Friday Sermon Archives – Wisdom of the Veil – 13th January 2017

His Holiness delivering the Friday Sermon from the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London. Source: File Photo.

The Review of Religions translation team is honored to translate and present Friday Sermons from the archives, delivered by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba). Below is the official translation of the Friday Sermon delivered on 13th January 2017. 

After reciting TashahhudTa‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, the Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) stated: 

Some people think that faith and religion limits ones freedoms and places restrictions upon them. However Allah Almighty explains in Holy Quran: 

وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَیْکُمْ فِی الدِّیْنِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ

He has laid no hardship upon you in the matters of religion.’[1]

In actuality, the Shari`ah [Islamic law] is designed to lessen one’s burdens; and further to this, it is, in fact, to safeguard one from all types of trials and dangers. Thus, it is evident from this statement of Allah Almighty that the religion of Islam, which has been revealed for humankind, does not contain a single commandment which would cause them difficulty. Rather, every commandmenet, be it minor or major, is a source of mercy and blessings. Thus, human thought is flawed, while the word of Allah Almighty is infallible. As the creation of Allah Almighty if we fail to act upon these commandments then only we will suffer. If we fail to pay heed, then Satan, who has vowed to lead people astray from the outset of creation, will throw man into the pit of destruction. And so, if one wishes to save themselves from the onslaughts of Satan, then one must obey the commandments of Allah Almighty. Certain matters may seem trivial, but with the passage of time, perceiving them in this manner can have extremely dire consequences. Therefore, a believer should never consider any commandment to be insignificant.  

In this day and age we see that the majority of the world has moved away from religion. Consequently, their concepts of what is good and bad continuously change. For example, in today’s world we see that nudity amongst men and women is becoming ever prevalent; all in the name of freedom and fashion. To indulge in manifest indecency has become an indication of being ‘advanced.’ Modesty and decency do not seem to exist anymore. Naturally, such attitudes can, and to some extent are, having an impact on our young boys and girls who live in such societies. 

Sometimes when girls begin to reach the age of adolescence they write to me asking, ‘Why is it necessary to observe purdah [the veil] in Islam? Why can we not wear fitted jeans or blouses and leave the house without wearing a burkah[long, loose garment] or a coat? Why can we not wear the same clothes worn by the women of Europe, who do so in the name of freedom?’

Firstly, one should remember that if we wish to remain firm in our faith, then we must follow the religious teachings. If we declare to be Muslims who are firm in their faith then we must strictly adhere to its tenets. It is incumbent to follow the directives and commandments of Allah Almighty and His Messenger (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) has stated that modesty is part of faith.[2]

Therefore, dressing modestly and observing the veil are vital to safeguard our faith. If developed countries are abandoning modesty in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘progression,’ then they are doing so because they have moved away from religion. An Ahmadi girl who has accepted the Promised Messiah (as) affirms that she will give precedence to faith over all worldly matters. Every Ahmadi, be it a child, man or woman, who has accepted the Promised Messiah (as) has made a covenant that they will give precedence to their faith over all worldly desires. This can only happen however, when they act in accordance with the teachings of the faith. 

We are very fortunate that the Promised Messiah (as) has clearly elucidated all matters for us.  Thus, whilst addressing the issue of immodesty and indecency, the Promised Messiah (as) has stated:

‘Many people urge the adoption of permissiveness like that prevalent in Europe, but this is utterly inappropriate. Such unbridled freedom of sexes is the root of immorality and indecency. Look at the moral situation in countries that have adopted such freedom. If freedom of the sexes has helped increase their chastity and virtue, we will readily confess that we were mistaken. But it is crystal clear that when young men and women are allowed to mix freely without any concept of the veil, their relationships will be most dangerous. It is but human to cast illicit glances and be overwhelmed by lustful desires. As there is intemperance and vice, despite the observance of the veil, it can only be imagined what the situation will be like in the case of unrestricted freedom. Observe the behaviour of men, and how it has become like that of an unbridled horse! They have neither fear of God nor faith in the hereafter. They have made their worldly desires the object of their worship. It is necessary therefore, that before granting such freedom and removing the veil, the moral condition of men should first be improved and rectified. After men have developed enough self-temperance to restrain their passions to the extent they are not subjugated by them, then you may consider whether the veil is necessary or not. To insist upon unrestricted freedom under the present circumstances would be like putting sheep at the mercy of lions. What is the matter with such people who do not reflect upon the consequences of these things? Let them at least take counsel with their consciences as to whether the condition of men has improved to the extent that women may roam among them unveiled?'[3]

