Three rules for women’s dress code

Al Hijab is the biggest impediment in the way conveying Islam. This study will answer few questions about veiling and clear the picture once for all.

What the Qur’an says about the word Hijab?

Hijab is the term used by many Muslim women to describe their head cover that may or may not include covering their face except their eyes and sometimes also covering one eye. The Arabic word Hijab can be translated into veil or yashmak. Other meanings for the word Hijab include screen, cover, mantle, curtain, drapes, partition, division, divider, and others.

The word “Hijab” appears in the Quran seven times, five of them as “Hijab” and twice as “Hijaban”. See 7:46, 17:45, 19:17, 33:53, 38:32, 41:5, 42:51. None of these “Hijab” words are used in the Qur’an in reference to what the traditional Muslims call today as the dress code for the Muslim woman. Hijab in the Qur’an has nothing to do with the women’s dress code.

What the Bible says about Hijab?

The wearing of the head covering for women is not part of the Prophet’s teachings and is not found in the Qur’an. It is a belief and a practice that was taken by the early Muslim scholars from the Christian Bible. 1Cor 11:5 — but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head-it is the same as if her head were shaven.11:6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 11:10 That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. 11:13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

So the commandment for a woman to cover her head is in the Bible. This belief has seeped into the Muslim belief and has now become part and parcel of the practice of Islam today. The West has no problem with Catholicism putting its nuns in head cover. In Europe today Catholic schools still encourage young girls to take up the wearing of the Catholic head-cover. Unfortunately under the guise of modernity, a vast majority of Christians themselves today are not following the teachings of the Bible – the large majority of Christian women do not cover the head. Hence, it is the Muslim Ummah who are very good Christians because they still uphold these Bible teachings.

Where this idea came from?

Historically, While many Muslims call “Hijab”, an Islamic dress code, they completely ignore the fact that, Hijab as a dress code has nothing to do with Islam and nothing to do with the Qur’an.

In reality, “Hijab” is an old Jewish tradition that infiltrated into the Hadith books like many innovations that contaminated Islam through alleged Hadith and Sunnah. Any student of the Jewish traditions will see that head cover for the Jewish woman is encouraged by the Rabbis and religious leaders. Religious Jewish women still cover their heads most of the time and especially in the synagogues, weddings, and religious festivities. This Jewish tradition is a cultural, not a religious one. Hijab was observed by the women of the civilizations that preceded the Jews and passed down to the Jewish culture.

Christian women cover their heads on many religious occasions while the nuns cover their heads all the time. This religious practice of covering the head was established from traditions thousands of years before the Muslim scholars claimed the Hijab as part of the Muslim women’s dress code. The traditional Arabs of all religions, Jews, Christians and Muslims used to wear “Hijab,” not because of Islam, but because of tradition.

In Saudi Arabia, up to this minute most of the men cover their head, not because of Islam but because of tradition. Thank God this tradition for men has not been counted as Islamic dress code yet!

North Africa is known for its Tribe that have the Muslim men wearing “Hijab” instead of women. Here the tradition has the Hijab in reverse. If wearing Hijab is the exclusive sign of a pious and righteous woman, why do we see so many women wear  Hijab,  completely disregarding other essentials of modesty, like wearing tight shirts and jeans, showing the body parts that must be concealed, plus immodest behavior? In brief, Hijab is a tradition and it has nothing to do with Islam.

Mixing religion with tradition is a form of idol-worship, because not knowing (or not trying to find out) what God asked us to do in His Book, the Qur’an, is a sign of disregarding God and His Message. When tradition supersedes God’s Commandment, the true religion (Deen) takes a second place. But God is always the First and never the second.

What the Qur’an says about Khimar?

The word “Khimar” and the dress code for women can be found in the Qur’an 24:31. Some Muslims quote this verse as a commandment for Hijab, or head cover by pointing to the word, khomorehenna, (‘their chest covering’ from Khimar), forgetting that God has already used the word Hijab, several times in the Qur’an. Those blessed by God can see that the use of the word “Khimar” in this verse is not for “Hijab” nor for head cover. Those who quote this verse usually add (Head cover or veil) after the word Khomorehenna, and usually between brackets, because it is their addition to the verse of God. Here is 24:31.

24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty. They should not show off their adornment beyond what may be decently and spontaneously apparent. Let them cover their chest area with a light covering. Most of the translators, obviously influenced by fabricated Hadith translate the word as VEIL and thus mislead people into believing that this verse is advocating the covering of the head and face.

 24:31, God is telling the women to use their cover (Khimar, being a dress, a coat, a shawl, a shirt, a blouse, a tie, a scarf  etc.) to cover their bosoms, not their heads or their hair. If God willed to order the women to cover their heads or their hair, He would have simply said, “Cover your head and hair.” God is neither vague nor forgetful! God does not run out of words. He does not wait for a scholar to put the correct words for Him!  The Arabic word for Chest (Jayb) is in the verse 24:31, but the Arabic words for Head (Ra’as) or Hair (Sha’r) are NOT in the verse. The Commandment in the verse is clear – Cover your chest.

The last part of the verse 24:31 translates as, “They shall not strike their feet when they walk in order to shake and reveal certain details of their bodies. The details of the body can be revealed or not revealed by the dress you wear, not by your head cover. The word Zeenatahunna in this verse refers to the woman’s body parts (hidden beauty). At the end of the verse, God tells the women not to strike their feet to show their Zeenah. A woman does not need to strike her feet to show her ornaments but the way she strikes her feet while walking can reveal certain parts of the body.

Accepting orders from others than God is idol-worship. That is how serious the matter of Hijab/Khimar is. Is it possible that women who wear Hijab in the name of Islam, believing that God has ordered it are committing idol-worship as God did not order it? No, the ‘Imams’ did. These women have found for themselves gods other than the One Who revealed the Qur’an, complete, perfect and fully detailed.

Jelbab  in the Qur’an means draw a shawl over yourself .

The first regulation of the dress code for Muslim women is in 7:26, the second in 24:31 as we have seen and the third is in 33:59.

7:26 O Children of Adam! We have provided you with garments to cover your bodies as well as to adorn you. The best garment for you to wear, in addition, is good conduct. These are the verses of God that they must take to heart.

24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty. They should not show off their adornment beyond what may be decently and spontaneously apparent. Let them cover their chest area with a light covering.

33:59 O Prophet! Tell your wives, your daughters, and women of the believers that they should draw their shawls over their person (when in public). This is easy and proper, so that they may be recognized and not be bothered. God is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful.

Here God sets the other regulation for the dress code for women during the Prophet’s life. This verse does not only address the wives of the Prophet, but also wives of the believers, and therefore, to all believing women.

Hard ship in Religion:

God ordains that those who would reject His Book and go look for other sources for guidance will suffer in this life and in the Hereafter by their own choice. We repeatedly find in the Qur’an that God never desires any hardship in religion. But the ‘Imams’, in their inflated egos, invented their own laws in defiance of God and made Islam impossible to practice. They enslaved Muslims by regulating everything in their daily lives. Only a few examples out of the countless: Which side you must sleep on, which foot you must step in and out of the house, what to recite on entering and exiting the toilet, which foot would enter the toilet and which one will exit, what to do with a fly in your soup, using the left hand in most situations would be accursed, what to say and recite when having intercourse with your spouse etc !

 Those who believe that The Qur’an is complete, perfect and fully detailed, will have everything easy for them as God promises, while those who seek sources other than the Qur’an will suffer all the hardship in this life and in the life to come. In the Hereafter they will complain to God, “We were not idol-worshipers,” but God knows best, they were. (See 6:21-24)

Me without my Hijab

When I came to this country, I took off my hijab. It wasn’t an easy decision. I worried at night that God would punish me for it. That’s what I had been taught would happen, and it filled me with fear.

I was 27, coming from my home country of Iraq to study in California. I hoped that by taking off the hijab I had been wearing for eight years, I would be able to maintain a low profile. In Baghdad, you keep a low profile to stay alive. But in the United States, I merely wanted not to be judged.

Still, I was filled with anxiety. As I flew toward the United States, I wondered how I would feel when the moment came to appear with my head uncovered.

I knew, of course, that most women in the United States didn’t cover their heads. Despite that, I worried that my appearance would draw attention. I was going to stand bare in front of everyone. My neck, my hair, the top of my chest would all be exposed. This might (or might not) go unnoticed by others, but I would be keenly aware of it. I didn’t know if I was ready to handle this feeling.

When I arrived at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, at the end of the first leg of my journey, my head was still covered. I let my hair out briefly, but then I covered it again, unsure of myself. I packed the hijab away for good when I arrived at Denver International Airport.

I had talked with my parents about the fact that I might take off the hijab upon my arrival in the States; fortunately they were supportive of the idea. In fact, just a few days before leaving Iraq, I was sitting in the living room with my father.

“My daughter, when you arrive at the Jordanian airport, take your hijab off and fold it in your bag. There is no need to wear it anymore,” he said while smoking his cigarette.

I did not comment, nor did I look him in the eye. I was embarrassed and did not want to talk about the subject with him or my mother. I was not used to talking to them about such sensitive, personal subjects. But his words meant a lot to me. Having his blessing was important.

Coming from Iraq, a conservative society in which Islam is the main religion, the hijab was something I had always known. Muslim women begin wearing the hijab at different ages — some start as young as 8; others start later. Some never wear it at all. We wear it because we are told that it would be a sin not to cover ourselves — and because we need to be without sin in order to get close to God. Women, we’re told, are a source of enticement to men, and we need to be covered so that men won’t desire us.

I made the decision to cover my head willingly and without any pressure from my family. My mother and sisters wore it, which made my choice easier. I was 19, and I was becoming more religious in those days and had begun to pray more frequently. I was convinced that it was the right thing to do.

The night before I first wore it to school, I stayed up most of the night. None of my friends knew what I was going to do. I expected it would surprise a lot of people. I was a girl who loved styling my hair and wearing nice things; my friends (many of whom were already wearing the hijab) would know how much I had to give up to wear it.

