On Mindless Violence
What happened in Iran recently is one of the many reasons, which gives rise to Islamophobia. It is very unfortunate that 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the hospital after being arrested by the Iranian morality police.
If the allegation of Amini being beaten by police, for not complying with the Islamic dress code, which the country is strictly implementing, is true, then such violence is un-Islamic. Islam condemns extreme and violent actions.
There are many instances from the life of our Prophet (peace be upon him) which speaks about his forbearance, and shunning of violence even towards his enemies. During the time of our prophet and the rule of righteous caliphs, Islam was not enforced on people. People of different faiths lived together with Muslims, with the protection of life and property provided to them through the ruling Islamic government.
While Islam encourages people to stand against oppression and tyranny, it also enjoins rule of the law. Any infringement from the public should be addressed to the judge, who, in turn, exercises caution and discretion in his judgement, without allowing personal prejudice or animosity to come in the way of his decision.
In a nut-shell, power, in Islam, is a trust; and those who possess power are accountable for their actions and decisions.
Having said what was said in the above paragraph about tyranny, let’s draw our attention towards the protest against hijab or the Islamic dress code, which are being held to counter the strict enforcement.
To begin with, we need to understand the purpose of Islamic injunctions when they are being divinely commanded. Undoubtedly, God being the creator, He knows the temptation to which human nature is subject. His Will and plan make both for spiritual protection and peaceful living in the world, and therefore we must place ourselves trustingly in His hands.
There are many Muslim women who consider hijab to be a symbol of conservatism and backwardness, probably because they have been brainwashed to think that way. However, Islam has a clear goal to achieve with every discrete injunction being revealed by the first half of the seventh century A.D.
For instance, when Muslims are commanded to practice the social etiquette, of asking permission respectfully before entering someone’s house, through salutation – it is to ensure privacy, and at the same time, to discourage exclusiveness and isolation from the social life. And, in yet another circumstance, over friendly attitude taking undue advantage of familiarity. Islam respects privacy as an essential element for a refined life of goodness and purity.
The Qur’an has highly emphasized on the need of modesty. Modesty is the same of both men and women, but however, on account of differentiation of the sexes in nature, temperaments, and social life, a greater amount of privacy is required for women than for the men, especially so, in the matter of dressing up in public.
It could be that women with their indiscreet and innocent nature, think of no evil, but on the other side, an on-looker male could have evil intention towards her. Therefore, in order to avoid any such offences against women, Islam commands women to adhere to the Islamic dress code, so that she is recognised and respected as a believer and a faithful follower of Islam, rather than as an object of desire and gratification.