Friday, June 29, 2007

Urdu audio: Riyadh Summit & the betrayal of Palestine

The following is an Urdu audio of circle by Sheikh Abu Omar al-Khazraji about the Riyadh Summit, March 2007 and the betrayal of palestine.

The file can be listened to and downloaded from, to download the mp3 of the file you have to get a free esnips account and login - then the download button will appear:

New Urdu files - Inpage & PDF

I have uploaded new Urdu files including inpage files and some PDF's.

The following is a translation of Evidences about the Return of the Khilafah

Open letter to lawyers in Pakistan

Fiqh of Beard

Amrerica's 2nd Crusade against the Muslims of Kashmir (PDF)

I have also uploaded a new translation of the 'The Ruling System in Islam' by Sheikh Taqi ud-deen an-Nabhani, 'The Warm Call' and 'The Essential elements of the Islamic Nafsiyyah'. The PDF version of the Urdu translation of Mefaheem (concepts) by Sheikh Nabhani has also been uploaded:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Muslim Women: Between the Miniskirt and the Veil

The aftermath of 9/11 saw a barrage of attacks against Islam in the media. The media focus was to put the Muslims in the West in the spotlight. Yet again our identity was being questioned; yet again our position in Britain was being redefined.

Anti-Muslim sentiment has been rife throughout Europe. This climate has led to much discussion about the position of Muslims in Western societies, especially with regards to the need to ensure the integration of Muslims into the host society. Many statements made by politicians, highlight the agenda of the government. Peter Hain, the former UK Minister for Europe, said; "We need to work much harder to integrate Muslims in particular, with the rest of society" and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, stated; "As British Muslims - and their European counterparts - become more and more integrated into the fabric of our democracies, we may over time see the emergence of a distinctly European Islam" [Prospect Magazine, October 2002].

The Muslim woman has not been spared from this conspiracy of the integrationists. The quest to see the Muslim woman truly integrated into the Western society is a quest to strip her of her distinct Islamic identity and to distance her from Islam.

The Media Onslaught

Ever since the West launched its war on Islam (also known as the 'war on terrorism') there has been much said about the 'Burka' [veil] and its oppression of the Muslim woman, i.e. it symbolising her inferior position in society, and the West has boasted of its 'unveiling of Afghanistan'. Those involved in this overt campaign include high profile political and public figures such as the US First Lady Laura Bush and the British Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair who commented openly in a press conference; "Nothing more I think symbolises the oppression of the woman than the Burka." They have been joined by others in their demonisation of the Muslim woman which was highlighted by the French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen's statement concerning the wearing of the Khimaar [headscarf] and Jilbaab [outer garment]; "It is good, it protects us from the ugly women."

This excoriation of the Islamic dress code for women has been matched by leading Western journalists such as Polly Toynbee in 'Behind the Burka' in the Guardian:

"The top-to-toe Burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too untouchably disgusting to be seen. It is a garment of lurid sexual turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation...More moderate versions of the garb have much the same effect, inspiring the lascivious thoughts they are designed to stifle."

These are just some examples of the recent vilification of the Khimaar and Jilbaab - the modern day 'attack on the veil'. In addition to such public statements, many Muslim women who cover in accordance with the Shari'ah face on a daily basis, a barrage of comments and criticisms regarding their Islamic attire - these range from shows of sympathy for the 'poor oppressed covered woman' to abuse and threats hurled at the woman who dares to cover in Western society.

With such firmly rooted values held by Muslim women in the West, the West has sought to dilute the understanding of the Muslim woman's dress through its media campaign. In October 2002, the BBC reported on a story about Afghanistan called 'Afghan Lipstick Liberation'. It discussed a current project underway, funded by US money to provide the women of Afghanistan with a Western form of a beauty school to be built in Kabul inside the compound of the Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs and to be completed by January 2003. Its objective is to train some of the women of Afghanistan in cutting hair and the 'beauty business' with make-up donated for it from top cosmetic companies such as Revlon and MAC. It is clear that the aim is to instil within the minds of the women the desire to imitate the appearance of the women in the West. Also, in December 2002, in a BBC documentary, entitled 'Faith in Fashion', it discussed specifically the concept of how a woman can be Muslim but still be part of the fashion circle defined by the Western society and aspire to adopt an 'Islamicised' version of Western dress - whatever that may be!

Therefore much attention has been placed in discrediting and redefining the Muslim woman's dress and the reinforcement of the Western concept of how to decide what is right and wrong.

The Victim of such an Attack

In the face of such an attack, the Muslim woman in Britain feels pushed to be one of three; a liberalist, a traditionalist or the one who fits Islam to fit in with liberal values. The role of Muslim women in society is much discussed in the media. The Muslim who carries liberal values will view the role of the Muslim woman as equal to that of a man since she will adhere to the concept of equality. The Muslim who carries traditional values from Asian or Arab culture will view the woman as a prisoner in her own home, subserviently awaiting her husbands' orders. The third type of Muslim who twists Islam to fit in with liberal values is plagued by the notion that both cultures (Islam and Western) can mix. Such views certainly seek to tarnish the correct identity and reference point for the Muslim woman and turn her into one whose actions serve to anger her Creator, Allah Azza Wa Jall.

Before considering what should be the response of Muslim women in the West to this attack, let us consider exactly what the West is inviting us to with regard to how we should dress.

Miniskirt - Symbol of Oppression

Western capitalist society holds sacred the ideas of individual freedom and makes it the basis in deciding what is good and bad in society. The miniskirt, more than any other item of clothing, symbolises the concept of personal freedom. In response to Cherie Blair, I would say that "nothing more I think symbolises the oppression of the Western woman than the miniskirt". In response to Polly Toynbee, I would add that; the top-to-toe nudity, with its sinister, split in the side, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too cheap to be respected. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness. It turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation. I would ask them to consider the plight of women in their own societies and realise that the root of the problem is not Islam but Capitalism. Consider the recent statistic published by the UK Home Office stating that (while the government has been busy fighting the war on Islam) incidents of rape in Britain have increased by 27% over the last year. Last year's figures claimed that there were an average 167 women raped every day in England and Wales.

The Western woman is made to believe that revealing clothing accentuates her beauty to men and makes her feel wanted. In fact it has become unusual for women not to reveal their nakedness in public. A woman who wears something less revealing is gossiped about behind her back - "what a spinster", "old hag", "she doesn't take care of her self", "she's wasting her good looks". So it is not surprising to find these poor oppressed women on the streets wearing short miniskirts, see through blouses and push up bras in the freezing cold British winters. Western film and media positively glamorise prostitutes and strippers, who are portrayed as confident and in control of their lives, getting paid good money for what they do best and living meaningful and fulfilling lifestyles.

TV advertisements propagate slogans such as "because I'm worth it" implying that a woman who doesn't use their product somehow lacks self-respect. It is no wonder then that the Western woman has become increasingly consumed, obsessed and preoccupied with the way that she looks, often above other issues in life. The UK beauty industry secures a revenue of £8.9 billion every year. The revenue of the US cosmetic industry grows by 10% each year. The National Institute of Mental Health in the US claimed that every day in the US, Americans spend on average $109 million on diet or diet related products (one-third the nation's annual food bill). In the US it is said that urban professional women devote up to a third of their income to "beauty maintenance" and consider it a necessary investment. In a study performed by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 33,000 American women told researchers that they would rather lose 10 to 15 pounds than achieve any other goal. In 1998, a campaign called 'The Bread for Life' surveyed over 900 young women between the ages of 18 and 24 living in the West and published a report called 'Pressure to be Perfect Report' that found that 55% of the women rated looks as the most attractive thing in a woman and only 1% said intelligence.

The Impact on the Muslim Woman's dress

Because of such pressure, the Muslim woman who has become a victim of such prevalent Western concepts of individual freedom will also imitate the West in its dress. It is not surprising to see Muslim girls leading a double life. In front of their parents and in the home they lead a life which conforms to cultural expectations and when in school, college or work they strip away such an identity and associate themselves with the Western ideas, dress and values. Such a victim is a victim of her own doing since she fails to attach herself to one set of values and conform to them.

The 'Westernised' Muslim woman will have no qualms about not wearing the Khimaar and Jilbaab - rather she will see this as impeding her ability to advance in life and further her career prospects. With professions such as being a lawyer, doctor, scientist or even a secretary the Muslim woman feels compelled to adhere to the 'office tart look' or the 'professional chick image' and in her mind wearing the Islamic dress would not allow her to 'fit in'. The same Muslim could also view other aspects of Islam from this perspective. It is common to see Muslim women who have sought careers to delay marriage since it is viewed as hindering their future goals in life and holding them back in life. Their view of being a mother and wife can also be taken from a Western perspective. Therefore such a Muslim is consistently pushed to compromise on the Islamic values of modesty, chastity and bashfulness, for the degenerate Western values of immodesty, vanity and lewdness.

Allah (swt) warns the obedient servant of the dangers of following the disbelievers:
"O you who believe! If you listen to a faction among the People of the Book who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would indeed render you disbelievers after you have believed." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 100]

The third type of victim is the Muslim woman who adopts the Eastern rather than Western culture. This is the traditional woman who mistakenly believes that she will safeguard her honour and dignity by wearing the infamous shalwar kameez (trousers and tunic). This type of dress is commonly believed to be Islamic. It even comes complete with its very own mini-Hijab called a dupatta (light, colourful but usually very see-through scarf that is used to cover the back part of the head). This type of dress symbolises the oppression of the traditional woman who is enslaved to the irrational Eastern traditions. The traditional woman faces the same conundrum of problems faced by the Westernised woman because she too is pressured into the looks game. She is also victim to the same cosmetics industry. Over the years the traditional shalwar kameez has undergone modifications including larger splits, shorter trousers, almost blouse like body hugging tunics, short sleeves or no sleeves and larger V-necks. The shalwar kameez is almost always accompanied with massive jewellery. It is not uncommon to see the latest Bollywood or Lollywood (i.e. Lahori) film actress sporting a form of shalwar kameez that would even make Hollywood stars feel embarrassed.

The Islamic dress code for Muslim Women

The woman's 'awrah is her entire body, while her hands and face are the only exception. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said; "The woman is 'awrah." He also said to Asmaa bint Abu Bakr:
"O Asmaa, if the woman reaches the age of puberty, nothing should be seen of her but this and this." - pointing to his face and hands. These are clear and explicit evidences that the entire body of the woman is 'awrah with the exception of the face and hands, and that the woman is obliged to cover her 'awrah i.e. her entire body with the exception of the face and hands.

