In recent time, Hijab has become a subject of controversy in our society. It has been greeted with enormous erroneous impression both by non-Muslims and the acclaimed Muslim who supposed to always be in defence of Hijab but turn out to be the DARK ALLEYS that form the first row of anti-Hijab armed soldiers armoured with attilleries in the name of staging a war against Hijab.
Most recently, two sisters, who were held to be a direct family of a Islamic cleric in Ilorin metropolis, popularly known as “EROLALIJANNNA, were reported to have been subjected to degradation of the highest order and inhuman treatment by the aforesaid cleric and his cohorts.
The tenure of this write up try to examine critically the Hijab viz-à-viz right to freedom of religion and religious identity; with a view to correcting the wrong, malicious and religious hostility towards Hijab, and also to create a necessary awareness on the protection and respect it provides for a Muslim woman in any given society.
Hijab got its direct approval from the controller of the universe and no truth and purpose- driven Islamic scholar, Dead or alive, is in opposite view that Hijab is obligatory on a muslim woman to cover her body in public and in the eyes of men who are not within the prohibited degree of marriage with them, except on view issues where opinion of scholars differ, such as covering of face and hand. Their unopposed and unprejudicial views were premised and predicated on the Islamic norms and ethics clearly laid down in the glorious Qur’an and Sunnah of the prophet (S.A.W). The Qur’an provides as follow:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَٰجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَٰبِيبِهِنَّۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰٓ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَٰتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَٰرِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَاۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ أَخَوَٰتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَٰنُهُنَّ أَوِ ٱلتَّٰبِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُو۟لِى ٱلْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ أَوِ ٱلطِّفْلِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَىٰ عَوْرَٰتِ ٱلنِّسَآءِۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّۚ وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.”
قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا۟ مِنْ أَبْصَٰرِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا۟ فُرُوجَهُمْۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَزْكَىٰ لَهُمْۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is
Acquainted with what they do.There is also the oft-cited Hadith reported from the prophet (SAW):Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing this clothes. The apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of the body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and her hands.
In this light, it could be safely asserted without any equivocation that Islam protect and encourage modesty and dignity of a woman. The Islamic tradition of Hijab frees women from being percieved primarily as sexual objects. One of the foremost objectives of Islam in prescribing Hijab is the realization that most of the gender based violence against women are due to the exposure of the attractive parts of their bodies, and that any society that permits this is promoting social degeneration. This is because the sight of an attractive woman easily tempt men, and this assertion is evident in the outrageous number of reported cases of rape in our society today caused by low level of decency by the women folk among other reasons. It is the Hijab that liberate women from this insidious oppression.
Unfortunately however, the so called islamic clerics (EROLALIJANAS), in a city known for its sacredness in terms of religion and the promotion of islamic culture, are the perpetrators and sponsorer of inhuman treatment of the two sisters, and even go further to stripped them nakedly and subsequently being raped which later transformed to pregnancy. Subhanalloh!
The Hijab is ostensibly a symbol of liberation of the women folks; it protects them from evil gazes, and men from lewdness. Their beauty are not advertised and commercialized, but safely kept behind their veils and exclusively for their husbands. The Hijab symbolizes virtues, decency, piety, Islamic morality and chastity, to mention but a few. It does not only portray the users as an embodiment of virtues, but also, a honourable creatures in the sight of their creator. Hijab users, apart from those using it to perpetrate evil, command immeasurable respect in the eyes of those who know the true wisdom behind the use of same.
From the above submission, it is crystal clear that Hijab is not a symbol of oppression, rather a symbol of liberation.
The opposition and hatred for Hijab by the family of Baseerah and Madinah and their allies portrays a religious hostility of highest order, arrogance and ignorance. After all, clothes and dressings which islam declared as immoral, are protected and approved in our society today. Then why must our Hijabian sisters be brutalized?
Islam and its tradition of Hijab is therefore an extreme solution to the sexual objectification of women. It will give back to women the ultimate control over their bodies.
To therfore say that Hijab is a symbol of liberation could be a correct description of the protection it provides for the women in any society, and justice must be seen to be done for the victims in Ilorin by all the concerned personalities.
IBRAHEEM M. MUSTAPHA is a student of University of Ilorin, department of Common and Islamic law. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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