To wear or not to wear a niqab

Published: April 20, 2012

It is no surprise that both our top blogs this week have talked about the face veil. In the first one, our blogger wrote about a social experiment she conducted by wearing a niqab for a day. The other blog talked about the controversy surrounding a picture of a veiled woman holding up a bra.

Here are some of the reactions to these pieces:

“’Female figure is a source of evil and therefore should be kept strictly hidden. All girl children be taught to be ashamed of their own bodies. Any reference to female anatomy meets with a response of disgust, or lust or even violence.’ These were the golden rules I grew up learning in an average lower middle class Pakistani family. I struggled for a long time before finally growing out of it.”

“It’s not so much the niqab but what it gets connected with that causes them to behave this way.”

“This hijab is violation of human rights, it is against the dignity of a woman……… it is not a matter of choice…………..it is just to show off that you are more pious and righteous.”

“You don’t really know who is behind that mask, second for communication reason you don’t know what his facial expressions are, its like holding a conversation with a pole.”

“I don’t think feeling awkward around someone in a niqab has anything to do with being judgemental, per se. How would most people feel like when sitting in a restaurant next to someone dressed in traditional Sami, Inuit, Zulu or Maori fashion? Exactly, a bit awkward.

It was interesting to see the polarity of views, and as the debate raged on in the comments section,  I decided to ask The Express Tribune staff a few questions and recorded their answers.

This video discusses people’s opinion on the veil and how they feel around women who have adopted it.

Read more by Atika here or follow her on Twitter @AtikaRehman

Atika.rehman

Atika Rehman

Editor of the Life & Style pages of The Express Tribune and an LLB graduate from the University of London.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Muhammad Jamshed

    No girl should be made to feel ahamed of her body or her gender. This mentality of making girls feel ashamed of who they are, of being ahsamed of being female must end.
    The female body is not a source of sin or shame, girls shouldn’t be brainwashed from childhood into believing that their bodies are sinful and therefore must be hidden behind veils and burkas.
    The girls who are brainwashed from birth this way grow up hating the female gender,of thinking that man is superior to women and these girls vociferously defend all types of misogynistic practices,attitudes and rituals. Break the cycle, stop making girls feel ashamed of their gender and their bodies.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Some of the guys in that video need to take hijab. Recommend

  • Nazia Khan

    Niqab prevents effective communication. The majority of human communication is non-verbal communication.
    Standing up against misogyny is not hypocrisy.
    There is no moral equivalence between wearing defending someone’s right to wear jeans and someone wearing burka or niqab, the one wearing jeans isn’t doing it because she’s been repeatedly told that her body is sinful whereas the burka lady has been told by family , society and maulvis that a woman’s body is sinful and that she can only be ‘shareef’ when she hides her sin behind layers and layers of black cloth. Trying to equate the two is like saying that the taliban are justified in blowing up people in markets because their fellow taliban are killed by drones.Recommend

  • Ellie

    Can’t understand what ” scares ” a person towards another person wearing a niqab. Maybe, it is matter of misunderstood perceptions. Surely, the issue is not with the individual who chooses to veil themselves as much as the one who feels phobic towards it. We need to be sensible here and try and correct misconceptions instead of aiding to cause a further divide. And honestly, its not at all about of being ashamed of ones body as much as it is to protect it from some who may have strange ideas. . Recommend

  • Zohair Salim

    One of the men who is trying to preach to liberals by resorting to name calling needs to understand the difference in standing up for something liberating and being made to do something after a lifetime of preaching as to the evilness of the female body.

    Being taught to feel embarassed of one’s body and one’s sex in order to influence the girl to don a burka,hijab,abaya or niqab is not the same wearing sleeveless because a girl doesn’t feel that her body is something she needs to be eternally ashamed off. Recommend

  • Faisal

    The guy in the white shirt was spot on, his comments in the end were awsome !! may I know his name plz ?? Recommend

  • Arsalan Bajwa

    Religious apologists resorting to name calling and labeling liberals in order to pressurize them to stop opposing misogyny and patriarchy are fooling no one.

    No amount of profound seeming dialogues will ever justify making women ashamed of being females.

    Just because a religious apologist can speak English in a foreign accent doesn’t make his/her misogyny and bigotry any more acceptable. Recommend

  • Sidrah Farooq

    The man rationalising Niqabs has completely ignored and disregarded the lifelong drumming into the minds of girls in our society that a girl can only be ‘naik’ and ‘shareef’ is she hides behind hijabs,abaya or niqab.

    His antipathy towards liberals has clouded his judgement and he is doing a disservice to pakistani women. He fails to mention anything about the hundreds of times pakistani girls are told that those girls not wearing hijabs or abayas are loose charactered women.
    Apologists for the rightwing have a right to express their opinion but when it comes from a platform such as this it is harmful and helps to further perpetuate misogyny in an already highly misogynistic society.Recommend

  • Ellie

    @ Nazia Khan : Interestingly you say ” There is no moral equivalence between wearing defending someone’s right to wear jeans and someone wearing burka or niqab, the one wearing jeans isn’t doing it because she’s been repeatedly told that her body is sinful whereas the burka lady has been told by family , society and maulvis that a woman’s body is sinful and that she can only be ‘shareef’ when she hides her sin behind layers and layers of black cloth.” However, Ihave to disagree with your observations!

    Strange, but can you produce a single sermon by any ” maulvi” who states that women should wear the niqab beacuse her ” body is sinful ” ?…Also,realistically I don’t believe that women in general are outside the influence of society as what they choose to wear. Thereby, we are all contraint to a certain extent.What one choses to wear is a matter of their identity and we as mature individuals should respect that choice, instead of trying to intrude or impose our stance onto others.. Recommend

  • Jamal

    Well I dont know abt the Niqab but the tribune staff does seem to be…. attractive.Recommend

  • One

    Well personally I never had any issue. I never think that women who don’t wear niqab are bad but unintentionally I always gave more respect to those women who wear niqab.Recommend

  • Troll, A

    lol, what a sample size. Recommend

  • Saba Sarwar

    Unfortunately it is very sad that certain people who are unaware of the teachings of Islam always come at the front to defend or to express the views of Muslim women.
    If you don’t like to see a Muslim Women in hijab and still want to be identify as a Muslim then please keep in mind ISLAM is the religion of ALLAAH not you who has made it’s laws. Its divine laws are made by the one who is most wise and most aware of HIS slaves.

