Monday, May 11, 2009

HIJAB

DEFINITION OF HIJAB

Hijab or ijāb (حجاب, IPA: [ħi.ˈdʒæːb]) is the Arabic word for "curtain / cover" (noun), based on the root حجب meaning "to cover, to veil, to shelter". In popular use, hijab means "head cover and modest dress for women" among Muslims, which most Islamic legal systems define as covering everything except the face and hands in public.

According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality; the word for a headscarf or veil used in the Koran is khimār (خمار) and not hijab. Still another definition is metaphysical, where al-hijab "refers to the veil which separates man or the world from God.”

Since the 1970s, hijab has emerged as a symbol of Islamic consciousness. Muslims differ as to how "hijab dress" should be enforced, particularly over the role of religious police that are enforcing hijab in Iran and Saudi Arabia.


HIJAB IN ISLAMIC TEXT

“And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.”

(Surah An-Nur 31-34)

In the following verse, Muslim women are asked to draw their jilbab over them (when they go out), as a measure to distinguish themselves from others, so that they are not harassed.

“Those who harass believing men and believing women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad) That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

(Surah al-Ahzab 33:58–59)


Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "The Prophet said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil." Sunnan Abu Dawud 2:641.

[Abū Dawud is considered the third most authentic collection (after Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim). However, not all hadiths in Abu Dawud are authentic.]

Narrated Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya, Ummul Mu'minin: "When the verse 'That they should cast their outer garments over their persons' was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments." Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4090.

[Abū Dawud classed this hadith as authentic.]

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