The Quran on the issue of modesty

Published: July 13, 2010
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Dr Riffat Hassan is professor emerita of the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr Riffat Hassan is professor emerita of the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

The ongoing global debate on segregation and the hijab in Islam is both fierce and divisive.  It is not possible to discuss all aspects of this subject in a short article. However, the Quranic injunction to “lower your gaze” which is commonly understood as applying only to women and what may be considered ‘decent’ attire for Muslim women is briefly discussed below.

In the context of proper attire and conduct, the Holy Quran states: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (avoiding its concentration on a person’s body, or a certain part of it) and to be mindful of their chastity; in this they will be more considerate for their own well-being and purity, and surely God is fully aware of all that they do” (24: 30-31).

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (avoiding its concentration on a person’s body, or a certain part of it) and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display the charms of their bodies (in public) beyond what may (decently) be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.  And let them not display (more of) their charms to any but their husbands, or their father or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of (the physical attractions of)  women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs (or other actions in their walking) that may aim to draw attention to their hidden charms”(translation by Dr Fathi Osman).

An examination of the above text makes it clear that the Quranic injunction enjoining the believers to lower their gaze and behave modestly applies to both Muslim men and women and not to Muslim women alone. Here it is to be noted that there are no statements in the Quran which justify the extremely rigid restrictions regarding segregation and hijab imposed on Muslim women by some societies or groups (eg the Taliban in Afghanistan).  If the Quran intended for women to be completely secluded and covered from head to foot, why would it command the men to “lower their gaze”?

Dr Fathi Osman has pointed out that “modesty is required in the outdoor dress of both Muslim women and men” though “the dominant view may be that only women are required to observe a dress code.” In his view, “All the points of special attraction in the male body have to be covered, and displaying the muscles or most of the body merely for attraction is against a man’s mindfulness of chastity and decency and extends the temptation for evil-doing.”

In Mohammad Asad’s view, what the Quran requires of women is that they should be dressed “decently”. Elaborating on this point, he states: “My interpolation of the word “decently” reflects the interpretation of the phrase ‘illa ma zahara minha’ by several of the earliest Islamic scholars, and particularly by Al-Qiffal (quoted by Razi), as “that which a human being may openly show in accordance with prevailing custom (al-‘adah al-jariyah).”’ Although the traditional exponents of Islamic Law have for centuries been inclined to restrict the definition of “what may (decently) be apparent” to a woman’s face, hands and feet — and sometimes even less than that — we may safely assume that the meaning of “illa ma zahara minha” is much wider, and that the deliberate vagueness of this phrase is meant to allow for all the time-bound changes that are necessary for man’s moral and social growth.  The pivotal clause in the above injunction is the demand addressed in identical terms to men as well as to women, to “lower their gaze and be mindful of their chastity,” and this determines the extent of what, at any given time, may legitimately — ie in consonance with the Quranic principle of social morality — be considered “decent” or “indecent” in a person’s outward appearance.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • deathcase
    Jul 13, 2010 - 4:57AM

    in actual fact, the word “modesty” is a tool which has long been used by our mullahs to suppress women. you hear some of their talks and they are full of male chauvinism and hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2010 - 9:58AM

    well said:

    …the Quranic injunction enjoining
    the believers to lower their gaze and
    behave modestly applies to both
    Muslim men and women and not to Muslim
    women alone. Here it is to be noted
    that there are no statements in
    the Quran which justify the extremely
    rigid restrictions regarding
    segregation and hijab imposed on
    Muslim women by some societies or
    groups…

    Recommend

  • sharifL
    Jul 13, 2010 - 12:15PM

    In this 21st century, you cannot justify everything based on Islam. We live in a different world today, with internet, planes and cars etc. Sometimes you meet people and when I say women should have equal rights, the answer is not that I agree but ‘ but Islam says the same’ If you talk of human rights, the answer is : Islam also says so. How about environment . The answer is well Islam also says.
    Yes, Islam is a good religion, but we should not relate everything to it. We need reformation and reinterpretation of quran. When it says in Quran that: women are like fields and you can water them any time you want’ Or kill those who leave Islam, we have to agree that that this is not valid in this day and age. We go abroad and build mosques in the west, try to convert others to Islam and yet, expect that if anybody leaves Islam should b killed. it is not fair. If others did the same, our mosques will be closed.Recommend

