Jump to content
Islamic Forum
Sign in to follow this  
fajr_tear

The Science Behind The Veil

Recommended Posts

The moral duty of wearing the veil in Islam is an often-discussed topic among Muslim women. However, little has been written about scientific reasons that the veil is beneficial for society. There are, in fact, a number of health benefits that wearing the veil can provide, as well as many behavioral science studies that suggest that the veil is the best attire for women.

 

Protecting the head is very important from a health perspective. Results of medical tests show that 40-60% of body heat is lost through the head, so persons wearing head coverings during cold months are protected about fifty-percent more than those who do not.

 

Chinese and Muslim medical texts take this concept even further. In the Hua Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Internal Medicine), wind is said to cause sudden changes within the body, and shaking, swaying, and other movements that potentially upset the body’s equilibrium; thus, creating bad health. These texts attribute the common cold to wind elements entering the body and causing the typical symptoms of sneezing and a runny nose.

 

In the traditional Islamic medical texts of Al-Jawziyya, we can find numerous references to the "four elements" of fire, water, air, and earth, and how these affect the body in adverse ways. In particular, we are advised to stay away from drafts and to protect our heads in wind, breezes, drafts, and cold weather. All outdoor workers should wear some sort of head covering for this reason.

 

Protecting the head is even more important in warm weather. V.G. Rocine, a prominent brain research specialist, has found that brain phosphorus melts at 108 degrees; a temperature that can be easily reached if one stays under the hot sun for any length of time without a head covering. When this happens, irreversible brain damage, memory loss and loss of some brain functions can result. Although this example is extreme, brain damage can still be measured in small degrees from frequent exposure to and overheating of the head. Bernard Jensen, a naturopath and chiropractor, states that this is because the brain runs on the mineral phosphorus, which is very effected by heat.

 

Last, but not least, a veil or head covering should be worn by all public workers serving society to ensure cleanliness and purity. Workers in a number of professions wear "veils" - nurses, fast food workers, deli counter workers, restaurant workers and servers, doctors, health care providers, and many more. In fact, when we compare the number of workers who cover their heads to the number who do not, we find that more people probably cover their heads than do not.

 

Aside from personal and public health benefits of the veil, it has numerous other benefits to society. In Analyzing Visual Data, Ball and Smith discuss the acknowledgement of sociologists that visual representations are influential in shaping people's views of the world and their interpretations of life. Men use visual data to interpret their relationships with the women around them.

 

Many studies have found that when a person tries to rewire their instinctual perceptions, they are usually only rewired on the surface; their original perceptions still exist on some level. Brain studies show that we exist in a world of constantly varying light variables that force the brain to perform what is called "lateral inhibition;" consequently, it provides us with a "steady" image as opposed to a "true" image of what we see. Furthermore, lateral inhibition networks operate as part of the "unconscious" brain; largely, without providing any information to the "conscious" part of the brain about what they are doing. Therefore, the brain can provide varying perceptions of the world without our even being fully conscious of what it is processing.

 

Further studies cited in Encyclopedia Britannica show that how a female presents herself to society falls under the category of ritualized behavior through which animals provide specific information to other animals, usually members of its own species. Virtually all higher animals, including humans, use displays to some extent to do this, and the best-known displays are visual ones. Some biologists actually restrict the term display to refer to visual signals or gestures. These visual signals, which in animals can be simply a bright color or plume, encourage attraction. In humans, they are usually exhibited in ornamental hair, make up, or clothing.

 

In our society, most of the time attractive hairstyles and clothing are worn for the purpose of making the adorner more attractive (advertising and television have institutionalized this reality). The ever-changing variations in fashion tend to affect the brain because it typically has trouble constantly adjusting to changing shadows and forms in the world. Reasonably then, through "lateral inhibition," the brain automatically simplifies these images into the unconscious message that attractive hair and clothing are MEANT to attract. Joining these two concepts together, we can see how the human male could receive the signal of "attraction" from the brain before he has enough time to "block" it by "lowering his gaze."

 

Having to re-form an image already processed by the lateral inhibition network is a cause of stress for most people. Doing this day after day, after seeing many "displays," potentially causes a great cumulative stress on society.

 

In early times, stress caused the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in an outpouring of the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and glucocorticoids that were essential to the life-preserving fight or flight reactions of primitive man. However, the nature of stress for individuals living today is different. It is only occasionally that one is confronted with unexpected, overwhelming, life-threatening stresses.

 

Present day stresses arise from many things; among these are the vast amounts of visual and physical input we are bombarded with in this "information age" of personal freedom. The problem we face in this is that the body still continues to respond in the same fashion as during primitive times, releasing large amounts of these hormones, which can be very harmful. They can cause an increase in blood pressure, damage muscle tissue, lead to infertility, inhibit growth, damage the hippocampus, and suppress the immune system.

 

The two most effective solutions to this problem are, first, to convince the advertising industry, and society as a whole, to alter the presentation of women to our males. The second and more viable way is to simply influence women to dress modestly, which will help ensure that they do not send inappropriate visual signals to men.

 

Covering the hair can also have a beneficial effect on the female psyche as well. Studies of women being interviewed for jobs show that there is a high correlation between what they wear and their perceptions of how successful they will be in their interviews.

