Intermixing of men and women, By Ibn Baz Fatwas

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Free intermixing of men and women

From `Abdul `Aziz ibn `Abdullah Ibn Baz to whoever may receive it. May Allah guide us to do good and to avoid Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and evil. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!).

It is my duty to alert people and warn them against the free intermixing of women and non-Mahram (people who are not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative) in some places and villages. Some ignorant people see that it is all right, being the tradition of their fathers and grandfathers and that their intention is good. One may find a woman sitting with her brother-in-law, cousins, and relatives without a veil.

It is well-known that a Muslim woman should be veiled in the presence of Ajanib (men lawful for the woman to marry). It is Wajib (obligatory) upon her to cover her face and body as indicated by the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Ijma` (consensus of scholars). Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says,Surah Al-Nur, 24: 31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyûbihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) ,Surah Al­Ahzab, 33: 53 And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. and,Surah Al­Ahzab, 33: 59 O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allâh is Ever Oft-­Forgiving, Most Merciful. Jilbab [translated above as ‘cloak’, and it means ‘a loose outer garment with no front opening’] is a cloak worn over

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the veil, like an `Aba’ah (a loose outer garment). Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “When this Ayah (Qur’anic verse) was revealed, the women of Al-Ansar (Helpers, inhabitants of Madinah who supported the Prophet) came out as if they had crows on their heads out of calmness and they were covered with black clothes.”

These noble Ayahs provide clear evidence that a woman should cover her head, hair, neck and breasts before non-Mahram relatives. It is Haram (prohibited) for her to uncover before non-Mahrams. It is reported that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered women to go out to the place of performing Salat-ul-`Eid (the Festival Prayer), one of them said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if she does not have a Jilbab?” He replied, “Then, let her sister lend her one of her Jilbabs.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)This Hadith shows that the wives of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) only went out while wearing a Jilbab. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not allow them to go out without wearing a Jilbab.

Itis authentically reported in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim)on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to offer the Fajr Prayer and some believing women, covered with their cloaks, used to attend the prayer. Then, they would return to their homes unrecognized by anyone because of the darkness.” She also said, Had the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) seen women [how they go out] as we see (now), he would have prevented them from going to the Masjids (Mosques) as the Children of Israel prevented their women. This Hadith implies that covering was the practice of the female Sahabah who were the best and most honored generation in the Sight of Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) for their high morals, good manners, perfect faith and upright deeds. They are an ideal example for others.

It is reported on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said, Caravans would pass by us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while we were in the state of Ihram (ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)Her saying lends support to the fact that women have to cover their faces because women should uncover their faces in the state of Ihram and if there was not a strong reason, they should have kept it uncovered.

Thinking about unveiling as well as women showing their faces to Ajanib, it is evident that

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it involves many bad consequences, such as Fitnah (temptation) which occurs because of displaying her face and it is one of the greatest causes of evil and corruption, losing shyness and arousing men’s lust. Thus, it is prohibited for a woman to uncover her face, bosom, arms, legs or any part of her body, in the presence of an Ajnaby. Likewise, it is forbidden for a woman to be alone with or to intermix freely with non-Mahrams. If a woman thinks that she is equal to men in uncovering her face and going around unveiled, she will not be modest and will not feel too shy to mix with men. This leads to a great deal of Fitnah and widespread corruption.

It is reported that When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was coming out of the Masjid, he saw men intermixing freely with women in the street. He (peace be upon him) said (addressing women), “Draw back, for you must not walk in the middle of the road; keep to the sides of the road.” Women were keeping so close to the walls that their garments were rubbing against it. This Hadith was mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (exegesis) of Allah’s saying,Surah Al-Nur, 24: 31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) It is prohibited for a Muslim woman to uncover her face before a non-Mahram. She should rather cover it. It is also prohibited for her to be in privacy, intermix freely, and shake hands with non-Mahrams. In the following Ayah, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) clarifies the group of people in front of whom she is permitted to reveal her adornment,Surah Al-Nur, 24: 31 … and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

