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Purity Modesty Chastity / Dress 4/5

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
An Ounce of Prevention - Purity, Modesty and Chastity
There is saying which goes: 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure'. This means that it is much easier to prevent a problem from
occurring than it is to solve it once it's appeared. The guidelines of
Islamic Law for behaviour between members of the opposite sex focus
on preventing the terrible effects of sexual immorality. Both sexes -
boys and girls, men and women - are expected to be pure in their
thoughts and modest in their behaviour, and to preserve their chastity
by not giving in to their sexual desires except with their marriage

One of the ways this is accomplished is by limiting the free mixing of
males and females in both public and private places. A boy may become
attracted to a girl through seeing her regularly, like at school or in
the market. He might approach her and start an innocent conversation to
see if she is also interested in him. After talking with each other,
they might make a date to meet at a more private place, like in the
park or in his home. With no one watching them, he might dare to begin
kissing or touching her. If she allows him to do that, before long he
will become bold enough to go further. Finally, they could end up
having sex without really planning to, which could led to any of the
problems mentioned in the previous pages.

In Islamic Law, if something is forbidden, then anything which is
likely to lead to it is also forbidden. The Prophet (peace be upon him)
said "Whenever a man is alone with a woman (who is not closely related
that marriage is forbidden), the Devil is the third party". It is
therefore forbidden for a Muslim man and woman (or boy and girl who
have reached puberty) who are not close family members to be alone
together where no one can see them, such as in a closed room or in a
lonely place in the countryside. This simple rule prevents the Devil
from being able to trick people into making mistakes that they would
later regret.

Islam also favours the general separation of men and women (and boys
and girls) in such places as mosques, schools, during meetings and
gatherings, and similar events. When there are separate facilities for
men and women, the spirit of brotherhood among people of the same sex
is strengthened. Muslim women and girls often have stronger friendships
with each other than is common among non-Muslim in the West, because
they do not have to compete with each other for the attention of men.
All women gatherings make women feel at ease with each other and give
them more privacy. The same is true for men and boys, who are able to
relax with each other without having to worry about their image as they
would if women and girls were present.

When boys and girls attend same-sex schools (especially secondary level
and universities) they are not distracted from their studies by the
opposite sex. Girls do not have to play dumb in Maths and Science
classes out of fear that the boys will think that they are too smart
and boys do not have worry about showing off all the time. In addition,
the separation of the sexes helps to prevent the development of tragic
love affairs and broken hearts between boys and girls who are

The Islamic Dress Code
Another important means of preventing undesirable attraction between
members of the opposite sex is through a code of dress and behaviour.
Muslims should be modest; that is, they should avoid showing off any
aspect of themselves, including their bodies. Clothing protects us
against the weather and gives us an honourable appearance. The kind of
clothing we wear can let other people know whether we are male or
female, and to which country, community or social class we belong. As
Muslims we do not have to wear any particular style of clothing, but
we should follow certain guidelines:

Both males and females should wear clothing which is loose-fitting and
not thin enough to be able to see through.

It is forbidden for men and boys to imitate women in their dress, or
for women and girls to imitate men; both should wear clothing which is
clearly for their own sex in their society. Unisex styles should
therefore be avoided. Men are forbidden to wear silk or gold; these are
suitable for women and girls.

Clothing worn in public should not be too colourful according to the
local standards; it should not attract attention to specific parts of
the body such as the hips or breasts, or to the person in general.
Women may not wear perfume when in the company of strange/unrelated men
but they may make themselves beautiful for their husbands and families
in the privacy of their own homes.

From the age of puberty, both men and women should cover certain areas
of the body. The part of the body which should be covered is called
the 'awrah. For men and boys the 'awrah is from the navel to the
knees, whether they are at home or in public. For the prayer, they
should be fully dressed. In many Muslim countries, it is also customary
to respectfully cover the head with a prayer cap or turban.

For women when they are in the presence of any men who are not closely
related that marriage is forbidden (son, father, uncle, brother, etc)
the 'awrah is all of the body except face and hands. The Qur'an also
advises women to wear a cloak or coat over their regular clothing when
walking in the street, so that they will be recognised and respected as
honourable women and not be bothered by strange men. When at home they
may uncover their hair and dress is a relaxed and comfortable manner
in the company of close relatives. However, the area between the upper
chest and knees excluding the arms must still remain well covered.

Modesty is not only in dress, but also in attitude. The Qur'an says
that we must not stare at people of the opposite sex whom we find
attractive, but lower our gaze out of respect and shyness. A believer
should also have a chaste and pure mind; he or she should not look at
pictures of naked or scantily-dressed women or men, or try to peek at
people who are getting dressed, or watch people kissing on TV or in the
street, or think bad thoughts about people and imagine what they might
be doing with each other, or join in gossip about others. It does not
matter how properly dressed a person is if one is full of secret habits
and bad thoughts. God wants us to purify our hearts and minds, and to


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aisha - this is just a big quote. It is too long for most people to read, and does not have a discussion topic attached to it, so there's nothing for people to reply to. I also think you've made too many similar posts all in one go!

    It is probably not the best way to spark off a debate. The original topic from a few days ago was very interesting though, and made a nice change to the Sex forum.
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