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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Topic: Purdah and the Woman
    Posted: 10 December 2005 at 12:39pm

I have a young friend I've met from another site.  Recently she's been offered marriage from another young man.  They are both Iraqis living in the UK and both college students.  My young friend is very fond of the young man and wants the match.  Her father has agreed and they are going to be married soon.  The young man was raised in Iraq, the young woman was born and raised in Britian. 

Now, recently she has been chastised by a friend because her new husband to be does not believe in Purdah.  The friend, male, told her she was going to hell and that she was moving away from Islam because she did not believe in Purdah either.

Now, I started to read a few things on Purdah and I can't understand it.  If a woman has the right to chose who she marries, has a right to own her property, business, and she is required by the Quran to seek education.  How can Purdah be required?  How can a woman be damned to hell because she has a job or goes to the grocery store without a male escort? 

Women are intelligent, caring and loving.  Women have alot to offer society.  Women can be nurses, doctors, teachers and lawyers.  Yet, Purdah would keep women from filling these roles.  If a woman is in Purdah, she could not be a doctor.  Yet, many muslim men would faint if their wife when to a male ob/gyn. 

So, I would like to start a dialogue on Purdah in Islam and Women's rights as given by the Quran.  I don't want certain antagonists of this board to participate.  This is not a place for christian ideals or american rhetoric.  (Rami, I would very much like for you to keep a close eye on this forum, if certain people and you know who I'm talking about start being being rude, I'd like their comments removed.)  This forum is to be a discussion on the future of Women in Islam and the ideals of Purdah.

I for one can tell you, that Purdah itself is a big factor in why so many people who are exposed to the outskirts of Islam, never look into it further.  As a professional woman who's income is vital to the survival of the family, I personally think modesty and chasity have nothing to do with being locked up and not allowed to go outside and more to do with the character of the woman.

So, please, lets keep this discussion intelligent and respectful.

Angela

PS:  I put this discussion here because I also want the Brothers to chime in and discuss this.

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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 1:05pm

Peace Angela,

Since I'm neither christian nor american I guess I am not one of the antagonists that you mention (least I hope not ).

Purdah is about women dressing to cover what should not be seen.  That is sanctioned in the Qur'an and ahadith.  Separating men and women, to the best of my knowledge, is not an Islamic injunction, but rather a cultural one.  Surely others with more knowledge of Islam might contribute better information about this.

In the Prophet's day, men and women intermingled for discussion, prayer, war, peace, community affairs and so on.  As long as men and women lower their gaze and are dressed "islamically", then being together is all right. 

Of course, no Muslim man or woman should ever be alone with a non-mahram.  But to be at a wedding, or a supper at a friends or at the mall or mosque or where ever, is just fine - as long as the limits of lowering the gaze and being properly dressed are followed.

It is culture and "twisted islam" that have entrenched this idea of total separation of men and women into the ummah.  Thank you for opening up this dialogue.  Insha'allah, there will be many enlightening posts for the benefit of us all.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Deus
 
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Quote Deus Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 2:54pm
Someone can correct me, but the word purdah is not even an Arabic word is it? (There is no P in Arabic).
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Jenni
 
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Quote Jenni Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 4:13pm
Purda is a bunch of hoo haa. Basically made up. The idea a woman should be confined to her home basically for life. It is stupid, silly and made up by men. Not anywhere in Quran is it stated.. peace
You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.
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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 6:33pm

Assalamu alaikum,

You are correct, Deus, purdah is not Arabic.  It is Urdu.  The concept of purdah comes from the Indian subcontinent and is also practiced by some Hindus. 

There is not even an equivelent word in Arabic as complete separation and confinment of women is not an Islamic concept.  Some misogynist took the Islamic concept of hijab and turned it into something very ugly.

Some Muslims, especially ones who speak Urdu, use the word Purdah to mean what hijab means - but its meaning is not the same!

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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ak_m_f
 
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Quote ak_m_f Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 7:43pm
ummziba, my thoughts exactly

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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2005 at 10:59pm

Bismillah,

Angela, I agree with Ummziba on this also. 

 I thought you had the meaning of the word purdah wrong because I had heard it used as "hijab" by my Pak friends also.  So I learned the real meaning of the word, but I guess if the Paks use it the other way, then that is legitimate also.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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fatima
 
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Quote fatima Replybullet Posted: 11 December 2005 at 6:35am

bismillah irrahman irrahim

Assalamu alaikum,

the word purdah as sisters have said can b used in both ways but i wana get back to ur question bout how can a covered up lady be a successful person in all modern western sense.  Angela wrote bout some qualities of women, intelligent, loving and caring and there can be million more reasons.  Our dear prophet saw has said that among worldly things he likes perfumes n women n people who explain this hadith say that women have ability to adopt or have this basic nature which has qualities most loved by our lord.  So no denying in having qualities but now does me covering myself up would cover those qualities and skills as well? the answer is no.  now alhamdulillah i wear my long dress n scarf and have an excellent profession n also know sisters all covered up who are in the same institute, one on consultant's post n she even veils her face but when she speaks everybody listens cos they know she is one of the best in our place. so no me covering myself up does not stop me from having a successful career.  But one thing no prejudice n sorry if i offend some1 i am certain that when i sit some where r walking in a corridor no1 is weighing me up cos of my apperance, people see u as a person n respect ur views.

Allah swt in his full knowledge blessed us with the order of covering up properly, now every1 knows how hard it is for a teenage girl to bring up a kid on her own. u must be thinking whats the relevance here, relevance is that showing ur flesh attracts opposite sex, u have relationship n all that. which ends up one century later in what america is today. where young kids carry guns n kill their school mates n other ppl. reason is that they dont have a stable family to have a healthy n good environment to grow in.  its just an example reason being america is one of most advanced countries with most resources.  I know every1 would say bout muslim world n faults in us but reason is we are not following properly what our lord told us cos there is a reason n blessing in every command of our lord n us mortal humans cant c beyond a certain point to understand that.

wassalam

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