    Women away from Islam feel comfortable by the display of your beauty but feel ashamed to display your faith. Those who always feel pain by the word of hijab or even by the word of Islam, has made themselves the standard of their lives. They want to please themselves irrespective of the teachings of our Lord. Every divine law that comes against to their personal Satisfaction is regarded as the violation of Human Law.

    If you want to know the taste of food then go to a hungry man who has been deprived of food. Similarly only Muslim woman can better tell you the importance of hijab in her life.

    Tawakul Karman is one of three winners of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

    When asked about her hijab by journalists and how it is not proportionate with her level of intellect and education, she replied: “Man in the early times was almost naked, and as his intellect evolved he started wearing clothes. What I am today and what I’m wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilization that man has achieved, and is not regressive. It’s the removal of clothes again that is regressive back to ancient times.” –

    Yasmin Mogahed, who holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications, is an internationally published journalist says about hijaab:

    With my veil I put my faith on display – rather than my beauty. My value as a human is defined by my relationship with God, not by my looks. I cover the irrelevant. And when you look at me, you don’t see a body. You view me only for what I am: a servant of my Creator.Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    It is interesting to see that many people call the “maulvi” an extremist where as most of the comments ive read here on ET from far rightist liberals are more extremist as they want to impose their way of freedom. Its like, “Either you accept my way of ‘freedom’ or else you’ll be doomed”.. LOL.. HAHAHAHHAHAHAARecommend

  • Muslim

    @Saba Sarwar

    What you said is absolutely right. However you mentioned Hijab in your comment. Every muslim woman should dress modestly, be it wearing a Hijab gown or a shalwar Kameez dupatta…there is no argument about that.

    However should a woman really wear a Niqab and cover her face? is it a requirement of Islam to cover a woman’s face? I will strongly disagree. There is not even a single verse in the glorious Quran or a single authentic Hadith from Bukari or Muslim which says a woman must cover her face. Dress modestly yes but cover your face no!

    So wearing a niqab is just going over the board and not a requirement of Shariah and is infact an addition. could we call it Bidah? I would like to research whether the umm ul momineen and other sahibat covered their faces or not…Recommend

  • Faria Syed

    @Faisal The guy in the white shirt is Zarrar Khuhro, He is our magazine editor, Recommend

  • http://www.danishmughal.com Danish

    Waiting for the next Tribune blog:

    “To wear or NOT to wear Clothes this Summer?” =P Hat-TipRecommend

  • Nandita.

    I just remembered an incident after seeing the video. One of my colleagues at work ( a muslim ) was a very good friend of mine; she used to come to work wearing salwar kameez while the rest of us were always dressed informally. Her parents went to hajj and after they returned she suddenly started wearing a head scarf.Obviously all of us were surprised but we didn’t want to interfere in any religious matters so after the initial questions, we didn’t raise the topic. Then one morning while having breakfast together she suddenly said, ” All human beings are muslim ” My initial reaction was to laugh at this absurd statement. She went on to say,” When a child is born;he/she is born a muslim. So you were born a muslim and your parents converted you to hinduism.” Initially i thought she was joking but when I realized she was serious, I just couldn’t understand how she had suddenly changed overnight. I had known her for three years by then and we were like sisters. Anyways, she said this to almost everyone in our department and people would just laugh off her statements. She would preach to me about not worshiping idols, I couldn’t bear the religious talks.And i realized that this was the death of a beautiful friendship i’d had.I can never be friends with anyone who is intolerant of other religions. All religions are to be respected equally.

    We moved to different cities soon after and we’re not in touch anymore; i miss her. I still can’t figure out why she changed overnight. Wearing the head scarf was fine. But I can’t understand the statements she made about hinduism. I miss her, not the girl who would rant on about religion but the girl i had met on my first day of work. The helpful, cheerful girl who had become my best friend.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    @Nandita

    That is very threatening behavior. If it was me, I would have complained to the HR. No matter how good a friend, proselytizing is wrong.
    .
    @Author

    At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, I will come out and take a stand against the Hijab, Niqab, Abaya. What I do agree on though is that the government has no right to unilaterally pass laws forbidding these practices. These are cultural symbols, and the society has to be taken on board. The initiative can be taken by the government when the time seems right to start a social dialogue towards removing these symbols while preserving culture. But these things will eventually have to go.Recommend

  • Ansari

    In this blog and many others, I have to point out the intolerance shown by Liberal Fanatics. As per my experience, these liberal extremists have have imprisoned themselves in their Western ideas and they give no space, no cushion to understand and tolerate the other point of views. They want to impose their “freedoms” on all Pakistan and if somebody disagrees, they label him with Mullah/Molvi and in some cases Taliban.

    PS: ET, please publish this. Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Nandita

    I understand your emotions. you seem to be a nice person, but it seems you were not able to understand your muslim friend. you took her talk about religion personally- my religion versus your religion. Religion is not about mine or yours…its about the way God has commanded all humans to live. There is only one God and only one religion from God. If you think rationally, the only true religion from God can be the one that says you have to worship God alone without any others in between you and God.
    Many people have a misconception that Islam was founded by Prophet Mohammad (saw) 1450 years ago. Thats not True. Islam which means ‘peace acquired by submiting your will to God’ is a religion sent by God right from the beginning of creation from Adam and Eve. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Jesus were all messengers of God who preached the same message to worship only the One true God. People changed their teachings with time. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the last messenger of God and preached the same religion which prophets before him preached ie to worship only the One True God. Muslims nowadays have also started changing/not following the true teachings of Islam, hence nice people like you think muslims and islam are bad. Remember that muslims of today may be bad because they do not follow Islam in its true spirit but Islam is pure and the truth from God.

    I will not comment about other religions, but if you read the concepts of all religions, you will probably notice that Islam is the only religion which preaches worshipping the only true God without associating any partners/objects/humans to God.

    Once again its not about intolerance towards other religions or other people, its not even about your or my religion, its about following God’s sent religion. First you have to be convinced that there is ONE God who is the master of all the Universes…then you have to search which religion is the one sent by the All Mighty.

