Saturday, January 17, 2009

Purdah and the Status of Women in Islam


Almost a week I did not update this blog, not even enter my blog....ermmm well, here I just want to share about Purdah and the Status of Women in Islam..

What is Purdah?

Maybe you already know what is the purdah all about right?..Anyway for me the purdah means curtain or veil, and refers to the various modes of shielding women from the sight primarily of men (other than their husbands or men of their natal family) in the South Asian subcontinent. Purdah can refer to the veiling or covering of the entire body or of parts of the head and face through the manipulation of womens' attire. It can also refer to the practice of the seclusion of women inside their homes. In the sense of attire, purdah can denote the practice of completely covering a woman's body by wearing a loose, body-covering robe called the burqa.

Example women wear Purdah / Hijab

Purdah in Islam is necessary upon every woman who is close to the age of puberty or has reached it. Sometime purdah also called hijab.Many complain that the Hijaab enjoined upon the Muslim women is far too restrictive and rigid and is in order to keep them inferior to men. Ignorance and misunderstanding can only be the cause of such beliefs. Besides Islam which other religions or nations have given homes full protection from exploitation from strangers? While at the same time guides women upon importance of purity and morality as well as upholding her status and dignity. The practice of purdah derives from a concern to control female sexuality and to shield women from being the objects of the sexual desire of men other than their husbands. Secondly, in its association with circumspect feminine behaviour (which in turn was associated with female subordination), it is critical for preserving hierarchy within the patriarchal family. Thus, women observe purdah usually with male and often with senior female members of their husbands' families. Purdah is observed much more loosely and sometimes not at all by women when they are with their natal families.
  • Some Al- haadith on Purdah
    1. When a woman applies perfume and passes by a gathering of men, she is like this and this (like an adulterer)
    2. The gaze (at a ghair mahram) is a poisonous arrow from among the arrows of Iblis. He who restrains (his staring gaze) for fear of me. I shall exchange it for such solid Imaan, the sweetness of which he will experience in his heart.
    3. 'A Dayooth will not enter Jannah.' The
    Sahabah asked, 'Who is a Dayooth?' Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, 'A man who does not care who visits his wife (i.e. men).'
    4. Every eye is a fornicator.
    5. The zina of the hands is to touch (a ghair mahram).
    6. It is better that a steel rod be plunged into your head than you touch a woman who is not lawful for you.
    7. When a man is alone with a woman, the third one present is Shaitan.
    8. Beware of visiting women (who are unlawful for you).
    9. Women should not speak with men, except with a mahram.
    10. It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day to allow anyone entry into her husbands home except with his permission. She should not go out of the house against his wishes. Nor should she obey anyone without his regard.
    11. Women may not emerge (from their homes) except when compelled to (by circumstances). (Tabrani)
    12. A women is a object of concealment, thus when she emerges, Satan surreptitiously pursues her (and lays in wait to create his fitna for immorality).
    13. Allah curses the one who looks (at females) and the one to whom the look was directed.
    14. Beware of mingling with women. A man from the Ansaar asked, "What do you, O’ prophet of Allah say about the brother-in-law?" The Holy Prophet replied, "A brother in law is death." (I.e. intermingling with him is worse than death).

  • Law of Hijaab
    The law of Hijaab requires that the whole female body (from head to feet, including the face) be concealed in the presence of ghair mahram (with whom marriage is permissible).
    A woman should not emerge from the house unnecessarily. If she has to, due to some need, then she should cover her face and body with the outer garment e.g. ‘Burqa’, so the face and shape of the body are not exposed. It should be kept in mind that the outer garment should be of simple quality and the eyes should be covered with a net or cloth so as not to be a cause of attraction. The veil should not be put on in such a way where the outer garment is of good quality or thin cloth or wrapped round the face so the shape of the nose are exposed.

    Allah says in the Holy Quran,
    "Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veil) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

    Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam having said this, "Two kinds of people would be in the worst situation in Hell. First, those officials who would carry with them whips looking like the tails of cows and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite wearing clothes (due to wearing see through and tight clothes) who would attract strangers (men) towards them and will themselves be attracted to them. Their heads will be on a side like the humps of fast camels. They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of Paradise which will reach for distances."(Abu Daud)


In my opinion, actually to wear Purdah is good.It is because with purdah, we can take care and prevent our self from doing something which is futility..Selain itu, maruah diri dan harga diri seorang wanita juga akan lebih terjaga..In islam, they do not ask women to wear purdah but just "tutup aurat"..It means just face and "tapak tangan " sahaja yang boleh dilihat oleh orang bukan muhrim (men)..but with purdah we can feel much more safer and iman seseorang wanita itu akan lebih terjaga..sebagai wanita yang berpurdah mereka harus sentiasa berwaspada dalam menajalani kehidupan di dunia yang boleh menjurumskan kepada dosa.bukan sahaja kepada wanita berpurdah.malah wanita yang tidak berpurdah juga harus lebih banyak lagi berwaspada berbanding wanita berpurdah..kerana wanita berpurdah ini, sememang diri mereka akan lebih terjaga dari melakukan perkara2 yang dilarang oleh ALLAH S.W.T...

May Allah Give Us the Tawfeeq (Ability) To Act upon His Commandments and avoid His Prohibitions. Ameen!


menTibangLaut said...

lovely name...

dania tasnim,
n about the veil,i really interested in~

Khadijah Azhari said...


owh i see....actually dania tasnim tu just my blog name...ermmm..thanks for ur comment..insyaAllah if I have any information about Purdah..I'll try to write in my blog..