Thousands of misunderstandings take place in society due to the lack of interaction between men and women. Sometimes, these misunderstandings are even deadly. One such incident is IFK, where:
- A misunderstanding took place due to Islamic Hijab and Modesty,
- And then it also became deadly, where Sahaba (companions) divided into 2 groups,
- And then those two groups of Sahaba were about to fight and kill each other,
- And Muhammad was also about to divorce 'Aisha (despite her being fully innocent),
- And even some members of society became mentally ill and they slandered innocent 'Aisha without any reason. And later they were punished severely.
- And this whole drama lasted for a complete month, and it ended only due to the revelation (i.e. without the claim of revelation by Muhammad, the consequences of misunderstandings in this incident would have become even deadlier).
'Aisha told how the misunderstanding in the incident of Ifk started:
Sahih Bukhari 4141 (Dar-us-Salam Ref):
Narrated `Aisha: ... I was carried (on the back of a camel) in my howdah and carried down while still in it (when we came to a halt). So we went on till Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) had finished from that Ghazwa of his and returned. When we approached the city of Medina he announced at night that it was time for departure. So when they announced the news of departure, I got up and went away from the army camps, and after finishing from the call of nature, I came back to my riding animal. I touched my chest to find that my necklace which was made of Zifar beads (i.e. Yemenite beads partly black and partly white) was missing. So I returned to look for my necklace and my search for it detained me. (In the meanwhile) the people who used to carry me on my camel, came and took my howdah and put it on the back of my camel on which I used to ride, as they considered that I was in it...They made the camel rise and all of them left (along with it). I found my necklace after the army had gone.
Some of the unique cultural presumptions of Islam come to play in this incident:
- The Islamic idea of hijab necessitates the wholesale separation of women from the society of all men.
- Even conversation, and any kind of interaction between men and women, is considered a vulgarity, and is against 'Islamic Modesty'.
Therefore, on this journey too, 'Aisha was made to hide from the eyes of men behind the curtains of her howdah. And since men and women could not even 'greet' each other as it is also considered vulgar in Shariah, those men (who were lifting her howdah) were unable to find out if she was present in the howdah or not, by simply saying 'hello' to her.
Also, see further this lack of interaction in this incident of Ifk when Safwan found 'Asiha.
(The Hadith of Ifk incident continues)
Sahih Bukhari 4141 (Dar-us-Salam Ref)
Narrated 'Aisha: ... While I was sitting in my resting place, I was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. Safwan bin Al-Muattal As-Sulami Adh-Dhakwani was behind the army. When he reached my place in the morning, he saw the figure of a sleeping person and he recognized me on seeing me as he had seen me before the order of compulsory veiling (was prescribed). So I woke up when he recited Istirja' (i.e. "Inna li l-lahi wa inna llaihi raji'un") as soon as he recognized me, I veiled my face with my head cover at once, and by Allah, we did not speak a single word, and I did not hear him saying any word besides his Istirja'. He dismounted from his camel and made it kneel down, putting his leg on its front legs and then I got up and rode on it. Then he set out leading the camel that was carrying me till we overtook the army in the extreme heat of midday
- How could Islam be considered a 'religion of nature' when it has made it so difficult that even in emergencies, men and women don't even exchange a single word?
- What wrong could have happened if they had greeted each other, and Safwan had asked her about the problem, why she was alone there, and if she needed some other kind of help too in that situation?
Even today Muslim ladies and girls are unable to take help without any hesitation in each and every field from men (either they are male doctors or male teachers etc.). So much energy of society is wasted in these unnatural restrictions, and half of the Islamic society (i.e. women) becomes practically useless and unable to help with productivity.
PS: Muslims are divided on the issue if a woman's 'face' should be veiled or not. Those who support the veiling of the face too, present this tradition as proof, while 'Aisha veiled her full face from Safwan.
Dire Consequences of Misunderstanding that took place in Ifk due to Islamic Hijab and Modesty:
The misunderstanding in Ifk led to a point where Muhammad was about to divorce 'Aisha (despite her being fully innocent), and even some members of society became mentally ill and were punished severely, and this whole Drama lasted for a complete month, and it ended only due to the revelation (i.e. without the claim of revelation by Muhammad, the consequences of misunderstandings in this incident would have become even deadlier).
(The Hadith of Ifk conitnues)
Sahih Bukhari 4141 (Dar-us-Salam Ref):
(Because of the event) some people brought destruction upon themselves and the one who spread the Ifk (i.e. slander) more, was `Abdullah bin Ubai Ibn Salul." (Urwa said, "The people propagated the slander and talked about it in his (i.e. `Abdullah's) presence and he confirmed it and listened to it and asked about it to let it prevail." `Urwa also added, "None was mentioned as members of the slanderous group besides (`Abdullah) except Hassan bin Thabit and Mistah bin Uthatha and Hamna bint Jahsh along with others about whom I have no knowledge,...