On the street, I felt a rush of mixed feelings: happiness and shyness, as well as fear that I would regret my decision in the future. But I never thought that taking it off would be an option. Once women wear the hijab, they are not likely to take it off.

These days, the hijab is a controversial subject. Some Muslims argue that it is a must for women, though others think it is not. My friend Dahlia Lamy, for instance, an Iraqi woman I knew in Baghdad who is now studying at Boston University, argues that no verse in the Koran clearly makes the hijab an obligation for women. Lamy is a practicing Muslim, but she believes that most women who wear the hijab have been forced to do so by their fathers and brothers. “I’ve never worn the hijab, nor do I intend to,” she told me. In Turkey — and even in France — culture wars have raged over the wearing of the hijab in schools and other places.

The hijab takes different forms. In Iraq, it can be a chest-length veil that is placed around the head and sometimes can connect to a niqab, a cloth that covers the mouth and nose. The wearing of the niqab is not common in Iraq. In Iran and other Persian Gulf countries, women wear an abaya. An abaya is a long black gown that covers the entire body.

My hijab helped me during the rough days after the war began in 2003. It was like a shield, an invisible suit that I always had on when I went out, the suit that kept away the evil eye. It enabled me to keep that all-important low profile.

But even as the hijab kept me safe, it became a burden for many others. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, there was a dramatic increase in the number of women wearing the hijab. Since then, as religious groups have gained more power, it has become dangerous to be spotted without one — so much so that even Christian women now wear the hijab when they go out. To me, that signified that something was wrong with my country.

The reason I came to the United States was to spend a semester at UC Davis before starting a master’s degree program in journalism. I arrived on the flight from Denver in September 2006. It was late at night, and I went immediately to sleep. The next day was my first to go out without the hijab. That morning, I stood in front of the mirror and instead of straightening my hijab, I straightened my hair. It worried me, but I also felt happy.

At first, I looked behind me a lot as I walked down the street, wondering who was looking at me and what they were thinking. But over time, I got used to it. My conscience stopped bothering me, and I became accustomed to being without the hijab in the middle of the day. I remember early on when a woman sipping coffee on her porch said “Good morning” and smiled at me, as if I looked completely normal. That was a peaceful feeling.

For a while, I lived in Davis with another Iraqi woman, who had been wearing the hijab since 2002. When I told her that I had taken off my hijab when I came to the U.S., she was surprised and gave me the look. The look telling me that I had done something wrong. We discussed the issue many times; I felt guilty again and had second thoughts.

After some months, though, she moved to Massachusetts. One day, she called me, and we talked again about her hijab. This time she talked about the discomfort and sometimes even hostility that people seemed to feel when they met her and saw how she was dressed. “They try to hide it, but it’s obvious,” she said. She said that although real estate agents were positive over the phone, no one would rent her an apartment once they saw her in person. She explained that a woman from the student housing office had had the audacity to explain to her the way toilets are flushed, “As if my hijab was an anti-intelligence sign,” she said. “I spent two days crying.”

She called me again at the end of December and told me that she too had taken off the hijab. After the conversation ended, I felt a bit relieved; I had apparently made a wise decision and spared myself pain from the start.

At the same time, I was disappointed. We shouldn’t have to hide the fact that we’re Muslims in order to be treated like everyone else. In some ways, it’s as bad to feel pressure to take off the hijab in the United States as it is to be pressured to keep it on in Baghdad. It’s sad that people here do not always accept you for who you are.

For myself, I’m comfortable with my decision. But even today, I sometimes take my hijab out of the closet and place it over my head. It feels strange, not unlike the feeling I had when I was preparing to stop wearing it.

At the same time, when I put it on, I feel at home, as if I wasn’t far away. It makes me miss the days when I used to match the color of my hijab with my clothes. The hijab was a part of my identity, a part of who I was, and those memories can’t be erased.

Zainab Mineeia worked as a translator and reporter for The Times in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. She is now a graduate student at the Missouri School of Journalism.

By: : By Zainab Mineei , From The Los Angeles Times

محمد شحرور – الإسلام وكراهية الآخر

ترتكب باسم الإسلام، في سوريا والعراق واليمن وليبيا وأوروبا، ويعم الجدال بين الناس في جلساتهم وفي وسائل الإعلام حول صحة الاتهامات من عدمها، وعن مدى كوننا كعرب ومسلمين معنيين بالاتهام من قريب أو بعيد.

وبداية يفترض بما نحمله من إنسانية أن نتعاطف مع القتلى الأبرياء على اختلاف جنسياتهم وألوانهم ومعتقداتهم أينما كانوا، في بلادنا أو في أي بلد من بلدان العالم، حتى لو لم يتعاطف أهلهم مع ضحايانا وقضايانا، ومن لا يشعر بأحزان الآخرين فلديه مشكلة في إنسانيته.

وثمة الكثيرون حولنا ممن لا يتعاطفون مع الضحايا الأوربيين تحديداً بحجة  “أن هؤلاء  كفار ولا يستحقون تعاطفنا”، فهذا  قول غير منطقي، لأنهم بشر أبرياء أولاً، ثم  وهو الأهم  “هلا شققتم عن قلوبهم”  لتعرفوا إيمانهم من عدمه؟ عدا عن أن كفرهم بما تؤمنون به لا يبيح قتلهم.


أما القول بأن هناك من يريد تشويه صورة الإسلام، ومن يريد تعكير صفو أوروبا، وأن داعش صناعة غربية، وأن البحث عن المستفيد يبين على من تقع المسؤولية، فنقول بأن كل هذا قد يحمل شيئاً من الصحة، لكن لا أريد هنا مناقشة من الرأس المدبر لكل حادثة، وإنما اليد المنفذة.

وهناك القائل “لماذا جلد الذات؟ وهل نحن معنيون بكل شاردة وواردة تحصل في العالم، سيما وأن ما حصل في أوروبا مؤخرا قام به شباب أوروبيو المولد والنشاة؟”


نعم ولد هؤلاء في أوروبا ونشؤوا فيها، ولم تلتفت الدول الأوروبية إلى أنهم عانوا من انعزال عن المجتمع وتهميش واضطهاد، ساهم إلى حد كبير في زرع بذور العنف لديهم، وبعضهم كانت لديه سوابق إجرامية، لكن حين أراد الملجأ والهوية وجدها في الإسلام، وهم من جهة أخرى تلقوا تعليمهم الديني في المدارس أو المساجد على أيدي شيوخ لقنوهم في أغلب الحالات كراهية الآخر المختلف، وعلموهم كيف يضمروا العداء لأهل البلد المضيف لأسباب عدة، واليوم إذ يقاتل العالم داعش في سوريا والعراق يتناسى أن هذا الوباء متفش في كل مكان، فعدد الشباب من كل أنحاء العالم ومن أوروبا خاصة ممن انضموا إلى داعش وشاركوا في الجرائم لا يستهان به.

وإن كان الغرب يحمل جزءاً من المسؤولية عن اضطهاد المسلمين سواء في أراضيه كمضيف أم في أراضيهم كمحتل سابق أو معاصر، أو بمسؤوليته في السكوت عن الطغاة، لكن لا بد من الاعتراف بتحمل الثقافة الإسلامية للجزء الأكبر من المسؤولية عن هذا الكم الهائل من الكراهية للآخر، والتي تتحول على يد الكثيرين إلى قتل وإرهاب يطال الأخضر واليابس.


واليوم ينقسم المسلمون (بالمعنى الشائع) على أنفسهم بين من ينفي عن الإسلام تهم الإرهاب وبالتالي يعتبر أولئك متطرفون لا يمتون للإسلام بصلة، وبين من هو مبارك في قرارة نفسه لتلك العمليات الانتحارية ولا يجد غضاضة في قتل أبرياء لا ذنب لهم، وثالث يحمل الإسلام كل الذنب ويرى بأنه لا بد من الانعتاق منه وركنه جانباً، آخذاً عليّ وعلى غيري محاولة تجديد الفكر الديني، باعتباره ترقيع ما لا يرقع.


وهنا أكرر ما أقوله دائماً:

علينا ألا ندفن رؤوسنا في الرمال، ولنعترف بأن الإسلام الموروث يحمل في طياته ما يحرض على الكراهية والقتل، وأن القاعدة أو داعش أو غيرها ستتوالد على مر العصور لأن مصادرها ومراجعها هي أمهات الكتب ذاتها التي تدرس في مدارسنا ومعاهدنا الشرعية وكليات الشريعة على اختلاف بلداننا، ولا وجود لإسلام وسطي وإسلام معتدل وآخر متطرف، بل هو إسلام موروث، تتوارى الكراهية فيه تارة تحت غطاء من التعايش المصطنع، وتظهر تارة أخرى حين تسمح الظروف، فالآخر إما كافر أو مشرك سيجد عمله الصالح يوم القيامة هباءً منثورا، أو مرتد يجب قتله، وضمن ثقافة تقدس الموت وتكره الحياة فلا حرج من قتل هذا الكافر جهاداً في سبيل الله حين يحين الوقت المناسب، وقد يقول قائل “كلا هذا الكلام غير صحيح، وكنا وما زلنا نعيش سوية في مجتمع واحد متعدد الأديان والملل ولدينا صداقات وطيدة مع بعضنا البعض” أقول نعم لكن التعصب والعنف يظهران عند أول أزمة، وهذا التعايش لا ينفي وجود مشكلة في نصوصنا، يستطيع أي مجرم اتخاذها مرجع له، والنصوص الدينية الأخرى لا تقل عنفاً عما لدينا ولطالما كانت مرجعية لحروب ومذابح قام بها الأوربيون، لكنهم استطاعوا مراجعة تلك النصوص وركنها جانباً ومن ثم فصل الدين عن الدولة.


