Sep 24, 2022Liked by Abdullah

It is never accurate to ascribe meaning to an Arabic word rooted in Islam, from a non-Arabic source rooted outside of Islam, in this case "Hijab" and "Britannica".

As Muslims, we have to get into the habit of using the sense of things as stipulated by Allah and His Messenger, otherwise we would always be in a state of conflict when it comes to creedal matters, the "Hijab" is a case in point.

There is no where in the Qur'an or Sunnah, were "Hijab" is used in the sense of a an "Islamic headscarf", rather its use is always in the sense of a "screen/barrier", for example:

۞ وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَآئِ حِجَابٍ ... ٥١

"And in no way is it feasible for a mortal that Allah should speak to Him, except by revelation or from behind a Hijab/screen.." — (ash-Shura, 42:51)

وعن أم سلمة رضي الله عنها قالت‏:‏ كنت عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعنده ميمونة، فأقبل ابن أم مكتوم، وذلك بعد أن أُمرنا بالحجاب فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏"‏احتجبا منه‏"‏ فقلنا‏:‏ يا رسول الله إلىس هو أعمى لا يبصرنا، ولا يعرفنا‏؟‏ فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏"‏أفعمياوان أنتما ألستما تبصرانه‏؟‏‏!‏‏"‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه أبو داود والترمذي‏:‏ وقال حديث حسن صحيح‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: I was with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) along with Maimunah (May Allah be pleased with her) when Ibn Umm Maktum (May Allah be pleased with him) (who was blind) came to visit him. (This incident took place after the order of Hijab). The Prophet (ﷺ) told us to hide ourselves from him (i.e., observe Hijab). We said: "O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), he is blind and is unable to see us, nor does he know us." He replied; "Are you also blind and unable to see him?"

So the word "Hijab" has always implied "screen/barrier" that separates not a "headscarf" that should be worn to conceal the hair from a blind man but a "screen" that blocks sight from sight, but does this imply that there are no injunctions regarding a woman's clothing style in Islam? Off course not, in fact the injunctions are not concerning a "headscarf" alone, but rather, a "head-to-ankle" clothing style, broken into two "outward" requirements.

The first outward clothing style requirement deals with covering all the head except the face, all the way across her bosom, this is called Khumurihinna (ِخُمُرِهِنَّ):

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَـٰرِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ أَخَوَٰتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُنَّ أَوِ ٱلتَّـٰبِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُو۟لِى ٱلْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ أَوِ ٱلطِّفْلِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَىٰ عَوْرَٰتِ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ٣١

"And say to the female believers to cast down their be holdings, and preserve their private parts, and not display their adornment except such as is outward, and let them fix (Literally: strike) closely their veils over their bosoms, and not display their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers, or their brothers's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or (male) followers, men without desire (Literally: without being endowed with "sexual" desire) or young children who have not yet attained knowledge of women's privacies, and they should not strike their legs (i.e., stamp their feet) so that whatever adornment they hide may be known. And repent to Allah altogether, (O) you believers, that possibly you would prosper." — (an-Nur, 24:31)

The second outward style requirement deals with covering from the kneck to the ankle, this is called Jalabibihinna (جَلَـٰبِیبِهِنَّۚ):

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَٰجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَـٰبِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰٓ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًۭا رَّحِيمًۭا ٥٩

O you Prophet, say to your spouses and your daughters and the women of believers, that they draw their outer garments closer to them; that will (make) it likelier that they will be recognized and so will not be hurt. And Allah has been Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful." — (al-Ahzab, 33:59)

So the two piece-outward clothing style requirement for "believing" women, is the khimar (Khumurihinna (ِخُمُرِهِنَّ)) and the jilbab (Jalabibihinna (جَلَـٰبِیبِهِنَّۚ)), this two piece clothing constitute the "attire" or as you put it "uniform" of a "believing" woman.

As to how "Hijab" & its false connotations, came to represent the clothing style of women in Islam, is beyond me at the moment, therefore the notion of "Hijabis" or whatever is really an identity of ignorance. Further research is needed to find the source of this poison. Nevertheless the ignorance of the basic commandements of one's dress code as it is stipulated in Islam, be it for women or men, is as a result of a long custom of abandoning the tenets of Islam, first in parts gradually then as a whole rapidly, which is why you're right to say:

"..it should be obvious that enforcing the hijab from the top down instead of fostering it from inward to outward is an insane idea. If you’re dealing with a religiosity issue in your “Islamic society”, and the only way your women will wear the hijab is if you threaten them with beatings and jail time, you’ve failed from the outset and are dealing with far larger problems than you’re willing to admit. It’s like trying to treat a samurai sword neck wound with bandages and ibuprofen."

We have already seen that "Hijab" in Islam is synonymous with "screen/barrier" while a women's clothing-style requirement in Islam, is Khumurihinna + Jalabibihinna, on the other hand I would advise we re-calibrate our language to reflect the truth, instead of "Hijab" it ought to be "Khimar & Jilbab". I have an issue with using "Islamic + anything" because this obfuscates the truth, however this is not the subject now, rather the subject rests on a simple question, whose responsibility is it to teach and inculcate girls to become "believing" women in style and lifestyle?

Obviously for us the answer to that question is clear, it is not the "Amir" who is the institutional embodiement of the non-Muslim "state", rather it is the father who is the shepherd of his family before anyone else, thus you are right in stating:

"The tough reality is that whether you get mass wearing of hijab or not depends on whether you’ve cultivated the kind of society that allows women to operate without these fears, many of which come about as a result of the cancerous, secular western society that has been pedestaled as the role model for the rest of the world. The pressure on a woman to wear the hijab should not come from the state or a society built on filthy consumerism, but from familial, spiritual, and cultural discipline."

But then we are faced with another question, who is responsible for teaching and inclucating boys to become "believing" fathers in style and lifestyle? Once again it is the father, what happens when the father fails in his responsibility who is next in line in the chain of succession of responsibility and authority?

We all know the answer to that question, and that the "Amir" is the last in the chain of succession of responsibility and authority, and his intervention is only when everyone else fails, which raises the question of what kind of principles are guiding the "Amir" or "state" in which you have such a systematic succession of failures?

There is much to discuss in this regard, but I wouldn't want to veer off course, suffice to say that, the principles by which the Islamic Republic of Iran was founded upon and is guided by, are rooted outsed the folds Islam not inside of it, in fact it says so in its name, therefore one cannot expect except what you rightly stated:

"The reasons for the protests in Iran are not surprising at all, and most of those causing chaos don’t really care much about women or “their rights” at all, but that’s not the point. Iran has a growing society of young people that clearly want to be secular but legally can’t, and the dumb and incompetent regime full of tyrannical boomers thinks the solution is just to beat and shoot them a little more, and that they’ll quiet down."

In other words, a society in chaos, between and within its members, between the fault lines of differences amongst its members, like gender, creed, age e.t.c., and within the hearts and minds of its members by the dividing lines of truth and falsehood.

Thank you.

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Sep 24, 2022Liked by Abdullah

Great nuanced writing.

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