The vices that we are witnessing in our society today bear testimony to every single word of the Promised Messiah (as). Thus, every Ahmadi girl, boy, man and woman should protect themselves from the ills of society by raising their standards of modesty. One should not feel any sort of inferiority complex or question why the veil is a necessary commandment or why they are not permitted to wear fitted jeans or blouses. It is the responsibility of parents, especially mothers, to explain to their children from an early age about the Islamic teachings and to explain to them the ills of society. Only then will our offspring remain resolute in their faith and protected from the toxic effects of the so called developed societies. 

Living in such countries, parents must strive to keep their children attached to the faith and for them to protect their chastity. To achieve this, they must also establish their own examples. 

Similarly, a young woman recently wrote to me saying that she had completed her education and was hopeful of securing a job at a bank. In regards to this, she asked that if the job did not allow her to wear a headscarf or observe the veil and did not even allow her to wear a coat, would she still be permitted to work there? She also said that she would wear the headscarf as soon as she left her workplace. She further added that she had heard that I once said that women who work could remove their coat and headscarf at their workplace. But alongside this she dutifully added that she would not work there if I forbade her from doing so. 

The reason why I am mentioning this is because she is not the only one, but similarly, there are many other girls who have asked this question. Firstly, when I said this it was because certain doctors are compelled by their work situation and it is not possible for them to work wearing the customary hijab or headscarf; for example, whilst in the operating theatre. Even then, their attire is such that they wear a cap on the head and a surgical mask over their face and their clothes are fairly loose. But aside from this, even doctors can work whilst observing the the veil. We had doctors in Rabwah, such as Dr Fahmida, who we always saw working whilst observing the veil. Also, Dr Nusrat Jahan was very strict in her observance of the veilShe spent some time studying here [in the UK] and in order to keep up-to-date with the latest research, she would travel to London every year, but she always observed the veilIn fact, her level of observing the veil exceeded its basic requirements. Neither did anyone criticise her here in respect to her work, nor did it affect her professional career and she also performed major operations. Therefore, if one has the correct intention then one can always find a way to adhere to teachings of the faith.

Similarly, I advised those girls who are capable enough to enter into the field of research that if a particular kind of attire is required to be worn for their laboratory work, then in that instance they can wear the required attire and not wear the hijab. But even in those environments they are usually wearing some kind of head covering. Nevertheless, as soon as they leave their work, then their level of observing the veil should be in accordance with the Islamic injunction.  

Working at a bank is not a profession in which one is serving humanity. Therefore, one cannot be granted permission to remove the headscarf for ordinary professions, especially in a profession where she would be wearing everyday clothes and makeup and no special kind of attire is required. 

Thus, one should always remember that in order to be modest, one must dress modestly as well. And the established way of observing the veil is a form of dressing modestly. If leniency were to be granted in the observance of the veil, then eventually they will find excuses and becomes relaxed in their dress codes of modesty, and they will become immersed in a society which is increasingly becoming steeped in indecency. The world already wishes to distance those people who practice religion, especially Muslims, from practicing their faith. In Switzerland a girl filed a law suit in which she stated that she felt uncomfortable swimming with boys and her school compelled her to participate in mixed swimmingm and so she sought permission to swim with girls only. The human rights organisations who claim to be the flag bearers of upholding the rights of the people stated that although she did possesses this right as an individual, however this was not an issue for which official ruling could be given in her favour. When it comes to the teachings of Islam and the modesty of women, even the human rights organisations present their excuses. Therefore, under these circumstances, Ahmadis should be more cautious than ever before. If in certain countries it is compulsory for young children to attend swimming classes, then girls should attend whilst wearing full swim suits, which nowadays is commonly known as a Burkini. They should wear this for swimming so that the importance of dressing modestly is instilled amongst children from a young age. Parents should also teach their children that boys and girls should have separate swimming classes and they should make an effort in this regard.