  • Think therefore
    Jul 13, 2010 - 12:36PM

    Dr. Riffat has indeed made some very tangible and poignant arguments on modesty from the Quranic perspective. However, and perhaps due to the fact that she represents a more feministic take on the issue, she has painted a rather skewed picture only from some angles.

    “which is commonly understood as applying only to women”. Dr.Riffat madam, any one (male or female) who has ever read this part of Surah Nur always come across the instructions for Males first before s/he reaches the part meant for women. Even if you come about lectures (modern or those collected as written texts from the past) men are instructed by scholars before women are. Therefore, I think your statement might skew the thoughts of those who are not very familiar with quranic text.

    “to allow for all the time-bound changes that are necessary for man’s moral and social growth” Madam the west has over the last two hundred years “evolved” from wearing high neck corsets and flared full-length frocks to loose low necks or bustiers and mini/micro skirts. In pakistan we see the fashion become increasingly revealing every day. Who is to make the arbitrary call of where it all needs to stop. When is enough leg “enough”. When is enough mid riff “enough” and so on. Or are we to go on accepting the fact that women would continue to “reveal” more and more and in doing so “educate” our society that this is “illa ma zahara minha”. Please explain why women cant seem to express their independance from male domination by denying males easy access to their physical attributes by covering up a bit more than by challenging males to a sexual duel by revealing more and more. Or is liberation only an euphemism for the war between women to attract more attention than the others of their own gender.Recommend

  • Abdullah Wiqar
    Jul 13, 2010 - 1:19PM

    A well written article with some minor flaws in it which I will now point out.

    “However, the Quranic injunction to “lower your gaze” which is commonly understood as applying only to women and what may be considered ‘decent’ attire for Muslim women is briefly discussed below.”

    I was not aware that that was the common accepted policy. I was under the impression and I think predominantly most guys I know are under the impression that the lower your gaze injunction is applicable all across the board and not just to women.

    “If the Quran intended for women to be completely secluded and covered from head to foot, why would it command the men to “lower their gaze”?” The concept in play here is of creating a fool proof system. If a woman, hypothetically, does not cover herself from head to foot, then the man will not see her if his gaze, out of habit, is always lowered. See? Islam here makes sure a woman, a creature of beauty that easily inspires lust in a man, is protected from the base instincts of a man. Recommend

  • Sana Hameed Baba
    Jul 13, 2010 - 1:36PM

    I completely endorse SharifL’s views.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Jul 13, 2010 - 2:01PM

    The problem in our society is that MEN want women to implement Islam from head to toe, birth to death. But for them Islam means praying five times (not necessary anymore), fasting and forcing their women to act appropriately.

    I, myself, wear hijab but still find MEN staring back at me. I wonder what are they staring at? Blank black cloth? and trust me more than half of them are asians, but the crown goes to our PAKISTANI MEN!

    And just to add I wear hijab out of my will. Nobody forces or can force me to wear it or take it off. I am an individual, a human being, just like you, and live my life the way I want to.Recommend

  • sharifL
    Jul 13, 2010 - 3:21PM

    Thiinktherefore: I think your views are not based on reality. You claim: Or is liberation only an euphemism for the war between women to attract more attention than the others of their own gender.
    Now that is the most illogical conclusion you have made, at least in my mind.
    In a society where men and women are separated, men do tend to give more attention to those few who dare show their body. In west, it you go out you see at least 50% of the people walking on the streets are women. When it gets very hot, like now, you also see women wearing very little. And yet you do not see any man staring at them like they do in muslim countries. Even Muslims get used to seeing ‘more’ of women and get on with their lives. This so-called obsession with sexual hunger is related to deprivation and nothing else.
    I am an old man now, retired, but am aware that sexual attraction is part of what we all possess. Hiding others only increases frustration and result in unlawful and unhealthy behavior. gay behavior or even lesbian behavior is also the result. We should use more reason and science as basis of our life than anything else. Hiding solves nothing. Recommend

