Friday, February 02, 2007

Q&A: Is there an illah in the hukm of Jilbab?

The following is translated from Arabic.

Question: Is the opinion regarding jilbaab qat'I because qardawi says 'Illah is modesty. Therefore, so as long as one is modestly attired jilbaab is not necessary?

Answer: Wearing the jilbaab is a hukm shar’i. It is wajib. Its daleel is qat’I but the Fuqaha differed over the description of ‘Idnaa’ (draping) in the ayah: ‘ draw (idnaa) their jilbaabs over their bodies.’ So the jilbaab is definitely mentioned in the ayah but with regards to ‘idnaa’ (drawing or draping): some said it means draping it from the top of the head to the face and some said draping down the jilbaab means to the floor such that it covers the feet. And this is the preponderant view for us. As for those who said the texts regarding wearing the jilbaab has a ‘illah which is modesty and what’s important is that the woman should be modestly attired whether with jilbab or not. This is wrong.

This is because the texts regarding this issue do not have an ‘illah. So the woman who asked the Messenger (saw): O messenger of Allah, what about the one who does not have a jilbaab? He said: Let her wear the jilbaab of her sister’ ie let her borrow her sister’s jilbaab so that she can go out.’ The mafhoom of this is she should not go out without the jilbaab. This is an explicit text which has no ‘illah. The Messenger (saw) did not allow her to go out unless she wore a jilbaab.

As for what was mentioned in the ayah:

ذلك أدنى أن يعرفن فلا يؤذين

‘that they should be known so as not to be annoyed’[ahzab:59] This is the cause of revelation and not the ‘illah, which is to distinguish the free women from the slaves.

Therefore, wearing the jilbaab in the public life is fard on women regardless of her state.


Anonymous said...

Salaam. The wording of the above mentioned ayah appears to be the reason for the hukm. What makes this ayah only the cause and not the illah? JazakAllah khair.

Anonymous said...

ASA. I understand that the jilbab is only fard in the public square and not in private. Would a science lab be considered a private place in this context if it was in a restricted area where only certain other members of staff could enter? Jzk.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Allah (swt) didn't use the lam of purpose (lam al-ta'lil)
or other expressions clearly indicating illah (reason). Please see the following article which explains the conditions of extracting an illah:

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Most science labs are public places, not private. The following was mentioned in a Q&A:

"From the verses 27 & 28 of Surat An-noor, in which Allah (swt) says: O you who believe, don’t enter houses other than your own until you have asked permission and saluted those in them, that is best for you, in order that you may heed (what is seemly).
If you find no one in the house, don’t enter until permission is given to you; if you are asked to go back, go back; that makes for greater purity for yourselves, and Allah knows well all that you do)

It was deduced from these verses that the place which is considered a house and upon which the rules of the private life apply is the one no one from outside is allowed to enter it except with a permission. In such place, the woman has special rules, to which the term of private life was given. This applies to that known as house or home. It was compared to it, by analogy, the offices that are closed to the public, in the institutions which nobody is allowed to enter unless he had a special permission. Such offices closed to the public, the work of men and women together in them is not valid. However, if such offices, closed to the public, were made of transparent glass, where their inside is open (exposed) to the public, then they are considered public places. Similarly, the offices open to the public, wherever anybody has an enquiry or a transaction can enter, such offices are not subject to the rules of the private life.

Gov’t departments, public institutions and companies and the like, which deal with the public, are in origin, public places. The existence of some closed (to the public) offices in them does not make the whole department, institution or company as a private place; they rather remain as public places, except those offices closed to the public and which require a special permission to enter.

Furthermore, organising the entrance to these departments, institutions and companies, in security or administrative sense, is not considered a permission Shari’ah sense. Therefore pushing an electric button to open the door or registering the name at the information desk or entering by an electronic card and the like, all that is not considered (taking) permission and would not change the status of these institutions. They would rather remain as public places likewise entering the public parks or entering the bases and the likes by paying a fee, all that is not considered as giving permission, because this entering subject to paying a fee is not for particular persons, rather it is a permission for whoever pays the fee. Therefore they remain as public places.

