Sunday, February 3, 2008

Answering to an atheist video in the You Tube about Hijab


When I was busy raking through the videos in YouTube to watch (well, it’s Friday night), I suddenly stumbled upon two very contrasting videos regarding hijab, the head cover that Muslim women wear. First, I encountered the video promoting hijab, posted by a Muslim lady, and second, the video questioning the wearing of hijab, posted by an atheist lady. The atheist lady by the name of Naomi poses some intriguing questions and claims about hijab that made me so moved to reply back of what she had said.

So, I am writing this post in response to Naomi’s video in the YouTube regarding hijab wearing by the Muslim women.

Her video, about 8 minutes 43 seconds long, can be directly reached with the link below:

I highly encourage the readers to watch it.

Here is the short summary of her statements in her brief video clip:

1. There is nowhere mentioned in the Quran that women were to cover their body.

2. The Quran does not specifically mention which part of the body should the women cover.

3. Wearing hijab is about culture and indoctrination.

4. Responsibility is placed on women for the men to be pure.

5. The whole premise of wearing hijab is that because of the assumption of men are “like animals who can’t control that dirty nasty thought”.

6. Wearing the hijab denies the right to choose whatever a woman wants to do with her body.

7. Wearing the hijab attracts unwanted attention.

8. Notion of “I have to cover myself up”.

9. The entire system (Islamic system of belief?) is telling the Muslim men that they are not capable of thinking for themselves (because it needs women to wear hijab to keep the men’s heart pure).

10. Rape happens to everybody: men, women, boys, girls and the elderly – not the exclusive for women; rape is about power and control.

11. Only men can stop rape.

12. Are the Muslim men not offended because they are being implied as “animals who can’t control that dirty nasty thought”?

She also mentioned that she sees according to mainstream American culture. She also said that her uncle and brothers don’t jump to women simply because they are not wearing hijab. She also told men not to stare at women at the street – it’s rude!

Her final message to men was know that they are not animal; they can think for themselves.

As a Muslim and a thinking man, my replies to her questions and statements are as below.

  1. There is a verse in the Quran mentioning that women should cover there body. The translation of the verse is:

"0 Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments above themselves ( when they go out). That is better so that they may be recognized and not molested. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (33:59)

  1. The Quran also tells which part of the body that should be covered:

" And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts from sin and not show of their adornment except only that which is apparent, and draw their headcovers over their necks and bosoms and not reveal their adornment except to And that they should not I strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And 0 you Believers! Turn you all together towards Allah in repentence that you may be successful." (24:31)

  1. Hijab is not about culture and indoctrination; it is about faith and an act of purity. That is why in every Muslim societies, be it the Irish Muslim society in the West, the Chinese Muslim society in China, the Arab Muslim society in the Middle East, or the Malay Muslim society in Southeast Asia, the Muslim women share a same charactericstics – they wear hijab. No, they don’t wear hijab because they are an Irish, a Chinese, an Arab, or a Malay; they wear hijab because they are Muslims! Yes, the styles and fashions of wearing the hijab differ; a Malay women may wear long loose ‘tudung’ with baju kurung (a traditional Malay costume for ladies) while an Afghan lady may wear the hijab with burqa – it is all right as long as it fulfills the requirements of the proper ways of wearing the hijab. No, it is not indoctrination either. In the Holy Qur’an, men and women are constantly being invited to think about the Signs of God in every aspect of life. This includes the wearing of hijab. So, implying that every Muslim women who wear hijab today as being mindlessly indoctrinated is erroneous. (You don’t think that millions Muslim women are stupid because they are wearing the hijab even in equatiorial countries such as