  • Hamna Zubair
    Jul 13, 2010 - 5:05PM

    I know it’s fashionable to talk about so- called ‘women’s rights’ that are supposedly enshrined in our religion, but please, lets not try to equate Islam and liberalism. Let’s not even go there, because it’s very obvious that all beings will not be treated equally when people view them through their own ‘liberal-religious’ ideology. Case in point- a comment above: “Hiding others only increases frustration and result in ‘unlawful’ and ‘unhealthy’ behaviour. Gay behaviour or even lesbian behaviour is also the result.” (Quotation marks inserted by me)Recommend

  • sharifL
    Jul 13, 2010 - 7:10PM

    As I said reasonable arguments are needed. One person is annoyed that i expressed opinions which hurt her. To say I disagree without reason is hardly an intelligent argument. In some societies you cannot ask your parents to allow you to see a boyfriend but acceptable to see a girlfriend. I am not saying if this is morally right or wrong: All I am saying is that this happens. Hiding the truth under the carpet is good enough for some, not for a sociologist. We are all adults and know the laws of nature. Recommend

  • First of all, let me point out the biggest flaw in this article. I quote:

    Although the traditional exponents of
    Islamic Law have for centuries been
    inclined to restrict the definition of
    “what may (decently) be apparent” to a
    woman’s face, hands and feet — and
    sometimes even less than that — we may
    safely assume that the meaning of
    “illa ma zahara minha” is much wider,
    and that the deliberate vagueness of
    this phrase is meant to allow for all
    the time-bound changes that are
    necessary for man’s moral and social
    growth.

    If Islam’s injunctions regarding modesty were really to change from time to time, Allah would’ve definitely felt a need of sending a Prophet to introduce a new Shariah. Since we all are the followers of the Shariah given to us by the last Prophet(P.B.U.H), more than 1400 years ago, we are bound to follow the benchmarks of modesty, exactly as they were, in the Prophet’s times. So, women like Dr. Riffat should cease to create room for more and more dents in the word modesty on the basis of ‘illa ma zahara minha’. Nothing has changed in a woman’s body in the last 1400 years, or maybe the author believes in Darwin’s theory of evolution. She looks like a lost researcher who hasn’t done much of a research on this topic and haven’t read the Qur’an in depth, as pointed earlier by a commentator, Think therefore. I’d recommend her to also read the Prophet(P.B.U.H.)’s companion, Hazrat Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab(R.A.)’s views on hijaab and modesty, rather than enlightening us with the views of people from much later generations such as Dr Fathi Osman and Mohammad Asad, who in no way, comprehend Islam as much as the Sahaaba did. Recommend

  • Sleepless in Karachi
    Jul 13, 2010 - 7:54PM

    A symbolic interpretation of Islam is the need of the century! For far too long have we been wearing a veil over our collective progress.Recommend

  • Schazad
    Jul 13, 2010 - 8:28PM

    I completely endorse SharifL’s views. I think it has got some common sense to it and I think religion or religious books should have sense that is understandable by all and so its easier to follow as well. Recommend

  • sharifL
    Jul 13, 2010 - 10:27PM

    Sana and Shahzad: thank you for supporting my views. You are obviously young enough to be my son and daughter. take good care of you. God bless you.Recommend