    Thanks and best wishes.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Saba Sarwar

    If covering our body is god’s diktat then why he sends us naked.As bountiful as he is, could have send us all dressed up from head to toe, but he didn’t. Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    Hmm, I feel bad for all the Muslim women. Look at the dress code imposed on them by the clergy and the climate of their countries. Does that tell anybody something?Recommend

  • zaid baig

    i have read this article n what i want 2 say is in pakistani society no girl is convinced that she should b ashamed of herself or her body this isn,t true if women r told to hide thyself men r also told to keep looking downwhile talking to a lady n that is due to respect of women in our society and when we say hijab as a choice that is also wrong coz its in the religion n if it is there its compulsory Recommend

  • Kakar

    I think the first fake comment is a deliberate attempt to defame and malign women who wear niqab. Are you not being judgmental yourself here ET? You’re a free speech and will advocate why are you always nagging at women who wear it out of choice? Why double standards?Recommend

  • elementary

    @Ellie:You wrote:Strange, but can you produce a single sermon by any ” maulvi” who states that women should wear the niqab beacuse her ” body is sinful ”
    Every maulana says so.If you cover up you are pious and paak and if you don’t you are sinful and corrupt:So your body is source of sin. To a rational person this would mean making you ashamed of your body and calling it sinful. Recommend

  • elementary

    @Shadytr33:
    Interesting.I never knew freedom can also be imposed.
    If you open the prison door and ask the prisoner to go free,you are imposing;he has the right to remain in prison if he so chooses.Hmmm…….Good point.that made my day.thanksRecommend

  • Kakar

    @Ansari agreed 100%. This calls for some serious conduct of impartiality ET.Recommend

  • Pollack

    The last point made about protecting a woman’s right to wear what she wants is acceptable but we have to take the following into consideration. In many Islamic societies, woman are culturally oriented by society to look up to abaya/niqab. So a woman wearing niqab is seen as a sign of her piety or higher level of morality. If that is a fact, then it follows that if a woman decides to wear niqab, its not just a question of her exercising her free will but society shaping her mind to take a particular choice. So it’s not really free will. The same can be said about about any dress but the difference is that religion or piety is not associated with those dresses and hence the effect on the mind is not that powerfully.

    The right thing to do for societies is to not create bias like these in young minds. That’s tantamount to child abuse.Recommend

  • MarkH

    Right: You have to. If you don’t x will happen to you.
    Left: You don’t have to if you don’t want to but you can.
    Common ground: Every human trait. But they can still remain in their little respective clubs. But I swear if I ever hear someone say “liberal fascist” in front of me in person I’ll shake them both right and left until I create the first case of “Shaken Adult Syndrome.”Recommend

  • manish

    @Nandita.:

    YES, i also find it strange that here in india when someone criticizes our religion, this is what most of us do: laugh at ourselves.

    however, if anyone confronts muslims asking as to why their is such a violent streak to their religion, then they quickly loose their patience. so i had formed an opinion that almost all muslims are downright orthodox.

    however that was before i stumbled upon tribune.

    after being it’s reader for months, i can safely say that pakistan does have a large liberal population who are being trampled under the whips of the extremist forces.

    indian muslims however are though living in liberal atmosphere but would give anything to live under an extremist regime.

    perhaps, life is misery, and is for both of them.

    PS. please do not generalise my experience, my opinions were formed on the basis of muslims i met in my life.
    others may have a diametrically opposite view of indian muslims. maybe, my CITY has a lot to do with my experience.
    (don’t know whether i am right or not but i felt that shia friends were more accomodating than sunnis here in lucknow). sorry for digressing from the main point in debate, but i was certainly not knowledgable enoughRecommend

  • manish

    @Nandita.:

    YES, i also find it strange that here in india when someone criticizes our religion, this is what most of us do: laugh at ourselves.

    however, if anyone confronts muslims asking as to why their is such a violent streak to their religion, then they quickly loose their patience. so i had formed an opinion that almost all muslims are downright orthodox.

    however that was before i stumbled upon tribune.

    after being it’s reader for months, i can safely say that pakistan does have a large liberal population who are being trampled under the whips of the extremist forces.

    indian muslims however are though living in liberal atmosphere but would give anything to live under an extremist regime.

    perhaps, life is misery, and is for both of them.

    PS. please do not generalise my experience, my opinions were formed on the basis of muslims i met in my life.
    others may have a diametrically opposite view of indian muslims. maybe, my CITY has a lot to do with my experience.
    (don’t know whether i am right or not but i felt that shia friends were more accomodating than sunnis here in lucknow). sorry for digressing from the main point in debate, but i was certainly not knowledgable enough to comment on the topic but wanted to share my thoughts.Recommend

  • dartholiver

    The tribune staff have a poor fashion taste !Recommend

  • Mariam

    Again the same old boring topic
    Why so obsessed with the hijab/niqab? Are u really surrounded by that many? I highly doubt it.
    Most likely the editors of ET dont even associate with niqabi’s/hijabi’s. So whats your problem?
    The only thing I liked, infact really liked was the message at the end, to be tolerant of all kinds of people, if ur liberal and love freedom of speech, then learn to respect everybody, whether thats non-hijabi’s or hijabi’s. Stop imposing your views. It doesnt make any difference. The people who do wear it will continue to wear it regardless of you writing pages of crap on it.
    Btw the niqab isnt even part of the basic Islamic dress. Its sort of an extra and is usually worn in certain cultures only.Recommend

  • PK_Expat

    Maybe I’m missing something here but when did society/religion/parents/humanity imply or directly say that a woman’s body is sinful/evil and THEREFORE should be veiled. The way I always understood it is that if a woman’s body is not veiled then men will lust after it. So, one can deduce that in fact society is saying much the opposite, that a woman’s body is an object of great desire. But that doesn’t mean I’m a religious apologist or anything of the sort. I think a niqab makes it awkward to have a normal conversation. I agree with the views that unless you can’t see somebody’s expressions it is hard to have a fluent conversation. Having said that, I’m sure a lot of us talk on phones right? Also, finding a woman attractive if she doesn’t have the niqab on is kind of OK, from a guys perspective. As long as he doesn’t “lust” beyond the boundaries established by a healthy society. So, all in all, I don’t think this is an issue of misogyny or the propagation of evil. It is simply one of many subtle variations with regards to dress and self-presentation that have evolved in human societies over the years and should not be made such a big deal out of. Recommend

  • PK_Expat

    Really nice video by the way. Well compiled. A great way to report on the opinions of your staff members about this (or any) issue. Innovative journalism. Well done, Atika! Looking forward to seeing more blogs and articles by you. Recommend

  • amer bail

    the last comment was awesome, and that’s what Pakistani LIBERALS need to understand that when you’re defending short clothes in the name of freedom than you should also respect the freedoms of those who do not like to wear short clothes.Recommend

  • http://Mumbai Mumbai Salsa

    @author: Great video blog and opinion.
    Tradition is a beautiful thing when done will fully. Done under social or peer pressure brings these tradition or practices a bad name. To wear or not wear niqab should not be related to modesty of a person. And I am always surprised whenever the discussion of “not wearing” a niqab comes up people start picking up other extreme of wearing skimpy clothes. Anything done in moderation is good.Recommend

  • All Women Everywhere!

