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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Niqab & Purdah ~ The misguiding decree of the so called `Ulamaks of the Akhirul Zaman.

1st He Makes Riba - "Halal" (permits usury) Now He Forces Young Girls To UNCOVER?!

Yasir Qadhi talks about “Mu-Shaykh al-Azhar - At-Tantawi

Dr Sayyid Tantawi Azhar














Riba Incident - over 20 years ago...

Once he ruled "
haram" on "riba", later said the exact same type of transaction was "halal" (permitted).

When asked why he changed his opinion, Dr. Tantawi said, "
Riba is a mystery of mysteries surrounding in a mystery"

(Looks like Tantawi is the 'mystery')
- That statement got him the title of "Grand Mufti" (big scholar) of Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

Now the "Niqab" Incident - today -
Tantawi forces 16 year old girl to uncover in front of him (nice guy, eh?) [click the Read more...]

Cairo's Big Mufies

By now, almost everyone has heard of the recent incident involving the Shaykh al-Azhar, the esteemed Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Tantawi, with the veiled high-school student.

The office of the Shaykh al-Azhar is symbolically the most senior office in the entire Sunni world, outranking even that of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, since it purportedly places in the highest office the most scholarly personality of the oldest and more revered Islamic University in the Sunni world, al-Azhar University.

In fact, Dr. Tantawi had previously held the position of the Grand Mufti of Egypt for almost a decade, after which the great leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, impressed with his services to Islam, promoted him to the office of Shaykh al-Azhar.

Hosni Mubarak should be thanked for promoting Dr. Tantawi to his office, and this promotion shows not only the credentials of the learned Doctor, but also the care and concern that this three-decade veteran leader of Egypt has for the cause of Islam.

Dr. Sayyid Tantawi hardly needs an introduction, for he has already established a reputable career, and his resume boasts of such fatwas as the one which encourages Muslim women in France to abandon the headscarf so that they may be in conformity with French law.

It appears, however, that the venerable Shaykh understands that his role cannot stop at merely removing the headscarf from our sisters. In his concern for the welfare of the Ummah, he has now taken an even bolder step.

In case some are still unfamiliar with the details of the event which occurred two days ago, here are the details which have been reported by a number of reliable eye-witnesses and the media.

When the Grand Shaykh was invited to address a group of young female high-school students, he noticed one of them wearing a face-veil (niqab).

This seemed to irritate his Excellency rather mightily, and, his conscience so roused, he proceeded to ask the supercilious girl to remove her veil (of course, he is not the first person to do so, having been preceded by the likes of Jack Straw and Tony Blair, amongst other honorable mentions).

The girl refused, and said rather innocently that it was her habit to wear it, and she did not show her face to strangers.

The Shaykh’s sense of right became even more miffed, so he proceeded to pontificate rather starkly, “The niqab is nothing but culture – it has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with the religion of Islam.”

Thus buttressed, he then boldly asked her once again to take off the intimidating cloth. Rather surprisingly, the young girl rejected the demands of the senior-most religious authority in Egypt, stood her ground, and once again reiterated that she was uncomfortable with any man seeing her.

The esteemed scholar could not take such an insult to his honorable demand so lightly, nor could he allow a sixteen-year old girl to get the better of him!

The temerity of such a girl deserved that the Grand Shaykh put her in her place.

Gathering all the might and courage that he needed – for 16 year old girls are known for their tempers and bad moods – he charged on, blasting, “I have already told you that the niqab has absolutely nothing to do with the religion, and it is something that is from custom!”

To drive the point home, he added, in a crude Egyptian vernacular, “…and I know the religion better than you, and those who gave birth to you (i.e., your parents).”

Of course, such languages was completely justified, as how else was the coarse and ill-mannered young lady going to be taught the refined manners of Islam?

Petrified and terrified, intimidated and bullied by a man four times her age, embarrassed in front of her peers and teachers and media by the highest-ranking religious authority in the land, the young lady felt she had no choice but to take off the blameworthy fabric.

