadith is a great sign of the modesty of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

Furthermore, it is reported in the two Sahihs that Anas ibn Malik (radiallāhu`anhu) said, “The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to visit Umm Hiram bint Milhan, who would offer him meals. Umm Hiram was the wife of `Ubadah ibn As-Samit. Allāh’s Messenger once visited her and she provided him with food and started looking for lice in his head. Then Allāh’s Messenger slept putting his head in her lap, and afterwards woke up smiling. Umm Hiram asked, ‘What causes you to smile, O Allāh’s Messenger?’ He said, ‘Some of my followers who (in a dream) were presented before me as fighters in Allāh’s Cause (on board a ship) amidst this sea cause me to smile; they were as kings on thrones …’”

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar has mentioned lessons that are deduced from this Hadith: The guest is permitted to nap in a house other than his own on condition that he is given permission and there is no fear of fitnah. According to this Hadith a woman is also permitted to serve the guest by offering him a meal, drink or the like. Furthermore, a woman is permitted to look for lice in his head, but this last was an object of controversy. Ibn `Abd Al-Barr said, “I think that Umm Hiram or her sister Umm Sulaim had breast-fed the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam). So, each one of them had become his foster mother or his foster aunt. That was why he (the Prophet) used to sleep in her house and she used to deal with him as one of her mahrams.” Then he (Ibn `Abd Al-Barr) mentioned what indicates that Umm Hiram was one of the Prophet’s mahrams, as she was one of his relatives from his maternal aunts, since the mother of `Abd Al-Muttalib, his grandfather, was from Banu An-Najjar.

Others said that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was infallible and could control his sexual desires even from his wives, so what about other women who were illegal for him while he was granted infallibility from doing any wrong action or obscenity? This was one of his distinctive traits.

Al-Qadi `Iyad replied that the distinctive traits of the Prophet are not proven by personal interpretations of Hadiths. As for his infallibility, it is indisputable, but the original ruling is that it is permissible to take the Prophet’s actions as a model unless there is evidence that this action is one his distinctive traits.

Furthermore, Al-Hafiz Al-Dumyati said: It is wrong to claim that Umm Hiram was one of the maternal aunts of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) either by reason of marriage or fosterage. Those who breast-fed the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) are well known. None of them was from the Ansar except the mother of `Abd Al-Muttalib. She was Salma bint `Amr ibn Zaid ibn Lubaid ibn Khirash ibn `Amir ibn Ghunm ibn `Adyy ibn An-Najjar. While Umm Hiram is the daughter of Milhan ibn Khalid ibn Zaid ibn Judub ibn `Amir ibn Ghunm ibn `Adyy ibn An-Najjar. Umm Hiram has a common ancestor with Salma only in their grandfather `Amir ibn Ghunm. So, they are not among his mahrams because it is a metaphorical relationship. Al-Hafiz Al-Dumyati added: If this is proven, it is reported in the Sahih books of Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used not to enter any house in Madinah except the house of Umm Sulaim besides those of his wives. When he was asked why, he said, “I take pity on her, as her brother (Hiram ibn Milhan) was killed in my company.”

If this Hadith has excluded Umm Sulaim, then Umm Hiram is granted the same exclusion as her because they are sisters and resided in the same house; each one of them had her own apartment beside their brother Hiram ibn Milhan. So, the case is mutual between them, as reported by Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar.

Moreover, Umm Sulaim is the mother of Anas ibn Malik, the servant of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and it was the habit of people that the master mixed with his servant and his family and did not deal with them as outsiders.

Then, Al-Dumyati said: There is no indication in the Hadith showing that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) had khulwa (privacy) with Umm Hiram, as this might have happened in the presence of a son, a servant, or a husband.

Ibn Hajar replied: This is a strong likelihood, but it does not refute the original argument represented in looking for lice in the head and sleeping in her lap.

Ibn Hajar added: The best reply is that it is one of the distinctive traits of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) (See Fath Al-Bari, vol. 13, pp. 230-231).

What I conclude from the aforementioned narrations is that the mere touching is not haram. So, if there exists reasons for mixing as that between the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and Umm Hiram and Umm Sulaim and there is no fear of fitnah, then there is nothing wrong with shaking hands when there is a need for it, such as when returning from travel, the non-mahram male relative visiting his female relative, and vice versa, especially if this meeting happens after a long period.

Finally, I would like to ascertain two points:

Firstly, shaking hands between males and females who are not mahrams is only permissible when there is no desire or fear of fitnah. But if there is fear of fitnah, desire, or enjoyment, then handshaking is no doubt haram (unlawful). In contrast, if either of these two conditions (that there is no desire or fear of fitnah) is lacking between a male and any of his female mahrams, such as his aunt or foster sister or the like, then handshaking will be haram (although it is originally permissible).

Secondly, handshaking between males and females who are not mahrams should be restricted to necessary situations such as between relatives or those whose relationships are established by marriage. It is preferable not to expand the field of permissibility in order to block the means to evil and to be far away from doubt and to take the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as a model when there is no proof that he shook hands with a non-mahram woman. Also, it is preferable for the pious Muslim, male or female, not to stretch out his/her hand to shake the hand of anyone of the opposite sex who is not mahram. But if he or she is put in a situation that someone stretches out his/her hand to shake hands with him/her, and then he or she can do that.

I have tried to clarify the detailed ruling of the issue here in order to inform those who are in the dark about it how to behave while sticking to the tenets of their religion. Also, when the detailed Islamic ruling is explained and people are fully aware of it, there will be no room for personal justifications that are not supported by legal backing.

 

Allāh Almighty knows best.

 

[Via On Islam (Ask the Scholar), Jan, 24, 2011]

Humility and Humbleness

Humility and Humbleness

Al-Abdullah

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

The Character of humility or humbleness is one of the greatest blessings that Allah the Exalted could bestow upon His servant. Islam highly commends humbleness and simplicity and reckons that as one of the traits of a true believer, the people of truth.

 Allah Says:  “He whom Allah guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.” [Al-Kahf, 18:17]

 The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Al-Kibr (proud and arrogance) is the rejecting of the truth and looking down upon people.” [Muslim, At-Tirmidzi and Abu Dawud]

 Meaning of  humbleness

The first meaning is to accept the truth from any person conveying it.  Humility is when one who disregard self importance and avoid gaining notoriety or to become too great among people. Many people have a problem accepting the truth when it comes from those who are younger than them and they only accept it from those who are older or better in status.

As it was said, “Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty.” We should accept the truth no matter who conveys it to us, whether he is weak or strong, rich or poor, noble or commoner, a relative or not, a friend or an enemy.

The second meaning is to be modest in the way you treat people.  You should be kind to people, whether servants or masters, rich or poor, noble or common.  You should treat all human beings tenderly and cordially.

The opposite of humility is arrogance.

The Prophet (SAW) says, “Arrogance disdains the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.”

 [Part of an authentic Hadith; Sahih Muslim, the book of faith (41), page/number 275; Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud]

It means disdaining the truth and not accepting it.  So, humility would be “to accept the truth.” It is showing contempt toward people is to be conceited with the improper thinking that you are much better than them.

Allah the Exalted says:

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”

[Al-‘Imran, 3:159]

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character”

[Al-Qalam, 68:4]

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being a true slave of Allah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allah and compassion towards the slave of Allah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

[Al-Majmu’ Al-Kaailah Li Mu’allafat Al-Shaikh Al-Sa’adi, 5/442, 443]

There are many possible ways of attaining humility, which not all Muslim have it but he will aspire to attain the characteristic.

They were explained by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim as follows:

Humility comes from the knowing about Allah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allah bestows to those whom He loves, honors and draws close to Him.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

The Grace of Humility

The Prophet (SAW) said, “…. no one is humble (for the sake of Allah) unless Allah raises him [in rank].”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 19, page/number1599, narrated by Abu-Hurayrah]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “He who is humble for the sake of Allah by a degree, Allah will elevate him one degree, until he reaches the highest degrees and he who is arrogant toward Allah, Allah will lower him one degree until he reaches the lowest of low degrees.”

[Hasan Hadith;  Narrated by Abu-Said Al-Khudri on the authority of Ibnu-Hijr Al-Asqalani,  number, 89.]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah revealed to me that we should be humble amongst ourselves and none should show arrogance toward others.”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 040, number 6856. Narrated by Ayad ibn-Hammar]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah (SWT) says, He who is humble toward Me like this (and he lowered his palm to the ground until it was leveled with it, I will elevate him like this (and the Prophet (SAW) raised his palm upwards facing the sky until it was high up)”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]. 

