Understanding Niqab from a Religious and Not Extremist Point of View

Al Azhar University of Egypt has decided to ban women students wearing  Niqab. There are debates among Muslims and even among non Muslims,whether women should allow to wear Niqab or not. Covering the face of a women is not compulsary for the ordinary women according to Islamic teaching.

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Hijab

Niqab

Niqab

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Burqa

I have found the following article written by Christine Benlafquih is balance and interesting. Those who are not from the world of Niqab, Burqa, and Hijab may have deeper understanding after reading her article.

Allah know the best,

Kyaw Kyaw Oo

Covering the face is part of early Muslim tradition, and a practice which persists due to cultural influences, religious belief and issues of modesty and spirituality.

“Brief History of the Hijab and Face Veil in Islam

The face veil, or niqab, predates Islam as as an Arab tradition and not a religious convention. Although not abandoned entirely, many women on the Arabian peninsula at the time of the Qur’an’s revelation had migrated towards clothing which left the neck, face, hair and other parts of the body exposed.

When it was revealed that verses in the Qur’an commanded women to observe modest dress and behavior, Muslim women were quick to adopt the style of dress which has become known as hijab. The widely-accepted minimum requirement for hijab is long, loose clothing which leaves only the hands and face exposed.”

“Debate Over the Face Veil

The vast majority of Muslim scholars agree that there is no religious proof that face veils are a required part of Islamic dress for women. (Many of these same scholars, however, do encourage the observance of niqab and view it as preferable for women in many parts of Arab society.) Although this is consistent with the opinions and rulings of early Muslim scholars, there is a minority who argue that the face veil is mandatory. The debate over the face veil centers on differing interpretations of words in the Qur’an which concern women’s modesty and dress.

An Arabic word for “veil” in the Quran (24: 31), for example, is interpreted by the majority to refer to a head covering which conceals the hair but shows the face. The minority argues, however, that the “veil” actually covers the full body including the face, since subsequent words command that the garment be drawn around the body. Here again the Arabic word which is understood by the minority to mean “body” (juyubihhina) is subject to different interpretations, with the majority interpreting it to mean the area which includes the neck, chest and bosom.”

Christine Benlafquih

She is a regular writer ( Islam Feature) with,  Suit 101.com.

Christine (Amina) Benlafquih holds a B.A. in Journalism and has experience in publications management, public relations, photography, advertising, and print and web writing. Her experiences as a convert to Islam, as a mother of six, and as an expatriate in Morocco serve as inspiration to much of her work.

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