Brothers-in-law and cousins

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are not Mahrams. They should not look at the woman’s face and it is not permissible for her to uncover her face in their presence to avoid causes of temptation. It is reported on the authority of `Uqbah ibn `Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Beware of entering upon women.” Then, a man from Ansar said, “O Messenger of Allah! What about Al-Hamu (the wife’s in-law, i.e. the brother of her husband or his nephew, etc.)?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Al-Hamu is like death.” (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)The Hadith refers especially to the [male] in-laws for they can enter the house without any suspicion, because they are the husband’s relatives even though they are non-Mahrams. Therefore, it is not permissible for a woman to reveal her adornment before them even if they are known for righteousness and trustworthiness. Allah (may He be Exalted) has limited permissibility of showing adornment to a group of people mentioned in the previous Ayah. The husband’s brother, uncle, cousin and the like are not mentioned in this group. The Prophet (peace be upon him) saidin an agreed-upon Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, No man should be alone with a woman except in the presence of her Mahram. A Mahram refers to a woman’s husband or a male relative who is permanently unmarriageable to her, such as her father, son, brother, paternal uncle, maternal uncle and the like.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade this lest that Satan should make them fall into temptation and corruption making the sin fair-seeming to them. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, No man should be in privacy with a woman, for the third of them is the devil. (Related by Imam Ahmad with a sound Sanad (chain of narrators)on the authority of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him))

It is the duty of all those who live in countries where this practice is customary to strive and cooperate to get rid of this practice and eliminate its evil. By doing this, they will be guarding their honor, cooperating in righteousness and piety and carrying out the Commandments of Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) and His Messenger (peace be upon him). They should repent to Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) of what they have committed in the past and do their best in enjoining Ma`ruf (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) and forbidding Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). They should remain constant in this and should not feel ashamed of defending the truth and defeating falsehood. They should not let the scorn or criticism of others deter them from defending the truth. It is mandatory upon a Muslim to follow

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Allah’s Shari`ah willingly, wishing for Allah’s Reward and fearing His Punishment even if the closest and dearest people to him disagree with him. It is not permissible to follow the whims and the traditions which Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) did not legislate, as Islam is the religion of the truth, guidance and justice. It calls for high moral standards, the best deeds and forbids what is contrary to that.

May Allah grant us and all Muslims guidance to what pleases Him. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our misdeeds for He is the Most Generous. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh!

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  1. I don’t think there is any need to get dogmatic about the niqab, looking at it as obligatory or on the other extreme declaring that it has no place in Islam. It is only when we get dogmatic about these issues that we refuse to see reason and understand the other.

    It would do us all well if we respect each other on these issues which are a matter of personal choice so long as we stick to the Shariah. It is just as improper that a woman wearing niqab should fault the one wearing hijab (by which I mean covering all except the face and hands) on the grounds that she is irreligious as much as it is improper that a woman wearing hijab should fault the one wearing niqab as being too rigid or narrow-minded or still worse hypocritical which is indeed a sad development and far away from the days of the noble womanhood of early Islam who never resorted to slandering their sisters in this manner. Adopting a ‘Holier Than Thou Attitude’ is perhaps the worst kind of attitude that has plagued our community and we all can see its repercussions – in the news and in our daily lives.

    I give below two interesting articles on this subject by Dr. Abdul Fattah and Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who have taken this middle approach which many of us I am sure will agree is the correct one and the one least likely to create dissension in the community over this issue:

    Dr. `Abdul-Fattah `Ashoor, has this to say:

    Reviewing the history of Islamic Law and what has been revealed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah on the subject at hand, one finds the following:

    1. Sufur (woman’s unveiling her head and part of her chest) was usual in the pre-Islamic era and remained as so until Almighty Allah revealed the following verse in AH 5: (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). “Drawing the cloaks” round Muslim women, according to this verse, refers to covering their faces and bodies so that only their eyes are left unveiled. Commenting on this verse, Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Almighty Allah has ordained the believers’ women, when they are to go abroad for some purpose, to cover their faces from above their heads and to show only one of their eyes.”

    Then, after the battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq, in AH 6, Almighty Allah sent down the following 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 `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, commenting on this verse, “‘What (must ordinarily) appear thereof’ here refers to the (woman’s) face, hands and rings.”