    @Muhammad Jamshed
    Do us all a favour and just quit with the “women must not be ashamed of their bodies” EVERY SINGLE TIME there’s an article on a woman, naked or clothed…We aren’t ashamed of anything…it’s people like you that need to just stop saying this!!! Live and let live. Recommend

  • faraz

    @Ansari

    Can you give any example where liberals forced their beliefs on others? Have you ever heard of people snatching niqabs and burqas? What do you mean by their freedom? Freedom means everyone must have the right to express his thoughts and live according to his own beliefs. You are feeling uncomfortable because you have a certain viewpoint, and can’t tolerate people arguing against it. Recommend

  • faraz

    @ Saba Sarwar

    Is it necessary that everyone has the same understanding and concept about religion as you have? Is it necessary that a person follows religion to the same extent as you do? Is it possible for everyone to reach the same conclusions about religion? If yes then why do we have so many sects?

    Divine law allows slavery and extramarital relations with female slaves. Aren’t these in violation of basic human rights?
    Why have mullahs retracted from their millennium old stance that women have low IQ? The 1400 years old practice of collecting extra money from non-Muslim because of their faith has been abandoned even by Saudi extremists. Why?

    Religion is not the only source of morality. Morality has evolved over time. New social values and concepts of human rights have emerged. Acts universally accepted in the past have been abandoned because they are considered morally reprehensible.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @One: “Well personally I never had any issue. I never think that women who don’t wear niqab are bad but unintentionally I always gave more respect to those women who wear niqab”

    Subconscously you think niqab wearing women are religious and pure, just like many Pakistanis think Pakistan is a land of “PURE” and “TRUE” muslims.
    .
    A piece of cloth can”t determine the personality of a woman..Recommend

  • Confused

    No one automatically gets shareef just by wearing looser clothes, sorry if you think that way. just like covering your eyes with tape so you don’t get tainted by the visible vices of the world doesn’t work either. Learn to control your libidos and live with it. Our society has not gotten any better by wearing less revealing clothes. It hasn’t gotten better by banning cuss words, lodging fatwas against anything objectionable etc etc.
    This ‘veil’ has gotten embedded in everyone’s mind. I repeat, just because you cover something up doesn’t mean it’s not there. It will always be, and you know it. Just grow up and face it. This has got nothing to do with religion, it is just negligence and excuses.
    You want to be religious? Learn the essentials first before worrying about accessories, learn why you need it in the first place. Recommend

  • Lord

    Rightly said if u want to fight then fight every one’s right :)Recommend

  • Awais

    Great video but I really think they should have showed or discussed the comments made by strong textHaris Malik, maestro, Zeeshan Khan, Fawwad, derpton on the article, these people made some pretty decent/interesting points. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    I don’t agree entirely with Zarrar (white shirt and glasses).

    A woman’s right to wear this garment is not being questioned. And it is not the exhibition of one’s religious ideals alone that makes people uncomfortable.

    It’s the fact that niqab prevents identification (as one girl in the video rightfully pointed out), and becomes a barrier to effective social interaction. It’s a threat to the woman’s own social welfare, and possibly to the security of others.

    I don’t mind people wearing headscarves, turbans, cross necklaces…whatever they want. But there are practical reasons to oppose face-veils, or be uncomfortable talking to people who wear them.

    Of course, I don’t expect women to stop wearing niqabs on account of me feeling uncomfortable about it. It’s the garment that I’m opposed to, not their right to wear it. Just like I’m opposed to cigarettes, not a person’s right to smoke them.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @Talal:
    Every adult individual has the right of free choice including the right to a wrong choice,as long as it only affects his/her own life.
    However,taking your analogy of walmart furthur ,if one suspects that individual choice is being influenced by wrong or misleading inforamtion i.e marketing strategies then you rasie your voice to stop that influence.
    In the context of our topic ,we counter the misleading/coercive information we are fed from our childhood regarding the need to to coverup.
    Usurping individual choice, on the argument of incapacity(temporary or permanent) and substituting it with wisdom of authority ;be it Divine, governmental or organizational is dangerous. Recommend

  • Shoaib

    a custom imported from KSA!!Recommend

  • sultan bhai

    Niqab doesn’t exist in Islam infact there are sayings to leave your face uncovered and burqa also doesn’t exist in Islam. Its taleban culture not Islamic culture that has created differences amoingst us. Its just that these extremists want to kill a stone with two birds but they don’t know that a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand. They think we are stupid and don’t know simple things like these but I want to say Mr. Taleban your boxing gloves have worn out since now an aware person is capble of beating the crap out of you its XBOX and PS3 era.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    It is shameful that NONE of the female staff are in full abaya. Is this what a source for ‘news’ in Islamic Republic supposed to be like? To the man who found the staff ‘attractive’ they would all be more attractive in Islamic clothes. These people have sold their souls to the West.