 

There are many more examples of how what we wear can influence how we act. Wearing a veil can serve to remind women of their religious duties and behavioral expectations. It can also serve as a reminder to women that we are not only individuals, but also representatives and diplomats of our "Ummah."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PropellerAds

A lot of this isn't science or is irrelevant or can't be differentiated between someone wearing a hat, beenie, etc.

Edited by xocoti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jazakullah for posting this. It is very nice.

 

I know my stress has been greatly reduced by covering. Before I knew I was a Muslim, I wore regular western clothes. It was so irritating that being clean and dressed just wasn't enough. I would go to college in jeans and a t-shirt, but most of the other girls were all accessorized and fashionable. Islam gave me a big relief in that department. Now there is no pressure to be "hot". Clean and comfortable is finally acceptable. I also don't have to worry about the medical risks of sun tanning. All of my skin is protected, and I can stick to my own opinion that the way God created us is beautiful and does not need to be altered. I breathe in way less dust and pollen. There is more heat trapped around me when I am outside, but I like to think of it as my portable sauna that helps to cleanse my pores (the heat of my breath gets trapped around my face - portable face steamer) and effortlessly burns calories to keep me healthy. No need to go to the gym and compete with - or at least catch up to - all those people with perfectly sculpted bodies; just take a walk to the Masjid and back in 115 F weather under your niqab, and do a prayer while you are there. There are many more rewards involved in that workout, so you feel better about yourself on many different levels when you are done. Also, the niqab makes it a little bit difficult to go out of the house very much - which is a good thing. I get tired quick, but it prevents me from staying out any longer than my business takes. I used to sit in a coffee shop and read; now I do that at home. It is much better to do it at home because I'm not out among all the men. I used to spend hours wandering around the mall. Now I don't do that, so I save money and again, I am not waltzing around all the non-mahrams out there. When I go out, I do my business and I come home, thanks to the niqab because it limits oxygen and makes me very tired, thereby protecting me from all kinds of sins that I might commit in public idle time.

 

But the pressure to compete and be fashionable among sisters only is still an issue. I don't like to even try to compete, but when I notice that other people are trying I don't feel good about it. I can't figure it out. Is it okay to get all dressed up to be around women? I mean, naturally women like to do that, but it is something better to avoid? If someone has money and she shows it off with clothes and jewelry around other women - is there sin in that? Maybe another woman would feel bad because she doesn't have money or time to be that "artificially" beautiful. Well then she has to seek refuge from envy... This is a very complicated topic to me. Does anybody know any Quran or Hadith about it? Does anybody else find it puzzling? My instincts (which I realize may have no weight on what is actually right or wrong) say that we should try not to invest our money and time in such materialistic endeavors, especially since it makes a breeding ground for pride, envy, greed, distraction from worship, love of dunya, and things of that nature. I have no problem with people who look nice in simple clothes and a little jewelry that everyone else would not find distracting. But I see no need to plaster one's face with make-up and spend hours on a hair-do to prance around other people. (if the husband likes it and he would be the only one to see it- that is a different story) Anybody know what Islam says about women being very fashionable and showing off in front of other women?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

salaam sister maryam

you ask in your last sentence if anyone knew any Islamic take on this issue of women over decorating themselves for showing off thier material speriority to other women

i dont have any knowledge of a haddees or a quranic verse that addresses this issue

but this is so common unsensical an iss

ue that words need not be squandered about it

when i sense someone doing that

and males also have this weakness

i just make a mental note of the highly low self esteem the person suffers from

and such people are very very conveniently dominated by your intellect

so just be grateful to Allah when around such unfortunates

know for sure that the way they try masking thier low self esteem with plastered or adorned accessories in the exact proportion do they view your freedom from such fakeness

The unease you feel is not due to them but due to your own newness to the grounds of spirituality

everyone has a fixed time for growing to where your spirit has ascended

they will get there in time and it may be years later but then they will know that you were years ahead of them

right now they are meant by Allah to chisel your senses of modesty and they serve thier purpose well says your writing

by the way your input about the advantages of a veil waas very nourishing

i am impressed by the clarity Allah endows you with in the veil issue

good girl you are sister

and these over made up women around you are needed around you to highlight your modesty

so just feel good around them

Allah bless you

i really enjoyed your writing

salaam

and i am 51 and very sick and do not intend changing my single status- i could not even if i wished to

and i do not say that to offend you or suspecting you

i just mention it for my words to mean more to you

i truly appreciate your experiences with and through the modesty of the veil

and very well expressed

salaam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all

 

These texts attribute the common cold to wind elements entering the body and causing the typical symptoms of sneezing and a runny nose.

 

Then these texts are wrong at least on the comon cold.

 

 

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

 

Next you will be say that i as a non-believe have seven intestines....Wait...what! ( A Joke incase you missed the humour)

 

 

Peace all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Further studies cited in Encyclopedia Britannica show that how a female presents herself to society falls under the category of ritualized behavior through which animals provide specific information to other animals, usually members of its own species. Virtually all higher animals, including humans, use displays to some extent to do this, and the best-known displays are visual ones. Some biologists actually restrict the term display to refer to visual signals or gestures. These visual signals, which in animals can be simply a bright color or plume, encourage attraction. In humans, they are usually exhibited in ornamental hair, make up, or clothing.

 

Sweet your quoting about evolution, you realise that?. The irony.....

 

Peace all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×