  • Think therefore
    Jul 14, 2010 - 3:22AM

    @sharifL : Sir… Do share more of your thoughts on how western liberalism particularly in the context of male and female attire and modesty in the west has helped in improving the society’s moral indicators and reducing violent crimes against women. One more thing… Can you give some more weightage to your claim of increased homosexuality in segregated societies. We may have many gay lebian and bisexual ppl in Pakistan but as a percentage are there really more here than in the EU… also do share your views on how pornographic or the other (immense) range of magazines and the FKK lifestyles have helped de-sensitise the west to the display of human anatomy and reduced male interest in the female body… And lastly when you say islam is in need of reformation and the Quran in need of reinterpretation may i ask who would you entrust to do it… Surely you dont want a referendum on each clause… Surely you cant expect the current lot of mullahs to do it for you…. That would be just like having fake degree holders and poorly literate ppl make amendments to your national laws…. btw how many muslims do u think know arabic as a second language… If we are going to trust Marmaduke Pickthal or Yousaf Ali (or even a mullah from al azhar) to translate it for us then all subsequent interpretations are contentious and arbitrary…
    @Ayesha: First of it is good that you wear the hijab out of your personal choice in respect of your beliefs and faith. I hope the west (which is where I assume you are) allows you to retain your freedom to choose. Just like it allows many women and men to wear almost next to nothing in public when its hot (as pointed out by sharifL). If pakistani men dont lower their gaze its because unlike you they choose to follow instinct over injunction. If non-pk or non-muslims gaze at you its because you are a novelty to them. Dont be fazed by this and stick to your guns…. If ppl are expected to accept the display of unsightly piercings, tatoos, nudism, homosexuals, transvestites they should also accept the hijab…
    As far as your argument that men impose islam on women i agree with you again. But i would add the prefix weak insecure and mullah misled to the word men. I am sure those who understand the spirit of islam know that islam is about submission to the will of Allah and not men…any men…whoever… Lastly please tell me if you disagree that the Quran first instructs males on modesty and women afterwards… Indeed it is therefore incumbant upon a male who chooses to submit to Allahs injunction to lower his gaze around women wether they are covered or prance about naked…Recommend

  • Humera Parvaiz
    Jul 14, 2010 - 2:32PM

    @Farrukh Zafar: You know about Ijma and Qiyas right? The whole point of those tools is to analyze the context of the modern world through Islam and reconcile the two. If we had to only adhere to a single lifestyle because the Quran was revealed 1400 years ago, then lets all move back into mud huts, ride camels and battle with swords. I love when men try to decide how women should behave. It’s as if we are incapable of making the decisions our selves. It’s condescending and insulting.

    Oh and by the way, I DO believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Because I am educated and intelligent. I also believe that parts of the Quran are metaphorical and allegorical and parts of it are literal. Intelligent people can make the distinction. Recommend

  • Abdullah Wiqar
    Jul 14, 2010 - 3:30PM

    To Humaira Parvaiz:

    I agree with Farrukh. The two tools you’ve mentioned come into play when there’s ambiguity regarding the applicability of any of the Islamic injunctions or rules. The ambiguity may be because of a situation that was not anticipated when the injunction was created. The situation of a man lusting after a woman, and a woman being able to allure men with her good looks has remained the same. Nothing has changed in that regard. What I’m trying to say, that the base nature, the programming, the genetic coding of men and women has not changed. We have not suddenly become more civilized just because we live in a so-called civilized world. We haven’t become absolutely cultured cause we’ve read poetry and cried to the music of Beethoven. Innate goodness has not been pumped into us to make us into better human beings or something. We’re still the same people. Let me give you an example, a very simple example to illustrate the point. Our mode of transportation right now is cars, automobiles, right? We obey the rules of the road, green lights, red lights, do not over take from the left, etc, right? Well, imagine that the tech has progressed rapidly and now we have flying cars. Do we throw the rule book out the window then? instead of roads, we’ll have air ways, and those airways will be controlled, red lights, green lights, etc. Rules are rules, they’re made with the basic nature of man in mind which does not change.

