Sunday, September 30, 2012

QURANIC TAFSEER UPON HIJAAB

asalam wa alikum


QURANIC TAFSEER UPON HIJAAB
 
"O ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter and when your meal is ended then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Lo, that would cause annoyance to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go) but Allah is not shy of the truth."
 
The above is a part revelation of verse : 53- Surah Ahzaab.
 
In a narration of Bukhari, Hazrat Anas (R.A) explains: " I am the most known amongst the people, concerning the causes of the first revelation of Hijaab. Reason being, I was present throughout the whole incident and I witnessed the acts of the Sahaabaa and the Prophet Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam."
 
After Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash enjoined in marriage with the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, she was brought into the small house situated in the Haram of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had a meal prepared in aid of the blessed marriage i.e. Waleemah. After the dinner was served many people stayed behind and lingered for purposes of conversation. In a narration of Tirmizi it is stated that the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and Ummul Mu’mineen Hazrat Zainab (R.A) also remained there. Hazrat Zainab (R.A) had turned her face towards the wall in shame. To see such actions caused discomfort to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, who took leave and visited the other blessed wives. Upon return he found the gathering had not yet dispersed. Again the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam left in annoyance. Seeing this act of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam many people understood and took leave. Hazrat Anas (R.A) reports: The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam came outside the small building and I was present there too. It was then that the above verses were revealed to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

Although the verses do not openly explain the form and procedures of Hijaab, they have given an explanation as to refrain from going to the Prophet’s Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam houses, because discomfort was resultant not only for the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam but also for the blessed w ives too.

Following onwards the Quran portrays : ‘ And when ye ask of them (the wives of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) anything,ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.’ (Part revelation of verse:53 Surah Ahzaab)

Although the cause of revelation refers only to the blessed wives of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, the rule applies to the whole Ummah. So that the hearts and intents of both the believing men and women can stay clean and purified.

We learn that if such a revelation was related to the blessed wives of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam, who in all means stand as our pillars of guidence, then we, the unworthy, too must also consider the matter and follow in accordance, as no man can ever level with the standards of piety and purity of the blessed Sahaabaa/Sahaabiyaat. If there were such restrictions, then we, in all circumstances should restrict ourselves more severely in matters such as these.
 
Allah Ta’aalaa has stated in the Holy Quran: "And stay in your houses, adorn not yourself with the adornment of the times of ignorance." (Part revelation : Surah Ahzaab)

The times of ignorance mentioned in the Aayah indicate the days of darkness previous to the light and expandations of Islam. The Holy Qur’an has referred to these days as, ‘The first/early days of ignorance.’ This reveals to us the fact that there will be another period when darkness will over power the true light to cause disruption within the living people again.

Reflecting upon the present situation of the ways of the world, we can witness this fact. We see the evil growth of ignorance is casting it’s magnitudinal force, unfortunately the very ways and teachings of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam are being neglected.

If one looks towards the inner meaning of the Aayah, it becomes apparent that a woman was created with a homely character, her duties lie within her home, therefore the Islamic law requires her to stay at home. However, if the need arises she is permitted to leave her home, enclose herself within the ‘Jilbaab’ and accomplish her needs.

Allah Ta’aalah has further stated in the Holy Quran :

‘O, Prophet ! (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go out). That will be better so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.’ (Verse: 59 Surah Ahzaab) 
Hazrat Ibne Jareer (R.A.)has reported the discription of ‘Jilbaab’ from Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (R.A.) : ‘A thick cloth in which a woman conceals herself from head to toe allowing a narrow opening by the eye for means of seeing.’

Along with this limitation, the woman must walk to one side of the path, refrain from mingling in crowds of men, not apply perfume or any other forms of scent, or wear tinkling jewellery that cause attraction, as these give invitation towards corruptive acts.

In the above mentioned Aayah, Allah Ta’aalaa has ordained the blessed wives, daughters and believing women of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam to observe ‘Hijaab’, according to the specification of Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A).

A woman is like a precious rare stone, the most valuable and attractive recognition is her face. It would be considered useless if she concealed her whole body, and revealed her face, for this is where a woman’s beauty lies. What could be more worthy of being kept ‘well hidden’ than her face?

Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Mas’ood (R.A) has given the following definition for the ‘Jilbaab’: ‘The large cloth which is worn over the large head scarf (dupattah).’
 
Imam Mohammad Ibn Seereen (R.A) inquired to Hazrat Ubaydah Salmaani (R.A) about the ‘Jilbaab’ and its form of concealment. Hazrat Ubaydah (R.A) taught through demonstration by drawing a large cloth over his head and then covered the face allowing a small opening by the left eye for purposes of seeing.

Both explanations of Ibne Abbas (R.A) and Ubaydah Salmaani (R.A) are focused upon the word ‘yudneena ‘ (in the Aayah). The Aayah openly explains the necessity of ‘Hijaab’ for women of all ages and times. 
Hazrat Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Uthmani (R.A) has stated : "It can be found in many narrations that the believing women would go out in such concealment that only one eye would be revealed for means of seeing. So, accordingly in the age of corruption, to cover the face would fall as a compulsory act upon every Muslim woman."

However, if unintentionally any loss or misconduct occurs within the observation of Hijaab, Allah Ta’aalaa is most forgiving.

Commentary upon ‘Hijaab’ is covered sufficiently under the verses of Surah Ahzaab, which was revealed at the time of the respected marriage of Hazrat Zainab bint Jahash (R.A) at the blessed hands of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

The scholars’ views differ as to when this incident took place. Many scholars view this incident to have taken place in the year 03. A.H. In contrast several others as mentioned in ‘Tafseer Ibn Katheer’ and ‘Naylul-Awtaar’ give a stronger view towards the occurence of the incident to have taken place in the year 05.A.H. This has also been narrated from Hazrat Anas (R.A). However, an agreement was finally made on the narration of Hazrat Anas (R.A).

The verses upon ‘Hijaab’ in Surah Noor were revealed in the year 06.A.H. The observance of Hijaab was obediently adhered to in result of the revelations of Surah Ahzaab. The following part revelation of verse: 60, Surah Noor explains :

" In such a way as not to show adornment." One interpretation of the Aayah explains that having dressed accordingly as the Quran, old womenfolk may go out unveiled yet in such a way that adornment is not revealed.

The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam once said to his blessed wives: "I permit you to leave your homes whenever the need arises."
 
It is said that the blessed wives of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would pay visits to their parents, friends, relatives etc. They would also take leave for purposes such as performing the blessed pilgrimage as well as the optional Umrah. Many Sahaabiyaat would accompany the blessed Sahaabaa at the time of battle, nursing the wounded etc.

"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husband’s fathers or their sons or their husband’s sons or their brothers, or their brother’s sons or sister’s sons or their women or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of womens nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O, believers in order that you may succeed." (Surah Noor, verses: 30-31)
 
"And tell the believing men to lower their gaze."
 
‘Yaguddoo‘ is originated from the word ‘ gadd‘ which means: " To lower the gaze." Relating to this Aayat Ibne Katheer and Ibne Hibban have commentated as follows: To turn the gaze away from such things upon which the Islamic law has forbidden, e.g. To look at a non mehram of the opposite sex with bad intent, to even glance at any male/females’ ‘Satar’, to disturb others privacy by looking into their homes, living quarters etc., are extremely forbidden and the outcomes are severe (in this World and in the Hereafter). 
"And guard their modesty." To over-rule ones unlawful desires from bad intents and doings e.g. To indulge within adultery, to be sexually attracted to members of the same sex (Homosexuality, Lesbianism), to fulfil evil desires by means of forbidden touching, glancing etc. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (R.A) has reported from the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam: "Sight is a poisonous spear amongst the many spears of the Shaitaan. One who resists it in the fear of Allah, is rewarded with strong faith, whose sweetness is witheld in the heart of the resistor."
 
Hazrat Jareer ibn Abdullah (R.A) once questioned the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam regarding a man who unintentionally glances at a woman. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied: "The man must turn away instantly and his first glance will be forgiven." Muslim.

