“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” (Quran 24:30)
The Holy Quran commands all believing men to lower their eyes whenever they see women and girls passing before them. Giving excuse of short clothes for staring at a woman is hypocrisy at its best. In the modern era, women are free to wear any clothes they deem fit or are comfortable with. Although some guidelines of wearing clothes for women are given in Islam, nobody can force a Muslim woman to wear anything against her will as this will contradict many other teachings of Islam. Khadija (R.A), first wife of Prophet Muhammad and famously known as “Ummul Momineen (Mother of believers)” was a business woman and freely met men for smoothly running her business. None of the Sahih Hadees talks about Prophet Muhammad putting any restriction on her clothing. An easy inference can be drawn and it can be safely said that women are free to wear what they wish; their choice of clothes cannot be used as an excuse for justifying heinous crimes like rape. All believers must change their mind-set about women and give them the respect they deserve. A true Muslim will always respect girls and women whether they wear short clothes or Burqa (a long, loose garment covering the whole body from head to feet).
“Do not even go close to fornication. It is indeed a shameful act, and an evil way to follow. No pity for them should prevail upon you in the matter of Allah’s religion” (Quran 24:2)
Rape is forbidden in Islam. A true believer never commits such heinous crime like rape. Rape is one of the biggest sins that cannot be forgiven. Can a true Muslim say that short clothes instigate and tempt them for raping a woman? The answer is certainly in negation. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said, “If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense.” He further went on to justify how this “cultural imperialism” works and said, “Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be accepted everywhere else. It’s not.” Needless to say that his comment is illogical and irrelevant in the context of globalization and sharing culture. As a Prime Minister, its his responsibility to assure women’s safety and security irrespective of caste, religion, colour and region. His shallow comments symbolize his failure in governance and security. Islam has given equal rights to women in comparison to men in the society; they are certainly not bounded by certain restraints which is postulated by some ill-informed people who are indeed far from Islamic principles.
All the men must change their sick mindset about young girls and women; they should not see them as an object for sex, for abusive utility and physical satisfaction. They should give them equal space on the train, bus, plane, workplace and at home to stay freely on their terms. Clothes do not matter; it’s the twisted perspective that must be corrected. Unfortunately, many share the same mind-set as that of Imran Khan. Unless this mind-set is eradicated from the society, women will be objectified and they will continue to face harassment at the hands of sick men.