أما نحن فللأسف وقف بنا الزمن عند أكثر من ألف سنة مضت، وقدسنا السلف وأخذنا عنهم، ولم نغير قيد أنملة في رؤيتهم، رغم التطور الهائل في أدوات المعرفة، بل على العكس جرى ويجري وأد أي دعوة لإعادة النظر في الفقه الموروث وقراءة الإسلام وفق رؤية معاصرة، واعتبار هذه الدعوات ترفاً فكرياً لمتدخل فيما لا يعنيه، على اعتبار أن الإسلام حكر على ناس بعينهم، لديهم وكالة من الله تعالى في التوقيع عنه والبت بأمور البلاد والعباد.

فالسلف الصالح وورثتهم نظروا للتنزيل الحكيم ككتلة واحدة، وهو بالنسبة لهم نص مقدس، لكنهم لا يملكون جواباً عن التناقض بين آيات مثل {لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَاناً وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ} (المائدة 82) و{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِين} (المائدة 51) و{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالنَّصَارَى وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ} (البقرة 62)، ولا يملكون جواباً حين يسألهم أحد عن الآية {فَإِذا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنّاً بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاء حَتَّى تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ذَلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ} (محمد 4) أو آية السيف {ِذَا انسَلَخَ الأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُواْ لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَوُاْ الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّواْ سَبِيلَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ} (التوبة 5) وإذا كان الجهاد في سبيل الله بالنسبة لهم هو قتل الكافرين فلماذا نتفاجىء إذاً مما يرتكبه داعش وغيره؟


لقد ضرب الفقهاء والشيوخ بكتاب الله عرض الحائط، ولم يكلفوا أنفسهم عناء البحث أو التدبر فيه، فهل من أحد فصل الآيات المتشابهات عن الآيات المحكمات المقصودة في قوله تعالى {هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاء الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاء تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألْبَابِ} (آل عمران 7) وهل من أحد ميز بين الكتاب  بكونه هدىً للمتقين فقط {ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ} (البقرة 2) والقرآن بكونه هدى للناس جميعاً {شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ} (البقرة 185)؟ فدقة التنزيل الحكيم بالغة، ولا يمكن لنص إلهي أن يسوق الكلام اعتباطاً، ودراسة الفرق بين الكتاب والقرآن والمحكم والمتشابه تصل بنا إلى أن الكتاب يحوي القرآن باعتباره الآيات المتشابهات وهي تتضمن قوانين الوجود والكون إضافة لأرشيف التاريخ (القصص)، وهو بذلك هدى للناس جميعاً، ويحوي أيضاً المحكم وهو رسالة محمد (للمتقين) {ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ * الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ * والَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ} (البقرة 2- 3 -4)، ورسالة محمد العالمية الصالحة لكل زمان ومكان لا تشمل القصص المحمدي أي أحداث عصره ونبوته بما فيها من علاقاته مع محيطه من مؤمنين به وكافرين وأهل كتاب وغيرهم، وحروبه وغزواته (سورة التوبة والأنفال وغيرها)، ومعظم الآيات التي وردت في خطاب {يا أيها الذين آمنوا} موجهة للذين آمنوا في عصره لا على مر العصور، وآيات القتال والحرب نفهمها ضمن ظروفها وسياقها التاريخي ولا تخرج عن ذلك، والمشركون واليهود والنصارى ضمنها هم أولئك المعاصرين للنبي لا على مر العصور والأزمان.


أما آيات القتال باعتباره تكليف ضمن الرسالة، فهي خاصة بحالة الدفاع عن النفس من اعتداء الآخرين، ولا يتسع المجال هنا لتكرار ما ذكرته في مقالات سابقة بهذا الخصوص تحديداً.

فإذا اخذنا آيات الرسالة على حدى نجدها منسجمة مع قولنا أنها صالحة لكل أهل الأرض، لا تخرج عن قيم إنسانية عليا، والشعائر في هذه الرسالة هي علاقة خاصة بين الإنسان وربه لا تختلف عن غيرها لدى الأمم الأخرى، أما أن نقول أننا ننتقي من كتاب الله ما يناسب الإنسانية ونحذف ما لا يناسب فهذا نفاق ولف ودوران لا معنى له.

والسؤال الذي قد يطرح نفسه هنا ما الحل الفعلي الذي يمكن تطبيقه؟ أجد الحل في اتخاذ قرارات جريئة بفصل الدين عن الدولة، على أن تكون القيم الإسلامية هي المرجعية الأخلاقية لأي دستور، ثم إغلاق كل ما هو موجود من معاهد شرعية ومدارس دينية وكليات شريعة، ساهمت عبر العصور بتخريج شيوخ وأئمة مساجد دعوا إلى الكراهية والعنف والقتل، وإعادة النظر في مناهج التعليم والقائمين عليها، وإلغاء مادة التربية الدينية منها واستبدالها بتدريس الأخلاق والتعرف على الآخر المختلف دينياً ومذهبياً، عسى أن يتم اللحاق بالأجيال القادمة والخروج بها من هذا المأزق المتوارث، وهنا لا بد من التذكير بما فعله الديكتاتور الأب في سوريا خلال أربعين عاماً حيث حول المجتمع المدني الذي كان سائداً في خمسينات القرن الماضي إلى مجتمع يتبع لرجال الدين تسوده ثقافة الدروس في المساجد للرجال وفي البيوت للنساء، تعلم الناس قمع المرأة والطهارة والنجاسة، وتترك الحاكم المستبد يفعل ما يريد وتسبح بحمده في الأعياد وخطب الجمعة، فانتشرت معاهد لتحفيظ القرآن وزاد الفساد والكذب والسرقة وانحدار القيم الأخلاقية، وفيما فرض المستبد ما يريد من قرارات وقوانين، أبقى على التشريعات وقوانين الأحوال الشخصية  المتخلفة القائمة وما يسمى “الدين الأفضل”، وما إلى ذلك، ومواد الدستور التي تحصر دين رئيس الدولة بالإسلام، بحجة أن دين الدولة هو الإسلام رغم ادعائه العلمانية.


عودوا أيها المسلمون إلى كتاب الله واقرؤوه بعين العصر، واخرجوا من عباءة التفاسير الموروثة، وخذوا العبرة من {لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لَأَقْتُلَكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ} (المائدة 28)، وميزوا بين الرسالة بما فيها من قيم إنسانية وبين ما هو تاريخ شبه الجزيرة العربية ليس إلا.

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أصول جديدة للفقه الإسلامي – فقه المرأة.الدكتور محمد شحرور

