1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The practice of Islam throughout the world, particularly in the non-Arab world, has been the history of the spread of Islam using Quran which is the Words of Allah to taught the humankind. Quran is a true guidance for all stages of man’s life. It contains true guidance about everything affecting man’s life and it is divine encyclopedia knowledge. The glorious Quran is therefore, regarded as a complete code of conduct for the fact that it deals with all ways of life and prophecies.
It is a tragic fact that the vast majority of Non-Muslims have for the same reason or the other never gives a serious thought to what the Quran says. Consequently, their ideas about the Quran still remains very lacking.
It should rightly be emphasized that the Quran being of universal appeal does not normally aim at locating itself in a particular, but it has been reweave as a “Guide and Mercy to all mankind irrespective of race ad colour”. Therefore, the Quranic subject is vital to both the Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Apart from being the “Book of Guidance” “conclusive world “has to give mankind some ideas of the event that were soon to follow after its revealation one of the major ones which are yet to follow the Quranic prophecies, many have been fulfilled.
The Qur’an is the book of incontrovertible truly and not a book of hypothesis. It has convinced as scientific knowledge advances. It will gradually find means of accurately confirming its many other in controvertible truths as it has recently confirmed many already. The Quran has vast field, the more you thinks, the more significant your attempts appears to be; the more you write, the less it looks you, such a miracle is the glorious Qur’an, which constitute the authenticity of Islamic religion all over the world.
Islam is the second largest religious faith in the world, it is a monotheistic religion based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, which were later recorded in the Qur’an—Islam’s sacred text. Islam is “din wa dawla”: both a system of individual faith and conduct, and a comprehensive guide for the organization of society and state. Islam is an action-oriented world view that encompasses social, cultural, and political elements, including religious and secular reasoning (Barazangi, 2009) whose adherents are called Muslims.
Muslims engage in a variety of devotional practices to increase their God-knowledge-consciousness (taqwā) and to discipline their attitudes toward others. Muslims have identified what they call the “five pillars of Islam” as a focus for their ritual practices, with some variation in how they are prescribed across Islamic legal schools. They are based on the Quran and Sunnah and were given their defining interpretations by the ‘ulamā’ in the first three centuries of Islam. The five pillars are: the shahādah [the testimony of the unity of God and the prophethood of Muhammad]; ṣalāt [canonical prayer]; zakāt [alms]; ṣawm [the fast of Ramadan]; and Hajj [pilgrimage to Mecca). Abu Ali, (1991).
Although the canonical prayers, alms, pilgrimage and fast of Ramadan are almost universally shared among Muslims, there is nonetheless much room for diversity in Islamic knowledge practice. The canonical prayers can be performed individually or in congregation at the mosque or literally anywhere else. The Friday prayers are a weekly gathering in which Muslims listen to a sermon and pray together. At homes and in the mosque, the sight of Muslims reciting the Quran or using prayer beads for the invocation of sacred litanies or particular praises of God or the Prophet is common.
However, Islamic knowledge focus on other practices of the moral society such as a way of dressings and other moral values. Islam prescribes best way of dressing for Muslims in order to suit code of moral lifestyles. The clothing materials and the mode of dressing which may stimulate arrogance as false pride and vanity are strictly prohibited. In man’s mode of dressing, Islam takes into consideration the principles of decency, modesty, chastity and manliness. Anything in clothing or adornment incomplete with the attainment and development or qualities is inhibited by Islam.
As regards the mode of dressing Qur’an 24:30-31 says; ‘Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that will make for greater purity for them and God is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that they should not disciplinary there of that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their father (and certain other members of the household) and that they should not strike their feet in other to draw attention on to their hidden ornaments.
But notwithstanding, some Muslims deviated from the moral practice of Islam especially some Muslim youths by inventing their suit-way of dressings, which resulted to indecent dressing.
