By Ibrahim B. Syed, New Age Islam
07 June 2019
Hijab (head cover)
for Muslim women is not mandated in the Qur’an. If it is, it is only the
subjective interpretation of an Ayah (verse) on the part of the reader. Hence
many Islamic Scholars say that according to Hadith, a woman should cover her
whole body, except her face and hands. Majority of the Muslims do not know in
which Hadith this is mentioned. A very limited number of Muslims know that this
is in Sunan Abu Dawud. The English translation of Sunan Abdu Dawud is in three
volumes. Again nobody ever mentions that it is in Volume Three. Actually it is
in Volume 3, Book XXVII and Chapter 1535, and Hadith number 4092, titled “How
Much Beauty Can a Woman Display?" For the benefit of the readers the
exact Hadith is reproduced below:
(4092) ‘A’isha said: Asma’, daughter of Abu
Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (May peace be upon him) wearing thin
clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from
her. He said: O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does
not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he
pointed to her face and hands.3523
Abu Dawud said: This is a Mursal tradition (i.e. the
narrator who transmitted it from ‘A’isha is missing) Khalid b. Duraik did not
[3523. When a woman reaches the
age of puberty, she must observe Purdah and have a thick veil which
conceals her beauty. She may unveil her face and hand up to the wrists. In
modern times some scholars have prohibited to unveil face out of precaution.]
It is very interesting to note that no one- neither the
Muslim Scholars nor the Muslim Ummah ever pointed out that this Hadith is a m u
r s a l Hadith or weak Hadith, although it is imperative that when one uses a
weak Hadith for any reason then one should explain it to the people that this
is a weak Hadith. What is a Mursal Hadith? First of all what is Hadith?
Hadith is an Arabic word, which in its real sense means a
tale, speech, chat, conversation or communication. In a technical sense, Hadith
or Tradition means all the sayings, deeds, decisions of Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh), and his silent approval of the behavior of his companions and descriptions
of his personality. Each Hadith is prefaced by a chain of narrators called Al-’Isnad.
Al-’Isnad was the chain of people through whom the Hadith was transmitted. The
second part of the Hadith is Al-Matn, the content, which reports the teaching
or the incident. Every Hadith or Tradition must have a chain (‘Isnad) as well
as the Text (Matan).
There are three main categories of the Hadith called (1)
As-Sahih or the Authentic Hadith (2) Al-Hasan or the Good. Some of its
narrators have been found to have a weaker memory in comparison to the
narrators of Sahih Hadith, and (3) Ad-Da’if or the Weak. This refers to that
Tradition in which there is some problem in either the chain of transmission,
in the proper understanding of the transmitter or in its contents, which may be
in disagreement with Islamic belief and practice.
Ad-Da’if Traditions are further divided according to the
degree of problems with their reporters (Ruwaat) or in the text (Al-Matan)
of the reports. A few of these divisions are as follows:
a) Al-Mursal: A Hadith in which a
Tabi'i (those who succeeded the Sahabah or companions of the Prophet (pbuh)
transmits from Rasulullah (pbuh) directly, dropping the Sahabi from the ‘Isnad.
b) Al-Munqati: A Hadith going
back to the Tabi’i only.
c) Al-Mu’dal: A Hadith in which
two continuous narrators are missing in one or more places in the ‘Isnad.
d) Al-Mu’allaq: A Hadith in which
one or two transmitters are omitted in the beginning of the ‘Isnad.
In Shari’ah or Islamic Law only the authentic (Sahih) and good
(Hasan) Ahadith (plural of Hadith) are used in deriving the rules. The
weak (da’if) Ahadith have no value for the purpose of Shari’ah.
As stated above that
Imam Abu Dawud himself said that this is a Mursal tradition (i.e. the narrator
who transmitted it from ‘A’isha is missing). What I interpret is that the
narrator of this Hadith is Khalid b. Duraik who did not see 'A'ishah (Radhi
AllahuAnha (May Allah be pleased with her)). As this is a weak Hadith, it
has no value for the purpose of Shari’ah, that means no Muslim or Islamic
Republic or government can pass laws punishing a Muslim woman who does not
observe Hijab, particularly covering the hair on their head. This is not being
practiced in the so-called Islamic countries where religious police are threatening
Muslim women who do not observe Hijab, with their canes.
I have all along maintained in my arguments that Islam
emphasizes on modesty in the dress of Muslim women, but no where it mandates
the wearing of Hijab (head cover). As a matter of fact modesty in dress is also
required on the part of the Muslim men.
In the matter of Hijab, the conscience of an honest, sincere
Believer alone can be the true judge, as has been said by the Noble Prophet:
"Ask for the verdict of your conscience and discard what pricks it."
Islam cannot be properly followed without knowledge. It is a
rational law and to follow it rightly one needs to exercise reason and
understanding at every step.
Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D is President of Islamic Research
Foundation International, Inc.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
QUOTE: Hijab in Sunan Abu Dawud: Head Cover (Hijab) For
Muslim Women Is Not Mandated In the Qur’an
(By Ibrahim B. Syed, New Age Islam)
In the matter of Hijab, the conscience of an honest,
sincere Believer alone can be the true judge, as has been said by the Noble
Prophet: "Ask for the verdict of your conscience and discard what pricks
UNQUOTE: What do you mean by not mandated?
Do You Know The "Satr" Of A Muslim Woman?
Should She Cover That "Satr" Or Not?
You Pagans Sitting In India Are Trying To Hoodwink Us?
Ulte Latakne Wale Bats, Tumhari Khopdiyon Main Quran
Naheen Pohncha Toh Apne Aapko Qusoor Waar Samjho, Hamen Kiyooooon Confuse Karte
Moodi Sudi Ke Sathiyo, Bikau Maal.