Friday, 15 February 2013

Shariah ruling about school uniforms

Somehow we have fallen into the rut that children need to be taught everything, including singing and dancing, before they can walk properly and talk properly. The only thing that is left for later is Islam, as if children will automatically learn Islam.

Human life passes through different phases. Every phase has some rules and guidelines. The same rules and guidelines are termed as the framework of that phase. For e.g., moral framework, economic Framework, familial Framework, political framework, the parenting/nurturing framework, etc. Among all these frameworks, the nurturing framework is of prime importance. This is the basic building block of all other frameworks and societal systems because it is only through proper nurturing (esp. of children) that all other societal systems can be improved and success achieved. In the absence of this framework, success in any phase and field of life is almost inconceivable as our observations testify and every person is seeing with his/her own eyes that somewhere the familial framework is affected and somewhere else the economic framework is corrupted. Somewhere the political framework is in disorder and somewhere else some other framework has become muddled.

Children are a great ni’mah of Allah Ta’ala. It is the responsibility of parents and other guardians to raise their children on Islamic principles and on the guidelines given to us by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). They should make them achieve high standards of etiquette and character. They should guide them towards what is good and should worry about their life of the hereafter as well. If the children are not brought up properly, then it leads to a bad outcome. For this reason, Islam has laid much stress on proper bringing up of children. If children are brought up as per the Islamic guidelines, then indeed these children can be the very future of the community and the nation and can be the cause of reformation and success of humanity.

Allah Ta’ala says:

O Believers! Safeguard yourselves and your families against a Fire whose fuel is men and stones. Strong and stern angels have been appointed over it who do not disobey Allah whatever command He gives them to execute. And they accomplish only that assignment which they are commanded to do. Surah Tahreem (107:06)

Islam has not only stressed on bringing up children properly, but has declared it such a right due to the children that if the parents don’t fulfill it, then they will be taken to task for this.

If because of carelessness in bringing up of children, the children end up walking down the wrong path and fall prey to (moral) anarchy, then not only will the community and the nation have to bear the brunt of this, but even the parents/guardians who were careless about the bringing up of children will be held responsible for these sins.

There is a Hadith in Jame’ Ul Ahadith Wal Maraseel:

You instruct your children in these 3 things: The love of your Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), the love of the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the recitation of the Holy Quran. (Jame’ Ul Ahadith Wal Maraseel, Hadith No. 961)

In this Hadith, the love of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is on the first place, the love of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the recitation of the Holy Quran has been mentioned last. First, the children should be instructed in the ‘Aqida and then the commandments of Islam and etiquette should be taught.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:

O mankind! Surely We have sent down for you (such a) clothing that hides your private parts and adds (to your) aesthetic value. And (in addition to your outward clothes We have also provided you an inward dress as well and that is) the dress of Allah’s fear (which) is the best. (All these inner and outer attires) are the Signs of Allah so that they may take advice. Surah A’araaf (7:26)

In this verse, 3 things have been mentioned: (1) Garments have been granted by Allah Ta’ala (2) Garment covers the body (3) It adorns and beautifies.

The Hadith have strict warning about similarity with non-Muslims. It is mentioned in the Hadith:

Translation of Hadith: Whoever imitates a community is of them.

It is also given in Riyadh Us Saliheen:

Translation of Hadith: You perfect your dress, so that you stand out like a mole on the body. (Riyadh Us Saliheen, Pg. No. 351)

Ideal dress for a woman

Allah Ta’ala has granted woman dignity and respect. From the hair of her head to the nail of the toe, she has been declared as Satar (worth covering). Thus, except her palms and the feet (below the ankle), covering the whole body is Wajib (compulsory).

It is given in Radd Ul Muhtaar:

Translation: It is necessary to wear clothes that cover the Satr-e-Aurat (the bare minimum standard for covering body) (Radd Ul Muhtaar, Vol. 5, Pg. No. 247)

Nowadays in school, uniforms usually have skirts, which do not cover the whole body. The shins remain exposed. For girls coming of age, exposing this part of the body is forbidden (Haraam). The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) says about unveiled women:

Translation of Hadith: Many women who wear clothes are in fact nude. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 918)

It is the height of indecency to prescribe skirts for teenage/adolescent girls. This not only makes the girls used to indecency, but will eventually spoil the whole society. It is Wajib (compulsory) on the school management to prescribe such dresses, which cover the body appropriately. If the management does not accept this, then the parents should withdraw the children from these kinds of schools. Otherwise, the blame of sin will be on the parents.

Hijab for adolescent girls

Islam has not imposed any particular type or color of cloth for Hijab. The main objective of Hijab is to cover the Satar, so that there is protection from troubles, indecency and immodesty. In the light of this, it is necessary that some broad guidelines of Hijab be observed:

1. The Hijab should be such that it should cover the whole body from the palms to her toes.

2. It should be so loose that it should not disclose the structure and outline of the body.

3. It should not be so thin and fine that the complexion of the body is visible.

4. It should be not resemble the particular clothes of the people of other religion, as there are strict warnings for resembling the people of other religions/faiths.

5. The Burqa should not be attractive-looking or have any attractive patterns, designs, etc. as the objective of Burqa is to shield oneself from the gaze of the non-Mahram and not to invite it.

In the whole human body the most beautiful and excellent part is the face. All the powers of hearing, seeing, speaking and all other powers, which create turmoil in the emotions and may lead men to sin are connected to the face. That’s the reason the Shariah has ordered women to cover the face with a nose-piece and should not allow any non-Mahram men to have a glimpse of her face in particular.

In the Shariah, women have been ordered to use the Hijab for their protection. Age is not taken as a standard for this, instead puberty is the standard. If the girl reaches puberty, then it is compulsory for her to start covering her body and to cover her face, so that she protects herself from the eyes of the voyeurs. If no signs of puberty are seen in a girl, then she will be considered as a major when she reaches the age of 15.

Thus, even signs of puberty are seen in a girl who is less than 17 years old or when she reaches the age of 15 years, then the command for Purdah will be applicable for her as well and she should use the nose piece also.

May Allah Ta’ala guide us all.


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