Look at the Prophet’s depiction!

The Prophet (SAWS), said: “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of arrogance shall not enter paradise.”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]

This Hadith reminds you that if your heart has but the size of a mustard seed of arrogance in it you will be deprived from paradise, even with all your praying, fasting, zakat and attending religious lessons.  Beware of arrogance!

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Allah (SWT) said: “Pride is my cloak and Might is My robe, and he who competes with Me in [respect of] either of them I shall torment him”

[Hadith Qudsi. It was related by Abu Dawud (also by Ibn Majah and Ahmad) with sound chains of authority. This Hadith also appears in Muslim in another version].

Among the teachings of Luqman to his son in Qur’an, Allah says,

  “And turn not your cheek away from people in [false] pride, and walk not haughtily on earth: for, behold, Allah does not love anyone who, out of self- conceit, acts in a boastful manner.”

[Luqman, 31:18]

The word used in Arabic for ‘turn your cheek away…in [false] pride’ is tusa’ir which is taken from an illness that afflicts camels named sa’ar. When they are afflicted with this illness their necks are twisted and they never return back to the normal position.  It is like Allah is warning you not to turn your cheek lest your neck would stay in this position and it would never return to its normal position.

In another ayah Allah (SWT) says, “And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, you can never rend the earth asunder, nor can you ever grow as tall as the mountains!” (Al-Isra’, 17:37)

 Son of Adam, be humble; you won’t own anything forever, so why are you conceited?

The reward of humility

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).”

[Muslim, 2588]

Imam Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: “The Recommendation of Forgiveness and Humility.” Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).” This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in people’s hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in people’s eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world.

It may be that both are meant (and that his status will be raised) that it is in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh Muslim, 16/142.]

Kinds of Humility and Humbleness

The level of Humility and humbleness are seen in various situations, such as the following:

1. A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah SWT, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

It is because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving reluctantly in an attempt to flee from the servitude towards Allah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haram actions, but once the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will humble himself to the true submission to Allah [‘Ubudiyyah].

[Al-Ruh p. 233]

2. Humbling oneself before the might, majestic and power of Allah

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense wrath against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah but he does not humble himself before His might).

The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allah is the One whose help we seek.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

3. Humility in one’s dress and manner of walking [behavior and mannerism].

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3297]

It was also narrated by al-Bukhari [5452] and Muslim [2088] from the hadith of Abu Hurairah. According to the version narrated by Al-Bukhari:

“Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

4. Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him

It was narrated that Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib said: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was moving soil with us on The Day of Al-Ahzab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) was saying:

“(O Allah)! Without you, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) send the tranquility (Sakinah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend afflictions (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them).”

And he raised his voice whilst saying it.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 6809; Muslim, 1803]

5. Humility with our parents

 He treats them with kindness and respect, infinite compassion, utter politeness and deep gratitude. He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them.

 Allah Says:

 “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents…”

 [An-Nisa’, 4: 36]

“And lowers to them the wing of humility out of mercy.”

 [Al-Isra’, 17:24]

 If your parents were alive, would you kiss their hands?  Can you kiss your mother’s hands in public?  This is one of the signs of humility.  If they are not living anymore, then ask forgiveness for them and do something good with your life, something that can be added to their book of good deeds.

 If you want to be a humble person, please try all the above for just one month and you will see how easily it will come to you.  Just try kissing your mother’s hands and, by Allah, you will learn by just that small act how to be humble before Allah.

 6. Humility in interactions with one’s wife and helping her.

It was narrated that Al-Aswad said: I asked ‘Aishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do in his house and she said:

 “He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray”

[Al-Bukhari, 644]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family.

[Fath Al-Baari, 2/163]

7. Humility towards the young and gracious with them.

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu ‘Umair. He said, I think he was rather weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) came he would say, “O Abu Umair, what happened to the nughair (a small bird that he kept as a pet)?”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 5850; Muslim, 2150]

Al-Nawawi said:

The term nughair is for a small bird.

This hadith teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble.

[Sharh Muslim, 14/129]

8. Humility towards servants and slaves [or employee].

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663]

Humility includes humble oneself to one who is also below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act with arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some Riya’ (showing off) or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

 According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, mentioned,

  “A man said, “By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so,” and that Allah Says: “Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deeds.”

  [Muslim]

 Therefore, act humbly towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not show superiority towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also poses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently offer da`wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance.

 All deeds also should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted. Allah Says:    “…Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [Quran 5:27] This had made some of the Salaf (predecessors) said, “If I knew that Allah accepted one Tasbih (saying “Subhanallaah”) from me, I would have wished to die right now!”

 The arrogant person would never give credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. A humble man would accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

 The ‘Amir of the Believers, `Umar Al-Khattab (radiallahu`anhu), May Allah be pleased with him, held the adage of, “May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects.”

We therefore seek for Allah’s blessing and guidance to be among of those who humble themselves before His might.

Allah the Exalted knows best.

[Adapted from Islam QA and AmrKhalid.net]

The Virtue of Truthfulness

The Virtue of Truthfulness

By Ben Adam 

Description: 1.Truthfulness in Islam, the injunction towards it, and the status of those who practice it; 2. Falsehood, the opposite of truthfulness; and the warning against insincerity, lying, deceit and hypocrisy.

 1. The Status and Reward of Truthfulness

 “O you who believe!  Have fear of God, and be among the truthful.” (Quran 9:119)

Ask the average person to define truthfulness and the answer will most likely be restricted to something about truthful speech.  Islam, however, teaches that truthfulness is far more than having an honest tongue.  In Islam, truthfulness is the conformity of the outer with the inner, the action with the intention, the speech with belief, and the practice with the preaching.  As such, truthfulness is the very cornerstone of the upright Muslim’s character and the springboard for his virtuousness deeds.

 The great sage and scholar of Islam, Ibn al-Qayyim, said: “Truthfulness is the greatest of stations, from it sprout all the various stations of those traversing the path to God; and from it sprouts the upright path which if not trodden, perdition is that person’s fate.  Through it is the hypocrite distinguished from the believer and the inhabitant of Paradise from the denizen of Hell.  It is the sword of God in His earth: it is not placed on anything except that it cuts it; it does not face falsehood expect that it hunts it and vanquishes it; whoever fights with it will not be defeated; and whoever speaks it, his word will be made supreme over his opponent.  It is the very essence of deeds and the well spring of spiritual states, it allows the person to embark boldly into dangerous situations, and it is the door through which one enters the presence of the One possessing Majesty.  It is the foundation of the building of Islam, the central pillar of the edifice of certainty and the next level in ranking after the level of prophethood.”[1]

By practicing truthfulness, a person betters himself, his life is made upright and due to it, he is elevated to praiseworthy heights and raised in ranks in the sight of God as well as the people.  As the Prophet Muhammad SAW God praise him, related:

“I order you to be truthful, for indeed truthfulness leads to righteousness, and indeed righteousness leads to Paradise.  A man continues to be truthful and strives for truthfulness until he is written as a truthful person with God.  And beware of falsehood, for indeed falsehood leads to sinning, and indeed sinning leads to the Fire.  A man continues to tell lies and strives upon falsehood until he is written as a liar with God.” (Sahih Muslim)

So, truthfulness is something which is to be cultivated till it is becomes implanted in a person’s soul and disposition and therefore reflected throughout the person’s character.  Ali bin Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, mentioned the positive reciprocal effect of behaving truthfully with people in this worldly life:

“Whoever does three things with regards to people, they will necessitate three things from him: whenever he speaks to them he is truthful; whenever they entrust him with something he does not betray them; and whenever he promises them something he fulfils it.  If he does this, their hearts will love him; their tongues will praise him; and they will come to his aid.”[2]

As for the Next Life, through God’s Grace and Mercy, the obedient ones – practitioners of truthfulness – will reach a station in Paradise alongside those most fortunate of souls mentioned in the revelation.

