Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Studying Muslim Head Covering

The politics of hijab - A bit of black cloth, By Karen Estes, September 27, 2008, from "altmuslim.com". Concerning recent history (from the 70's in the US), personal testimony, and about non-Eastern converts. Opening paragraph:
The hijab (headscarf) has burst into the passionate and often confused discussion of current events and has become a highly charged battle standard on both sides of the veil. It has become an object of rage and indignation for many non-Muslims who see the practice as a backward custom, but one which is defiantly elbowing its way into the popular culture with increasing demands to be respected along with the identifying dress of other world religions. The phenomenon which most interests me, is the western woman convert to Islam with no experience of veiling growing up in the West who embraces hijab. It is however a phenomenon with what appears to be a remarkably short and identifiable history.

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Acceptable Hijab Part II: The Niqab (Mustahaab), posted on Beautiful Muslima, September 26, 2008. Very thorough study, examining the Quran and Ahadith. Link to part I: the jilbab, is included.
I was asked the other night by a sister why I don't wear niqab (a face covering). I had mistakeningly told her I believed it was wajib (obligatory) to do so since I knew from Islamic evidence and history it had a place our religion (unlike some people claim, who say, it is a purely cultural thing). I don't wear it for a number of reasons (and at the time I WISH to wear it for a number of reasons), some of them being, that while I believe it can benefit me personally, it can hurt and alienate a number of people around me. When I first converted I was told by a few women that I should cover my face because it was "beautiful". Alot of Arab women seem to think white skin is a sign of beauty in itself. Even if I wore niqab my pale eyes would show, and I don't think even niqab can hide a woman's full beauty. So I reject the "beauty concept" of niqab with a laugh. Men should be lowering their gaze anyway, and at the same time, the few times I DID feel is was necessary for my modesty to wear niqab, one of the sisters at the Masjid came up to me and said "do you really think men are staring at you like that" meaning do you think you are pretty enough to wear that... LOL, I know for a fact she hasn't said the same thing to the Sheikh's wife and daughter, so talk about contradictions. So let us instead look at the Holy Qu'ran and the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) in which there are no contradictions, to research the issue (please read this post first insha'Allah): http://beautifulmuslimah.blogspot.com/2008/09/acceptable-hijab-part-i-jilbab.html to get some of the foundation of jilbab before moving onto niqab.
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Questions on Islamic Dress and Head-dress for Men

Ditulis Oleh, Admin., September 25th, 2008, from Halal Product and Services Information Center (a .org site). Thorough discussion, quoting from Quran and relevant hadith.

QUESTION:

We have come under criticism from “Salafis” for keeping Sunna dress in our present day and age. They claim that it is an indifferent and unnecessary aspect of Arabic culture and tradition which carries no reward in religion. What is the position of Ahl as-Sunna on the “Salafi” dispensation for praying, leading prayer, and giving khutba bare-headed and in Western-style clothes?
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