Here are some of the other interesting comments from the previous articles that I thought would contribute to the discussion.
What a fantastic article!! Zaidism is paving the way for womens rights in the Islamic world by setting clear rights for women.
Its really interesting to read first-hand how a Saudi Woman feels. We so often judge their plight from the outside, without consulting those who are affected. Her response is moving.
I’m not sure I agree with the Zaidi theology on the issue of Hijab (covering everything but the face and feet)
I think the exterior appearance of a woman is trivial and of personal choice, not a condition of faith.
Men should just Butt out and instead concern themselves with protecting their own modesty.
Resisting temptations and ‘seductions’ should bear an onus on both women and men. Why should we walk the streets in cotton helmets with only our hands exposed to sunlight, while men gallivant around in whatever they choose!?
Instead of bestowing that responsibility fully on women, why not share the load?
Thanks for your comment. As far as women’s dress in Islam is concerned, I think the hope lies with the re-interpretation of the Quranic verses relating to women’s dress in a less literal way. Muhammad Asad (English translator with mu’tazili tendencies) points out, in his commentary of these verses, that they are to be understood as a general message of modesty and decency in dress, rather than as specific guidelines of exactly what to wear for all women-kind everywhere. What was appropriate, in order to distinguish oneself from a prostitute or promiscuous woman, in the days of the early Muslims of Arabia, may not be necessary in other cultures or in later times in order to achieve the same outcome. I think the best way to judge what is appropriate in a given society, is to look at the societal norms regarding decent dress and indecent dress and go from there. It should not be necessary to look like a medieval Arab if you happen to live in Australia or Romania in 2010. It should not be necessary for a Muslim woman living in a non Muslim society to be stigmatized where-ever she goes because she stands out and looks so different. But Muslim women should never imitate the dress codes of prostitutes and loose women living in their society. That might mean, for example, staying away from the high heels/ mini-skirt/ heavy make-up combination which has become so commonplace among today’s young Western women, and wearing instead a pair of loose jeans and a shirt.
Here’s another article confirming the dismal plight of women in the Wahhabi state of Saudi Arabia:
Saudi women are being kept in perpetual childhood so male relatives can exercise “guardianship” over them, the Human Rights Watch group has said.
The New York-based group says Saudi women have to obtain permission from male relatives to work, travel, study, marry or even receive health care.
Their access to justice is also severely constrained, it says.
The group says the Saudi establishment sacrifices basic human rights to maintain male control over women.
The report says that Saudi women are denied the legal right to make even trivial decisions for their children – women cannot open bank accounts for children, enroll them in school, obtain school files or travel with their children without written permission from the child’s father.
Human Rights Watch says that Saudi women are prevented from accessing government agencies that have no established female sections unless they have a male representative.
Male guardianship over adult women also contributes to their risk of exposure to violence within the family as victims of violence find it difficult to seek protection or redress from the courts.
Social workers, physicians and lawyers say that it is nearly impossible to remove guardianship from male guardians who are abusive, the group says. (BBC news, 21st April 2008).
This Western Puppets must be Stopped.Muslims unlike Other Religions(Except Confucianism)Encourage Sex,Reproduction and See it as a Sin not to Engage in Sexual Pleasures.Sex is Clean in Islam.and Provided it Is thru The right Outlet,it is a Great source of Godly Rewards,and Form of worship.
Now We All Know the Women of Ahl ul-Bayt(a.s)Wore The Niqab.
In regards to Women :
1.Muslim Women Had the right to Vote Since the Days of Our Prophet Muhammad(SWS),Whereas ion The civilized west,you didnt Get this right until the 20th Century.
2.Muslim Women Have Inheritence rights and Property Rights ,And this is Based on the quran and Traditions and PRactice of All Muslim States, something Not granted to Them in Western countries Until the 20thb Century.
3.Muslim Women Are Told To cover up,Because as many women Who CHOOSE to Wear the Niqab :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXzUuKdfnRE Hijab, Niqab or Nothing
Have Said,Men Respect Them,they See Them As a Object of Dignity ,Virtue And Appreciatte Their Value in society
in the West Women Are seen as Sex Objects Showing their Awrat for a Bottle Of Water!
A Great Lecture on This subject is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKi2JBUSFkw Dr. Shomali – Islam and Sexuality – PressTV, ‘Minbar’
4.Comparing the Rates of Rape,Divorce,Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harrasment at the workplace in Muslim countries VS.The” Liberated West”’We Find
That Saudi Arabia and other muslim Countries has the Lowest for Example on The List While Western-christian-Countries have the Highest Rates .
1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. (according to Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
Also 47% of rapes, both the victim and the perpetrator had been drinking. In 17%, only the perpetrator had been. 7% of the time, only the victim had been drinking. Rapes where neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been drinking were 29% of all rapes.
Now you Can See Why Islam,Forbids Alcohol completely .
Alcohol also is the major Source of Western Countries Debts,Social problems,Incest,Homicide(Al-Qatil),and other Crimes almost 86 % ,to my knwoledge Atleast,Of the Cases involve Alcohol.
Now in the U.K the Bastion of ”’Freedom”’the Rates of Rape Are 230 cases every day
In muslim countries ,we Respect Our women,and do not See Nakedness adn Lewdness As Freedom.
May i Remind you :60 % of Parlement in some muslim Countries,like iran,and i think Saudi Arabia Are women
In The West,this is unheard of Practicly,but Nominally Women have Freedom.
Finally Feminism is a Ideolgoy Like Nazism
it was Created to Enslave Women
See the Backround on Feminism and how the Powers That Be,Promoted it To Destroy the Family.
The Worst Type of Slavery is When You Think your Liberated!
The opinion and Irreligiousity of A Few Saudis Should not Spoil it for all these Millions of Women.
The Fact is Saudi women on the Internet always Say They dont nmind this Treatment Because They Are Treated As Queens.
In Regards to the south,Aden was Communist,and the Regime Openly Encouraged Irreligiousity.
im not Saying Niqab Should Be Forced.
but i am Saying it Should not be fought Against Either.
You Know there Were many Muslim women who Chose To Wear Niqab and Do Very Well for Themselves in the Society.
In Yemen there Are many women Who Function Very Well with Niqab.
some Yemeni Beloved Rulers Like Queen Hurrat al-Malika Wore Hijab.
also the Bana’at Al-Risalah Wore niqab.
and you Saw That the worst Thing that Happened To The Ahl Ul-Bayt in the Battle of Karbala Was when The Bana’at Al-Risalah Had their Niqabs torn off of Them(a.s).
had it been Any further allah would Have Destroyed This Earth.
Thanks for your comments! I agree with you about the statistics, but I think the prohibition of alcohol and the wearing of modest dress would be sufficient to keep down rape stats, without women having to cover their entire bodies, which is frankly impractical if women are to lead an active life and experience what life has to offer (in a halal way of course). I am trying to ascertain whether Zaidi fiqh actually has a clear policy on the niqab. Anyway, we both agree that it shouldn’t be compulsory. The Saudi Qur’ans make it seem that it is compulsory, and this is what I object to.
To Ali, re “khumr” verse (24/31):
When Allah revealed this verse, as you pointed out, the word “khumr” meant a veil which was draped loosely around the womens’ body, in some kind of attractive way, without covering the bosom. If the word “khumr”, before the verse was revealed, already had the meaning of “covering the head and face”, why would Allah have needed to tell the women to cover their heads and faces with their “khumr”? They would have already been doing so! No, at that time, khumr simply meant veil. The reason why, in post -revelation dictionaries, the word “khumr” is translated as a “veil covering the head and face” is that at some stage after the verse was revealed, the word gradually became associated with the full head covering which some women wear and have worn in some societies (even before Islam). We need to understand the words as they were understood at the time and place of revealing, not how they were understood afterwards. So, in the context of this particular verse, “khumr” simply means “veil” and “juyoobihinna” means “bosoms”. There is no need to read extra words into it. In the Hadith you mentioned from Aisha (funny how Shi-ites use Aisha’s sayings only when it suits them), she used the verb ikhtamara which, according to what I said above, simply meant “veiled themselves”. She did not say “veiled their heads” or “veiled their faces”. Therefore her hadith (if we even accept hadeeth from Sunni sources) means that when women in Medina heard the verse saying that they should cover their bosoms with their veils, they cut their aprons and veiled themselves (i.e. presumably they covered their bosoms as the Qur’an had instructed them to) with them. Perhaps they did not have veils, so they used their aprons instead. The addition of the words “heads and faces” in English translations of Bukhari must be based on the dictionary meaning which the word “ikhtamara” later came to have. I see no need to add the words “head and faces” in the translation of this hadith, as the words “ikhtamara” at that time did not yet mean anything more than “veiled”. I think the practice of concealing the entire body like the Prophet’s wives did (because, as the Qur’an says, they are “not like other women”) is not compulsory. Some women may do it to imitate the wives of the Prophet, but most women do it either because they have been led to believe it is compulsory, or because they have no choice. I have worn it and I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience. If I were to wear it it would make my life extremely difficult. I do not believe religion is meant to be a source of suffering. It is meant to be a source of enlightenment.
”When Allah revealed this verse, as you pointed out, the word “khumr” meant a veil which was draped loosely around the womens’ body, in some kind of attractive way, without covering the bosom. If the word “khumr”, before the verse was revealed, already had the meaning of “covering the head and face”, why would Allah have needed to tell the women to cover their heads and faces with their “khumr”? ”’
i never said Khumr,ment covering the face,i said Khumr ment a Headscarf wich covers the head.i am not opposing your statement on that niqab is not Quranic,i am opposing your statement that The Quran does not Mandate Hijab for the head!
Now,you can Put a Hat on your Feet or your Back,
but its intended to be put on your Head.
The Saying of allah to cover their bosoms is because they wore these hijabs but did not cover there bosoms.
””The reason why, in post -revelation dictionaries, the word “khumr” is translated as a “veil covering the head and face” is that at some stage after the verse was revealed, the word gradually became associated with the full head covering which some women wear and have worn in some societies (even before Islam). We need to understand the words as they were understood at the time and place of revealing, not how they were understood afterwards. So, in the context of this particular verse, “khumr” simply means “veil” and “juyoobihinna” means “bosoms”. ””
actually,in order to make such a argument you need to prove this was a later day fabrication.All dictionaries from Muslim history define Khumr,and Jilbab as something wich covers the head. Unfotenatly WE DONT have any images or depictions or inscriptions wich show how muslim women dressed in the days of Ignorance and wether this refers to Khumr. Now i can Say Taharah refers to cleaning and not something religiouis,i can also claim that Qur’an means just any recitation and does not refer to allah’s Book!i can also claim Nabi just means news giver and Rasool just means a postman but since certain words have special meanings i can not jump easily away from the Correct Interpretation.
i can also claim when allah Says:إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُه ُُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ
005.055 Your Guardians Are Only Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of)Are believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). Notice the Word”إِنَّمَا”’
”إِنَّمَا”is like a Fortress that keeps all invaders out,Now i can claim that other hadith wich mention the Wali for marriage are Void,since my Wali is only allah ,his Messenger ,the Beleivers and and Ali(a.s)according to the Above ayat.therefore i dotn Need the Permisision of the Wali of a Kitabiya Fiancee is i take sucha Approach.and on the other hand,since my wali is the beelivers.i can marry a Muslima with my noones permission,since i am her Wali ,because i am a Beleiver too
but since Certain things have Special meanings,one cannot take such a Approach.
Thanks for your comments but I intend to keep up my hobbies of rock climbing and bush-walking in the great outdoors. I don’t see why such pursuits should only be enjoyed by men. I don’t believe Allah wanted women to miss out on enjoyable outdoor pastimes and hobbies which help them to get fit and healthy.