The Shaykh of al-Azhar, satisfied and vindicated, threw in his final blow, to really put the girl in her place, and teach her a well-deserved lesson that she would never forget.

Outdoing his crude expression of a few moments ago by a number of exponential notches, he said, “Ama law kunti hilwa shuwaya la-amilti eh?”

Alas! English simply cannot do justice to the coarseness and incivility of the Shaykh’s street-manner talk (which, of course, the impudent young girl fully deserved).

While the vulgarity and tone of the language might fool some people, in fact what the Shaykh really did was to skillfully and subtly demonstrate that, despite his high office and erudite mastery of the religion, he was completely in tune with the riff-raffs and hooligans of the alleyways of Cairo.

A rough translation – albeit without the vulgar connotations of the Arabic (and my apologies to our English readers for the loss of the coarseness) – would be, “So if you were even a little beautiful, what would you have done then?”

The implication, of course, was that the egotistical girl was presuming herself to be worthy of participating in a beauty pageant, hence covering her face out of fear of tempting others.

Little did she realize that she was not even qualified to use the adjective ‘beautiful’ in the same sentence as her name!

The wise and nurturing religious father-figure of the nation made sure that the self-esteem of this young sixteen year old girl would forever be shattered – so let all teachers pay heed to the lessons that the Shaykh imparts through his astounding pedagogical skills.

It is comforting to know that the ex-Grand Mufti is more knowledgeable than we are (of course, in his humbleness and humility, he only restricted his greater knowledge to ‘the girl and those who gave birth to her’, but we all understand that it was only his modesty that precluded more epithets, and allowed the self-praise to be so restrained).

Thank God for that, for indeed us simpletons are in need of his seemingly unrestrained knowledge (not to mention his perfect mannerisms and gentle nature).

For indeed, a cursory reading of the hadith literature to people of lesser knowledge such as ourselves shows that the face veil (niqab) was quite common amongst the wives and female Companions of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

The niqab appears to have been so common, in fact, that before the only Hajj the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam ever performed, as he was instructing people regarding the rites of this Sacred Journey, he had to give a general command to all women that they should not wear the niqab during the state of ihram (al-Bukhari in his Saheeh).

To an untrained mind, this would indicate that the custom of wearing a niqab had at least some prevalence, or else there would have been no need to caution against it (after all, it’s not as if there is a specific hadith prohibiting women from wearing mink fur coats during ihram).

One wonders whether perhaps these noble ladies from amongst the Companions had managed to import this un-Islamic practice from Persia (for the learned Shaykh did not tell us which culture it was imported from?) even before Persian customs reached Arabia – an amazing feat indeed!

To further confound us simpletons, we read in the Sunan of Abu Dawud and other sources, that Aishah (r) would lower her loose scarf over her face even during the state of ihram (thus effectively veiling it) when male riders passed them by.

Aisha understood that the prohibition for wearing niqab only applied to using that cloth, and not to the actual covering of the face (similar to the fact that men cannot wear trousers during ihram but must still cover that portion of the body with other materials).

Lest some misguided individual, infatuated with the Roman (?) custom of veiling, inform us that this veiling was specific for the wives of the Prophet, perhaps our very knowledgeable Mufti can better educate us as to how to understand the narration in the Muwatta of Imam Malik, which states that Fatima b. al-Mundhir used to cover her face in the state of ihram in a similar manner that Aisha did?

And while we are on the subject, perhaps the erudite scholar can also explain how Umm Khallad, another female Companion, was seen wearing a face veil by the Prophet and other Companions?

In one tradition (recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud), we learn that after a certain battle, she was seen hurrying to and fro, searching for her son to see if he were still alive.

The companions were amazed that even in such a frantic state of mind, she had covered herself with a veil.

One of them commented at her veiled state, at which she replied, “Even if I have lost my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty!”

A pity that our ex-Grand Mufti and Shaykh al-Azhar were not present there, for if he were, he would have told her that he was more knowledgeable of the rules of modesty that she was!

It is indeed confounding to simpletons who lack the grace and mastery of books that the Shaykh does to find narration upon narration that seems to assume that wearing a face veil was common practice amongst the earliest of generations.

In one, we find that Aishah (r) was recognized by Safwan b. Mu`attal in the ‘Incident of the Slander’ only because he had seen her before the revelation of the verses of hijab (thus clearly showing that Aishah, at the very least, understood from these verses that she must cover her face).

In another narration, we find that `Umar b. al-Khattab recognized Safiyya after the revelation of the verses of hijab by her gait, thus again indicating that he could not see her face (both narrations in the Sahih of al-Bukhari).

What perturbs the lesser-educated minds of the Ummah is that this pernicious custom of obscuring the face seems to have crept into this nation rather early.

Regarding the interpretation of Surah Ahzab, verse 33, which commands women to ‘…not display your beauty like the women of Jahiliyya did,’ al-Tabari’s Tafsir tells us that even the Companions differed amongst themselves regarding whether the face was a part of that beauty which should be covered or not.

It appears that the Shaykh al-Azhar was able to detect something which even the Companions missed: that the face covering had nothing to do with Islam!

The pervasive insidiousness of this imported fabric was not limited to the Companions, however.

We find each and every classical work of legal jurisprudence – from al-Nawawi’s Majmu to Ibn Qudamah’s Mughni to Ibn Abideen’s Radd al-Muhtar to Ibn Abd al-Barr’s al-Tamhid – have sections dedicated to this issue. Peculiarly, we find all four classical Sunni schools of law discussing the legal status of the niqab, in numerous major work of fiqh, written throughout the centuries of Islam.

In fact, we even find schools of law outside of the four, such as Ibn Hazm’s al-Muhalla, that discuss this issue.

It is indeed great Providence that we have been blessed with the pedantic wisdom of the Shaykh of the Azhar for being able to cut through and expose such a large conspiracy, which spanned the entire geographic regions of the Ummah, and reached back to the earliest of our times.

Without his insight, it would be quite easy for someone to believe that the niqab has been a part of the Islamic tradition from its very inception.

One cannot help but sympathize with someone as supposedly learned as Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is not exactly known for conservative views, yet still says,

“Those who believe that niqab is an innovation or forbidden are ignorant, and by this they lie about the Law of God. The least that can be said about the issue of niqab is that it is merely permissible.”

That is why we need government appointed Shaykhs of al-Azhar, to correct such misunderstandings in the wisest and most fatherly of fashions, and to make sure that rash, impetuous young girls are taught the mercy of our religion and the beauty of our mannerisms.

All I can say is: with scholars like these….who needs the French?!

Please note:

1- The purpose of this article is not to discuss the legal ruling of the niqab, but rather to prove that it existed in our tradition and is a part of Islamic culture; whether it is mubah, or mustahab, or wajib is beyond the scope of our discussion.

2- On a personal note, while I do not unconditionally encourage sisters living in America to wear the niqab, I most certainly do not discourage them from doing so, and believe it is their legal and Islamic right to do if they choose to do so.

3- Sarcasm is allowed in our religion when the situation calls for it – and this one most certainly did!

Source

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In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
.
There is an opinion that niqab is a bid`ah that is alien to Muslims and that it has nothing at all to do with the religion of Islam, having penetrated Muslim society during the ages of extreme deterioration.

This is neither a scientific nor an objective view. It is an oversimplification of the issue, which deviates people from scrutinizing the subject as it really is.

Any person learned about the sources of knowledge and scholarly views cannot argue about the issue being controversial among scholars. I mean here the issue of whether it is permissible to uncover the woman's face or whether it is obligatory to veil it and the hands too.

Muslim scholars of the predecessors — including jurists, exegetes of the Qur'an, and scholars of Hadith — have differed over this issue. Their difference was due to their various understandings and attitudes towards the religious texts about the subject at hand, especially that there is no definitive clear-cut text about it. Had there been any, there would have been no scholarly difference regarding it.