“And whosoever obeys God and His Messenger, such will be in the company of those whom God has blessed: the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the righteous.  And how excellent a company are such people!” (Quran 4:69)

In fact, truthfulness is an essential attribute of every single prophet who graced the earth.  We are told in the Quran:

“And mention in the Book, Abraham: surely he was a most truthful Prophet.” (Quran 19:41)

“And mention in the Book, Ishmael: surely, he was a man true to his word, and he was a Messenger, a Prophet.” (Quran 19:54)

“And mention in the Book, Enoch: surely he was a most truthful Prophet.” (Quran 19:56)

We also read in the Quran how a man incarcerated alongside the Prophet Joseph addressed him with the words:

“Joseph!  O most truthful one!” (Quran 12:46)

…and that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also declared truthful in the Words of God:

“The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him.  His mother (Mary) was a truthful one, a Believer….” (Quran 5:75)

… and the Companions of God’s Messenger, the “believers” mentioned time and time again in the Quran, also reached the lofty ranks of the truthful ones:

“The believers are but those people who believed in God and His Messenger without ever feeling doubt thereafter, and strove with their souls and possessions in the way of God; those are the ones who are the truthful.” (Quran 49:15)

Hence, to tread the path of truthfulness is to tread the path of the most righteous of God’s creation.  And as for ways and means to engender this most noble of virtues into our daily lives, then we have been left an ocean of teachings from God’s Final Messenger to humanity, the Prophet Muhammad SAW, detailing and describing precisely what the virtue, nay!, the injunction of truthfulness requires.  One from among these vast and numerous sayings of God’s Messenger is his plea:

“Guarantee for me six things and I will guarantee Paradise for you: tell the truth when you speak, fulfill your promises, be faithful when you are trusted, safeguard your private parts, lower your gaze, and withhold your hands (from harming others).”[3]

And God confirmed the truthfulness of these words of His Beloved Messenger SAW with His Own True Word:

 “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for patient men and women, for humble men and women, for charitable men and women, for fasting men and women, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise: for them has God prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (Quran 33:35)

2. Lying and Hypocrisy

Just as truthfulness is the very cornerstone of the upright person’s character and the springboard for his virtuousness, falsehood, its opposite, is the foundation of a person’s depravity and the launch pad for his wickedness.  Just as the truthfulness of a person starts from within – that is, it is a reflection of a state of true faith – a person’s dishonesty, lying and deceit is also a reflection of the inner state.  This is why God mentions truthfulness as being the opposite of hypocrisy:

“That God may reward the truthful for their truth, and punish the hypocrites if He wills, or turn mercifully towards them…” (Quran 33:24)

…and why He mentions sincerity as a mark of truthfulness.

“So that God might recompense the truthful for their sincerity….”

Little wonder then that the most righteous and truthful of people, the Prophets of God [4]  and their true followers, were not belied, denounced, opposed, oppressed and rejected except by those who were given to dishonesty, deceit and hypocrisy.

“It is only those who believe not in the Signs of God, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who are the liars.” (Quran 16:105)

That is regards to falsehood in faith.  As for falsehood in deed, God states in the Quran.

“…that He may try you, which of you is the best in deeds.” (Quran 67:2)

A scholar from the early period of Islam, Fudail bin Iyad, commented on this verse, explaining:

“‘which of you Is the best in deeds’ means ‘the most sincere and correct.’  If the deed is sincere and not correct, it will not be accepted, and if it is correct and not sincere, it will not be accepted.  It will not be accepted until it is both sincere and correct!”

One everyday example of where sincerity and correction of action are often subverted by falsehood is in the buying and selling of goods.  Hence we find the Prophet SAW saying:

“If they (two parties meeting to trade) are truthful and clarify (any and all deficiency in their goods), their transaction will be blessed.  But if they lie and conceal (any deficiency in their goods), the blessings of their transaction will be eradicated.” [5]

And what of falsehood in speech?  Falsehood of the tongue, or what is more commonly referred to as lying, is a characteristic roundly rejected by the entire world – even if its inhabitants may fall into it from time to time.  After all, if God would punish his last and greatest Prophet in case he were to lie…

“If he (Prophet Muhammad SAW) had invented false sayings concerning Us, We would surely have grasped him firmly, and then cut off the artery of his heart, and none of you could have withheld Us from doing this.” (Quran 69:44-7)

…then how could lying be acceptable from anyone else besides His Prophet?!  And he, the Prophet Muhammad SAW, the Truthful One, said:

A slave’s faith will not be upright until his heart is upright, and his heart will not be upright until his tongue is upright, and a man whose neighbor is not safe from his harm will not enter Paradise.” [6]

The Prophet’s Companion, Abdullah b. Mas’ud, would also say: “Each time someone lies, a black spot appears on his heart until his whole heart becomes black and he is written with God as a habitual liar.”

Thus, the habitual liar is despised, truly and thoroughly despised, by all – even his own kind – as no-one can trust a liar, not even other liars.  And just as clarity in speech is a sign of truthfulness, so then ambiguity, innuendo, sarcasm and every other form of deception and trickery of the tongue is denounced in Islam.  Even lying in jest has been condemned by the Prophet SAW when he said:

“I guarantee a house in the middle of Paradise for the one who leaves off lying even if it be in jest.” [7]

…and his saying:

“Woe to the person who lies to make people laugh!  Woe to him, woe to him!” [8]

 The Prophet’s SAW closest friend and immediate temporal successor, Abu Bakar as-Siddiq (i.e. the truthful – so named by the Prophet due to the truthfulness of his faith), further said:

“Beware of lying, for lying opposes (true) faith.” [9]

 And the daughter of Abu Bakar, Aishah RA, who was the beloved wife of the Prophet, mentioned that:

“There was no trait more abhorrent to the Messenger of God, may God praise him, than lying.” [10]

Suffice as deterrence from lying is its being listed as a trait of that most wretched of conditions: hypocrisy.  The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

“The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies; when he makes an oath he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.” [11]

Not only do we learn about the abhorrence of directly lying itself, but Islam also mercifully educates us as to the dangers of all that which indirectly leads to lying.

Again from Aishah we learn that the Prophet SAW would invoke his Lord, praying: “O God!  I seek refuge with you from all sins, and from being in debt.”  When asked: “O Messenger of God!  You frequently seek refuge with God from being in debt!”  The Prophet of God, may God praise him, replied: “If a person is in debt, he tells lies when he speaks, and breaks his promises when he promises.” [12]

In the same vain, the Prophet SAW explicitly ordered his followers:

“Leave that which causes you doubt for that which does not cause you doubt.  For in truthfulness lies tranquility, and in lying lies doubt.” [13]

Striving for truthfulness then, in spirit, word and deed, is a matter which requires the utmost steadfastness from the believer, as well as the utmost vigilance against the dangers of falsehood, insincerity, deceit and hypocrisy:

“That God will reward the People of Truth for their truth, and punish the hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy; for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 33:24)

______________________________________________________________________________________

Footnotes

[1] Madarij As-Salikin.

[2] Ibn Muflih, Adab Ash-Shari’ah.

[3] Reported by Ubadah, in As-Sahihah.

[4] The Companion, Anas Ibn Malik, reported that the Prophet even mentioned how: ‘A Prophet does not (even) wink!’ [Abu Dawud, Nasa’ie, Hakim, Ahmad]

[5] Reported by Hakim Ibn Hizam, in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

[6] Reported by the Companion, Anas Ibn Malik in As-Sahihah.

[7] Reported by Abu Umamah, in At-Tirmidzi.

[8] Reported by Mu‘awiyah Ibn Jaidah al-Qushairi in Abu Dawud.

[9] Baihaqi, Shu‘ab Al-Iman.

[10] Ahmad.

[11] Reported by the Companion, Abu Hurairah, in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

[12] Sahih Al-Bukhari.

[13] Reported by Al-Hasan Ibn. Ali, in At-Tirmidzi.

 [ Via IslamReligion]

The Importance of Being Truthful

The Importance of Being Truthful

 Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

What is the importance of being truthful, both in personal and business relationships, in Islam? Is lying ever considered and “acceptable” action?

All the Praise be to Allah, the Lord of al-‘alameen.

Being truthful would mean speaking the truth and also saying things that reflect the reality.

Being truthful is one of the necessities of human society, one of the virtues of the human behaviour which entails great benefits, whilst lying is one of the major elements of corruption in the human society, and the cause of the destruction of social structure and ties, one of the most evil features of bad conduct, and causes widespread harm. Hence Islam commanded truthfulness and forbade lying.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds).”

 [Al-Tawbah, 9:119]

Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said (2/414): “It means: be truthful and adhere to truthfulness, and you will be among its people and will be saved from calamity, and this will make a way out for you from your problems.”

