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deepsingh

Hijab

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I was just wondering if a musli wanted to come to the gurdwara and she wears a burqa-- from head to toe. Would she be allowed to come in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Or would she have to take it off.

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why she wouldnt be allowed? sikhi is not sharia when it comes to people visitng gurdwara. There are two requirements, cover the head/take off the shoes in order to enter guru maharaj darbar.

Also If half baked sikh wanna be hoddy/baggy pant types with shaved beard can come in the guru maharaj darbar and have darshan of maharaj then why not muslim girl who is true beleiver in her dharam and came have maharaj darshan?

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Deep Singh

Probably a Hijab because it covers the head would be allowed but not a full Burka or Niqab since it conceals the entire face. As you said Guru Amar Das refused to give Darshan to a lady who was wearing a veil.

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Hijab is a covering which is used to cover all of the head and just leaves the face visible. Burka is where the whole body is covered and slits are available for the eyes. This is similar to Niqab which also covers the entire body apart for the eyes.

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I dont know bro, after reading that sakhi, i m still doing in khoj in this topic. I will ask gurmukhs in my area, will get back to you on that.

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If we take the precedence set by Guru Amar Das, then no, but in this day and age, my personal stance has always been to clean up one's own house first, which in this case would make the argument that if we are hypothetically going to ban a woman wearing a full body Burka or Niqab, let's first sort out the Batra Gurdwaras where the Sikh ladies are made to enter the Darbar whilst fully vieling their faces using a chunni (which falls down past their face to their waist).

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let's first sort out the Batra Gurdwaras where the Sikh ladies are made to enter the Darbar whilst fully vieling their faces using a chunni (which falls down past their face to their waist)

along with the brides who cover their partial face during anand karaj.

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The niqab(covering of everything besides the eyes) is the sunnah of the Holy Prophet... why would Guru Amardas go against this?

i think one has to look at the contex of why Guru Amardass Mahraj refused to see this lady. According to my memory this lady was a hindu princess which makes one wonder why she was wearing a niqab in the first place.

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As is keeping of slaves, rape of women captured in battle, temporary marriage (Sunni Misyar not Shia Muta), marriage with 9 year old girls are all part of the Sunnah of Mohammed but you would be looking in vain to find an endorsement of any of these in Gurbani or in the Rehatnamas.

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amardeep,

Yes, you are right in seeking the underlying motive behind Guru Sahib's admonishment of the veil, which is something more than just because today it is a practice common amongst Muslims.

Historically, one can find support for it being practiced amongst various, typically middle-upper class communities, irrespective of their religious identity. In fact, one can find reports during the 19th century that even Muslim women of 'lower classes', akin to their Hindu and Sikh brethren from villages etc (as opposed to those of Aristocracy) did not practice using the veil.

As mentioned above, Guru Sahib's decree and example is clear, however I feel the matter concerns veiling of women and the implications therein rather a commentary on Islamic Sharia per se.

On a separate note, leaving Mr Ali Sina and his infamous freedomoffaith to one side, the issues raised above are also discussed on shiachat by various practising Shia Muslims and in most cases endorsing the items:

1. Mutah experiences/questions

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234930611

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234934228

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234930726

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234931808

2. Marriage age, polygamy etc

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234935232

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234932383

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=63967

3. Islamic law:

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234934802

I am sure you can find many more on the forum and see the arguments from the perspective of largely practising (Shia) Muslims themselves.

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Amardeep

One doesn't need to have been on Faithfreedom in order to have knowledge of the unsavoury aspects of Mohammed's sunnah. Although the site is probably one of the best for anyone who wants to see the other side of the argument in the debate of whether Islam is a religion of peace or not.

On the subject of the prohibition of the veil (Purdah, Ghunghat), in Gurbani wherever it is mentioned it always in a negative sense of being a veil of delusion, doubt, duality etc. The act of casting of the veil is described in the sense of casting out all these negative traits.

A Verse which could possibly be used to justify restricting someone wearing a veil from having Darshan of the Guru Granth Sahib could this one-;

ਮਃ ੫ ॥

मः ५ ॥

Mehlā 5.

Fifth Mehl:

ਜਾਣੁ ਵਸੰਦੋ ਮੰਝਿ ਪਛਾਣੂ ਕੋ ਹੇਕੜੋ ॥

जाणु वसंदो मंझि पछाणू को हेकड़ो ॥

Jāṇ vasanḏo manjẖ pacẖẖāṇū ko hėkṛo.

