Saturday, May 15, 2010

For women, eyes must be covered

The joyless world of Deobandi fatwas

Is it necessary for a woman’s eyes to be covered while in observance of purdah? Is it necessary for her hands to be covered while in observance of purdah? Is it necessary for her feet to be covered while in observance of purdah?

The best purdah for a woman is that the palms and no part of her body and adornments are exposed, ie, the whole body is covered from head to toe. If it is possible to see through the purdah, then the eyes also should be covered... (Fatwa: 1587/1330=L/1429)

Can women wear gents clothes? Is it permissible for women to wear jeans and T-shirts?

There are some Hadith that relate curse for such women who adopt the resemblance of men. Therefore, wearing clothes of men is not correct for women. (Fatwa: 771/730=B)

Can women use perfume or ittar because they get more sweating (pasina)? Can they use or Islam doesn’t give permission to use?

Women can use perfume provided they are not passing by non-mahram in this state. While going out of house using aromatic perfume is not lawful. One should avoid using such perfumes which contain alcohol. (Fatwa: 604/L=212/tl=1431)

Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to cut and colour her hair for her husband? Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to do such style as Western woman for her husband?

It is unlawful and haraam for a woman to cut the hair of her head (even) though for her husband. But, she can colour it with colours other than black. The dye should not be thick having layers which may prevent water to reach to the surface of the hair. Imitating the Western-styled women and adopting their resemblance in matters against sharia’h is unlawful. It is not lawful even for husband. (Fatwa: 1347/1347=M/1430)

I would like to know if it is permissible for a Muslimah to work as a translator for a tribunal.

It is not a good thing for women to do jobs in offices. They will have to face strange men (non-mahram) though in veil. She will have to talk and deal with others which is fitna (evil). A father is committed to provide maintenance to his daughter and a husband is asked to provide maintenance to his wife. So, there is no need for women to do jobs which always pose harm and mischief. (Fatwa: 691/636=D/1429)

Can Muslim women in India do Government or private jobs? Shall their salary be halaal or haraam?

It is unlawful for Muslim women to do job in Government or private institutions where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without veil. (Fatwa: 577/381/L=1431)

These are but a few fatwas issued by the learned muftis, the ulema, the scholars who teach young men with impressionable minds the real, true meaning of Islam and how it governs the daily lives of the faithful. And they have been issued by Darul Uloom, Deoband. More precisely, they have been issued by Darul Ifta, which according to this Islamic seminary at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, the second largest in the world after Cairo’s Al Azhar, “is one of the most significant departments of Darul Uloom” to which “people from across the world pose questions on religious and social matters”.

We are further informed that “Darul Uloom has issued fatwas from its inception but when questions started coming in bulk and it was hard for the teachers to reply them in their part time, Darul Uloom set up this department (Darul Ifta) in 1892”. Darul Ifta has so far issued “more than seven lakh fatwas”. The department claims, and we have no reason to disbelieve the learned men (they have to be men as women are not deemed to be learned enough to decide on theological issues; they can merely ask and must abide by the response) that fatwas issued by Darul Uloom are held in “high esteem in and outside the country; besides the masses, the law courts in the country also honour them and consider them decisive”. In brief, they are not mere advisories but binding on Muslims. At least that’s what those issuing the fatwas believe, and would like us to believe.

It would be facetious to suggest and erroneous to presume that the more than seven lakh fatwas issued by Darul Uloom, Deoband, pertain only to how women should deport themselves and live their lives according to the tenets of Islam. From Islamic beliefs to world religions, from deviant sects and groups to innovations and customs, from the Quran to the Hadith and Sunnah, from purity to prayer, from death and funeral to business and industry, from international relations to penal code, and of course women’s issues, Darul Uloom, Deoband, has a firm view on almost every imaginable aspect of our lives, including whether it’s alright to use a razor to shave the most intimate parts of our body.

