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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 11 December 2005 at 9:58am

Fatima,

I totally agree with the concept of dressing modestly.  I am not muslim, but I still dress very modestly by western standards.  I do not wear low cut tops or hip hugger jeans.  In the summer you might see my elbows, but never my knees.  Too many girls this short skirts and skimpy tops are freedom and they are not.  I guess what I'm getting at is this is not a Hijab/Niqab question.  The Hijab is a beautiful protection and expression of faith and obedience to a Muslim woman.  For those that chose the burqah, and I stress "Chose" the burqah.  Well, that is wonderful if that's what they want. 

My concern is the practice of being locked away in your home.  My friend was very upset to be chastised so meanly because she intended to have a job and a life outside of her home.  A woman should never spend too much time with a man she's not married to, but that is no excuse for locking her up.  A woman is smart enough to know right from wrong, locking her up is compelling obedience.

I've always been taught intentions are everything.  If you intend to sin, but don't.  Your just as guilty as if you did.  If you don't intend to sin and accidently sin, then it can be forgiven.  So, if a woman is truly the wanton evil creature described in the article I read on this topic, then locking her up is not going to change those intentions. 

A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 11 December 2005 at 10:24am

Hi Angela,

Of course, the decision is your friends to make, but I would suggest she not accept a marriage proposal from a man who wants to "keep her at home" when this is clearly not what she wants for herself.

How lucky she learned this about him before it is too late.....

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 11 December 2005 at 6:47pm

The man she wishes to marry doesn't want her to stay home.  Its another friend who told her not to marry him because he doesn't believe in Purdah, nor does she.

The situation just peeked my curiosity about the subject.  My friend is very happy and the muslim man she is marrying seems to be a good muslim and a good man.  He's very encouraging towards her finishing her degree and actually using it. 

I just don't understand, there just doesn't seem to be any basis for it.  Khadijah owned her own business.  Aisha was out enough to have passed on little insights into the Prophet as a man and husband.  These were not women locked away from the world.  So, if the Prophet allowed his wives to be out, how could any man justify absolute seclusion of his wife from the world?

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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2005 at 4:52am

Oooops!

Sorry, I was a little slow in getting the right story .  So, of course she should marry him and ignore the silly mysogynist friend with the bad advice!

The basis for "purdah" doesn not come from Islam, it comes from culture.  A bad (and sad) attempt by some misguided men to control their women.  How do they justify it?  Beats me, but I am sure they think they are correct, just as many wrongdoers justify things to themselves to make it seem right in their minds.

There is a verse in the Qur'an about this, about the wrongdoers and how they make evil seemingly good in their own minds - I wish I could find it for you.....(if I do I'll post it).

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Quote Alwardah Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2005 at 5:19am

As Salamu Alaikum

 

Good topic. Insha Allah I will address this topic from a different angle.

 

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala tells us in the Glorious Qur'an:

 

"Men are Qawwamun (protectors and maintainers) of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other and because they spend (to support them) from their means…. Surah An-Nisa' 4:34 (part)

 

We are given specific roles to play, according to Allah's Wisdom and Knowledge.

Men are responsible for the welfare of the family- food, clothes, shelter. Women are responsible for the household. Both duties compliment each other.

 

Islam places emphasis on seeking knowledge for both male and female. Why would women need education if they are going to be locked behind doors. A mother realizes that her responsibility in bringing up the children and forming their characters is greater than that of the father, because children are closer to their mothers and spend more time with her. (from birth to when they join pre-school) Her own education and knowledge about the environment and other social issues, play a great role in shaping the characters of her children.

 

She already has a full time job thus there is no need for any women to work, outside the home. However if circumstances are such that a woman needs to work there is no harm. We need qualified women in various professions e.g. like a doctors, teachers etc. But these women need to be super women because they work at a career, then their homes and also need to take care of their children and not forgetting the husband, fulfilling his needs as well. Masha Allah many women have succeeded in accomplishing all these duties.

