THE hijab adorned by Muslim women has been described as a mark of decency and a barrier against harmful practices.
The Director of Studies, Muslim Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (MUTAN), Alhaji Abdul Wahab Babatunde Lawal, made the declaration while delivering the 1438 Hijrah lecture of the association titled “Our Hijab, Our Pride,” in Lagos recently.
According to Lawal, the hijab is a social revolution in Islam symbolising barrier against indecency.
Listing reasons for the use of hijab by Muslim women, he said the veil is required to preserve the sanctity of family life, protect public morality and prevent sexual permissiveness in the society as well as prevent women from being turned to mere object of advertisement and merchandise.
He also declared that the use of hijab protect women from harassment just as it is a mark of Islamic social awareness as more Muslims in the workplace and higher institutions are adopting it as a mark of open identification with Islam.
He countered the argument that hijab is a measure of subjugation, saying it is not a barrier to sound academic and intellectual performance, citing, among other things, a “hijab-wearing sister” who emerged as the best overall student at the recent convocation of the University of Ilorin.
He, therefore, challenged employers, government and other groups in the society to allow Muslim women enjoy their fundamental human right by allowing them to use their hijab.
The MUTAN chairman, Alhaji Raheem Jimoh, said the choice of the topic was a response to permissiveness in the society represented by immoral dressing.
“It is evident that Shaytan is having a stronger grip on man more than ever before. Human beings now relish nakedness. Many Muslims have been caught in the web. Our married women want to look sexy. We have jettisoned our modest way of dressing, our sense of humility and almost all other cultures of Islam,” he added.
He, therefore, sought the cooperation of relevant authorities in maintaining social modesty.
The Amir of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, in a keynote address, commended MUTAN for its collaboration with the MSSN and other organisations to ensure that Muslim students are not denied the freedom to practise Islam.
He, however, lamented the persecution of Muslim students whose only offence was their quest to practise their religion.
The MSSN had pursued the case for the use of hijab by Muslim female students in public schools and the Court of Appeal had in July affirmed the rights to put on the hijab in public schools.
The Lagos State government is challenging the judgment at the Supreme Court.