The anti-Islamic forces are making a very concerted effort to destroy religious values and customs from within the Muslims. They wish to eradicate religion in the name of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience, in such a manner, that that they are be blamed for forcefully eradicating religion, but instead are considered to be mere well-wishers.  

Like Satan they try to lure others with superficial temptations to attack religion. We should remember however, that in this era, the task of reviving Islam has been assigned to the Community of the Promised Messiah (as). In order to achieve this, will have to strive our utmost and endure hardships. We are not to fight, rather we are to deal with these people in a wise manner. With regards to our Islamic teachings, if we compromise in one matter, then gradually over time they will impose many more hinderances upon our teachings. 

We should focus on prayers so that Allah Almighty enables us to defend against these satanic ploys and grants us divine succour. If we are firmly established on the truth – which indeed we are – then we will certainly be triumphant one day and the teachings of Islam will most surely prevail over the world. On one occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) stated: 

‘A truthful person possesses courage and bravery, whereas a false person is cowardly. One whose life is filled with filth and impurities always remains fearful and such a person is unable to challenge others. It is impossible for one to express their truthfulness with bravery and courage or demonstrate their piety in the way a truthful person does. Just observe how, in worldly matters, there are always people who are jealous of those who are granted even the slightest success by Allah. (All those who are successful will always have those who will continue to remain jealous of them). The same applies in religious matters; Satan is the enemy of reformation. Thus, one should remain pure and have a sincere relationship with God. They should please God and not fear anyone or have any concern [of what they say]. Abstain from such matters which will incur Divine wrath. However, none of this can be attained without the help from the unseen and Divinely granted abilities. (Human effort alone cannot accomplish anything until the grace of God is not present).

[4] خُلِقَ الْاِنْسَانُ ضَعِیْفًا

Man is weak, riddled with flaws and is surrounded by problems. And so, we should pray to Allah Almighty that He enables us to be pious, grants us His support from the unseen and bestows us with the beneficence of His blessings and bounties.’[5]

We will win over the world with prayers and thus, we need to have a strong relationship with Allah Almighty. We should always bear in mind that other religions were never meant to remain forever. They appeared in a specific era and after fulfilling the teachings of reformation that were required in that particular time period, they came to an end; hence, we find many interpolations in their scriptures. However, of these religions, it is only Islam that remains safeguarded and the religion of Islam and the teachings of the Holy Qur’an are to remain till the end of times. Thus, without any sense of inferiority, we should remain firm on our teachings; we should also inform others that what they claim is contrary to the Will of Allah Almighty and will ultimately lead them to their ruin. The religion of Islam does not unnecessarily place restrictions upon people through its teachings, rather, there are also aspects of leniency when required. For example, as I have mentioned, sometimes [female] patients have to be seen by male doctors and thus in such an instance, they would not be required to strictly observe the veil. The primary objective here is so save one’s life or to alleviate their pain and suffering. It is for this very reason that when faced with extenuating and dire circumstances, one is even permitted to eat pork or carrion, however only for the sake of saving their lives. Similarly, alcohol is permitted to be used in medications. Nevertheless, the path satanic forces wish to take us down is to slowly but gradually remove the boundaries put in place by religion and to eradicate religion altogether. As Ahmadis, it is our duty to strive against this. This is only possible when we give precedence to the teachings of Islam over everything else and prostrate before Allah Almighty   so that we can attain success through His Divine help. 