Seeking guidance from Darul Uloom, Deoband, a person asks: “Is it halaal to take a policy in LIC according to sharia’h in Islam?” The learned muftis answer: “LIC policy is unlawful due to being based on interest and gambling.” (Fatwa: 565/565/M=1431) Another person seeking enlightenment writes in: “At present I am working in a private limited company as an accountant. I want to know about bank jobs. Can a Muslim take a job in a bank or insurance company?” The scholars provide their considered reply: “The job of writing and calculating interest based work in conventional banks and insurance companies is not lawful for a Muslim.” (Fatwa: 466/466/M=1431) “Dear mufti sahab,” a person who wants further clarification writes, “Is it allowed in Islam to work as a life insurance agent?” Firm and unrelenting, mufti sahab sternly replies: “Life insurance contains interest as well as gambling and both these things are unlawful as per Quran and Hadith. Therefore, working as agent of life insurance is helping in sin, so it is prohibited by sharia’h.”(Fatwa: 762/571=L/1430)

Faced with a court order, a person seeks guidance: “I had a factory which was closed down because of sealing in Delhi. Now the court has ordered me to pay compensation (on which they have charged interest) to the non-Muslim labourers who worked there. Since my financial position is not very good, I would like to ask whether I can pay this amount from the bank interest that has accumulated in my bank account or out of zakaat?” To this profound query the muftis reply: “Interest amount of bank or zakaat cannot be given to non-Muslim labourers.” (Fatwa: 1178/1178=M/1430)

Such then are the views of Darul Uloom, Deoband, which are assiduously inculcated among those who study there. These views are then propagated at the tens of thousands of madarsas where Deobandi mullahs are employed to teach young children. It would be worthwhile to remember that the Government of secular India spends taxpayers’ money on funding these madarsas.


pulkit mishra said...

Islam is a progressive religion but wacko fundamentalists distort the meaning of every phrase of Glorious Quran.No where in Quran the word burqa is mentioned.It has only asked women to dress modestly.
Men rape women;so it is men who should wear the burqa.

Truth Always Wins said...

how can we challenge this funding by GOI of madarsa

ukindian said...

The UPA Government should be asked categorically whether it agrees with such archaic canards about women. In a country where we had a PM like Indira Gandhi who could make most men s**t in their pants, are we going to allow these demented to demean our women? It’s a shame that after 63 years of Independence, there are whole lot of these guys being produced with such disgusting seventh century fundamentalist doctrines (They ought to be exported to our neighbouring Islamic Nations). These Mullahs are secretly creating an Indian Taliban waiting for the ‘J- Day’.
Those who want to bury their heads into ‘Pseudo-secular sand’ must read the following quotes from the ‘Holy Quran’ and ‘Hadiths’ to get some insight into the fundamentalist’s take on the ‘Words of Allah/God’. Remember, those who choose not to follow these instructions are not Muslims. (40:35- means Chapter/Surah 40, Verse/Ayah 35):
The Koran defines the kafir and says that the kafir is:

Hated- 40:35 They who dispute the signs of Allah [kafirs] without authority having reached them are greatly hated by Allah and the believers. So Allah seals up every arrogant, disdainful heart. and despised by Allah.

Punished- 25:77 Say to the kafirs: My Lord does not care for you or your prayers. You have rejected the truth, so sooner or later, a punishment will come.

Beheaded- 47:4 When you encounter the kafirs on the battlefield, cut off their heads until you have thoroughly defeated them and then take the prisoners and tie them up firmly.

Terrorized- 8:12 Then your Lord spoke to His angels and said, "I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the kafirs' hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers!"

Killed- 4:91 If they do not keep away from you or offer you peace or withdraw their hostilities, then seize them and kill them wherever they are. We give you complete authority over them.