Submitting applications to these institutions, departments and companies so as to carry out a (business) transaction or discharge (carry out) an interest for the people by receiving their visits is allowed even if such applications may be transferred to closed offices. The person who follows up his interest or application has the right to continue pursuing his measures in these departments, whatever was the time period necessary to accomplish that."

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum,

By reading the illah/Qiyas article, my understanding is illah = the reason for a verse.

However in the following statement you differenciate the cause and the illah, could you give example:

‘that they should be known so as not to be annoyed’[ahzab:59] This is the cause of revelation and not the ‘illah, which is to distinguish the free women from the slaves.

I thought that the Hijab/Jilbab was to allow women to undertake her role in society without being annoyed in any manner (sexualy, remove the sex from public stage, etc)


Islamic Revival said...

It is not the illah (reason) it is the cause as it was explained. The reason is attached to the rule in existence and absence. For example if it was the illah then if people did not harass them then it would not be obliged, this is not the case.

Anonymous said...

The Q&A in the comments seems to suggest that men and women are NOT permitted to work together in an office which is considered PRIVATE.
It defines PRIVATE as a place where special permission is required to enter.
Now most offices wouldn't let members of the public enter... but then at the end this is clarified where it says that permission for security issues, etc doesn't make an office PRIVATE in the Shariah sense.

Ok, so alhamdulillah - my office is NOT PRIVATE and therefore I can continue to work here even though women are present.

My question is this: can someone please clarify with an example, where it wouldn't be allowed for men and women to work together?
If it was a private house and you had ONE man and ONE woman working together, then this WOULD be haram (forbidden) as it's khulwa (seclusion).
That makes perfect sense.

But is this Q&A saying that my department consisting of, say, 4 women and 4 men could not come back to my house and work on a project together?
But we could work on the same project together in the office?

Jazaakallaahu khayr.

Islamic Revival said...

You are right a house is a private place and thus non-mahrem men and women could not work in it together as you described. They are allowed to work together in a public office.

- There are private places upon which the rules of private life apply, such as the houses.

- There are public places upon which the rules of the public life apply, such as the markets.

- There are public places with special rules like separating men from women, such as the mosques and attending the public talks, to which the lectures in the universities are compared by analogy.

- So in the markets, it is not a condition that men separate from women during trading. But in the mosque and the lecture hall, the separation of men from women is a condition.

The following is from a follow up Q&A that clarifies the matter further, from 20/07/2000:

1. What constitutes 'permission' in an office block that does not deal directly with the public?

Answer: The office that does not deal with the public (masses, people) directly is a private office. The presence of permission for entering it means to apply the rules of the private life upon it, that is the unallowance of man and women to work together in it.

2. The reality of most offices in England is they have a front door, which anyone can walk through. They have a reception which you need to report to when entering the building. The reception will ask who are you here to see and then they will allow you to go through to the offices, IF they see you are here for a purpose or to visit an employee. If you are not then you cannot enter. Does this mean 'permission' or is this a security measure to not allow people who will cause problems to enter.

Answer: What is mentioned is a sort of administrative and security arrangements for entering it, and it is not considered as a permission in the Shar’a sense.

3. Most offices here either deal with the public (which you have answered) or deal with other companies. So in an example, you may have 8000 employees in a building and 3000 visitors a day. All of these people sign in at the reception and declare their purpose of visit.

Answer: Yes, there applies to them what applies to the offices that deal with the public.

Islamic Revival said...

The Q&A continued:

4. Does a public place mean 'anyone can enter without exception'? or 'anyone can enter who has business'. Even in a Mosque you may have security measures to not allow ill-intentioned people to come in? So some buildings have access to whoever wants to come in as long as they have a business.

Answer: The place where nobody is prevented from entering it is a public place.

But the place where only those who work in it can enter in it, has to be examined:

- If those who work in it work in halls that are open and they move in those halls without permission, such as the warehouses in a factory (textiles, plastics etc.) and the like, these places are public.
- If such places is made of open halls and other closed offices, then the first area is public and the second is private.