    But Allama Iqbal has predicted that the end of the West is near. So ET staff, be forewarned and return to Islam before it is too late.Recommend

  • sultan bhai

    @kaalchakra Iqbal was a progresive poet he can never say something like that, I assure you. In Holy Quran it is clearly mentioned “la ikraha fideen” which translates to “there is no force in religion” “aur deen mein koi sakhti nahin”. So no one can force no one. Since you were mentioning Iqbal so let me tell you how his thinking process works: Na Thi Jab Apnay Haal Ki Khabar; Dekhty Rahey Logon Kay Aeb-o-Hunar; Parri Jab Apnay Gunahoon Par Nazar; To Nigah Mein Koi Aur Bura Na Raha. First we need to look at ourself and then point fingers at others. Like the famous saying goes in English that before you crtisize someone give him your shoes so he can walk a mile.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    @kaalchakra:

    Please don’t ever post your email on the internet. Or you may receive some angry emails. :PRecommend

  • Val

    I just love the very last comment in the video! If anyone is going to talk about freedom then it should mean complete freedom. I feel like all these people that talk about ‘liberalism’ in Pakistan just don’t want Pakistan to be identified with Islam. Its not freedom when a woman who chooses to dress modestly is looked down at constantly. Being liberal is not about encouraging the whole country to strip.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Noman Bhai

    If anyone ever wondered why we ET readers are constantly privileged to learn about the ever-new heroic exploits of Veena Malik, we now know the answer. With staff like that Ms VM would be the undisputed Chief Editor and Ombuds(wo)man rolled in one.Recommend

  • http://delhi Akash

    If you think rationally, the only true religion from God can be the one that says you have to worship God alone without any others in between you and God.

    so basically all those who believe in other religion or believe in more than one god are irrational and insane.

    I will not comment about other religions, but if you read the concepts of all religions, you will probably notice that Islam is the only religion which preaches worshipping the only true God without associating any partners/objects/humans to God.
    So that’s why you think Islam is the best one. And whats wrong in associating partners or idols when you worship god?
    Well you started off ok mate but reading your post makes it sound like you are telling your religion is the best. I guess that’s very narrow way to think.

    I as a Hindu believe all religion leads to God. I can pray in temple or mosque or church or gurudwara and at all the places i will feel I am praying to the same god. As you say One True God.Recommend

  • http://delhi Akash

    Sorry my previous post a reply to @MuslimRecommend

  • Pollack

    I think it’s important to differentiate between “social pressure” and “social shaping”. “social shaping” happens over a longer period of time. ” social shaping” is what bestows more respect on the niqab wearer from society. “social shaping” is more insidious than social pressure since its not apparent and not easy to distinguish it from free will if you do not understand the “social shaping” forces in play in that society. “social shaping” can be a force for good too if applied properly. For example, if all young men are told from a early age that it’s evil to harm woman, there will less cases of domestic violence and rapes in society. So one question to people is “is it healthy to shape society to measure piety/character of a person by using the clothes a person wears?”.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Val:
    I am with you, Pakistan with 97% PURE abd TRUE Muslims ishould be seen as a true Islamic country.No one except you have suggested all women in Pakistan should start stripping Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Pollack: “For example, if all young men are told from a early age that it’s evil to harm woman, there will less cases of domestic violence and rapes in society.”

    Are you implying Young men are told from an early age to harm women or sexually harrass women? Young men know what is right and what is wrong, that is why they want their sisters to be covered and kept home away from Internet. Muslim culture revolves around the thinking that hiding women in burqa will solve all sexual harrassment problems of women. That has been proving wrong in Western countries where most Muslim women don’t wear any burqa and are not harrased by public. How can you change things in a culture where a man can have 4 wives and beat them religiously?A woman’s worst enemy is her own mother in law.I think it is an Islamic belief that women are low in intelligence and a man needs to use force to keep them in line may be root cause of all domestic problems.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    Two myths with regards to veil/Burka are convincingly destroyed by scientific examination of the matter.

    Hiding females behind veils and segregating them, does not lead to diminution of sexual appetites of the males of the society,neither does the opposite with regards to female dress leads to increase in lustful behaviour of the males,as maulvis would have us believe.This is certainly true of civilized societies

    Security/Protection as second argument in favour of veil/Burka also does not stand the test of scientific scrutiny,there is no evidence to support that women who are veiled/ fully covered are less likely to be molested or harassed as compared to non veiled/less covered ladies,however in certain closed communites there may be exceptions.

    Therefore instead of insisting on veils for the ladies ,we should work on getting our society more educated and civilized Recommend

  • Valid Point

    One thing to be noted … Only the women without Hijab have been interviewed…Interesting…isn’t it ? Recommend

  • Abid P Khan

    @kaalchakra:

    “But Allama Iqbal has predicted that the end of the West is near. So ET staff, be forewarned and return to Islam before it is too late.”
    .
    Iqbal died already in 1938. Did he mention any date when this tamasha will finally end? Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Abid P Khan

    Just like Allah promises the rulership of the world to Muslims, Iqbal does not set a date. How can he when how fast Muslims conquer their enemies depends upon how closely they adhere to Islam?Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Vikram

    Just to answer you

    In Hinduism A woman is not entitled to any inheritance from her father or brother. once she is married off she has no relation left with her maternal home. In islam a daughter always has a close relationship with her maternal home, even after marriage. In Islam a woman is entitled to 50% of what her brothers get from her father’s wealth. This is even after she is married and her husband or son is fully responsible for her expenses.
    In islam a woman is always known by her father’s surname, and even after marriage does not need to change her surname. In hinduism after marriage not only the surname but the first name of a woman is also changed! complete murder of identity!

    In Islam the maximum number of wives a man can have is 4, if a man cannot be fair to them, then he should marry only one. This is in the glorious Quran. In hinduism there is no upper limit on the number of wives a man can have. Krishna had 16,108 wives and is to date considered a God and not a demon by Hindus!!

    In traditional hindusim a woman was burnt alive with her dead husband. This practice was stopped by the British. A widow could not get remarried in Hinduism. In Islam a widow has full right of life and to remarry.

    In Islam There is a hadith the ‘Paradise lies beneath the feet of your mother’. Islam elevated a woman’s status to the highest level!

    Islam put an end to the burying alive of female children 1450 years ago. this is still very common in India.

    I can go on and on. I want to respect other religions, but if you criticize Islam with false allegations, then be prepared to listen to the truth of Hinduism and how badly it treats women!Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Muslim

    That was lovely! Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    @Muslim:
    You forgot to mention whiplashing,stoning to death, forced to wrap from top to toe in balck deathly piece of cloth,imprisoned in house ,allowed to be beaten by husband,forced to share their husband with three other women,fully financially dependent,forced to marry with their rapist,males of family responsible for All her life decisions.
    In Arab they buried their daughters alive, now– you keep them alive and buried.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Dammit, ET Mods. You spoil half the fun :)Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Elementary

    seems you do not have elementary knowledge about Islam.
    Whiplashing and stoning to death is for BOTH Men and Women for immoral activities that destroy a society. Women are not singled out as in Hinduism Satti practice.

