Freedom of Religions Purdah and Veiling


2 EDITORIAL NUDITY Different cultures and religions have their own ways and habits. What appears right or harmless to one is considered wrong or harmful to another. Let us take the subject of nudity. Some persons see no harm in displaying their private parts in the presence of other people; others feel that there is no harm to do so on certain occasions or under certain circumstances, while others are against it altogether. As far as Muslims are concerned it is forbidden because it is immodest and contrary to the principles of Islam, The 9uran says: “Say to the believing men that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. And say to the believing women that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts. (24:31,32) The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has said on the topic of modesty: “Verily modesty and faith are related to each other; when one of them is taken away, the other also is taken away.” It is the normal and general practice in the West, and elsewhere also, for students, sportsmen even people in general to strip in front of one another when taking a bath or a shower and quite often, a communal bath. This is not the practice of Muslims who, when in the presence of others, wear shorts when changing or bathing. Recently a case arose of an Ahmadi Muslim boy who was expelled from an English school for refusing to comply with the instructions of the head master to remove his shorts when sharing a communal bath with other boys. What needs to be stressed is that every regard should be given to the religious beliefs and sentiments of a person irrespective of his faith. They should be respected. On the matter of nudity the Holy Prophet of Islam has unequivocally forbidden the exposure of one’s private parts. He forbade males to show and look upon one another’s genitals and also forbade women to look upon one another’s private parts. (Kitab-ul- Hamam) NUDITY 3 During the course of his speech at the Annual Conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1925, The Supreme Head of the Movement Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad said that children should not be allowed to remain naked. For further details about the case of the expelled school boy; turn to Press Desk on page 38 SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS What greater blindness than to think so much of men and take no notice of God? To be so solicitous about the laws of the world and so negligent about the laws of God? To work so energetically for the body, which is but dust, and so little for the soul which is an image of the divine Majesty? To store up so many riches for this life, which may end tomorrow, and lay aside nothing for the next life, which will endure for ever? Knowing for certain that we must die and that the moment of death will determine our state for all eternity, what greater blindness than to live as carelessly as if we were to remain on earth forever? What greater blindness than to forego the heritage of heaven for the satisfaction of a passion; to have such regard for possessions and so littl for conscience; to want all one’s things to be good but not to worry whether one’s life is good; Men have eyes sharper than lynxes for the things of this world but are blinder than moles in regard to the things of heaven. (Louis of Granada) PRAYER IS THE KEY Prayer is the key of perfectness and of supreme well-being. It is the effectual means of delivering us from all vices and of acquiring all virtues; for the great means of becoming perfect is to walk in the presence of God.” (Madame Guyon)