Allah says:

“… if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.”

[Muhammad, 47:21]

‘Abdallah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

‘You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allah as a siddiq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.”

[Reported by Muslim, 4721]

This hadith indicates that truthfulness leads to righteousness (al-birr), an all-embracing concept that includes all kinds of goodness and different kinds of righteous deeds. Immorality is basically an inclination towards deviation from the truth, and the immoral person (faajir) is one who is inclined to turn away from the path of guidance. Hence immorality and righteousness are diametrically opposed.

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): ‘Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt, for truthfulness is certainty and tranquillity, whilst lying is doubt and confusion.”

 [Reported by al-Tirmidzi, 2520; al-Nasa’ie, 8/327; and Ahmad, 1/200]

In the lengthy hadith of Abu Sufyan describing his meeting with Heraclius, Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “[Heraclius] said, ‘What does he [meaning the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] command you to do?’ I said, ‘He says: worship Allah alone and do not associate anything in worship with Him, and abandon that which your forefathers did. He commands us to pray, to be truthful, to be chaste and to uphold the ties of kinship.’”

[Reported by Al-Bukhari, 1/30 and Muslim, 1773]

Hakim ibn Hizam (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Two parties to a deal have the option of changing their minds until they part; if they are open and honest, their deal will be blessed, and if they conceal and tell lies, the blessing of their deal will be diminished.”

 [Reported by Al-Bukhari, 4/275 and Muslim, 1532]

Truthfulness, would not precludes being truthful towards Allah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful towards one’s own soul by making it adhere to the laws of Allah; and being truthful with people in one’s words and by keeping one’s promises, and in dealings such as buying, selling and marriage, so there should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information. Thus a person should be the same on the inside and the outside.

As regards of lying, it is highly forbidden, and is of varying degrees of abhorrence and sin. The most obnoxious form of lying is falsely attributing things to Allah and His Messenger, because this involves fabrication about the religion and is an act of outrage against Allah. Hence one of the characteristics of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is that he truthfully conveyed that which Allah commanded him to convey. So Allah said:

“… who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah, to lead mankind astray without knowledge. Certainly Allah guides not the people which are zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.)”

[Al-An’am, 6:144]

“And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord!’ No doubt! The curse of Allah is on the zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.).”

[Hood, 11:18]

Equally bad is lying about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as he is reported to have said in the mutawatir hadith: “Whoever lies about me deliberately let him take his place in Hell.”

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud]

The basic rule with regard to lying is that it is not permitted, but there are certain circumstances in which Islam permits lying to serve a greater purpose or to prevent harm.

One of these situations is when a person mediates between two disputing parties in order to reconcile between them, if reconciliation cannot be achieved in any other way. Um Kalthum (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He is not a liar who reconciles between people and conveys something good or says something good.”

[Reported by Al-Bukhari, 2495]

Another example is a man’s speaking to his wife, or a woman speaking to her husband, with regard to matters that will strengthen the ties of love between them, even if that is accompanied by exaggeration. Asma’ binti Yazid said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a man’s speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying at times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.’”

 [Reported by Al-Tirmidzi, 1862; he said: it is a hasan hadith. See also Sahih Muslim, 4717].

One of the most important forms of both being truthful and lying is in the area of promises and covenants. Being truthful in promises and covenants is one of the characteristics by which the believers are known. Both promises and covenants involve saying something about an issue to confirm that you will do it, especially with regard to one’s duties towards Allah. Allah says, praising some of His slaves:

“Those who are faithfully true to their amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants.”

 [Al-Mu’minun, 23:8]

“… and who fulfil their covenant when they make it…”

[Al-Baqarah, 2:177]

“Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah [i.e., they have gone out for jihad (holy fighting), and showed not their backs to the disbelievers], of them some have fulfilled their obligations (i.e., have been martyred), and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed [i.e., they never proved treacherous to their covenant which they concluded with Allah] in the least.”

[Al-Ahzab, 33:23]

We ask Allah to make us sincere and truthful in word and deed.

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from the Islam Q&A]

To Whom Women are permitted to uncover the Hijab?

To Whom Women are permitted to uncover the Hijab?

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Al-‘Alamin.

It should be noted that it is only permissible for a woman to take off her Hijab in front of those of her mahrams.

A woman’s mahram is a person whom she is never permitted to marry because of their close blood relationship (such as her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc., and her son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., her paternal and maternal uncles, her brother, brother’s son and sister’s son), or because of rada’ah or breastfeeding (such as the brother and husband of the woman who breastfed her), or because they are related by marriage (such as the mother’s husband, the husband’s father, grandfather, etc., and the husband’s son, grandson, etc.). More details on this subject are given below:

Mahrams by Ties of Blood

These are the ones mentioned in Surah An-Nur, where Allah says:

“… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons…” [An-Nur 24:31].

The mufassirin said: the woman’s male mahrams by ties of blood, as stated clearly in this ayat or inferred by it are as follows:

1. The woman’s forefathers, no matter how far back the line of ascent goes through her father and her mother, such as her father’s forefathers and her mother’s forefathers. As for her husband’s forefathers, they are her mahrams by marriage, as we shall see below.

2. Her sons, which includes her children’s children, no matter how the line of descent goes and whether they are descended from males or females, such as her sons’ sons and her daughters’ sons. As for her “husband’s sons” mentioned in the ayat, these are the husband’s sons from other wives, and these are her mahrams by marriage, not by blood, as we shall see below.

3. Her brothers, whether they are her brothers through both the mother and father or through the father only or the mother only.

4. The children of her siblings, whether they are descended through the males or females, such as the sons of her sister’s daughters.

5. The paternal uncles and maternal uncles. They are mahrams by blood even though they are not mentioned in the ayat, because they are like parents and are regarded by people as having the same status as parents, and a paternal uncle may be called a father. Allah says:

“Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qub (Jacob)? When he said unto his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We shall worship your Ilah (God — Allah) the Ilah (God) of your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac)…” [Al-Baqarah 2:133]. Isma’il was the paternal uncle of the sons of Ya’qub.

(Tafsir Al-Razi, 23/206; Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, 12/232, 233; Tafsir Al-Alusi, 18/143; Fath Al-Bayan Fi Maqasid Al-Qur’an by Siddiq Hasan Khan, 6/352)

Mahrams by Rada’ah (Breastfeeding)

A woman may have mahrams through rada’ah. It says in Tafsir al-Alusi:

“The relationship of mahram which permits a woman to show her adornments may be through rada’ah as well as through blood ties, so it is permissible for a woman to show her adornments to those who are her father’s or sons through rada’ah.” [Tafsir Al-Alusi. 18/143]

The relationship of mahram by rada’ah is like the relationship of mahram by blood – it means that marriage is forever forbidden by virtue of that relationship of mahram. This was the view stated by Imam al-Jassaas when he commented on this ayat. He said (may Allah have mercy on him): “When Allah mentioned the fathers and that their marriage to these women is forbidden forever, this indicates that the same prohibition applies in other relationships of mahram, such as the mother of the woman and those who are mahrams by rada’ah, etc.” [Ahkam Al-Qur’an by Al-Jassaas, 3/317].

The same things are made haram by rada’ah as by ties of blood.

It also says in the Sunnah: “The same things are made haram by rada’ah as by ties of blood.” This means that the people who are mahram to a woman because of blood ties are also mahram because of rada’ah. It was reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Aishah Umm al-Mu’minin RA said that Aflah the brother of Abu Qu’ays came and asked permission to see her. He was her uncle through rada’ah. This was after hijab had been revealed, so she refused to give him permission. When the Messenger of Allah SAW came, she told him about what she had done and he told her to give him permission. (Sahih Al-Bukhari Bi Sharh Al-‘Asqallaani, 9/150).

This hadith was also narrated by Imam Muslim, where the wording is: from ‘Urwah from ‘Aishah, who told him that her uncle by rada’ah, who was called Aflah, asked permission to see her and she did not let him. She told the Messenger SAW and he said to her, “Do not observe hijab in front of him, because the same relationships of mahram are created by rada’ah as by blood ties.” [Sahih Muslim Bi Sharh Al-Nawawi, 10/22]

A woman’s mahrams through rada’ah are the same as her mahrams through blood ties

In accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah, the fuqaha have stated that a woman’s mahrams through rada’ah are the same as her mahrams through blood ties. It is permissible for her to display her adornments before her mahrams by rada’ah just as it is permissible for her to display her adornments before her mahrams by blood ties. It is permissible for her mahrams by rada’ah to see whatever of her body it is permissible for her mahrams by blood ties to see.

Mahrams by Marriage

Allah says: “… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons…” [An-Nur 24:31].

Their husband’s fathers and their husband’s sons are mahrams of the woman by marriage. Allah mentioned them along with their (the women’s own) fathers and sons, and made them all the same in the sense that women may display their adornments in front of them. (Al-Mughni, 6/555)

[To Whom Women are permitted to uncover the Hijab?

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Al-‘Alamin.

It should be noted that it is only permissible for a woman to take off her Hijab in front of those of her mahrams.

A woman’s mahram is a person whom she is never permitted to marry because of their close blood relationship (such as her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc., and her son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., her paternal and maternal uncles, her brother, brother’s son and sister’s son), or because of rada’ah or breastfeeding (such as the brother and husband of the woman who breastfed her), or because they are related by marriage (such as the mother’s husband, the husband’s father, grandfather, etc., and the husband’s son, grandson, etc.). More details on this subject are given below:

Mahrams by Ties of Blood

These are the ones mentioned in Surah An-Nur, where Allah says:

“… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons…” [An-Nur 24:31].

The mufassirin said: the woman’s male mahrams by ties of blood, as stated clearly in this ayat or inferred by it are as follows:

1. The woman’s forefathers, no matter how far back the line of ascent goes through her father and her mother, such as her father’s forefathers and her mother’s forefathers. As for her husband’s forefathers, they are her mahrams by marriage, as we shall see below.

2. Her sons, which includes her children’s children, no matter how the line of descent goes and whether they are descended from males or females, such as her sons’ sons and her daughters’ sons. As for her “husband’s sons” mentioned in the ayat, these are the husband’s sons from other wives, and these are her mahrams by marriage, not by blood, as we shall see below.

3. Her brothers, whether they are her brothers through both the mother and father or through the father only or the mother only.

4. The children of her siblings, whether they are descended through the males or females, such as the sons of her sister’s daughters.

5. The paternal uncles and maternal uncles. They are mahrams by blood even though they are not mentioned in the ayat, because they are like parents and are regarded by people as having the same status as parents, and a paternal uncle may be called a father. Allah says:

“Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qub (Jacob)? When he said unto his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We shall worship your Ilah (God — Allah) the Ilah (God) of your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac)…” [Al-Baqarah 2:133]. Isma’il was the paternal uncle of the sons of Ya’qub.

(Tafsir Al-Razi, 23/206; Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, 12/232, 233; Tafsir Al-Alusi, 18/143; Fath Al-Bayan Fi Maqasid Al-Qur’an by Siddiq Hasan Khan, 6/352)

Mahrams by Rada’ah (Breastfeeding)

A woman may have mahrams through rada’ah. It says in Tafsir al-Alusi:

“The relationship of mahram which permits a woman to show her adornments may be through rada’ah as well as through blood ties, so it is permissible for a woman to show her adornments to those who are her father’s or sons through rada’ah.” [Tafsir Al-Alusi. 18/143]

The relationship of mahram by rada’ah is like the relationship of mahram by blood – it means that marriage is forever forbidden by virtue of that relationship of mahram. This was the view stated by Imam al-Jassaas when he commented on this ayat. He said (may Allah have mercy on him): “When Allah mentioned the fathers and that their marriage to these women is forbidden forever, this indicates that the same prohibition applies in other relationships of mahram, such as the mother of the woman and those who are mahrams by rada’ah, etc.” [Ahkam Al-Qur’an by Al-Jassaas, 3/317].

The same things are made haram by rada’ah as by ties of blood.

It also says in the Sunnah: “The same things are made haram by rada’ah as by ties of blood.” This means that the people who are mahram to a woman because of blood ties are also mahram because of rada’ah. It was reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Aishah Umm al-Mu’minin RA said that Aflah the brother of Abu Qu’ays came and asked permission to see her. He was her uncle through rada’ah. This was after hijab had been revealed, so she refused to give him permission. When the Messenger of Allah SAW came, she told him about what she had done and he told her to give him permission. (Sahih Al-Bukhari Bi Sharh Al-‘Asqallaani, 9/150).

This hadith was also narrated by Imam Muslim, where the wording is: from ‘Urwah from ‘Aishah, who told him that her uncle by rada’ah, who was called Aflah, asked permission to see her and she did not let him. She told the Messenger SAW and he said to her, “Do not observe hijab in front of him, because the same relationships of mahram are created by rada’ah as by blood ties.” [Sahih Muslim Bi Sharh Al-Nawawi, 10/22]

A woman’s mahrams through rada’ah are the same as her mahrams through blood ties

In accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah, the fuqaha have stated that a woman’s mahrams through rada’ah are the same as her mahrams through blood ties. It is permissible for her to display her adornments before her mahrams by rada’ah just as it is permissible for her to display her adornments before her mahrams by blood ties. It is permissible for her mahrams by rada’ah to see whatever of her body it is permissible for her mahrams by blood ties to see.

Mahrams by Marriage

Allah says: “… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons…” [An-Nur 24:31].

Their husband’s fathers and their husband’s sons are mahrams of the woman by marriage. Allah mentioned them along with their (the women’s own) fathers and sons, and made them all the same in the sense that women may display their adornments in front of them. (Al-Mughni, 6/555)

 

[Via Islam Q&A]

Hijab: A Must Not a Choice in Islam

Hijab: A Must Not a Choice in Islam 

 

By Ms. Sahar El-Nadi

 

Before going into Qur’anic proof and wisdom behind the religiously mandated Hijab, let us first define some Arabic terms related to Islam, Hijab, and Khimar.

 

Meaning of Hijab in Arabic.

 

Arabic is a language very rich in shades of meaning for every word; translations often fail to do justice to Arabic verses for lack of appropriate vocabulary. Consequently, it is necessary, when addressing controversial issues, to look closely at the meaning of the Arabic words used in the original context. Let’s start from the meaning of the name of this religion: Islam.

 

Meaning of Islam and How Muslims Regard Islamic Rules.

 

Islam means total submission to Allah—in mind, heart, body, and soul—total acceptance of His laws and rules without doubts or arguments, total obedience to Him and His Messenger, and total refusal of syirik [associating anyone with Allah] in all its forms.

 

In the Qur’an Allah states:

 

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger; he has indeed strayed into a plain error” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:36].

 

Muslims should not argue the commands, rules, or laws of Allah and His Prophet [peace be upon him]. They do not need proof from Allah for everything He asks of them. Their obedience is the mark of their true faith. In addition, Islam is a complete way of life that should be wholly adhered to by its followers. Thus, Muslims are not supposed to worship selectively, picking out whatever rules or rituals appeal to them and leaving the rest. Denying a basic Islamic rule or ritual is a serious sin.

 

Meaning of Hijab.

 

Hijab in Arabic means “barrier” or “screen” and thus it appears in various verses of Qur’an, referring to many things besides the woman’s head cover. For example:

 

Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an that He only talks to humans from behind a hijab.

 

The Qur’an says:

 

“It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless [it be] by revelation, or from behind a veil” [Surah Ash-Shura 42:51).

 

Mary worshipped behind a hijab:

 

“She placed a screen [to screen herself] from them” [Surah Maryam, 19:17].

 

And, on Judgment Day there will be a hijab between the residents of Paradise and the residents of Hell:

 

“And between them will be a [barrier] screen” [Surah Al-A’raf, 7:51].

 

In all these verses, the Arabic word hijab was used to mean different things. In this light, let’s ponder the logic of hijab.

 

The Qur’an teaches us to look around us with open eyes and minds, to think, rationalize, and reach logical conclusions. If we look at the universe, from the tiny atom to the huge celestial bodies, don’t we see how everything important or precious is protected and concealed with a cover? Think of the skin to the human body, the womb to the baby, the plasma wall to the cell, the bark to the tree trunks, the shell to the egg, even the entire planet we live on is enjoying the protection of a “hijab”—which we call the atmosphere—against the dangers of asteroids and harmful cosmic rays. Think how other planets—Mars for example— deprived of their “hijab” have suffered much harm.

 

Meaning of Khimar.

 

The Arabic word Khimar means “top-cover” and it also applies to many things besides women’s head covers. For example, it applies to the top covering a pot or jar, to any head cover worn by people even men. Notably, that’s where liquor and narcotics got their Arabic name khamr because they “cover” the reasoning when a person is intoxicated.