5. Some people work as school teachers. The school is a public building. However, access to certain offices and the staffroom is restricted. To enter some of the offices the secretary must let you in. To enter the staffroom a numerical door lock code must be entered and only staff know this code.
Does the entry to the staffroom as described constitute the seeking of permission. If it constitutes permission then would the staffroom be considered a private place within a public place, and hence would entry be prohibited? Also similar to this, some public buildings have enclosed within it a private meeting room, will the 'employee' be allowed to attend meetings there where men and women will be present?

Answer: The school is a public place with special rules, that is to separate the classes of men from those of women. The staff room is like the school, it is a public place but with separating the male teachers from the female ones. However entering such room with special cards or numbers known only to both types of teachers is not considered a permission in the shari sense.
Likewise the meeting halls in the public establishments (organisations) are public places with special rules, where women sit in separate from men.

6. You said in your last answer that institutions that deal with the public are public, except the private offices in the back. However you may 'secure an interest' and enter a private part of it. Does this also apply to 'private offices' where a person enters to fix the light, or photocopier etc..?

Answer: for an electrician to enter a private office that exists in a public establishment or somebody to enter a copying machine room to make a copy for some pages or for a book, all that is allowed, as long as it is an execution of a temporary job in the public organisations.

Islamic Revival said...

The rest of the Q&A:

7. Someone works in a very large office complex. He works in his own office where there is no interaction with women. But he passes areas where women work to get to his office. Will this be permitted?

Answer: This is allowed as long as he works in the office with men to the exclusion of women, it would not matter that he passes in places where women work, as long as this passage is in order to reach his office.

8. When we say working with women in private places is haram does this mean even if there is no interaction with them; if they work at a workstation and they are divided from a woman by a shoulder high partition and they do not speak with her nor have any dealings with her, then would this be interaction?
The question is what necessitates interaction - is it the working around women, seeing women or speaking to them.

Answer: Women and men are not allowed in the private place, whether there was speech between them or not. But in the public place, like the general parks and the public busses and the open factories and production halls, it is allowed for men and women to exist there together without mixing between them. Mixing in the public life means to associate in the place and the talk. This is the mixing (ikhtilat) and it is haram, except for a matter that shar’a allows like trading in the markets.
But if the person works at a location separated from women by a barrier that reaches his shoulder and he does not speak to the woman close by and he has no relationship with them, then such work is allowed.

9. If a building has transparent glass around this it would be public. What if the building is 20 stories high and so you cannot physically see into the above floors? Also if there are some hidden parts that are not apparent through the glass does this mean those parts are private?

Answer: The general organisations open to the public where sides are of glass are considered public places whether in the upper or lower levels. But if there were closed offices that are not open (seen) to the public, then what mentioned above of rules apply to them.

10. Can you work in an office where there are only male employees but accessing the actual building requires permission and in the building there are other offices where women and men work

Answer: same as Q 8

11. When invited to a wedding at a private place where you need permission to enter and you attend without mahrem, likewise, some women attend without mahrem are you allowed to attend, and people sit in the same hall and eat and discuss - are such weddings allowed.

Answer: The mixed halls of weddings are not allowed. Rather there should be halls for men and halls for women. The Shabab should not go if invited to such mixed wedding halls, whether alone or with his wife and mahrem relatives.

12. If you live in the room of a house where during the day and times in the evening there is no mehrem and a woman is in another room, are you allowed to stay there?

Answer: It is not allowed to live in such a room as described as Khulwah would occur in such a case.

13. Here is a specific reality of a person: Each floor is divided into departments and each department is further divided into either offices (with windows, doors and locks) or work areas (permanently accessible, but divided/separate). I work in a work area with 4 other men, no women work in my work area. From my work area other work areas are not visible, though speech in them is audible. From my work area 3 offices are visible but not audible, men occupy these offices. Sometimes women do enter or pass through but very rarely.

Answer: Such described work is allowed.

Anonymous said...

Salam you said there is no illah in the text tat discusses the jilbab however how do you explain and reconcile what the late Abdual Qadeem Zaloom said that in the hadith of ibn umar where the prophet discusses how far the jilbaab should draped down and Umm Salamah enquired that the feet will be uncovered and the prophet responded with the restriction how far the jilbab should be which is a handspan and no.longer than the forearm. AQZ said the illah is that the feet should be covered. This is in his Q and A compiled in April 2003