I almost got into a fight infront of room of students at SQU the other day (previous our weekend). MOP and I were peacefully reading a paper, and it happened to feature pictures of the Royal Horse Show in Al Wattiyah. Also the female riders wearing traditional Omani dress.
MOP casually (I suppose) remarked, that is was "all that people could talk about. How they were dressed."
He meant the women.
Which drew my ire.
OPNO: "What do you mean, how they were dressed?!" [my question is a threat, for those of you who do not know me. for those of you who do, you know MOP was digging his own grave just by opening his mouth any further.]
MOP pointed to the women's sirwaal/pants, and how they coat has blown up in the wind as they raced: "Their sirwaal is tight."
OPNO: "And when the wind blows, my abaya sticks to my butt. What's your point? The clothes are loose. EVEN THE PANTS!!!! When they stand in one spot, the clothing is not tight. In fact, it covers mid shin. It's hijab, even some of them, correct Quranic jilbab."
MOP scratches his head.
OPNO continues: "Oh MY GOD. Do you ever hear us women going around, talking about how some man failed to even COVER HIS NAKEDNESS as per Islam in, say, soccer/football matches?! No, you don't. But that's a sin for a man. He's not wearing hijab. In fact, I don't see any beards on ya'll that I'm sure were saying, 'it's all they can talk about'.
But GOD FORBID A WOMAN does not wear hijab AS A CULTURE WOULD DECREE, rather than as her God would decree, and even her Sultan."
People were staring at us, because I picked up the hem of my abaya at that point, to make my point, flashing, MY HIGHLY MODEST SIRWAAL (which has a further layer under it I might add, despite that in the summer this is a sticky, sweaty affair of dress!).
"God FORGIVE ME IF I AM WRONG! But don't your grandmothers dress like this and none of you have a problem?!"
MOP: "Yes, but they are fifty and-"
OPNO: "-Fifty and what? Some of them were wearing jilab! Jilbab isn't merely an abaya!!!!! Or black!!!!!!!!"
MOP is like a goat caught in the headlights [in english, this is a metaphor, please Arabs, don't take it the arab way, OPNO's husband IS NOT A goat].
OPNO continues to rage. MOP manoeuvers her out of the populated room in SQU to an abandoned parking lot, wear MOP soothes her with "I agree with you's" ect, until she stops seething.
There is, consequently, as there is an misunderstanding between Omani men and Omani women, a misunderstanding that non-Muslims have, that Muslim men don't have to cover, and Muslim women do.
You KNOW the only reason Muslim men are allowed to wear less than women?!!!!
Because fabric used to be expensive due it the time it took to produce it before the industrial revolution, and it was a means to equal the poor man out from the rich one, and to give preference to the wife in regards to wealth of fabric.
If the man has the means to it, he is supposed to cover himself (including his head and his shoulders to at least below his knee) more than the bare minimum, but not to excess (having fabric that drags on the ground to show off one can afford more fabric, or expensive fabric and dyes and ornamentation).
But whether or poor or not, the Muslim man has to cover from his navel to his knee. That means nothing below the bellybutton, and nothing above the knee.
Reported Muhammad Jahsh, "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by Ma'mar while his thighs were uncovered. He said, to him, 'O Ma'mar, cover your thighs, for they are (part of the) 'aurah." This is related by Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bukhari in Tareekh and in mu'allaq form in his Sahih.
Reported Jurhad, "The Messenger of Allah passed by me when the cloak I was wearing did not cover my thigh. He said, 'Cover your thigh, for it (is part of the) 'aurah." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan, and by al-Bukhari in mu'allaq form in the Sahih
Most Muslim soccer/sports players do not wear their hijab, which would be obligatory for them after puberty.
So let's just ban women from watching men's sports! some [ignorant idtiots] say.
I'm sorry, but it is a SIN FOR ANOTHER MAN even to see your thighs, guys, in Islam, so.... practice hijab even among yourselves first, before you lecture and conjecture over stranger's daughters, sisters, and wives, k?
I suggest reading this post on the bare minimum's on excess (silk, coloured dyes, length of fabric, type of fabrics, and what must be covered for men, and of course, lowering the gaze:
and all the evidence from the Qu'ran and sunnah containing commands for Muslim men to have beards (and how to keep them): http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/juma-thoughts-muslim-man-and-his-beard.html
So, now my brothers, before you decide to ruin other people's lives with fatws about women not participating in sports, or even watching them, why don't you study your Islam, make sure YOU yourself are practicing your religion and its commandments correctly.
We don't like judges that break the laws themselves do we? We don't respect police officers who do opposite what they are telling US to do, do we?
Well, such is the wisdom of Islam, that BOTH men and women have hijab. Brothers, honestly, talk less about OUR hijab, and work on your own.
Sisters, it is YOUR DUTY to perfect your hijab, and at least read enough (from daleel, not nessarily scholar's fatwas) to know what it is.
So no one can be so dumb as to tell you you can't ride a horse, or swim, unless, you are neither Sunni nor Ibadhi, since both recognize Umar as the leader of the Muslims in his time, and he said:
Omar ibn Al-Khattab (2nd Caliphate):
“Teach your children swimming, archery and horse-riding.”
Or tell you, you can't watch sports or entertainment with men in it (provided they are not doing anything haraam):
On an Eid day, some Abyssinians were singing a song and giving a dance performance right on the premises of the Prophet's Mosque in Medinah. Aisha . r.a. narrates that the Prophet asked her if she would like to watch it. She agreed and both she and the holy Prophet watched it for quite a while.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic version, v3, p228) [Note: Shiite Muslims reject this hadith as false, and also reject the previous, being they do not recognize Umar as a valid source of narration].