Indecent dressing has come to characterize the dress pattern of many youths in Nigeria. There is hardly any city in this country that is not face with this disgusting problem. The way this youths particularly the female ones dress seductively leaves much to be desired. What the girls call skirts that they wear is just one inch longer than their pants. When they put on such dresses, they struggle to sit down, find it difficult in climbing motorcycles, cross covet as well as pick anything from the ground. Apart from the tight fitting nature of these dresses, they are again transparent, revealing certain parts of the bodies that under normal dressing patterns ought to be hidden away from the glare of people. In the case of boys, their pattern of dress is different, it makes them to look so dirty and very unattractive with unkempt hairs and dirty jeans that has pockets of holes deliberately created around the knees and the lower part of the trousers allowed to flow on the ground because they go through their heals into their legs as socks.
Moreover, the waist of their trousers are lowered and fastened tightly at the middle of the bottom lobes to reveal their boxers pants and when they are walking, they drag their legs and one of their hands particularly, the left one cupping their invisible scrotum as if they will fall to the ground if not supposed. Many of them because of how they dressed has at one time or the other become victims of rape, lured into prostitution, used for ritual purposes, unable to complete their education or training and also engaged in other ancillary social and moral problems like cultism, lying and other anti-social behaviour. Although, there are known universally acceptable way or ways of dressing, dresses are meant to serve some definable purpose, country or region notwithstanding.
This act is fast spreading to even the prospective University undergraduates who have joined in the millennium fashion of crazy dressing pattern. Formerly, some Muslim female youths were seen to be the worst gender among whom indecent dressing is found (Anadi, Egboka and Aniorobi, 2011; Igbinovia, 2005), but recently, their male counterparts are trying to meet up with them as the male are going almost naked too calling it the fashion of “Sagging”. Yet, the health implications to those who engage have not been understood. In Nigeria for example, “sagging” is a recent phenomenon. At the down of the 21st century, there was hardly anything like “sagging” of pants. But from around 2009 to date the dress pattern seems to have overtaken the youths in Nigeria especially those in the higher institutions of learning.
Furthermore, Writing on this, Adamu, (2005) in a study stated that 60% of Muslims female undergraduate students of the University in Nigeria especially dress indecently. Similar to this, Amadu, Egboka and Aniorobi (2011) opined that it is the overwhelmingly indecent dresses of the girls that attract much public concern and emphasis on the part of the girls. So also, Habiba (Cited in Amadu, Egboka and Aniorobi 2011), carried out a research on indecent dress on Nigerian campuses, including types of dress and effects of the exposure, etc. Yet, little or no study has shown much concern on the linkage between indecent dressing habit and the tragedy of body deformity especially on “sagging” as a dress pattern. Islam well as other jurisdictions have gotten a desk in tackling the level in which indecent dressings has become rampart in Nigerian universities most especially in Southern part of Nigeria.
Therefore, in the light of the above, this research is to examine the practice of Islam in modern time with special emphasis on Islamic way of dressings, using Sokoto state university as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There are some problems changing the way of practising Islam in the Nigerian universities. Although there are Islamic ways of dressing adopted in worshiping Allah. But the dressing pattern among the Muslim youths of this generation have generated a lot of concern and worry among the Muslims scholars of the country. Religion institution as well as institution of learning are not resting on their bars to watch this moral act being perpetuated, but they speak against it. For instance Ahmad (2008) reported that at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, rules were made that any dress wore must cover intimate part of the body, must not expose the breast, stomach, navel and bare chest, but on this campus students still dress indecently. In some of the areas where this observation was made, it seems that the introduction of a dress code by culture was misinterpreted by the students, to mean they should dress indecently. This is because what became obvious with youths in these areas after the introduction of this dress code was the alarming and arrant ways that they begin to dress indecently.
Therefore, It has become difficult to determine the level of attainment to put an end to it in order to fix dressing code for them. Hence, the study intend to examine the causes, the effects and solutions of the above discussed.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective or aim of this study is to examine Islam practice and modern time with emphasis on Islamic dressings. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the Islamic dressings according to Quran and Hadith in the university.
2. To examine the causes, effects and way forwards for indecent dressings in the university.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What does Quran and Hadith say about Islamic dressings in the university?
