Monday, September 15, 2008

Revealed: UK's first official sharia courts

The article is taken from Times Online. Despite many cynics and nay sayers, the plan is still proceeding.

From The Sunday Times
September 14, 2008 Abul Taher

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network's headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

Siddiqi said: "We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are."

The disclosure that Muslim courts have legal powers in Britain comes seven months after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was pilloried for suggesting that the establishment of sharia in the future "seems unavoidable" in Britain.

In July, the head of the judiciary, the lord chief justice, Lord Phillips, further stoked controversy when he said that sharia could be used to settle marital and financial disputes.

In fact, Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.

It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.

Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of "smaller" criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them. "All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases," said Siddiqi, chairman of the governing council of the tribunal.

Jewish Beth Din courts operate under the same provision in the Arbitration Act and resolve civil cases, ranging from divorce to business disputes. They have existed in Britain for more than 100 years, and previously operated under a precursor to the act.

Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark the beginnings of a "parallel legal system" based on sharia for some British Muslims.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: "If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so."

Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "I think it's appalling. I don't think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state."

There are concerns that women who agree to go to tribunal courts are getting worse deals because Islamic law favours men.

Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.

In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.

Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "The MCB supports these tribunals. If the Jewish courts are allowed to flourish, so must the sharia ones."

Additional reporting: Helen Brooks

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Zaharuddin Rahman Response to Raja Petra's Article on Tudung

Debat Tudung Wanita : Jawapan Kepada Artikel Raja Petra (Malaysia today) The Great Tudung Debate : A Respond to Raja Petra's Article Zaharuddin Abd RahmanThis writing is a response to Raja Petra Kamaruddin about muslim women's aurat in his popular blog (Malaysia today). Source

RAJA PETRA WROTE :In the article there was a sentence stating: "Apparently, the tudung was 'decreed' for only the Prophet's wives and not for all women..." So I've have looked into the Quran and found some things.

"O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful." Surah Al-Ahzab (33), verse 59. Comment : Firstly, see the words 'so that they may be recognised and not annoyed'. This means at least the face must be visible. It is wrong to say that other women at that time (non Muslim Arabs, Jews, Christians) did not wear the tudung. The truth is that the Jewish and Christian women wore far more conservative tudung than the Muslim women.

Covering the body is also required of men and women in the desert. It has nothing to do with any religion. So when the verse says 'so that they may be recognised' it actually means the women should not cover their face or head in such a way that the people cannot differentiate them from other Christian and Jewish women who also wear tudung and veils. This means there is no such thing as a tudung to cover your head and face.

The verse 33:59 says the following in Arabic:

Ya ayyuhan nabi : O you prophet

qul li-azwajika wabanaatika : tell your wives, your daughters

wa nisaa i mu'mineena : and the believing women

yudneena : to lengthen

Alayhinna : over them

min jalabeebihinna : from their garments/cloaks.

There is absolutely NO mention of head or hair or face in this verse. There is no reference to tudung. The reference is to lengthen your garments over your body. This means women must dress decently.


Unfortunately, you have misinterpret the verse and understanding it out of its context, i assumed that's because you are not examining the whole structure of the verse, besides i think you did not posses adequate knowledges to do so, or maybe you are also very busy with your sumpah declaration and malaysian politic issues.

In reality, as a servant of Allah SWT and the follower of Rasulullah SAW, we are taught to always come back to Al-Quran and Al-Hadith to obtain assurance about the permissibility of a matter. Regarding this, Allah SWT said:-

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as a free respectable MUSLIM women) so as not to be molested. "(Al-Ahzab: 59)

It is agreed unanimously by ulama that every verse that is revealed to our prophet Muhammad s.a.w is also intended to Muslim except defined otherwise by our Prophet either in his hadis or by other quranic verses. For example: our prophet has more than four wives at a time, it is called "Khususiyat anbiya" which we are not allowed to follow due to Allah's will and many other logical reasons.