 

Khimar is the word used to prescribe the head cover of Muslim women in the verse you referred to.

 

The Qur’an says:

 

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what [must ordinarily] appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons..” [Surah An-Nur, 24:31].

 

The meaning apparent to the Arabic reader is that in the presence of men who are not mahrams to Muslim women, she should wear a head cover that extends long enough to cover the bosom, not that only the bosom is covered. Another verse in Surat Al-Ahzab clarifies this further.

 

The Qur’an says:

 

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons [when abroad]; that is most convenient, that they should be known [as such] and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:59].

 

The Arabic word used here to indicate the cover is the plural of jilbab. Ibn Taimiyyah stated in Majmu` Al-Fatawa 22:110-111: “The jilbab is a cover which is large enough to cover the woman’s head and the rest of her body hanging from the top of her head.”

 

Further, the Qur’an instructs the Prophet’s Companions as follows:

 

‘And when you ask [the Prophet’s wives] for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:53].

 

The meaning of hijab in this verse is any object that conceals a woman such as a wall, a door, or clothes. The ruling of the verse, even though it was revealed concerning the wives of the Prophet [peace be upon him], generally encompasses all Muslim women. This is because the wisdom behind the ruling is specified in the remainder of the verse.

 

Allah says:

 

“..That makes for greater purity for your hearts and theirs” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:53].

 

This wisdom is general among all men and women. Therefore the generality of the wisdom also indicates the general application of the rule as apparent in surah 33, verse 59 above.

 

Islam uplifted women, gave them equality, and expects them to maintain their status. The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The hijab or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the “subjugation” of women under Islamic law. Yet, the truth is that 1400 years ago, Islam recognized women’s rights in a way that grants them the utmost protection and respect as well, a combination other systems fail to offer. Islam granted them freedom of expression, political participation, business and financial rights, and asked the rest of society to hold them in high esteem and offer them due respect as mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters.

 

In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty first mentions lowering the gaze for men before lowering the gaze and wearing hijab for women.

 

The Qur’an teaches us as follows:

 

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do” [Surah An-Nur, 24:30’].

 

The moment a man looks at a woman with any brazen or unashamed thought in mind, he should lower his gaze. The next verse of Surat An-Nur is the one commanding believing women to wear the hijab.

 

Islam expects women to maintain their status by following Allah’s rules designed for their advantage. Hijab is one such rule.

 

Criterion for Hijab.

 

According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, there are basically six criteria for observing hijab:

 

1. It is obligatory for males to cover at least from the navel to the knees. For women, it is obligatory to cover the complete body except the face and the hands up to the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of hijab, especially if temptation [fitnah] is feared in times and places where Islamic rules are not prevalent or if security is scarce.

 

All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women:

 

2. The clothes should be loose and should not reveal the figure.

 

3. The clothes should not be transparent or see-through.

 

4. The clothes should not be so glamorous as to attract attention.

 

5. The clothes should not resemble those of the opposite sex.

 

6. The clothes should not resemble those of the unbelievers, that is, clothes that identify or are symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.

 

Hijab Includes The Conduct.

 

Complete hijab, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behavior, attitude, and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of hijab of the clothes is observing hijab in a limited sense. Hijab of the clothes should be accompanied by hijab of the eyes, the heart, the thought, and the intention. It also includes the way a person walks, talks, and behaves. Therefore, the hypocritical use of hijab is not a good example of Muslim conduct.

 

Hijab Prevents Molestation.

 

The Qur’an says that hijab enables women to be recognized as modest women and this will also protect them from being molested. Suppose there is a hooligan who is waiting to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? A girl wearing hijab, or one wearing a mini skirt or shorts? Hijab does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.

 

Lifting the Veil Will Not Uplift Women.

 

Woman’s liberalization mostly disguises exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honor. Non-Muslim societies claim to have uplifted women via allowing them to expose their bodies, but on the contrary, this has actually degraded them to mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketers, hidden behind the colorful screen of “art” and “culture.”

 

Muslim women should be well aware of these facts. They should be aware that hijab protects them from evil glances and evil desires of those who are sick in the heart, as described in the Qur’an. Muslim women must adhere to Allah’s rules and not be persuaded or tempted by the media that opposes hijab or belittles its significance, as those who spread these ideas only desire evil for her. The Qur’an warns by saying what means:

 

“But the wish of those who follow their lusts is that you should deviate away [from the right path], -far, far away” [Surah An-Nisa’ 4:27].

 

© Islam Online

The Question of Hijab: Suppression or Liberation?

The Question of Hijab: Suppression or Liberation?

Mary C. Ali

·      “Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands…” [An-Nur, 24:30-31]

·      “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…” [Al-Ahzab, 33:59]

·      “Aishah RA reported that Asma the daughter of Abu Bakar as-Siddiq RA came to the Messenger of Allah SAW while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: ‘O Asma! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands.” [Abu Dawud]

1. Why Do Muslim Women Cover Their Heads?

“Why do Muslim women have to cover their heads?” This question is one which is asked by Muslim and non-Muslim alike. For many women it is the truest test of being a Muslim.

The answer to the question is very simple – Muslim women observe Hijab [covering the head and the body] because Allah SWT has told them to do so.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…” [Al-Ahzab, 33:59]

Other secondary reasons include the requirement for modesty in both men and women. Both will then be evaluated for intelligence and skills instead of looks and sexuality. An Iranian school girl is quoted as saying, “We want to stop men from treating us like sex objects, as they have always done. We want them to ignore our appearance and to be attentive to our personalities and mind. We want them to take us seriously and treat us as equals and not just chase us around for our bodies and physical looks.” A Muslim woman who covers her head is making a statement about her identity. Anyone who sees her will know that she is a Muslim and has a good moral character. Many Muslim women who cover are filled with dignity and self esteem; they are pleased to be identified as a Muslim woman. As a chaste, modest, pure woman, she does not want her sexuality to enter into interactions with men in the smallest degree. A woman who covers herself is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to be brought out.

The question of hijab for Muslim women has been a controversy for centuries and will probably continue for many more. Some learned people do not consider the subject open to discussion and consider that covering the face is required, while a majority is of the opinion that it is not required.

A middle line position is taken by some who claim that the instructions are vague and open to individual discretion depending on the situation.

The wives of the Prophet SAW were required to cover their faces so that men would not think of them in sexual terms since they were the “Mothers of the Believers,” but this requirement was not extended to other women.

2. The Extent of the Covering.

The word “hijab” comes from the Arabic word “hajaba” meaning to hide from view or conceal. In the present time, the context of hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. The question now is what is the extent of the covering? The Qur’an says:

 “Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands…“ [An-Nur, 24:30-31]

These verses from the Qur’an contain two main injunctions:

A woman should not show her beauty or adornments except what appears by uncontrolled factors such as the wind blowing her clothes, and the head covers should be drawn so as to cover the hair, the neck and the bosom.

3. Requirements of the Hijab

Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some must be met.

The first of these requirements is the parts of the body which must be covered. Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings: first, the Qur’an, the revealed word of Allah and secondly, the Hadith or the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad SAW who was chosen by Allah to be the role model for mankind. The following is a Tradition of the Prophet:

“Aishah RA reported that Asma the daughter of Abu Bakar as-Siddiq RA came to the Messenger of Allah SAW while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: ‘O Asma! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands.” [Abu Dawud]

The second requirement is looseness. The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the woman’s body. One desirable way to hide the shape of the body is to wear a cloak over other clothes. However, if the clothing is loose enough, an outer garment is not necessary.

Thickness is the third requirement. The clothing must be thick enough so as not to show the color of the skin it covers or the shape of the body. The Prophet Muhammad SAW stated that in later generations of his ummah there would be “women who would be dressed but naked and on top of their heads (what looks like) camel humps. Curse them for they are truly cursed.”[Muslim]

Another requirement is an over-all dignified appearance. The clothing should not attract men’s attention to the woman. It should not be shiny and flashy so that everyone notices the dress and the woman.

In addition there are other requirements:

·      Women must not dress so as to appear as men.

“Ibn Abbas narrated: ‘The Prophet (SAW) cursed the men who appear like women and the women who appear like men.’” [Bukhari]

·      Women should not dress in a way similar to the unbelievers.

·      The clothing should be modest, not excessively fancy and also not excessively ragged to gain others admiration or sympathy.

