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Why womens attire mentioned more if both genders need to "lower their gaze"?

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Author Topic: Why womens attire mentioned more if both genders need to "lower their gaze"?  (Read 251 times)
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« on: December 30, 2008, 10:03:37 pm »

Assalamu alaikum everyone,

I think this is something any serious student of the Glorious Qur'an has thought about and perhaps not always been able to reach satisfactory conclusions. As we know, Allah has mentioned more on the attire of women then men...but both men and women have been told specifically to "lower their gaze". I was on MPAC forums and one poster expressed his/her thoughts. I think members here will benefit if I quote their post and my response. Feel free to discuss further.

Quote from: vertices;592875
To the (male) proponents of the Hijab:

It clear from the Quran that *both* men and women 'should lower their gaze'.

I find it very difficult to infer from this, that the Hijab should be wajib. But if this *is* inferred, then *both* men and women should wear the hijab. Metrosexuality is so now!

Quote from: AceOfHearts;592881
Salam, hope you are well.

First of all, the common definition of "Hijab" is not based on the Qur'an. For example, the Qur'an does not command women to cover their hair. However, the Qur'an does mention believing women's dress (such as wearing 'lengthened' dress) more so than men which is where I think your mild 'confusion' lies. I feel the following short piece of writing will help clarify for you the reason as to why the Glorious Qur'an addressed about a couple times more, the believing women's dress attire:

Women & Beauty: A Secret Revealed in the Qur'an

This special beauty can be appreciated by both men and women. The attraction of the genders to one another, including women to men, include factors that are beyond this, thus both genders should "lower their gaze".

A true believing woman's dress is natural-looking and compatible today and can be radically different to what many sects of Islam have propagated over the centuries.

InshaAllah, this helps a bit. Smiley
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 04:16:58 am »

It appears that those who firmly believe hijab to be obligatory for women also consider male head covering, if not as important, yet pretty important.  That's why we see our imams and ulemas and also many of their followers wearing long robes, khimars, male head covering or caps. 
However, coming to the actual point, the Quran basically emphasises on modesty of behavior which automatically includes modesty of dress code.  While the concept of dressing modestly is somewhat flexible depending on the social environment of the place where one is living, that flexibility can be stretched only upto a certain point.  For example, in Afghanistan majority of women still do not feel comfortable walking down the streets without a burka.  It's not because the Quran commands women in that region to wear burkas but that happens to be the concept of modest dress code in that society.  But if those  women go to North America or Europe, they might quit the burka for something different - perhaps long loose skirt and blouse or trousers / jeans with loose tops - neither revealing nor skin tight.  So, as we can see, the concept of modesty has been adjusted but modesty still exists.  Wearing such clothing in North America or Europe would be considered modest but not in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.  Yet both within their social environs are modest.

It brings me to that verse of the Glorious Quran "O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember." (7:26)  

However, those very revealing garments almost exposing parts of the body that must be covered or very tight outfits that show the contours of the body so as to attract attention are very definitely not modest for believing women nor men, no matter where they live.  Such dress styles go far beyond the boundaries of flexibility for modesty and are completely against the Quranic dictates of dress code. 

This is what my rational perception tells me of the concept of modesty the Quran upholds.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 12:11:14 am »

Sister cat, my views are ditto.  And Verse 7:26 is one of my favorite. 

Regardless of who says what, I'm simply focused on accepting whatever rationally appears right and just as per Quraanic reasoning and values, which subsequently construct my personal values.  Though generally I have lots of differences with both modernists and traditionalists, yet I admit that not everything upheld by these two groups is incorrect. 

Btw, the MPAC forum of UK is one of those where I got countless warnings but somehow they never banned me with the insinuation that they prefer to hound rather than ban a member with whom they disagree as much as they did with me.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 08:28:38 pm »

I agree completely agree with you sister Cat, very good points made. Smiley What is saddening is that in countries like Saudi and Afghanistan, you will see that the reason for "over-dressing" women there is religious rather then cultural, unfortunately. This is what centuries of hadith and clergimenship has achieved giving a bad image of Allah's religion. 

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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 02:37:27 am »

Yeah, I too see your point sister cat.  well put.  That's why the Quran says to believing women to draw their veils close around them when they travel or go out.  I can't recall the exact wordings of this verse but it does say to this effect. As per my perception, this instruction is largely based on the perspective of the social atmosphere of Arabia at that time.  The history of that era defines that women from disbelieving families didn't have any dress codes and often dressed improperly.  That put wrong ideas in men who looked at them.  Thus, Allah tells the believing women to protect themselves from such immodesty.

  That's why we see our imams and ulemas and also many of their followers wearing long robes, khimars, male head covering or caps. 

Actually, khimar in Arab countries is a national casual dress for men.  It's not a religious attire.  Khimars are usually made of cotton material and are loose and long.  It's suitable for the hot weather there.  Just the way, in Pakistan for example, places like Karachi and Islamabad are quite modest from the dress code view point.  Women can wear jeans yet most of them prefer to wear shalwar & kameez because it's much more comfortable in that kinda weather.  But yes, if you see someone wearing a sweaters and a leather jacket over his khimar in -20C in Canada, then I'm sure that person might be wearing his khimar with religious ideas of his own.
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