    Regarding fully financially dependent. Islam allows a woman to work and do business (best example is Hazrat Khadija (RA) wife of Prophet (Saw) who did her own business). A woman is allowed to work but does not need to spend a single paisa on the family, its her husband’s duty to spend. So thats in favour of any woman!! Hazrat Aisha (Ra) another wife of Prophet (saw) was a well known Islamic scholar and Caliphs (Muslim rulers) came to her for advice on religious issues and rulings.

    The punishment for a rapist in Islam is death penalty NOT getting married to the woman he raped. you seem to think lollywood movie stories are islam! Life decisions of women are done by her husband in Hinduism. One of the hindu gods called Yudishter put his wife on a gamble bet as if she was his private property! In Islam even a Nikah (marriage) is not valid if the woman does not agree.

    Women in Islam have the highest regard as a wife, daughter, sister, mother and a muslim woman has a separate identity of her own. Unlike in hinduism where they say the husband is God and a wife is the husband’s property for life and gets burned with his dead body. In the west unclothed women are mere objects of pleasure for men like sex slaves that provide pleasure to their male masters. Hence you see that western women accept Islam more than men do!! Islam protects and respects a woman. In Islam Men are told to lower their gaze and women are told to dress modestly to stop immorality spreading. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Muslim:” Islam put an end to the burying alive of female children 1450 years ago. this is still very common in India.”

    Go search Internet “women burried alive Pakistan? Maukhtar mai gang raped”/ You will see how Pakistani police treats Muslim women.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Vikram

    who told you that Islamic state principles are practiced in Pakistan? Pakistan is by no means a country where Islam is practiced. I am not talking about Pakistan or about muslims behaviour. Pakistan is in a mess and muslims over the world are lagging behind because they have stopped following the divine guidance (Islam).
    I am talking about Islam and Hinduism as religions, the difference between divine and man made religions. I am talking about the rights women have in Islam. If muslims do not follow Islam and mistreat women, then you have to blame the pakistanis, muslims, etc but NOT Islam. Recommend

  • sultan bhai

    O bhaijaans boths @Muslims and @Vikrams. I’m a Muslim and now listen to this; for 40 years Prophet did not reveal himself as the Messenger. Why? Because God wants before prayers, fasts, zakat, hajj etc a person who is respected by society by his actions rather than blowing the trumpet and converting others and comparing religions to see which religion outweights who. Person to Person relations have been given more presedence in Islam than Person to Creator relationship. This for @Muslim, this is what a Sikh has to say for Islam. There was a muslim conference in Delhi and this Sikh was invited and people objected that he is not a musliim and so this is only for the elites somewhat on the lines of discussion we are having here (comparing hinduism with islam); why is he invited, so this non-muslim said just for your consumption:

    hum kisi deen se hon kayail e kirdar tau hain
    hum sana khuwan e shah e haider e karrar tau hain
    ishq ho jaye kisi se koi chaara tau nahin
    sirf muslim ka Muhammad pe ijaara tau nahin.

    This is what he said in love of our Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Its a wrong perception that only Muslims are the ones who acknowledge God and his sent rules and regulation however when you read history and go deep into the current culture of different religions you will see that non-muslims practice better the rules laid down by Islam than the muslims. If you read the misra’s first line it’s a pretty powerpacked reprsentation; “hum kisi deen se hon kayail e kirdar tau hain” “regardless of what religion we are from; at least we have a character.” Now refer to my first para where I mentioned why Prophet did not reveal himself as the messenger of God for 40 years.Recommend

  • Sam

    If showing your body makes you modern then animals are more modern than humans…. I u feel discomfortable in Hijaab then donot wear hijaab, but plz dont say false comments and your lame point of view abt Hijaab…Don’t make fun of your religion, if you dont act, then its upto u… But plz donot create misunderstandings abt Islam!Recommend

  • Sam

    @Muslim:

    Keep it up… Good going Mash’ALLAH…
    JazaakALLAH!Recommend

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html candida

    I simply could not depart your website before suggesting that I really loved the standard info a person provide to your guests? Is going to be again ceaselessly in order to check up on new postsRecommend

  • http://delhi akash

    @Muslim

    Regarding Hinduism, we belive in questioning and even changing things to better, rather than take an old practise as gospel truth.

    Do you see Sati happening everyday in Delhi roads? Do you see Hindu man marrying infinite number of women ? And in any educated family the girls will get their share or wealth from parents.
    Hindus dont need this to be taught in a holy book. It is called common sense. And even if we have few retrograde practices we will fight them and we are fighting them.
    Recommend

  • http://itslifechallenges.blogspot.com/ Life Challenges

    Dear i really want this kind of site.It is very handy and accommodating post. keep up the good work.we need more good statements. I really appreciate your way of presenting such an excellent suggestion. I want more and i will come back here, regardsRecommend

  • Muslim

    @sultan bhai

    We cannot worship God in whichever way we like. We have to recognize God’s existence and worship God in the way prescribed by God. Imagine if you are working in a multinational company and only go to the office as per your own comfortable time and not the standard office hours and then you work on projects you feel like working on and not on the projects your MD has delegated to you, but just said via lip service that you love the company and the MD. Do you think your job will continue? You will be sacked in no time.
    So when we cannot work to our fancies in a simple job that gives us a few thousand quid, how can we expect to say we will follow any path we feel like and God will accept it from us?? We have to follow the path prescribed by God and the path shown by God’s messengers. Just lip service that we love God is not sufficient.

    @akash
    I agree that hinduism keeps on changing. do you think a divine message can be changed by humans? but you have not yet changed the story that Ram cut off the nose of Rawan’s sister (A woman), then Ram told his innocent wife Sita to enter into fire, because he was unsure of her character. After all this violence against women, you have not yet changed his status from God to mistaken man.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Sultan Bhai
    We cannot worship God in whichever way we like. We have to recognize God’s existence and worship God in the way prescribed by God. Imagine if you are working in a multinational company and only go to the office as per your own comfortable time and not the standard office hours and then you work on projects you feel like working on and not on the projects your MD has delegated to you, but just said via lip service that you love the company and the MD. Do you think your job will continue? You will be sacked in no time.
    So when we cannot work to our fancies in a simple job that gives us a few thousand quid, how can we expect to say we will follow any path we feel like and God will accept it from us?? We have to follow the path prescribed by God and the path shown by God’s messengers. Just lip service that we love God is not sufficient.

