sense and revitalize at every moment the acts of each believer in his orientation towards the One, drawing from his innermost source, deep in his heart.
Far from being a legal code or a treaty of the lawful and the illicit, the Koran is above all an incitement to a new way of being in the world and to bring out the Divine in his own existence: “God sends down the most beautiful messages: a harmonious script in its deployments. They have the skin that shivers, those who fear their Lord! Better: she is moved as well as their heart to the reminder of God. – This is the guidance from God: He guides who He wills; he whom he leads astray does not find a guide “(Koran 39, 23).
What is meant as “veil,” in Revelation, covers several meanings with an appropriate word each time. There is first of all what is called jilbab, khimar or thaib, according to the verses and circumstances, and which relate to the feminine dress. On the other hand there is the notion of hijab which is not a garment but – and this concerns both men and women – which is related to the concern to preserve, to hide and to hide.
The clothing aspects
Let’s first look at what is related to women’s dress:
“O Prophet! Tell your wives, your daughters and the women of the believers to cover themselves with their veils (jalâbihinna), it is for them the best way to make themselves known and not to be offended … “(Koran 33, 59).
The word “jilbâb” (plural jalâbih) comes from the root jlb which means “to draw”, and indicates an overcoat “pulled” on the dress 1. The wearing of the veil, Jacques Berque tells us in his attempt to translate the Koran, distinguishes the free woman (hurra) from women of inferior conditions.
“Tell the believers to look down, to be chaste, to show only the outside of their garments, to fold their veils (khumur, sing khimâr) on their breasts, to show their attire only to their husbands … Tell them again not to hit the ground with their feet so as not to show their hidden trimmings. “(Quran 24:31)
The word “khimâr” comes from the root kh-mr which means “to cover” (hence also khamr, alcoholic beverage that covers the normal senses and intelligence of the drunk individual) 2. This verse introduces a new attitude of decency in public rather than imposing the veil on women’s faces.
“There is no fault to blame women who can no longer have children and who can no longer marry, to leave their sails (thiyab, sing thauu i.ehabit, clothing), provided they do not not show themselves in all their attire; but it is better for them to abstain from it … “(Koran 24, 60).
Regarding this garment itself, no details are given as to the nature of the fabric, its color, its type, its cut, etc. It is only indicated how it should be worn: folded, so as not to show or reveal feminine attire. Only the decency, the reserve and finally the garment of God’s Reverential Fear, which alone gives the right orientation and discernment, is asked. This is not achieved by the standardization of behavior and clothing, because each social situation requires an appropriate response where discernment, ie respect for others and not just our simple identification, is the Main
Islam is obviously not just a way of dressing. It can even be said that there is no truly “Islamic” dress code. Indeed, the dress of the Prophet was not different from that of an Arab or a Meccan living in the seventh century. Moreover, for the non-observation of the wearing of the veil, the Law did not provide for a temporal sanction, because it is a matter of the beyond (unlike murder or theft).
The veil as a symbol
Another term for the “veil” in the Qur’anic narrative is translated by mothijab and does not seem to cover the idea of clothing in the sense of what has been discussed above. The word hijab has become, in everyday language, a generic term for everything a woman can use to cover her head and / or face, which adds to the confusion. It actually refers to what covers, what hides, what separates, what screens. This term appears in six verses:
“David said, I preferred the love of these noble fugitives to the memory of my Lord; until these horses have disappeared behind the veil. He then says, “Bring them back to me.” And he began slicing their hocks and neck. (Quran 38, 32-33)
The role of the veil designating occultation in world affairs and earthly pleasures is essential here. This occultation ultimately allows one to leave the illusion of a world which would be an end in itself and which would itself contain its own truth.
“A thick veil is placed between Paradise and Gehenna …”, (Quran 7:46). Here, the veil does not allow the respective inhabitants of one or the other site to communicate or to exchange between them.
“Mention Mary in the Book. She left her family and retired to a place to the East. She placed a veil between her and hers. We sent him our Spirit: he presented himself before her in the form of a perfect man. “(Quran 19, 16-17). Once again, it appears that the orientation towards God requires a form of rupture, symbolized here by the veil, with certain aspects of the terrestrial world which can be source of misguidance.