There is no reference to covering the head with a headscarf in the 31st verse of Surat an-Nur of the Qur’an

Say to the believing women that they should lower their eyes and guard their private parts and not display their adornments — except for what normally shows — and draw their (head) coverings across their breasts… (Surat An-Nur, 31)

 

Actually, there is no reference to covering the head in that part of the verse that is translated as “…and draw their (head) coverings across their breasts…”

walyadribna bikhumurihinna AAala jayubihinna.

The Arabic word ‘khumur’ which is translated as ‘head-covering’ in some commentaries and translations of the Qur’an, is derived from the root word ‘khamr’ that means ‘to cover’. This word means ‘to cover something’ yet there is no reference to the ‘head’ in the Arabic original of the verse.

In the Arabic original of the verse which is translated as  ‘..draw their (head) coverings across their breasts’  there is no word as ‘draw’. The verb ‘Yadribna’ is derived from the root ‘darabe’ and it means ‘to cover, to strike, to conceal.’

The word ‘Jayubihinna’ is the plural form of the root word Jim-ya-ba which has always been used to signify an opening of a shirt or a sleeve or a pocket or the bosom, heart. In Arabic, the word is used in descriptions such as ‘opening a pocket in a shirt’, ‘placing in a pocket’. That means the part of the body that the coverings should be placed on, is women’s breasts. The command defined in the verse is not to cover the head but the breasts. 

The second part of the verse defines the ones who are allowed to see the adornments of women; which actually explains the extend of the freedom women are given:

 “They should only display their adornments to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands´ fathers, or their sons or their husbands´ sons or their brothers or their brothers´ sons or their sisters´ sons or other women or those they own as slaves or their male attendants who have no sexual desire or children who still have no awareness of women´s private parts.” (Surat an-Nur, 31)

 

The verse states that –apart from their husbands- there is no drawback ‘for their male attendants who have no sexual desire or children who still have no awareness of women’s private parts’ to see women’s adornments. This information shows us that there is a reference to genitals and breasts in the word ‘adornments.’

Consequently, the 31st verse of Surat An-Nur actually explains the broad extend of the freedom women enjoy.

There are grave inconsistencies in the hadiths used to claim that use of headscarves is fardh (religious obligation). The impaired reasoning of those who put forth these hadiths is noteworthy. 

First, let us have a look at the related hadiths: 

MAWDU (FABRICATED) HADITH:  Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

May God have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse "That they should draw their veils over their bosoms" was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4102, English Version Book 33, Hadith 4091)

MAWDU (FABRICATED) HADITH:  Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: "Aisha used to say: 'When (the Verse): "They should draw their veils (Khumur) over their necks and bosoms (juyyub)," was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.'" Sahih al-Bukhari6:60:28232:4091.)

MAWDU (FABRICATED) HADITH:  

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

Safiyyah, daughter of Shaybah, said that Aisha mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: When Surat an-Nur came down, they took the curtains, tore them and made head covers (veils) of them. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab al-Libas, Book 32, Number 4089

MAWDU (FABRICATED) HADITH:  Ummu'l-muminin 'Ayeshah is reported to praise the women of al-Ansar in these words:
 
I did not see any women better than those of Al-Ansar, in their confirmation of God’s Book and the faith in the revelation. As soon as the chapter of an-Nur was revealed, containing the words, and they draw their head covers over their neck slits, {and they were informed of it by their men} everyone of them without exception took her robe (shawl) and wound it around her head, in conformity with, and faith in, what God had revealed in His Book.

They came next morning behind the Messenger (s.a.w) with those wound robes on heads as if a crow was sitting on their heads.” 

(Ad-Durru 'l-manthur, vol. 5 p. 42; al-Kashshaf: vol. 3, p. 62 )

In all of those hadiths, there is a reference to the revelation of the verse saying “When the verse "That they should draw their veils over their bosoms" was revealed... ”  According to this narration in these fabricated hadiths, women already have headscarves covering their heads and their headscarves flow down from their heads yet their bosoms are left uncovered.  

According to the fabricated hadiths and according to the wording added to the verse, while women already have a cover on their heads, it is stated that they need to cover their bosoms with that large part of the cloth flowing down their heads.

So, it is claimed that women need to use this cover here which is claimed to be there already and cover their bosoms with this wide piece of cloth.

This is what the fabricated hadith means.

Nevertheless, in none of those hadiths, their bosoms are covered by this long cover on their heads. Now see what these fabricated hadiths claim:

According to these fabricated hadiths, when the verse is revealed, it is stated that women cut off a piece of cloth from their skirts or from their dresses and added another cover on their heads that are already covered. 

With the words they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them...’ in the fabricated hadiths, it is claimed that women did not cover their bosoms with the cover they already have on their heads but tore pieces from their garments and covered their heads once more. By doing so they would not be abiding by the command ‘to draw their head-coverings across their breasts’ which they claim belongs to God – so that is the cover flowing down their heads and they do not abide by this command

So the fabricated hadiths claim that women covered their already covered heads once more. However, according to these explanations their bosoms still remain uncovered. So, with these fabricated hadiths they add a command that is not defined in the verse of God yet they do not abide by this command they came up with.

As is seen, this impaired reasoning is an evidence showing that God made the plots devised by those who fabricated superstitions backfire. 

God informs us that Islam is a religion of ease:

I seek refuge in God from the accursed satan:

“He (God) has selected you and not placed any constraint upon you in the religion — the religion of your forefather Ibrahim...” (Surat al-Hajj, 78)

 

“God desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you.” (Surat al-Baqara, 185)

 

“We will ease you to the Easy Way.” (Surat Al-A’la, 8)

 

Our blessed Prophet (saas) also commanded: “Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them,  and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse (them).”  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No:  6125).

Those who portray Islam as difficult by adding on commands God did not reveal put forth an understanding of religion that is far removed from the Qur’an and is not possible to live by, as God commanded by the verse – I seek refuge in God from the accursed satan- “They invented asceticism — We did not prescribe it for them — purely out of desire to gain the pleasure of God, but even so they did not observe it as it should have been observed.” (Surat Al-Hadid, 27)

Those who claim that covering the head is a religious obligation, even though it is not commanded in the Qur’an, have caused millions of women to remain distant to Islam.

Additionally, in the Qur’an, in the 59th verse of Surat Al-Ahzab, God says that women , when necessary - for instance in unsafe environments in which they would think that they cannot be safe in revealing, décolleté clothes– should temporarily cover themselves completely with outer garments: 

I seek refuge in God, from the accursed satan:

O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments (jalabeebihinna) closely round themselves (yudneena AAalayhinna). This makes it more likely that they will be recognized and not be harmed. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Ahzab, 59)

The command of the verse is explicit. Jilbab means an outer garment that covers from head to toe. The idolaters and the hypocrites of the time were harassing Muslim women with their words and their behavior. In the face of such behavior, this verse was revealed for Muslim women to cover themselves temporarily in these circumstances -meaning in environments where they might be harassed if they wore revealing clothes- to make themselves known and distinguished with their coverings. According to the command of this verse, Muslim women cover themselves from head to toe when they enter an environment they believe they might be harassed and wear outer garments that would cover every part of their bodies and their body lines. Depending on the severity of the risk, even the face should be covered.

2017-09-06 23:14:42

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