Sunday, 7 November 2010

1 Corinthians 11:6 Supports the Hijab

Paul supported the hijab. Christian ladies should think twice before attacking the hijab. Paul, in 1 Corinthians seems to be forcing the hijab on ladies.

Ahmed Deedat responds to a lady who questions the Muslim veil by bringing up this Biblical verse.

Cut off her hair?



If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. (NIV Bible)


***The Veil is in the Bible***
See:
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2011/01/niqab-veil-in-bible-ban-is-unbiblical.html

23 comments:

SophieB said...

This is a really interesting chapter and I'd like to explain how I see it as a Christian woman. The Bible refers to itself as a divinely inspired, living word. It's not a simple, God's-brain-on-paper document. It's not a rigid set of instructions. There is a reason why the practice of head-covering doesn't usually happen among Christians. It's not because we don't know about this verse, or choose to ignore it. It's because we see the context of the verse, and while it is divinely inspired, Corinthians is a primarily a letter of advice to the Corinthian church from Paul, not a directly revealed instruction from God for all time.

There are several things to note about the context of this passage.

Firstly, take a look at the context. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul says 'Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God. Don't give offence to the Jews or gentiles or the church of God' (New Living Translation). He said this because he was giving some advice about whether it's OK to eat food sacrificed to idols. His line of reasoning is that as a Christian you are free to do anything you want without sinning or causing anyone else to sin (Corinthians 10:23). But while a Christian doesn't have to obey arbitrary rules, s/he shouldn't violate his/her conscience by doing something s/he doesn't agree with, but s/he also shouldn't offend non-Christians. This is a line of reasoning you can find in many chapters of the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 9:20-21). With this in mind, he goes on to talk about women uncovering their head...

SophieB said...

Secondly, the chapter also talks about how it is disgraceful for a man to cover his head while praying (verse 4). Paul had been a very pious Jew before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. He knew all about Judaism (Philippians 3:4-6)and so he obviously knew that Jesus Christ would have prayed wearing a head covering (known as a yarmulka or kippah). Most of the early founders of the church were Jewish, so all of them knew Jesus prayed wearing a traditional hat. Since they believed Jesus was without sin, they certainly weren't accusing Jesus of doing anything wrong here.

Thirdly, throughout the New Testament writings, the apostles stress the idea that while men and women are equal (Galatians 3:28), it's important not to disgrace the new religion of Christianity by blurring the distinction between the sexes. People were very suspicious of this new religion and the church experienced intense persecution at times, with many brutally murdered. It was vital that the Christians tried not to seem odd or subversive.

Finally, verse 15 says 'long hair was given to her [women] as a covering'. Now, if long hair is a naturally God-given head covering as he states, why does he say in verse 6 that women need to wear a headscarf? It seems rather pointless if we already have long hair as a covering, as verse 15 states. So did Paul suddenly change his mind about head coverings halfway between verse 6 and verse 15? That seems unlikely to me.

Remember that Paul was writing only to the church at Corinth, not any other church. Accoriding to Michelle Guinness, historical evidence shows that in this area at this time, it was the custom for women to cover their heads with a loose covering, and only temple prostitutes didn't do this. So it looked pretty bad for the church that some of the female members weren't covering their heads, and some of the male members were letting their hair grow long. This was a sign of effeminacy. I'm not sure why women of the early church were abandoning the head covering.

What do I conclude from 1 Corinthians?

1) I don't have to obey any specific rules about what to eat, how to dress etc.

2) I may not cause another person to sin by what I eat or how I dress.

3) I must not try to blur the distinctions between the sexes (ie, try to look or act like a man).

4) I must be willing to follow cultural norms so as not to offend people and give them a low opinion of Jesus Christ and his church.

So should I wear a headscarf for the same reasons that the Corinthian women were told to wear them? I don't think so. In fact, as you can see from the video posted here and as you already know, westerners often view head coverings as a sign of female subjugation and are offended by it.

I think the verse is probably still relevant to Christians in Islamic countries, though, since in most of them it;s considere indecent for women not to cover their heads. I know that if I were in a Muslim majority country I'd probably wear one in accordance with what I've just discussed.

Sorry that's such a long comment, and thanks for reading it. May God reveal the extent of His love for you :-)

SophieB said...