Therefore, in this case, covering aurat including head, hair, neck and chest is strongly commanded not only for prophet's wives but also to all muslim women. It is not just an Arab's custom due to the sandy desert, but it is indeed a religious commandment. It is also very obvious stated in the above verse where it is mentioned :

وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Meaning : "the women of the believers"

Therefore whoever claims they are muslim, they are obliged to uphold and stick to the decree in the verse.

Jilbab is a dress (of similar width to ‘baju kurung') worn by women to cover their bodies. Syeikh Dr Yusof Al-Qaradawi explained that when some women during the Jahiliah period left their houses, they loved to display some parts of their beauty such as the chest, neck and hair until they were being harassed by those wicked men who like to commit zina.

Then, the verse above is revealed to command Muslim women to EXTEND (and not only) their jilbab so that the parts that could lead to fitnah will be covered. In this way, they would be identified as women who are protected (‘afifah) and a true MUSLIM WOMEN. As a consequence, they would not be molested.

Tudung Wanita Islam

The above verse elucidates that covering the aurat is an emblem of a Muslim. Allah SWT also said:

وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ

"And anyone who honours the symbols set up by God [shall know that] verily, these [symbols derive their value] from the God-consciousness in the [believers'] hearts " ( Al-Haj : 32 )

Therefore, the main reason (‘illah) for the above ruling is to prevent Muslim women from being molested by wicked men. Attires that display women's beauty or women walking and talking in a seducing manner could arouse a man's sexual desire. Such behavior is an indirect invitation to the male for teasing and molestation. (Adapted from kitab Al-Halal wal Haram fil Islam with slight modification)

It's also WRONG to say that "so that they may be recognised and not annoyed' mean face must be visible in order to be recognized.

Firstly : Is it acceptable to say that we can only recognised a women by looking at her face? Of course not, we can easily recognized them by many other ways, either by listening to her voice or many other things besides her face.

Secondly : Most of the Jahiliyyah womens are not wearing tudung at all and some of them wearing improper veils.( Refer Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 3/285). It is also stated clearly in the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, Rasulullah s.a.w. said:

"Two are the types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: (1) people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people (unjust rulers); (2) the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make others incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance" (Narrated by Muslim, Sohih).

The JAHILIYYAH womens are said to wear attire but is still naked because they do have cloth on their body but it does not cover the aurat because it is transparent and exposes their skin; like the wearing of many women today. (Al-Halal Wal Haram Fil Islam, Dr Yusof Al-Qaradawi)

‘Bukhtun' in the hadith is a type of camel that has a big hump. Women's hair looks like the hump of a camel when it is pulled and tangled over their head. This shows that Jahiliyyah womens are not covering their head and hair. As for Christian and jews womens who you said wore tudung also at the time of prophet Muhammad s.a.w, you have to provide evidences on that. Besides, do you sure how Christian women exact attire in Mekkah and medina at that time?, Jewish people are too small to take into account and yet we don't know what are their tudung types. The most important, whatever types of thier tudung, we msulim has our own tudung with certain standards and conditions and it is a religious commandment.

Although the hadith was revealed thousand years ago, the Prophet s.a.w. was able to warn us of what would happen now. Today there are various saloons that set hair for women with million types of fashion and sadly men are the hair setter at most of these saloons.


2) "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed." Surah An-Nur (24), verse 31.

Raja Petra Comment : Again there is no mention of head (ru'usa) in this verse or face (wujuh/wajh). Please note the words 'draw their veils over the bosoms'. The arabic is as follows:

walyadribna : and strike / cover

bi khumurihinna : with their outer garments

Ala : over / upon

juyoobihinna : their bosoms / breasts

Women are told to cover their chests/bosoms/breasts. That is all. This tallies with the earlier verse 33:59 above where the women are told to lengthen their clothes/garments. There is absolutely no mention of head (ru'usa), face (wujuh) or hair.


Raja Pete, it is very obvious that you are not analyzing the verse properly. Your simplistic interpretation is incorrect again, Almighty Allah has said :-

وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ

Meaning : And tell the believing women to lower their veil and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof..

