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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Is the Veil (Hijab) Mandated In the Koran

Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed * Contraceptive Coverage - Court Rules Against Catholic Employers

Dr. Syed is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and a writer on Islamic affairs. His 1998 article (see below) isn't likley to make him popular in the Muslim community but could very well bring the wrath of the mullahs upon him. Wearing of veil by Muslim women has become a polarizing issue. He wrote "As a matter of fact, modesty in dress is also required on the part of Muslim men." How is that going to fly with Muslim men, especially those who live in the West ?

Washington Post: "While the veil issue has exacerbated tensions between non-Muslims and Muslims, it has also sparked passionate reactions within Muslim communities. Some Muslim leaders have accused Straw, Blair -- who called veils a "mark of separation" -- and others of demonizing Muslims, but others have said they have raised an important issue that has no clear consensus among Muslims."

Is Head Cover For Women Mandatory In Islam ?

by Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D - Islamic Research Foundation International,Inc.(IFRI)

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. The majority of 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 Abu Dawud is in three volumes. Again, nobody ever mentions that it is in Volume Three. Actually, it is in Volume 3, Book XXVII, 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:

(Go to the IFRI link for the complete text.)

This article was printed in the April 1998 issue, Volume 19, No. 3 of "The New Trend" publication.

Asra Nomani's article in the Washington Post: Clothes Are'nt the Issue is a shocker. She cites justification for wife beating in the Koran! Makes you wonder why Muslim women remain subservient and accept such conditions. Even if the practice is not widespread it has no place in today's world.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. When dealing with a "disobedient wife," a Muslim man has a number of options. First, he should remind her of "the importance of following the instructions of the husband in Islam." If that doesn't work, he can "leave the wife's bed." Finally, he may "beat" her, though it must be without "hurting, breaking a bone, leaving blue or black marks on the body and avoiding hitting the face, at any cost."

Such appalling recommendations, drawn from the book "Woman in the Shade of Islam" by Saudi scholar Abdul Rahman al-Sheha, are inspired by as authoritative a source as any Muslim could hope to find: a literal reading of the 34th verse of the fourth chapter of the Koran, An-Nisa , or Women. "[A]nd (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them," reads one widely accepted translation.

A Defeat For Catholic Employers in New York State

Good news. Although the plaintiffs in this case plan to pursue an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the chances of the justices taking this up are slim.

New York Law Journal:

Health Law Requiring Plans To Offer Birth Control Upheld

John Caher


"ALBANY - The Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the constitutionality of a women's health act that pressures some religious-affiliated employers to either offer their employees a prescription plan that includes contraceptive coverage or deny their workers any drug coverage at all.

In Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Serio, 110, the Court rejected the claims of 10 faith-based organizations and refused to exempt them from a key provision in the Women's Health and Wellness Act. The ruling makes it difficult, but not impossible, for an individual or group to avoid on religious grounds a neutral law of general application.

- John Caher can be reached at jcaher@alm.com.


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