Know that He dwells within all; rare are those who realize this.

ਤੈ ਤਨਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਨਾਹਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੈ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਆ ॥੨॥

तै तनि पड़दा नाहि नानक जै गुरु भेटिआ ॥२॥

Ŧai ṯan paṛ­ḏā nāhi Nānak jai gur bẖėti­ā. ||2||

There is no obscuring veil on the body of that one, O Nanak, who meets the Guru. ||2||

Niranjana,

I assume that you are referring to the veiling of non-Muslims women in the last few centuries. This is put down to two reasons-;

1. The Rapacious nature of the Muslim invaders and thereby the need for non-Muslims to veil their women to protect them.

2. Aping the style of the Muslims which Guru Nanak incidentally criticises the Khatris and Brahmins for.

Contary to the claims of the Muslims that Islam was a positive influence on the cultures of the countries in invaded, in India it is well known that Islam restricted the lives of non-Muslim women and brought forth a host of new and previously unknown restrictions such as seclusion/veil as well as underage marriage.

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When you hear the word slave i guess you connect it to the 17. century definition of how the white slaveowners used to whip the black slaves and make them work for 16 hours a day, while they would get a minimum of food to eat, and maximum of whipping.. But how do you know that this definition can be applied to the defition of slaves in arabia in the 7. century?? You are using a modern mindset to define right and wrong... You are no better than those sikhs who reject the multiple marriages of Maharaj, the aranged marriage of Guru Arjan Dev as a 9 year old arranged by his Father Sri Guru Ram Dass ji Mahraj.. using modern mindset to comdemn actions of the past..

another thing veerji, i dont know if you read Gurbani as a lawbook or not, but i would say that the shabad you provided is mentioning the veil as a methaphor of maya and illusion, and not a real purda that women wear.

another shabad of Sant Kabir ji on a purda(saying there is no merit on wearing it unless you live up to it(apply esoteric elements to it, so it will not end up as being an empty idol)

Then alone shall thy veil be true,

if thou jump, dance and sing God's praise.

Page 484, Line 4

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amardeep,

"When you hear the word slave i guess you connect it to the 17. century definition of how the white slaveowners used to whip the black slaves and make them work for 16 hours a day, while they would get a minimum of food to eat, and maximum of whipping.. But how do you know that this definition can be applied to the defition of slaves in arabia in the 7. century?? You are using a modern mindset to define right and wrong... "

I'll Tony to answer for himself - however, insofar as the shabd is concerned I would personally agree with you that it does appear more akin to a metaphor than any legalistic ruling.

That said, the example of Guru Amar Das stands testimony to protocol for a Gurdwara, as indicated earlier we need to understand its underlying rationale.

As per slave, if you were to follow the links shown in my previous post, you can find an interesting topic on the subject of "Slaves" on shiachat and in particular "slave girls" including the rights the 'owner' has over the 'slave girl' (e.g. sex with no formal requirement to be married or issues if already married - i.e. this is not polygamy, hence one could view it as little more than legalised prostitution since it is justified on the grounds that the 'slave' must be adequately renumerated) - I shall let you read the discussion for yourself to see how the discussion balances out between Shia Muslims, in the meantime, there lies a contradiction in this whole affair:

1) I certainly second your rationale to effectively account for time, space and circumstance (re: how do you know that this definition can be applied to the defition of slaves in arabia in the 7. century??).

2) The problem that arises here is that even whilst accounting for the above, we need to bear in mind that Islamic Law is intended to be a timeless command from God, hence the issue above really should not arise.

This is different from the multiple wives of the Gurus or the fixing of their marriages by their parents, as these practices are not demanded by the Sikh Rehit Maryada or the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

I think we need to explore the whole thing more clearly and objectively.

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Amardeep,

The easiest way to eay to explain away some of the unsavoury things in Mohammed's Sunnah is to play verbal gymnastics and tamper with the definition of words. I think you are assuming the way that black slavery in the USA is depicted in films as accurate. Slaves are a commodity and as such it is the interests of the owner to treat them well so that they work hard as well as being a sellable commodity if required. The harsh treatment of slaves is only when slaves are cheap and plentiful.

