69 million page views

Sheikh el-Azhar bans al-niqab in the schools run by el-Azhar!

Reader comment on item: Niqabs and Burqas - The Veiled Threat Continues

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Oct 11, 2009 at 10:03

It seems that Sheikh el-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi walked into a school run by el-Azhar and told a young woman wearing a niqab to remove it which she did and then it seems that he commented on the fact that he knows the islamic law and that: "el-niqab laysa farddan wa laysa wagibban wa la sunna" and i would translate this as: the niqab is not a must (read this as obligation) or duty or the normative practice (of the prophet) and then he made some funny remarks that the woman was not very pretty!!

He was also quoted as saying that: el-muhaggba lasyat afdal men el-mish mihaggba (this is hybrid modern classical Arabic and Egytpian Arabic) and i would translate it as: the one who wears the hijab is not any better than the one that does not wear it!

And the end result is that Egyptians are debating once more the issue of not just al-niqab but also al-higab (hijab) and for those of you that know Egyptian Arabic you can check this debate on


And the title of the episode is: el-harb bain al-shiyookh wa al-3ulama hawl shari3at el-niqab men 3adamuh Amr Adeeb: ana shayif el-umma el-islamiyya bitithadid (Egyptian Arabic) or: The war between the shiekhs and the doctors (of islamic law) about (the validity of wearing) the niqab in Muslim law. Amr Adeeb (the host of the program): I see the islamic nation under threat.

Amr Adeeb estimates that about 90% of young women in schools in Egypt wear the hijab and that the rates of those that wear the niqab is on the rise. He also stated that some young men wear al-niqab for various nefarious reasons. He is not advocating making the niqab illegal but it would not surprise me if the state makes it illegal to wear the niqab as Sheikh el-Azhar is no more than a glorified employee of the Egyptian state.

One final note: some 90 years ago the great Huda Sha3rawi stood in the middle of the biggest square in Cairo and took off her niqab (that women in Egypt had to wear at that time) and declared that Egyptian women should be free and the women of Egypt followed the lead of that great woman! And that was the end of the niqab in Egypt until the rise of islamists and the wish of some of them to be more Arabs than the Hijazi Arabs themselves!

I guess bad ideas never go away


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)