So you look Pete, why are you only focusing on some words of the verse and didn't give proper attention to the others. You have translated ‘Al-Khumur' wrongly, as that because of your harfiah (word by word)translation and harfiah understanding also, that kind of translation cannot help you in understanding the word correctly. The "al-Khumur" word will provide you the answer on your own created question and false assumption which you said : "There is absolutely NO mention of head or hair".

The true meaning of khumur (veil) is anything that is used to cover the head. Meanwhile ‘juyub' (the plural form of jaibun) is the curvature of the breast that is not covered with cloth. Therefore every woman must cover not only their head but also their chest including their neck and ears and all other parts that may lure a male.

In order to understand Quranic text correctly, he/she must comprehend and find the exact usage of terminologies and words in Arabic language. A person should also know how a term or word is being used in the Arabic community because Quran is using Arabic language. Therefore it is good to have knowledge on conservative Arab's (especially at the time of prophet s.a.w) way of life before he/she can get the true intended meaning; For this reason, we must refer to the tafseer book by great Muslim scholars to avoid ourselves from false impression.

That's also why it's better for those who wish to learn Islam in depth to pay a visit to Arabic countries in order to get some feels and get used to the usage of certain word by contemporary Arabs, it can give you some more clue in order to understand Arabic language in the Quran.

When Allah swt said "Khumurihinna" , so we must know, in a standard Arabic language what does it mean by "khumur", so the answer is veil which cover their head, hair, ear etc and then, when a person said "khumur" in front of knowledgable arab person, what he will understand?. Of course, it s a veil also. This fact has been told by many great classic Muslim scholar like Imam At-Tabarii ( died 301 H) in his famous tafseer book Jami al-Bayan and also Imam Ibn Katheer . (Tafsir At-Tabari, 18/120 ; Tafsir AL-Quran Al-'Azim, 3/285))

Besides the khumur which is a veil which covers the women head, and juyub which covers womens' neck, breast and chest, the verse also stress on :-

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ

Meaning : that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof"..

Do you understand what ‘beauty and ornaments' means in this verse?

According to Syeikh Dr Yusof Al-Qaradawi, the adornment mentioned in the above verse refers to anything that is worn to beautify oneself; either natural beauty like face, hair and body; or manmade beautification like dress, embellishment, make-up and others.

In the above verse, Allah commanded women to conceal the adornment without any exemption. However, the exemption was "what is apparent". The scholars therefore have differences in opinion about the meaning and extent of "what is apparent" but all of them agreed unanimously that hair and head are included.

That is due to the following hadith :-

Saidatina Aisyah r.a narrated that her sister Asma' binti Abu Bakar entered the house of the Prophet s.a.w wearing attire made of transparent material that showed her skin. The Prophet s.a.w turned away from her and said:

"Hai Asma'! Verily when a woman has achieved puberty, she should not reveal her body except for this and this - showing the face and the palms (hands)." (Narrated by Abu Daud)

Although there is a discussion about narrators of this hadith, it is strengthen by many other hadith that allows revealing of the face and the palms if it does not bring any harm (fitnah). (Al-Halal Wal Haram Fil Islam)

This hadis also supporting the fact that women head and hair are ‘aurat and must be covered by muslim womens, only the face and palm or hand can be seen by the public.

Yes, there is discussion on what is the meaning of "what is apparent" which ALLOWED TO BE SEEN but it is not about hair, neck and head. Ibnu Abbas r.a, one of the great companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) interpreted "what is apparent" is eyeliner and ring. Anas Bin Malik r.a is also of the same opinion.

Therefore, the body parts where the eyeliner and the ring are worn (i.e. the face and the palms) would also be considered as apparent. This also the opinon of the Tabien like Said bin Jubair, 'Atha', Auza'i and others.

However, Ummul Mukminin Aisyah r.a, Qatadah and a few others considered bracelet as something apparent. Therefore, the wrist (place of wearing a bracelet) is also considered as apparent if it does not cause any harm (fitnah). Regarding the limit from the wrist to the elbow, it is still under discussion among the scholars; therefore it is better to cover parts between the wrist and the elbow.


3) In order to interpret the Quran, we have to go to people who have knowledge about it. In what circumstance the verse was revealed, etc. But not just any scholar who says that they know.