`Aisha added, "After we returned to Medina, I became ill for a month. The people were propagating the forged statements of the slanderers while I was unaware of anything of all that, but I felt that in my present ailment, I was not receiving the same kindness from Allah's Messenger as I used to receive when I got sick. (But now) Allah's Messenger would only come, greet me and say,' How is that (lady)?' and leave. ...
('Aisha further said) When the Divine Inspiration was delayed, Allah's Messenger called `Ali bin Abi Talib and Usama bin Zaid to ask and consult them about divorcing me ...
(Muhammad also asked Barira, the maid-servant) and Barira said to him, 'By Him Who has sent you with the Truth. I have never seen anything in her (i.e. Aisha) which I would conceal, except that she is a young girl who sleeps leaving the dough of her family exposed so that the domestic goats come and eat it.' So, on that day, Allah's Messenger got up on the pulpit and complained about `Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul) before his companions, saying, 'O you Muslims! Who will relieve me from that man who has hurt me with his evil statement about my family? By Allah, I know nothing except good about my family and they have blamed a man (i.e. Safwan) about whom I know nothing except good and he used never to enter my home except with me.
' Sa`d bin Mu`adh the brother of Banu `Abd Al-Ashhal got up and said, 'O Allah's Messenger ! I will relieve you from him; if he is from the tribe of Al-Aus, then I will chop his head off, and if he is from our brothers, i.e. Al-Khazraj, then order us, and we will fulfill your order.' On that, a man from Al-Khazraj got up. Um Hassan, his cousin, was from his branch tribe, and he was Sa`d bin Ubada, chief of Al-Khazraj. Before this incident, he was a pious man, but his love for his tribe goaded him into saying to Sa`d (bin Mu`adh). 'By Allah, you have told a lie; you shall not and cannot kill him. If he belonged to your people, you would not wish him to be killed.' On that, Usaid bin Hudair who was the cousin of Sa`d (bin Mu`adh) got up and said to Sa`d bin 'Ubada, 'By Allah! You are a liar! We will surely kill him, and you are a hypocrite arguing on the behalf of hypocrites.' On this, the two tribes of Al-Aus and Al Khazraj got so much excited that they were about to fight while Allah's Messenger was standing on the pulpit. Allah's Messenger kept on quietening them till they became silent and so did he.
... ('Aisha further told that she went to her parents house and stayed there. And after one month) Allah's Messenger came, greeted us and sat down. He had never sat with me since that day of the slander. A month had elapsed and no Divine Inspiration came to him about my case. Allah's Apostle then recited Tashah-hud and then said, 'Amma Badu, O `Aisha! I have been informed so-and so about you; if you are innocent, then soon Allah will reveal your innocence, and if you have committed a sin, then repent to Allah and ask Him for forgiveness for when a slave confesses his sins and asks Allah for forgiveness, Allah accepts his repentance.' ...
('Aisha further said) Then I said to my mother, 'Reply to Allah's Messenger on my behalf concerning what he has said.' She said, 'By Allah, I do not know what to say to Allah's Messenger .' In spite of the fact that I was a young girl and had a little knowledge of Qur'an, I said, 'By Allah, no doubt I know that you heard this (slanderous) speech so that it has been planted in your hearts (i.e. minds) and you have taken it as a truth. Now if I tell you that I am innocent, you will not believe me, and if confess to you about it, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you will surely believe me. By Allah, I find no similitude for me and you except that of Joseph's father when he said, '(For me) patience in the most fitting against that which you assert; it is Allah (Alone) Whose Help can be sought.' Then I turned to the other side and lay on my bed; ...
('Aisha further said after that immediately revelation started coming to Muhammad and he said to her) 'O `Aisha! Allah has declared your innocence!' Then my Mother said to me, 'Get up and go to him (i.e. Allah's Messenger). I replied, 'By Allah, I will not go to him, and I praise none but Allah.
The results here were quite dire:
- 'Aisha was weeping the whole night long for one complete month and she was in pain. And even she was innocent, but still even Muhammad planted this slander in his heart and he showed no kindness towards her.
- It split the Muslims into two camps, ready to kill one another
- Such 'restrictions' in the name of 'Islamic Modesty' are against the 'NATURE'.
- And these unnatural restrictions make society so much paranoid and sceptical that it becomes a 'psycho' case.
- Muslims are unable to tell why these 2 companions (i.e. Hassan bin Thabit and Mistah) made slander against 'Aisha. But the reason seems to be simple that these unnatural restrictions are making members of Islamic society paranoid and turning them into psycho cases, where they believe in such things which actually are not there. (Note: Muslims still use "Radhi Allahu 'Anhu" for these 2 companions and consider them to be of high status).
- Even today, thousands of killings take place in Islamic societies, in the name of 'Honour Killing', which is based merely upon doubts and paranoia.
The sole reason for this one-month-long drama was only this restriction upon the interaction of men and women in name of 'Islamic Modesty'. And this same thing is 'hunting' Islamic society even today.