    2. Ibn `Abbas, the knowledgeable scholar of the Muslim nation, would not contradict himself (as might be indicated from the seemingly contradicting comments on the verses quoted above). What he said as comment on the first verse referred to above explains what its words indicate, and what he said commenting on the second verse marks gradualness in legislation (from wearing niqab to wearing hijab only). In this context, the first ruling, wearing niqab, remains optional to one who desires to wear it and whose circumstances so allow. This will be a praiseworthy step on her part. The second ruling, covering the woman’s whole body except the face and hands, is the ultimate obligation that the Islamic Shari`ah ordains on every Muslim woman.

    3. It does not befit Islamic behavior that a woman who wears niqab criticizes one who only wears hijab or vise versa. She who observes firmness — implying an additional act of obedience in wearing niqab — is praiseworthy and will be rewarded (by Almighty Allah) for it; whereas there is no blame on one who adheres to wearing hijab only. However, it should be taken into account that she who chooses to unveil her face and hands should not gaudily adorn herself (by putting on makeup and the like), as do some women who wear head covers.

    We also have

    Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi stating as follows:

    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 tozeenah 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.

    He adds: 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. 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!

    Asiff Hussein

  2. Alhamdulillah. The website is very pleased to note the deep involvement of the members of the forum.
    This is exactly what the Sailan Muslim is aiming for. The Ummah to be aware of correct Islam. This can be achieved by posting comments based on authenticity.
    May Allah guide all of us and give us the light to distinguish right from wrong and be on the straight path

  3. How and When the Verses of Hijaab were Revealed

    Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Hadith # 148
    Narrated ‘Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha): The wives of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. ‘Umar used to say to the Prophet “Let your wives be veiled,” but Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam’a the wife of the Prophet went out at ‘Isha’ time and she was a tall lady. ‘Umar addressed her and said, “I have recognized you, O Sauda.” He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allaah then revealed the verses of “Al-Hijab” (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).
    Therefore, the verses of hijaab were revealed because Omar (RA) could recognize the women. If hijaab only meant covering of the hair, women could still easily be recognized. It is commonsense that the face should have to be veiled, in order not to be recognized.

  4. Brother Izzeth Hussein writes:
    I hold that only the hadeeths that are consistent with Koranic texts should count in interpreting the Koran. I believe that this is a logically unassailable position because the Koran is the word of God, and as such should have precedence over the hadeeths.
    However, Surah an-Nisa ayah 59.
    O you, those who have faith, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you dispute over a thing, then return it to Allah and the Messenger, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more beautiful of interpretation.
    Surah an-Nisa ayah 65
    No, by your Lord and Sustainer, they do not have faith until they have you (O Prophet) judge what is disputed among them, then they do not find in their souls any distress at what you have decided, and they accept it wholly and completely.
    Therefore, according to the Qur’aan, we should accept all (authentic) hadeeth. Nevertheless, the ayah dealing with ‘the covering of women’ in the Qur’aan do not specifically state that the face of a woman can be left open, therefore where is the contradiction between the Quran and the hadeeth? Where is the clear evidence that the Qur’aan says the face of a woman can be left uncovered?
    Surah An-Nur, Verses 30 and 31
    “…and not to show off their adornment…”
    What is ‘adornment’ and what is the purpose of hijaab? Is her face not an adornment? The main purpose of hijaab is to obey Allah, however, if we look at the worldly reasons it is mainly to prevent attracting a man. What makes a woman beautiful? It is her FACE, so how by any logical arguments can it be left open for all men to view? If it is not permissible to uncover the arm of a woman, how can it be permissible to uncover the face, which part of her body will attract a man more?
    According to the Great Sahaabah Ibn Abbaas (RA) the ‘jilbaab’ and ayahs in concerning hijaab mean that the entire body of the woman should be enclosed except for an opening of the eye. The Prophet (SAW) would often draw Ibn Abbaas as a child close to him, pat him on the shoulder and pray: “O Lord, make him acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things.” Therefore is not Ibn Abbaas’ interpretation, one we should accept?

  5. ‘Whoever interprets the Qur’an by his own opinion shall take his place in Hell’ (Tirmidhi)

    We revealed the Qur’an to you so that you [O Muhammad] explain to the people what has been sent down to them (16:44)

    Surely, Allah did a great favour to Muslims when He sent a Messenger to them from among them who would recite His verses before them and purify them and teach them the Book and the Wisdom (3:164).

