Is Hijab An Essential Part of Islam? Decoding the Court’s Judgement.

Karnataka, January 2022, some Junior College Muslim students were denied entry in the
premise as they wanted to wear Hijab and college out of the blue said that it was against the
college’s uniform policy. This led to a dispute which spread across other schools and
colleges in the state. On the 5th of February, the Karnataka government issued an order
saying uniform is compulsory and no exception can be made for Hijab. Citing this
educational institution across the state restricted entry to Hijabi girls. On this, resented
students filed a petition in Karnataka high court. Looking at the aggravation of disputes, the
government closed schools and colleges for three days across the state.

The high court on the 10th of February came out with its interim order constraining the students from wearing any religious attire. But this was just the beginning of things getting worse. No one used to
wear saffron shawls earlier but Hijabi Muslim girls have been wearing hijab for ages. After the
reopening of schools and colleges, the court’s interim order was enforced and Hijabi
students and teachers were solicited for removing Hijab outside the institution gates. After
the hearing of the case was completed on 25th February the judgement was reserved and
on 15th March the Karnataka high court upheld the restriction on hijab stating that the hijab
is not an essential religious part of Islam.

Hijab, an essential part of Islam.

Photo by Voice of sky
يٰۤـاَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُلْ لِّاَزۡوَاجِكَ وَبَنٰتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ يُدۡنِيۡنَ عَلَيۡهِنَّ مِنۡ جَلَابِيۡبِهِنَّ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ اَدۡنٰٓى اَنۡ يُّعۡرَفۡنَ فَلَا يُؤۡذَيۡنَ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا‏     ٥٩                      

O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close about them (when they go out). That will be better so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.                                                        

(33:59) (Translation by: Mahmood)

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has mentioned in several places in the Quran about Hijab, what else are the requirements to establish the importance of hijab in Islam. When the triple talaq bill episode was going on in the country it was said that it is not mentioned in the Quran irrespective of considering Hadith, Ijma, Qiyas. But now when Hijab is undoubtedly mentioned in the Quran then a different way is searched to suppress the rights of Muslims.

Islam is the religion that has a distinct characteristic of modesty, as said by the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the following hadith:

The distinct characteristic of Islam is Modesty.

(Ibn Majah, Anas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, 4181)

No doubt Hijab is an essential part of Islam as it helps Muslim women to guard their modesty.

Umme Hani Ayesha, a Homemaker and a Mother of two daughters, wears hijab from her school days, says:

“Hijab is a blessing for us & helps in preserving our chastity. It is an essential part of Islam.”

Whether hijab is an essential part or not is something that needs to be asked from Muslims and Hijabis, not courts.

Shaikh Noor Mohammad Yusuf says:

“Hijab is mandatory for Muslim women and being in a democratic country I feel that no one have the right to interfere in one’s religion or anything.Women in India are practicing hijab for so long and it was not an issue for anybody then, now, also it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone”

Interference by courts into Religion

Courts are required to regulate legal matters by considering the Constitution. And when it
comes to religion the matter should be left to the followers of the faith. It can be noticed post
the new government came to power legal machinery has been exploited to target Muslims.
On questioning Noor about courts interference in religious matters she replied:

“What I believe is courts are the statues dancing according to the government and you know
how our government is. Well it’s not like that I’m a Muslim so I’m supporting hijab. It’s our
right and it’s not wrong.”

This matter is something that needs to be comprehended that the current government is
having the strings of court attached to its fingers. The order has not only baffled the common man, it has made them oppose it with every heartbeat. Rahin, who is a teacher by profession had to voice out her opinion.

I think the Government should not interfere in Islamic Matters. The ban on Hijab in
Karnataka is against democracy which should not be encouraged. I strongly oppose the Ban on Hijab in Karnataka”

Another women, Umme Hani Ayesha tried to remind that the country,
“No, courts should not interfere with religious matters as India is a secular country which
clearly states that all religions are free to practice their religion.”

Secularism is the soul of India. But in recent years secularism is being suppressed by the
government and efforts to saffronise the country have been in effect. Moiz, when asked about courts interference in religion said:
“Not at all as they are not Shariah & Sunnah of Prophet (S.A.W)”

In 2018, during the Sabarimala temple episode, BJP leader Amit Shah condemned the
Supreme Court verdict for lifting the ban on the entry of menstrual age women into the
temple and he stood with the protesters against the Kerala government. Comparing this with
the Hijab issue clears the entire hypocrisy of the government.

Why only Islam?

A report of Indian Express on 19th March 2022 said after Gujarat, Karnataka plans to teach
Bhagavad Gita in schools. Why this double standard? Where on one side it’s been asked not to wear any religious attire in schools and colleges and on the other side including a religious book in the syllabus.

Isn’t this hypocrisy?

Or is it Islamophobia?

Well, it’s both, plus an agenda to saffronise the country.

“Why do they target only hijab when other religions are following their ways of covering their
head and body?

Hindus cover their heads with their palu, the attire of nuns and sisters from convents and
churches resemble our burqa and hijab.

They just want to discriminate Islam as their priority.”
Said Umme Hani Ayesha.

Rules change when it comes to Islam. We all know despite the case being an open and shut case, it was said at that time that Namaz can be offered anywhere. Till when will the government and courts decide what’s right or wrong? It’s nothing but biased decisions and pure cynicism.

Hope from Supreme Court

The aggrieved students of Karnataka have filed a petition in the Supreme Court.
Criterion relating to Muslims in the past, be it Triple talaq, Article 370, CAA, Babri Masjid,
Should we keep hope for a decision to come in the favor of Muslims and Hijab? Or by
looking at the past scenarios and how things are going it’s evident that keeping up hopes will
end up shattered like it always has been.

But we will excise everything that is there in our hands and hope.

Hope for a better and safe future.

Hope for equal rights.

Hope for whats been promised to us.

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