Important Message With Regard To Face Cover Of Muslim Women
Asslalamu Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakathuhu,
Wearing a dress code of one’s own choice is one of the fundamental human rights of every male and female on earth. The constitution of this country enshrines these rights very clearly.
Followed by the deplorable incident of 21st of April, an unusual situation prevailed in the country and the emergency law was imposed by the Government. Followed by this, a temporary ban of facial cover or niqab was too imposed during the time of the emergency law. Though, the emergency law was lifted on the 23rd of August, a Special Gazette has been issued enabling the deployment of armed forces to maintain public order in the country. Ever since the incident, it seems that the fear psychosis among the people is still not completely detached.
In this current situation, there seems to be possibilities that the Muslim women who attire the face cover publicly, may face inconveniences. So, at this uncertain political situation, it is our responsibility to ensure all possible means to avoid paving the way to racial elements.
The ACJU requests especially the Muslim women to avoid possible inconveniences that may be caused by attiring the face cover in the public and to act in a responsible and serious manner considering the present situation. The ACJU strongly believes that our own etiquette and responsible behavior among the various communities would definitely help us to protect our own rights and privileges.
The ACJU also believes that the religious freedom, rights and privileges within our cultural diversity enjoyed by the Muslims of Sri Lanka throughout the history should still be preserved and protected.
Ash-Shaikh H. Omardeen
Secretary – Propagation Division
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama
10.12.1437 / 11.09.2016
Clarification on the ACJU’s Stand on Women Wearing Face-cover
Out of all sub-committees of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the Fatwa Committee plays a very important role. This committee consists of all organizations representing Ahlus Sunnath Wal Jama’ath available in the whole country and there are more than thirty committee members comprising senior scholars experienced in the application of Islamic Jurisprudence, Degree-holders in Islamic jurisprudence, principals of Arabic Colleges and senior lecturers/professors in Shari’ah Education.
This committee meets either once a month or according to the need of the Fatwa matters and research on issues, and, finally release the Fatwa. Based on this the Fatwa on Women Wearing face-cover was released in 2009.
The opinion delivered on the concerned Fatwa was the clear stand of the ACJU. However, on subjects having differences in opinion, one has the right and freedom to follow the opinion that one is convinced with. Another with a difference of opinion has the right and freedom to follow the opinion he/ she is convinced on, and it is advised that no one should interfere/degrade the differing opinion of another person. This is the stand of the ACJU’s in its statement issued on Unity Declaration dated 18.08.2009.
Furthermore, the present controversy over the women wearing face-cover arose due to a statement made on 19.07.2016 on a TV program stating: “the women’s face-cover was not an Islamic ruling and was a wrong opinion” that was said to be quoted from the series of “Social Dialog” books written on Hijab.
The concerned book was written clarifying the Muslims’ Dress Code, when there was a hue & cry claiming that there was no Niqab in Islam, it is an Arabic culture, a security threat and so on, the ACJU wrote this book justifying that Niqab is an Islamic dress, there is no threat to security and it is the right of women who are in the opinion that face-cover is ‘wajib’ for women. And the concerned TV program had many useful discussion on the need of the day which could be appreciated. However, the ACJU wishes to confirm with responsibility that opinion mentioned regarding the Hijab in the above TV program was not stated in the concerned book of the ACJU.
Today, the ‘Niqab – Hijab’ subject has become the talk of the day, and it can be observed that debating on the subject has created a gap among the concerned groups.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has been carrying forward the efforts on the social unity and coexistence with so many challenges and carefully guiding the Muslim society. Alhamdulillah!
Therefore, the ACJU has planned to conduct a seminar on Niqab and Hijab very soon for clarity and understanding on the subject.
This seminar will be conducted in cooperation with the Council for Cooperation & Coordination and Fatwa division of the ACJU. Suitably qualified Professionals and Religious scholars will be given the opportunity of presenting their clarification on Niqab and Hijab. The final date of presenting their clarification on Niqab & Hajab, venue, date of event and further details will be informed very soon.
Ash Sheikh M.L.M. Ilyas
Secretary. Fatwa Committee
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama