Why Men Preach Burqa While They Skip Growing Beard?

by Qudsia Gani

The burqa is an outfit and the beard is a body part, yet the beard is optional and the burqa mandatory. Why?

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah walking towards his father’s house after being released from detention after eighty months on Tuesday, March 24, 2020
PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

It is a psychological fact about men’s behaviour that if he is given a choice between two women, he would prefer to stay with the weak-minded. This makes it easy for him to convince her of anything, especially religion, which he himself seldom practices.

Men say the beard is not as important to them as Burqa is to women, especially while commanding their wives about it. Are the wives sure about the dictum of their clean-shaven cutie pies?

Of all the prophets, there was not a single one who did not grow a beard. Then the chain of devotees across ages also did not skip the practice in the least. Modern-day scholars and theologians have also well maintained the practice. And this is true across all faiths and followers from Sadhguru to any Islamic sermonizer. Even an iconic prime minister of the day chooses a beard to display his majesty in the public.

Men are born with beards as women are born with a uterus. While shaving it off, they are exercising a choice that was not naturally given to them. There are clear directives in Islamic jurisprudence rendering clean-shaven men ineligible to bear witness in any matter, civil or criminal.

For a similar reason, men are also forbidden to be in silken attire and that has a wisdom behind it. This is to keep them in a firm state of manhood without deviation.

The Manhood

Manhood is a state of mind that is eager to take responsibility, protect the elderly, raise children with accountability, safeguard the borders and boundaries, uphold the law of the land and exhibit kindness and generosity. Manhood is a cherished entity, which man or society should no way try to lose.

This state of mind and body is now highly altered, though. The deep voices of men are drowning and their valour vanishing. Agnipath was not too bad a scheme that way, to shun a chunk of them. Ever wonder, why sperm count is dropping the latest research says that the decline is not slowing anyway.

On one hand, men are choosing to be fair, feeble and feminine. They are getting soft-spoken and slimmer every day. On the other hand, women are getting rough and robust, struggling hard to be strong, not serene, to be bold, not shy, be he not she. The result is a mere exchange of identities, which is neither wholesome nor original.   We have actually not gained anything through this reverse mechanization. The truth is rather irreversible.

Hypocrisy

Beard is a botheration for men who want to look young, be boyish and have fun. Beard is placed for post-retirement life. To operationalise something like growing a beard, which has been so wholesomely practised is a severe sign of hypocrisy.

Theologians say hypocrisy is of two types. Some hypocrites display a good aura in public while they are also consciously aware of their sins in privacy. They very well know themselves as double crooks. However, there are others who are unconscious of their diseased hearts and this is a more dangerous version of hypocrisy.

These people are greatly illusioned by a moral high ground they suppose they have. Their women keep attributing them as angels and parmeshwaras. One wonders at their obedience without understanding and love without enlightenment. The day she chooses not to be swayed away will indeed be her heyday.

But God knows how soon will she begin at it. The dearth of women in theology is more horrible than their dearth in STEM. Why should women learn from men about grace and modesty? Why can’t they settle their intellectual and moral affairs of their own?

Beard In Kashmir Politics

Empowerment

I want to pick a few examples that may infuse some spirit in them. In the story of Pharaohs which is so well written in history, there is Aasiya, a woman of great calibre, character and conduct. The king chose her to be his only wife even though the custom would permit him to have many and even though she could not bear him a child.

But when Moses came with the call for reform and re-order, Aasiya chose to side with him against her husband whose exploitative policies she did not approve of. This act is much like the manifestation of Henry David’s quote, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me the truth” and only a few stand true to it.

Dr Qudsia Gani

Similarly, in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, it is mentioned that when sage Yajnavalkya wanted to divide his property between the two wives before starting his fourth phase of scholarly learning, his wife Maitreyi took him head-on, asking how they could become immortal through wealth. Even an epitome of ideal womanhood like Sita rejected returning to Rama for the disgrace inflicted upon her post the capture by Ravana. She was banished and banished anyway, even after emerging virtuous and victorious in the fire trial or Agni Pariksha.

Let the women of the day learn to ask the same way. Burqa is an outfit and beard a body part, yet beard is optional and burqa mandatory. Excuse me! Burqa enters the national and international debates while men play safe by not growing beards. A bearded man alone has the mandate to command burqa to women. Rest may better keep mum.

(Dr Qudsia Gani teaches Physics at the Cluster University Srinagar. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)

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