With regard to the woman's dress in public life, Allah (swt) has obliged her to wear a wrap (Jilbaab) which conceals her (home) clothes and drapes down until it covers her feet. She is not allowed to go out without such a cloth. If she leaves without a Jilbaab over her home clothes, she would be sinful, for she has abandoned an obligation from Allah (swt). As for the upper portion, she must have a Khimaar (head cover) or anything similar, which covers the entire head, the neck and the opening of the garment on the chest. Once the woman has these two items of clothing, she is allowed to leave her home. If the woman does not have these two pieces of clothes, she is not allowed to go out at all. Allah (swt) has said;
"Let them draw their head-coverings (khumur) over their necks and bosoms (juyub). And let them not display (more of) their charms to any but their husbands..." [TMQ An- Nur: 31]

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (Jalabeeb) all over their bodies" [TMQ Al- Ahzab: 59]

Within the private life, the Muslim woman is allowed to reveal her charms to her husband. He is the one who is worthy of looking at his wife and appreciating her beauty and not a foreign man. The Muslim woman can also reveal her charms and wear her home clothes within the bounds of Shar'a in front of her mahram men. This is the correct view of the Islamic dress code, and it is the Hukm of Allah (swt) which does not require any other justification in the face of an intellectual attack. Rather they are rules to be followed such that it will regulate the relationship between men and women in society and such that the basis of the relationship between men and women is not their desires but rather the Shari'ah rules.


It is an honour for a Muslim woman to obey her Creator and adhere to the rules of the Islamic dress code. She should not feel pressured to adopt the Western view of dress or the Eastern view of dress in public or private life. Islam should be the yardstick by which the Muslim woman's measures her actions and not tradition or the Western culture. Our example should be that of the Sahabiyat who when addressed with the hukm of covering their 'awrah, immediately rose to implement the command of their Creator. With the reference point of Islam firmly rooted in one's mind, regardless of the pressures or the reality, she will be able to maintain her Islamic identity and reference point and feel honoured to be recognised as a Muslim woman in public life.

Ruksana Rahman

Source: Khilafah Magazine, September 2003

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Analysis: What is happening in Turkey?

The following is a translation from an Arabic Political Analysis Q&A by Sheikh Ata Abu Rashta:

Question: What is happening in Turkey? The Presidential elections in the Parliament, then direct election, then parliamentary elections, remarkable activities in the ranks of government and army, statements and counter statements, the Constitutional Court’s interference, the President first accepting and then backing off…What is role of the US and Britain in the matter? Is there a role for the Kurd Party especially since bomb blasts and others activities are being attributed to it during the current turmoil, which we know is being perpetrated by America? And lastly, what are the comparative strengths of the various Turkish parties in the upcoming polls next month?


To have a clear picture, it is necessary to delve into the history of the birth of secular Turkey.
First: Ever since the traitor Kemal Pasha executed the British designs and thereby destroyed the Khilafah after the First World War, he worked against Islam- his views and emotions and secular way of working, even more than the secularists, his hate of Islam and Muslims, his keenness and that of his followers to reduce Turkey to be a puppet of the British in the region. This was his agenda.

