Sisters in Islam is opposed to any attempt by any government, public institution or the private sector, to force girls and/or women to cover or uncover their heads.
In reference to the two recent cases of an employee of a five-star hotel’s decision to wear the tudung and the cutting of the schoolgirls’ tudungs in SMK Teluk Sentang, Kuala Krau, Temerloh, SIS maintains that the personal choices of the girls and women must be respected and no punitive measure or harsh treatment should be imposed.
Even amongst Muslims who choose to don the tudung, the style of wearing the tudung varies and it should not be regarded as a reflection of the degree of their piety. In the history of Islamic jurisprudence and scholarship, there has been no consensus regarding the “right” form of women’s dress. Even the several verses in the Qur’an that talk about women’s dress do not explicitly espouse a specific type of dress. In fact, the Qur’an infers that modesty can be achieved in different forms of dress suitable to different cultures, times and places. Thus, to legislate or regulate on women’s dress based on a perceived single “Islamic” standard is a misguided attempt at representing the breadth of thought and scholarship in Islam. Al-Qur’an surah Al-A’raaf 7:26 mentions about clothes and adornments, but stresses that “….the raiment of righteousness, that is the best.”
As repeatedly stressed in the Al-Qur’an, there should be no compulsion in religion (Surah al-Baqarah 2:256, Surah Yunus 10:99-100, Surah al-Ghashiyah 88:22). The decision to cover or not cover one’s head therefore, remains the sovereign choice of the individual, not any external human authority under any pretext.
Sisters in Islam
27 February 2006
For further information, please contact Yati Kaprawi, SIS Programme Manager.
Tel:7960-6121. Email: [email protected]