Secondly, the chapter also talks about how it is disgraceful for a man to cover his head while praying (verse 4). Paul had been a very pious Jew before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. He knew all about Judaism (Philippians 3:4-6)and so he obviously knew that Jesus Christ would have prayed wearing a head covering (known as a yarmulka or kippah). Most of the early founders of the church were Jewish, so all of them knew Jesus prayed wearing a traditional hat. Since they believed Jesus was without sin, they certainly weren't accusing Jesus of doing anything wrong here.

Thirdly, throughout the New Testament writings, the apostles stress the idea that while men and women are equal (Galatians 3:28), it's important not to disgrace the new religion of Christianity by blurring the distinction between the sexes. People were very suspicious of this new religion and the church experienced intense persecution at times, with many brutally murdered. It was vital that the Christians tried not to seem odd or subversive.

Finally, verse 15 says 'long hair was given to her [women] as a covering'. Now, if long hair is a naturally God-given head covering as he states, why does he say in verse 6 that women need to wear a headscarf? It seems rather pointless if we already have long hair as a covering, as verse 15 states. So did Paul suddenly change his mind about head coverings halfway between verse 6 and verse 15? That seems unlikely to me.

Remember that Paul was writing only to the church at Corinth, not any other church. Accoriding to Michelle Guinness, historical evidence shows that in this area at this time, it was the custom for women to cover their heads with a loose covering, and only temple prostitutes didn't do this. So it looked pretty bad for the church that some of the female members weren't covering their heads, and some of the male members were letting their hair grow long. This was a sign of effeminacy. I'm not sure why women of the early church were abandoning the head covering.

What do I conclude from 1 Corinthians?

1) I don't have to obey any specific rules about what to eat, how to dress etc.

2) I may not cause another person to sin by what I eat or how I dress.

3) I must not try to blur the distinctions between the sexes (ie, try to look or act like a man).

4) I must be willing to follow cultural norms so as not to offend people and give them a low opinion of Jesus Christ and his church.

So should I wear a headscarf for the same reasons that the Corinthian women were told to wear them? I don't think so. In fact, as you can see from the video posted here and as you already know, westerners often view head coverings as a sign of female subjugation and are offended by it.

I think the verse is probably still relevant to Christians in Islamic countries, though, since in most of them it;s considere indecent for women not to cover their heads. I know that if I were in a Muslim majority country I'd probably wear one in accordance with what I've just discussed.

Sorry that's such a long comment, and thanks for reading it. May God reveal the extent of His love for you :-)

YFC777 said...

Yahya,

To be fair, on the topic of Hijab, I don't think there is any verse in the Quran or any hadit that mandates a woman to cover her head. It is just part of arab and middle eastern culture that is passed on. I sometimes have difficulty understanding why some people in the west who convert to Islam adopt a Muslim names and start growing a breard or wear the hijab (in case of women).

I did however see a video some weeks ago about a story (maybe Hadit not sure) on why women started covering themselves from head to toe during the life time of Muhammad. It is however very graphic and will offend many people hence I wont give the link.
Yahya, if you want the link I'll mail you.

Yahya Snow said...

@Sophie B

Thanks for the lengthy comments.

Clearly you have taken time and effort here so, God Willing, I will read and digest the info you have put forward (after work tomorrow)

I thank you the comments and respectful tone

Peace

May God bles you further. May God guide us all.

Yahya Snow said...

@YFC

Please feel free to send the link to me (either via YT or my regular email).

Anonymous said...

Dear Sophie,
I applaud your own conclusions you reach about head covering. However, us Muslims endure extreme scrutiny when we skip to modern day interepretations of verses as opposed to the opinions of classical commentators and previous generations of a given faith.
For your own knowledge about this topic I recommend you research more about how previous Christians generations perceived this verse and what the early church fathers thought about these practices considering they were closer to the time of revelation than we are.
http://earlychurch.com/HeadCovering.php
here is one link. I used to have some really good resources. I recommend you search for your own understanding and to see commonalities between Islam and Christianty rather than differences and division.
mike

SophieB said...

A final note about 1 Corinthians 11:6 -

My Bible translations says '...since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, then she should wear a covering'. My other translation says '...she should cover her head' (New International Version). There is, however, a note at the bottom of the New Living Translation that says it can also be read as '...she should have long hair'.

I want to briefly address the way that you have framed Paul's words about cutting women's hair off. The impression you give is that Paul was ordering the early church to cut off women's hair if they refused to wear a head coveriing. I think that is misleading. I am convinced that Paul was being rhetorical and did not expect the Corinthian Christians to actually do this; nor did the Corinthians, I believe, take his words literally. If anybody has doubts and thinks that perhaps the early Christians were encouraged to abuse each other this way, I can give my reasoning. Not right now, though.

RefutingActs17 said...

SophieB - interesting how you make a simple command into a documented thesis.

Religion should be understood by both the common layman and the philosopher? Did you really need to that in-depth? ;)

RefutingActs17

Ali said...

Hi SophieB,

personally i dont understand why Christians look for alternative views on bible verses. big words, fancy grammer and a long analysis with usually no christian evidence is just a game i've seen them play.

//I think the verse is probably still relevant to Christians in Islamic countries, though, since in most of them it;s considere indecent for women not to cover their heads.//

not all of the 57 muslim countries are named afghanistan. tt is true nearly all call for modest dressing but not hijab.

BTW the MOST important thing is spritual islam. i know muslim women who wear hijab for fashion purposes. I know many muslim women who don't wear hijab that are religious (like my mom).

YFC777 said...

Matthew 6

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

I would like to weigh in on the comments on here if I may.

I first want to say this is some of the more respectful discussion I have seen on this blog (not that it is Yahya's fault) between Christians and Muslims than I have seen in a while.

Praise be to Allah for it.

I think that when YFC777 post,

"Matthew 6

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?"

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

I think we have to see this as Jesus (Esau) speaking in hyperbole and making a point about putting spiritual matters first.

I think it is very problematic to make it say things that it doesn't like ( what you eat is not important, and going naked down the street-And why do you worry about clothes...)

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

I think it's important to realize that Jesus (Esau)is not saying (eat pork or things sacrificed to idols, and eat non kosher foods intentionally) I don't gather this from his teachings at all.

I gather that if we trust in God these things will be provided for us rather than running after them every day.

As far as SophieB I thought she gave a very thoughtful response.

There are some things I would like her to think about if she wouldn't mind.

It seems that some of the conclusions contradict each other.

1) I don't have to obey any specific rules about what to eat, how to dress etc.

wouldn't point 1 contradict with point 3?

3) I must not try to blur the distinctions between the sexes (ie, try to look or act like a man).

If not blurring the distinction between the sexes is a command than wouldn't you have to worry about how to dress? For example a man in a long flowing pink dress, with a hair bonnet wouldn't that be blurring the lines?

4) I must be willing to follow cultural norms so as not to offend people and give them a low opinion of Jesus Christ and his church.

If you follow cultural norms so as not to offend than wouldn't that dictate point 1 about not having to follow certain guide lines for how to dress etc?

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

I also wanted to comment that Anonymous Mike had a very good suggestion.

"For your own knowledge about this topic I recommend you research more about how previous Christians generations perceived this verse and what the early church fathers thought about these practices considering they were closer to the time of revelation than we are."

SophieB said,


1) I don't have to obey any specific rules about what to eat, how to dress etc.

Here are some verses for consideration SophieB

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:22-29)

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, "You eat meat with the blood in it, lift up your eyes to your idols as you shed blood. Should you then possess the land?" ‘ (Ezekiel 33:25)

‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

I think the only Christians I am aware of today who try and follow these commands are the 7th Day Adventist and the 7 Noahide Laws Restoration Movements...

Christians should not be eating blood-they should be eating kosher and halal like Muslims, Jews and Samaritans.

It is interesting that a few verses above couple licentious sexual activity with prohibition of foods.

That we need to control our appetites both sexual and in relation to the stomach. Allah has put restraint to tame our animal passions and nature and so that we can cultivate the spiritual self.

Your body is a mobile temple so keep it clean and purified.

Yahya Snow said...

@Sophie B,

I side with what Ali said with regards to your comments. For me, it appears you are jumping through hoops in order to eliminate the hijab from your teachings.

The verse is quite explicit. It is clear he favours the head scarf. The fact he mentions hair being a natural covering is immaterial.

The verse is clear.


Sophie, why do you think nuns wear such a covering? Surely they held onto such from their traditions. Their traditions are indeed Christian traditions.

I will leave you with some powerful rhetorical questions:

Can you imagine Mary in public without a headcovering?

Can you imagine a daughter/wife of a Prophet without a head covering?

For those who respect Mary and the Prophets the mental image of the ladies in question contains a hijab

@YFC

Thanks for the link. God wiling I will view it in the ocming days.

Thanks veyr much. I hope and pray you are well

As for the references. Quotations from Jesus (allegedly)?

YFC...you know as well as I know your traditions take Paul's words over the early (alleged) quotations attributed to Jesus.