    @Akash
    I agree that hinduism keeps on changing. do you think a divine message can be changed by humans? but you have not yet changed the story that Rama cut the nose of rawan’s sister and told his innocent wife to enter into fire, because he was unsure of her character; domestic violence??
    @All
    I have nothing against hindus and Hinduism. However when some hindus here made false accusations against Islam, I had to show them the mirror and the reality about Hinduism. Respect my religion and I respect yours. Recommend

  • sultan bhai

    @Muslim In the circumstances where God was to operate like a multinational than he wouldn’t be a God. God is all about faith. In Tirmizi version 4 on page 278 it says that amoingst those of complete faith this includes the one who is in best of character and is good to his wife. You can’t argue or dispute to the facts that have been stated. If you limit God to prayers that means you’re talking about somone who is at a handicap to just follow a mentioned trail and nothing else where God should be given more credit don’t you think?Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    @Muslim:
    You blisslfully point out and make fun of Hindu dogmas and their fallacies and they only respond with a logical riposte,now imagine they point out fallacies and dogmas of your religion and you will be after them with the gun,and ironically you will still claim to be tolerant.Recommend

  • http://delhi Akash

    @Muslim – After reading your posts, about Ramayana and Yudhisthir, I have come to the conclusion that you need proper education in Hinduism. If you think that you have understood Hinduism by reading these books then you are grossly mistaken.

    Hinduism is not contained in any divine book or message. Its a way of life and difficult to explain it all here. You do not have the capacity to appreciate other religions because you strongly believe that only Islam is the best. Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Sultan Bhai

    There is only one way to God and that is the way which God has prescribed. If you follow it you are safe, if you dont, then its between you and God.

    @Akash & elementary

    Islam gives women so many rights which are far from how women are treated in Hinduism. Yudhishter & Ram stories, Draupati being ordered to marry five brothers without asking her permission, etc etc But then there will always be a difference between God set and man made.

    Cheer guys. enjoy. Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    You dont know about harems(Hundreds of slave girls) of muslim rulers ,you don’t know about numerous wives of muslim shiekhs in arab world,you choose to ignore the apppalling state of women in Pakistan ,you don’t care about acid attacks ,honour killings ,karo kari in sindh ,subhuman treatment meted out to woman all in the name of your religion.These are all real stories of this world.Recommend

  • sultan bhai

    @Muslim While, not to be confused with the obligations set forth by almighty, right now we are talking about labels. We usually label people on their outlook or getup what ever you may want to call it. This is what I believe we are discussing under this panel right? I was talking in the same sense, the whole religion is indivisble and is a big package to discuss in few lines since history is the source that has carried this towards us and there are many versions to history that’s why Islam it self emphasizes of verifying sources before believeing.I’m trying to tell you that it is not nessasry only the person who prays is considered best in character. Praying and communicating to the God in a prescribed way and then uttering abused words probably don’t go together. Iqbal said: jo mein sar ba sajda hua kabhi tau zameen se aane lagi sada, tera dil tau hai sanam aashna tujhe kya mile ga namaz mein.

    @elementary These things are not associated with Islam but have been brought in light becasue of few bad names. This is all becasue of not being literate enough. Arabs are considered to be the most ill literate nation that does not go beyond their own pupils. Rural Pakistan is also not up to the mark to be compared to whole Islam practices. The religon has clearly discarded association with such people through various sayings no matter how much they call themselves muslims, they’re not amongst us.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @elementary
    All that you pointed out are sinful acts done by sinful Individuals who are going against Islam. As I said before Arab Sheikhs or Pakistani Acid throwers are not representatives of Islam. They are going against Islam. slam the only divine religion has given women all the rights I mentioned in my previous posts.

    But In hinduism, the main holy figures were involved in violence against women- ram told wife to enter fire (domestic violence) and cut the nose of rawan’s sister, yudister put wife on gamble bet like private property, Krishna had 16,108 women, a husband is a wife’s god in hinduism and wife is his slave for life (actually 7 lives!), all the hunger fasts are for the women so that their husband lives long. Men dont have to fast at all in hinduism. In Islam both men and women have to fast for Allah. women are not singled out in Islam.Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    @Muslim:
    But you choose to speak out against Hinduism,rather than trying to point out the aberrations and atrocities of muslims done in the name of Islam,which as muslim should be your top concern.
    Hindus have largely left sattee ,but Karo kari is still a reality,Multiple wives are not seen in india of today but is a fact in muslim world.Utopia you have in mind is not what we see on the ground in the muslim world.You are choosing to ignore the grim realities of your own house and taking refuge in the gruesome dogmas and legends of another religion which they themselves have by and large already abandoned or in the process of getting away with.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Elementary

    Dr Zakir Naik once said the Golden words.

    “The non muslims of nowadays have left their religion and thats what makes them progress because their religion is false……The muslims on the other hand have also left their religion and thats what has made them suffer and lag behind because Islam is the Divine Truth”

    If you analyse up until the time hindus practiced real traditional hinduism, they were far behind and were ruled by others, Mughals, British, etc. Recently the hindus have reduced their traditional religious practices (as you yourself and Akash have confessed) and you see progress in India.

    The muslims ruled over Europe (Spain, Turkey) and Asia (South Asia) when they truly followed Islam and islamic governance. Nowadays there is not even one muslim country in this world that practices Islamic governance and hence you see muslim countries falling behind.

    Hope this answers your post. Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    @Muslim: All religions are based on fears and dogmas,they discourage the spirit of free enquiry,promote blind faith to rational thinking which leads to demise of all science and rational knowledge.
    In an evoironment where uniformity is the virtue and novelty is blasphemy progress can hardly be achieved. Arbitrary immorality meets with the most severe of punishment,fear dominates and curiosity dies. Suffocating atmosphere of strict ,tunnel visioned moral code,and determined coercion to toe the line proves lethal for any flight of imagination and therefore art cannot possibly flourish.Nations struggle to achieve any progress and begin to stagnate and stink.