 

Those of us who believe that Hijab/Purdah, is an obligation, will not find any problems wearing them to work. I know of doctors, lawyers, teachers and others who work comfortably wearing even a Niqab (face veil). If they do face problems, these soon fade away without them having to compromise on their dressing. Wearing Hijab/Purdah did not prevent them from fulfilling their duties. On the other hand those of us who believe that Hijab/Purdah is not an obligation and feel as long as they are dressed modestly it is okay; Insha Allah that is their choice.

 

If both the man and the woman do not wish for the woman to wear Hijab/Purdah, as in this case that Angela mentions, I don't see any problem because both want the same thing. Both don't believe that Hijab/Purdah is an obligation.

 

The friend, obviously is giving good advice because she believes that Hijab is an obligation.

 

No Muslim who really understands the teaching of Islam will "lock his wife" at home. But it is better for the women to remain indoors if there is no immediate/urgent need for her to go out.

 

Let me give you an example:

 

The Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

 

"If the wife of any of you asks for permission to go to the Masjid, do not stop her." (Al-Bukhari)

 

And a second Hadith:

 

"Do not prevent women from attending the Masjid; even though their houses are better for them." (Abu Dawud)

 

Salah is the second pillar of Islam. If women need to ask their husbands' permission to go to the Masjid then this means that Islam has excused women from offering their obligatory prayer in congregation. It is even better for them to pray at home. If women don't need to leave their homes to fulfill an obligation, i.e. Salah, then is there a need for them to work when the financial responsibility is an obligation on their husbands and not them; not only on their husbands, but their fathers or guardians if they are unmarried. If she does chose to work, I feel she should chose a profession like being a doctor so that she can treat only women and/or children or teacher – teaching young children or girls; two examples; choosing professions which will minimize working with men or along side men.

 

Anyway this is my opinion on a general level. Like I mentioned earlier, every person's situation is different and they need to make the right choices to stay within the boundaries set by the Shariah.

 

Wa Alaikum Salam

 

 

 

“Verily your Lord is quick in punishment; yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (Surah Al-An’am 6:165)
"Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return" (Surah Baqarah 2: 155)
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2005 at 7:50am

Alwardah,

I so agree with you in that every woman's situation is different.  For example, in a society that would lock women up, I personally would go insane.  I am educated and I cannot have children.  So, what job would I have?  You can only clean the house so many times in the week when it is just you and your husband.  LOL 

My friend is young, I've talked to her about the Hijab.  She does believe in it to a certain extent.  She says the Hijab is her one weakness. 

However, I thought Purdah was a completely different concept as the definition of Purdah I've gotten is "seculsion" where a Hijab means modesty to me?

I don't know if you are a brother, but I would like more imput from the brothers on this. 

Its nice to have the luxury of being a stay at home mother.  I have many friends here that have made that choice dispite the financial hardships on the family.  One is waiting until her daughters are school age before returning to work while they are in school.

 



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Alwardah
 
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Quote Alwardah Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2005 at 8:49pm

Hi Angela

I am educated and I cannot have children, stay at home and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) am still sane.

 

“Verily your Lord is quick in punishment; yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (Surah Al-An’am 6:165)
"Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return" (Surah Baqarah 2: 155)
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 13 December 2005 at 10:15am
Originally posted by Alwardah

Hi Angela

I am educated and I cannot have children, stay at home and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) am still sane.

 

Sure, but do you ever leave your house?  Go to the Grocery store, go to a friend's house, Go to a Gym, Art Class, library????

Unfortunately, women in the Purdah imposed in Afganistan or in other areas don't have that luxury. 

If we could afford it, I would probably quit work and adopt a child, go back to school or take up a hobby like photography. 

Perhaps I should post the article I found on a website to show where I'm coming from in this arguement.  Its very lengthy but it argues that women are wanton and uncontrollable if left outside the house and that men, simply because they are physically stronger are superior.

http://www.al-islamforall.org/Misc/purdah.pdf

Now, I have never argued the Hijab.  I personally wear a headscarf occasionally and having been raised Russian Orthodox Christian don't see it as a barrier to life.  I just want to make that clear.  I'm not arguing, scarf and veil vs mini skirt.  Because I don't believe in skimpy clothes myself.

I'm more concerned with opening a dialogue and understanding why this sort of behaviour happens and its tolerated by mainstream muslims.

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