Fighting Islam and being friendly with the British.
This continued until the emergence of the US on the world stage at the end of the Second World War, when it harnessed its victories to be the leading hegemony power replacing the earlier colonialists (Britain and France) in its neo colonisation. It then convened a conference of its Middle East ambassadors in Istanbul in 1950 C.E.
America attempted to penetrate the Turkish army in order to gain influence in it, which it saw as an effective force holding the country, but it failed because the army was deeply loyal to Kemal Pasha’s line of British subordination. The US therefore saw the only opportunity in coming close to the emotions of the Muslims who were fully entrenched by the army on one hand and the secularists on the other. This situation prevailed during Adnan Mondries era in the 50’s; Turgat Özal’s era during the 80’s and in between Süleyman Demirel’s rule in the 70’s and again in the 90’s, though Demirel tried to play with both the US and the British towards the end of his tenure. Any how the US maneuvered army coups every time its agents even came close to the forbidden line, let alone cross it. This is how the army carried out the coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997 C.E. under the pretext of protecting its (British inspired) secular system.
The US always learnt a new lesson from every coup and was content with no chance of penetrating in the army. Therefore during Özal’s era it tried to create a balancing power centre, and Özal heavily armed the police. One must recall that Özal had some clear Islamic sentiments and followed the naqshbandi order and this endeared him to the Muslim masses. Özal was not content with the Prime Minister’s post of 1983, and he became the president in 1989 C.E, which is a sensitive position for both the secularists as well as the army and they do not desire to have an ‘outsider’ occupy it. What further angered them was that Özal received girls who were studying in universities and protested against being prevented from wearing Khimar, Özal sympathised with them and this infuriated the secularists and the army.
Özal formed the Motherland Party and consolidated public opinion, especially of the rural population, in its favour because he brought them to the forefront of Islam, the deen which they professed and confronted the secularists who were being propped up by the armed forces. He moved deftly with the support of the US. He could have succeeded in weakening the army’s authority by creating a countering force, but he died or was killed in conspiracy of the secularists at the instance of their British masters. These were leaked by the media then.
Secondly: The situation then turned unstable with both the British as well as the Americans working along the political centre-stage. The army on the other hand began to overhaul Turgat Özal’s Motherland Party and placed Mesut Yilmaz as the party chairman who brought the party closer to the British because he was after all their man and he also expelled Özal’s men from the party. These expelled party members who were close to Özal and the Americans, joined to Welfare Party (Refah) because of their Islamic inclinations. They thus gained a predominant influence in Necmettin Erbakan’s Refah party, though Erbakan himself was closer to the British, yet America gained a decisive hold over it. This resulted in a coalition government being formed during the 90’s- between Tänsû Çiller’s True Path Party (Dogru Yol Partisi, or DYP), which was loyal to the US and Erbakan’s Refah Party which was influenced by the entry of Özal’s men. This must have been maneuvered by America, for the army feared America’s rising influence reminding it of the Özal’s days earlier, and moved to take over power by seating the coalition on 28th February, 1997 C.E. this is now a part of history and known as the 28th February coup. One of the first actions in the aftermath of the coup was to dissolve the Welfare Party (Refah) and reshape it as the Virtue Party. All pro-American elements whether those who were close to Özal or the original ones who had later embraced US loyalty like Erdogan and Abdulla Gul were expelled from it. After the coup, the army asked Bülent Ecevit, who was loyal to the British and had a Jew as his wife, to form government. Ecevit formed government with Mesut Yilmaz who led the Motherland Party and had switched loyalty to the British. This is how the pro-British secularists consolidated their hold on power after the 28th February coup.
Third: The US realised that a direct confrontation with the armed forces was hard and forming a political force to counter it was prone to risks. Therefore the option in its view was to promote democracy to clip the armed forces wings. It wanted to bring one of its men to head the government through a parliamentary majority who could bring legislations to challenge the army’s authority. Thus the US decided to bring Erdogan and Abdulla Gul who had left the Virtue Party in the aftermath of 28th February coup and began to work with their men. They formed the Justice and Development Party under the leadership of Erdogan, who was inclined similar to Özal and followed a Sufi order, and though he was a secularist, yet he had some apparent Islamic inclinations. The US had cultivated him since his days as the mayor of Istanbul. Despite his being prosecuted for authoring certain poetic verses and political restrictions; however he remained active for his American friendship and worked for it.
Thus the stage was set for his coming to the centre-stage of politics and the US withdrew between 5 to 7 billion US dollars from the Turkish Central Bank in 2001C.E. The decks for such an action were cleared earlier during Özal’s tenure when America was given economic privileges. This caused an economic upheaval as the Turkish Lira tumbled to unprecedented lows resulting in greatly reduced purchasing power of the Lira and the people’s resentment intensified against Ecevit and his government.
In the meanwhile, the US was able to get a hold on a small party (MHP led by Daulat Beheshmali) by aligning it with the parties of Yilmaz and Ecevit. They demanded early elections and threatened to resign en-masse if the elections were not held forthwith. Thus elections were announced on 3rd November 2002 C.E. Having failed to delay the elections, the pro-British secularists used Jim Özan Trading Group which was their financial mainstay, to intensively invest money in a negative election campaign against the Justice and Development Party, during which the Özan Group spent several million dollars in a relatively short period of time. As a result, the Justice and Development Party won a landslide victory. During the elections campaign, they even tempered their message of secularism with a pinch of Islamic appeal. However, it also received support of those who were anti-secularists opposed to the army and the anti Islamic Kemalists. Thus it won the elections and garnered a majority in the parliament and formed the government on its own. At that time its opposition was the faction carved out from the Bülent Ecevit’s men who formed the Democratic Party, while the rest of his party remained as the Democratic Left Party (DSP). When Erdogan came to power, he dealt a fatal blow to the Özan Group that had carried out the campaign to keep the Justice Party out of power. He charged them of misconduct and had all its assets placed under judicial custody.
Fourth: Erdogan began to implement his policy of cementing ties with America and undermining the British influence especially the army’s. One of his earliest actions was to curtail the jurisdiction of the National Security Council to interfere in government. He also altered the composition of this council to include civilian members in addition to the army men. This upset the armed forces and according certain leaked reports, the Istanbul explosions in late 2003 were attributed to the army so that it can exploit the resulting security concern as an excuse to stage a coup similar the one in February last. But it was not to be so.
In the next step, a ‘Shared Vision Document’ was signed between the Turkish and American government by Abdulla Gul and Condoleezza Rice on 5th July, 2006 C.E. The broad outlines of this agreement were spelled out in a press statement on the same day at the US State Department. In its opening lines it said: “We share common values and perspectives with regard to the regional and global objectives: Promoting peace, democracy, freedoms and welfare.” After these preliminary words, the document continued, we herewith mention the topics listed in the document:
The United States and Turkey are committed to work together in all the following areas:
- “Promoting peace and stability in the greater Middle East by encouraging democracies”
- “Supporting ongoing international efforts aimed at achieving permanent solution to the Arab-‘Israeli’ Conflict as well as aiding ongoing international efforts to achieve a permanent solution to the Palestine-‘Israel’ conflict based on two-nation concept.”
- “Support development of stability, democracy and welfare in a unified Iraq.”
- “Supporting diplomatic efforts aimed at the Iranian nuclear issue and P5+1”
- “Supporting ushering in stability, democracy and welfare in Black Sea region, Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan.”
- “Supporting a final, ultimate and comprehensive solution under the auspices of the United Nations and acceptable to both parties regarding the Cyprus issue and ending the sanctions and boycott imposed on the Northern Turkish Cyprus.”
- “Raising the security level of the sources of energy by creating alternate sources and pipelines including those from the Caspian Sea.”
- “Improving relations in the Atlantic Ocean region (across the Atlantic Ocean) and modifying the NATO.”
- “Fighting terrorism and terrorists including the Kurdish Workers Party.”
- “Banning spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).”
- “Banning Human, arms and drugs smuggling.”
- “Raising the level of understanding, appreciation and respect between religions and cultures.”
- “To develop and support consistent, effective and joint efforts aimed at solving problems detrimental to both sides and those that pose global challenge.”
Fifth: As for the Kurdish Workers Party and its role with the army and government:
This party was formed in 1979 C.E though it came to prominence with the backing of the US in 1984 C.E during the Turgat Özal era (1983-1993) when it carried out its first operation against the army at Siirt, a Kurd town in Eastern Turkey. This act was timed to coincide with Özal’s attempt to restrain the army by forming a heavily armed police force and thus restrict the army. This police force had remained all along Özal’s tenure. In response to this, the army also sourced special heavy ammunition for the security forces.
The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK)’s situation continued until end 1997 or beginning of 1998 C.E wherein security armament lay at the disposal of America posing challenge for the Turkish army, when two things came to the fore:
1: The coup of 28th February 1997 C.E whereby, the old man Bülent Ecevit came to power as prime minister and carried out a decisive campaign to deal a fatal blow to the Kurdish Workers Party.
2: Turkey threatened Syria with war and charged with carrying out an undeclared war against Turkey by aiding the PKK. Turkey announced that it will respond to this undeclared war by Syria, a Turkish General stated: “We have the wherewithal to enter Syria from one side and move out from the side.” This turned into a serious crisis but America decided that it was her first priority to keep Syria under its influence by protecting it and then comprehend ways to bring Turkey under its influence. They decided to tackle the Turkish situation as the next step through political means by promoting concepts of democracy, freedoms and human rights in Turkey. It also decided to strike a deal with the Turkish army through the new government, because now the Turkish army and the governments worked on a common agenda. The US decided to end its relations with the Kurdish Workers Party as a military entity and end the stalemate with Syria. Thus Syria realised the gravity of the situation at hand and began negotiations with Turkey in order to calm the situation, this resulted in a somewhat grudging agreement between them in December 1998 C.E. As per this agreement, Syria agreed to withdraw support from the PKK and expelled Abdullah Öcalan and handed over other members of the leadership to Turkey.
Öcalan left Syria for Russia where he was denied asylum, so left for Greece, then Italy and finally arrived in Kenya where a special unit of the Turkish armed forces was dispatched to take his custody with the help of the US intelligence.
After this the US concentrated to work politically to promote democratic concepts in people and succeeded in bringing Erdogan and his party to power in 2002 C.E as been mentioned earlier.
As a result, the PKK split with one faction going the American way following the political path under the leadership of Üsman Öcalan, while the other faction composed mostly of the Jewish origin was usurped by the British and placed under the Turkish army’s wings. This faction led by Zubair Eidar engaged in activities designed to upset the pro- American Erdogan government. At the same time, such a situation was useful to the army to make its presence felt by quelling with such activities whenever it required. Thus the American policy towards the PKK during the Justice party rule was to project the Kurdish issue as a political one, during the same period, the British tried to portray the Kurdish issue as a security phenomenon, which was a reversal of position since the grudgingly signed agreement. This explains the current armed actions being undertaken by the British faction of the PKK.
Sixth: The United States encouraged the democratic activities being carried out by the Justice Party to cross the forbidden lines that the secular Kemalists are unable to withstand. The army that regards itself as the guardian of the Kemalist secularism uses the following four means to exercise its complete hold on the state affairs which are not to be infringed upon:
The post of the president of the republic: The president’s position, although has of late become somewhat symbolic, still the army regards it as a legacy of the Atatürk state.
The Constitutional Court: Since it is this institution that provides the legitimacy or legal justification for military intervention and annuls laws that it views as unconstitutional or against their interests.
The education establishment: They regard this as vital in order to culture and indoctrinate generations.
The National Security Council: They exercise control on this institution through the legitimacy of military intervention.
Now, what happened was that the Justice & Development Party government used democratic means and passed legislations and thus two of its men penetrated the Constitutional Court, thus the total number of judges being 11, and two of them non-supporters of the army, and the government remains in place. It may be mentioned that the Constitutional Court can take an equal number of members from the military and civilian side.
The government tried and is still making attempts to infiltrate the higher educational establishment (YOK), but has not been able to make any substantial headway in its efforts.
The Justice Party government was hitherto content with concentrating on the above three areas, but has now extended its interest in the presidentship of the republic which is a very vital and sensitive post for the army which considers itself as its guardian. Hence the government opted for the democratic route through its majority in the parliament to bring Abdulla Gul to the presidency. But the army considered it as a major flagrant violation of the forbidden territory and hence confronted the government with threats and other consequences, while at the same time it also worked to thwart the government plan by working on democratic lines. They mobilized people everywhere to drum up support for secular public opinion. The Turkish parliament was meeting in its first session to elect Abdulla Gul as president in the absence of two-thirds of the members. This prompted the Peoples’ Democratic Party to lodge a protest with the Constitutional Court. Late in the night at 11:15 pm on Friday, 27th April, 2007 C.E a statement was issued by the army chief of staff’s office on its official website on the internet. This statement was unprecedented and surprising, which sent all the media rushing to the website. The statement, among other things said: “The crisis regarding the president’s post that has surfaced in the recent days seeks to taint secularism, and the armed forces view this development with deep regret. It must not be forgotten that the Turkish armed forces are the guardians of secularism and are firmly against this development and negative remarks. Hence the Turkish armed forces will firmly put its stand clear at an opportune time. Let no one have any doubts and misgivings about the resolve of the armed forces.” The statement concluded with a hint of indirect threat of military intervention and said: “Any one who is opposed to the slogan “How cherished is one who says: ‘I am Turkish’ ”, which was given to us by the respected Atatürk, the founder of the republic, is an enemy of the republic and shall remain as such. The Turkish armed forces are the protectors of this resolve and shall unflinchingly execute their declared mission which has been entrusted to them by a legal mandate which has cut out its role of protecting the fundamental attributes of the republic.”
This statement was issued by the secularists who were not happy with Justice Party at the helm of ruling, but all they could do was observe.
What prevented the armed forces from certain military coup, as they had done in the past, was that the United States and the Turkish government had charged the atmosphere with talks of “democracy” and “rejection of military interventions”, and there were negotiations with the European Union on human rights and freedoms. But for these, the military would have most certainly intervened.
Realising the implications of the statement of the armed forces the previous night, the government on 28th April, 2007 C.E issued a press statement at 3.00pm that tersely rejected the statement of the army. There were certain remarkable portions in the retaliatory statement of the government: “The chief of armed forces of Turkey is legally obliged to take orders from the Prime Minister.” etc. The government was clearly decided in rejecting the rather arrogant remarks in the army’s statement; it wanted the army to know that the threat was nominal and not real and that the army was no longer in a position to intervene militarily as had been its practice hitherto. At the same time, the government’s statement was meant to lift the spirits of the party cadre who were shaken by the army’s statement; the government wanted to demonstrate to them that it was still capable of executing its writ. The government felt that the Constitution court will rule in favour of the army by asking it to prevent the parliament’s session because all but two members of the court were pro-British. That’s what happened; the court decided on the petition of the Democratic People’s Party on 1st May, 2007 C.E annulling the first phase proceedings in the presidential elections and ruled that the presence of a two-thirds quo-rum was essential in each of the three phases of election.
Erdogan and his people had already clarified that they will abide by the ruling of the court. But as they studied the situation in its aftermath, they were enraged at the slap that the ruling had meted out to them. He termed the court ruling as “bullet fired upon democracy”. His volte-face and later clarification that it was not directed at the court but at the party chief Denis Baikal who was trying to provoke the court, didn’t help much is softening of his remark.
However, Erdogan was not unfazed; he issued a statement on 1st May, after the court ruling that he will propose to the parliament that the president’s election be held directly by the people as detailed:
- To propose to the parliament to make suitable amendments to the constitution to allow president’s election directly by the people and not by the parliament as is the practice now.
- To modify the tenure of presidency from one term of seven years to two terms each of five years.
- To modify election procedure from the present practice of holding general elections every five years to every four years.
- To modify election laws to reduce the minimum age for a deputy from 30 years as at present to 25 years.
- To reduce parliament quo-rum for all sessions of parliament including the presidential elections from two-thirds attendance to just a simple majority.

The most important constitutional changes proposed were the empowerment of the people to directly elect their president and to reduce the minimum attendance required in parliament from two thirds to a simple majority.
Erdogan thus proposed the modifications to the parliament, but since passage of these requires acceptance by two thirds of members which is 367, while the Justice party enjoys just a simple majority and not two-thirds majority, so the search began to ensure the minimum number of members required for the proposal. The Justice party approached the Motherland Party which has 20 members and with agreement, a two-thirds majority can be achieved.
The Motherland Party was founded by Turgat Özal, but after his assassination, the army tore apart the party, got rid of pro-Özal elements and foisted Mesut Yilmaz as the new president for his pro-British and pro-army stance. In 2002 C.E when it lost the general elections to the Justice Party, Mesut Yilmaz resigned as party president. The Motherland Party then faced a crisis of leadership. Erakan Momajua, a former member of the party during Yilmaz’s period had resigned from it and contested elections under the Justice Party and had become a member of parliament for the Justice party and later even became tourism minister. When the leadership crisis was brewing in the Motherland Party, he held consultations with the party leadership and resigned from the Justice party to join the ranks of Motherland Party and became its president. Although he had won the last elections from the Justice Party, he was not able to vote for its candidate Gul in the presidential elections because of the pressure brought by Mesut Yilmaz’s group in the Motherland Party. If he could convince his 20 deputies, it would have paved the way for Gul’s election to presidency.
For this reason, the people who had elected him from the Justice Party were upset with him and they termed his abstention from voting as stabbing in the back. Now since the parliamentary elections are on cards (22nd July, 2007 C.E), so he used his position as head of the party and convinced party management to vote for the Justice Party proposal to allow direct presidential elections in order to win the next general elections and to satisfy the Justice Party electorates who had elected him previously. Thus the proposal of the Justice Party for direct presidential elections was passed by ensuring two-thirds voting on 10th May, 2007 C.E.
This was another attempt at embarrassing the armed forces and the pro-British secularists. The secular republic since it was founded in Turkey, has failed to endear itself to the Muslim masses who have not accepted the path it treads. Despite having resorted to all forms of violence, repression and ruling with an iron-fist to force people into accepting the regime wholeheartedly, and despite four coups in the last fifty years since the relative political openness after the Second World War, the Muslims have rejected the regimes in all its forms. Therefore the armed forces and the pro-British secularists can not accept direct election of the president by the people, nor accept other changes in the constitution. Hence they resorted to their last line of defence, and that is the law passed by the parliament’s two-thirds majority, so they enlisted Ahmet Necdet Sezer to execute their plan. It may be recalled that Sezer was president of the republic in 2000 C.E and before that had headed the constituin court. Therefore they expect him to utilise his skills to the hilt and either stall passage of law altogether or at least incorporate suitable changes. It must be noted that though the president can only reject legislation twice, he has other resources at his disposal to hinder legislations. He may refer them to the constituin court with legal provisions that lawyers can exploit to find ways and means out of it. And if the armed forces are further pushed into a corner, they may even approach the Kurdish Workers Party’s pro-British faction to create a security scenario which the army may utilise to justify declaration of emergency to thwart direct presidential elections or to refer back the proposals to the parliament for reconsideration of Ordogan’s proposed reforms. On the other hand, the US and the Turkish government will not remain content with their efforts in handling this legal opportunity thrown open to them…this conflict is hot and both parties will go to any extent and use all the resources at their disposal.

Seventh: After these, the events unfolded as follows:
1. The parliament’s resolution regarding electoral reforms and election of the president were referred to the president which he rejected and referred back to parliament after 15 days which is the period allowed to him under the law.
2. The parliament met on 29th May, 2007 C.E and voted again on the proposed changes a second time and passed the proposal with 369 votes in favour, which is two-thirds majority for a second time.
3. The proposal was sent back to the president and now after a second time, he can not either reject the proposal or refer it back to the parliament for reconsideration. His options now are either to accept them, or seek legal opinion but in such a warped manner that will ensure its failure or he may approach the constitution court to explore a way out. Another option is to utilise the services of the Kurdish Workers Party’s pro-British faction to create a security crisis and use the excuse to clamp a state of emergency. For this they well use Massoud Barazani who is now in Iraq and has been pro-British.
Preliminary signs of such military activity have already started to surface, there has been news of blasts in eastern Ankara on 22nd May, 2007 resulting in seven deaths and the army has attributed them to the Kurdish Workers Party. Next, some 60,000 heavily armed troops with armoured tanks were mobilised and in a state of alert, were despatched towards the Iraqi borders (Kurdistan). Thus the armed forces have begun to characterise the atmosphere for the next elections especially by carrying out military exercises in the province of Serenak on 7th June, 2007 using armoured tank guns while the government was trying to conduct elections in an atmosphere of calm. This simply means that the government and the armed forces are working at cross-purpose: the armed forces trying to charge the atmosphere by raising military activity and blowing the PKK threat to the state to embarrass the government in order to create an excuse for a possible military takeover and thereby delay the parliamentary and presidential elections and the status quo firmly with the armed forces. On the other hand the government is making attempts to soften the atmosphere caused by military’s over-activity and under playing the PKK threat. At the same time, the government has to be careful enough not to let the impression that it is playing with nation’s security. The US on its part is keen not to let the Turkish army intervene in Kurdistan; in fact it violated Turkish airspace while monitoring the Turkish troop’s mobilisation in the area and thus countered the army’s activities in the region. This prompted the chief of staff of the Turkish armed forces to issue a statement on 31st May, 2007 in which he said: “(Certain allies) of our country are providing support to the Kurdish rebels in the Anatolia region. “In a seminar in Istanbul he added: “Those who teach us about human rights are aiding ‘terrorism’.” This was reported by the French AFP and also reported on the Turkish TV channel. The US Secretary of Defence indirectly refuted this during his address to a security conference held in Singapore on 3rd June, 2007.
In all probability, it is expected that Sezer will use all his power to ensure that failure of the bill that allows direct presidential election for the reasons cited above.
The conflict is wide open to bargaining by both sides until the presidential elections, if the Justice party manages to get a two-thirds majority, it will be able to get its president elected; otherwise Turkey is poised to remain in a state of instability in so far as the president’s post is concerned. The parties may even opt for a compromise solution to end the stalemate:
The armed forces may not impose a president of their choice.
The government may back away from direct presidential elections.
But such a solution may only soothe the nerves, because the armed forces will not be satisfied if they are not able to get a president to their liking, but since a coup is a rather difficult preposition, they may use heightened military activity to influence the situation.
On the other hand the government is also not likely to let the current favourable situation pass with out getting anything in bargain.
This simply means that should the Justice party fail to muster a two-thirds majority in the elections on 22nd July, 2007, the political crisis will persist.
Eighth: The balance of power in the coming elections will be as follows:
It is likely that the three political parties will muster over 10% votes as required and enter parliament: these parties are, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the people Democratic Party (CHP) and the Democratic Party (DP) which has announced a coalition with the True Path Party (ANAP) and the Motherland Party (DYP).
The Justice Party will most likely win a majority and may even get a two-thirds majority, if it can get sympathy votes by convincing the people of its victimisation and that the pro-British secularists prevented it from getting its president in the parliament. Also it needs to convince people that Sezer refused to sign the bill for direct presidential elections though it was passed by the parliament with a two-thirds majority. The Justice Party also has to cite the political and economic performance which is being supported by America. If it can convince the Islamic electorates who elected them earlier that it is not merely pretending to be Islamic and it was because of lack of majority that it could not even remove the ban on Khimar, it could a muster two-thirds majority. But what has been apparent recently is that its candidates are trying to please the secularists, and this can affect its margin of victory.
The People’s Democratic Party will most likely not have any problems in surpassing 10% barrier to enter parliament. But the number of seats it can garner will depend on the coalition that it can muster with the Left Democratic Party (DSP) and other parties of the left, which the army also wants it to. Which means that the Democratic Party returns to the era before Denis Baikal’s split with Bülent Ecevit. But Rahshan Ecevit, the wife of Bülent Ecevit and titular head of the DSP is hindering such an alliance. Although it is more likely that she is trying to delay rather than stall an alliance with the aim of garnering favourable public opinion and to bargain with the Peoples Democratic Party for the seat sharing after the elections. Though the Peoples Democratic Party has agreed to give it 20 seats, there are 60 leaders of the left party vying for a seat in parliament. But in any case if the army can weld together these left factions, together their share will be comparatively higher and will be at the cost of the two-thirds majority that the Justice Party is hoping to win.
The new alliance between the True Path Party and the Motherland Party with name of Democratic Party, (which is the name of Adnan Mondreas’s former party that they have selected as a dramatic tactic to exploit people’s emotions), will not succeed. This is an expedient alliance which may garner sufficient votes to enter parliament if it can remain intact. Already fissures have begun to appear in it, and if it breaks apart, its partners’ chances will be substantially affected.
Then there are other parties whose chances are slim:
The Nationalist Movement (MHP) will most likely cross the barrier to enter parliament and occupy fourth place if it can harness the activities of the Kurdistan Workers Party to arouse nationalistic sympathies of people. Otherwise it will not get enough votes to enter parliament.
The Kurd party (DTP) is not likely to get 10 % votes because as per the estimates of the observers, its sympathisers and voters are just about 7%. It realises this and therefore may take the support of independent candidates.
The Big alliance (BBP) and Erbakan’s SP are together appealing for Islamic votes, ut since they have not entered a coalition, it is unlikely that they will get past the minimum votes required.
It is pertinent to mention that any political, economic, military or security related development that may surface now, will adversely affect the above scenario.
Whatever is the situation, the pro-British Kemalist secularists and the pro-US secularists who are trying to lace their secularism with an Islamic touch are both undergoing a real crisis. This is intrinsic to nations where power is shared by a military leadership and a political authority who have differing loyalties. Such nations face two types of crises:
1. Crisis of Coalition: Either the crisis is between the alliance partners over their differences or there is misunderstanding between the coalition government and the armed forces. If the crisis is between the coalition partners and it remains unresolved, the government disintegrates and falls. The crisis is solved wither y forming a new alliance or by going for early elections. If the conflict is between the coalition government and the armed forces and remains unresolved, then military intervention occurs as had happened on 28th February, 1997 and earlier in 1960, 1971 and 1980 C.E.
2. Crisis of a single party government: In such a case, either the party may be faction-ridden, or the conflict may be between the party and the armed forces. If the factional infighting can not be resolved, then the negative elements may have to be purged or the largest and most powerful faction forms its government or calls for early elections. But if the conflict is between the party as a whole and the armed forces, then it results in a grave crisis, leading to military take-over. This is how the current crisis is, between a single party government (Justice Party) and the armed forces. This crisis will remain active and hot until either a new power equation develops or the army consolidates its power by military means or by way of creating an emergency scenario. Alternatively, the government consolidates its grip by harnessing international situation to its advantage and countering the emergency situation that the army is trying to precipitate.

In Conclusion:
1. The reality is a hot crisis between the pro-British Kemalist secularists led by the armed forces that is bent upon keeping the presidency for its man, trying to hold the National Security council under its influence and trying to prevent infiltration of the constitution court, and the pro-US secularists who are trying to hide their secular agenda with a touch of Islam to appeal to the Muslim masses. That is because of pro-British secularists’ hate for Islam which the Muslims reject. This is to weaken the army’s hold in Turkey and to expand the government’s penetration of the National Security Council and then to enter the pro-British army’s fort even in a small way. The government also hopes to expand its penetration in the constitution court and clip the wings of the army in having its man as president.
2. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is split into two factions: The pro British faction who is supported by the army to create a security crisis that can be exploited by it to counter the efforts of the government that is trying to push the army in a tight corner. This can be achieved by turning the conflict into a military one as they have done now by despatching troops to the Iraqi borders. The other faction is the pro-US one that is trying to keep the conflict in political terms in order to aid the pro-US government.
3. The issue of the republic’s president will remain pending until after the parliamentary elections scheduled for 22nd July, 2007 and based on its results, the issue will be resolved accordingly.