In the [present] era of the Promised Messiah (as) there is no longer the jihad of the sword, rather we must undertake the jihad [struggle] of personal reformation. Here, I am addressing those Muslims who live in the developed countries and in particular Ahmadi Muslims living all over the world. They should strive to reach the highest standards in their loyalty, sacrifice and in their efforts to attain every kind of success for their country. When this is the case, then the satanic forces will be silenced for they will realise that these are Muslims who strive to lead their country to the true standards of success, rather than doing anything to harm it. We have to convince the governments that if we impose any restrictions upon ourselves based on our religion’s teachings, it is not for the governments or courts to interfere and decide on such matters. 

[Otherwise], doing so will lead to restlessness and division between the locals and migrant communities – even though the people who they refer to as immigrants are some who have been in these countries for two or three generations. Indeed, if anyone of them is causing harm to the country, showing disloyalty or spreading falsehood and hatred, then the government has every right to seize and punish them. However, they do not have the right to stop anyone from practising their religion by saying that practising their religion equates to not integrating into their society. 

We, as Ahmadis, need to always remember that we live in very perilous times; Satan is unleashing ferocious assaults from all directions. If Muslims, especially Ahmadi Muslim men, women and youth, fail to establish our religious values, then there is no guarantee of our survival. We would fall under the chastisement of Allah Almighty even more so than others because despite being taught the truth by the Promised Messiah (as), we failed to act upon it. Thus, if we wish to save ourselves from complete ruin, we need to lead our lives whilst adhering to every Islamic teaching with complete conviction. We should never consider our success or survival to be dependent on the progress of the developed countries. These developed countries have reached the heights of their advancement, but their morally degrading actions are leading them into decline and its signs are starting to manifest. They are inviting Allah Almighty’s displeasure and calling out for their devastation. And so, out of sympathy for mankind, it is we who have to show them the right way and strive to save them, rather than us assimilating in their ways and habits. 

Although it seems like an extremely difficult task considering their arrogance and aversion to religion, but if they fail to reform themselves, then the future the reigns of progress in the world will be held by those nations who establish moral and religious values. Thus, as I have said before, we – especially the youth – need to deeply reflect on the teachings of God Almighty. Instead of being influenced by the world and trying to emulate it, we need to make the world follow us. I initially began by speaking about the veil and general attire and in this regard I would like to add, with regret and sadness, that some people question as to whether the progress of Islam and Ahmadiyyat dependent on the veil alone. Or, some claim that this teaching is outdated and we need to abandon such things in order to compete with the world, God-forbid. It should be made clear to such people that if they continue to follow worldly people and emulate their ways of life, then they will simply succumb to the world rather than standing up to it. Gradually, prayers and other acts of virtue and religious practices will be performed merely in a superficial manner and then will become completely lost over time. Hence, no commandment of Allah Almighty should ever be considered insignificant for this would be a great cause for concern. 

The progress of Islam is rooted in the commandments of God Almighty and His Messenger (sa). The strict observance of the veil is not applicable to only women and nor are the restrictions in Islam for women alone; rather this commandment is for both men and women. It is men who are addressed first by Allah Almighty regarding the observance of modesty and the veil. God Almighty says:

قُلۡ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ یَغُضُّوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡصَارِھِمۡ وَ یَحۡفَظُوۡا فُرُوۡجَھُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ اَزۡکٰی لَھُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ خَبِیۡرٌۢ بِمَا یَصۡنَعُوۡنَ

Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do.’[6]

Allah Almighty first commands the believing men to lower their gaze. Why is this so? It is because ذٰلِکَ اَزۡکٰی لَہُمۡi.e., that is purer for them; if one is not pure then they cannot reach God. 