Among the texts they have differed over is this Qur'anic verse: [ And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their zeenah (charms, or beauty and ornaments) except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof] (An-Nur 24:31).

Ibn Mas`ud was reported to have said while commenting on this verse, "[Except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof] here refers to the clothes and cloaks (women are wearing)."

This means the outer garments that cannot be hidden.

Ibn `Abbas was also reported to have said while explaining this verse, "[Except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof] refers to kohl and rings."

A similar view was also reported to have been adopted by Anas ibn Malik and `A'ishah. Sometimes Ibn `Abbas would add to "kohl and rings" "henna with which hands are tinted, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces."

He might even refer to zeenah as the places where ornaments are worn, by saying "the face and palms of the hands." This was also reported to have been the opinion of Sa`id ibn Jubair, `Atta', and others.

Some scholars also included part of the woman's arm in what is referred to by [what (must ordinarily) appear thereof].

Furthermore, Ibn `Attiyah explained these words by saying that they refer to the parts of the woman's body that are unintentionally unveiled by means of wind and the like. (See the exegesis of the verse as explained by Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir, and Al-Qurtubi; and see also its explanation in Ad-Dur Al-Manthur, vol. 5, pp. 41-42.)

Scholars have also differed concerning the explanation of the words [draw their cloaks close round them] in the verse [O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful] (Al-Ahzab 33:59).

Ibn `Abbas was reported to have said, commenting on this verse, an opinion contrary to what he was reported to have expressed as comment on the first verse referred to above!

It was also reported that `Ubaidah As-Salmani, one of the Tabi`un (Successors) explained [drawing their cloaks] practically by covering his head and face and unveiling his left eye only. A similar example was also reported to have been set by Muhammad ibn Ka`b Al-Qardhi.

But `Ikrimah, servant of Ibn `Abbas, differed with them, saying "The woman is to cover the unveiled part of her chest by a cloak that she draws round her." Sa`id ibn Jubair said, "It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to be seen by a man lawful for her to marry unless she puts on a face veil in addition to the hijab which extends from her head to her chest." (See Ad-Dur Al-Manthur, vol. 5, pp. 221-222 as well as the sources referred to above for an explanation of the relevant verse.)

As for my point of view on the issue, I see that the woman's face and hands are not part of her `awrah (parts of her body that should not be exposed in public), and hence, it is not obligatory for her to veil them.

I also believe that the evidence supporting this opinion is stronger than that supporting the opposite opinion.

Many contemporary scholars agree with me in this view, like Nasir Ad-Din Al-Albani (as shown in his book Hijab Al-Mar'ah Al-Muslimah fi Al-Kitab wa As-Sunnah), the majority of the Al-Azhar scholars in Egypt, the scholars of Az-Zaytunah University in Tunisia, the scholars of Al-Qarawiyeen University in Morocco, and many Pakistani, Indian, and Turkish scholars as well as others.

However, it is not right to claim that there is unanimity among contemporary scholars that it is permissible to uncover the Muslim woman's face and hands, as there are many scholars in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, a number of the other Gulf countries, Pakistan, and India, who believe that veiling the woman's face and hands is obligatory.

Among them are the late eminent Saudi scholar Sheikh `Abdul-`Aziz ibn Baz, and the late well-known Pakistani scholar Abu Al-A`la Al-Mawdudi (as shown in his book Al-Hijab).

Living contemporary scholars who also believe that veiling the face is obligatory include the famous Syrian writer Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan Al-Buti, who published a letter in this respect, "To Every Young Woman Who Believes in Almighty Allah."

There are also other letters and fatwas published from time to time that condemn women who uncover their faces and adjure them in the name of religion and faith to wear niqab and not to listen to the modern scholars who want to subjugate religion to modernism. The advocates of this view may even refer to me as one of those modern scholars!

But never do I hold that this opinion — that covering the woman's whole body except the face and hands is the obligatory attire for the Muslim woman — be imposed on the woman who believes in the other opinion, according to which veiling the face is obligatory and uncovering it is forbidden.

