In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Do Not Touch My Clothes Campaign!
[Gentle Reminder to Some Women From Central Asia] Who Recently Reveal Adornments to The World In The Name of Cultural Heritage]
They say, “Do not touch my clothes!” Say to them, “The affair is not about your Cultural Clothes, but the affair is about your level of understanding and fear of your Lord”.
Recently, some women – after seeing their fellow sisters wearing Jilbaabs and the Niqaabs in a Muslim country, they protested and launched a campaign to promote the traditional colourful garments worn by women folk in their country. Their justification for doing this is that they are concerned that the world would think that the Jilbaab and Niqaab is their traditional clothing, and that they don’t want their heritage and culture to be misrepresented. So, they started a social media hashtags #DoNotTouchMyClothes# and thus other gullible women quickly began posting photos of themselves wearing colourful traditional clothing and smiling for the camera. They claim that in their culture, they were loose chiffon headscarf that reveals the woman’s hair and that the women of their nation and culture do not dress in Jilbaab and Niqaab, rather they wear colourful clothing which they showed the world. https://www.dailysabah.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-womens-dont-touch-my-clothes-hashtag-gains-momentum
Firstly, what we remind these women is that the Jilbaab is a command of their Lord and a command of their Messenger. Read here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Veil-of-the-Muslim-woman-Hijaab-1.pdf
Secondly, as for the Niqaab, there is a difference of opinion regarding whether it is obligatory or not. Read here:https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-niqab-for-the-muslim-woman-uncovering-her-face-and-hands-and-displaying-her-beautifications/
Therefore, these women are mistaken for seeking to tell the world that the Jilbaab is not what the women of their nation should wear if they are Muslim women who are truly obedient to Allaah in this affair; rather it would have been permissible for them to say that there is a difference of opinion regarding whether the Niqaab is Waajib or not.
Thirdly, regarding the colourful traditional clothing of the women of their nation and culture, then indeed there is nothing wrong with that; rather what is blameworthy is displaying their beauty on social media, smiling for the camera and revealing their adornments. It is haraam to display themselves in this manner in public let alone to the world. Their Lord [Allaah] says:
وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنََ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or both eyes for necessity to see the way), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess….
وَلا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينََ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. [Surah An-Nur. Verse 31]
Therefore, the affair is not about whether the Jilbaab is from their culture or not, but rather to dress in the manner commanded by their Lord is obligatory. The Arabs also had their traditions and heritage, but after submitting to the command of Allaah and His Messenger, they avoided everything – in their culture and heritage – that violated the command of Allaah and His Messenger. So, we say to these sisters, “Your colourful clothing should only be revealed -in private -to your husbands, fathers, husband’s fathers, sons, husband’s sons, brothers, brother’s sons, sister’s sons, or your sisters in Islam”. Read here by Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/mind-map-illustration-showing-the-mahrams-male-chaperones-of-a-woman-for-travel-and-sittings/
Finally, it is important that a Muslim understands that cultural practices are only permissible when they conform to the command of Allaah and His Messenger, and the goal of the Muslim and Muslimah is to respond to the command of Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
O you who believe! Answer Allaah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allaah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered. [Surah Al-Anfaal. Verse 24]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated regarding this noble verse: So the verse includes all these affairs because Imaan, Islaam, the Qur’aan and Jihaad gives the hearts a good life [i.e. upright guidance] and a perfect life in Paradise, and the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] is a caller to Imaan and Paradise; so he is a caller to life in the life of this world and the hereafter.
The life of the body: It enables the person to be conscious of what benefits and harm, so he chooses that which benefits over what harms him. When deprived of this, he is affected by pain and weakness. And due to this, the life of the sick person, the grief stricken, the one afflicted with anxiety, distress, fear, poverty and humiliation is inferior to the life of the one protected from that.
The life of his heart and soul: It enables the person to distinguish between truth and falsehood, between going stray and being led aright, so he chooses the truth and not its opposite. This life benefits him with the strength to distinguish between benefit and harm in affairs of knowledge, intent and action. It benefits him with strength of Imaan, intent, love for the truth and the strength to abhor falsehood. Therefore, self-consciousness, discernment, love and aversion is [judged in accordance with] what one possesses of this life [of the heart and soul], just as the [state] of the body that is alive is [judged in accordance with] its self-consciousness and perception of what is of benefit and what brings about pain- its inclination towards what benefits and aversion towards that which causes pain is greater.
Therefore, [the first affair] is regarding the life of the body and the [other one] is about the life of the heart. The discernment of the heart ceases when the life of the heart [i.e. upright guidance] ceases. And even if it possesses an aspect of discernment, it will not have the strength by way of which it chooses what benefits over harm [i.e. in an upright manner]. And just as the human being cannot have life [i.e. physically] until the Angel blows the soul into him – because prior to this one was lifeless; likewise is the life of his soul and heart until the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] conveys to him the revelation.
