Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Veil

It is one of the great ironies of our world today that the very same headscarf revered as a sign of “holiness” when worn by Catholic Nuns, is reviled as a sign of “oppression” when worn for the purpose of modesty and protection by Muslim women.

The Quran does not suggest that women should be veiled or they should be kept apart from the world of men.
One of the verses in the Quran protects a woman’s fundamental rights. Verse 59 of Surah Al-Ahzaab reads: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons when outside so that they should be known as such and not molested.” According to the Quran, the reason why Muslim women should wear an outer garment when going out of their homes is that they may be recognized as “believing” women. The purpose of this verse was not to make women stay home, but to make it safe for them to go about their daily business without attracting wicked attention.

Older Muslim women who are past the prospect of marriage are not required to wear the outer garment. “Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage, there is no blame on them if they lay aside their outer garments, provided they make not wanton display of their beauty; but it is best for them to be modest; and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things (24:60).”

No comments: