• Category Category: P
  • View View: 544
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pardah is a religious and social practice of female seclusion prevalent among some Muslimand Hindu communities in South Asia. It takes two forms: physical segregation of the sexes and the requirement that women cover their bodies so as to cover their skin and conceal their form. A woman who practices purdah can be referred to as pardanashin or purdahnishan.

Physical segregation within buildings is achieved with judicious use of walls, curtains, and screens. A woman’s withdrawal into purdah usually restricts her personal, social and economic activities outside her home. The usual purdah garment worn is a burqa, which may or may not include a yashmak, a veil to conceal the face. The eyes may or may not be exposed.

Purdah was rigorously observed under the Taliban in Afghanistan, where women had to observe complete purdah at all times when they were in public. Only close male family members and other women were allowed to see them out of purdah. In other societies, purdah is often only practised during certain times of religious significance.

Married Hindu women in parts of Northern India observe purdah, with some women wearing a ghoonghat in the presence of older male relations on their husbands’ side; some Muslim women observe purdah through the wearing of a burqa. A dupatta is a veil used by both Muslim and Hindu women, often when entering a religious house of worship. This custom is not followed by Hindu women elsewhere in India.

Although purdah is commonly associated with Islam, many scholars argue that veiling and secluding women pre-dates Islam; these practices were commonly found among various groups in the Middle East such as Druze, Christian, and Jewish communities. For instance, the burqa existed in Arabia before Islam, and the mobility of upper-class women was restricted in Babylonia, Persian, and Byzantine Empires before the advent of Islam. Historians believe purdah was acquired by the Muslims during the expansion of the Arab Empire into modern-day Iraq in the 7th century C.E and that Islam merely added religious significance to already existing local practices of the times.

Adoption and spreading

Historians believe purdah was originally a Persian practice, described in Herodotus, that the Muslims adopted during the Arab conquest of modern-day Iraq in the 7th century C.E. . Later, Muslim rule of northern India during the Mughal Empire influenced the practice of Hinduism, and the purdah spread to the Hindu upper classes of northern India. The spread of purdah outside of the Muslim community can be attributed to the tendency of affluent classes to mirror the societal practices of the nobility; poor women did not observe purdah. Lower class women in small villages often worked in fields, and therefore could not afford to abandon their work to be secluded. During the British colonialism period in India, purdah observance was widespread and strictly-adhered to among the Muslim minority.

In modern times, the practice of veiling and secluding women is still present in mainly Islamic countries and South Asian countries.However, the practice is not monolithic. Purdah takes on different forms and significance depending on the region, time, socioeconomic status, and local culture. It is most commonly associated with some Muslim communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with Saudi Arabia.Purdah has been more recently adopted in northern Nigeria, especially in areas affected by the Boko Haram uprising. It is also observed by Rajput clans of India and Pakistan as a social practice regardless of religion.

More discussion Here

1- Wikepedia 

2-Zakir Naik


4-Hamid Ghamdi

5-Daily Dawn 

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/purdah/

  • writerPosted On: July 4, 2017
  • livePublished articles: 768

Most Recent Articles from P Category:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Translate »