Discuss How F. Mernissi Interprets The Reasons For The "Descending Of The Veil" In Medina During The Prophet's Life.

858 words - 3 pages

The selected readings in "The Veil and the Male Elite" shed a different perspective on reasons of the descending of the veil. Mernissi's accurate knowledge in the field as well as continuous use of substantial support for her reasoning as to why the veil was descended appeals to me more than anything I have read before. The veil or hijab is basically a head wrapping that covers the women's face as well as hair only showing the eyes. While others may try to rationalize the wisdom behind the veil Mernissi's likes to describe it as a "draconian sentence" on many women. The veil was descended to protect people's privacy in a very open society as well as to protect the women from the men.I believe that it is of relevant importance to talk about how the veil first came into place in Islamic society before it is appropriate to analyze the reason for its decent. The story begins with the prophet wedding Zaynab Bint Jahsh and was charged with inviting a large number of people to the wedding in Medina. Many groups of people attended the wedding, ate their meals and departed however a group of people lingered behind involved in their conversations. The prophet was anxious to wed his new wife and with the present of the ill-mannered guests he was getting upset. Muhammad was too polite and mannered to ask the gentlemen to leave so he went to visit one of his other wives to tell her his troubles. Eventually the guests left and as he was about to enter Zaynab's room a "sitr" and the verse of "hejab" descended at that time. This was the first time the concept of a barrier to separate originally two men was adapted in to the idea of "hejab"Mernissi points out that the "hejab" used in year 5 of "hijra" had a different symbolic and materialistic meaning than it does now in the 20th centaury. When the city of Medina was under siege the village was forced to harbor over 3,000 soldiers to protect it. The direct result of this was the fact that it was impossible for women to walk around the city without being harassed. This was unfortunately true even for the wives of Prophet Muhammad. The "aya" of Hejab included "a-not causing annoyance to the prophet, b- nor marrying his wives after his death" based on rumors that had been circulating about men who wanted the marry his wives after his death. There was also another instance where a man by the name of "Uyayna" actually had the audacity to...

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