Crucified- 5:33 The only reward for those who war against Allah and His messengers and strive to commit mischief on the earth is that they will be slain or crucified, have their alternate hands and feet cut off, or be banished from the land. This will be their disgrace in this world, and a great torment shall be theirs in the next except those who repent before you overpower them. Know that Allah is forgiving and merciful.

A Muslim is not the friend of a kafir- 3:28 Believers should not take kafirs as friends in preference to other believers. Those who do this will have none of Allah's protection and will only have themselves as guards. Allah warns you to fear Him for all will return to Him.
Evil- 23:97 And say: Oh my Lord! I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the evil ones [kafirs]. And I seek refuge with you, my Lord, from their presence.

Disgraced- 37:18 Tell them, "Yes! And you [kafirs] will be disgraced." a partner of Satan 25:55 And still they worship others besides Allah who can neither help nor hurt them. The kafir is Satan's ally against Allah.
Unclean- 9:28 Oh, believers, only the kafirs are unclean.

Cursed- 33:60 They [kafirs] will be cursed, and wherever they are found, they will be seized and murdered. It was Allah's same practice with those who came before them, and you will find no change in Allah's ways.
Stolen from- Bukhari 5,59,537 On the day of Khaybar, Allah's Apostle divided the spoils of war of Khaybar with the ratio of two shares for the horse and one share for the foot soldier.

Raped- Ishaq 759 [Mohammed's official biography] On the occasion of Khaybar, Mohammed put forth new orders about forcing sex with captive women. If the woman was pregnant she was not to be used for sex until after the birth of the child. Nor were any women to be used for sex who were unclean with regard to Muslim laws about menstruation.

Anonymous said...

Pulkit Mishra finds Islam progressive? Have you read the whole Quran. Burqa is not the arabic word. You will not find that in Quran.

ukindian said...

In Islam the face was never required to be covered originally. All over the middle-east in the seventh century women covered their head/hair with a scarf, probably to protect from a heat stroke. Men and women covered head with a cloth called ‘Khimaar’. But in a male chauvinistic society Muslim men don’t require to wear it any more whereas women till do. Christian nuns even today cover their head from a similar practice carried down from Roman Palestine, Phoenica etc before Islam. The Hadiths of Muhammad have proof that he never advised faces to be covered like in the ‘Afghani Burqha’. Following can be referred to:
Narrated Aisha (the Prophet's wife): Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin 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 body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. (Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4092)

The advice was to use the ‘Khimaar’ mentioned above, to cover their bosoms- face was never mentioned. Women would wear it tied behind so their neck and upper chest were visible. This verse is therefore an order that the Khimaar now be drawn over the chest, so that the neck and chest were not bare:

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, [a list of relatives], [household servants], 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. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (Quran 24:31).

But when old wrinkled up women wear the full Burqha they do so out of ignorance and misinformation. Because an old lady could be only generated sympathy not lust. Here is what the Quran says:

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. (Quran 24:60)

There is an interesting text from 1st century Arabia when a beautiful Arab lady refused to wear a veil. Here is what she said:

When the son of a prominent companion of the Prophet asked his wife Aisha bint Talha to veil her face, she answered, "Since the Almighty hath put on me the stamp of beauty, it is my wish that the public should view the beauty and thereby recognized His grace unto them. On no account, therefore, will I veil myself." (Women in the Muslim World, ed. Lynn Reese, 1998)
Please note that there was a time when women in the Hijaz (Western Saudi Arabia) were managing flourishing camel- caravans and trading businesses and were as forward looking as Greece and Rome perhaps. Khadija was one such woman. It is said the size of her caravan was larger than all others put together. She employed men as commission-agents to take her goods to markets in Syria and other places. Muhammad worked for her too before she personally proposed marriage to him.
Another point to note is that Muhammad proposed veiling much later in life when he old, to protect his young beautiful wives from the gaze of the occasional young and lusty Arab (he had 12 wives following 25 long years of monogamous marriage with Khadija who died). Hundreds came to his living quarters to meet him on a daily basis.