    just because the weather is hot there, do you?)
  2. In Islam, the responsibility is placed for both men and women to be pure. For women, wearing the hijab is part of the act of purity. By wearing the hijab, a woman can purify her soul from jealousy or the notion of being physically attractive against other women in order to reflect her self confidence or to attract men. Hijab also is the outer reflection of obedience of God’s order and a sign of faith and taqwa. For men, their responsibility is not only limited to not gazing on the women’s body. They are required to respect the women, whether they are wearing hijab or not. They are also required to protect their desire so that it does not become wild that it would harm others. That is why fasting is encouraged in Islam. Even men are required to cover parts of their body from the eyes of foreign women. Why? For the very same reason: so that the women’s desires do not become wild as it much as the men could.
  3. No, I cannot agree on that. The whole premise of wearing the hijab is because of faith and a prove of submission to God. True, men’s desire and thought can even go wild sometimes (and so are women). But the problem is that the wild thoughts and desires do not come on their own without a stimulus. (Proof: Who do you think, for most normal person, would most probably be sexually excited – the one who is watching a pornographic movie, or the one who is watching a soccer game). Because I’m a man, I know, what plays in the man’s mind. We are tempted with the ‘free shows’. Some goes further by sexually molesting others and in extreme cases, raping. So who is to blame? The men? Of course! But isn’t the women share their part because of stimulating the situation? [I am aware of some may argue on the women of self-expression part. It will be explained later on as I answered the succeeding questions].
  4. No, wearing hijab does not limit a woman of what she wants to do with her body. She still can wear jewelries, work, play, just as any men could do (and even men are prohibited to wear jewelries, for some reasons). On the contrary, instead of limiting, wearing the hijab is liberating. Women can now give full concentration of what she is doing instead of what people may think of what her physical appearance looks like.
  5. In the Muslim majority populated countries, wearing the hijab does not attract unwanted attention, but wearing scantily clad clothes does. So, where is the notion of attracting unwanted attention comes from? Thanks to the heavily manipulated media that is doing a very good job of bombarding the people’s mind, depicting veiled women as ‘oppressed’ and naked women as ‘liberated’. In fact, many Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries do not complain about getting unwanted attractions. So, now you know who should be ‘thanked’ for this? ;)
  6. Not I have to, but I need to cover myself up – that is the notion of why Muslim women wear the hijab for the reasons they themselves understand. Even Muslim women who do not (yet) wear the hijab understand the necessity of wearing it – they do not falsify the imperativeness of wearing the hijab. So, if Muslim women do not complain about wearing the hijab, why should others do in their behalf?
  7. The entire system, the deen of Islam, endlessly advocates thinking. In the case of hijab, it does not only limits itself to only rape, crime, or men-women relationship issues. It extends far more beyond that: that is why the system of muamalah, munakahat, syariah exist in Islam. Does secularism offers this? And oh, because the presumption that “men are animals who cannot control their desire” do not exist in the first place regarding to the wearing of hijab, so I think, the notion is irrelevant.
  8. Yes, rape happens to everybody. But, according to statistics 98 percent of the victims are women. That’s why every woman is given a whistle to blow in case somebody is trying to harm them in my university (




    at Urbana-Champaign – an American university). There is even a law enacted exclusively to protect them if such cases do happen (and oh, the whistles are not given to us, men).
  9. So, does that imply that without men, rapes don’t happen? There are women rapists, don’t they? Men and women should stop rape together!
  10. Of course I’m not because I don’t even believe I’m an animal with such inferior qualities that you mentioned. Moreover, that is not even the assumed premise of women wearing the hijab. And oh, I’m a thinking Muslim man, that’s why I think hard to answer your questions! :)

And for my fellow Muslim sisters out there, know that you are very much treasured by your Muslim brothers because you are wearing the hijab. It soothes our eyes and our calms our heart just by simply looking at you sisters in your hijab, Masha Allah!

Here, there is a song for you sisters, sung by Dawud Wharnsby Ali, regarding the Hijab, entitled The Veil:

They say, "Oh, poor girl, you're so beautiful you know
It's a shame that you cover up your beauty so."
She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,
"This beauty that I have is just one simple part of me.
This body that I have, no stranger has the right to see.
These long clothes, this shawl I wear, ensure my modesty.
Faith is more essential than fashion, wouldn't you agree?

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to preserve her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.

They tell her, "Girl, don't you know this is the West and you are free?
You don't need to be opressed, ashamed of your femininity."
She just shakes her head and she speaks so assuredly,

"See the bill-boards and the magazines that line the check-out isles, with their phony painted faces and their air-brushed smiles?
Well their sheer clothes and low cut gowns are really not for me.
You call it freedom, I call it anarchy."

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to preserve her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.
Lift the veil from your heart and seek the heart of purity.

To listen to the song, do go to this link:

This link will also provide reasons why women should wear the hijab.

Also, you may want to visit the link below to see hijab worn by different cultures of this world; the symbol of diversity in Islam, Masha Allah!

And I very much agree to how a woman should be judged as outlined by the video.

A women should be judged by:

1. Her intelligence

2. Her behavior

3. Her actions

4. Her faith

Wallahualam… :)

Mohd. Shazani Bin Masri


bosoms = breasts
hijab = the veil or the headcover
atheist = the one who do not believe in God

No comments: