“Woman is the priestess of fate and destiny.” — Beaconsfield During a class lecture, one of the students was given the duty of reading and discussing his presentation, which was about religions. The student spoke about seeing Jewish women in a European city who were wearing clothes that covered their body and face, similar to the religious attire of Muslim women. Other students in the lecture hall started asking questions. In order for the presenter to explain his idea in a clearer manner, he described the image of the Jewish women as resembling that of the women in Fahaheel market, an area of Kuwait that is usually visited by women of tribes like any other area in Kuwait. It is true that the student had actually seen Jewish women and their religious baggy clothes. To him, it came as a surprise.
However, even though Muslims are permitted to eat Jewish food (kosher), the idea of them wearing clothes similar to that of Muslim women had never crossed the mind of the student. Here I will speak about something very important. All Ibrahimic religions and beliefs preach and order their followers to adhere to good behavior and to better the moral environment in the society in terms of trust, honesty, integrity, respect for others, and show noble moral discipline. In reality, the interpretation of these noble moral values differs from one religion to another.
The important aspect here is to figure out how to understand these moral values and apply them, instead of just listening and reading the glamorous morality words. If every person, regardless of their religion, adhered to the moral values taught by his/her religion or belief, there would not be any space for hatred. There would not have been wars in almost every part of the world.
This is because the understanding of clergies and scholars of each religion differs when it comes to the essence of desired moral values. Definitely, that is what has been instilling this hatred and wars, which are ignited by the politically wealthy people and lead to the burning and killing of innocent and poor people who have no say.
Also, because of such religious inclinations, some corrupt politicians and regimes take advantage of religion by recruiting certain religious scholars and clerics. The latter would then tailor “fatwas” that fit the desired political statute, through which we see military coups transform into religious or sectarian wars when in reality, they have nothing to do with religion from any angle. Since these wars are based on political or military purposes, they successfully become religious or sectarian or creedal wars by the signatories and fatwas of the so-called scholars of religion or belief.
Back to Fahaheel market, the Jewish women and their religious clothes, I wonder if every religion encourages a certain type of clothing as covering. Are there other religions which differ on the basis of attire as a symbol of chastity? Finally, far from the Jewish women and politicians who take advantage of religion to wage wars, did the student succeed in his research and score the desired grades? I hope so!
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi