The True Meaning Of Burqa

by Bangalore 16 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • cantleave

    Interesting video VI

    Punky - I will send you one, Peterborough will be grateful to me........

  • OrphanCrow
    Rebel: Even when you try to find legitimate websites explaining the meaning, all you get is "modesty".
    It does strike me as a symbol of subservience and silence. It would be interesting to confirm this information from a legit source.

    The original meaning of the burqua wasn't "modesty" per se. I apologize that I don't have references for what I am about to say - it has been far too long ago that I researched this and I no longer have the textual references to offer you...but, if you don't mind me just "spouting" off...

    In primitive times, women were feared by men because of their perceived connection to the divine that men lacked. Women were seen as having a special connection to god because of their ability to "make life" - they could have babies and men couldn't which led to women being seen as more spiritually powerful than men.

    The other thing was that "hair" and/or "head" was seen as the way that people could communicate with "god/divine". Therefore, when men wanted to communicate with god, they superstitiously believed that if a woman was present, with her head uncovered, that she would be able to over-ride their attempts to connect with the divine. So, the men, in order to assert their own power, required that women cover their head so that they wouldn't interfere with that divine communication. And women complied - out of respect for the men - the act acknowledged that women had more spiritual power than men did.

    It has been time and men's personal fears that have led to how culture views the head covering (or burqa) today - the sexual connotations have only evolved through the patriarchal fear of male sexuality, not female sexuality. Men are acting out their fear of the sexual power of women whereas the original meaning has to do with spiritual power.

    In today's Aboriginal cultures, the ones who follow the traditional way, this concept can be seen in the observance of traditional ceremonies. A women who is on her "moon time" is required to step back and not engage in the ritual of smudging and other ritualistic behaviors. This is not seen as a subservient act that puts down women, but rather an act that acknowledges the power of women. The Aboriginals do this as an act of respect for women - that women are the most like the Creator when they are menstruating, not that they are "less than" men, but rather, "more than" men.

    Today's association of sexuality - that women are sex objects and must cover themselves up - is a view that has culturally evolved from men's desires and fears. It no longer holds the original purpose of acknowledging the divine connection that women have, that men lack.

  • Vidiot

    Monotheistic religion... taking the sex out of spirituality for over a thousand years...

  • JWdaughter

    Most of the women wearing the most extreme forms of covering are doing so in response to it being the local costume. Their particular level of piety may or may not be reflected-or even their family religious inclinations or political ideas being liberal or conservative. If you live in Saudi, you dress as a Saudi. I can visit Saudi and as long as I'm modest, no one will say boo. Few countries have legislated this, but going against local custom can get local ones burdened with assumptions about their modest character. My family lost their minds when I covered, still wearing western clothes, just the modest version. They Aren't religious or politically extreme people mostly, but I was going against our culture. Freaked out all my family. Many let me know that they didn't care what I felt, but I was disrespectful of "our way of life" by covering my hair in a way that looked Muslim. Strangers mostly don't comment or respond, but family does. (Some traffic issues in Tx being big exception)

    My friends religious and pious family objected when she started wearing a simple headcovering, and they lived in the Levant. I have a friend who is questioning EVERYTHING and her family knows and is supportive of her quest. She wears hijab out of respect and everyone knows she is toying with every faith and non faith system. This has no threat attached-her dad is cool. She was raised that way but she will likely not wear it if she chooses something else, but that is her slightly different take on it. Her comfort level is her own.

    Don't presume. As a new Muslim I have done that myself. Most are not doing it as subservience or force. Some must be, but I think most non-Muslims make a lot of assumptions based on their own beliefs and culture. I know Muslims do the exact same thing. The basic foundation behind women covering in Islam is modesty, not subservience. When Muslims from covered cultures see very uncovered women, they assume immodesty. You see women covered and think it's about subservience. It just isn't. Not at its source.

    Muslims growing up in the west are more likely to choose based on a religious understanding, but an uncovered Muslim is not necessarily liberal or conservative in general. It's a personal decision. Their own religious understanding. Or just preference or need. My family means right now I don't have freedom TO cover. But knowing, they still give me hell no matter what I do.

  • Listener

    Punkofnice asked why men don't wear similar attire. I wondered to so googled for an answer and this is what I got.


    For instance, I’m sure at one time or another, we have looked upon an attractive man, whether purposefully or accidentally. It must have been hard for us to look away. But try to envision the task of lowering the gaze as twice or even ten times harder – that is, my dear ladies, what a man has to go through.

    Another question- why do women have to pray behind men? It can’t be that women are less dignified or unfavorable in Allah’s eyes. It is because of the nature of man – he will lose himself and become preoccupied with other than that of his prayer. Women, however, are not as susceptible to this temptation and can pray behind men.

    Generally speaking, fornication often occurs when a woman inclines the man toward something he already has a susceptibility to. If the woman is strong however, the man may have the desire but does not have the opportunity to sin.

    So you see, hijab doesn’t push down on the status of women. The hijab serves as a protective barrier for not only the woman but also for a man, who is inherently attracted to the visual. Just imagine, the next time you step out without a hijab – you may be unaware of so much going on around you. Would you be happy to know the sins you have accumulated, the silent struggles of a brother who found it so difficult to lower his gaze from you?

    You may be unaware, but Allah the All Aware, is not. There’s a good reason behind everything, just as there is a good reason behind hijab.>>

  • rebel8
    very interesting thread!
  • Bangalore

    From Jerry Coyne's site.


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