In the first paragraph, Professor Lakin Akintola wrote:

Salaam All,

“My attention has been drawn to the niqab controversy raging in one of the universities in South Western Nigeria and I am constrained to speak on it in order to douse tension.”

Me:

The professor by this statement gave an impression that his position on the matter would be one that will douse the tension and calm all straying nerves. Sadly, his subsequent statements not only betrayed this beautiful introduction but also poured more fuel into the raging fire.

With his academic qualifications as a “scholar of Islam” and activist, the prof. should have, at best refrained from commenting on the matter – if he had nothing better to say- than exhibit such odoriferous hypocrisy.




Paragraph 2:

“The wearing of niqab by some female Muslim students in higher institutions often complicates issues for us in the dawah field. While we are still pursuing the issue of hijab and grey areas still remain, niqab complicates the matter in a way.”

Me:

Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhir raajihuun! This statement coming from prof. is preposterous and most unfortunate. It’s totally meaningless, pointless and irritating. What exactly is he insinuating? That we should wait until the Supreme Court makes a pronouncement on the constitutionality of the hijaab before we start pursuing the legality of niqob? Does he have a definite timeline for such ruling? Is Prof unaware of the fact that some cases have been pending before the Supreme Court judges for close to ten years?

Furthermore, is anything wrong with fighting for the rights of Muslims on several fronts? Why does it have to be one at a time when the Constitution guarantees us freedom of religion? Whatever Prof meant by that unfortunate statement still remains largely ambiguous.


Paragraph 3:

“Although niqab is not mandatory, it is not haram as it symbolizes greater taqwah. But sisters need to be diplomatic with the use of niqab and MSS leaders also need to counsel sisters properly. Whereas niqab symptomises a higher pedestal of Imaan, any sister who uses the hijab has fulfilled Shari’ah requirements.”



Me:

Prof again goofed by this statement. By this statement, he has completely downplayed the importance of niqob and he has no single Salaf on this matter. Even those who opined that using the niqob is Mustahabb merely stated that to establish a juristic position and not to downplay its legality and importance in the manner that Prof has done. Let us examine the views of scholars on the wearing of niqob:

قال الشيخ محمد الصالح العثيمين رحمه الله :

الحجاب الشرعي : هو حجب المرأة ما يحرم عليها إظهاره ، أي : سترها ما يجب عليها ستره ، وأولى ذلك وأوله : ستر الوجه ؛ لأنه محل الفتنة ومحل الرغبة .

Shaykh Saalih al-Uthaymeen rahimahuLlaah said: “The Shari’ah-compliant hijaab is one with which the woman covers what is forbidden for her to reveal. That is, covering what is compulsory to be covered and, the first and most important limb to be covered is her face because it’s the center of attraction & temptation.”

فالواجب على المرأة أن تستر وجهها عن من ليسوا بمحارمها … فعلم بهذا أن الوجه أولى ما يجب حجابه ، وهناك أدلة من كتاب الله وسنة نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم وأقوال الصحابة وأقوال أئمة الإسلام وعلماء الإسلام تدل على وجوب احتجاب المرأة في جميع بدنها على من ليسوا بمحارمها .

” فتاوى المرأة المسلمة ” ( 1 / 391 ، 392 ) .

“It is obligatory upon the woman to cover her face away from her non-mahrams. By this, it’s known that the face is the most appropriate limb to be covered. There are plethora of proofs from the Qur’aan and tradition of the Prophet (upon him be peace) as well as statements of eminent Imams and scholars of the Deen implying the obligation of covering the entire body of the woman when around her non-mahrams.”

(“Fataawah al-Mar’atil-Muslimah” vol. 1, pp. 391-392)

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan also wrote:

وقال الشيخ صالح الفوزان حفظه الله :

الصحيح الذي تدل عليه الأدلة : أن وجه المرأة من العورة التي يجب سترها ، بل هو أشد المواضع الفاتنة في جسمها ؛ لأن الأبصار أكثر ما توجه إلى الوجه ، فالوجه أعظم عورة في المرأة ، مع ورود الأدلة الشرعية على وجوب ستر الوجه .
“The most authoritative opinion which is supported by proofs is that the woman’s face constitutes nakedness and it must be covered. In fact, it’s the most tempting part of her body because the face is more attractive to the people. There are proofs to the obligation of covering the face.”

To be continued…

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