Thus, before women have been enjoined to observe the veil, men have been admonished to refrain from indulging in those things that will incite their passions. One cannot remain pure whilst they stare at women, mix with them freely, watch lewd movies and chat with non-relatives on Facebook or be it through any other means. The Promised Messiah(as) has very clearly admonished us in this regard on numerous occasions. The Promised Messiah (as) states:

‘It is the Word of God alone that, by its very clear and open statements, lays down specific and well-defined limits and parameters for all our words and deeds, action and inaction, and teaches us the norms of humanity and the way of purity; it alone emphatically stresses upon the safeguarding of one’s organs—like the eyes, ears, tongue, etc.—as He says:

قُلۡ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ یَغُضُّوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡصَارِھِمۡ وَ یَحۡفَظُوۡا فُرُوۡجَھُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ اَزۡکٰی لَھُمۡ

This means that the believers should guard their eyes and ears, and private parts from those who are not mahram [7] and should refrain from seeing, hearing, and doing all that is forbidden. Thus would they be able to foster inner purity. That is to say, their hearts will be safeguarded from diverse types of passions, for these are the organs which primarily incite the carnal passions and provoke beastly traits. Observe, therefore, how the Holy Qur’an stresses safeguarding oneself from those who are not mahram and how explicitly it urges believers to restrain their eyes, ears, and private parts to avoid any occasion that might lead to impurity.’[8]

Expounding on ghadd-e-basar,[9] the Promised Messiah (as) states: 

‘One ought to save themselves by keeping their eyes half open and turning away from that which is impressible and only looking at that which is permissible. This is known in Arabic as ghadd-e-basar.’ 

In other words, in Arabic, ghadd-e-basar means to keep one’s eyes half open and immediately turn away from looking at something which is impermissible. 

‘It does not behove a pious person who desires to keep his heart pure that he should lift his eyes freely in every direction like an animal. It is necessary that such a one should cultivate the habit of ghadd-e-basar in his social life. This is a blessed habit through which his natural impulses would be converted into a high moral quality without interfering with his social needs. This is the quality which is called chastity in Islam.’[10]

On another occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) states: 

‘Tell the believers to restrain their gaze so that they cannot clearly visualise the facial features of those outside the permissible bounds and nor have a completely unrestricted view of them and also [from] those sources which rouse lustful impulses.  They should be stringent in not allowing their eyes to openly stare, whether it is with a lustful desire or otherwise, because this will eventually cause one to stumble. In other words, one cannot attain a state of utmost purity if they allow their eyes to roam freely and ultimately will be subjected to a trial. The heart cannot become pure until the eyes are purified and neither can one attain the station of utmost purity, which a seeker of truth should tread upon. This verse also instructs to protect every passage of the body through which evil can enter. The word “passage” which is mentioned in this verse includes the private parts, ears, nose and face, etc. Observe the grandeur and nobility of this teaching that it does not unduly lay stress on any one aspect, rather it adopts a path of moderation with great wisdom. One who reads this verse will immediately realise that the injunction to refrain from the habit of openly staring is so that one can never be faced with a trial and thus neither men nor women will ever stumble.’[11]

Thus, this is the Islamic teaching in regards to men. It is the men who have been first instructed to observe these restrictions and then women have been told that despite these precautions, they must also observe the the veil. Moreover, when there is such widespread promiscuity in these countries [in the West] then how can we say that there is no need of observing the veil? Unrestricted freedom of sexes and illicit relationships is causing many of the perversions in society and we have to strive in safeguarding ourselves from this. It is also clear that if women are not permitted to swim with men, then men are also not allowed to swim with women. Therefore, the restrictions do not only apply to women but also to men.  Instructing men to lower their gaze in the presence of women in fact establishes the honour of women. Thus, every injunction of Islam is full of wisdom and deters even the possibility of an evil act from occurring. 

Last year, at Germany’s Annual Convention [Jalsa Salana], I addressed the ladies and spoke of the differences between men and women in respect to their duties and responsibilities and also highlighted women’s rights. Later, a German lady, who was in attendance and heard the whole speech, said: 

‘Previously, I was of the view that Islam usurps the rights of women, however after listening to your words, I have come to realise that Islam in fact goes into great detail in order to establish the rights of women along with their honour and dignity.’ 