    Educated and intelligent. And you believe that you are a descendant of an ape? :/

    I agree with your about the usage of metaphors and allegories in the Quran but I’m sorry, intelligence alone will not suffice when it comes to making a distinction. The Quran isn’t a layman’s book. It’s the word of God, given to us through our last Prophet (PBUH). It contains our religion, Islam, in it. Do you seriously believe that intelligence alone can help you understand the complexities of the Quran, the wisdom contained within it? I’m sorry, but for even a simple mathematics course, you have to take the aid of someone who’s done it before, who can break it down for you and explain the concepts of integration and crap, but for the Quran, intelligence is enough? I don’t think so. Recommend

  • SharifL
    Jul 14, 2010 - 4:10PM

    Thinkafter: you have raised so man points, i do not know where to start. gay behavior in west is not put under the carpets and that is how we know the statistics. In Muslim countries, such an admission can get you in trouble, hence we do not talk about it. I grew up in Pakistan and know how young boys are troubled by other elder boys in school. In Pashtun area it is common knowledge. Here in the west, Catholic priests who are not supposed to marry, use young boys in schools to fulfill their sexual desires. I am sure you have read the news on that subject lately.
    Your point as to who to pick for reformations is very valid. Here the problem is that you are called a kafir if you offer another interpretation. Blasphemy. There are many Muslim authors hiding in the west because of that. Islam is a good religion but we need to reinterpret few things, not all. That is my last word on the subject. Recommend

  • Jaffar Khan
    Jul 14, 2010 - 4:26PM

    *If sexual feelings of men are aroused,by watching an unveiled woman,on the same analogy why the eatables are displayed openly in the shops?Why don’t we keep these under cover to protect it from hungry persons? ?Sex and hunger both being natural instincts.One can survive without sex ,but not without food.
    *Why do we preach in the whole world ,but do not allow any religion to be preached in our country?
    *Why do we celebrate once a non Muslim is converted to Islam,but kill any Muslim who converts?
    *We make fun of some religion in our dramas,films,but why do we get violent once anyone do the same to our religion?
    *We go to other country,earn money,have quality life,and the money earned from their country,some of it we donate for Jihad to those who conducts terrorism against the very same country.

    I endorse the views of SharifL.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jul 14, 2010 - 4:39PM

    It’s so depressing to read some of the comments people like SharifL and others have left. I am a Muslim and I take pride in everything I believe in. Every single thing. I don’t believe women should be supressed. I wear the hijab but it is my decision on how to wear it and whether to wear it or not. I don’t believe in the concept of Jihad that demands that I kill innocent people, and I don’t feel ashamed talking to a so-called liberal westerner with his liberal values and explaining my own stance. My values and religious view is, I believe, more liberal than anyone elses. Yet it entails adherence to a certain system of morals, values and religious beliefs. The tragedy of the comments above from SharifL etc is that I can’t imagine how sad it must be to be part of a religious discipline and find that you are not able to live and thrive in the present world whilst following the creed.

    People like SharifL should ask themselves the question that if they do believe Islam is a true religion, and that is was meant for all times, then WHY does it cause a conflict with the world you and I live in today? It’s simple because people like these fail to interpret the islamic injunctions and concepts in a way that allows them to feel proud of their beliefs and go about this ‘liberal’ world with their heads high. The examples quoted by SharifL, of killing persons moving away from Islam, of women being a field and so forth, they are all to be interpreted in a manner that DOES in fact allow a Muslim to live and thrive in the modern world. But if one is adamant of applying a very literal and narrow interpretation to such concepts, then the tragedy is that they still hold on to Islam whilst not really believe in what it asks of the believer.

    On the other hand, I wonder how logical a religion can be for its adherant when that same religion requires its believer to support the view that there will be a Dajal which will be an actual donkey, or that Jesus will come down literally in his physical form from the heavens, and so forth. Please research your religious views and you will find that there is no concept in Islam, and there is nothing stopping it from applying in its entirety to today’s world. The only problem is the childish, non-sensical views held by Muslims today with their entirely literal and illogical interpretations.

