I agree with Raihan Nezami, let the woman decide if she wants to wear it. But let me emphasise that nobody should force her, unless she wears immodest clothes. We should not say 'do this' or 'don't do that'. Let the women choose for herself. But the Quranic message is clear, be modest and lower your gaze if any brazen though comes to mind.
For a Muslim seeking short definitive answers, with no niceties of pandering to “scholars” and their long winded and never ending debate on such issues as this; the following has put me, a believer in Quran (Momin) out of the misery of conflicting religions arguments --Paraphrasing the verses:-.
•Only God gives guidance and only through Quran 10-35 , 28-85 and no other religious corpus 45-6.•None but God only—not even a Messenger—can give ruling on Deen-al-Islam. 4-176. Thus there is no post of a Mufti or a priest recognised in Quran and therefore in Islamic social system. ?Islamic Code is given in Quran. Church made so called Sharia is frowned upon and condemned in no uncertain terms 2-79.•On the issue of Full Face Covering in the verse 10-27 it is used as a metaphor for ignominy and shaming for wrong doers when God will judge them so. The priest therefore have judged our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters guilty of wrong doing in advance and covered their faces up to hide their shame. If on the other hand, falsely it is presented as a sign of piety and purity, then any such display and advertisement on my part is roundly condemned and satirized in verse107-5 & 6It is this political/religious correctness on the part of even the aware Muslims, is what is perpetuating these ‘falsehood’ of the ‘hood’ for sisters in the ‘brotherhood’ of Muslims!
Finally, I reached to the conclusion of this debate regarding veil (Niqab)and that is that it should not be imposed upon anyone, women should be given liberty to practice it as they wish. I remember a couplet of a famous Urdu poet I heard in my childhood, now I understood its meaning.
"Poochha jo unse aap ka dopatta tha kya hua?
Kahne lageen ki aql pe mardon ke pad gaya"
Many restrictions and guidelines were imposed by Allah even upon the "Begamat" (RA) and the Sahaba-e-Karam (RA) during the initial days of Islam. In case, Allah is supposed to reveal some instructions regarding social manners and etiquettes during the 21st century (Nauz Billah), how many restrictions He will have to impose in this electronic age when it isi full of nudity and vulgarity, the dresses in every community are getting shorter and shorter, there is make-up to enhance and expose the beauty, the language is being vulgar and vulgar. Valentine Days and Friendship Days are being celebrated with more zeal and fervour than Holi, Eid and Christmas.
Women are more in danger than they were in 7th century, that is why, we should be more careful in guidance to our women. Frankly speaking, it is so idiotic to educate men not to throw lustful glances, particularly when we are motivating women to expose and bare more. There are many families who don't allow their daughters to be out partying and befriending with men till late night, such parents don't sleep until their daughters return.
Why the governments have reserved special seats, compartments and coaches for women. Are they fools? No, we who are advocating our women to expose and bare their beauty and charm are fools. Who are we to decide, let every individual woman decide what she would like to wear and how will she like to behave and present themselves in the society.
This is a thoughtful and timely article. Burqas and head scarves are no more religious requirements for women than beards and skull caps are religious requirements for men.
We need to end gender segregation in social as well as work settings. Men and women should be able to interact with each other in social and work situations without excessive fear of eroticization. Excessive prudery regarding dress, avoiding eye contact etc paradoxically eroticize even innocent interactions. While lustful glances and sexually arousing dress must be avoided we do need to normalize our inter-gender behavior.