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty." Part revelation- Surah Noor . This Aayah is in accordance with the same command as above, except that this Aayah relates to women. The above Aayah ordained that the believing men should lower their gaze. Usually the orders for women follow along accordingly although the Aayah may be directed to men alone. The woman’s order was specified so that subsequently it may strengthen the point and highlight its outcome effectively. 
"And to display of their adornment only that which is apparent." The literal definition of ‘Zeenat’ is the accessories which adorn a woman, e.g. Outstanding garments, jewellery etc. The majority of commentators have given an explanation as follows: Looking at the accessories of zeenat is permissible but, to look at the bearer of such accessories is forbidden.

"Only that which is apparent." The Aayah reveals an exception as to what is apparent of a woman’s adornment. These exceptions are when a woman is working or constantly moving and her hands/face may be revealed then this is dealt with as an exception. Hazrat Ibne Ma’sood (R.A) gives the following commentary regarding this exception: The Aayah relates to the cloth or garment worn above the inner clothing eg.burqa’. 
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (R.A) commentates as follows: The aayah gives the exception to uncover the face and hands when the need arises.

Again the scholars’ views differ as to whether it is compulsory for a woman to cover her face or not? Hazrat Ibne Ma’sood (R.A) states: To unveil the face or hands in the presence of a non mehram is not permissible. Hence this is an unlawful act.

Hazrat Ibne Abbas (R.A) states: To uncover the face and hands is permissible for a woman when there is no fear of bad intents and doings. And men should consider the fact that the Qur’an has ordained them to lower their gaze and be modest.

"And to draw their veils over their bosoms."
 
‘Khumur’ is originated from the word ‘Khimaar’ which means a large head scarf which covers the head and the chest. Before the revelation of the Aayat -e -Hijaab women used to cover their hair and let the scarf fall down the back, baring the front parts from the scarf. However, we see today that the same fashion of the days of ignorance is being adopted. ‘Juyoob’ is originated from the word ‘Jayb’, this word holds the meaning of the breast pocket, but within the Arabs this word connotates the meaning of the upper front half. 
"And not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husband’s fathers or their sons or their husband’s sons or their brothers or their brother’s sons or sister’s sons or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness."
 
The ‘men’ mentioned above are a women’s mehram, along with these mehrams is her own husband. A woman is permitted to reveal herself fully in the presence of her husband. However, this is not permissible in the presence of her mehrams also. They are not entitled or permitted to even glance at her ‘Satar’. A woman’s mehram is there to protect her and was created as a protective model for the purpose that he will not cause any harm to her. Grand father and great grand father fall into the category of a father to which Hijaab is not neccessary.

"Or their women." This means the Muslim women. These are like her mehrams, not permitted to see a woman’s ‘Satar’. Otherwise there is no harm to unveil in their presence. The aayah indicates that Muslim women should refrain from maintaining acqaintance with ‘kaafir’ women as consequently ill influences are very likely.

"Or their slaves." Although there is no restriction governing whether the permittance concerns male slaves within the Aayah, many scholars have commented that this relates only to the female slave. 
Hazrat Saeed ibn Musayyib (R.A) spoke these last words before taking leave from this world: ‘ Do not let the Aayah of Surah Noor mislead you as this refers to the women slaves not the men.’ 
"Or male attendants who lack vigour." Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (R.A) has stated: This means one who has no interests and desired pleasure in sexual matters.

"or children who know not of womens nakedness." This refers to such children who have not yet approached adolescence, and who are not aware of sensual features of a woman. However, if the case is such that the child approaching adolscence displays an interest in women and their features then to unveil oneself in the child’s presence is prohibited.(Ibne-Katheer)

"And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment." If jewellery is worn around the ankles e.g. Anklets, which create noise and tend to attract men towards the tinkling sounds then this again is considered within the violations of Hijaab. To let a non mehram become aware of this attraction is extremely prohibited. If restrictions are such for the sounds of tinkling or heels, then for a woman to raise her voice reaches well beyond the border. Within the same category falls the use of perfume and scent, these are a source of attraction whether applied intentionally or unintentionally, these should not be applied when going out or in the presence of non mehrams.

"And turn unto Allah, O, believers in order that you may succeed." Finally Allah Ta’aalaa mentions in the Aayah which reveals the fact that if any sins or faults are committed then O believers turn to Allah so that you may succeed. Whilst asking for forgivness from our great, most forgiving Lord one must express shame and regret over ones previous misconducts and resultantly never approach or intend to advance towards any bad. 

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