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The Concealment of Women

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Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb 

(rahmatullahi alaih) 

Throughout the Quraan Majeed, besides the name of Maryam (alaihas salaam) there is no name mentioned of any other woman, and yet there are so many verses relating to women; in fact an entire Surah has been named ‘An-Nisaa’ (The Women). When the Beloved wife of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayihi wa sallam), Aaisha (radiyallahu anha) was slandered, Allah Ta’ala revealed 10 verses in Surah Noor (Verses 11 – 20), proving her innocence. However, her name is not mentioned.  Allah Ta’ala mentions the wife of Nuh (alaihis salaam) and the wife of Lut (alaihis salaam) as Disbelievers.  “Allah sets for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut, They were (respectively) under two of Our righteous servants but they betrayed their husbands (i.e. in regard to matters of Truth) and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: ‘Enter the Fire along with (others) that enter!’” [Surah Tahreem 66: 10] The mother of Maryam (alaihas salaam) is mentioned as ‘Imraan’s wife’. The vow she took, when she had conceived, has been mentioned in the Quraan Majeed as follows:  “When Imraan’s wife said: ‘O my Lord, I have vowed what is in my stomach to be exclusively for you. So accept (it) from me. You are certainly the All Hearing, the All Knowing.’”[Surah Aal-Imraan 3: 35] Aasiya (radiyallahu anha) is mentioned as ‘the wife of Fir’aun’.  “And Allah sets forth as an example to those who believe the wife of Fir’aun: When she said: ‘O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to You, a house in Paradise, and save me from Fir’aun and his doings and save me from those who do wrong.’” [Surah Tahreem 66: 11]  Allah Ta’ala mentions only Maryam (alaihas salaam) by name.  “And Maryam, the daughter of Imraan, who guarded her chastity…” [Surah Tahreem 66: 12]

Why has Allah Ta’ala specifically mentioned the name of Maryam (alaihas salaam)? Besides proving the purity and chastity of Maryam (alaihas salaam) against the false accusations of the Jews, as mentioned in Surah An-Nisaa: “…That they uttered against Maryam, a grave false charge.” (i.e. that she was unchaste) [Surah An-Nisaa 4: 156]  Allah Ta’ala presents her elevated rank in Surah Aal-Imraan:  “Behold! The angels said: ‘O Maryam, Allah has chosen you and purified you – chosen you above the women of all nations.’”  [Surah Aal-Imraan 3: 42] Allah Ta’ala mentions Maryam (alaihas salaam) by name in the Quraan Majeed, stating very clearly the miraculous birth of ‘Eesa (alaihis salaam). By mentioning ‘Eesa (alaihis salaam) as the son of Maryam – ‘Eesa bin Maryam’, Allah Ta’ala highlights the fact that ‘Eesa (alaihis salaam) is not the son of any father. “…his name will be ‘Eesa the son of Maryam, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of those nearest to Allah.” [Surah Aal-Imraan 3: 45]  This teaches us a very important lesson: Allah Ta’ala has granted women, respect and honour, and He wants them to guard this. Therefore, if there is no real need to reveal her name, then it should not fly around in newspapers, magazines, faxes, over Radio stations, on car number plates, etc. There is no harm in revealing a woman’s name when there is a need to do so. For example, the names of many, many women have been mentioned in the ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), including that of Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) wives and daughters. There was a genuine need for this since there had to be verification of ahaadeeth and so forth. In our times of fitnah (corruption and mischief) and high crime, the concealment of a woman’s name is for her own protection, from the mischief of pranksters and other evil-minded people. There is no lack of evidence to prove the harassment that so many women have faced, who published their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and photographs in newspapers and magazines. Beside the above protection that such concealment offers, it is also a protection from the efforts made by nafs, in seeking ‘name and fame’ – which has become a common motive behind many, both men and women, announcing and publishing name, qualifications, and so forth. This love for ‘name and fame’ is a sickness of the spiritual heart, which renders deeds unacceptable in the Court of Allah Ta’ala. One has to be very much on guard against the snares of nafs and shaytaan. As has been mentioned, there is no sin if this is required and the intention is not ‘name and fame’.