Mohammed is known to have kept and traded slaves and according to Islamic accounts during his lifetime he brought more slaves than he sold. Most of these slaves were captured during many of his raids against rival Arab or Jewish tribes. During one particular raid the following occurred-;

Vol. 5-#459 Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: "I entered the mosque and saw Abu Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about coitus interruptus. Abu said, "We went out with Allah's messenger for the Ghazwa (attack upon) Banu Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus we said "How can we do coitus interruptus without asking Allah's messenger while he is present among us?" We asked (him) about it and he said "It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist."

The rape of captured women (slaves) is also in Mohammed's Sunnah, which incidently you chose not to comment on, perhaps because it is difficult to play verbal gymnastics with rape.

Slavery existed in Islamic societies and wars were undertaken to obtain slaves. During the invasion of Spain thousands of slaves were taken to Syria. Contary to recent Islamic apologetics which seem to paint slavery as some kind of guest status, slaves in Islam have few rights are can be-;

According to the Hughes Dictionary of Islam, slaves had few civil or legal rights. For example

a) Muslim men were allowed to have sex anytime with females slaves - Sura 4:3, 4:29, 33:49.

B) Slaves are as helpless before their masters as idols are before God - Sura 16:77

c) According to Islamic Tradition, people at the time of their capture were either to be killed, or enslaved. Shows you that they were at the bottom of the barrel to start with.

d) According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves were merchandise. The sales of slaves was in accordance with the sale of animals.

e) Muhammad ordered that some slaves who were freed by their master be RE-ENSLAVED!

f) It is permissible under Islamic law to whip slaves.

g) According to Islam, a Muslim could not be put to death for murdering a slave. Ref. 2:178 and the Jalalayn confirm this.

h) According to Islam, the testimony of slaves is not admissible in court. Ibn Timiyya and Bukhari state this.

i) According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves cannot choose their own marriage mate. - Ibn Hazm, vol. 6, part 9.

j) According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves can be forced to marry who their masters want. - Malik ibn Anas, vol. 2, page 155.

Interesting enough we have all these stories from Muslim websites about Muslim women being raped by American soldiers in Iraq. In most cases these are false and in the cases which have been proven the US authorities have punished the guilty. But according to the Sunnah of Mohammed the Americans are quite within their rights as a conquering power to do what they wish with the women of Iraq. The only thing is that as the Americans are infidels then they have no right to do the things that Muslims are allowed to do. As with most things Islam/Muslims are true hypocrites!

The last bout of Islamic slave gathering in India was during Abdali's invasions of India. I assume since this in the Sunnah of Mohammed that the Gurus would not have been against this?

As for the Gurbani tuk, the mention is of being veiled and not being covered with the veil of delusion.

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i'll read your texts later when i get home, but one thing you have to know is that muslim women use Fatima Zehra and the wives of Prophet Muhammad as role models to follow. they all wore niqab which covers everytihng except for the eyes.

so what you are saying is, that a Gurdwara is open for everyone to visit, except for muslim women?

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amardeep,

Whilst acknowledging the rights permitted to slaves under Islamic law (e.g. not to be mistreated or overworked, be properly maintained, slaves could take legal action for a breach of these rules, may own property, may own slaves themselves, can get married if their owner consents, may undertake business on the owner's behalf, female slaves could not be separated from their children if under 7 years old and could not be forced into prostitution, but can become sex workers as concubines), we have to note the paradox in Islam concerning slavery, namely that on one hand we can argue for the supposed humanity of the various injunctions and customs concerning the keeping of slaves however, given that the Prophet himself bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves, the freeing of slaves simply created a demand for new slaves, this as per Islamic law could only be supplied by war furthering the instability of the region and forcing people into slavery or trading slaves. This possibly also explain why slavery persisted until the 19th century in the Islamic world, with the drive towards abolishment coming ironically from colonial powers together with Muslim thinkers arguing strongly for abolition via ‘secular’ law, as is the case today in Islamic countries where slavery is made illegal through secular law rather than the ‘divinely’ revealed sharia.

As per your closing comment:

"what you are saying is, that a Gurdwara is open for everyone to visit, except for muslim women?"

I don't believe this is what anyone is saying and there has been plenty of dialogue to suggest further exploration of the sakhi relating to Guru Amar Das.

What we can say is that Gurdwara Protocol is mandatory (i.e. heads covered, no shoes etc etc) uopn all who enter and all are welcome to the Gurdwara provided they behave within the remits of protocol, as is the case for most institutions in the world.