    As an example of what a huge difference interpretation of the same verse of Quran or the same Hadees can make, I paste the following short link which I believe should clear some misconceptions for people like SharifL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQc_PAml5bk Recommend

  • Abdullah Wiqar
    Jul 14, 2010 - 5:00PM

    To Jaffar Khan *If sexual feelings of men are aroused,by watching an unveiled woman,on the same analogy why the eatables are displayed openly in the shops?Why don’t we keep these under cover to protect it from hungry persons? ?Sex and hunger both being natural instincts.One can survive without sex ,but not without food.

    Flawed logic. One hand we have two human beings, one man and one woman. And in your example, we have one individual and fruits. It’s not even like comparing apples to oranges.

    *Why do we preach in the whole world ,but do not allow any religion to be preached in our country? That’s got very little to do with the real, original, genuine, Prophet (PBUH)’s Islam and everything to do with the modern day politicized version of Islam.

    *Why do we celebrate once a non Muslim is converted to Islam,but kill any Muslim who converts? Cause of Jahalat. Refer to answer to question 2.

    *We make fun of some religion in our dramas,films,but why do we get violent once anyone do the same to our religion? First off, please add to my knowledge and tell me where we’ve made fun of any religion’s Prophet. We haven’t. Know why? Because we, as Muslims, believe that the Prophets of Christianity and Judaism were Prophets of Islam as well. Again a bad comparison.

    *We go to other country,earn money,have quality life,and the money earned from their country,some of it we donate for Jihad to those who conducts terrorism against the very same country. <– What do exactly would you call the drone bombings being conducted by the U.S of A? What about the “invasion” of Iraq and Afghanistan on false pretexts? Recommend

  • SharifL
    Jul 14, 2010 - 6:10PM

    Ahmad sahiba, You have accused me of so many things without even once giving an argument. Emotions have no value in discussions. The you say:”I don’t believe women should be suppressed. I wear the hijab but it is my decision on how to wear it and whether to wear it or not.” both these sentences contract with each other. I do not see equality of women in Pakistan. A few years ago, i went to swat with my european daughter in law. After a few hours she asked me: Please tell, where are the women of this town? I have not yet a single one in town’ I thought about it and said women are not allowed to come out of their houses and some of them live all their lives within four walls of their homes, some of which do not even have windows.
    Your second sentence that you wear hijab because your free will, does not hold if you see the majority of women in Pakistan. Many are forced and many others do so because the society does not allow it, even when your family does. This argument of free will is without foundation and blaming it on the backward society is a futile effort. Let me ask you this: How come in this planet only Muslims wear hijab and burqa and are forced to stay inside? If you tell me now that these women are not out because of their free will, then i am going to get annoyed.
    You say my comments depressed you. It is not my fault. Sometimes truth hurts. Recommend

  • rehan
    Jul 14, 2010 - 8:51PM

    As usual.Dr.Riffat leaves lots of ambiguities/vagueness in her articles on Islam.
    // hence,let them draw their head coverings over their bosoms//.
    How is the author going to interprete the above?Does she accept that head covering is mandatory,or is it that in the process of covering the bosom with the head covering,the head can be allowed to be bare?If that be the case,then why do we have to use the”head covering” to cover the bosom,why couldn’t it be just said that cover the bosom.Dr.Riffat never fully conveys her own inner opinions…a lot is left to the reader.Recommend

