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by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
January 30th, 2004

(NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon)

Importance of Purdah in Islamic Society

Huzuraba began by reciting verses 31 and 32 of Surah Al-Nur (18:31,32). These verses contain instructions regarding the Islamic Purdah. Verse 32 also contains a list of relations where purdah is not necessary.

Huzuraba stated that he had dealt with this subject in a few of his earlier sermons. However, he felt that it needed to be emphasized again because a few people say that purdah is an antiquated restriction that should be removed in this day and age and that the progress of Islam and Ahmadiyyat is not dependant on strict observance of Purdah. Huzuraba said that his answer to these people is that Allah has given clear instructions in the Holy Quran regarding purdah. Also, it is evident from the practice of the Holy Prophet that purdah was strictly observed at that time. Whether these people like it or not, Islam’s and Ahmadiyyat’s progress is linked to purdah. The teachings of the Holy Quran will never be outdated and if anyone thinks this way then they should beg Allah’s forgiveness.

Huzuraba further explained that in these verses, men are instructed in the first instance to restrain their looks. The Promised Messiah as has also instructed that while in public places we should walk with our eyes partially closed, not so close that we will be stumbling over other things. Huzuraba quoted Allama Tibri who has written that the meaning of restraining your looks is that you prevent yourself from looking at every such thing that has been forbidden by Allah. Huzuraba stated that this instruction is for men in the first instance and if acted upon, a lot of the evils will vanish automatically.

Then there is the instruction for the women to restrain their looks. Huzuraba said that it is necessary for all women to obey this instruction in order to prevent their good name and their family honor being dragged in mud. Huzuraba said that if it is absolutely essential for a woman to talk to a strange man then she should adopt a harsh tone in her voice so that he may not be encouraged by the softness of her voice. Huzuraba commented on the practice of employing male servers during the weddings to serve food saying that they are young. However, they are of such an age where they come under the instruction of purdah. Parents should take great care that they should not provide such opportunities for strangers to come in contact with their daughters and other young girls. The arrangements should be such that male servers should serve in the men’s area and female servers should serve in the ladies area.

Huzuraba stated that when women go out, because Islam does not imprison women, they should observe purdah as described in the Holy Quran. Purdah of the face is evident from the Holy Quran. Only those thing which is visible by itself is allowed to be visible and the only things that are self evident are the height and the movement of the body during normal walk. Huzuraba quoted from Ahadith to prove that the purdah of the face was practiced during the time of the Holy Prophet .

Huzuraba stated that those women who are too weak due to age and are not capable of marriage if they discard the full purdah then there is no blame on them. Although, they should not go about wearing makeup. In Pakistan, purdah is being misused in that the young girls are discarding it and the older women are virtually imprisoned.

Huzuraba stated that someone enquired that at her job she is required to wear certain type of clothes. Is she allowed to work at such a place. Huzuraba said that if she can wear long coat over her dress and a scarf to cover her head then she may work there otherwise she is not allowed. Huzuraba had earlier state about certain places where women have to work in the fields and have to keep their face and eyes uncovered. Huzuraba stated that in those cases their purdah is considered to be complete even with their face uncovered.

Huzuraba mentioned about being careful of maid servants who come into homes with the purpose of misguiding young girls. Huzuraba stated that nowadays internet is being used for the same purpose where certain groups entice young people and lead them astray. Huzuraba reminded parents that it is their responsibility to keep an eye on their children that they do not fall prey to such vices of the internet.

Huzuraba said that according to Hazrat Musleh Maud , dancing is forbidden by the Holy Quran because it causes the spread of shamelessness. Some people say that if women dance among other women then what is the harm in that. Huzuraba said that when the Holy Quran says that it leads to the spread of shamelessness then it is so and every Ahmadi should pay heed to this instruction. If the Jama’at authorities receive a report of dancing at any Ahmadi wedding then this should be investigated and action should be taken against the culprits. As far as singing is concerned, singing of poems and sober songs is permitted.

Huzuraba said that the secret of our success is in following the instructions of the Holy Quran. May Allah enable us to act upon these instructions. Aameen.