Laman Webantu   KM2A1: 2273 File Size: 5.2 Kb *

Re: alaa ka#simmmmm
By Ummi Nasuha

18/2/2000 11:05 pm Fri

By Ka#sim Ahmad
17 February 2000

SHOULD there be tears? But it has been too long: tears would have dried three times over! Should there be censure and jeers? But to what avail? They are our own people - Malays, who, it seems, have forgotten how to be Muslims, so much so that they will quarrel about dress, in particular about a woman's head-cover - tudung - its upholders claiming that it is a mark of faith! (NST, Jan 27, Feb 10 and 14)

Common sense would tell us that people dress, firstly, to cover their nakedness, secondly, to protect them from the weather and, thirdly, to beautify themselves.

The Arabic word aurat has as one of its meanings nakedness. So what constitutes a man's and a woman's aurat in Islam?

The cla#sical jurists, themselves males, were liberal about the first and illiberal about the second. Just the area between his navel and his knees constitutes a man's nakedness, although most of the time men have gone about, including when performing prayers, covering other parts of their bodies. Not so with women. Women, it seems, must cover everything except their faces, hands and feet, their hair being part of their aurat. That is the source of the present
quarrel about the tudung. Many women and men now vehemently defend the tudung as part of faith.

Yet, it was not like this in Malaysia not so long ago, that is before we were invaded by the wave of Islamic resurgence, especially after the so-called Islamic Iranian revolution of 1979. Before this, our women, including girls, went about without tudung. Had they less faith? Would they be thrown into Hell for this? Not by any long shot!

Why? Common sense tells us that we should dress decently. And what is decent dressing? Surely, that which covers our private parts, protects us from the weather and also makes us feel comfortable.

Some Muslims quote the Quran to prove that the woman's head-cover is necessary. But this is misreading the Quran, on two counts. Firstly, there is no order for women to cover their heads. What they are ordered to do is (i) to dress decently (7:31), (ii) to cover their chests (24:30-31), and (iii) to lengthen their garments (33:59). Of course, the best garment, God reminds us, is the garment of righteousness (7:26).

To prove that this is the correct reading, look at the ablution. Both men and women, for ablution, are ordered to wash their faces, wash their hands up to the elbow, wipe their heads and wash their feet up to the ankles (5:6).

Why are faces, hands and feet to be washed? Because at the place of work these parts of the body are exposed. If the head is covered, there should be no necessity to wipe any dirt or dust off it during ablution.

Therefore, it is clear that the head or hair is not part of a woman's nakedness. Yet Malay women have worn the selendang, that exquisitely graceful head-kerchief, from time immemorial. But it is only worn on ceremonial occasions.

In a recent discussion I attended on this subject, some women even argued that the pa#sion generated by the beauty of women's uncovered hair have led to rapes! This is an obvious generalisation and an oversimplification of the phenomenon of rapes. Can it be that God created beauty not to be enjoyed? Or there is something wrong with this way of looking at things.

Muslims must be disabused from thinking that women only exist as sex objects. A great part of the responsibility rests with the ulama. Many of them advocate such a view. Muslim have a responsibility to find out the truth about the religion for themselves. They must not depend solely on the ulama, as ultimately they will be responsible for their own actions. We should respect the knowledgeable, but respect is not equal to following blindly. The Quran is there for everyone to read and study, and study it the Muslims should.

It is sad to note that Muslims, having lost power and prestige in the world to Westerners, are stressing the less important parts of their religion or what they erroneously perceive to be part of their religion, to make their presence felt.

They must realise that this will get them nowhere. Islam is not about dress or even prayers. Islam is about belief in God and fighting in God's cause. Fighting in God's cause means upholding the good and forbidding evil. If one is asked to define Islam, this is it. If Muslims do not understand this, then they have lost Islam.

This is not to say that dress or prayer is not important. They are important, but only as complimentary parts of the faith in God and the doing of good, not as faith in themselves, which they have now become.

>>>>>>Hai Ka#sim.....which God are you referring to? Bunyi macam madey jer bila bersyarah 'ugama', sebut 'tuhan' dan bukan ALLAH AZZAWAJALLA ke, ALLAH SUBHANAHUWATA'ALA ke.......