A fatwa to end all fatwas

veiled working womanDuring and after my recent angioplasty in hospital, I was surrounded by cheerful female nurses and both male and female doctors. In fact, the angioplasty was carried out under the supervision of a confident and smartly dressed female cardiologist (who is head of the cardiac unit in one of the city’s major hospitals).

Suddenly, on my fourth day at the hospital, I almost died of shock when I woke up to find a tall, slim woman doctor completely covered in black from head to toe (with only a slit for the eyes to see), peering at my semi-naked body. I thought I had passed away and gone to some place where all virgins are dressed like that. Then she introduced herself. I wanted to ask her what the hell she was doing, touching the body of a male patient, when women dressed like her should not come within five feet of a male stranger. Mercifully, the male doctor who was her boss sensed how I felt and asked her to leave.

I refer to this incident because the Deobandi Ulema in India have issued a fatwa to end all fatwas: “Women should not work alongside men, and if they do, they should be completely veiled”. I didn’t know there were people like that in India, but apparently there are.

With women advancing in every field, and Pakistan itself having female army officers and air force pilots, here are some nuts trying to attract attention to themselves by issuing strange edicts which everyone will ignore.

I won’t say much, except that when you force half the population to look like black ninjas, you can’t progress at all.


29 thoughts on “A fatwa to end all fatwas”

  1. I agree with you. But the ‘fatwa to end all fatwas’. is not correct. I hereby issue the fatwa to end all fatwas, which is this. All fatwa-makers have no actual authority, and there is zero requirement to obey them for believers. In fact, the only the authority comes from truth, since no one knows that absolutely, absolutely that authority is granted to God, to which each believer is accountable. By granting such authority to a higher power, we remove it from other humans, thus liberating ourselves from oppression. So, if one goes about doing things which have no meaning, or are not helpful in any way, or are harmful, there is no justification for absolving one’s own responsibility, in the argument that the act was done as a result of obeying a religious authority. With regard to ayats that talk about obeying ‘holders of authority from amongst you’, I submit that this disqualifies any authority which overreaches, and the argument fore ending all fatwas is based in on the repeated offences of fatwa-makers in overreaching their authority.There are ayats from the Koran which you can heed on this point, but ultimately you have to think for yourself and decide what they mean to you. On the crucial point of no authority to fatwa-makers, there is ‘there is no God, but God’, and you can retrieve also the points about not ascribing a partner to God, and God having absolute authority. To the point of doing something because it is prescribed even though it does not make sense religiously or socially, there is ‘there is no compulsion in religion’. Compulsion exists when we behave in a way that is compulsive, and only you can get to the bottom of your compulsions, but you are presented here with the argument that religious compulsiveness is possible, and this may be the root of the problem. To the problem of dress, the total preoccupation of it that has emerged is evidence of compulsion since it continues despite the total lack of actual religious authority (from God) prescribing it. Further, the Koran prescribes ‘modesty in dress’, and modesty quite self-evidently from this case, and logically speaking is culturally and temporally contextual. Even in the prophet’s time (pbuh) veiling was contextual to situations. In the current, global context of better information about history, this should be quite clear. In the current global context of migration, communication, change and population increase, it is self-evident that cultures are in constant interaction. To put it bluntly, no one is in a cultural bubble, and pretending to be in one is a state of delusion (as opposed to truth). There may be cultural reasons, but not religious reasons for veiling, but Islam has never called people to culture but to truth, and rather the message itself disrupted culture whenever it arrived. Finally, since cultures by necessity (and for those who know, in great joy) are interacting, veiling is provocative to most people, as evidenced by the controversy. Provocation is opposed to modesty, and it brings the subject of people’s daily contemplations and experiences away from the divine loving and accepting of people, towards distraction and conflict, which the rationale for modesty in dress to begin with. People, because it is so exciting, have become entirely preoccupied with sexual provocation, the antidote to which is understanding – which has taken a very long time in this world to come to grips with, and will take a while. But it is not sexuality that is at issue, it unnecssary daily conflict that chips away at society. This is an argument against a religious defence for veiling, covering of the mouth and nose, as an unnecessary compulsion and a provocation that is opposed to modesty. Hijabs do not appear to be provocative, plenty of people wear things on their head. There is no law that has any authority that can tell people not to veil (france’s laws are not valid naturally, and are reactionary), but there is no religious rationale for doing it, and a rationale against provocative dress. That is not specific, self-evidently there is no workable timeless, eternal law that focuses on specifics because only change is constant. We should therefore end all fatwas, including this one, which is just for your information, and has no authority except any truth contained in it, which is for you to decide.

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  2. i feel sorry for the lovechild of westren culture. go to europe indtending for abolishing the co education because of prolems in their culture. i think if the lieral societry is not fit for those who are the pproducer of idea then how can it be fit for muslims. turkey is reverting towards islam after quite a long time and we are moving towards the ideology of the bastards mustafa kamal pasha and musharraf.

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  3. The article was a bit unfair to the lady in question. Why cant she work in the dress she choses to? It after all her right to decide her own wardrobe…

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  4. @Shakir Lakhani you are just beating about the bush i said dont follow these socalled scholars who is asking you to follow it just read Sahih bukhari hadith and Quran thats it and see what Allah and his Rasul told us to do and after you are done with that then come back here and argue by that time i hope u will get some brains and drawing veil is obligatory for girls in islam who has reached puberty who said its an option lol? its obligatory to observe purdah except face and hands and if some girl is even hiding her face and hands then i appreciate her effort instead of putting her down because her faith is very strong and why you people think that observing pudah means going back to stone age while Allah ordained us to do? are you arguing Allah?
    @Yusha im coming back to your black magic post its been while since i have visited lets see how many nails have been hammered lol

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  5. @Muhammad Yusha peace TV is authentic channel but maybe not for people like you who hammer 4 nails around their house and tell people they are under the effect of black magic LOL

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  6. haider: apparently you haven’t heard about the latest fatwa issued by the Deobandis of India. A woman is not allowed to work, according to their twisted version of Islam. I suggest that people like you should migrate to Saudi Arabia (or, if that is not possible, live in Waziristan). There, you will be able to live according to rules and laws which so-called scholars have made compulsory for Muslims.

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