The veil is against a woman's nature:
Wearing of the Veil - Part 1

محمد صادق في السبت 11 فبراير 2017

Wearing of the Veil - Part 1


The veil is against a woman's nature. It limits and imprisons women and it is a prison from which women must escape.

Of all the religious edicts, perhaps the hardest and least acceptable and one which is in conflict with women's sensual inclinations, especially for the young, is the issue of the veil.

Has God, the All-Knowing, imposed an unfair and discriminatory edict on women or is there a benefit and good purpose inn it agreeable with woman's nature which one has to recognize?

The word veil is a secular word and in the Qur'an it has never been mentioned to mean head cover or head dress.

From the cases where derivatives of the word veil have appeared in the Qur'an meanings such as curtain, screen, and boundary can be inferred. The ethical application of this word in the case of women hinges on the belief in the existences of such boundaries, the limitations placed on the women’s individual and public contacts with men, and the responsibilities instigated by religious laws.

Human being is the only creature which, due to having choice and free will, and awareness and recognition of his/her good and bad behavior, feels shame and tries to cover his7her body parts and guard them from those seeking to abuse them. Except for human beings, animals which live by their natural instincts never feel shame., guilt, or embarrassment. In the story of Adam and his wife in heaven the first action they take in order to cover their bodies with leaves takes place after their disobedience in eating from the forbidden tree. This action is the first expression in exhibiting choice and free will which distinguishes humans from animals. Since both Adam and his wife attempted to cover their bodies it shows that veiling and covering for both men and women is the first sign of will and control of instinct, and is a defensive mechanism against stimulations from outside the system.

Consequently, the issue of veiling and feeling of shame and guilty from the points of view of nature and history, are as old as the existence of man on this planet and were not invented and imposed by religious administrators. The diversity of the opinions on the issue of veil is concerned with the limits of veiling. On the one hand is the complete freedom in in the relationships between men and women, ie., no limit on the unruly passion, desire and sexual inclinations, and on the other is limiting and imprisoning women in the house and serving all their relationships with their surroundings and other people. What is important is to find a reasonable and rational position on this issue which at its source has the covering of only the sexual parts of the body with only so much as the leaf of a tree, and in its present form is interpreted by some to mean the hiding of women at home and silencing them.

The following are some of the inferences derived from the Qur'an in understanding the philosophy and the benefits of the issue:

1- The veil is an issue for both men and women and is part of the supply and demand equation. Many think that women should cover their bodies and men should restrain their eyes, whereas verse 31 of chapter Al-Noor (24) of the Qur'an decrees both for both sexes.

" وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ " (سورة النور 31

24:31 "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and keep covered their private parts, and that they should not show-off their beauty except what is apparent, and let them cast their shawls over their cleavage. And let them not show-off their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their children that come after them, or those who are still their dependants, or the male servants who are without need, or the child who has not yet understood the composition of women. And let them not strike with their feet in a manner that reveals what they are keeping hidden of their beauty. And repent to God, all of you believers, that you may succeed."

2- The veil for women is for their security against the sick hearted and against attacks on women's chastity, and has a custodial role not one of impedance or hindrance and slavery. Consider the following:

" يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا " (سورة الأحزاب 59

33:59. "O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they should lengthen upon themselves their outer garments. That is better so that they would not be recognized and harmed. God is Forgiver, Merciful."

3- Veil (in the context of relationship with strangers) is for the protection of the family as the source of nourishment for the young and a means of strengthening the relationship between husband and wife. It is a tool for preventing the weakening and dissociation of the married relationship of a couple, and for strengthen the dependency of the spouses on each other. Elimination of this protection by following passion and desire to override marital obligations will lead to destruction of family life.

Just as prevention is cheaper and better than the cure, so is covering exposed parts of body (of men and women) and restraining one's eyes a cure for deviations from moral and ethical behavior.

To be continued.... 

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