Comment : We DO NOT interpret the Quran. May I suggest something much simpler? Why not we just read it? If we look at the Quran in its arabic and then look at the translated words just a little carefully, we will understand it. You DONT EVEN have to know Arabic. For example the arabic word for HEAD (kepala) is NEVER mentioned in any of the verses quoted above. Neither are the arabic words for face and hair. So how do the translators include head, face and hair? Someone must explain this.


I have responded to this false statement and it's no longer concern us.

Do you think that Allah will only use ru'asa to express head and sya'run as hair?.. no you are wrong Mr Pete, for example Allah s.w.t forbids us from saying ‘Ah' to our parents. So it is permissible to say ‘uh' and bull shit to your parent only because it is not mentioned in the Quran?.

When Allah forbids ‘ah' so its include all thing that has similar effect and covering not only bad words but also bad behaviour and actions towrd your parent. It is called in Usul Fiqh as Qiyas al-Awla or also can be considered as ‘umum al-lafz will carry all meaning under it.

So, women's head and hair falls under the words "al-khumur"in the verse. As simple as that.

As for the last part of Raja Petra's article, some of the hadith has been misquoted so i don't need to respond.


I always come across with this expression and I believe you are the same. The following are the words of those women who do not cover their aurat who always claim to posess pure and kind hearts although they are wearing indecent outfits which reveal their aurat.

"Even women who put on hijaab commit crime nowadays, indulging in adultery, free-mixing and a lot more" A woman share her thought.

"In fact, we too are well-behaved, we do not bother others, we do not backbite and we stay away from bad things" The woman added.

Is it a sound argument? Is it true that the external appearance does not matter in Islam? Some of them are even one step ahead in their arguments that they reason with the meaning of an authentic hadith of the Prophet, which is:

"Verily Allah does not look at your physical being, your outer appearance nor your wealth, but He looks at your heart and your deeds" (Narrated by Muslim).

I feel sorry and dishearten looking at those who when arguing, easily throw out hadith in supporting their whims; indeed, they only utilize Islam in the matter that bring benefits to them.

An employee was caught playing game during working hours by his employer while he has yet to prepare the document requested by him. The employer thus said, "How are you going to excel in your carreer if this is your attitude towards work."

The employee responded, "You may see me outwardly as playing games but my heart is sincere and I performed my duty excellently."

Do you think that the employer believe in what his employee had said? Does Allah consider one's heart as pure and good through disobeying His commandments?

Indeed, something is only regarded as pure and good by measuring it with the scale of Allah and His Rasul, and not merely with the scale of our minds. If we refer to the scale of Islam, the Prophet SAW had said which means:

"Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, and hearken it is the heart" (Narrated by Muslim)

Based on this hadith, Islamic scale necessitates that the purity of one's heart is apparent in its first stage, which is one's actions. It means that when one's actions always transgress against the commandments prescribed in Islam, it signifies the filth of one's heart. On the other hand, if the external actions submit to the commandment of Islam, thus it should be considered as good in the first stage, which is the external scale of lay people. Nevertheless, the second stage, which is whether one's intention is for seeking Allah's pleasure or for things such as showing off, we should leave the judgment only to Allah.

Therefore, we can judge a book by its cover in certain cases, such as in the case when the fundamentals of Islam are being transgressed; the cover is consequently reflecting what is inside the heart of a person.

Judging based on that which is apparent, does go along with the hadith:

إنما أنا بشر , وإنكم تختصمون إلىّ , ولعلّ بعضكم أن يكون ألحن بحجته من بعض , فأقضي بنحو ما أسمع , فمن قضيت له من حق أخيه شيئاَ فلا يأخذه , فإنما أقطع له قطعة من النار

Which means: "Verily I am only a human being, and you always presented arguments for me to solve. It may be that some of you are better in presenting argument than others. Therefore, I give out rulings based on what I have heard only. He, for whom I have made a ruling that violates the rights of the other party (due to the lack of skill of the person in presenting argument), does not take it. For verily, it will be for him a slice from the slices of hellfire" (Narrated by Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidzi and others; Refer Naylul Awtar, 8/632, no 3920).

