MUSLIM WOMENS' HEADSCRAFT. IS IT NECESSARY?
By: Kassim Ahmad
13 July, 2017
Let me quote the Quran on the Muslim dress code. "Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes and to maintain their chastity. This is purer for them. God is fully cognizant of what they do. Tell the believing women to subdue their eyes and maintain their chastity. They shall not reveal any parts of their bodies, except that which is necessary. They shall cover their chests, and shall not relax this code in the presence of other than their husbands, their fathers ... (See Quran, 24: 30-31)
Thus the tudung or full-fledged headscarf is not ordained by God. The corrupt religious scholars insists on Muslim women to cover their 'aurat. 'Aurat is an Arabic word meaning nakedness. Thus a woman's hair is not her 'aurat or nakedness. I would put to men's chauvinism to conceal the beauty of their women. God knows better and ordains appropriately to conceal their beauty.
Seventy years ago women did not wear the tudung. My mother never did. Her contemporaries never did. They wore selendang, a partial headcover. Were they not schooled? Not likely. Thus the complete headcover is a new teaching after the theocratic revolution in Iran in 1979. I am sure the Iranian women themselves will revolt against this unhealthy attire that allows no air to run over her hair. Moreover when taking ablution to pray they have to wipe their heads of dust.
Some people regard this as fashion. However not all Muslim women agree with this. A fashion that has negative results to her head is not to be tolerated. However, we can trace this habit to a corrupted source -- New Testament, Corinthian 1, 11: 2-16. Let me quote the passage, "Tetapi tiap-tiap perempuan yang berdoa atau bernubuat dengan kepala yang tidak bertudung menghina kepalanya, sebab ia sama dengan perempuan yang dicukur rambutnya. Tetapi jika bagi perempuan adalah penghinaan bahawa rambutnya digunting atau dicukur, maka haruslah ia medungi kepalanya ..."
Do our tudung-clad women know this? Do our religious scholars who insist on the tudung know this? If they do do not, and they do not, they better learn!
KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian author. His website is