Hijab Row: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said on Saturday that hijab is not an important part of Islam. In many parts of the country, women are protesting about hijab at this time. Arif Mohammad Khan said, Hijab is not necessary in Islam like turban in Sikhism. He said that this is a conspiracy to stop Muslim girls from moving forward.
The governor has asked the students to return to the classrooms and study. In a conversation with news agency ANI, the Governor of Kerala said, ‘Hijab is not a part of Islam. Hijab is mentioned in 7 places in the Quran. But it has nothing to do with the dress code of women. This is a conspiracy to stop Muslim girls from progressing. The Hijab controversy is a conspiracy to stop the education of Muslim girls. Muslim girls are now studying and achieving whatever they want. I will ask the students to return to the classroom and study.
Terming the logic of Sikhs entering school with turbans and girls not wearing hijabs, he said that the turban is an essential part of Sikhism but it is not so for the hijab in Islam. “The argument that Sikhs are allowed to enter school with turbans but Muslim girls do not wear hijabs is absolutely absurd,” he said. Turban is very important in Sikhism but hijab is not mentioned in Quran as an essential part of Islam.
He said, ‘Hijab has nothing to do with Islam. Hijab is mentioned 7 times in the Quran but it has nothing to do with the dress code of women. This is a connection to the purdah i.e. there should be a veil in the middle of what you speak.’ Khan said that women are free to wear whatever they want. They have to follow the rules and regulations of the institution in which they are studying or working.
The Kerala governor had said a day earlier that if the history of Islam is looked at, there have been instances of women refusing to wear veils. Although he did not express his opinion openly, but to make his point, he told the story of a young woman, who is said to be a relative of the Prophet.
Khan said, ‘I will tell you one thing… a young girl, who grew up in the Prophet’s house… She was a relative of the Prophet’s wife. She was very beautiful…that’s what history says…read this.’
Quoting the story, he said that in medieval times when her husband was the governor of Kufa, she was reprimanded for not wearing the hijab. He then said that Allah made him beautiful and Allah had put a seal of beauty on him.
Khan said, ‘She said that I want people to see my beauty and see the mercy of Allah in my beauty…and be thankful to Allah…This was the thinking of the women of the first generation of Islam. That’s what I want to say.
Recently, a controversy had started in Udupi, Karnataka over not admitting students wearing hijab to the classes in a government college. Later this dispute became more serious and some Hindu students started coming with saffron gamchas.