  • cmsarwar
    Jul 15, 2010 - 2:33AM

    My warm compliments to SharifL for his dispassionate and analytical observations on a very sensitive topic.I would like to make a few points which have not been touched by your readers.If you study the varieties of Islam as practiced in various parts of the world you will notice how it changes due to local conditions.The type of uniformity and regimentation which Mullah’s Islam wants to enforce is simply impossible.Also,I have seen muslim women in poverty stricken Muslim world toiling in the fields.In some countries they do not have enough to buy any decent clothing.Dr.Riffat Husain is wasting her breath on issues which are not fundamental to Islam.Most of us good Muslims are bogged down in our focus on inconsequential issues of observance of rituals and keeping up appearances.We are not agitated by the presence of oppressive and brutal political regimes which have gripped the whole Muslim world depriving their citizens of their basic freedoms.I strongly support the demand that we stop referring to the super natural authorities to determine our day to day conduct of life.It is time that matters of state are separated from religeous beliefs.We are fond of berating the west for their way of life and overlook the crimes of oppression and cruelty which go unnoticed and unpunished in Muslim dictatorships.The best of Islam is:social justice,equality for citizens,freedom from hunger and disease,housing,education and pursuit of happiness.Recommend

  • @Humera Pervaiz:

    You already got the answer from Abdullah Wiqar. I would just like to add one thing, If you believe in Darwin’s theory, you better re-look at what you actually believe in. You believe in the notion that man was actually created from an ape / a monkey and that amoeba was the only creature on Earth firstup. I’m sorry Islam doesn’t say so. Islam teaches us that Adam and Eve came straight from Heaven in the human form. They weren’t transformed into humans after coming to the planet Earth.

    Ijma and Qiyas was nowhere needed when you have pretty well-defined Qur’anic matter and Sahih hadiths available regarding modesty. Ijma and Qiyas only comes into play where the injunctions from the Qur’an and Sunnah are obscure.

    You better tighten up your screws. A lot of research needed, lady!

    @Abdullah Wiqar: Very nicely and logically put, sire! Recommend

  • Perish
    Jul 15, 2010 - 3:24PM

    Answer this: How many of you have read whole of the Quran and understood it’s every verse?Recommend

  • Perish
    Jul 15, 2010 - 3:31PM

    Life will be much easier if we understand Quran properly. Recommend

  • MUHAMMAD AMER
    Jul 15, 2010 - 3:32PM

    I think madam Riifat’s artical is in favour of women. but it doesn’t mean tha a woman has right to take off hijab. because ultimately women have taken benefit from it. Hijab compell a man to down his gaze. This is a fact and no one can challenge it. Islam wants to protect the women. This is not rigid. Quran needs the welfare of all the humanbeings. so think positive.Recommend

  • Zaman
    Jul 15, 2010 - 5:59PM

    Make ready for them all you can of armed force and of horses tethered, that thereby you may dismay the enemy of God and your enemy (al-Anfal, 8.60).
    @FARUKH ZAFAR Were the “horses” replaced with tanks and nukes through Ijma and Qiyas? Quran has mentioned horses clearly.Times have changed?When would times change for the woman?Recommend

  • Think therefore
    Jul 15, 2010 - 6:23PM

    @cmsarwar:Fully agree with you. We dont have our own house in order. Our feeble democracy is one that is serves the purpose of neo colonial powers and feeds at the breast of the zionist IMF.

    @Perish : Well said…muslims dont know how to read the quran and trust on the fallible understanding of others to translate it.

    The Quran is an operating manual for man. And if its read according to the path mentioned in the first few lines of Baqarah it connects directly to the human. That is its miracle. After all when Allah asked the Prophet to “Read in the Name of thy Lord” Allah knew that he was asking this of a man who could not read or write.

    If we want to revive the best of Islam we must rescue it from the clergy that stifles it. We must all learn arabic and we must all connect with God on a personal level. All of which is possible if our fundamental belief that Allah created each and every thing on earth (including us) is to hold true…

    And as for those who “believe” in Darwins theory. I am sure then, (that as part of the belief) they have to firstly believe it to be only a “theory”. They tend to propound it as if it were a “law” of evolution. And just like Einstiens “theory” of relatively it could well be challenged in the future by an equally convincing theory.Recommend

  • @Zaman: Times haven’t changed for woman. That’s what my point is.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Jul 23, 2010 - 10:08AM

    The concept of “modesty” if studied in depth is actually very close to liberal and rational values. It is the Mullah’s who have used this as a tool to oppress women.Recommend

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