The reaosn being; you beilieve in a form of progressive revelation too...thus the latter supercedes the former. Thus Paul takes priority.

In any case...what you prevented in no way, shape or form does away with the hijab,

Islam is doing the way of the pious people of the past...we call you to the same way.

Peace

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

I also wanted to mention and I will try and find the source for this (and I hope that the others sisters and brothers here correct me when I am in error)

according to the Hanafi and Maliki fuqaha if a woman has some kind of cancer, or she is loosing her hair she does not have to cover her head.

I think that is also the same stipulation you see in Corinthians. For example a woman can uncover her head if she is bald. The whole point is that a woman wears the scarf because the glory is in the hair.

Those sisters who have cancer, or heavy hair loss the head scarf is optional (wallahu 'alim) and I need to go and consult some of my Hanafi and Maliki fiqh text.

YFC777 said...

@TGV: I do not agree with you on your comments about food. I agree with you that Matthew 6 is more about trusting God for your daily needs but you cannot deny that it also conveys the message that food and clothes are of this material world. What is in our heart is more important than what we eat and how we dress. This is one of the main differences between Christianity and Islam. With regards to food there are even more clear teachings in the NT.

Mark 7:18 "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean". This teaching of Jesus is also supported in Lk 11:39-41.

Col. 2:16-17 "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ"

Acts 10 - Read about Peter's vision that God has declared all food's clean

Here is a story from my personal life, I had a Muslim friend who was a big fan of Ferrari and would always wear Ferrari T shirts. As you know the Ferrari logo has a horse. He had invited me over to his house for Eid, when it was prayer time he got up and changed his T shirt when to the mosque and returned back. I asked him why he changed his T shirt he answered cos we are not allowed to wear clothes with animal figures. I cannot understand such double standards by Muslims.

WomanForTruth101 said...

"Here is a story from my personal life, I had a Muslim friend who was a big fan of Ferrari and would always wear Ferrari T shirts. As you know the Ferrari logo has a horse. He had invited me over to his house for Eid, when it was prayer time he got up and changed his T shirt when to the mosque and returned back. I asked him why he changed his T shirt he answered cos we are not allowed to wear clothes with animal figures. I cannot understand such double standards by Muslims."

YFC777 you didn't get the moral of your own storey. Muslims aren't allowed to wear clothing that has figures of people or animals when we're PRAYING. Otherwise it's fine to wear such clothing, provided they are not indecent or provocative. There is no "double standard" here, just a case of you being misconcieved.

Anonymous said...

conveys the message that food and clothes are of this material world.

I thank God this was said.

So why all the fuss about worldlyness?

YFC777 said...

@WomanForTruth101 said "Muslims aren't allowed to wear clothing that has figures of people or animals when we're PRAYING. Otherwise it's fine to wear such clothing"

Do you even know what your talking ? Try and get one of your Muslim buddies to back you up on this ..

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on wearing clothes on which there are images of animals or people. He replied: It is not permissible for a person to wear clothes on which there is an image of an animal or a person, and it is not permissible to wear ghutrahs or other headgear on which there is an image of a person or an animal, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter any house in which there is an image.” Hence we do not think that anyone should keep pictures for memories, as they say, and whoever has any pictures for memories should destroy them, whether he put them on the wall or in an album etc, because keeping them deprives the people of the house of the angels’ entering upon them. And Allaah knows best. End quote.

Also read - http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/8954

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord,

"YFC777 said...

@TGV: I do not agree with you on your comments about food. I agree with you that Matthew 6 is more about trusting God for your daily needs but you cannot deny that it also conveys the message that food and clothes are of this material world. "

But you did not address any of the points I made above.

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:22-29)

So are you saying that Christians can eat and drink blood, things sacrificed to idols, and from things strangled? It is in the same book of Acts with Peter's alleged vision.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

Also YFC777, you started off your discussion as more respectful but it quickly as turned to frustration.

Sorry to intrude upon you and WomanOfTruth discussion but,I think you need to read very carefully and very slowly the evidence with which Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him) based his daeel or hukum.

"an image of a person or an animal, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter any house in which there is an image.”

This has nothing to do with images on a person's shirt or cap (though I myself follow a view who finds these things unfavorable). There is difference on this matter.

For example there is also long standing debate about television (due to it producing images, or images of people wearing images) there is issue on what constitutes a dwelling place (a home).

And this particular chain comes down through various channels, some of which would indicate that the images spoken of means (on the walls).

Thus some people can keep images (not of gods and deities of course) but they should keep them concealed etc...