This hadith clearly shows that a judge in Islam will give a ruling based on the information and the evident proofs presented to him. Similarly, in the case of covering aurat, if one reveals the aurat, it is a sign of transgression against Allah's commands. Thus, how would it be possible for this kind of heart to be perceived as a sound heart in Islam?

Women should realize that when the aurat is not covered properly, every single man who looks at it will be held accountable for every single gaze. The woman, on the other hand, is not going to be held accountable for that one sin merely; rather she will be held accountable for all the gazes from men that fell on her aurat. Just imagine how sinful she is for revealing the aurat only in one day. This is based on the Prophet's word:

من سن في الإسلام سنة سيئة فعليه وزرها ووزر من عمل بها من غير أن ينقص شيئاً

Which means: "Whosoever initiates a wrongdoing, upon him are a sin and the sin of every single person who does it without his sin being reduced even a little..." (Narrated by Ahmad and others-Authentic)

Included in the meaning of intiating is that someone intiates the revealing of her aurat in that day causing the man who looks at her to be held accountable. In fact, the woman herself is sinful for every single eye that sets on her aurat. Would this type of heart be considered as pure? After mountains of sins had rusted it?

Verily Allah is All Just and the Most Merciful. Rush towards Allah's love and mercy by obeying Him. For those who are hardhearted, no words can be shared except; be certain that Allah is true, His Rasul is true, and Paradise and Hellfire are true. If believe in them, why are the actions speak otherwise?

Thanks for you time.

Regards,. Read more!

Reply to Observer in Malaysia Today pt 2

Continuation of my reply to the article "Replying ANTI ANTI Hadeeth ".

This Observer dude is also trying to confuse the Arabic behind the verse An-Nur 31. Observer says:

You say that the 'khumur' is a cloth used to cover the head. Then you say that this same cloth must be pulled over the chest. If the women are required to do this, then along the way there is someting called their 'face' which is located between the head and the chest.”

The way I see it, human face IS located between their heads and chest. What are u ranting about here, Observer?

Observer is trying to change the meaning of the Quran as well. He says:

“Since you talk about grammar and arabic language, the subject of this statement is covering over the breasts (ala juyubihinna) or 'tutup dada'. Dont twist the grammar ok.”

Noticed that he wants to deny COMPLETELY the fact that An Nur:31 INSTRUCTS the covering of “Juyub”(cleavages) with “Khumur/Khimar” (head cover). After trying to cloud and confuse the explanation by going ring around the rosy, Observer finally comes to this conclusion. And how does he do it? He denies the part “Walyadrib bikhumur” in An Nur:31

Observer depicts the trait of a classic loser. When cornered, change the rule of the game. In short, the man is as confused as a monkey in a library.

And the explanation provided by Quinary is much more elegant and steeped in intellectual tradition. Observe:

My response :
This depends largely on what is the interpretation of the word khumur. I am not sure whether this friend of Raja Petra speaks Arabic (which I am quite sure this anonymous friend of his has no arabic knowledge), but one thing not highlighted is the fact that khumur (the plural word of khimar) means something to cover, and what was normally referred to as head cover (tudung). The classical arabic dictionary, aqrib al-mawarid defines khimar as :
"all such pieces of cloth which are used to cover the head. It is a piece of cloth which is used by a woman to cover her head."

Imam Abu'l-Fida ibn Kathir said: "Khumur is the plural of khimar which means something that covers, and is what is used to cover the head. This is what is known among the people as a khimar."

So linguistically, khimar does not only mean something to cover, it is commonly used at that time to refer to head cover (tudung). So now we can see that khimar can be used as :

  1. A piece that covers
  2. Something specifically used to cover the head / head cover / tudung”

Observer also demonstrate his confusion about Al Hadeeth. He asks:

“Secondly you are accusing people of being anti hadeeth. Can you please explain exactly what you mean by 'anti hadeeth' ? Which hadeeth are you talking about? Do you have a complete collection of all the hadeeth? Is there such a thing as a complete collection of hadeeth in the first place? Please be honest. My friends at IKIM are still resolving that the hadeeth collections of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah are incomplete. Tell me how can anyone reject something that is incomplete?”