Allaah said: [ يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ بِالرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ – He [Allaah] sends down the angels with [Rooh (i.e. revelation)] of His Command to whom of His slaves He pleases (i.e. the chosen Messengers)].
Allaah said: [ وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلاَ الإِيمَانُ وَلَكِنْ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا – And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Roohan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will].
Therefore, life [i.e. physical life] is made possible through the angel sent by Allaah to blow the soul into a person and [life of the heart through upright guidance is made possible through] the advent of the human Messenger. So, whoever receives the Rooh [i.e. the physical soul] brought by the Angel Messenger and the Rooh [i.e. revelation conveyed by the human Messenger] will receive two types of life. The one who receives the Rooh [physical soul], but not the [Rooh – revelation conveyed the human Messenger], he will receive one type of life and will miss the other. Allaah said: [أَوَمَنْ كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا – Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out?]
Therefore, he is given both light and life, just as the one who turns away from the [Book of Allaah] receives both death [i.e. a misguided heart] and darkness [i.e. misguidance]. Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhu] and all the Mufassiroon said: Such a one [i.e. the one who is guided] used to be an unbeliever, so Allaah guided him.
And regarding the statement of Allaah: [وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ – And set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men]. This includes a number of affairs: One of them is that he walks amongst the people with light, whilst the people are in darkness; so his example and theirs is like that of a people who got lost during nightfall and they could not find their way, whilst he had light whereby he could walk in the road, and whereby he could see as well as see what he is to be cautious of. The second affair is that he walks amongst them with his light, so they borrow from it due to their need of it. The third affair is that he walks with his light on the day of judgement on the bridge of As-siraat, whilst the people of Shirk and Nifaaq remain in the darkness of their Shirk and Nifaaq.
And regarding the statement of Allaah: [وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ – And know that Allaah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered].
The First Explanation Regarding This Above Aayah: It is well known that Allaah is the one who intervenes between the believer and disbelief, and between the disbeliever and Eemaan, between the people of obedience and their disobedience to Him, and between the people of disobedience and their obedience to Him. This is the saying of Ibn Abbaas and that of the majority of the Mufassiroon.
The Second Explanation is that Allaah is close to the heart of the human [by His knowledge] and no secret is hidden from Him. This was mentioned by Al-Waahidiy from Qataadah. And it appears that this statement [reported from Qataadah] is more in conformity with the context [of the Ayah (i.e. ‘And know that Allaah comes in between a person and his heart]; because the basis of this Istijaabah [i.e. responding to the call of Allaah and His Messenger] is by way of the heart. A bodily response is of no benefit without the response of the heart; because Allaah comes between a person and his heart and knows whether the person has responded to Him with his heart or hides the opposite of that.
And concerning the first saying [i.e. the saying of Ibn Abbaas and the majority of the Mufassiroon], it is with regards to the fact that if you turn away from [responding to the call of Allaah and His Messenger], you will not be safe and thus Allaah comes between you and your hearts as a punishment for abandoning [this response] after the truth had been explained and made clear. So, you will be like what (has been mentioned) in the statement of Allaah: [ وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَارَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ – And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time]. [6:110]
And Allaah said: [فَلَمَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ – So when they turned away (from the Path of Allaah), Allaah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path)].[61:5] And Allaah said: [فَمَا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا بِمَا كَذَّبُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ – But they were not such as to believe in that which they had rejected before]. This verse is a warning against [failing to respond] with the heart even if response had been made by way of the limbs. (1)
Therefore, let us be careful of promoting cultural practices and heritage that opposes the command of Allaah and His Messenger. Fear of Allaah is the basis of virtue and not cultural practices or heritage. Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ۬ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ شُعُوبً۬ا وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ۬ – O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has the most fear of Allaah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware]. [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Aayah 13]
[لِتَعَارَفُوا – that you may know one another]: Meaning: So that you may know one another and how close you all are to one another in lineage, but not out of boastfulness. Then Allaah informed us that the most elevated amongst them [i.e. the children of Aadam] are those who fear Allaah the most. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: “Learn your lineages so that you can maintain ties of kinship. (2)
Ascription to a tribe and a nation is affirmed in Islaam. The companions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to ascribe themselves to their tribes and their people in the presence of the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], and he never disapproved of that. (3)