Often forgotten is the fact that modern Western dress is a new invention. Looking at the clothing of women as recently as seventy years ago, we see clothing similar to hijab. These active and hard-working women of the West were not inhibited by their clothing which consisted of long, full dresses and various types of head covering.

Muslim women who wear hijab do not find it impractical or interfering with their activities in all levels and walks of life. Hijab is not merely a covering dress but more importantly, it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public. Dress is only one facet of the total being.

The basic requirement of the Muslim woman’s dress applies to the Muslim man’s clothing with the difference being mainly in degree. Modesty requires that the area between the navel and the knee be covered in front of all people except the wife. The clothing of men should not be like the dress of women, nor should it be tight or provocative. A Muslim should dress to show his identity as a Muslim. Men are not allowed to wear gold or silk. However, both are allowed for women.

For both men and women, clothing requirements are not meant to be a restriction but rather a way in which society will function in a proper, Islamic manner.

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The article was excerpted from III&E Brochure Series published by The Institute of Islamic Information and Education (III&E) reproduced by Islamic Academy for Scientific Research and MSA.

 ©MSA

The Conditions of the Proper Hijab

The Conditions of the Proper Hijab  

What is the proper hijab? I have a friend from Denmark and she converted to Islam for a while now, and she’s pleased (Alhamdulillah) and she want to dress in the right Hijab.  

Allah says: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies [i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way]. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:59]  

“ And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.” [Surah An-Nur, 24:31].  

Praise be to Allah. 

The scholars have based the conditions of the hijab (covering) which Muslim women must wear in front of non-mahram men on the evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah. So long as a woman adheres to these conditions, she may wear whatever she likes in public places and elsewhere, and her hijab will be considered Islamic. 

 Shaikh Al-Albani RA said that the conditions of the proper Hijab would be as follows: 

1. It should cover all the body apart from whatever has been exempted. 

Allah says: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies [i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way]. That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:59] 

This ayah clearly states that it is obligatory to cover all of a woman’s beauty and adornments and not to display any part of that before non-mahram men (“strangers”) except for whatever appears unintentionally, in which case there will be no sin on them if they hasten to cover it up. 

Al-Hafiz ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir: 

This means that they should not display any part of their adornment to non-mahrams, apart from that which it is impossible to conceal. Ibn Mas’ud said: such as the cloak and robe, i.e., what the women of the Arabs used to wear, an outer garment which covered whatever the woman was wearing, except for whatever appeared from beneath the outer garment. There is no sin on a woman with regard to this because it is impossible to conceal it. 

2. It should not be an adornment in and of itself. 

Allah says: “… and not to show off their adornment…” [An-Nur, 24:31]. The general meaning of this phrase includes the outer garment, because if it is decorated it will attract men’s attention to her. This is supported by the ayat in the Surah Al-Ahzab: “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [Al-Ahzab, 33:33]. 

It is also supported by the hadith in which the Prophet SAW said: “There are three, do not ask me about them: a man who leaves the jama’ah, disobeys his leader and dies disobedient; a female or male slave who runs away then dies; and a woman whose husband is absent and left her with everything she needs, and after he left she made a wanton display of herself. Do not ask about them.” 

(Narrated by al-Hakim, 1/119; Ahmad, 6/19; from the hadith of Faddalah bint ‘Ubaid. Its isnad is sahih and it is in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad). 

3. It should be thick and not transparent or “see-thru” 

Transparent or see-thru clothing makes a woman more tempting and beautiful. Concerning this the Prophet SAW said: “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed but naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels. Curse them, for they are cursed.” Another hadith adds: “They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.” [Narrated by Muslim from the report of Abu Hurairah]. 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: what the Prophet SAW meant were women who wear clothes made of light fabric which describes as it does not cover. They are clothed in name but naked in reality. 

[Transmitted by Al-Suyuti in Tanweer Al-Hawalik, 3/103.] 

4. It should be loose, not tight so that it describes any part of the body. 

The purpose of clothing is to prevent fitnah (temptation), and this can only be achieved if clothes are wide and loose. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the colour of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a vivid image in the minds of men. The corruption or invitation to corruption that is inherent in that is quite obvious. So the clothes must be wide. Usamah Ibn Zaid said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW gave me a thick Egyptian garment that was one of the gifts given to him by Duhyat Al-Kalbi, and I gave it to my wife to wear. He said, ‘Why do I not see you wearing that Egyptian garment?’ I said, ‘I gave it to my wife to wear.’ He said, ‘Tell her to wear a gown underneath it, for I am afraid that it may describe the size of her bones.’” [Narrated by Al-Diya’ Al-Maqdisi in Al-Ahadith Al-Mukhtaarah, 1/442, and by Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi, with a hasan isnad]. 

5. It should not be perfumed with bakhoor or fragrance. 

There are many ahadith which forbid women to wear perfume when they go out of their houses. We will quote here some of those which have sahih isnads: 

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari said: the Messenger of Allah SAW said: “Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulterous.” 

Zainab Al-Thaqafiyyah reported that the Prophet SAW said: “If any one of you (women) goes out to the mosque, let her not touch any perfume.” 

Abu Hurairah said: the Messenger of Allah SAW said: “Any woman who has scented herself with bakhoor (incense), let her not attend ‘Isha’ prayers with us.” 

Moosa Ibn Yassar said that a woman passed by Abu Hurairah and her scent was overpowering. He said, “O female slave of Al-Jabar, are you going to the mosque?” She said, “Yes,” He said, “And have you put on perfume because of that?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Go back and wash yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW say: ‘If a woman comes out to the mosque and her fragrance is overpowering, Allah will not accept any prayer from her until she goes home and washes herself.’” 

These ahadith are general in implication. Just as the prohibition covers perfume applied to the body, it also covers perfume applied to the clothes, especially in the third hadeeth, where bakhur (incense) is mentioned, because incense is used specifically to perfume the clothes. 

The reason for this prohibition is quite clear, which is that women’s fragrance may cause undue provocation of desires. The scholars also included other things under this heading of things to be avoided by women who want to go to the mosque, such as beautiful clothes, jewellery that can be seen, excessive adornments and mingling with men. [See Fath al-Baari, 2/279.] 

Ibn Daqeeq Al-‘eed said: This indicates that it is forbidden for a woman who wants to go to the mosque to wear perfume, because this causes provocation of men’s desires. This was reported by Al-Manawi in Faid Al-Qadir, in the commentary on the first hadith of Abu Hurairah quoted above. 

6. It should not resemble the clothing of men. 

It was reported in the saheeh ahadith that a woman who imitates men in dress or in other ways is cursed. There follow some of the ahadith that we know: 

Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW cursed the man who wears women’s clothes, and the woman who wears men’s clothes.” 

‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Amr said: I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW say: ‘They are not part of us, the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.’” 

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Prophet SAW cursed effeminate men and masculine women. He said, ‘Throw them out of your houses.’” He said: “The Prophet SAW expelled so and so, and ‘Umar expelled so and so.” According to another version: “The Messenger of Allah SAW cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men.”

‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Amr said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW  said: ‘There are three who will not enter Paradise and Allah will not even look at them on the Day of Resurrection: one who disobeys his parents, a woman who imitates men, and the duyooth (cuckold, weak man who feels no jealousy over his womenfolk).”

 Ibn Abi Malikah – whose name was ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Ubaidallah – said: “It was said to ‘Aishah RA, ‘What if a woman wears (men’s) sandals?’ She said: ‘The Messenger of Allah SAW cursed women who act like men.’”

 These ahadith clearly indicate that it is forbidden for women to imitate men and vice versa, this usually includes dress and other matters, apart from the first hadeeth quoted above, which refers to dress only.

 Abu Dawud said, in Masaa’il Al-Imam Ahmad (p. 261): “I heard Ahmad being asked about a man who dresses his slave woman in a tunic. He said, ‘Do not clothe her in men’s garments, and do not make her look like a man.” Abu Dawud said: “I said to Ahmad, Can he give her bachelor sandals to wear? He said, No, unless she wears them to do wudu’. I said what about for beauty? He said, No. I said, Can he cut her hair short? He said, No.”