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amardeep,

Whilst acknowledging the rights permitted to slaves under Islamic law (e.g. not to be mistreated or overworked, be properly maintained, slaves could take legal action for a breach of these rules, may own property, may own slaves themselves, can get married if their owner consents, may undertake business on the owner's behalf, female slaves could not be separated from their children if under 7 years old and could not be forced into prostitution, but can become sex workers as concubines), we have to note the paradox in Islam concerning slavery, namely that on one hand we can argue for the supposed humanity of the various injunctions and customs concerning the keeping of slaves however, given that the Prophet himself bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves, the freeing of slaves simply created a demand for new slaves, this as per Islamic law could only be supplied by war furthering the instability of the region and forcing people into slavery or trading slaves. This possibly also explain why slavery persisted until the 19th century in the Islamic world, with the drive towards abolishment coming ironically from colonial powers together with Muslim thinkers arguing strongly for abolition via ‘secular’ law, as is the case today in Islamic countries where slavery is made illegal through secular law rather than the ‘divinely’ revealed sharia.

As per your closing comment:

"what you are saying is, that a Gurdwara is open for everyone to visit, except for muslim women?"

I don't believe this is what anyone is saying and there has been plenty of dialogue to suggest further exploration of the sakhi relating to Guru Amar Das.

What we can say is that Gurdwara Protocol is mandatory (i.e. heads covered, no shoes etc etc) uopn all who enter and all are welcome to the Gurdwara provided they behave within the remits of protocol, as is the case for most institutions in the world.

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Speaking of hypocrites, how come there are audios of the decendant of Bhai Mardana who is a MUSLIM (and praises the name of Allah numerous times when giving discourse before doing kirtan) allowed to perform in Gurdwaras? This is available at kertan.org I believe. I thought only tbt goodsikhs who believe in ONLY 10 Gurus and Granth Sahibji ONLY (No Bhagwan Ram, no Allah) are allowed to do Kirtan in a Gurdwara? Also notably these are the same people who speak out against Sanatan Sikhs for practicing caste discrimination and yet it is ok for them to discriminate (or not discriminate when the celebrity is popular enough) against people who perform Kirtan in Gurdwaras. The quote from Gurbani they like to use is 'Manas Ki Sabh Ekai Jaat Pehchanbo' and yet when needed they can exclude certain ppl from being humanbeings altogether! :D

Back to the topic, keeping in mind the problems between the 2 communities in the uk, I think for security reasons the muslim women should not be wearing burka when entering a Gurdwara or temple or church. It just makes people uncomfortable. Or perhaps she should be checked out by a woman sevadar separately first before being allowed in?

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Fateh Singh,

You are confusing two separate issues in your comparison of caste and religion and general protocol. This argument is flawed in several ways, the attitudes of Gurdwaras and Sangats towards "non-Sikhs" performing Kirtan is varied, in any event, we are not comparing like with like and can easily push this out until the cows come home (e.g. "why do Namdharis insist that Muslims are the enemies in their parchar/historical reasoning, hence considering Blue a forbidden colour, yet many leading Namdhari musicians are disciples of Muslim Ustads and their Sat Guru frequently invites Muslims to his Darbar to perform...I think we can agree that this is a childish argument and is not going to lead anywhere, more importantly belittles the issues rampant amongst certain segments surrounding caste discrimination).

As per your suggestion on security concerns, this is much wider debate (and one worth having given the recent political climate), however I believe amardeep's line of questioning is seeking a more 'official' view on the protocol.

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As Niranjana said the issue of who can perform Kirtan in a Gurdwara pretty much depends on what the stance is of the committee or the pardhan. The issue of the so-called descendents of Bhai Mardana is complex. I write so-called because not many of them have been able to prove their claims of descent from Bhai Mardana. Although there are a number of Mirasis in Punjab who are Sikh by religion yet the claim to be Bhai Mardana's descendents is mostly made by Muslim Mirasis from Pakistan. They were allowed in earlier days to do Kirtan at Durbar Sahib but have since been disallowed due to the more fuller implementation of the Rehat Maryada. I remember reading some time ago of one of the so-called descendents that they do a Kurli after the Kirtan as a sort of purification after having done an unislamic thing (ie sung).

The more stricter implementation of the Rehat Maryada was started when the youth naturally questioned the reason why a non-Sikh can sing Kirtan, which in essence is a type of parchar, when he/she does not follow the teachings of the Gurus.

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