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   :نبذة تاريخية

أخذ العرب الحجاب عن الفرس الزرادشتيين، الذين كانت المرأة عندهم كائناً غير طاهر، عليها أن تربط فمها وأنفها بعصابة كيلا تدنس بأنفاسها النار المقدسة. وقلد العرب البيزنطيين في عزل المرأة وانزوائها بالمنزل، الذين أخذوا ذلك عن الإغريق، حيث كان المنزل نصفين مستقلين، أحدهما للرجال والآخر للنساء، وتعزز هذا التقليد كلياً أيام الوليد الثاني في العهد الأموي، الذي كان أول من أحدث ركن الحريم في المنزل العربي (15). وكان العرب قبل وإبان البعثة المحمدية يتألفون من طبقتين، طبقة الأحرار وطبقة العبيد. فقد كان الرق نظاماً معمولاً به عند العرب قبل وبعد البعثة المحمدية. وكان للرق والعبيد مصدران، أسواق النخاسة والغزو. ولم تخرج الغزوات في العصر النبوي عن كونها مصدراً من مصادر الرق، فالإمام الواحدي في أسباب النزول، يربط نزول قوله تعالى: {والمحصنات من النساء إلا ما ملكت أيمانكم كتاب الله عليكم..} النساء 24. بغزوة أوطاس فيقول عن أبي سعيد الخدري: أصبنا سبايا يوم أوطاس نعرف أنسابهن وأزواجهن فكرهنا أن نقع عليهن فسألنا النبي (ص) فنزلت الآية فاستحللناهن (16). والإمام الرازي في تفسيره الكبير يرى للإحصان أربعة وجوه أحدها الحرية. فالمحصنة هي الحرة. ولما سقطت هذه الصفة عن المرأة المسبية في الغزو، فقد أصبحت من ملك اليمين فحلّ وطؤها. ويستشهد بقوله تعالى {ومن لم يستطع منكم طولاً أن ينكح المحصنات} أي الحرائر (17). كان لابد من هذه التوطئة، لما بين الحرَّة والأَمَة من فرق في اللباس والحجاب، وتأكيداً لما قلناه وقاله كثيرون من أن اللباس والحجاب عند المرأة ليس تكليفاً شرعياً بقدر ما هو سلوك تقتضيه الحياة الاجتماعية والبيئة، يتغير بتغيرها. ومن هنا فقد فرَّق العرب، قبل البعثة المحمدية وأثناءها وبعدها، بين لباس الحرة ولباس الأمة. فلباس الحرة العربية هو لباس السيدة خديجة (رض)، التي تزوجها النبي قبل البعثة. غطاء للرأس يقي من الحر ويجمع الشعر أن يتبعثر، وثوب طويل يستر القسم الأسفل من الجسد، لعدم جود ألبسة داخلية وقتها، وفضفاض يسمح لها بحرية الحركة في أعمالها وتحركاتها داخل البيت وخارجه، ولم يكن في الثوب فتحات أو جيوب إلا فتحة في الصدر، تبدو منها نهود المرأة حين تنحني إلى الأمام، وهو الجيب الذي ضربت عليه المرأة المؤمنة خمارها حين نزلت آية النور 31. ولم يكن لباس الرجل يختلف من هذه الزاوية البيئية الاجتماعية عن لباس المرأة، فقد كان يغطي رأسه من الحر، ويلبس ثوباً طويلاً كيلا تظهر عورته حين يقعد لعدم وجود ألبسة داخلية وقتها. بالإضافة إلى لحية كان يطلقها الرجل، حتى لا يعاب بين قومه. وتروي لنا السيرة أن النبي كان يلبس كما يلبس الناس من حوله، حتى أن الرجل يدخل المسجد فيسأل القاعدين: أيكم محمد؟. أما لباس الأمَة، التي اعتبروها تاريخياً ملك يمين، فقد كان أمراً آخر مختلفاً تماماً عما ذكرنا. وهذا بديهي طبيعي من جانبين. الأول أن الأمَة تعمل عند أسيادها على الطعام والشراب وكافة الأعمال المنزلية إضافة إلى جلب اللوازم والحاجيات من السوق. والثاني اختلاف المكانة الاجتماعية بين الحرائر والإماء، الأمر الذي اقتضى وجود فارق في اللباس للتمييز بينهن. هذا الفارق الذي تعمق أكثر واتضحت ضرورته بعد الفتوحات الكبرى، في ضوء كثرة عدد الإماء والعبيد، حتى صار امتلاكهم والإكثار منهم موضع تفاخر ومباهاة. وكان لابد لهذا من أن يحظى باهتمام الفقهاء. ومن هنا فنحن نجد في كتب الفقه أبواباً كثيرة تضع أحكاماً للحرّة والحر، وأخرى للأمَة والعبد، في مجال النكاح والطلاق وقذف المحصنات والزنا وغيرها. فللعبد في موطأ مالك أن يتزوج بامرأتين أما الحر فبأربع. ويقع الطلاق من العبد بتطليقتين ومن الحر بثلاث، وعدة الطلاق للأمَة شهر ونصف، وعدة الترمل بعد وفاة الزوج شهران وخمسة أيام. وحد العبد والأمة في الزنا خمسون جلدة(18)، وحدهما في قذف المحصنات أربعون، وليس على قذف الأمة حد. ولا يجوز للعبد إذا طلق زوجته أن يرتجعها إلا بعد أن يطأها رجل آخر (19). أما في مسألة الحجاب فقد كان التفريق واضحاً على الصعيد التطبيقي الفقهي بين الحرّة والأمَة. يقول الدكتور نجمان ياسين (20): “أما الحجاب الذي ضرب على المرأة، والذي كان يعني إدناء الجلباب وفقاً لقوله تعالى: {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا} الأحزاب 59. فالقصد منه ألا “يتشبهن بالإماء في لباسهن إذا خرجن من بيوتهن لحاجتهن، فيكشفن عن شعورهن ووجوههن، ولكن يدنين عليهن من جلابيبهن، لئلا يعرض لهن فاسق بأذى إذا علم أنهن حرائر”. فقد كانت الحرة تلبس لباس الأمة ذاته، فأمر الله نساء المؤمنين بإدناء جلابيبهن عليهن، وإدناء الجلباب أن تتقنع وتشد على جبينها. وهذا يعني أن الجلباب اتخذ كإجراء وتدبير لمعالجة حالة استثنائية دخلت على مجتمع المدينة. وأن الرسول (ص) قد خشي ألا يميز الفسّاق من الشباب بين الأمَة التي يستلزم وضعها باعتبارها مملوكة أن تظهر مكشوفة، وأن تظهر محاسنها بأنواع الزينة للترغيب في شرائها وبين الحرة، فيتبعها الغواة وقد يصيبها منهم مكروه. والحق أن المفسرين قد وضعوا اليد على سبب إدناء الجلابيب، ووجدوا علاقة بين الجلباب والوضع الاجتماعي الأخلاقي في المدينة “. أهـ. كذلك نرى أن الخليفة عمر بن الخطاب قد أخذ إجراءات احترازية للحيلولة دون الخلط بين الحرائر والإماء، فلم يكن يسمح للجواري بالخروج في هيئة الحرائر (21). ولقد سار الخليفة عمر بن عبد العزيز على المنهج ذاته فدعا إلى ” أن لا تلبس الأمة خماراً ولا يتشبهن بالحرائر” (22). أما بالنسبة للفقه، فقد أجاز الفقهاء للأمَة لباساً معيناً، نجده عند عبد الرحمن الجزيري (23)، تحت عنوان لباس الأمَة في الصلاة يقول: شرط الصلاة الثاني هو ستر العورة، ويختلف حد العورة بالنسبة للرجل والحرة والأمة، فحد العورة للرجل عند المالكية من السرة إلى الركبة، والركبة ذاتها عندهم عورة أما السرة فخلاف ذلك، والأمَة كالرجل، وتزيد عنه أن بطنها كله وظهرها عورة، وعورة المرأة الحرة هو جميع بدنها حتى شعرها النازل على أذنيها لقوله: {ص): المرأة عورة ويستثنى من ذلك باطن الكفين وظاهر القدمين. وقال الشافعية مثل ذلك مع بعض الاختلافات الطفيفة، أما عند الحنابلة فالعورة كما قال الشافعية، إلا أنهم استثنوا من الحرّة الوجه فقط، وكل ما عداه عورة عندهم. وتنقسم العورة إلى مغلظة ومخففة، فالمغلظة للرجل هي القبل والخصيتان وحلقة الدبر، والمخففة ما عدا ذلك. أما المغلظة للأمة فهي كالرجل بزيادة الإليتين، والمخففة للأمة كالمخففة للرجل. وأما الحرة فالمغلظة جميع بدنها ما عدا الأطراف والصدر. هذا كله في الصلاة، فما هو الحكم خارج الصلاة؟ نعود إلى كتاب الفقه على المذاهب الأربعة فنراه يقول: يجب على المكلف ستر عورته خارج الصلاة عن نفسه وعن غيره، ممن لا يحل لهم النظر إلى عورته إلا لضرورة كالتداوي. حد العورة للمرأة الحرة خارج الصلاة هو ما بين السرة والركبة، إذا كانت في خلوة، أو في حضرة محارمها، أو في حضرة نساء مسلمات. أما إذا كانت بحضرة رجل أجنبي أو امرأة غير مسلمة فعورتها جميع بدنها عدا الوجه والكفين. أما عورة الرجل خارج الصلاة فهي ما بين سرته وركبته ويحل النظر إلى ما عدا ذلك من بدنه مطلقاً عند أمن الفتنة. أهـ. وإذا القينا نظرة على كتاب (الفقه الإسلامي وأدلته) للدكتور وهبة الزحيلي في باب حد العورة نجده يذكر أن الأئمة اتفقوا على أن عورة الأمة هي عورة الرجل نفسها، وان اختلفوا قليلاً في دخول السرة أو عدمه، ويبين أن العورة للرجل عند المالكية هي المغلظة فقط وهي السوأتان، وعورة الأمة السوأتان مع الإليتين وعورة المرأة الحرة المغلظة جميع البدن ماعدا الصدر والأطراف من رأس ويدين ورجلين وما قابل الصدر من الظهر كالصدر. ويوضح لنا مذهب الشافعية في أن السرة والركبة ليستا من العورة على الصحيح لحديث أنس ” أن النبي (ص) يوم خيبر حسر الإزار عن فخذه حتى إني لأنظر إلى بياض فخذه” (24). ويلحق الشافعية عورة الأمة بالرجل بجامع أن رأس كل منهما ليس بعورة ولأن الرأس والذراع مما تدعو الحاجة إلى كشفه. كما يشير الدكتور الزحيلي في مذهب الحنفية أنهم اعتبروا عورة الأمة كعورة الرجل لأنها تخرج لحاجة مولاها في ثياب مهنتها عادة، فاعتبرت كالمحارم في حق الأجانب عنهن دفعاً للحرج. وعند الحنابلة فليست سرة الرجل وركبته من عورته (25). وفي فقه الشيعة فإن عورة الأمة كعورة الرجل. فقد أورد الشيخ الطوسي (385 – 460 هـ) في تفسيره (التبيان): ” قيل: العورة من النساء ماعدا الوجه والكفين والقدمين، وقيل العورة من الرجُل العانة إلى مستغلظ الفخذ من أعلى الركبة وهو العورة من الإماء” (26). فإذا كان لباس الأمة في الصلاة كما ذكرنا، فلك أن تتصور لباسها في أسواق النخاسة، وهي تعرض للبيع في أسواق المدينة ودمشق وبغداد والقاهرة، وهذا الأمر الذي بلغ ذروته في العصر العباسي ثم المملوكي فالعثماني. حيث كان الرجال يخافون على حرائر النساء من الاختلاط، فعمدوا إلى منعهن من مغادرة البيوت، وإلى إجبارهن على تغطية وجوههن بسبب التسيب الجنسي، ونرى فيه سبباً تاريخياً اقتضاه الواقع الاجتماعي. حين كانت الإماء تسير في الطرقات وتقف في الصلاة عارية الثديين والإبطين حاسرة الرأس، لا تستر سوى جيوبها السفلية ما بين الركبة والسرة. وذهب الرق، وانتهى عهد العبودية، وطوى التاريخ لباس الأمة، وبقي لباس الحرة على أنه لباس الإسلام الشرعي، بينما هو لباس اجتماعي بحت لا علاقة له بالإسلام أو بالإيمان لا من قريب ولا من بعيد. يقول ابن تيمية: “الحجاب مختص بالحرائر دون الإماء، كما كانت سنة المؤمنين في زمن النبي (ص) وخلفائه، أن الحرة تحتجب والأمة تبرز. وكان عمر إذا رأى مختمرة ضربها وقال: أتتشبهين بالحرائر أي لكاع” (27). ويقول: وقد كانت الإماء في عهد الصحابة يمشين في الطرقات متكشفات الرؤوس ويخدمن الرجال مع سلامة القلوب. (28) يقول ناصر الدين الألباني في كتابه ” حجاب المرأة المسلمة في الكتاب والسنة”: كان من شروط المسلمين الأولين على أهل الذمة أن تكشف نساؤهم عن سوقهن وأرجلهن كي لا يتشبهن بالمسلمات. (29) هذا يظهر لنا بشكل قاطع أن أطروحة الحجاب التي تقوم على فتنة المرأة للرجل ليس لها أساس شرعي أو ديني، ولا تتفق حتى مع المنطق. إذ كيف نأمر بتحجيب الحرائر ونسمح بسفور الإماء، ويتفق هذا مع مفهوم أن المرأة فتنة للرجل وأنها كلها عورة وأنها كلها شر، والأمة أصلاً امرأة؟ وكيف نفهم أن الحرة القبيحة يجب أن تتحجب، ولا بأس بسفور الأمة ولو كانت شقراء حوراء في الثامنة عشرة من العمر؟ إلا إذا فهمنا أن مفهوم “المرأة فتنة الرجل” جاء من التفسير التوراتي لقصة الخطيئة الأولى كما فصلنا في موضعه. لقد تم تغليب الروح الذكورية في علاقة الفقه الإسلامي التاريخي الإنساني بالمرأة وفي نظرته إليها، حتى تحولت العادات العربية المتعلقة بها إلى دين، وأصبحنا نرى مصطلحات تقوم عليها حياة العرب الاجتماعية والأخلاقية حتى يومنا هذا. هذه المصطلحات هي: الشرف / العِرض / النخوة / المروءة / الشهامة. وهي مصطلحات لا نجدها أبداً في التنزيل الحكيم، لأنها مفاهيم محلية، زمانية ومكانية. فالرجل عند العرب له عِرض، أما المرأة فليس لها عرض، وشرف الرجل العربي محصور بالمرأة أماً وأختاً وزوجةً وبنتاً، أما المرأة إن ارتكبت فاحشة أو ظلمت نفسها، فقد طعنت بشرف أبيها أو أخيها أو زوجها أو حتى ابن عمها، وكأنما لا شرف لها خاص بها، وإذا ارتكب الرجل الفاحشة فلا يطعن بشرف أخته أو زوجته. والرجل العربي إن رأى أخته أو ابنته العاقلة الراشدة مع شخص غريب (زميل دراسة/ زميل عمل/ جار)، ولم يبادرها ويبادره بالضرب والشتم، إن لم نقل بالمسدس والسكين، فهو فاقد في نظر مجتمعه للنخوة والمروءة والشرف. ولو أخذنا هذه المصطلحات بمفهومها العربي، وحاولنا تطبيقها أو بحثنا لها عن مقابل عند الصيني والياباني والألماني، فلن نجد لها أثراً، ولتعرضنا للضحك والسخرية. وبما أن الرسالة المحمدية رسالة إنسانية عالمية، فنحن لا نجد أثراً لهذه المصطلحات في التنزيل الحكيم. ومع ذلك أصبحت هذه المفاهيم في التعامل مع المرأة عندنا أقوى من الدين، وغدت أقوى أثراً في المجتمعات العربية من التنزيل الحكيم نفسه. ورغم أنها مفاهيم بدوية بدائية، يستطيع الباحث أن يردها إلى الأصول التي جاءت منها كما رأينا، إلا أنها مسيطرة على حياتنا نحن العرب بالذات، مؤمنين ونصارى، من أبسط البيوت إلى أرقى الصالونات. ولا تغرنَّك الشعارات التي يرفعها البعض هنا وهناك من تقدمية وعلمانية، فما إن تصل كلها إلى المرأة حتى تعود قبلية بدوية شأنها شأن غيرها. ثمة في القانون جريمة قتل اسمها “جريمة الشرف”، يختلف الحكم على فاعلها إن كان رجلاً، عنه إن كان امرأة. بينما نجد أن الرجل والمرأة في كتاب الله سبحانه سيان، متساويان في الحقوق والواجبات والعقوبات. ونفهم أن الله ورسوله بريئان من كل تخريجة تنسب إليهما في الحكم على أمثال هذه الجرائم (30). الرجل في اليابان يرى شرفه في العمل وإتقان العمل، والرجل في ألمانيا يرى شرفه في صدق القول والوفاء بالالتزامات، والرجل في فرنسا وبلجيكا يرى شرفه في الالتزام بما يرسم له من قوانين من قبل البرلمان. وهذا كله موجود وواضح في كتاب الله وسنة رسوله الصحيحة عندنا، لكننا وضعناه مع الأسف في الدرجة العشرين من سلّم اهتماماتنا وأولوياتنا. يقول النبي (ص): إن الله يحب العبد إذا عمل عملاً أن يتقنه. وأنت لا تجد في طول البلاد الإسلامية وعرضها من يشير إلى هذه الحديث ويجعله موضع دراسته في خطبة الجمعة، فالكل غارقٌ في الصلاة والصيام ولباس المرأة وحجابها، إلا من رحم ربي، وقليل ما هم. وعند العرب والمسلمين من لا يتقن عمله لا يفقد شرفه. والغش في المواصفات عند العرب والمسلمين حالياً لا يجلب العار كالعِرض ولا يظهر الغشاش فاقداً للمروءة والنخوة، ولا تعتبر هذه الصفات من عدم إتقان المهنة والغش سبباً كافياً لأن ترفض عروسٌ خطيبها هي أو أهلها. بعد هذا كله، وبعد أن تبين لنا من هذه المقدمة أن لباس المرأة ومفهوم الحجاب الشرعي أمر تاريخي بحت غير محسوم، ولا يخلو من الالتباس والتدليس، ننتقل لإعادة قراءة آيات الزينة، وماذا يظهر منها وماذا يخفى بالنسبة للمرأة والرجل على حد سواء، لاسيما بعد أن اتضح أمامنا أن الحجاب جاء في كتاب الله خاصاً بنساء النبي بمعناه المكاني في ضوء قوله تعالى {وإذا سألتموهن متاعاً فاسألوهن من وراء حجاب}، وأننا لا علاقة لنا به لخصوصيته حصراً بنساء النبي. جاء لباس الرجل والمرأة في آيتين حدوديتين من سورة النور، فقال تعالى بالنسبة للرجل:

  • {قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ} النور 30.

وقال بالنسبة للمرأة:

  • {وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ..} النور 31.

لنشرح هذه الآيات فقرة فقرة: لقد جاء أمر مشترك للمؤمن والمؤمنة على حد سواء بشيئين أولهما الغض من البصر. هنا نلاحظ قوله تعالى {يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ} فجاء هنا حرف الجر “من” للتبعيض أي جزء من كل، فأمرنا الله الغض من البصر لا غض البصر، ثم أنه لم يضع المفعول به بالنسبة للرجل والمرأة على حد سواء، أي لم يقل لنا أن نغض من أبصارنا عن ماذا؟ فتركت مفتوحة حسب الأعراف “حسب الزمان والمكان” ومفتوحة للمؤمن والمؤمنة على حد سواء. ثم أنه استعمل فعل “غض” في اللسان العربي للدلالة على لطف الفعل، لا على فظاظة الفعل. فالغضاضة فيها لطف وطراوة فنقول: غصن غض أي لين غير يابس، وهنا نضرب المثال التالي: إذا كان رجل يغير ملابسه وهو في وضع لا يحب أن يراه فيه أحد حتى ولو كان رجلاً، ووقف حوله مجموعة من الرجال تنظر إليه فإنها ستسبب له الحرج، وكذلك المرأة إذا كانت في وضع لا تحب أن يراها فيه أحد حتى من النسوة فإنها ستشعر بالحرج إذا نظر إليها أحد، وهذا هو ما أراده الله منا رجالاً ونساء، أن لا ينظر بعضنا إلى بعض في مواقف لا نحب أن يُنظر إلينا فيها، وهذا ما نسميه اليوم بالسلوك الاجتماعي المهذب، أي أننا يجب أن نأخذ موقف التجاهل في مثل هذه المواضع وهذا هو فعل “غض”. أما مفهوم غض البصر بمعنى أن لا ينظر الرجال إلى النساء، ولا تنظر النساء إلى الرجال أثناء العمل والبيع والشراء فهذا ليس عندنا بشيء. ثاني هذين الشيئين هو حفظ الفرج، الذي ورد في كتاب الله وجوب حفظه في حالتين. الحالة الأولى حفظه من الزنى ومن كل العلاقات الجنسية غير المشروعة وذلك في قوله تعالى: {والذين هم لفروجهم حافظون …} المؤمنون 5، 6، 7. والقرينة التي دلتنا على أن الحفظ المطلوب هنا هو الحفظ من الزنى، تظهر في قوله تعالى {إلا على أزواجهم}، ولقد أوضحنا في مواضع أخرى من هذا الكتاب أن الزوج خارج وظيفة الجنس يصبح بعلاً ولا يبقى زوجاً. أما الحالة الثانية فهي حفظه من البصر، وهي المقصودة في آية النور بقوله تعالى {قل للمؤمنين يغضوا من أبصارهم ويحفظوا فروجهم} وقوله {وقل للمؤمنات يغضضن من أبصارهن ويحفظن فروجهن} . والبصر وظيفة العين، وهو غير النظر والرؤية، التي قد تحصل في الدماغ دون إبصار. ولذا نفهم أن حفظ الفرج عند الذكور هو الحد الأدنى من اللباس، أي ما نطلق عليه اليوم اسم (مايوه سباحة)، يكفي لستر الفرج والإليتين وهو ما يطلق عليه الفقهاء العورة المغلظة بالنسبة للرجل. ثم يختم تعالى الآية بقوله: {إن الله خبير بما يصنعون} النور 30. وكما هو معروف فإن الصنع هو نتاج العمل {ويصنع الفلك} هود 38. أو نتاج تربية {ولتصنع على عيني} طه 39 فهنا وضع الأسلوب التربوي الذي هو الأسلوب الأساسي في صناعة المؤمن والمؤمنة القائم على السلوك المهذب وحفظ الفرج، وليس الأسلوب القمعي، وأن غض البصر وحفظ الفروج من الإبصار والفواحش هما نتاج تربية وليسا نتاج خوف وقمع. الآن: ماهي الإضافات التي أضافها الكتاب بالنسبة للمرأة؟ هذه الإضافات تتعلق بالزينة والعورة حيث أن الآية (31) من سورة النور هي آية الحد الأدنى للباس المرأة وهي من الفرائض


1 – فيما يتعلق بلباس الرجل فإن الحد الأدنى له هو تغطية الفرج وهو ما يقال عنه في الفقه (العورة المغلظة)، وما فوق ذلك فهو تابع للأعراف فقط ولظروف الزمان والمكان.

