Is Jilbab a symbol of Oppression?

The Muslim woman’s attire are viewed by some non-Muslims as oppressive because, it is claimed, the jilbab represents the inferior status of woman, that they are compelled against their will or that it inhibits their participation in public life. This view is not born of an understanding of the divine wisdom for legislating the dress and nor from the positive effects that accrue from its adherence. Rather, the origins of such thinking are the abuse of women by some Muslim men which Islamic law itself denounces or the stereotypical perceptions of role of women in Islam. Islamic law views men and women the same in their 

The disparity in the rules arises not from a discriminatory view of any one gender but the fact that Islamic law recognises that there is a gender difference and hence prescribes rules accordingly. The great majority of rules apply equally to men and women due to their identical nature and but differ in a few cases due to the gender dissimilarity. Thus, Muslim women wear the jilbab to remain modestly attired in public life and feel that it enhances their worth rather than diminish it. Its practical effects are also appealing to women who feel they can confidently participate in the outside activities such as work and study free from the disrespectful glances of men. So far from obstructing women’s social participation the jilbab actually facilitates it by empowering and liberating her from unwanted sexual advances and thereby promoting an atmosphere which is conducive to the social interaction of men and women.

Appendix I: legal verdict (fatwa) of Mufti al-Kawthari[27]:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Allah Most High says:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. That is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful”. (Surah al-Ahzab, 59).

The above verse is clear in determining that it is obligatory (fard) upon a woman to cover herself with a jilbab. This leaves us with a question, what is a jilbab?

It is stated in Lisan al-Arab:
“Jilbab, plural of Jalabib: an outer garment or a cloak with it a woman covers her head and chest. And it is said: It is a long cloak that covers a woman completely”. (Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-Arab, 2/317).

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) states:
“Jilbab is long cloak that covers a woman from her head to her feet”. (Ruh al-Ma’ani, 22/88).

The above and other interpretations of Jilbab are clear that a jilbab is the outer garment that women must wear when emerging in front of strangers. This garment must be wide, loose, and modest and covers the body completely.

After the revelation of this verse, many female Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) used to emerge outside their homes with complete reticence as though birds were sitting on their heads. They used to cover themselves with long black cloaks. (See: Ruh al-Ma’ani, 22/89).

Therefore, a woman must cover her self with a loose and modest cloak when emerging in front of strangers. This may be a traditional veil (burqa) or some other garment.

And Allah knows best

Source : http://www.muhajabah.com/docstorage/dutton.htm

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21 Responses to Is Jilbab a symbol of Oppression?

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  3. Noor says:

    Those people who said wearing the jilbab/ covering the woman’s body is oppressive, simply fail to THINK before talking.

    Where I am now, women are really suffering in the name of modern fashion. Here’s why:

    - Body fitting clothes are EXTREMELY uncomfortable
    -Women cannot even walk properly nowadays because those skinny jeans are just too tight.
    - Women starve to fit into smaller dress size. Few years ago, a college friend of mine LITERALLY DIE of starvation because of this very reason. No, I’m not living in Rwanda. Everyone has food here.
    - When comparing the actually length and quality of fabric used to make modern women’s clothes and the Muslim dresses, the Muslim dresses are much more worthy.
    - Women tend to be overly obsessed of getting the perfect figure to look nicer in modern clothing. Boobs and butt surgeries are very common here.
    - As a result of the free show of women’s body, men became easily dissatisfied with the natural form of woman’s body, and expect completely unrealistic form of their female spouse.
    -Most modern women clothes do not even look nice, nothing creative. The Egyptian galabeya, for example, is a work of art.

    Islamic views aside, scientifically (I’m a microbiologist/geneticist), the Muslim clothing is much more liberating to women. Here’s why:

    - The headgear protects the women’s hair from the harsh weather (too cold or too hot). Forget those toxic hair sprays.
    - Women can completely cover her busts with her long hijab and her boobs can be as they are naturally. No need for push-up bras.
    - Muslim women’s clothes are EXTREMELY comfortable. Trial and tested. I’ve worn both.

    Western fashion has always been, and always will be, very oppressive. The western fashion promotes women to change every single aspect of her body. Here’s why:

    - The corset is a traditional western fashion piece meant to shape the woman’s waistline and flatten her tummy. It’s a serious torture to wear the corset. Women who wear the corset cannot bend her back, and so her torso will be very rigid and stiff.
    – The bras (an invention after women give up on corset) are used to shape and raise the boobs unrealistically. Every women who wear bra will have the unforgiving marks around and under her boobs caused by the bra elastic band and/or bra string gripping under the bustline. No, bras does not prevent your boobs from sagging because there is no muscle tissue in the boobs!

    - The high heeled shoes are initially designed for prostitutes to prevent them from escaping the brothels (women cannot run in high heels). Also the sound made by the heels were use to attract customers. These days, the high heels are also to push out the butt and force straighten the torso as she walks. We still cannot run in heels. When worn for prolonged periods of time, high heeled shoes will cause damage to the women’s back, hips, heels and tendons.

    I guess there remains only one reason why the modern world hate Islamic dressing…. MEN (generally) HATE WOMEN COVERING OUR BODIES!

    My apology for my lengthy comments. I just want to lay out the obvious facts.

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