Islamic scholars on Tuesday disagreed with the Karnataka High Court's decision not to recognise the wearing of hijab as an essential part of Islam, saying women have been asked in the Quran to "cover their head".
Akhtar-ul-Wasey, former head of the Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, told that he as a teacher advocates the introduction of uniform and it should not be avoided under any pretext but "girl students may be allowed to cover their head with uniform-coloured cloth as is done by the Sikh community".
Professor Wasey said,"If there is a clear instruction for something in the Quran-e-Karim, then it is an essential part of Islam."
He said in Sura-e-Noor, there is an order even for men that they should keep their eyes down.
"Women cover their head during Hajj and Umrah (the journey to Mecca and Medina on normal days other than Hajj)," he said.
Wasey said, "Women of Rajasthan and Brij wear veil in India, what would you call it? This is the Indian culture."
Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid in Chandni Chowk, also said that hijab is part of the Quran and Hadith (teachings of Prophet Muhammad). "The head covering is mandated in the Quran, so it is necessary. In Surah al-Ahzab, Sur-e-Noor mandates covering the head, so it is an essential part of Islam."
Ashraf Usmani, spokesperson of Darul Uloom Deoband, a world-renowned Islamic educational institution, told PTI-Bhasha, "Women’s head covering is approved by the Quran and what has been mentioned in the Quran is a duty, whether it is prayer, fasting, Zakat or Hajj."
He said, "In the 1,400-year history of Islam, there has never been any controversy regarding hijab. The religious scholars around the world believe that covering the head is a duty in Islam.
He said the court cannot decide what is part of Islam and what is not.
Professor Wasey said, "We are not satisfied with this decision. My appeal is that those who are not satisfied with this decision, they challenge it in the apex court."
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday said wearing hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam and rejected the submissions of Muslim girl students for being allowed to wear hijab in classes.
The court also upheld the ban on hijab in educational institutions in the state.