Therefore, no Muslim girl, woman or man should fall prey to any kind of inferiority complex. It is only the teachings of Islam which can establish peace in the world and draw humankind closer to Allah Almighty. The world will soon realise that they will be left with no choice but to ponder over and adopt the teachings of Islam. 

After instructing the men to honour the women by lowering their gaze, Allah Almighty then gave detailed instructions to women and that they too must lower their gaze, along with how and from whom they must cover themselves. If they adhere to these instructions, then they shall prosper. In the end, Allah Almighty states that the veil and modesty are a sign of success and by doing so they will be able to improve their life in this world and in the hereafter. Thus, Allah Almighty states: 

وَقُلْ لِّلْمُؤْمِنٰتِ یَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ اَبْصَارِھِنَّ وَیَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوْجَھُنَّ وَلَا یُبْدِیْنَ زِیْنَتَھُنَّ اِلَّا مَا ظَھَرَ مِنْھَا وَلْیَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِھِنَّ عَلٰی جُیُوْبِھِنَّ۔ وَلَا یُبْدِیْنَ زِیْنَتَھُنَّ اِلَّا لِبُعُوْلَتِھِنَّ اَوْاٰبَآئِھِنَّ اَوْ اٰبَآءِ بُعُوْلَتِھِنَّ اَوْ اَبْنَآئِھِنَّ اَوْ اَبْنَآءِ بُعُوْلَتِھِنَّ اَوْ اِخْوَانِھِنَّ اَوْ بَنِیْ اِخْوَانِھِنَّ اَوْبَنِیْ اَخَوَاتِِھِنَّ اَوْ نِسَآئِھِنَّ اَوْمَا مَلَکَتْ اَیْمَانُھُنَّ اَوِالتّٰبِعِیْنَ غَیْرِ اُولِی الْاِرْبَۃِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ اَوِالطِّفْلِ الَّذِیْنَ لَمْ یَظْھَرُوْا عَلٰی عَوْرٰتِ النِّسَآءِ۔ وَلَایَضْرِبْنَ بِاَرْجُلِھِنَّ لِیُعْلَمَ مَا یُخْفِیْنَ مِنْ زِیْنَتِھِنَّ۔ وَتُوْبُوْا اِلَی اللّٰہِ جَمِیْعًا اَیُّہَ الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ لَعَلَّکُمْ تُفْلِحُوْنَ

And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to their husbands, or to their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or such of male attendants as have no sexual appetite, or young children who have no knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And they strike not their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers, that you may succeed.’[12]

It is through men and women lowering their gaze and observing the veil that the honour and chastity of women shall be safeguarded. The standards for safeguarding the honour and chastity of women have changed in the developed countries. [According to them] if those who are non-mahram engage in an extramarital relationship with the consent of their partner, then it is not considered adultery. However, it is considered adulterous behaviour if one engages in an extramarital relationship without the consent of their partner. When this is the condition of their moral depravity, then a believer needs to pray and strive with even greater rigour to come in the protection of Allah Almighty. The critics of the teachings of Islam claim that by telling women to cover themselves with a veil has usurped their rights, and young girls with impressionable minds are influenced by such comments. In Islam, the veil does not mean imprisonment, nor is it to confine a woman within the four walls of her dwelling, rather it is to establish her modesty. 