Anyone and their uncle knows the meaning of Al Hadeeth and Anti Hadeeth. Go back to Sekolah Rendah Agama and learn the meaning. You must’ve missed that part way back when you were in Sekolah Agama.

As for IKIM collection of Abu Dawud and Ibnu Majah, it’s really weird as the collection has been confirmed a long time ago and there is hardly any issue. Maybe the IKIM people are not really competent OR Observer just don’t understand what the IKIM people are doing. I would bet on the latter.

Next, Observer asks about the meaning of “Jumhur Ulama”. He says;

“About khimar you say "Jumhur ulama' picked the second definition as the correct one." What do you mean by jumhur ulama? Please tell us EXACTLY (I really mean EXACTLY) how many ulama were involved in deciding on this particular jumhur. What were their names? Who classified them as ulama? What were the names (EXACTLY) of the people who classified these ulama as ulama? ont simply say 'Jumhur ulama' to mislead the people. Give us the EXACT details of the ulama as well as their jumhur”.

The reason why Observer ask stupid question like this is because he doesn’t know what Jumhur Ulama is but he’s already rejecting it.

The simple explanation is “jumhur” means “majority” or “most”. In other words, in a specific issue, scholars or ulama will comment on the issue or problem and majority of them supports a specific outcome.

It’s been in existence for a long time. And we refer to the books or opinions expressed orally. It’s not a big problem at all except for ignoramus like Observer.

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An Observer that is not so Observant: A Reply to Article in MalaysiaToday (pt 1)

A person by the name of “An Observer” commented on an article I posted entitled “Answer on MTODAY Article on Tudung from Quinary". An apparently, it is published in the anti Islam website, MalaysiaToday. Why I say he is not observant is because the writer thinks that the article is written by me. He says:

Dear Anti Anti Hadeeth,

Firstly you are NOT a woman. You are lying. You are Abdul Rahman aka Cabearth aka Tulang Besi. You are the owner of the website ANTI ANTI HADEETH I do not know why the people like you who claim to be Muslims like to tell so many lies. “

In truth, it is written by a blogger name Quinary. She wrote her response entitled “Raja Petra's The Great Tudung Debate - My Response”. But, because the observer is not so observant, he missed out this fact. I, in fact, mention the name Quinary in the title and at the bottom of the article.

Second point, the Observer says that :

I believe that you have outdone Imam Ghazali, Imam Syafie, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Hambali, Imam Maliki, Imam Jabar al Karuti and all the other Imams and ulama because none of them has said that whether a woman covers her head or does not cover her head is her personal choice and 'does not affect our aqidah'.”

My problem with this statement is that it is a lie. If one were to open Imam Syafiee’s book “Al Umm”, clearly he stated the “compulsion” of wearing “hijab” for women. In fact, all of the Al Imam Al Arbaah ( the four Imam) says states the same fact? It’s funny where u get this nonsense from?

Then he went on rambling:

For your information, the ulama say that the hair on the head is considered part of the woman's aurat. And it is part of the aqidah for a woman to cover her aurat. Since her hair is aurat, then she must cover her hair. And since her hair grows on her head, she must therefore cover the head. Covering the aurat is definitely part of aqidah. How can you say that it does not affect our aqidah?”

It’s clear that Observer don’t know the difference between Aqidah and Ibadah. The entire subject of Aurah is not an issue related to Aqidah(creed) but it reflect Observer’s level of knowledge of Islam.

Third, Observer also says refered to an Orientalist from Oxford name Patricia Crone. Observer says that Patrica claims there is not proof of existence of Prophet Mohd Saw because there is no coin showing the Prophet’s name. Also, she claims that the people of Kufah prays in the Western direction. Observer also claim that Patricia Crone referred to books written by

It’s either Particia is making a false claim or Observer is not very observant. But, it’s the trait of people like Observer and Raja Petra. Their main reference is Western, Christian and Jewish Orientalist. They rely upon these people blindly for their source in understanding Islam. The fact that people like Observer have no ability to understand Arabic confirms the fact that he doesn’t refer to scholars of Islam at all except through Western, Christian and Jewish Orientalists eyes.