2 – وفيما يتعلق بلباس المرأة فلها الحالات التالية:

أ – لا تظهر المرأة عارية إلا أمام زوجها وبدون حضور أي شخص آخر.

ب – تستر المرأة جيوبها السفلية (الفرج والإليتين) وهو الحد الأدنى للباس وهو ما يسمى بالعورة المغلظة أمام المذكورين في الآية 31 من سورة النور بما فيهم بعلها، والمحارم المذكورون في هذه الآية هم نصف المحارم وليس كلهم.

ت – الحد الأدنى للباس المرأة بشكل عام هو تغطية الجيوب العلوية (الثديين وتحت الإبطين) بالإضافة إلى الجيوب السفلية وهو ليس لباس الظهور الاجتماعي. وما مفهوم السرة والركبة إلا مفهوم اجتماعي فقهي بحت.

ث – لباس الخروج الاجتماعي للمرأة هو ابتداءً من الحد الأدنى وهو حسب أعراف المجتمع الذي تعيش فيه وحسب ظروف الزمان والمكان بحيث لا تتعرض للأذى الاجتماعي، ويتدرج حتى يبلغ حده الأعلى بإظهار الوجه والكفين فقط.

3 – غطاء الرأس بالنسبة للرجل أو المرأة ليس له علاقة بإسلام ولا بإيمان وهو يتبع أعراف المجتمع بشكل كامل.

ومع ذلك فإن المرأة مهما ارتقت فلن تدخل الجنة ومصيرها النار وذلك طبقاً للأحاديث التالية:

1 – حديث الفرقة الناجية.

2 – حديث بعث النار (أهل النار من كل ألف، تسعمائة وتسع وتسعون).

3 – حديث (أريت النار فرأيت معظم أهلها من النساء} (البخاري 38).

أما طبقاً لكتاب الله فالمرأة كالرجل تماماً {من عمل صالحاًُ من ذكر أو أنثى} وهو مؤمن، وقوله تعالى {وقيل تلكم الجنة أورثتموها بما كنتم تعملون} الأعراف 43.


A History of Veiled Women from the Bible, Historical Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Veiling of Women in Historical Judaism:

While the Hebrew Bible may not be clear about the veiling of women and the reasoning behind it, Rabbinic literature presents it as a question of modesty. Modesty became an important rabbinic virtue in the early Roman period, perhaps as a reaction to Greco-Roman life (and later in Babylonian society and may have been a a way to differentiate Jewish women from nonJewish women. In the Babylonian Talmud Berachot 24a, a discussion about what constitutes modesty: “Rav Hisda said: [the sight of] a woman’s leg is ervah, (immodest to be seen and it is related concerning general dress) “your ervah [immodesty] shall be uncovered and your shame shall be exposed.” This selection has been recently invoked in the debate over modern Jewish women and appropriate dress. The Babylonian 3rd century CE scholar, Samuel states: kol b’ishah ervah, a woman’s voice is ervah, [immodest] as it is written (Song of Songs 2:14) “for your voice is sweet and your appearance is comely.” The Babylonian source Rav Sheshet (who was blind) said: [seeing] the hair of a woman is ervah, [immodest] as it is written (ibid. 4:1) “your hair is like a flock of goats.” There are some murals and images that one could invoke to show that the hair of Jewish women was covered or veiled in the Roman period, (the 3rd century CE Dura 3 Europos Synagogue and the coffins paintings of Jewish men and women from Egypt, for example) but as we shall see it may be a cultural marker of the Roman women, rather than Jewish religious standards. The general idea is expressed in the word: Tzniut (Hebrew word for modesty or privacy) in rabbinic Judaism for women and their hair covering. Maimonides, a 13th century Rabbinic scholar states in his book, the Mishneh Torah, (Laws of Women): it is a “direct biblical command for married women to keep their hair from becoming exposed in public, and a custom of Jewish married women to increase that standard in the interest of modesty and maintain an intact covering on their heads at all times.” A few styles of hair covering or veiling are found in historical Judaism. They are scarves, a hat, a net, a wig, and a beret like coveringespecially among European (Ashkenazic) women in the past two centuries. They are common among married Orthodox women today and they are sometimes just called, a net, snood, sheitel, or hat. Jewish law from the Middle Ages onward is very clear about the provision to cover the hair of women. According to the Babylonian Talmud, it is a biblical requirement but that is very difficult to clearly ascertain if the use of a hair covering was normative in Ancient Israel.

A Jewish veiling custom is connected with one of the photos in the exhibition. It was an event in the biblical book of Genesis, chapter 29, which inspired a religious injunction about checking underneath the veil to insure the right bride will be married (“badeken” in Yiddish means “covering”) and is followed to this day at Jewish weddings. According to the interpretation of the Genesis story, Leah the elder (and unmarried) daughter of Laban is replaced for Rachel (the younger daughter) and because the groom (Jacob) did not check, he married Leah instead of her sister Rachel! Although it is not explicit in the text, the veiling of a bride became the norm and the groom checking under the veil of the bride a part of the Jewish wedding ceremony chronicled in Lena’s exhibition

There are allusions to certain coverings of women’s hair in the Bible. In The Song of Songs, 4.1 we see that the poetry alludes to a woman looking out from “behind her veil” and in Genesis 24.65 it is mentioned regarding Rebecca that “…she took her veil and covered herself.” Was she doing this as a custom of welcome, respect, as an appealing allure, it is just not clear. The famous Tamar enticed Judah in a scene in Genesis 38 that suggests that veils for women were for allure and not necessarily connected with modesty: “When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.” In Deuteronomy we hear that a captive woman’s hair is cut apparently as a sign of servitude and in the book of Numbers the suspected wife has her hair loosened in front of a public group but little is said about a formal head covering for women in the biblical period. In the book of Isaiah, (the latter part is from the sixth century BCE), the reference to a woman removing her veil is a sign of shame. Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter Babylon! –Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter Chaldea! –For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, strip 4 off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers, Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen.” It is clear that since there is not many explicitly Israelite renderings of women in the classical biblical period (Iron Age, 1200-586 BCE), nor is there any clear textual information or archaeological artifacts that can confirm the veiling of Israelite and Judean women in the pre-Exilic and pre-Persian period. It is interesting to note that many of the female figurines found in Israelite homes that are perhaps indicators of how the Israelites felt women should/ought to be depicted have a head covering (as do the many pagan figurines from Asherahs, Istartes, Hathor, Isis, etc. ) The idea of Jewish married women wearing a wig (or detached-artificial or natural hair) is debated among Jewish sources and may actually be seen as an import from outside of Jewish practices.

The idea of men and women wearing wigs (documented in the medieval and early modern illuminated manuscripts such as the Passover HaggaSome women in the modern period have multiple head-coverings, including a wig, (sheitel in Yiddish), hair extenders or partial covers, a scarf (tichel in Yiddish) and a hat or beret to insure that the hair is totally covered and only seen by the husband (and or very close family members). The use of the head covering in the modern period among married Jewish women (and sometimes even unmarried women) has changed in the post-WWII perioddah below) affected the debate as well. Some rabbis argued against wigs because nonJews were wearing them (in that period) while other rabbis insisted on a head-covering for women of some kind.

Some religious women have taken to wearing head bands, berets, and other types of head coverings only in ritual settings and synagogues. Some religious women and especially women rabbis cover their hair as indicators of their own piety and the types of coverings are similar to those worn by religious men and head coverings worn by male rabbis. The head coverings include hats, yarmulkes (Kippah in Hebrew) that are knitted (as male yarmulkes), but just as often these yarmulkes worn by women have been specially knitted to distinguish the male head covering from the female head covering to insure that they do not violate a biblical prohibition on cross-dressing. Yemenite, unmarried Jewish women covered their heads in Yemen in the preWorld War II period, similar to Muslim women of that period. When the Yemenite Jews came to Israel this custom stopped among Jewish unmarried women. This Jewish custom of unmarried women covering their hair is not found among Ashkenazic (European) Jewish women (nor is it found among other Jewish women in the rest of the Middle East). The custom of unmarried Yemenite Jewish women covering their hair did not continue in modern Israel but the topic is a very important issue in modern Israel. In modern Israel, even the different types of coverings that women choose to cover their hair with has taken on new and unexpected political, cultural, ethnic and religious implications. While modern orthodox Jewish women had tended in the postWWII era to prefer to wear stylish hats to wigs or scarves, today combinations of scarfs, wigs, and hats (sometimes at the same time) have become parts of some communities both in Israel and the Diaspora. Veiling of Women

Veiling of Women in Historical Christianity: While one might have thought that historical views of the veiling of women in Christianity emerged from Judaism, in fact it appears that Christian views are a reaction to pagan practices of the Greco-Roman period. The most famous citation in early Christianity is from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about what is appropriate for the male and female followers to do in Corinth: 1 Corinthians 11:4-16: “4. Every man who prays or prophesies, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if she were shaven. 6. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, inasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.”

To this day, men in churches remove their head covering while women often cover their hair. At Christian holy sites, women will veil even if they are not fully modestly dressed as a vestige of the original practice. Men will uncover their heads and women will cover both the head and sometimes the shoulders and head often depending on the denomination of the holy site in Israel. This was part of Lena’s work, to track women of different denominations and show how they reflected this. Lay people (non-clergy) often cover their heads in Roman Catholic settings. Lace head coverings are used in many churches and sometimes different women will not wear the head-covering in the same holy site and even in the most holy settings (for example in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site in Christendom). Some of the most famous veiling ceremonies of modern Christianity which were noted by our students are in the “coming of age” ceremony of “Communion” which, in many denominations, happens at puberty and the wedding ceremony where the veiled bride walks down the aisle and is presented to the groom veiled and the groom will help the bride pull the veil back to reveal her face during the ceremony.

