There are traditional rules of dress and behavior for both the sexes. Women are enjoined to cover their bodies (except face and hands) similarly men are enjoined to lower their eyes in front of women and be appropriately covered
Prof. Dr. Nusrat Ara Majeed
PM has come under fire once again after his interview with Axios on HBO in which he said:“If a woman is wearing few clothes, it will have impact on the men unless they are robots. The concept of purdah prevents temptation in the society. We don’t have discos or night clubs here, so if you raise temptation to a point –all the young men have nowhere to go. It has a consequence in the society’’.
It caused uproar on social media; TV talk shows and in the drawing rooms of the elite. Was he wrong in saying so? The answer is a big NO, because a woman’s dress and modesty is important in the Islamic society. I think he was addressing the liberals, who believe in westernized liberty, ignoring the Islamic concept of modesty and morality.
It is true that the important factors in sex-related crimes are:
Lack of education; sexual frustration; poor implementation of law; illiteracy encourages patriarchal tendencies among men. As a consequence, innocent women have to bear the brunt of their masculine power.
Role of media in projecting women as an object is another very crucial factor in such crimes. Last but not the least, THE SMART PHONES -Oh God what nonsense, these illiterate people spend most of their time watching extremely vulgar and indecent movies. It acts as a stimulus; pollutes their minds.
MODESTY AND DRESS CODE IN ISLAM
There are traditional rules of dress and behavior for both the sexes. Women are enjoined to cover their bodies (except face and hands) similarly men are enjoined to lower their eyes in front of women and be appropriately covered.
WHAT IS MODESTY?
It comes from a Latin word- KEEPING WITHIN MEASURE. Modesty is a mode of dress and deportment which intends to avoid the encouragement of sexual attraction. It may be considered inappropriate and immodest to reveal certain parts of the body. Very tight and revealing clothes are indecent, this is perhaps what PM meant by ‘FEW CLOTHES’. Islam has strongly emphasized the concept of modesty and decency. In many authentic Hadiths it has been quoted: ”modesty is a part of faith”.
Modesty is verily required in the interaction between members of opposite sexes and, in some cases, between the members of the same sex as well. In Islam men and women share the responsibility of upholding modesty and controlling desires within society. While many may think that there is excessive emphasis on modesty of women; God’s command for men to maintain modesty precedes the one for women.
God created men and women with unique physiological and psychological attributes. In Islam, these differences are embraced as vital components of healthy family and community structure, with each individual contributing their distinctive talent to society.
CONCEPTS IN THE WEST
A majority of men in the UK think a woman in revealing clothes is more likely to be sexually harassed. In an exclusive survey conducted for the INDEPENDENT, 55% men believed that while 41% women responded to the view that revealing clothes invite unwanted sexual advances.
Neoline Blackwell, head of Rape Crisis center said: “There is an assumption not borne out by evidence-that the way a woman dresses is likely to lead to rape or sexual assault. We know people are raped wearing a variety of clothing, even in school uniforms.
The idea that a woman with scanty clothes will be pounced on is the most common myth amongst generations. It may be as old as time. In the Bible first thing Adam said to God was: ‘woman tempted me’ . .if society under estimates modesty, it results in violence against women.
Modesty is a feature of womanhood. When anyone causes annoyance or insult to a woman’s sense of decency, both society and law takes a serious note of that situation. Violating the autonomy of a woman’s body without her consent is a punishable crime. Nothing in Islam prevents a woman from accomplishing herself.
Societies may erect barriers but nothing in the spirit of Quran subjugates women to men. In time of course, social barriers will disappear —–as they are disappearing now. And as a result it can only be expected that women will play an increasingly larger role in Islamic society and surpass the contributions of even the early Muslim women.