Little does people like Observer know, Orientalist contradicts each other. If Patricia Crone says that Prophet Mohd’s existence cannot be confirmed, another Orientalist name Nabia Abbott confirms the existence of Al Hadeeth and even linked directly to the Prophet. Nabia says:


... the traditions of Muhammad as transmitted by his Companions and their Successors were, as a rule, scrupulously scrutinised at each step of the transmission, and that the so called phenomenal growth of Tradition in the second and third centuries of Islam was not primarily growth of content, so far as the hadith of Muhammad and the hadith of the Companions are concerned, but represents largely the progressive increase in parallel and multiple chains of transmission.[11]

[11] N. Abbott, Studies In Arabic Literary Papyri, Volume II [Qur'anic Commentary & Tradition], 1967, University Of Chicago Press: Chicago (USA), p. 2.


A reference to the article by Patricia Crone shows that she relies heavily on PHYSICAL EVIDENCE to support her work But, at the same time she didn’t study the “papyrus” or “manuscripts” plus various oral traditions that is abundance and great in numbers. It is probably because Patricia Crone is not trained enough to read and understand Classical Arabic and as such she is unable to appreciate the massive and abundance evidence

Now Nabia Abbot chooses to study the abundance of evidence and she confirms the existence of Prophet Mohd SAW thus making Particia looking like an idiot. In addition, another orientalist, J Robson, wrote a book entitled “The Isnad of Muslim Tradition” actually proving the soundness of the Isnad system.

(End of Part 1)

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Answer on MTODAY Article on Tudung from Quinary

This is an article written by Quinary. It is a good rebutal to Raja Petra's article in MToday about wearing tudung in Islam.I read the news in The Star yesterday of some Muslim bodies including JAKIM which lodged a police report against Malaysia Today's editor, Raja Petra for allegedly insulting the Malays, Muslim and Islam. I was hoping that they were referring to a real insult done by Raja Petra, but much to my disappointment, the articles which are said to insult these Muslim bodies are the articles with title I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim and Not all arabs are descendants of the Prophet. If these two articles insulted these Muslim bodies, then I have nothing to say than this : you guys are being unnecessarily sensitive Malay Muslims.

That makes me think of whether those who lodged the police report really went through the articles, at least to read it entirely, or they just look at the title and jumped to the conclusion, or they actually do not understand English? Which one of the above factors is true then? In my opinion, those two articles referred to initially didn't tickle me even a bit. I think JAKIM should find something better to do than to lodge a police report on those two articles.

Today, however, Raja Petra published another article on head cover (tudung), The Great Tudung Debate. This one does attract my attention, though I must say that it is nowhere near to being an insult to me. I am not insulted at all, as this sort of view has been around for some times, especially by those anti-hadith clan or quranist. But as a head-covering-muslim-woman, I do believe I should put some respond in my blog over what I understand it to be. I do want to stress though, that I am not at all trying to belittle any of the non-head-covering women, as I do believe that this is something personal that does not affect our aqidah, and I do respect and accept the differences in opinion. The below respond is to present another side of the view, just so some people will not take this matter lightly.

I do believe though, that Raja Petra has touched this tudung issue at a very wrong place. This should be settled at ummah level first before opening it like that for public scrutiny. Among the statement published in The Great Tudung Debate article (which was said to be written by Raja Petra's anonymous friend) is this comment on An-Nur 31:

Again there is no mention of head (ru'usa) in this verse or face (wujuh/wajh). Please note the words 'draw their veils over the bosoms'. The arabic is as follows:
walyadribna : and strike / cover
bi khumurihinna : with their outer garments
Ala : over / upon
juyoobihinna : their bosoms / breasts
Women are told to cover their chests/bosoms/breasts. That is all. This tallies with the earlier verse 33:59 above where the women are told to lengthen their clothes/garments. There is absolutely no mention of head (ru'usa), face (wujuh) or hair.