I will only blame the advocates of the latter opinion if they attempt to impose their attitude on the proponents of the former one and accuse them of being sinful and wrongdoers for adopting it. It is agreed upon that, with regard to the controversial issues on which scholars have given different personal legal opinions, there is no blame to be placed on a person for following a certain personal legal opinion to the exclusion of others.

The advocates of my opinion and I, in turn, do not have any right to censure the supporters of the counter opinion for believing that it is obligatory for women to wear niqab.

For, first, this counter opinion is a scholarly one within the framework of Islamic jurisprudence, and, second, had we criticized them, we would have committed a mistake which we are originally against, that is, denying others the right to differ with us.

Moreover, there are some women who see that, to be on the safe side, wearing a face veil is not obligatory, but, rather, desirable, and draws its wearer closer to piety and fear of Allah. There is nothing wrong in so believing, and no one has the right to blame the proponents of this opinion for following it, so long as this would not be of any harm to others or contradict either public or personal interests.

No Muslim scholar, whether among the predecessors or contemporary scholars, has ever been reported to have regarded wearing niqab as forbidden except in the case of ihram for women.

The scholarly difference regarding the issue of niqab is only over whether it is obligatory, recommendable, or merely permissible.

Thus it is untenable that a Muslim jurist would regard niqab as prohibited or even merely undesirable in Islam.

Hence, I was really shocked to learn that the writer Baha' published an opinion attributed to some Al-Azhar scholars to the effect that they believe that veiling the woman's face falls under prohibiting what Almighty Allah has originally permitted.

In fact, the advocates of this view cannot be said to be of firm knowledge about the Qur'an or the Sunnah or fiqh.

Suppose even that wearing niqab is merely permissible — as I do myself believe — not obligatory or desirable.

Even in such a case, any Muslim woman may wear it, and no one has the right to prevent her from doing so. It is her personal right, and in practicing it she neither falls short of her duties nor causes others harm.

Even man-made laws and the conventions of human rights advocate the personal rights of people.

It is ironic that freedom of dress is given to those who choose to uncover parts of their bodies without encountering any objection, while severe censure is launched against the wearers of niqab who consider it a teaching of their religion that they cannot neglect!

-END-

Source : http://ziarah76.blogspot.com/2009/10/qaradawi-shocked-with-ban-of-niqab.html

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"No Muslim scholar, whether among the predecessors or contemporary scholars, has ever been reported to have regarded wearing niqab as forbidden except in the case of ihram for women.

The scholarly difference regarding the issue of niqab is only over whether it is obligatory, recommendable, or merely permissible.

Thus it is untenable that a Muslim jurist would regard niqab as prohibited or even merely undesirable in Islam.

Hence, I was really shocked to learn that the writer Baha' published an opinion attributed to some Al-Azhar scholars to the effect that they believe that veiling the woman's face falls under prohibiting what Almighty Allah has originally permitted.

In fact, the advocates of this view cannot be said to be of firm knowledge about the Qur'an or the Sunnah or fiqh
."

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Is there any wonder as to why the Ummah is neglected and abandoned today?

When you have the so called Ulama's of the Muslim world kowtowing to the dictates of the Kuffars and Munafiqs as well as the Musyriks of the world in demeaning our Muslimahs?

Those who are God fearing that is!

The so called ulama' such as Tantawi would not make a fuss about women who expose themselves, eh?

Those women of the world who want to flaunt themselves will probably never get hassled by the likes of the Al Azhar Syaikh?

In my opinion such misleading persons do not merit being called as scholars in the first place!

The Malays have a saying : 'Harapkan pagar ; pagar makan padi!'

An old Malay parable about trusting the fence where the fence ends up eating the rice!

This is one sure case of such a betrayal!

Do we even need such misguiding 'ulamaks?

These are the kind who put up a facade of being so holy moly in public and in private might just turn out to be something else?

Wallahu 'alam bissawab! God knows!

Read more about the issue here.
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