22nd, Jamada al Ulaa, 1428 A.H
8th June, 2007 C.E.

Arabic Source

Monday, June 25, 2007

Inheritors of Tomorrow

Mixing culture with Islam dilutes the Islamic character which results in an identity crisis for Muslim youth living in the West. Islam is a complete way of life and as such, it cannot be compromised regardless of where one lives. Teaching the youth Islam must become the priority for each and every parent.

Last week, the Toronto Star reported that a father living in London, England had ordered the killing of his daughter due to the fact that she had pre-marital relations with another man and that she had also adopted many Western customs and traditions. The article labelled the act as an “honour killing” and claimed that such acts are to be blamed on the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Contrary to media claims, this tragedy is not a by product of Islamic Fundamentalism but rather, a result of the absence of a true Islamic society. It is also the result of a failure to implant the correct Islamic concepts and values in our children’s minds by not raising them according to the true and correct purpose of life –worshipping Allah the All Mighty.

We Found Our Forefathers Doing It

When some Muslims emigrate to the West, they bring with them a mixture of their culture with the Islam that they know. This often results in the dilution of the laws of Allah (swt) through a loose set of guiding principles that are rooted in customs and traditions which usually contradict Islam. The behaviour of mixing customs and traditions with Islam will initially cause confusion in children’s minds as they will have difficulty separating the two. Eventually they will discard the ways of their parents and adopt the customs and traditions of the society that surrounds them.

Islam: A Complete Way of Life

Islam is a complete way of life, not just a collection of moral guidelines and rituals. Allah (swt) says:

We have sent down to you the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. [TMQ 16:89]

This means that Islam governs the way we live our lives – to understand the purpose of life and the way we should conduct our day-to-day actions. Once we have accepted Islam, then we must follow all of Allah (swt)’s laws and not “pick and choose” based on what is most convenient. Allah (swt) says:

"Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in, and do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this except disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do." [TMQ 2:85]

We must therefore be mindful of the fact that all of our actions should conform to the Quran and Sunnah rather than customs and traditions.

Give Me a Child of Two and I Will Make Him a Man

As parents, our obligation expands to ensure that our children – the future of the Ummah –are taught everything they need to know about Islam. Allah (swt) says:

"O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded." [TMQ 66:6]

In the tafseer of this ayah, Qatadah says, “He [the father] commands obedience to Allah, to not disobey Allah, he orders his family to obey His orders and helps them to act upon His orders. When one sees disobedience, he stops them and forbids them from doing it.''

Clearly, the responsibility falls on the parents to teach their children about Islam in order to provide them with the criterion that will by Allah (swt)’s leave guide them both in this world and the hereafter.

The Prophet (saw) said, “A father gives his child nothing better than a good education.” [Tirmidhi & Baihaqi]

It is not sufficient to solely rely on the Islamic schools or local Imams to convey Islam. Rather, any and every opportunity should be sought by the parents to pass the proper Islamic thoughts to their children as it is they who will stand before Allah (swt) accounting for how they raised their children.

The Prophet (saw) said, “Each one of you is a shepherd. And each one of you will be asked about your flock. A ruler also is a shepherd and he will be asked about his flock. And every man is a shepherd to his family. And a woman is the custodian of her husband's house and his children. Thus each one of you is a shepherd, and each one will be asked about his flock.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

One of the most critical aspects of ensuring that children maintain an Islamic character is to begin teaching them at a very young age. While it is often perceived that it is okay for the children to “do whatever they want” until they are legally responsible (i.e. puberty); parachuting Islam onto them at an older age may result in the rejection of a way of life foreign to what they have been accustomed to.

The Prophet (saw) would teach Islam no matter how young his companions were.

Abu Hurairah reported: Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali took one of the dates of the Sadaqah and put it in his mouth, whereupon the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Leave it, leave it, throw it away. Do you not know that we do not eat the Sadaqah?” [Bukhari & Muslim]

‘Umar bin Abu Salamah reported: I was a boy under the care of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and my hand would wander about the dish. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said to me, “Mention Allah’s name, eat with your right hand and eat what is near to you.” I always followed this way of eating after that incident. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Where to Begin?

It is not sufficient to know what our responsibilities are. We need to incorporate a plan to fulfill them. With respect to raising a child, he or she should learn the following:

Rational Aqeedah – Each Muslim should have a rational understanding and an intellectual conclusion as to the existence of a Creator, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (saw) as a messenger.

Arabic – While there is a lot of reward attached to reciting the Quran in Arabic, learning the language will allow the understanding of the meaning behind the recitation. Furthermore, it will allow access to the many Islamic texts that have not been translated in such areas as Fiqh and Usool Al-Fiqh.

Seerah – Knowing the Prophet Muhammad (saw)’s life will increase love and admiration for him. It will also give insight as to why he (saw) was referred to as, “the walking Quran”.

History of the Righteous – Knowing the stories of the Prophets (as) and the Sahabahs (ra) will provide proper role models for children to emulate and look up to.

Rewards for Good Children

We should also remember the glad-tidings to those children who are good Muslims:

The Prophet (saw) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but he says: 'I fear Allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

The Prophet (saw) said, "When a person dies, the opportunity of gaining more rewards ends except for these three: Sadaqa Jariyah, knowledge from which there is a benefit, or a pious child supplicating to Allah for him.” [Ahmad & Muslim]

The Prophet (saw) said, “If anyone cares for three daughters, disciplines them, marries them, and does well to them, he will go to Paradise.” [Abu Dawud]

The Prophet (saw) said, “Learn Surat Al-Baqarah and Al `Imran because they are two lights and they shade their people on the Day of Resurrection, just as two clouds, two spaces of shade or two lines of (flying) birds. The Qur'an will meet its companion in the shape of a pale-faced man on the Day of Resurrection when his grave is opened. The Qur'an will ask him, 'Do you know me' The man will say, 'I do not know you.' The Qur'an will say, 'I am your companion, the Qur'an, which has brought you thirst during the heat and made you stay up during the night. Every merchant has his certain trade. But, this Day, you are behind all types of trade.' Kingship will then be given to him in his right hand, eternal life in his left hand and the crown of grace will be placed on his head. His parents will also be granted two garments that the people of this life could never afford. They will say, 'Why were we granted these garments' It will be said, 'Because your son was carrying the Qur'an.' It will be said (to the reader of the Qur'an), 'Read and ascend through the levels of Paradise.' He will go on ascending as long as he recites, whether reciting slowly or quickly.)'' [Ahmad]

May Allah (swt) allow us to please Him (swt) and may He (swt) protect us from the Hell fire.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

The events in Palestine are more than criminal

The following is a translation from an Arabic leaflet.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The events in Palestine are more than criminal, even scandalous. Is there not among you Oh those competing in evil, a wise man?

Is it not criminal that Fatah with which the people had hopes of liberating the entire Palestine has ended up ruling the Western strip under occupation, and it has no wherewithal, neither authority and nor sovereignty. Yet it is shamelessly celebrating and singing praising itself for having banished Hamas and its militias from the lands under the Palestinian Authority, while its duty was to prevent the Jews’ forces from entering, parading and marching through the streets of the Palestinian lands!

Again, is it not criminal that Hamas with which the people had hopes of liberating the entire Palestine has ended up ruling Gaza under occupation, and it has no wherewithal, neither authority and nor sovereignty. Yet it is thanking Allah that it has freed Gaza from Fatah and its militias, while it should have liberated Gaza from the authority of the Jews and their policies that have seized Gaza from its neck day in and day out!

It is not a crime that these two parties have ‘achieved’ what the Jews’ entity failed to achieve? These both parties have clearly and unequivocally announced the bifurcation of Gaza and the West bank not merely in words but in deed and in practice?

Again is it not a disgraceful scam that the very same parties who had falsely claimed to have stood up to protect the blood of the Palestinians, are responsible for shedding the blood of the innocent Palestinians?

Oh Muslims!
It is evident for any one with his two eyes open that the Makkah agreement laid the trap for Hamas to enter electoral politics and a victory was (arranged) for it, whereby it surrendered to rule the land while it was still under occupation and Hamas took the bait. The purpose of the bait was to associate the Islamists with the secularists in accepting the international resolutions regarding Palestine. All of these resolutions recognise the Jewsish State in the lands occupied until 1948 C.E and the dispute is reduced to those lands only that were occupied in 1967 C.E! They seek to gain acceptance of the Palestinian people, the Islamists and the secularists, as they claim. All the Palestine factions have accepted these resolutions without any reservation, except the Islamic Jihad, which has totally rejected these while the Peoples’ Front has rejected them partially.

The Makkah announcement (February 2007 C.E) of the agreement was merely a reiteration of the October 1988 C.E agreement announcement made by the Fatah- led P.L.O in which it had agreed that the Palestinian dispute is basically centered upon the lands occupied in 1967 C.E. At that instance, the agreement was signed by the secularists, it was therefore imperative that it was ratified by the so-called Islamists as well, and this was achieved by the Makkah agreement, ground for which was prepared by the bloodshed between Fatah and Hamas just prior to the ‘Makkah announcement’. The gullible and credulous Palestinians thought of this agreement as ceasing of the bloodshed, without realising the political aims it sought to achieve. Anyone who had his eyes open to the events could clearly see that the Hamas’ entry into the ruling meant two authorities in power: One for the government, and another for the Palestinian Authority. The aim of this exercise was to have two competing partners of equal strengths: the secularists and the Islamists; while the US and the Jews’ entity did not desire any more roles for Hamas other than this signing ceremony! They wanted to weaken Hamas’s strength in the P.L.O by slightly modifying the Palestinian structure but without disturbing its core, which is the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that Europe and especially Britain wanted Hamas to have an effective role in the government that it led.

To the People of Palestine, the weak point of Fatah was its hunger for power above any thing else, while they saw Hamas as different in this regard. Therefore the plan was to associate Hamas with Fatah in ruling in order to change the people’s perception about Hamas also being power-hungry. Having achieved this, they aimed to ease out Hamas from government and have just one power centre and then weaken Hamas within the Liberation Movement such that the people will not regret Hamas’ exit as by now they would have realised that Hamas was no different from Fatah in its lust for power!

