Saturday, 18 July 2009

On Covering the Eyes

On Covering the Eyes

Praise be to Allah.
Praise be to Allah who guided you to the true Hijab and you would never have been guided if Allah had not guided you. Praise be to Allah who conferred a favour on you another time by commanding you to wear the Niqab.

We say to all Muslim women: whoever among you has chosen to cover her face, has chosen that which is most concealing for herself, and that which is better for religious commitment- but she also has to adhere to the prescribed forms of niqab. She should also be aware that the more a woman covers of her body, the more she is eager to cover and remain chaste, the more she makes precautions- the better Allah will reward her with good.

In the recent years, many women in Saudi Arabia come out of their houses with their eyes uncovered. When they are asked why they do not cover their eyes, the answer: “It is allowed to show the eyes.” But is it really so? The answer is “No”. Here are some of the reasons:

First: The Prophet- peace and mercy be upon him- said: “The woman is Awrah, when she leaves her home Satan looks at her”. Awrah is, of course, the part of body that must be covered in front of non-related opposite gender. Therefore, the Hadith that “All of a woman is her Awrah” means “All of a woman’s body must be concealed”. The eyes were not excluded from the Awrah parts as it is not also permissible for men to look at the eyes of a woman.

Second: In actual fact, eyes are the focus of a woman’s beauty and sexual attractiveness. A man can read a woman’s mind just by looking at her eyes. The Prophet-peace be upon him- says: “Eye-contact with the opposite sex is an arrow from Satan”.Certainly, eye contact may cause temptation and if a woman covers her eyes, it is purest for her heart and for the hearts of men.

Third: The Prophet- peace and mercy be upon him- said: “Eyes are a woman’s adornments. So she should make her eyes beautiful by wearing kohl.” We should note that putting kohl is approved of in Islam, but it is not permissible for a woman to show any of her adornments, whether that is kohl or henna, to any man save for her husband. In the Hadith above, “eyes” and “nails” of a woman comes under the heading of “Zeenah” or “adornment”. In Islam, a woman is required to conceal all her Zeenah as Allah(SWT) says in the Holy Quran: “and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers...

So what about the Hadith of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Sireen?

Some may argue that two of the companions of the Prophet, Ibn Abbas and Abīdah as Salmaani declared it was permissible for a woman to show her eyes.

Ibn Abbas has said: “Allah commanded the believing women, when going out of their homes for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with their Jilbābs, leaving one eye to see the path.”

Ibn Sireen has said: “I asked ‘Abīdah as Salmaani about the statement of Allah: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their Jalābīb all over their bodies…” So he took his garment and covered his head and his face but he left exposed his left eye, leaving the right eye showing, then he drew his garment from above making it close to his eyebrow, or upon his eyebrow. [Tafsīr of Imām Tabari ]
As answer to this claim, we should say that according to the Hadiths above, it is only permissible for a woman to show one of her eyes, particularly the right eye and not both eyes.
If women would stick to the one-eye Niqab, then we would say that this is the Niqab which was known at the time of the Sahabah and Tabi’een- but the Hadith says nothing of uncovering both eyes.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen has said: “If you say that it is allowed for women to wear Niqab and uncover their eyes and look out from behind the Niqab, within a short time the hole in this niqab would widen to include the eyebrows, forehead and cheeks, then the cover would decrease until the whole face is exposed. This is well known to be the way of women, so shutting the door to that is the best way.”

Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid states: “A woman should beware of wearing a niqab with wide openings for the eyes lest the beauty of her eyes becomes apparent and the niqab becomes a means of temptation instead of a veil covering her beauty and adornment.”

Moreover, the reason women were permitted to show one of their eyes was that, if they did not, they could not see the way (there were no mesh-niqabs or nets at that time). However, in our time, there is no need for a woman to uncover any of her eyes. In fact, women can cover their eyes with nets or clothes so as not to be a cause of attraction without having their vision restricted.

