Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Evidences Of Jilbab - PART ONE: What does the Shari'a say about the garment called "jilbab"?

In the Quran, Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 (33:59) says:

Ya ayyuha an-Nabiyy qul li azwajika wa banatika wa nisa al-mu'minin yudnina alayhinna min jalabib hinna; dhalika adna an yu'rafna fa laa yu'dhayn. Wa kana Allahu Ghafur Rahim

O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their JALABIB close around them; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle.

The word "jalabib" is the plural of "jilbab". Clearly, this ayah states a command for Muslim women to wear a garment which Allah SWT has called "jilbab".

Beyond this, the hadiths record how the sahabiyat (rAa) went about obeying Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 when it was revealed:

Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 #4090. Narrated Umm Salama, Umm al-Mu'minin: When the verse, "That they should draw their jalabib close around them" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing jalabib.

In case there is any confusion about how the Muslim sister is supposed to go about obeying Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59, this hadith shows that the correct way to obey it is to wear the garment called "jilbab", since that is what the sahabiyat (rAa) did. Note that they did not hesitate or delay or make excuses: when they were told by Allah SWT to wear the garment called "jilbab", they did, right away.

And there is more even than this. Some of the women remained in seclusion and never went out so that they did not own the garment called "jilbab". The hadiths record that the Prophet (sAas) commanded the women to come out for the Eid gathering, and what he said about the issue of the garment called "jilbab":

Sahih Bukhari Book 8 #347. Narrated Umm Atiyya: We were ordered to bring out our menstruating women and screened women to the religious gatherings and invocation of the Muslims on the two Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from the musalla. A woman asked, "O Messenger of Allah! What about one who does not have a jilbab?". He said, "Let her borrow the jilbab of her companion".

My dear sisters, surely the meaning of this is clear enough to you. If it were halal for a sister to go outdoors without the garment called "jilbab", why didn't the Prophet (sAas) allow the women to do this? But instead, he told them that they must find the garment called "jilbab" to wear, even if they had to borrow one from a friend. The rule is plain: it is a disobedience of Allah SWT and of His messenger for a woman to go outdoors if she is not wearing the garment called "jilbab". Period. I really do not see any other meaning from Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 or from these hadiths. Do you?

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