The Promised Messiah (as) states: 

‘In the current day, objections are raised against the veil. However, people do not realise that the Islamic veil is no prison. It is only a barrier which prevents the free mixing of men and women. The veil saves them from stumbling. A just-minded individual would appreciate that if non-mahram men and women were to mix without any hesitation and concern, and if they were to go about together, they would surely succumb to the flare of their inner-passions. It has often been heard and observed that certain people see no ill in a non-mahram man and woman remaining alone behind closed doors. Civilisation they call it. It is to counter these very adverse effects that the Founder of Islam has forbidden an individual altogether from approaching anything that may lead them to stumble. In this relation, the Holy Prophet (sa) has stated that where a non-mahram man and woman sit in seclusion, the third of them is Satan. Just reflect on the harrowing outcomes that Europe is having to bear as a result of this non-restrictive and unbridled teaching. In certain places, an utterly shameless life of promiscuity is led. This is due to teachings of the sort just mentioned. If you wish to protect a thing from misuse, it must be safeguarded. However, if one does not watch over a possession—and considers the world to be innocent—then keep in mind that it will surely be ruined. The Islamic veil is a truly holy teaching indeed, which through segregation, saves man and woman from stumbling. It has delivered mankind from a grievous and bitter life, on account of which Europe has seen domestic disputes and suicides every other day. The fact that noble women drift into lives of promiscuity is the practical outcome of the permission to gaze freely at non-mahram women.’[13]

The Promised Messiah (as) also elaborated on the manner in which the veil should be observed. He states: 

‘In the same way, (Allah the Almighty states) direct believing women that they should restrain their eyes from looking at men outside the prohibited degrees and should safeguard their ears against listening to the voices of such men. That is they should not listen to the voices which sexually excite them. They should cover up their beauty and should not disclose it to anyone outside the prohibited degrees. They should draw their head coverings across their bosoms and should thus cover up their heads and ears and temples. They should not strike their feet on the ground like dancers. These are directions following which one can safeguard against moral stumbling.’[14]

Here, I would also like to point out that some women raise the question that whilst wearing make-up if they were to cover their face [niqab], it will ruin their make-up, therefore how can they observe the Purdah [veil]? Firstly, one can observe the minimum standard of the veil explained by Promised Messiah (as) whereby they can leave their face and lips uncovered if they do not wear makeup, however the rest of the head should be covered.[15]

And if one wants to wear makeup then they will have to cover their face. Such women should consider that whether they want to conceal their by adhering to the teachings of Allah Almighty, or do they wish to reveal their beauty and makeup to the world? 

The people before whom one can reveal their beauty have been mentioned in detail [in the Holy Qur’an] which includes close relatives, sisters, brothers, husband, father, mother and their children. These are the people before whom one does not need to observe the the veil and can appear before them whilst wearing makeup as well and not for anyone else.  Allah Almighty has explained in the Holy Qur’an all those relations before whom one can reveal their beauty. Even then, the beauty referred to hear is that which naturally appears, such as the face, one’s height and physique, etc.  This does not mean that they should wear fitted jeans, blouses and revealing clothes in front of them at home. This veil should be observed even before those who are their mahram

Similarly, I would also like to say to the missionaries and their wives that they too should take great care in their clothing and restraining their looks because the rest of the Community looks at their examples. The wife of a missionary is also a missionary and therefore should be exemplary in every respect. May Allah Almighty enable our men and women to establish the highest standards of modesty and may we all adhere to the Islamic injunctions in every respect. 


[1] The Holy Qur’an 22:79

[2] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Iman, Baab Amoor-ul-Iman, Hadith #9

[3] Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 134-135, (1985 Edition UK)

[4] ‘for man has been created weak.’ [The Holy Qur’an 4:29]

[5] Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 252 (1985 Edition UK)

[6] The Holy Qur’an 24:31

[7] Mahram: a man or woman with whom marriage is not permissible. A non-mahram, therefore, refers to a man or woman who one can marry and between whom the shariah instructs segregation in light of the Islamic injunction of veiling.

[8] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Pt. 3, p. 112, [English Translation, 2018] 

[9] Lowering one’s gaze

[10] The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, pp. 48-49, [English Translation 2017] 

[11] Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 164-165 

[12] The Holy Qur’an 24:32

[13] Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 33-34 [English Edition] 

[14] The Philosophy of the Teeachings of Islam, pp. 44-45 [English Edition]

[15] The Review of Religions, Vol. 4, No. 1, pg. 17, January 1905