Dear Muslim women,
- Did you know that Hijab was not originally introduced for the purpose of modesty? Its primary intention was to distinguish between free women and slave women. In ancient Arab tradition, Hijab symbolized the rights and honor of high-status women, while it was forbidden for prostitutes and slave women to wear it. Muhammad later re-introduced this age-old practice.
- In the city of Medina, men would sit along the streets, and in the evenings, when women came out of their houses to relieve themselves, they would face harassment. In response to this issue, Muhammad, the writer of the Quran, claimed the revelation of Verse 33:59, which introduced the concept of Hijab. This verse instructed Free Muslim women to wear Hijab when they go out so that they could be recognized as free women, differentiating them from slave women and, thereby, protecting them from molestation by Muhammad's companions in Medina.
Quran 33:59: O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper, so that they may be recognized (as free Women) and not molested.
- Nevertheless, the slave women were not allowed to take the Hijab. In fact, even their breasts were also kept naked, as their ‘Awrah (i.e. nakedness) in Sharia is only from the navel to the knees.
- Thousands of slave women were compelled to move in public without the Hijab, and with naked breasts. They were present in that semi-naked state in front of Muhammad and in public. And if any slave woman took her Hijab by mistake, then Umar Ibn Khattab used to beat her with a stick and took her Hijab away. And he told her not to resemble the free Muslim women by taking the Hijab.
- The slave women were put to display in that same semi-naked state, in the Islamic Bazaars of Slavery, where Muslim customers were also allowed to touch their private body parts.
- Furthermore, the Quran neither punished nor rebuked the men who molested women.
Dear Muslim Women,
Let us take a moment to empathize with the millions of women who have endured humiliation due to the Hijab throughout history. We urge you to stand with us in protest against this symbol of discrimination and the demeaning treatment suffered by slave women for 14 centuries. If, for any personal reason, you choose to cover your body and hair, we respect your choice. However, let us refrain from labeling it as an "Islamic Hijab."
Thank you for your understanding and solidarity.