    The interpretation of the Qur’an is not up to you, me, or even the scholars of Islam. The scholars simply pass down the practical interpretation learnt from their teachers who learnt from the Sahabah (RAD) who learnt it from Rasulullah (SAW). It is as an established fact that the Sahabah would learn the Quran along with its Tafseer (explanation).

    After having learnt ten verses of the Qur’an from the Holy Prophet , the Sahabas would not proceed on to the next verses until such time that they had covered all that was intellectually and practically involved in the light of these verses. They used to say:
    We have learnt the Qur’an, knowledge and action all in one. (al-ltqan 2/176)

    Thus we see that the Quranic text itself, its explanation, and practical application is learned from the Sahabas and Rasullulah (SAW). We do not interpret the Quran to our whims and fancies, and nor do the scholars. Of course we read the Quran to gain admonition, but reading for guidance, and interpreting its practical application are two completely different things.

    Now for the question, what was the interpretation which the Prophet (SAW) passed on to his Sahabah? As was demonstrated by countless ahadith and narrations (see this webpage for more evidence http://ibnfarooq.tripod.com/niqaab.htm), the Sahabah, Prophet’s wives and family all had their women cover their entire body, including their faces. Thus the meaning of the word “Jilbaab” which is mentioned in the Quran means a covering which includes the face (essentially the niqab)!

    As Ifthikar uncle mentioned, whether a woman wants to follow the ruling of the Quran or not is her choice. However, she should not condemn the ruling of Islam even if she decides not to follow it. Denying the Quran and Ahadith will put one outside the fold of Islam (as Allah mentions in the Quran to follow Allah AND the Messenger). As Barrie appa mentioned, this world is a test, to see who submits himself/herself to Allah, and who does not.

  6. Salaam Alaikum All
    If Muslim women want to cover their faces it is their prerogative.. If they want to wear hijab that is their decision too.. Its called freedom of choice and respecting other peoples beliefs.. To call one or the other “ridiculous” and “illogical” is uncalled for.. It is clear from the hadith that veiling most definitely has its place in Islam.

    • I am in entire agreement with Br Ifthikar Barrie. Muslim females certainly have the prerogative of covering the face. As far as I am concerned they can adopt any mode of dress provided there is no indecent exposure. But all that is a matter of cultural practise, and there must be no pretense that it is enjoined by the Koran. Also, covering the face must result from the free choice of the female.

      I did not use the terms “ridiculous” and “illogical”. I am aware that the person who did is an exceptionally devout Muslim who covers her hair. I take it that the use of those words show the extent to which Muslim females can resent what is imposed on them in the name of religion.

  7. salaams all,?absolutely uncle Izeth. ?From my very student’s point of view “cover all except what is apparent” has been the scapegoat for most interpreters. What is apparent, are not only the eyes and hands, that is illogical and Allah swt, does have that attribute.He imposed mercy on himself first and his identity at all times is The beneficent the merciful. The face has the tools for breathing, hearing and eating; that, all that be done under cover borders on the ridiculous.?Inshaalha, ?Allah swt will guide us all even against our own inclinations. Ameen.