The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: Indeed, Allaah [The Most High] has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting about ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a wretched sinner. You are sons of Adam and Adam (was created from) dust. Let the people abandon boasting about their ancestors, for they are merely fuel in Jahannam; or they will become more insignificant in (the sight of) Allah than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose. (4)
The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ‘’Whoever is held back by his deeds, his (nobility) of lineage will not push him forward.” (5) Imaam Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, ‘’Its meaning is that the one whose deeds are deficient and he does not catch up with the performers of (good) deeds, then it is obligatory upon him not to crown himself with nobility of lineage and the virtues of his forefathers, whilst he is lagging behind in (performing good) deeds.” (6)
Imaam Ash-Shaatibee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Al-Muwaafaqaat that customs are many different types- some are good and others are corrupt. The good customs are those that neither oppose the Sharee’ah texts nor lead to losing an affair deem to be beneficial by the Sharee’ah, nor lead to an affair which the Sharee’ah deems to be corrupt. As for the corrupt customs, they are those that oppose the evidences in the Sharee’ah or some of the principles of the Sharee’ah, such as some of the customary dealings in usury and those deeds deemed to be evil by the Sharee’ah which the people engage in during occasions of happiness (or rejoicing etc). (7)
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Hardship is only encountered by the one who abandons the Ma’loofaat and Awaa’id [i.e. those habitual things, deeds, practices, customs etc] for other than the sake of Allaah. As for the one who abandons them truthfully and sincerely from the bottom of his heart- for the sake of Allaah alone- then indeed he does not encounter any difficulty due to abandoning them except in the beginning, in order that he is tested as to whether he is truthful or untruthful in abandoning them? If he exercises a little bit of patience, its [i.e. that abandonment] will alternate into pleasure. Ibn Seereen said that he heard Shurayh swearing by Allaah that “A servant does not abandon anything for the sake of Allaah and finds a loss in that.” And their statement [i.e. the people of knowledge] that ‘whoever abandons something for the Sake of Allaah, Allaah will replace it with what is better.” This is true. This compensation is of different types and the best of that which a person is compensated with is: the desire and yearning to get close to Allaah, seeking after Allaah’s pleasure, love of Allaah, and the heart granted-by way of it- tranquility, strength, enthusiasm, happiness and being pleased with its Lord [The Most High]. (8)
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It is obligated on every Muslim that he does not depend on custom; rather he presents it to the pure Islamic legislation [to be judged], so whatever the Islamic legislation affirms is permissible and whatever it does not affirm is impermissible. The customs of the people are not proof to determine the lawfulness of anything. All the customs of the people in their countries or tribes must be presented to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for judgement, so whatever Allaah and His Messenger made permissible is permissible, and whatever they forbid, then it is obligatory to abandon it even if it is the custom of the people. (9)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The customs cannot make something that is not legislated (in the divine revelation) as something legislated, because of Allaah’s statement: [وَلَيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرُّ بِأَن تَأۡتُواْ ٱلۡبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا – It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 189], despite the fact that it was something they took as their custom and considered it to be an act of righteousness. Whoever takes something as a custom and believes that it is an act of righteousness, then it should be presented to Allaah’s divine legislation. (10)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said: Extremism in related to customs is stringent adherence to old customs and not diverting to what is better than them. As for if the customs are equal in benefit [i.e. the ones judged to be permissible by the divine legislation], then a person remaining upon what he is upon would be better than going along with the new (or emerging) customs. (11)
May Allaah guide us all to what pleases Him and protect us from the plots of His enemies – those who call the Muslims to oppose the Sharee’ah of Allaah in the name of freedom, liberty, progress and freedom, because indeed the wordly life is a prison for the believer and a paradise for a disbeliever. Read here: https://salaficentre.com/2021/01/01/the-worldly-life-is-a-prison-for-the-believer/
May Allaah protect us and our families from every falsehood Aameen.
[Ref 1: Al-Fawaa’id. Pages 140-144.slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Reported by Imaam Tirmidhee (rahimahullaah) Number 1979 & declared authentic by Imaam Albani (rahimahullaah) in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhee]
[Ref3: An Excerpt from ‘Silsilah Ar-Rasaa’il Al-Manhajiyyah Fin-Nus’hi Wal Irshaad Wat-Taw’iyah’ pages 47-49’. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Reported by Imaam Abu Dawud (rahimahullaah)’ Hadith Number 5116. Declared ‘Hasan’ by Shaikh Albaani (rahimahullaah) in his checking of Sunan Abu Dawud. Pages -766-767.Publisher: Maktabah Al-Ma’aarif’ 1st edition]
[Refs 5 & 6: Saheeh Muslim…part of hadeeth in ‘The Book Pertaining to the Remembrance of Allah, Supplication, Repentance and Seeking Forgiveness. Sharh Saheeh Muslim: Hadeeth Number 2699; Vol 17, page 18]
[Ref 7: Al-Muwaafaqaat 2/283]
[Ref 8: Al-Fawaa’id page 166]
[Ref 9: Majmoo Al-Fataawas 6/510]
[Ref: 10: Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah 2/299]
[Ref 11: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 7/7]