The origins of this view in Christianity may have to do more with the influence of Roman (nonChristian) women than from an inherent Jewish practice. The Vestal virgins wore a special headcovering and on the Roman coins in our archaeology section you will be able to see the women of Roman depicted wearing a veil. In our small statuette from Bethsaida you will notice that veil of Livia-Julia (wife of the Augustus Caesar) wearing a veil with what looks like a very stylized hair style. One of the ways of personifying Rome itself was pudicitia, “modesty” and she is presented as a goddess wearing her head covered with a pallium or veil.

Archaeological Evidence of the Early Christians in Catacombs There is evidence on the murals and drawings in the catacombs of Rome that early Christian women were covering their heads. In the ancient illustrations and sculptures that do show Greek women with covered heads, the head covering is usually just the himation (a scarf) pulled over the top and back of the head. Sometimes it is shown over the head and wrapped around the neck, without covering the face. There is also women who apparently covered the lower part of the face with a scarf in much the same way that Islamic women cover the lower part of the face showing the eyes. We have the traditions of Plutarch who comments that respectable Roman women would appear in public with head covering as evidence that this may be a cultural rather than religious practice. Plutarch writes concerning the Spartans, “When someone inquired why they took their girls into public places unveiled, but their married women veiled, he said, ‘Because the girls have to find husbands, and the married women have to keep to those who have them!'” This may imply that the veiling was after marriage similar to the Jewish veiling practices. In about 200 CE, Tertullian in Carthage (a Roman colony, like Corinth) wrote, “some, with their turbans and woolen bands, do not veil their head, but bind it up; protected, indeed, in front, but, where the head properly lies, bare. Others are to a certain extent covered over the region of the brain with linen coifs of small dimensions …and not reaching quite to the ears” (On the Veiling of Virgins, chap. 17). Tertullian’s On the Pallium indicates that there were a number of different customs of dress associated with different cults to which the early Christians had belonged. There are a number of independent sources which pretty clearly indicate that pagan Roman women did not always cover their heads in public. The “veiling of the bride” spoken of in ancient Roman sources pertains only to the wedding ceremony, not to a change of ordinary clothing. For a nun, the “habit” symbolizes a new sanctified lifestyle which is a form of marriage to Christ, with the nun as the “bride of Christ.” When asking women (tourists and locals) in the churches that the students visited in Israel why the women were veiling, most pointed to modesty reasons (even when they were wearing immodest clothing). Some pointed to 8 the fact that the nuns ministering in many of the churches were veiled and knew that the Roman Catholic nuns in the churches we visited were “married to Christ.” The veiling may be reminiscent of the pagan veiling ceremony of Rome or the veiling of Jewish women after marriage. It is hard to know which came first (or what was more influential), although the students came to the conclusion that the Roman custom seems to have been very culturally influential and affected both the Jewish and the early Christian practice.

The Veiling of Women in Historical Islam Most Muslims that were asked about veiling quote the Quran as the source of the tradition in Islam of veiling. Modesty and privacy is the general term used in Arabic or Hijab. There are Arabic words for headscarf (Chimar or Jilbab, Jalbab-or Jalabib), but generally in that Arabic speaking world, one finds that Niqab (is seen as the word for the face covering), and Abaya for the robes. There are other ideas as well. The Quran states: “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters, and the women of the faithful, to draw their wraps (Jalabib) over them. They will thus be recognized and no harm will come to them. God is all forgiving and most merciful.” (Sura 33, verse 59). But earlier in the chapter, this is related specifically to the wives of Muhammad. Sura 33:53: “If you have to ask his wives (the prophet’s wives) for something, ask them from behind a barrier (Hijab). This is purer for your hearts and their hearts.” Although it is directed to the wives of the Prophet and daughters, it is by inference understood to be directed to all Muslim women. It has been directed to all girls of any age, not just married women. The problem is that the citation and the other citation used to describe the practice does not give a direct prohibition or commandment concerning a head covering but is a general idea about modesty. In the Quran, Sura 24.31 it is said: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their Chimar (scarf) over their breasts and not display their beauty except to [their husbands]. “ The other major source for the custom seems to come from early Islamic custom which is mentioned in the Hadith traditions of the Sahih Al Bukhari.

(Note: Hadith: Narrations by Al Bukhari regarding the Quranic verses of the Hijab are usually what is by Shia and Sunni traditions. Al Bukhari was a Persian Muslim Scholar, Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, (9th century) and according to Islam he collected from oral traditions that went all the way back to the time of Muhammad.) One tradition, states: “Prophet of Allah!, you receive all kinds of people at your home – good and bad; it would be better if you ask your wives to observe Hijab.” The second narration that is quoted: “The advantage in observing Hijab is that these women are recognized as pious and respectable. Thus, the evil doers would not be after them and the women would not have to face unpleasantness. Nobody will dare follow and make advances to a woman who has completely concealed herself as opposed to the one who has come out nicely decorated without Hijab; the malicious and evilminded folks will associate great hopes with such women. This is, of course, not in the presence of all men. The category of close family is distinguished from the general population. Examples of close family are: father, brother, uncle, husband etc. The other question is when this veiling should start. While for Jews, the marriage marks a change of status and therefore married women will cover their hair, the “covering” of women’s hair in prayer situations among Jews at “Bat Mitzvah” age or puberty seems to mark a difference. The veiling of little girls (ages five and above) during their early childhood we found was seen as a way to teach the child for future reference. In the exhibition we feature some of the youngest and some of the oldest:

If the average non-Muslim were asked to name one thing about Islam, it could well be that women are required by Islamic Law (Shariah) to wear a veil and cover their faces in public. In fact, that is not easily legislated in most Muslim countries and in a country such as Israel or France, the veiling serves to give ethnic, cultural as well as religious identity. Muslims are usually referring to these sources of the Quran and Hadith when they say that “Islam” enjoins both men and women to dress modestly. Historical Islam has a series of different views concerning appropriate dress for men and women as they are presented in historically important texts such as the Quran and Hadith although many of these citations show little attempt to systematize dress for men and women. Islamic law developed a code where women were expected to cover their bodies from the ankles to the neck and the arms above the elbow and this legislation is usually what is invoked (and not the Quran or Hadith). According to one interpretation given by women in the photographs of the exhibitions, Jalbab is actually the outer sheet or coverlet which a woman wraps around on top of her garments to cover herself from head to toe. It hides her body completely. The root word Jalbab means to completely cover something. Some Islamic sources hold the Jalbab is that sheet of cloth, which is worn on top of the scarf.

There are different ways to wear the Hijab presently seen in Israel, some were in the exhibition and others were observed by students on the streets. Hijab is: the sheet should be wrapped from the top covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both the eyes uncovered and of, course, the top covering without any face covering. But the veil itself, particularly a veil which covers the entire face including the eyes, is controversial both in Muslim countries and in non-Muslim countries, beyond the issues of safety and community identity. There are many words used to describe the veiling. Abaya, Bourka, Niqab, Jalbab, Hijab and Chador.

Chador is a Persian word for a full-body-length semicircle of fabric that is split open down the front, with a head-hole in the top. It is easy to put on and fulfills the hijab (modesty) covering. Among Muslim women, Lena Stein, the photographer found three versions of coverings. Stylish, colorful, long robes are substituted in the cities with long suits and hijab, the more traditional full black bourka without full face covering (niqab) is sometimes found in small cities and villages.

Traditional dress codes in fact vary sharply in different Muslim countries and among different types of Muslims. In Iran, the black chador is traditional among wide sectors of society but among the Bedouin of the Arabian peninsula, women wear scarves that cover their hair but leave their faces open – just like most of the men in the area-the scarf may be different, but the purposes are similar. The same is also true in Muslim areas of south-east Asia. As political Islam in areas formerly influenced primarily by European culture, the veil has become a part of an ideological statement by women, their families and often as a sign of resistance and not always for piety.

But it is important to recognize that Islam’s classical texts may “originally” only prescribe modesty for women rather than actually mandating the wearing of a particular garment. The garment chosen: “ veil” may be a carry-over from the different influences of early period Islam: Judaism, Christianity, early desert groups. Some suggest, for example, that as the “original” concept of modesty can be interpreted in the modern period as not drawing unnecessary attention to oneself, a woman wearing baggy jeans, a jumper and an unobtrusive (often colorful or stylish) scarf in a Western country could be more in accordance with the spirit of Islamic law than another woman who wore the full bourka which drew more attention to her. In 2010, one of our students, Katie Child, a Judaic Studies major and a Music Major at the Hartt did a whole project on the “veiling practices” and came to the conclusion in Israel that the head covering served a number of different purposes. She wrote: “Muslim women who would wear head covering would sometimes wear it all of the time or just some of the time. Some social status issues were clear. Village people in Galilee, for example, in very non-Muslim settings (swimming at the Sea of Galilee) were sometimes more meticulous with their head coverings than in exclusively Muslim settings.”



Haredi burqa sect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A member of the sect in Meah Shearim

The Haredi burqa sect (Hebrew: נשות השָאלִים Nešót HaŠälím, meaning “Shal(-wearing) Women”), is a religious group, primarily concentrated in Israel, in which ultra-Orthodox Jewish (Haredi) women claim that modesty calls for a burqa-style covering of the entire body, a shal (plural shalim, English shawl), including a veil covering the face. The garment, which looks more like a niqab than a burqa, is also called frumka, a play of the word frum (Yiddish for devout) and burqa. The group, which was estimated to number around 100 in 2008 and several hundred in 2011, is concentrated in the town of Beit Shemesh.

The issue has proven controversial in Haredi circles, with vocal condemnation of the face covering veil by some Haredi organizations, including Edah HaChareidis.


