As a Muslim woman I am occasionally asked about my manner of dress.
I always try to give a friendly and informative answer, but often either
I or the questioners are in a hurry,
and they walk away as confused as ever. So allow me to share with you a
bit about the Muslim woman's dress in my blog. So, i have copy and paste this article to share with you all...
Women's covering like this did not begin with Muslims.
Both the Torah and the New Testament instruct women to cover their heads.
Consider images of Mary the mother of Jesus.
She is always dressed exactly like Muslim women dress today!
Practicing Jewish women still
cover their heads,
although they now do it with wigs instead of scarves, and some Christian sects like the
Mennonites and Amish
have also retained the head covering. In God's last revelation to mankind, the Qur'an,
He also instructs women to cover their beauty.
"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)
that they should draw their veils over their
bosoms and not display their beauty
except to their husbands,
their fathers, their husbands' fathers..." (Qur'an An-Nur, 30-31)
Many Westerners associate this type of modesty with
submission and the subjugation of women.
The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, they sometimes
witness in the media truly oppressed Muslim women,
who, ignorant of their own faith are treated poorly
in the name of Islam by unscrupulous or equally
Secondly, their own history and scriptures predispose them to this belief.
Commonly called the
"Eve complex" there is a school of thought in Christianity which blames
Eve for Adam's sin of eating from the
The Church's historical view of women as
temptresses and soulless vessels of sexual evil is a
result of this belief.
Additionally Paul associates modesty on the part
of women with submission to their husbands
when he says in I
Corinthians 11:3 "...the head of every women is the man....."
But in Islam, although the husband is
e leader of the family (as every organization has a leader),
the two concepts of modesty and obedience are
not linked as they were by Paul.
God says in the Qur'an that the believing women should
"cast their 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." [Qur'an Al-Ahzab,59]
So Muslim woman's manner of dress is not a
symbol of her submission to man,
but rather a symbol of her belief in God.
It was prescribed by God to protect women from co
modification, objectification and sexualization,
which occur when they display themselves to all, and
sundry rather than reserving their beauty
as something private and precious.
The benefits of covering are many. A Muslim woman forces people
to deal with her
on a person-to-person level.
She is known for her talents, intellect and personality only,
not as "fat", "beautiful" or "a red-head".
She maintains dignity at a time when women are
constantly being treated in a sexually
degrading manner- she is not
sexually harassed or date raped. A Muslim woman retains the
respect and reverence
that Western women gave up
when they began to mistakenly associate lack of modesty
and freedom. Muslim women also retain a healthy
body image- young
Muslim ladies don't suffer from anorexia
or bulimia, spend countless hours on manipulative "beauty magazines" or
dollars feeding a piranha-like
beauty industry in an effort to gain the acceptance
of a society that values youth
and sex and unattainable perfection.
Muslim women are comfortable with themselves, confident and dignified
in their covering.
In the West the Women' Lib movement was greatly needed.
But in reality such a
movement was not necessary, because
God granted women all the rights they fought for and even more, 1400 years ago.
Islam guarantees women the right to be
educated, to choose their own spouses, to initiate divorce,
to work outside the home,
to own property, to own a business
and to keep any money earned for themselves if they so choose.
Under Islamic law, women have always voted, held public
office, participated in society, and spoken out if they
disagree with leaders.
Muslim women are also the only women
anywhere guaranteed inheritance.
At the time of the Prophet Mohammed
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him),
the "outer garments" with which
the women covered themselves were
sheet-like cloaks which covered everything,
leaving only the eyes showing
if necessary. There is a difference of opinion
among Muslim scholars as to
whether the face must then, by definition,
be covered. I personally believe
that in all matters the correct interpretation is
that of the companions of the
Prophet himself (peace be upon him)
and the earliest scholars. By far most
of them taught that the face must be covered.
In my research of the Qur'an I also c
annot see another interpretation!
I am part of a growing movement of
"modern", educated Muslim women who are striving
to return to this spiritually uplifting practice.
God willing it will then lose its reputation as
being oppressive and will come to stand for faith,
dignity and respect, as it originally did."