The statement of Prof Pervez Hoodbhoy against Muslim ladies who wear Hijab must be condemned as he called such ladies as abnormal ladies. Barrister Faiza Asad Malik has launched a move against his obnoxious statement through a petition and asked people to sign and express resentment against this discriminatory, demeaning and disgracing statement. I support and endorse her step in this regard. I would briefly comment on it so that such pugnacious statements must be taken seriously and anti-Islam elements must be taken to task.
Nearly, about thirty years ago, in a PTV program in Islamabad, in which we both participated. Before the program, we were sitting in the room of the producer Mr. Nazir. In the presence of another participant, a renowned journalist the Late Munnu Bhai, he said: “There are so many non-scientific verses in the Quran.”
I retorted and said: “Could you point out one verse of the holy Quran that is conflicting or contrary to Science. Better you read the book of Maurice titled “The Bible, the Quran and Science”.
He was mute. He had no answer. He is the professor of Physics but deems necessary to poke his nose in political and religious matters. Most probably he is a Parsi. He is not Muslim. His derogatory remarks about an Islamic injunction must be taken seriously and he must be trialled in the court and punished. His statement that the ladies who wear Hijab are abnormal is a derogatory statement against the veil wearing ladies. I suggest that a case of blasphemy must be registered against him as he has passed heretic remarks about an injunction of the Quran about veil.
So far as the concept of Veil in Islam is concerned, the book of Moulana Moududi in Urdu titled “پردہ” (The Veil) and the book of Murtaza Mutahari in Persian language tiled حجاب در اسلام (The Veil in Islam) throw ample light on this subject.
In my English book titled “The Message of Islam”, in Chapter 48 under the title “Islamic Concept of Veil”, I have explicitly explained that in Surah captioned Al- Noor (The Light), and in Surah captioned Al-Ahzab (The Confederates) Almighty Allah ordained Muslim women to wear veil. Of course, there is the difference in the interpretation of wearing veil amongst the Muslim jurists.
The Quran candidly ordains in Surah “The Light” to cover the adornments and draw veils over their bosoms. In Surah “The Confederates”, these words are used:
“O; prophet; tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them”.
Some jurists decree that the ladies must cover their faces and heads as well, while some say that to cover the face is not obligatory but the ladies must cover the head by scarf. The most modern religious thinkers say that the ladies are advised/ instructed/ ordained to cover bosom as mentioned in Surah ‘The Light’ and are not supposed to cover face and head as these are common parts of body and shared by both, the men and the women. Only sexually luring and instigating body parts of ladies must be covered. These controversies are juristic. But no one has the right to call a lady “abnormal”, if she wears cloak or scarf. It is the matter of juristic understanding.
I have discussed the three interpretations of Islamic concept of veil. But one thing is very essential to make clear that the Western dress of skirts, mini-skirts and bikinis is not permitted in Islam as the show of the body parts which arouse sexual and sensuous feelings in menfolk publicly is strictly prohibited. Hijab, whether it is of face or head should not be made controversial. Everyone is free to act per ones’ comprehension or her juristic school of thought. The Quran says: “No compulsion in religion”, but the covering of sensitive/ sexual parts of body is obligatory whether of men or women.