Bombay High Court: Hijab Not Essential To Islam, Says Decision Welcomed By Sufi Islamic Board

Bombay High Court: Hijab Not Essential To Islam, Says Decision Welcomed By Sufi Islamic Board

The Sufi Islamic Board has welcomed Wednesday's decision of the Bombay high court that wearing of hijab was an integral part of Islam. Board chairman Mansoor Khan told the FPJ that there is nothing either in the Koran or the Hadees which said wearing of hijab by women was compulsory.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 11:12 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Sufi Islamic Board has welcomed Wednesday's decision of the Bombay high court that wearing of  hijab was not  an integral part of Islam. Board chairman Mansoor Khan told the FPJ that there is nothing either in the Koran or the Hadees which said wearing of hijab by women was compulsory.

"In fact, the Prophet's wife Khadija herself did not wear a hijab. She was a business woman who travelled and interacted with others, including men, during the course of business, without wearing a hijab," He said fundamentalist elements among Muslims were misguiding the faithful by making it appear that hijab is an integeral part of Islam.

Noted activist Zakia Soman said "The hijab has become a huge political issue owing to communal politics. Both the BJP and conservative Muslims are responsible for this. Both sides are trying to politicise hijab to further their own agenda. Hijab is not an essential practice of Islam. Over 50% of Muslim women don’t wear hijabs. It is a patriarchal imposition in sections of society in West Asia which is followed blindly by some south Asian Muslims. For the BJP, it is a case of double standards. Their leaders dressed in saffron is ok but women in hijab are not. They want to bar minorities from all identity markers and divide society. Education is a fundamental right of all including girls. We should focus on girls' education and social economic advancement rather than insist on a conservative dress code such as hijab."

The HC bench comprising Justice Rajesh Patil and A.S. Chandurkar observed that "there is no material place to uphold the petitioners' (a few Muslim students of Acharya college, Chembur) contention that donning of hijab and nakab is an essential religious practice. The contention in that regard fails." The court cited the judgement of Karnataka high court in Resham vs State of Karnataka which said "in clear terms that donning of hijab or nakab was not an essential part religious practice of girl students professing Islam..."

However, Maulana Zahir Abbas, a noted Shia scholar, said the court is not well informed about Islamic laws relating to hijab, which is a must. Only the way of wearing it is not mentioned in the Koran.

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