In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful,

the Most Compassionate

Praise be to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon Muhammad,

and upon his family and companions, and all those who follow him

Narrated by: Najiyah Umm Waheeb
 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 this written form.
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) appear thereof, 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)
What it Signifies:
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 uneducated men. 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 forbidden fruit. 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 considered the 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.

credits: Mission


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