The frumka as a mode of dress for Haredi women was encouraged by Bruria Keren, an Israeli religious leader who taught a strict (by Orthodox standards) interpretation of Jewish scripture for female adherents. Keren, who covers herself in several layers of clothing, claims that covering women was originally a Jewish tradition, and that she has seen a 400-year-old picture of Jewish women covered from head to toe.[1] There are also Sephardic women, who claim that their mothers covered their bodies entirely so that one cannot discern their figures.[2] Keren declares to “follow these rules of modesty to save men from themselves. A man who sees a woman’s body parts is sexually aroused, and this might cause him to commit sin. Even if he doesn’t actually sin physically, his impure thoughts are sin in themselves”. Some of her followers also have their small girls covering themselves in the same way, and the women do not expose their face even at home.[3]The religious group, which was estimated to number around 100 in 2008 and may have grown to several hundred by 2011,[4] is concentrated in Beit Shemesh, but also has followers in Safed and Jerusalem. The majority of the women have secular backgrounds.[3][5]

In February 2008, Bruria Keren was arrested on charges of severely abusing her children.[5] Identified in court as “B.”, she was convicted by the Jerusalem District Court in 2009 on three counts of abuse of a minor or helpless person and 25 counts of assault in aggravated circumstances, and sentenced to four years in prison. Her husband, identified in court as “M.” was also convicted of 10 counts of assault and three counts of abuse of a minor or helpless person, and was sentenced to six months in jail.[6] After being sentenced to prison, Keren was succeeded as leader of the group by Bracha Benizri,[citation needed] who adopted the shawl out of concern for “the deteriorating state of modesty in the ultra-Orthodox community,” according to her husband Rabbi David Benizri, who reportedly claims that there are close to 30,000 women wearing the shawl in Israel.[2]

Other practices

Bruria Keren does not speak in front of men and has taken on various ascetic practices.[2] During her prison term, she was hospitalized several times for malnutrition and other maladies as a result of her unwillingness to eat the food provided.[7] Some members of the group reportedly do not believe in vaccination or treatments. On February 8, 2013, one woman’s baby allegedly died from untreated flu, with the parents then fleeing from the law. On another occasion, a new born baby had to be taken to hospital by force, after the mother had refused to go to hospital to give birth to avoid contact with hospitals and physicians.[8] Other cases of child abuse and neglect have been reported within the group.[9]

Children have been removed from school by their mothers and in one case a woman fled with her children because of a disagreement with a school. The women have also been reported to refuse marital relations. In another case, a 15-year-old boy was married to a 23-year-old woman at the decision of two of the group’s leaders. After the wedding, the groom wanted to divorce his wife, but she refused. As a result, the boy took an additional wife, with his family’s blessing. Halacha does not permit bigamy, and the new marriage caused a burst of anger and led the first wife to ultimately agree to the divorce.[2]

Perception in Israeli society

The Israeli press has adopted the informal epithet “Taliban mothers” to refer to the followers of Bruria Keren’s teachings on modesty.[10] According to Miriam Shaviv the estimated 100 “gullible and needy” Jewish women for whom Keren was a holy woman, were not forced but convinced by Keren “that the ideal for a woman was not to be seen in public (and not even to be heard – she used to stop talking for days on end). Negating themselves, she was telling them, making themselves invisible, was the height of frumkeit, while in fact it has no basis whatsoever in halachah”.[11] The Israel National Council for the Child has requested the Welfare Ministry to look into the matter and make sure this behavior is not harmful to the girls.[3]

Religious and legal reaction

The response by other Orthodox schools has been stronger than the rest of the public, and characterized by consternation, particularly against the shal garment.[3] An anonymous pashkevil condemning the “cult” of “epikoros” women was posted in Jerusalem in September 2011. The Edah HaChareidis issued an edict declaring the act of wearing the shawl to be a sexual fetish as deviant as scant clothing or nudity. “There is a real danger that by exaggerating, you are doing the opposite of what is intended [resulting in] severe transgressions in sexual matters,” explains Edah member Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim. The religious court of Beit Shemesh has issued a sharp condemnation of the group, and warned Jewish women and girls not to be drawn after them or follow their customs.[12]

People in Beit Shemesh, which includes some of the most religiously radical sects in Orthodoxy, considered the group of women ridiculously – even psychotically – zealous.[5]Even Sikrikim came out against the phenomenon of wearing veils, which they consider extreme.[2] The women were regularly ostracized and humiliated by the local haredi community because of their clothing. “We pulled them off buses and yelled at them, ‘Desecrators of God’s name!'”, one inhabitant said.[5] The movement has caused severe distress among the women’s husbands and relatives, although most husbands endure it. Some men accuse the covered women of being immodest, because they draw more attention to themselves with their unusual dress.[1][3] One man went to a rabbinical court in an attempt to get a ruling to force his wife to stop wearing the burka. Instead, the court, however, found the woman’s behaviour so “extreme” that it ordered the couple to undergo an immediate religious divorce.[12]

In 2014, Israeli police shot a member of the sect after she walked into the Western Wall area without stopping at a security checkpoint. She survived and was taken to the hospital for treatment.[13]


Yair Nehorai, an Israeli lawyer who has represented individuals involved in the “Taliban Mother” case and other orthodox extremists, has written a book loosely based on the real-life “Taliban Mother” case.[14] The book, “Taliban Son” has been released in Hebrew and in German translation.

Similar movements

Another Haredi group which requires female adherents to wear such shawls is the Lev Tahor group of Israeli-Canadian rabbi Shlomo Helbrans.[15] A Messianic claimant and faith healer from Tel Aviv named Goel Ratzon reportedly lived with 32 women who neighbors said “wore modest clothing that neighbors likened to those of religious Muslims” before he was arrested.[16]

مهمة الرسول -الدكتو محمد شحرور

قال تعالى {وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ} (الأنبياء 107) وقوله “للعالمين” تعني للناس كافة، إلى أن تقوم الساعة، والرسول الأعظم وعى ذلك تماماً، ووعى أيضاً أن مهمته كرسول هي البلاغ فقط {فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظاً إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ} (الشورى 48)، علماً أن “إلا” هي أداة حصر، أي أن مهمة الرسول محصورة في تبليغ الرسالة.
فإذا بحثنا عن شرح لآيات التنزيل الحكيم قدمه الرسول (ص) لما وجدنا، إلا فيما يتعلق بإقامة الصلاة وأداء الزكاة، ولو أنه شرح سور الأعراف والأنعام والرعد والنحل وغيرها لتحول إلى “الشيخ محمد بن عبد الله”، ولتحولت رسالته من عالمية صالحة لكل زمان ومكان، إلى رسالة محلية لها احتمال وحيد لتطبيقها، يتوافق مع شبه جزيرة العرب في القرن السابع الميلادي فقط، والقول أن الرسول شرح الكتاب فهذا يعني أنه من تأليفه.
وما قام به الرسول هو مهمتان: تبليغ الرسالة {يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ —}(المائدة 67)، وتأسيس الدولة المدنية وتنظيم الحلال أمراً ونهياً، لا تحريماً، أي بما لا يحتاج إلى وحي، بل بما يختص به المشرعون إلى أن تقوم الساعة، وعليه تنطبق الآية {وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا} (الحشر 7).
وإذا افترضنا أن الرسول قد توفي أمس فقد ترك لنا التنزيل الحكيم، كتاب من حي لأحياء، علينا قراءته وفق أرضيتنا المعرفية، وعلى من يأتي بعدنا إعادة القراءة وهكذا.
وهذا لا يقلل إطلاقاً من قيمة الرسول، بل على العكس يوضح عظيم رؤيته لمهمته، فلم يدع معرفة تفسير الكتاب، ونهى عن تدوين أقواله وأفعاله، وشكلت نبوته طفرة معرفية وتاريخية في أسس تشكيل الدول وتنظيم المجتمع.

Hijab is NOT a compulsion of Islam

I think that most of the Muslims and non Muslims think hijab is a religious obligation of Islam to Muslim women.

We informally call to all the veils, except the Niqab and the Burqa, Hijab.

The Reasons

Islam says that both men and women should dress with modesty. These are words from God in the Holy Quran:

[24.30] قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

[24.30] Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

[24.31] وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

[24.31] And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments…

As you see about clothing, Islam doesn’t really say how to dress. Only that you should guard your modesty, cover your breasts and yours sexual attributes.

So everyone specify that Muslims should not display between the belly until the knees (special if you’re a women) and your breasts.

Why cover the hair? Is it a sexual attribute? Since when you feel attracted by someone’s hair? If yes I recommend that you should go to the medic.

However the main Quranic argument is on the Surah Al Ahzaab:

[33.59] يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لأزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

[33.59] O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

In order to understand this verse you need some background study.

The IRFI – Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc. has in it’s website this issue explained:

“According to the Quran, the reason why Muslim women should wear an outer garment when going out of their homes is that they may be recognized as “Believing” women and differentiated from streetwalkers for whom sexual harassment is an occupational hazard. The purpose of this verse was not to confine women to their homes, but to make it safe for them to go about their daily business without attracting unsavory attention.”

“The Quran does not suggest that women should be veiled or they should be kept apart from the world of men. On the contrary, the Quran is insistent on the full participation of women in society and in the religious practices.

Morality of the self and cleanliness of conscience are far better than the morality of the purdah. No goodness can come from pretence. Imposing the veil on women is the ultimate proof that men suspect their mothers, daughters, wives and sisters of being potential traitors to them. How can Muslim men meet non-Muslim women who are not veiled and treat them respectfully, but not accord the same respectful treatment to Muslim women?

To wear the Hijaab is certainly NOT an Islamic obligatory on women. It is an innovation (Bid’ah) of men suffering from a piety complex who are so weak spiritually that they just cannot trust themselves!”

Older women as they are no longer a source of sexual attraction they don’t have to take specially attention to their cloth when outside. This is according to the Holy Quran:

[24.60] وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ اللاتِي لا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ وَأَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

[24.06] Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage, – there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things.

IRFI: “It is part of the growing feeling on the part of Muslim men and women that they no longer wish to identify with the West, and that reaffirmation of their identity as Muslims requires the kind of visible sign that adoption of conservative clothing implies.

For these women the issue is not that they have to dress conservatively, but that they choose to.”
I would like to say that I personally like women who wear the Hijab but that doesn’t discourage me to tell Muslims sister that they only have to wear hijab if they want to.

Note that in some countries using the Hijab may draw more eye attention to you but it allow that other people including Muslims know that you are Muslim sister 😉

So remember: Hijab is not obligatory, MODEST dress is.