Remarks on the Eye Veil
It is no wonder that western cosmetics companies sell so much eye make-up, because a pair of attractive eyes most often is the focus of a man's attention as he looks at a woman. We read of the 'radiant eyes of the houris', of Mata Hari's 'bewitching eyes' and is western magazines we see girls inviting men with their made-up eyes. So it is little wonder that men will look at women wearing proper Hijab and will judge them as creatures of beauty if they see beautiful eyes gazing back at them from over the covering of their proper Hijab.

When I wore just proper Hijab, I tried to narrow down the gap between my head covering and the Niqab but, even when drawing them together till it was difficult to see between them, I never fully concealed my eyes. So, for all my good intentions, I left the most 'potent' [perhaps 'dangerous' would be a better word] part of my feminine characteristics open for any man to see.
Yet the solution to this potential cause of Fitnah is so simple; all sisters need to do is to wear eyes veils. I personally wear two layers of black gauze material over my eyes. With both lowered there is no hint at all of there being any gap between my proper Hijab and head covering. Yet I can still see sufficiently to move about in safety. If I need more accurate sight, such as for reading, I can throw back the outer layer of my eye veils.

This enables me to see better while still to a large degree concealing my eyes from onlookers. I am told that like that it is possible to see the gap between my veils and maybe in a strong light to gain a hint of what lies behind that opening. But throwing back the outer veil does allow me to read while still maintaining a reasonable degree of concealment. A single veil may not be perfect, but it allows me to briefly read or see more clearly for a hopefully brief time until I can lower my outer veil again so that I will be respectably hidden again. Sister Sameerah

We as women are to cover our bodies completely "Only showing one eye or two to see the way when in necessity!"After my learning of how we are to cover I began wearing gloves and covering my eyes too, The only time I will uncover them is to see what I am looking for when I am shopping, I feel so comfortable in my dress Subhan'Allah, I do not want any man to look at me at all. Shaheedah

As for the eye veil, I started wearing when I first adapted proper Hijab, but I would switch, because at the time I didn't understand the importance of the eye veil. One day me and my mother where in a department store, and I was pregnant with my first daughter this was the fall on 97, which I had been wearing proper Hijab for almost a year now. And I noticed a male cashier looking at me, no staring at me, making me feel very uneasy. So I took my eye veil and covered my eyes with it, and he then looked away from me. At this time it accrued to me that one of the tempting parts of me where still exposed to the world, my eyes. As they say 'the eyes are the window to the soul,' and people, men mainly where seeing right into mine. .. And this is how I came to wearing the eye veil Umm Fathima

I said to myself : I just can start right ahead with the proper Hijab, And the next day I put on a half proper Hijab, I made it myself, I thought a light veil over my eyes would be sufficient and so I chose very light gauze material to make it from, But then I saw myself in the mirror and said to myself : wow, this way I have very beautiful eyes, they can be considered attractive ! And the next day, I wore the proper Hijab that I had ordered from an online-shop with eyeflap down. I immediately felt better that way, Of course I got many stares, but I didn't care, I felt good and pleased Allah SWT and that is what I like to do most. Since then I have used the eyeflap most of the times, I lift it when I have to read small figures like prices on articles in the supermarket for example, I also lift it when the ticket controller in the train passes by me to see if my subscription is still alright because I have a picture on it with just Hijab, I never had any problem there either. Nashira

1- Men should encourage their wives and daughters to cover their eyes as well as the rest of their face- whether it is with a single layer, a net or a multi-layered khimar. 2- Women and adolescent girls- especially those with attractive eyes- are advised to conceal their eyes when among non-mahram men.

We ask Allaah to guide you to all that is good, and to guide the teachers and students to that which is good and proper.

And Allaah knows best.

1 comment:

  1. Masha Allah.. Jazakhallah sisters.. I am a nikabi..and I am also going to start covering my eyes and gloves..alhamdhullillah.. how blessed we are !!!