Strange things happen when religious tension prevail in societies over religious symbols. On a brighter note they’re opportunities to learn, refresh one’s knowledge as to validity, acceptability of such symbol’s vis a vis theology, custom, tradition etc. How these opportunities for learning for the discerning come and why they come is a mystery to some. For Muslims they are God sent, a moment to acquire new knowledge.
A recent video of some sightseeing tourists from the borah community visiting Kalutara Sri Lanka were subject to a rude shock. This particular video had gone viral since. A person seemingly with extremist tendencies is seen admonishing the tourists to remove their head covering. Both males and females were ordered to remove as they had apparently set foot on sacred territory. This guy further warned them saying “this is not a Muslim country”
Its important Muslims commit themselves to learning. Knowledge could always be a decisive savior. This way they’ll be in a better way negotiating untested waters. It’s also equally important in this time and age for them to be well informed when travelling places especially to non-Muslim countries. Better be well informed prior to making travel arrangements.
They should not take for granted vacuous ballyhoo vis a vis resounding pronouncements of religious freedoms and accompanying proclamations of tolerance, diversity etc. These are like on/off switches at the mercy of governments in power. And the new and trending phenomenon is the mercy and theatrics of the mob. This writer summons with nostalgia – this is not the dear Sri Lanka he left.
Donald Trump the US President making headlines atleast twice every day and representing the very bastion of democracy carried out the most unconstitutional and undemocratic exercise by imposing a travel ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries. What else does one need to prove about the abject ephemerality of manmade instruments? If you believe in the people you will be left to them. The action primarily discriminates against people based on their religion. A federal appeals court held that it was “unconstitutionally tainted with animus towards Islam”.
Islam is essentially a knowledge-based religion. To carry out an act of worship you’ve got to have clear evidence from its authentic sources. This article attempts primarily as an educational tool for Muslims. Arguably, most Muslims do not have access to knowledge on these issues in the English language. Accordingly, this compilation should serve as a basic foundation for Muslim readers in sha Allah.
The Muslim cap for males is a natural extension of the Muslim garb. Its an integral part of beautifying oneself. Its mandatory for the female Muslim and highly recommended for the male Muslim. Commonly known as thoppi is a short, rounded skullcap not necessarily worn for religious purposes but to be a part of the daily dress code of a Muslim. It mustahabb (i.e., commendable or highly recommended to cover the head in order to emulate the Prophet of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention) and his companions. In Arab countries, when worn under the keffiyeh headscarf, they are kept in traditional white. Some Muslims wrap a turban around the cap, called an ʿimamah in Arabic. In the United States and Britain these are usually referred to as “kufis“. These are worn quite extensively. Even non-muslims sport these items as items of fashion.
A major scholar in Islam from the contemporary times Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It was narrated that the companion of the Prophet Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said to his freed slave Naafi ( may Allah be pleased with him ): “Do you go and meet people bareheaded”? He said: No. He said: “Allah has more right that you should be modest before Him. This indicates that it is better to cover the head, but if we apply the words of Allah – (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying [al-Araaf 7:31] to this issue, we will see that covering the head is better among people who regard covering the head as a kind of adornment. But if we are among people who do not regard that as a kind of adornment, we do not say that covering is better or that leaving it bare is better. It is proven that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) used to pray in a turban, and the turban is a head covering. End quote.
Another noble scholar of Islam Shaykh Al-Albānī (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“I think, performing Salāt (the five-daily prayer of the Muslim) while the head is uncovered is a detested act for a Muslim. He should be in his most beautiful Islamic appearance when doing Salāt. The Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention) said: “Allah is more worthy that one beautifies oneself, for the first part of the hadith is “When one of you intends to do his Salāt, he should wear his best clothes, for Allah “.
The early Muslims used to consider it a detested act to uncover one’s head, walk in the street and get into the mosque in such a state. This bad habit actually got into Islamic countries through colonization. Muslims regretfully adopted it blindly and hence loosing most of their Islamic characteristics.
Another one of the great scholars Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: an imam leads the people in prayer and he is not wearing anything on his head. What is the ruling on that? He replied: There is nothing wrong with that, because the head is not part of the awrah (essential parts of the body to be covered) rather what is required is to pray in a lower and upper garment, because the Prophet ( may Allah exalt his mention) said: No one of you should pray in a single garment with no part of it over his shoulders. But if he wears his adornment and dresses fully, that is preferable, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying [al-Quran 7:31] But if he is in a country where it is not customary to cover the head, then there is nothing wrong with leaving it bare. End quote. Majmoo Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baz, 10/405, 406.
Where rule of law and justice fails everything fails, importance of this issue cannot be over-emphasized. This is not a political ideal but a simple test on the will of the legislators. Just requires sincere attempts to summon the will and work for all Sri Lankans, for their wellbeing and prosperity.
Copious amounts of pages in a nation’s constitution should necessarily find its way to the lavatory if there is no will on the part of the legislators to implement what’s written in those pages.