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Hamza Yusuf and his position about veiling in West

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Can you please comment on this video by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and his position about veiling/ parda in West:


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, it is Wājib (Necessary) for a woman to cover her face from strangers. If despite living in a democratic and mulitcultural society frictions about the face veil do abound, then that is to be resolved in public debate. We live in societies where the hallmark of enlightenment is to take into consideration the various rights of minority groups.

Big organizations such as Amnesty International have publicly declared on more than one occasion the ban of the face veil to be in direct violation with international law on the freedom of Religion. Consider following statement:

“A general ban on the wearing of full face veils would violate the rights to freedom of expression and Religion of those women who choose to express their identity or beliefs in this way,” said Claudio Cordone, Amnesty International’s Interim Secretary General.[i]

The sad part is that we Muslims don’t seem to succeed in standing up for ourselves. Consider the fact that until today, on a yearly basis the whole world is mourning for the atrocities that have been committed against the Jews in Europe in the second world war. That is more than 70 years ago. They were able to voice out against the oppression, so why can’t we? Our problem as Muslims worldwide is that we take our Religion for granted and we feel that we can just abandon our core values just because a little amount of pressure is exerted against us. If we keep on bothering ourselves with what non-Muslims have to say/claim/draw about our Religion, if we keep on compromising so easily on our values, then where will it end?

The aspect of modesty is a core value in our Religion about which Nabī Karīm ﷺ mentioned on the authority of Imām Bukhārī and Imām Muslim:

إذا لم تستحي فاصنع ما شئت [ii] 

If you have no shame, then do whatever you want.

In ibn-e-Mājah it comes:

«إن لكل دين خلقا، وخلق الإسلام الحياء»[iii]

Every Religion has a character, and the character of Islām is modesty.

The face veil is not a matter of comfort, it is a perspective of life. The veil in its fullest glory is the embodiment of a salient feature of our Religion, namely modesty. Take it away and you will change a 1400 year perspective of Islām on the social role of women in society. Moreover, it is a duty on our part as Muslims to propagate our Religion world wide. Our Religion is a divine solution to every single world problem that has currently manifested itself globally. If women don’t cover themselves then they will be an easy prey for various kinds of abuse. The horrible statistics of rape are very well known. We as Muslims who know the solution to these problems have a duty to show the correct road to mankind.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Khalil Johnson

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

[i] “Belgium full face veil ban would breach international law | Amnesty International”, accessed 03 April 2014. https://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/belgium-full-face-veil-ban-would-breach-international-law-2010-04-22.

[ii] الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسننه وأيامه = صحيح البخاري, محمد بن إسماعيل أبو عبدالله البخاري الجعفي, محمد بن إسماعيل أبو عبدالله البخاري الجعف, محمد زهير بن ناصر الناصر, دار طوق النجاة  مصورة عن السلطانية بإضافة ترقيم ترقيم محمد فؤاد عبد الباقي, الأولى، 1422هـ, بيروت, 1406 هـ, 9

[6120 8] 6120 – حدثنا أحمد بن يونس، حدثنا زهير، حدثنا منصور، عن ربعي بن حراش، حدثنا أبو مسعود، قال: قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” إن مما أدرك الناس من كلام النبوة الأولى:

[iii] سنن ابن ماجه, ابن ماجة أبو عبد الله محمد بن يزيد القزويني، وماجة اسم أبيه يزيد, 273هـ, محمد فؤاد عبد الباقي, دار إحياء الكتب العربية – فيصل عيسى البابي الحلبي, الأولى، 1422هـ, بيروت, 1406 هـ, 2

[4181 2] 4181 – حدثنا إسماعيل بن عبد الله الرقي قال: حدثنا عيسى بن يونس، عن معاوية بن يحيى، عن الزهري، عن أنس، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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