Islamic scholars warn against ban on Hijab, say wearing it an act of faith

FILE PHOTO: A Procession during World Hijab day in Lagos

As Muslims in Nigeria join other countries to mark World Hijab Day on Monday, stakeholders at a forum in Ibadan have tasked Muslim women to see wearing of hijab as an act of faith and obedience to their Creator.

This was the submission at a one-day public lecture organised by Bodija Muslim Youth Forum at the Islamic Centre in Ibadan on the topic: “Hijab: Why the Controversy”.

Contributing to the topic, Prof. Kamil Oloso, Head of Department, Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, said hijab wearing was an injunction from Allah as contained in the Holy books of both Muslims and Christians.

Mr. Oloso, who doubles as the Chairman, Board of Religious Affairs (BORA) of Bodija Estates and Environs Muslim Community (BEEMC), said it was surprising for anybody or institution to be antagonising or legislating against divine commandment.

The islamic scholar said it was ignorance on the part of those criticising the wearing of hijab as it does not in any way diminish the status of those wearing it.

Having listed major advantages of wearing the hijab, Mr. Oloso encouraged Muslim girls and women wearing it not to despair or be intimidated as they are protected under both the divine law and Nigerian constitution.

“Hijab is an injunction from Allah. It does not diminish your intellect, instead, it enhances your beauty and dignify you as a Muslim woman,’’ Mr. Oloso said.

Earlier, an Ibadan-based islamic scholar, Abdulhakeem Ishola, who was the guest lecturer at the occasion, traced the origin and types of hijab, saying it is a dress code prescribed for female Muslims who have reached puberty.

Mr. Ishola, who quoted various portions of the Qur’an and Hadith to justify his position, said hijab was a commandment from Allah and that wearing it was an act of obedience to His commands.

He said wearing of hijab, like any other commandments of Allah, brings the wearer closer to her Creator and give her a sense of satisfaction and contentment.

While frowning against the call for ban on hijab for security reasons in Nigeria, Mr. Ishola said hijab “promotes modesty, decency and seeks to minimise immorality within the society”.

He, therefore, said banning hijab under any guise in Nigeria would be tantamount to denying Muslim women of their God-given fundamental human rights as “it is part of our religion and symbol’’.

According to him, Muslim women followed the example of righteous women in the past such as Mary, the mother of Jesus, as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 11:3-6 and 1 Timothy 2: 9-10.

He appealed to Muslim women not to shy away from Allah’s commandment as hijab enables them to have confidence in themselves and increases their self- esteem.

Mr. Ishola added that hijab is an “act of liberation, purity and most importantly, belief. Respect for women is an important aspect of Islamic teachings, and this is illustrated through the use of hijab”.

Earlier, the chairman of the Forum, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said the lecture was to sensitise members of the public on the importance of hijab globally and correct the erroneous perception of those wearing it.

Mr. Balogun, therefore, urged Muslim women to continue to wear their hijab without fear and abide by the rules guiding it.

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