    All those Nations which realized this and got rid of religious dogmas and fears and reduced religion to personal affair made rapid progress.Recommend

  • Val

    @Muslim:
    That is so true! mashaAllah, Zakir Naik’s words are so meaningful!

    I am from England and people here, including myself, have begun to see the beauty in Islam, Alhamdulillah, in fact, we call it the Islamification of Britain. And that should not come as a shock to anyone, as naturally, nothing can make more sense than the true religion itself. The West has had the chance to develop and arguably rule the world, and what are they coming back to after gaining all that knowledge and power through hundreds of years of research and development? Islam.

    Islam has THE most logical explanations for everything. Sadly, many people of Islamic nations seem to have forgotten that. Recommend

  • A BELIEVER

    The female body is not a source of sin or shame, girls are not brainwashed from childhood into believing that their bodies are sinful and therefore must be hidden behind veils and burkas.
    They are being told that they are precious and like every other precious thing they need to be under cover!Recommend

  • Muslim

    @elementary

    You are partially right. All religions, EXCEPT ISLAM believe in blind faith. This is because the other religions are not logical. Islam is the only religion which asks a believer to reason and then bring logical faith. If you read the english translations of the Glorious Quran on http://www.quranexplorer.com, you will notice that Allah (The One & Only True God of the universes) has reasoned with the reader and given the reader logical examples which appeal to the human heart.

    @Val
    Nice post, you are so right! Interestingly you are from England and so am I! May Allah Guide us all and keep us on the true path (Islam). Ameen.Recommend

  • elementary

    @Muslim:
    Logic and faith are opposite ends of a spectrum there can be no such thing as logical faith .What I wrote in previous post is true of all religions, how do you think Islam makes an exception is beyond me.In many ways it is more dogmatic and restricts and confines freedom of thought more strictly and even violently.
    Zakir naik’s “golden words” are more of a distorted logic to me .
    All nations made rapid progress when they steered away from religion,of all the civilizations only muslim world still adheres to their religion religiously and meticulously and therefore have failed to make any discernible progress.When muslims ruled ,Europe was immersed deep into the dogmas of religion,now the opposite is true.
    You would not believe this because you have faith —-blind faith. Recommend

  • elementary

    @Val: what is your evidence to say that Britain is bieng “Islamified” ??,To me it sounds absolutely ridiculous, misleading and against the realities on the ground. what makes you claim that after all that knowledge and progress they are coming back to something and that something is Islam.Blind faith makes you believe in things which are not only baseless but also pointless.Recommend

  • munawar khan

    why women hide themselves from men?Recommend

  • Muslim

    @elementary

    you do not understand the ONE True God and the divine guidance sent by the all mighty for all humanity called Islam. Hence you are not able to understand what logical faith means. But Islam indeed asks the believers to reason and then use logic and bring faith. This aspect of Islam makes it different from all other religions.

    Zakir Naik’s words are absolutely true in that you will have to agree that there is not even ONE muslim country that operates the Islamic governance model. Even Saudi Arabia, the only country to implement Islamic laws is a kingdom and not a caliphate (the caliphate governance model is prescribed by Islam).

    Read about the Islamic empires that ruled Turkey and Spain, up till the time they followed all Islamic rules of governance, they were much more prosperous than modern day Europe and US (which are in the midst of a severe recession and unemployment btw!)Recommend

  • politicaly incorrect

    @munawar khan

    ‘why women hide themselves from men?’

    Actually they don’t.
    And even if and when they try, they rarely succeed.
    We the army of trolls are the living proof.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @politicaly incorrect:
    ‘why women hide themselves from men?’

    Actually they don’t.
    And even if and when they try, they rarely succeed.
    We the army of trolls are the living proof.

    Muslim men and Muslim governments and true Muslims (talibans) force women to hide themselves. Most women stop hiding when they move to North America, Europe etc.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @Muslim:Social model of KSA is as much a disaster as it’s political setup.Changing Governance model to your liking is not going to change much .Unless it also radically changes it’s social fabric ,and allows freedom of thought and expression ,does not seek to channel or curb curious mids and does not confine women.

    Prosperous society is much more than just a govrnance model.Socail principles as are prevalent in muslim countries today ,do not afford much scope for optimism.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @Vikram: Your remarks display your character very well.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @elementary

    You did not seem to read my previous post attentively. KSA only applies certain islamic laws. But its socio political structure is far from an Islamic model. There is no freedom of expression in KSA because its a Kingdom and no one can speak against or question the monarch. By contrast the Islamic governance of caliphate is a model in which caliphs are elected by a council of Shoura- ie learned people and these Council of Shoura are in turn elected by the people. The Islamic model of governance makes the people strong and free enough to question the caliph (ruler) and his policies. There is a famous incident that the 2nd caliph of Islam (Hazrat Umar Khattab RA) distributed wraps of cloth to the people in equal pieces. A few days later the caliph was wearing a dress from that piece of cloth. An ordinary man came to him and asked him- “You are a tall man, there is no way your dress could have been made from the piece of cloth given to each person. Did you give yourself more than the others?” The caliph smiled and said “Yes I am tall so my son was kind enough to gift me his share of the cloth and hence I was able to make my dress from the two shares” Another incident of the 2nd Caliph (Hazrat Umar RA) is that he and his servant were going to meet a king of a place who were not yet muslim. The caliph and his servant had only one horse and they took turns to ride it and the other would walk. When the town approached, it was the servant’s turn to ride the horse and the caliph’s turn to walk. The servant said, you are the caliph (ruler) of the muslims and are meeting the people of this town (who are not yet muslims) for the first time, please can you take my turn and ride the horse, so that the caliph is seen on the horse. However the caliph replied that I cannot be unjust as I have to face Allah. Its your turn and you continue riding the horse and I will walk. The people of the town were astonished when they knew that the caliph of the muslims who ruled all over arabia was on foot and his servant was on horse! Thats the justice and freedom of people Islam talks about!
    There is yet another incident where Hazrat Umar who was not yet caliph went to an old woman’s house to do the household work for her. The old woman said someone else had already done the work for her. He went to her place for a few days and each time got the same answer. So One day he went early and hid to see who came to do the household work of the old woman and was astonished to see it was Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) (The 1st Caliph of Islam after the Prophet (saw)) and he was a caliph (ruler) at the time he did this household work for this poor old woman. Now that is true Islam and Islamic governance!Recommend