My response :
This depends largely on what is the interpretation of the word khumur. I am not sure whether this friend of Raja Petra speaks Arabic (which I am quite sure this anonymous friend of his has no arabic knowledge), but one thing not highlighted is the fact that khumur (the plural word of khimar) means something to cover, and what was normally referred to as head cover (tudung). The classical arabic dictionary, aqrib al-mawarid defines khimar as :
"all such pieces of cloth which are used to cover the head. It is a piece of cloth which is used by a woman to cover her head."

Imam Abu'l-Fida ibn Kathir said: "Khumur is the plural of khimar which means something that covers, and is what is used to cover the head. This is what is known among the people as a khimar."

So linguistically, khimar does not only mean something to cover, it is commonly used at that time to refer to head cover (tudung). So now we can see that khimar can be used as :
  1. A piece that covers
  2. Something specifically used to cover the head / head cover / tudung
While I recognise and respect the fact that Raja Petra's friend choose to pick the first definition of khimar, we should go a step further in trying to find whether the Qur'an is referring to the first or the second definition. Common linguistic factor should be taken into consideration, at the time when the verse was sent down. Jumhur ulama' picked the second definition as the correct one.

When the verse An-Nur 31 was revealed, the term used : walyadribna bikhumurihinna
See how it was designed : bi-khumuri-hinna : with their khumur
The khumur was designed to be ma'rifah, not nakirah. Looking at it closely, this khumur is already there on the women's body. Before this verse was sent down, where is it that the khumur was used? Are we saying that the women of Arabia at that time march around topless that God asked them to now put on their shirt to cover their breast?

No, they didn't march around topless. They wore their khimar on their head. This is not suprising, that's the tradition at that time. In fact, we know that the Christians used that as well, as they are required to do so in the Bible via Corinthian 11. The difference is that :

Imam Abu Abdullah Qurtubi said: "Women in those days used to cover their heads with the khimar, throwing its ends upon their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, along with the ears, in the manner of the Christians. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the khimar."

The practice to wear khimar to cover hair is already there within the society, but now this verse commanded that it is extended to be used to cover breast to make it more meaningful in the modesty business. Why such a hassle to ask the women to cover breast once again using another piece? Then ask a woman to stand wearing a baju kurung, and another using baju kurung with tudung to cover their breast. See the difference.

That is if we want to rely solely on Qur'an. There are other hadith explaining this as well (though some might just refuse to accept it) .

The article further quote this statement :
We DO NOT interpret the Quran. May I suggest something much simpler? Why not we just read it? If we look at the Quran in its arabic and then look at the translated words just a little carefully, we will understand it. You DONT EVEN have to know Arabic. For example the arabic word for HEAD (kepala) is NEVER mentioned in any of the verses quoted above. Neither are the arabic words for face and hair. So how do the translators include head, face and hair? Someone must explain this.

My Response :
I beg to differ. There are times when we don't even have to mention something specifically in order to refer to something. If I ask my husband to wear an underwear, that means I want him to cover his private part, no? Should I then have to specifically say this "Darling, please use this underwear to cover your penis (pardon me for the word)" instead? If I just say "Darling, please wear this underwear", would he then use the underwear to cover his feet or head instead? Do I need to mention the private parts when I ask him to wear it, when underwear is already known to be used as something to cover the private parts?

This is where the knowledge in Arabic is important in interpreting things. When we understand khimar to be something covering our hair, whether or not it mentions head and hair, it does not matter anymore. Do not take lightly of the importance of Arabic language in explaining the Qur'an. Those who don't speak arabic might not realise the efficiency of arabic language that even its grammar is vital in interpreting it correctly. Remember how did some people failed to realise that arabic grammatical aspect of the verse in Hud : 114 is important, that they wrongly came to the conclusion that there should only be 3 prayers in a day?

And for those who left their comments on that article in Malaysia Today accusing Muslim women with head-cover as oppressed or that sort, please learn to respect other people's belief. I wrote something on this quite some times ago in Muslim Women Dress Code and Oppression.
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