Monday, December 1, 2008

The Issue Is Aurat, Not Tudung

The fundamental issue with regard to the Muslim dress code is the obligation to cover the ‘aurat’ (certain parts of the body which Islam rules as not fit for public viewing). In Islam, it is a religious duty for both Muslim men and women to observe the aurat ruling for each respective sex.

Those who do not follow this aurat ruling are considered to be committing a sin while those who observe the ruling will be rewarded by God. The issue is as simple as that.

In Islam, the ‘fiqh’ (the understanding of the Syariah rulings), is derived from the Quran, Sunnah, Ijma' and Qiyas. All among the authentic Islamic ‘fiqh’ (derived from the four sources) on ‘aurat’ clearly include hair as one of the body parts considered ‘aurat’ for Muslim women. A very minority of those ‘fiqh’ include the face of women.

Observing the ‘aurat’ ruling such as wearing the tudung is not the sole indicator of piety. That is pure common sense. The same goes to all other Islamic obligations such as the solat, fasting, performing the hajj, paying zakat and many others. None can claim piety for simply performing any of those obligations.

If a Muslim woman feels comfortable enough going around exposing her trendy hair, that is her choice. But she shouldn't change the God's law by saying that is not a religious obligation to cover her ‘aurat’. Similarly, if a Muslim likes the taste of beer, that is fine for him. It is between him and God. But he should not say that beer is halal in Islam.

Wearing a tudung does not necessarily reduce social ills. That is also simple common sense. But being observant of God's laws would certainly improve the quality of life while deviating from the guidance of God would certainly reduce the quality of life in the society. The logic is as simple as that.

The next time you see women with the tudung, please appreciate the fact that some people choose to be observant to God's laws, even if others don't choose to.

Raihana binti Abdul Razak
Timbalan Pengerusi 1
Sekretariat Kerohanian & Perpaduan Kolej Empat Belas
Universiti Putra Malaysia

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