Oh Muslims! Oh the people of Palestine!
The kuffar colonialists are prepared to achieve their goals even if they have to craft a heated crises leading to bloodshed or even worse! This is how the pattern hitherto has been; the earlier bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah was to prepare ground for the ‘Makkah agreement’, wherein the people saw the signing of the agreement as a respite from the ongoing bloodshed, while they ignored the political tragedy behind the cover. During the recent fighting between Fatah and Hamas, a handful of Fatah-controlled militias provoked Hamas in Gaza, which it failed to deal with patience and restraint and thus expose the Fatah conspiracy to the people, rather Hamas fought back vehemently resulting in killing and spilling of blood, which did not spare, children, women or even aged men and even properties were destroyed. It was as if during this horrible slaughter, they had either forgotten or simply ignored the hadith of the Prophet (saw) narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr:

«لَزَوَالُ الدُّنْيَا أَهْوَنُ عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ قَتْلِ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ»

“The falling of the entire world is lighter to Allah (swt) than the killing of a single Muslim.” This has reported by Tirmidhi, Nasai and ibn Majah, the above narration is from Tirmidhi.

Hamas’s lack of political acumen coupled with its reclusion has been responsible for bringing one crisis after another and resulted in spilling of innocent Muslim blood in these hostilities. Yet they are under the impression that they have achieved good results and even thanking Allah (swt) for it!

It has now achieved control over Gaza and it has its own government there, while the Fatah–led Authority is similarly placed in the Western bank. They are both competing in evil clashes, which whether are short-lived or extended in time, either ways they serve the interest of the Jews who intend to tear apart what ever is left of Palestine. The Jews want to carve a barrier of hatred and hostility between the Palestinians through such killings. Could the Jews have achieved this without the willing or unwitting cooperation of the leaders of this crisis?

Oh Muslims! Oh the people of Palestine!
Hizb ut-Tahrir calls upon the remaining sincere people in Hamas and Fatah to shut down the offices and registers of the Authority as well as the government under occupation and cease the hands of those who have usurped powerless chairs in the Western banks and Gaza and confront them just as Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saw) would be pleased with and thus ensure a shining life in this world and in the hereafter. This will save them from the humiliation in this world and severe punishment in the hereafter. The continued mockery of the Authority and government under occupation which holds the Muslims and seeks to divide them, killing them and spilling their blood, is nothing but treason to Allah (swt), His Prophet (saw) and the Muslims.

We call upon the sincere and dedicated cadres of Hamas and Fatah to view the crisis as it actually is-to uproot the Jews’ State from its roots and thus restore the entire Palestine to the Islamic fold. If they are unable to carryout the mission today, then at least remain in the trenches that you have prepared and remain steadfast to the aims that you hold dear so that you are in the forefront of the Khaleefah Omar’s army who first conquered al-Quds; or in the army of Khaleefah Nasser al-Abbasi and under the banner of Salahuddin who recaptured it from the Crusaders; or in the victorious army who will liberate Palestine again once and for all.

وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (4) بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ

“And on that day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory given by Allâh)” [TMQ: 30:4]

Hizb ut-Tahrir
3rd Jamada al akhir 1428 A.H
18th June, 2007 C.E

Arabic Source

Monday, June 18, 2007

Urdu Video: Pakistans Golden Future, Khilafah or Democracy?

The following is the link for the video of an Urdu conference in Denmark entitled 'Pakistans Golden Future, Khilafah or Democracy?'

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Imam-e-Ka’ba should not take undue advantage of Pakistani Muslims’ reverence to the Ka’ba

The rulers are trying to cash Muslims’ great devotion and reverence to the Ka’ba-tullah and Makkatul Mukarrama. The emotions of a common Pakistani were severely hurt on hearing American rhetoric and terminologies coming from imam-e-Ka’ba. Though Muslims do revere give a lot of respect and reverence to the Ka’ba, however, it does not mean in any way that they will tolerate anything from the trustee of the Ka’ba if he says anything wrong about Allah (SWT), the Messenger (saw) and Islam. Quresh (at the time of jahiliyah) were also the trustees’ of the house of Ka’ba but the Ummah never gave them respect just because they were taking care of the Ka’ba.

Imam-e-Ka’ba’s statement regarding Jihad is not only mistaken but it can even have a negative impact on the on going resistance against American occupation. Muslims need permission neither from these fasiq rulers nor from any sarkari mullah (government scholars) to wage jihad against Kafir occupiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kashmir, and Chechnya etc. Islamic rules related to Jihad are not conditioned with the existence of an Islamic State. That is why existence of an Islamic State or the permission of a ruler is not necessary for waging the Jihad to liberate Palestine, Kashmir or Iraq.

By using terminologies of terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism coined by the West, the Imam of Ka’ba has unveiled the American funded government-drama. Why is it so that he only finds opportunities to issue fatwas targeting Muslims while his voice falters in declaring America, the butcher of half a million Iraqis and nearly eighty thousand Afghanis, as terrorist? Can the Imam of Ka’ba not see the killings in Wana and Afghanistan? Has he accounted Musharraf on handing over 500 Muslims, mainly Arabs, to America or he too, like Musharraf, believes this act to be in accordance with Islam? These sarkari mullahs (government scholars) are issuing religious edicts asking Muslims to submit to their agent rulers exactly the way centuries old Church would endorse the tyranny of the European Kings. As a matter of fact, Hizb ut-Tahrir is not surprised at all to hear colonialist-friendly statements coming out of Imam-e-Ka’ba. After all what else one can expect from a man who acted as mute spectator over the deployment of Jewish and Christian American troops in the blessed land of Arabian peninsula? Ummah knew that these sarkari maulvis (government scholars) including the Sheikh ul Azhar issue these religious edicts off and on to support these regimes and the Kufr system that is why they do not pay much attention to them. We wish to warn these government-scholars that they should not sell their Akhira (hereafter) for the sake of dunya (world) as there is no bigger loss than this.

Naveed Butt
Pakistan, 4th June 2007


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jilbab and the Muslim Woman’s Dress Code

Sources of Islamic Law

The sources in Islamic law are primarily the Qur’an and Sunnah
[1]. The Qur’an, the book held sacred by Muslims, contains approximately 500 verses dealing with diverse topics which are of a legal relevance. The Sunnah represents the repository of reports of sayings, acts and consent of the Prophet Muhammad. The role of the Sunnah is seen as an elaboration of the Quranic injunctions. There are other sources which derive from the two primary sources and they are the Ijma’ (legal consensus), Qiyas (analogical deduction) and other disputed sources but they are not relevant to the discussion at hand.

The Notion of an Islamic Dress Code

Islamic law is comprehensive in its enunciation of a code of conduct with respect to an individual’s life and dealings with others. Part of this are the rules pertaining to dress and attire. The dress code includes rules for men and women. So for example, a man is obliged to cover a certain part of his body whilst in front of others and he is not allowed to wear gold and silk which women are allowed to do. On the other hand women are also obliged to cover a certain part of their person when going out of the family home wearing a headscarf (khimar) and an outer garment (jilbab) which men are not required to do. Thus, the jilbab is not a new innovation but part of the well known attire of the dress code for Muslim women.

Explicit Mention of Jilbab in Primary Muslim Religious Sources

The authority of the requirement for women to wear the jilbab is the Qur’an itself. In the chapter of al-Ahzab (The Confederates) the following verse instructs Prophet Muhammad:

‘O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their jalabib (pl. of jilbab) close around them; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle.’

The divine wisdom for instructing women to wear the jilbab mentioned in the above verse is so that women be modestly attired and not be subject to the irreverent insults of the unscrupulous.

The obligation of jilbab is also derived from the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) which is the second primary source of law for Muslims.

Narrated Umm Atiyya: We were ordered to bring out our menstruating women and screened women to the religious gatherings and invocation of the Muslims on the two Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from the musalla. A woman asked, "O Messenger of Allah! What about one who does not have a jilbab?". He said, "Let her borrow the jilbab of her companion".

The above understanding was practised by women at the time of the revelation of the above verse as the following reports indicate:

A report narrated Umm Salama,(A wife of the Prophet): When the verse, "That they should draw their jalabib close around them" was revealed, the women of Ansar (inhabitants of Madinah) came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing jalabib.

A report narrated by Aisha (Another wife of the Prophet): The wife of Rifa'a al-Qurazi came to Allah's Messenger while I was sitting...and she was showing the fringe of her jilbab.

The Opinion of Reputable Experts in Quranic Exegeses

The classical experts of Quranic exegesis all support the legitimacy of the jilbab with only difference being whether it extends to covering that face. Here are some quotes from the most widely recognised Sunni sources.

Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d.310

‘God Almighty said to His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh
[7]): Tell your wives, daughters and the wives of the believers…that they should draw over themselves their jilbabs.’

Al-Qurtubi (d.671):

‘Jalabeeb is the plural of jilbab, and it is a garment larger than a khimar (headscarf). It has been narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Masud that it is a ridaa (large sheet of cloth). It is said that it is a qina’/veil but the correct view is that it is a garment which covers the whole body. It has been reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Umm ‘Atiyyah who asked; "O Messenger of Allah! What about one who does not have a jilbab?". He said, "Let her borrow the jilbab of her companion".

Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi (d. 606): ‘In the days of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic times) the free and women in bondage would go out uncovered and they would be followed by those intent on fornication and consequently allegations would be levelled against them. So that is why God ordered the free women to wear the jilbab.’

Ibn Kathir (d.774):

‘God Almighty commands His Messenger (Muhammad) to command the believing women – especially his wives and daughters – to draw the jilbab over their persons’

In Safwat at-tafasir, a modern work by Muhammad Ali as-Sabuni, which compiled the exegeses from most of the reputable works of Quranic exegesis, said that verse 59 of chapter Ahzab is saying to the Prophet to ‘tell the women that they should wear a wide outer garment.’
[10] This is the consensus view of the traditional Sunni scholars.

This view is not confined only to Sunnis but is the view of the Imami Shia as well:

Al-Janabizi said: ‘The women did not cover their faces and chests with their jilbabs, hence God Almighty ordered them to cover their faces and chest with jilbabs so that they can be distinguished from other women. The woman’s jilbab is a wide garment worn over the normal clothes…’

Views of Contemporary Scholars

The classical position that that the jilbab is obligatory is the view generally held by contemporary scholars as well. Like the classical scholars their difference was on whether the jilbab should cover the face or not and not on the conditions of the jilbab. As an example of the contemporary position the following are words of the deobandi Mufti Ibn Adam al-Kawthari which is representative of the general view: ‘The above and other interpretations of jilbab are clear that a jilbab is the outer garment that women must wear when emerging in front of strangers. This garment must be wide, loose, and modest and covers the body completely.’

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti : ‘The verse 59 of Surah Al-Ahzab urges a woman to wear a Jilbab. A Jilbab means the outer garment over her inner clothes to guarantee that everything of her body is covered and doesn’t show or shape any of her figures. That is the objective of Shari’a.’

What is a Jilbab?

The jilbab is an outer garment which covers the whole body. This definition is discerned from a lexical and textual basis:

Lexical description of jilbab as an Outer Garment:

The nature and description of the jilbab can be understood from the lexical definition of the word jilbab as explained in classical Arabic dictionaries. These sources also explain the function of the jilbab as an outer garment:
Ibn Manzur: "The jilbab is the outer garment, mantle, or cloak. It is derived from the verb tajallbaba, which means to clothe. Jilbab is the outer sheet or covering which a woman wraps around her on top of her garments to cover herself from head to toe. It hides her body completely"

Al-Fayruz abadi: "The that which conceals the clothes like a cover"[13]
As for modern dictionaries it is worth citing from the monumental work of the 19th-century British scholar and lexicographer Edward William Lane (1801-76):

Arabic-English Lexicon: ‘jilbab: …one that envelopes the whole body: (TA) and a wide garment for a woman, less than the milhafah (sheet): or one with which a woman covers over her other garments…’

This description has also been given in the Oxford Dictionary of Islam edited by John L. Esposito where it states:

Jilbab Generic term for women’s outer garment (shawl, cloak, wrap) in Arabian sedentary communities before and after the rise of Islam. The Qur’an (333:59) instructs Muslim women to cloak themselves as a mark of status and as a defensive measure against sexual harassment in public places.

The textual definition as enunciated by the law giver is of jilbab as an outer garment:

The reasons for concluding that the jilbab is an outer garment are textual as well as linguistic. What is meant by textual in this context is the primary corpus of Islamic legal text obligated by the law giver i.e. the Qur’an and the practise of Prophet Muhammad. So for example in chapter 24 the following verse gives elderly women the option to set aside their outer garment:

‘And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wed-lock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.’ [24:60]

The garment mentioned must be an outer garment as the verse could not possibly be saying they should discard their normal everyday clothing. That is why companions of Muhammad, such as Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud, both understood the garment to refer to the jilbab, since that is the outer garment that is worn by women.
[16] Both of whom are considered experts in Quran exegesis.

Authority for it as an outer garment is also to be found in the Sunnah. The above report of Umm ‘Atiyyah is clear in its indication that the jilbab is an outer garment. This is because the Prophet stipulated that before going out she needs to wear a jilbab and if she does not have one she must ‘…borrow the jilbab of her companion".
[17] The fact that she was not allowed to go outside without it indicates its function as an outer garment.

Also Abu Dawud records a report on the authority of Umm Salama (a wife of the Prophet) which indicates that jilbab is an outer garment. It is reported that she asked the Prophet: "Can a woman pray in a long dress and a headscarf without wearing an izar (a type of jilbab)?" He (pbuh) replied, "If the long dress is ample and covers the surface of her feet." (Abu Dawud
[18]) The fact that Umma Salmah asked if she can wear a long dress and headscarf without the izar (jilbab), this indicates that the izar (jilbab) is normally worn on top of the regular clothes.

This is supported by the view of companions who said that the clothing of women during prayer is the above three items, which means the izar (jilbab) must have been worn above the normal clothes. So for example it is narrated that Umar (ra) said: ‘The woman should pray in three items of clothing: long dress, headscarf and izar (jilbab).’ It is also reported that his son Abdullah b. Umar said: ‘The woman should pray wearing long dress, headscarf and milhafa
[19] (jilbab).’[20]

It is due to the above narrations that Al-Shirazi took the view that the jilbab is the outer garment as the following excerpt shows: ‘It is recommended that when a woman prays that she wears three items of clothing: a headscarf by which to cover the head and neck. A dress to cover the body and feet and a milhafa (jilbab) by which to cover her clothes. This is due to the report that Umar (ra) said: ‘The woman should pray in three items of clothing: dress, headscarf and izar (jilbab).’ It is also reported that Abdullah b. Umar who said ‘The woman should pray wearing dress, headscarf and milhafah (jilbab).’ Also, it is recommended that her jilbab is thick so that it does not describe parts of her body and does not move away when she assumed the bowing and prostration positions so that it does not describe her clothes.’

An-Nawawi (d.676)
[21], a commentator of Al-Shirazi’s Muhazzab explained the latter’s comments and attributed it to Shafi’i (the founder of the Shafi’i school of thought): ‘This ruling has been stated by ash-Shafi’i and the scholars of the school are agreed on this.’ Then he quotes the view that the jilbab: ‘is a sheet worn over the clothes i.e. that it is an outer garment)’ saying: ‘This view is correct and it is the view of ash-Shafi’i (i.e. that the jilbab is worn over the ones clothes).[22]

Ibn Hazm stated in his al-Muhalla: ‘In the Arabic language of the Prophet, jilbab is the outer garment which covers the entire body. A piece of cloth which is too small to cover the entire body could not be called jilbab.’

Thus, the fact that the jilbab is an outer garment is established by the Qur’an and Sunnah and it is the same meaning understood by the companions of Muhammad (pbuh) and attested by the scholars.

Other conditions:

There are other conditions which are not specific to jilbab but generally applicable to all clothing when women go before non-mahrams (close relations to whom marriage is impermissible) whether inside or outside the home. They are the following:

i. It must be loose-fitting
ii. Should not be semi-transparent
iii. Should not become an attraction (tabarruj)
iv. Should not resemble the clothing of men.

These conditions are well known and accepted and there is no need to dwell on them, for further discussion of their evidences one can consult the relevant books of Islamic jurisprudence.

Is Selwar Kameez Sufficient?

The question that needs to be answered is that does it fulfil the key requirements of a jilbab i.e. is it a loose fitting outer garment which covers the entire body? The Selwar Kameez normally does not cover the whole body but leaves some parts exposed and nor is it always loose fitting and provided even these are met it is certainly not an outer garment. It is not worn over ones normal clothes; rather it is an every day garment worn by south Asian women. An outer garment by definition is worn over the home clothes and outside the home whereas the Selwar Kameez is the normal home clothes worn inside the home. Therefore, the Selwar Kameez fails the first basic criteria of being an outer garment before one looks at the other criteria’s that have been mentioned.

Is modest clothing enough to fulfil the requirement of Jilbab?

The answer to the question depends whether one includes the conditions mentioned above as part of what constitutes modest clothing. It is valid that the outside garments do not all have to be uniform in their design but they nevertheless have to fulfil the criteria set down by Islamic law. Modesty is not left to the subjective interpretation of individuals but rules have been laid down governing the requirements of modesty i.e. modesty cannot transcend the conditions but must incorporate them. Hence, it is not enough that the garments cover the whole body but is tight fitting and not is it enough that it is loose fitting but not an outer garment. In this respect, the outer garment can be of diverse forms as long as the individual conditions have been met.

Juristic Difference and the Muslim Individual

Those not familiar with Islamic law wonder why certain Muslims insist on following a rule which other Muslims do not follow and consequently assume that the one insisting is extreme or un-necessarily strict. So for example, a particular Muslim scholar might say a certain dress as acceptable, but this does not mean others are bound or even allowed to follow this view. The reason for the difference is that like any other legal tradition Muslim jurists differ on the details of law and it is up to the individual to follow the verdict of the jurist s/he regards as the most trustworthy and competent. The criterion for following a particular ruling is not self interest and expediency but the competence of the jurist who derived it. Having followed a particular verdict this becomes God’s law for that individual and cannot be changed for considerations of public approval or disapproval. This because not following the rule is an abandonment of a religious obligation which has to be accounted for in the Hereafter. Thus, in the context of the jilbab for a Muslim woman who follows a particular jurist’s understanding of what is required by Islamic law, she is obliged to follow that even if others hold different views simply because she believes that view to be sound. In this respect, it does not matter what contrary views exist out there as the obligation on her is to follow the jurist she trusts and not what is expedient. Particularly in this case as the view that jilbab is necessary is something that is expressed in both the letter of the law and in harmony with the spirit of the law. In fact it is a rule that traditionally has not been a matter of dispute amongst early jurists both Sunnite and Shiite.

Religious Duty or Political Statement?

Jilbab is essentially a religious duty first and foremost. The authority for it is derived directly from Islamic sources and not the political writings of contemporary Muslims. It was advocated by the classical jurists who expounded its requirement a thousand years before the phenomenon of resurgent Islam. The jilbab predates the current political controversies and therefore the motivation for adhering to it is born of a feeling of religious obligation and not a political statement.

The legislative wisdom behind the jilbab dress code is for women to be modestly attired as mentioned in the aforementioned verse and commentary of the Qur’an. The motivation is religious. Had the motive been other than religious then it would not be accepted as an act of worship which requires that the act be of exclusive devotion to God. Wearing it as a political statement or even a fashion statement and not a religious obligation will still be considered as sinful act because the motivation was not adherence to the religious obligation which is the only motive that is acceptable in matters of obeisance to God.

Is Jilbab a symbol of Oppression?

The Muslim woman’s attire are viewed by some non-Muslims as oppressive because, it is claimed, the jilbab represents the inferior status of woman, that they are compelled against their will or that it inhibits their participation in public life. This view is not born of an understanding of the divine wisdom for legislating the dress and nor from the positive effects that accrue from its adherence. Rather, the origins of such thinking are the abuse of women by some Muslim men which Islamic law itself denounces or the stereotypical perceptions of role of women in Islam
[25]. Islamic law views men and women the same in their worth and religiosity before their Lord. The disparity in the rules arises not from a discriminatory view of any one gender but the fact that Islamic law recognises that there is a gender difference and hence prescribes rules accordingly. The great majority of rules apply equally to men and women due to their identical nature and but differ in a few cases due to the gender dissimilarity. Thus, Muslim women wear the jilbab to remain modestly attired in public life and feel that it enhances their worth rather than diminish it. Its practical effects are also appealing to women who feel they can confidently[26] participate in the outside activities such as work and study free from the disrespectful glances of men. So far from obstructing women’s social participation the jilbab actually facilitates it by empowering and liberating her from unwanted sexual advances and thereby promoting an atmosphere which is conducive to the social interaction of men and women.

Kamal Abu Zahra

Appendix I: legal verdict (fatwa) of Mufti al-Kawthari[27]:
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Allah Most High says:
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. That is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful”. (Surah al-Ahzab, 59).
The above verse is clear in determining that it is obligatory (fard) upon a woman to cover herself with a jilbab. This leaves us with a question, what is a jilbab?
It is stated in Lisan al-Arab:
“Jilbab, plural of Jalabib: an outer garment or a cloak with it a woman covers her head and chest. And it is said: It is a long cloak that covers a woman completely”. (Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-Arab, 2/317).
Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) states:
“Jilbab is long cloak that covers a woman from her head to her feet”. (Ruh al-Ma’ani, 22/88).
The above and other interpretations of Jilbab are clear that a jilbab is the outer garment that women must wear when emerging in front of strangers. This garment must be wide, loose, and modest and covers the body completely.
After the revelation of this verse, many female Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) used to emerge outside their homes with complete reticence as though birds were sitting on their heads. They used to cover themselves with long black cloaks. (See: Ruh al-Ma’ani, 22/89).
Therefore, a woman must cover her self with a loose and modest cloak when emerging in front of strangers. This may be a traditional veil (burqa) or some other garment.
And Allah knows best

Appendix II: Biographies of Scholars:

Contemporary Scholars:

Muhammad Ali as-Sabuni: a professor at the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, Mecca. Author of Safwat At-Tafasir (Beirut: Dar Al-Qur’an Al-Karim, 1402 a.h., 1981).

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari: Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari completed the Dars-e-Nizami curriculum of Islamic studies under traditional scholars in Britain, after which he completed a specialization in hadith, in which he covered the 9 major works of hadith, and culminated this with the attainment of a 2-year specialization in the science of giving legal verdicts (ifta’), under Mufti Taqi Usmani and other top scholars in Pakistan. He then went to Syria, where he completed a Master’s in Advanced Fiqh through al-Azhar (Cairo), and studied under top Arab scholars. One of these scholars, Shaykh Abd al-Latif Farfour said that Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam has a tremendous future, and seems destined to become one of the top scholars of our times. He presently teaches at a Darul Uloom in Leicester, and answers people’s questions at Darul Iftaa.[28]

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti: Born: March 12, 1937 in Haifa, Palestine. Education: Learned Shari’a from his father, Sheikh Ali Hanouti, and in Al-Azhar he studied Hadith at the hands of Sheikh Muhammad Said Azzawi from 1953-1958. Previous Positions: Was an imam, teacher and khatib in Baghdad from 1962-1965. Was an imam, teacher and khatib in Kuwait from 1965-1978. He has served as the head of various Islamic centers in the United States since 1978, including Jersey City, NJ, and Dar Al-Hijra, in Virginia. He is a member of the North American Fiqh Council.

Classical Scholars:

Ibn Hazm: born November 7, 994, Córdoba, Caliphate of Córdoba died August 15, 1064, Manta Lisham, near Sevilla in full Abu Muhammad 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Sa'id Ibn Hazm Muslim litterateur, historian, jurist, and theologian of Islamic Spain, famed for his literary productivity, breadth of learning, and mastery of the Arabic language. One of the leading exponents of the Zahiri (Literalist) school of jurisprudence, he produced some 400 works, covering jurisprudence, logic...[29]

Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d.310): born c. 839,Amol, Tabaristan [Iran]died 923, Baghdad, Iraq in full Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Jarir At-tabari Muslim scholar, author of enormous compendiums of early Islamic history and Qur'anic exegesis, who made a distinct contribution to the consolidation of Sunni thought during the 9th century. Major works. His life's labour began with the Qur'an Commentary and was followed by the History of Prophets and Kings. At-Tabari's History became so popular that the Samanid prince Mansur ibn Nuh had it translated into Persian (c. 963).[30]

Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi (d. 606): born 1149, Rayy, Iran died 1209, near Herat, Khwarezm. Abu 'abd Allah Muhammad Ibn 'umar Ibn Al-husayn Fakhr Ad-din Ar-razi Muslim theologian and scholar, author of one of the most authoritative commentaries on the Qur'an in the history of Islam. His aggressiveness and vengefulness created many enemies and involved him in numerous intrigues. His intellectual brilliance, however, was universally acclaimed and attested by such works as Mafatih al-ghayb or Kitab at-tafsir al-kabir (“The Keys to the Unknown” or “The Great Commentary”) and Muhassal afkar al-mutaqaddimin wa-al-muta'akhkhirin (“Collection of the Opinions of Ancients and Moderns”).[31]

Ibn Kathir (d.774): was an Islamic scholar born in Busra, Syria in 1301 CE. He was taught by the Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya in Damascus, Syria and Ibn al-Qayyim. Ibn Kathir wrote a famous commentary of the Qur'an named Tafsir ibn Kathir which linked certain Hadith, or sayings of Muhammad, and sayings of the Sahaba (companions of Muhammad) to verses of the Qur'an, in explanation. Tafsir Ibn Kathir is famous all over the Islamic world and among Muslims in the Western world, and is one of the most widely used explanations of the Qu'ran today.[32]

An-Nawawi (d.676): (born 1233 - 1278), author on Fiqh and Hadith, was born at Nawa near Damascus. In the latter city he studied from his eighteenth year, and there, after making the pilgrimage in 1253, he settled as a private scholar until 1267, when he succeeded Abu Shama as professor of hadith at the Ashrafiyya school. He died at Nawa at a relatively young age, having never married.[33]
Al-Qurtubi (d.671): Imam Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abu Bakr al-Ansari al-Qurtubi, was born in Cordoba, Spain, at the summit of its great period of Islamic civilization. He was an eminent Maliki scholar who specialized in fiqh and Hadith. The breadth and depth of his scholarship are evident in his writings. The most famous of then is his twenty-volume tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qar'an.[34]

ash-Shafi’i: born , 767, Arabia died Jan. 20, 820, al-Fustat, Egypt Muslim legal scholar who played an important role in the formation of Islamic legal thought and was the founder of the Shafi'iyah school of law. He also made a basic contribution to religious and legal methodology with respect to the use of traditions.[35]

Classical Arabic Lexicographers:

Al-Fayruz abadi: Abu-t-Tahir Ibn Ibrahim Majd ud-Din ul-Fairuzabadi (1329-1414) was an Arab lexicographer born at Karazin near Shiraz (in modern Iran) and educated in Shiraz, Wasit, Baghdad and Damascus. He lived in Jerusalem for ten years and then travelled in western Asia and Egypt, before settling in Mecca in 1368. He remained there for the bulk of the next three decades, spending some time in Delhi in the 1380s, and finally leaving Mecca in the mid-1390s to return to Baghdad, Shiraz (where he was received by Timur), and finally travelling to Ta'izz in modern Yemen. In 1395, he was appointed chief qadi (judge) of Yemen and married a daughter of the sultan. During the later years of his life, Fairuzabadi converted his house at Mecca into a school of Maliki law and established three teachers in it. He also wrote a huge lexicographical work uniting the dictionaries of Ibn Sida, a Spanish philologist (d. 1066), and of Sajani (d. 1252). An abridgement of this last work was published as Al-Qamus Al-Muhit (Comprehensive Dictionary) and has over the centuries itself served as the basis of some later dictionaries.[36]Ibn Manzur: Period: 1230 – 1311. Full name: Jamaluddin Muhamad Bin Mukkaram Ibn Manzur, was born in Tunis and died in Cairo. The author of the most comprehensive dictionary of Arabic called Lisan ul Arab, in twenty volumes.[37]

[1] For a good over view see: Sources of Islamic Law: An Overview by Yasin Dutton.
[2] Qur’an: (33:59)
[3] Sahih Bukhari Book 8/347
[4] Sunan Abu Dawud 32/4090
[5] Sahih Bukhari Book 72/684
[6] Date of death according to Hijri calendar.
[7] pbuh is abbreviation for ‘peace be upon him.’
[8] ar-Razi, Fakhr ad-Din, at-Tafsir al-Kabir, p.231.
[9] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim.
[10] as-Sabuni, Muhammad Ali, safwat at-tafasir, p.538.
[11] al-Janabizi, Tafsir bayan al-sa’adah fi muqaddimat al-ibadah, see commentary of verse 59 of surah Ahzab.
[12] Ibn Man.zur, Mu.hammad ibn Mukarram, Lisan al-`Arab, (Bayrut : Dar .Sadir, 1955-56). Vol.7, p. 273.
[13] Al-Fayruzabadi, al-Qamus al-Muhit,
[14] Lane, Edward William, An Arabic-English lexicon, (London 1863-1893) under the relevant root verb.
[15] Esposito, John L. (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, (Oxford University Press, 2003).p.160.
[16] al-Qurtubi, Jami li-ahkam al-Qur’an, verse 60 of sura Nur.
[17] Sahih Bukhari Book 8/347
[18] This narration is mawquf and is attributed more correctly to Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet.
[19] Milhafa is a synonym of jilbab. Notice here Abdullah b. Umar uses the word milhafa (jilbab) instead of izar, indicating that izar here is the jilbab. See al-majmu’ sharh al-muhazzab, p.259.
[20] Al-Nawawi, al-majmu’ sharh al-muhazzab, (Beirut, 2002), pp.258.
[21] A major reference for Islamic law who’s interpretation of law is canonized in the Malaysian legal code.
[22] An-Nawawi, al-majmu’ sharh al-muhazzab, (Beirut, 2002), pp.258-9.
[23] Ibn Hazm, Al-Muhalla, vol. 3, p.217
[24] For a contemporary source see Badawi, Jamal, The Muslim Woman’s Dress According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, (Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd,1980) or
[25] Bullock, Kathrine, Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil: Challenging and Historical and Modern Stereotypes, (Herndon, VA: International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2002).p.73.
[26] Ali, Sayyid, ‘Why Here, Why Now? Young Muslim Women Wearing Hijab,’ The Muslim World, vol.95, (2005), pp.515-530.