 7. It should not resemble the dress of kafir women.

It is stated in syari’ah that Muslims, men and women alike, should not resemble or imitate the kuffaar with regard to worship, festivals or clothing that is specific to them. This is an important Islamic principle which nowadays, unfortunately, is neglected by many Muslims, even those who care about religion and calling others to Islam. This is due either to ignorance of their religion, or because they are following their own whims and desires, or because of deviation, combined with modern customs and imitation of kafir Europe. This was one of the causes of the Muslims’ decline and weakness, which enabled the foreigners to overwhelm and colonize them. “…Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves …” [Al-Ra’d 13:11]. If only they knew.

 It should be known that there is a great deal of sahih evidence for these important rules in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and that the evidence in the Qur’an is elaborated upon in the Sunnah, as is always the case.

 8 It should not be a garment of fame and vanity.

 Ibn ‘Umar RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity in this world, Allah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then He will cause Fire to flame up around him.’” 

Allah knows best.

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Hijab Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah, Shaikh Al-Albani  p. 54-67; Published in Fatawa No 6991 Islam Q&A.

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The Definition and Conditions of Hijab

The Definition and Conditions of Hijab.

Ibn Abdallah

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest and to display of their ornaments only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husband’s son , their brothers or theirs brothers’ sons, or their sister’s son, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free from physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet so as to reveal what is in their inner garments.” [Surah Nur, 24:31]

 

Hijab is an Arabic word that describes the Muslim woman’s entire dress code, which includes a veil and whatever else is needed to cover everything except the face and hands. It is adopted at puberty – an age when, according to Islam, people become accountable for their actions.

This essay will attempt to briefly enumerate the basic requirements regarding the Hijab as stipulated by the Syari’ah ,the Islamic Law.

The term Hijab includes not only dress and the covering of the body, but also the methods of behaviour that one has before members of the same and or opposite sex, promoting privacy for females and prohibiting loose intermingling between males and females; it is, therefore, an encouragement of modesty, decency, and chastity.

The following requirements represent the ones agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of Islamic scholars and are all solidly backed by firm evidence taken from the Quran, the Sunnah [Prophetic traditions] and the practice of the Companions of the Prophet SAW.

1. The Extent of Covering

The dress worn in public must cover the entire body except what has been specifically excluded, based upon the following verse:

Allah Says  “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not display their adornment [zinah] except only that which [ordinarily] appears thereof and to draw their head covers [Khumur] over their chests and not display their adornment [i.e., beauty] except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their female slaves, their women [i.e., their sisters in Islam], or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O Believers, in order that you might succeed.” [Surah An-Nur, 24:31]

The word zinah in the above verse literally means adornment, and includes both:

a.  That which Allah has adorned (i.e., the woman’s natural and or physical beauty), and,

b.  That with which they adorn themselves (i.e., jewellery, eye shadow, attractive clothing, hand dye, etc). The word ‘Khumur’ (pl. of ‘Khimar’) refers to a cloth that covers the head (including the ears), hair, neck and bosom.

2. Thickness

The garment should be thick and opaque so as not to display the skin colour and form of the body beneath it. Delicate or transparent clothing does not constitute a proper covering. Imam Al-Qurtubi RA reported a narration from ‘Aishah RA that some women from the tribe of Banu Tamim came to see her wearing transparent clothing. ‘Aishah RA said to them: “If you are believing women, these are not the clothes of believing women.” He also reported that on another occasion, a bride came to see her wearing a sheer, transparent Khim ar, whereupon ‘Aishah RA remarked: “A woman who wears such clothing does not believe in Surah An-Nur (i.e., the chapter in the Quran that contains the abovementioned verse regarding the Hijab).”

Moreover, the following Hadith makes this point graphically clear.

Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “There will be among the last of my Ummah (Nation), scantily dressed women; they will wear their hair on top of their heads, like a camel’s hump. Curse them – for verily they are cursed.”

3. Looseness

The clothing must hang loosely and not be as tight and fitting as to show the shape and size of the woman’s body. This obviously prohibits such things as skin-tight body suits and the like. The following Hadith proves this point clearly. Usamah bin Zaid RA said: The Prophet SAW once gave me a gift of thick Coptic cloth that he had received as a gift from Dahiyyah Al-Kalbi, so I gave it to my wife. Afterwards, he SAW asked me: “Why haven’t you worn the Coptic cloth? I replied: ‘I gave it to my wife.’ The Prophet SAW then said: “Tell her to wear a thick gown under it (i.e., the Coptic garment) for I fear that it may describe the size of her limbs.” [Narrated by Ahmad, Al Baihaqi & Al-Hakim]

4. Colour, Appearance and Demeanor

Allah SWT Says:  “O wives of the Prophet! You are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:32]

The reason for the revelation of this verse was not due to the fear of distrust or misbehavior on the part of the women, but rather to prevent them from speaking invitingly, walking seductively, or dressing revealingly so as to arouse sexual desire in the heart of lecherous and evil men. Seductive dressing and enticing speech are the characteristics of ill-intentioned women, not Muslims. Imam Al-Qurtubi RH mentioned that Mujahid RH said: “Women (before the advent of Islam) would walk about among men.” Qatadah RH said: “The women (at that time) would wear an untied cloth on their heads, while provocatively toying with their necklaces, earrings, and other ornamental jewellery.” 

5. Difference from Men’s Clothing

The clothing of a Muslim woman must not resemble that of men. The following statement helps to explain this: Abu Hurairah RA said:

“The Prophet SAW cursed the man who wears women’s clothes and the woman who wears men’s clothes.” [Abu Dawud & Ibn Majah]

6. Difference from the Clothing of Unbelievers

Her clothing must not resemble the clothing of the unbelievers. This is a general ruling of the Syari’ah which encompasses not only dress but also matters such as manners, customs, religious practices and festivities, transactions, etc. Indeed, dissimilarity with unbelievers is a precedent that was established by the first generation of Muslims. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-’Aas said:

“The Prophet SAW once saw me wearing two saffron colored garments, so he said: “Indeed, these are clothes of ‘Kuffar’ (unbelievers), so do not wear them.” [Muslim]

7. No Vain or Ostentatious Dressing

The woman’s dress must not be an expression of ostentation, vanity or a status symbol by being excessively showy or expensive, nor must it be excessively tattered so as to gain admiration and fame for being extremely humble. Ibn ‘Umar RA reported that the Prophet SAW said:

“Whoever dresses for ostentation in this world, Allah will dress that person in a dress of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, and then set it on fire.” [Abu Dawud]

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The Concept of Dress and Modesty

The Concept of Dress and Modesty

The rule for modesty apply to all men and as well as to women.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said that the first look is permissible but the consequent looks are forbidden. This is an indication that one is not permitted to stare or to consume in vision the person before him or her.

The concept of dress in Islam also arises out of various verses stipulated in the Qur’an. These too reflect a state of moderation and modesty. It takes into account the created state of a woman in comparison to a man, thus the need not to attract undue attention to herself, which would naturally if she wore tight fitting or revealing apparel. This is intended to protect her and to give her honour and dignity.

However, it is a misconception to believe that Islam requires a person to be veiled or to go around totally in black.

The state of prayer which establishes the highest state of dignity in the presence of Allah SWT allows for the face and hands to be uncovered.

Allah SWT says:

·      Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame as well as to be adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness – that is the best. Such are among the signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! O you Children of Adam let not Satan [Syaitan] seduce you in the same manner as He got your Parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame; for he and his tribe watch you from a position where you cannot see them; We made the Evil Ones friends [only] to those without faith. [Surah A’raf, 7:26-27]

 

·      Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink; but waste not by excess, for Allah s.w.t loves not the wasters. [Surah A’raf, 7:31]

 

·      Allah SWT will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow; they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their garments there will be of silk. [Surah Hajj, 22:23]

 

·      And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest and to display of their ornaments only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husband’s son , their brothers or theirs brothers’ sons, or their sister’s son, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free from physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet so as to reveal what is in their inner garments. [Surah Nur, 24:31]

 

·      You who believe, let those whom your right hands possess, and the [children] among you who have not come of age ask your permission [before they come to your presence] on three occasions; before morning prayer; while you put on clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late night prayer; these are your three times of undress; outside these times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other…But when the children among you come of age, let them ask for permission, as do those senior to them [in age]…Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage – there is not blame on them if they lay aside their [outer] garments, provided they make no a wanton display of their beauty; but it best for them to be modest; and Allah is One who sees and knows all things.[Surah Nur, 24:58-60]

 

On the basis of the above it is obvious that Muslim women are required to wear loose fitting garments. Except for the face and hands all other parts are to be covered.

©srikandeh

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