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Wearing the Veil in Islam - Essay Example

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The author focuses on the veil which derives from pre-Islamic civilizations and has long been treated a social symbol. The Qu’ran itself speaks nothing to contradict these historical realities. It neither mentions the complete veiling nor specifies complete veiling as a precondition of modesty …
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Wearing the Veil in Islam
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Download file to see previous pages In place of specific textual references, there are a number of analogies and vague definitions that obfuscate rather than clarify the issue. Indeed, a leading proponent of women wearing the veil, Abu Al-Ala al-Mawdudi, an Indian Muslim "whose writings have since inspired conservatives and fundamentalists all over the Islamic world"2 has admitted this lack of primary evidence by arguing instead that "though the veil has not been specified in the Quran, it is Quranic in spirit."3
In short, even a strict fundamentalist is compelled to admit that the veil is not a theological imperative and therefore not an explicit sixth pillar of Islam. His resort to the “spirit” of the Qur’an is both disingenuous and flimsy. The spirit is too general to answer questions definitively and can be used as an intellectual crutch to declare anything that one desires to be in the spirit of the Qu’ran. Who is to decide?
More interestingly, if the truest core and kernel for Islam is “the search for Gods inexhaustible beauty and the beauty of Gods creation”4 then a veil which cloaks the beauty of God’s creation, in this case, a woman, seems wholly contradictory. Modesty does not necessitate a veil, not if God’s greatest gift was the search for beauty. The veil would appear to hinder rather than aid the search. Is the spirit of the Qu’ran beauty or ugliness? The fundamentalists, who do not struggle with the veil issue, might very well struggle with this issue. Their spirit arguments cloak deeper ambitions and personal desires rather than the essence of Islam.
Significantly, even those that choose to wear the veil in modern times tend to resort to reasons that do not imply the veil as the sixth pillar of Islam.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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