French President Francois Sarkozy’s remarks pertaining to burqa (outer garments for Muslim women observing hijab) has lent a handle to the electronic media to indulge in Islam-baiting by criticizing the Islamic standpoint on the status of women in society. I am no scholar or Islamic cleric to issue an edict on a particular issue, nor do I have any right to advise others. But my opinion is being occasioned by this particular statement of President Sarkozy wherein he held the burqa a tool of subservience of women.
The Creator of this earth has given certain directives regarding the women’s attire in the verse 59 of chapter 33 and verse 31 of the chapter 24 of the Holy Quran. It is for the women having faith who should make themselves aware of the directives, their implications and fashion their lives accordingly, lest they are held responsible for violation of the Divine will in the hereafter. Allah has directly commanded the Muslim women about His likes and dislikes, hence the obligation of Muslim women to follow them. I am not in a position to issue any diktat to them. For the benefit of the reader I quote below the relevant verses from the Qur’an:
“Enjoin the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that is chaste for them. Surely Allah is well aware of their actions.” (Al-Quran 24.30)
“Likewise enjoin the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty; not to display their beauty and ornaments except what normally appears thereof; let them draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their charms except to their husbands……..” (Al-Quran 24.31)
“O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, daughters and the believing women that they should draw their outer garments over their persons. That is more proper, so that they may be recognized and not harassed. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al-Qur’an 33.59)