  8. Walaikum Salaam Warahamathullahi Wabarakathuhu
    My dear brothers and sisters.
    Please read my article ‘ purpose of life’. This is a well researched, summarized?version of the purpose of creation reflecting the experiences I faced in my own life. My only reason for the article is to show living as a Muslim, wherever you are is easy to live by Islam and to encourage our brothers and sisters to live by Islam and remind me and others that? this life is a test and all of us can pass this test with help of Allah. Insha Allah. Our final goal is Paradise and the best of it Insha Allah.
    Allah has ordained us to follow HIS commandments if we are to enjoy the fruits of the next world. Except for the basics of Islam which is rigid the rest are flexible and depends on individual’s urge?to practice to please Allah and Allah alone. There is no compulsion as the deeds are judged by Allah and Allah alone based on intentions.
    The prophets were sent through mercy of Allah to guide the human beings and our beloved Prophet Mohammed Alaihi Wassalaam was the final of them with complete teachings, showed us, to achieve this goal. None is capable of questioning the divine instructions.
    The scholars have interpreted the teachings to their best, so that the believers can follow if they like and reject if they don’t like. He has the free will to choose to please Allah or go stray following the way of Shitan.
    Bin Baaz was considered as one of the best scholars of the recent era. The norm of all scholars is to please Allah and advise the believers to be on the safe side to achieve Allah’s pleasure.We should not oppose the interpretation of the scholars unless we are one of them. In my opinion, none in the forum is capable of questioning the fatawas given by the recognized scholars. Hence my advise to the learned members of the forum is to avoid questioning the scholars but to give their opinion so as to please Allah and Allah alone.
    One who is closer to Allah is the one with most piety and not members of the Royal Family or members of elite group, unless they are pious. Allah knows best.This is very clear from Quran and sunnah.
    Please be closer to Allah so that we attain the best in this world and Hereafter Insha Allah.

    • Brother Aga Barrie writes ‘We should not oppose the interpretations of the scholars unless we are one of them. In my opinion, none in the forum is capable of questioning the fatwas given by the recognised scholars.’ That position is not acceptable. It would be acceptable only if what is at issue are esoteric matters that can be understood only by initiates, or are abstruse matters that can be understood only those who have undergone specialist training. But what are we talking about here? We are talking about Koranic verses on the dress code for females. Did God in making those revelations intend them to be interpreted only by scholars? Obviously they were meant to be interpreted by ordinary believing Muslims, and that is why they have been the subject of debate among ordinary Muslims practically from the inception of Islam. And what about disagreements among scholars ? Ibn Baz’s interpretations are at variance with interpretations of other scholars. I have at my elbow a translation of the Koran, together with commentaries, which is being distributed free by the Saudi Government, the result of work done by four committees of scholars appointed by the late King Fahd. Their commentaries make no mention about covering the face or the hair, and certainly they provide no warrant whatever for the niqab in which openings are provided only for the eyes.?

      It is not surprising therefore that the Saudi Government did not compel its diplomatic wives to go about clad in the niqab. At least on the matter of the female dress code, the Saudi Government itself did not take Ibn Baz seriously. I cannot do so either.

  9. There are two places in the Koran where female dress code is prescribed. In one the dress code is taken as applying only to the wives of the Prophet and of the Companions of the Prophet. It is far more restrictive than the other dress code which applies to the generality of women. Ibn Baz did not distinguish between the two, and appears to have wanted all women to be kept in seclusion – not just the wives of the Prophet and of the Companions – and all women to wear the niqab in which there are openings only for the eyes. Was Ibn Baz being disingenuous???

    The question that arises in my mind is whether we are really expected to take Ibn Baz seriously. He came to be regarded rightly or wrongly as the servitor of Saudi Arabian State power, and as someone who could be relied on to issue fatwas in favour of that State power. That may or may not be. What bothers me is that the
    elite level members of the Saudi State themselves have not been taking him seriously. From 1995 to 1998 – which was part of the period when Ibn Baz was at the height of his power and prestige – I used to meet in Moscow the Saudi Ambassador and his wife who at home used to wear frocks and never covered her hair in my presence.I am told that no Saudi Embassy wife has ever been seen wearing the niqab at a diplomatic reception or dinner. So, Br Mulaffer, if the Saudi elite won’t take Ibn Baz seriously, why should I?
    No, Br Lutfi, the notions of the Companions and others however exalted they may be cannot possibly supersede what is there in the Koran, the word of God. Consistency with Koranic texts is the only principle on which a hadeeth can be taken as valid

  10. The hadeeths, and the interpretations and learned commentaries down the centuries, can be accepted only if they are consistent with the Koran, because nothing can supersede the word of God

    • Assalaamu ‘alaykum, the fact that the hadeeth must be consistent with the Quran is sine qua non. Further the understanding of the Sahabah, the Tabaeen and the Tabatabaeen take precedence over others. Of course their can be a difference in opinion among the Sahabas and in such a case (there are numerous such cases) then one can take the interpretation of any one that one is comfortable with. In such an event it is wrong to condemn the other view. May Allaah guide us all.

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