2. What are the causes, effects and way forwards for indecent dressings in the university?
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
This study will to benefit and consider significant in the following ways: Firstly, it will help decision making organs, institutions and Ministry of Education to determine the basis formation of National Policy of Education in Nigeria that gives room for decent dressings in the schools curriculums.
Secondly, invaluably, it will contribute to academic knowledge of students as well as function as the agent of in the society in a proper way of dressings.
Furthermore, it will create awareness and inspire a sense of responsibility on the all Muslims on the role expected of them to achieve motivation and development of Islamic morality.
Finally, it is hoped that this study will add to the existing body of educational research literature, which might be harnessed for further research in this topic and other related studies.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study will strictly centered on the examing the cause, effects and way forwards in deducing indecent dressing in Sokoto state university, Nigeria.
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, text books and encyclopedia).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 LITERATURE REVIEW
Qur’an is an Arabic world which find its coruces from verb Qara’a yaqra’u Qiratan or Qur’an which means the Book of Allah sent to Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) through Angel Jubril (A.S.S) it contains the knowledge and guidance for men who are righteous at all times. It is delectation of the truth and a light to show the right path. The Qur’an is the wise and the compete exhortation and the clear message.
It is the rope of Allah by bolding to which individuals and nations can achieve salvation. It is the remedy for all the spiritual ailment of men. It is a constant reminder for all of us that prophets will not came anymore for our guidance. It acts as the criterion between the truths and the falsehoods. As a final revelation from Allah, it is the embodiment of fairest statement and divine words of wisdom.
With the above guidance and wisdom, it is understand that man should remain loyal to his mainly nature which God has chosen for him and keep away from all things that are likely to weaken or endanger his character. It is clear that the need for modesty is the same for both man and women. But on account of the differentiation of sexes in nature, temperaments for women and social life, a greater amount of privacy is required for women then for men, essentially in the matter of dressing and the covering of the bosom. When Islam allows women to use the things which are forbidden for man and which are suitable for the feminine nature alone. It allows her the things suit her nature and at the same time cautions her against anything that might abuse or upset that nature.
According to Mushin (2012), what you wear affects others perception of you. The clothes we wear put us on a different mindset. It is therefore necessary to dress in the image one wants to portray oneself. Workman, and Lentz-Hee (2010), suggested that through dress code, the universities establish rules governing students’ appearance. Adebayo (2013), advised that the university society is founded on a moral heritage that must be preserved and so the dress code should be observed with sheer determination and moral will.
Dress Code has so many advantages some of them are: instilling discipline in the students; helping to preserve moral standard by lowering sexual abuse and harassment; creating less distraction to both the students and the lecturers; the much expected classroom order is made possible by helping the student to concentrate in his or her academic work; it shows sense of responsibility on the part of the students decency, reputation and character formation are other benefits of dress code; it is all about acceptable image and prepares the student for labor market by instilling in them the habit of good dressing. Students are taught what sort of dress will serve them best professionally and socially.
The university attaches importance to modest and good dressing. Many stakeholders have complained that many students both male and female are guilty of indecent dressing in the university. Dressing is not just a matter of taste, comfort and convenience. When a student dresses up, he or she should ask himself or herself if the dressing meets the following criteria, decency, socially acceptable, not too expensive, not distractive or disruptive etc. Many youths copy the ghetto mode of dressing. They pull down their pants and skirts below the waist showing their inner boxers or pants. This is what they call sagging. Some males plait their hair, some wear earring on one ear. These youths do not know that no professional will dress in that manner and it is very unprofessional.
Students in the tertiary institutions are being prepared to be great future professionals. If the student’s indecent dressing is not checked, by the time he or she leaves the university and goes into the labour market to look for a job with one eared earring if you are a man or sagged trouser or bushy hair and unshaved mustache, the youths will find it difficult to get a job. The employers will see him as irresponsible. The same treatment will be meted to a lady who dresses as if she is going to a party with very big earring, transparent blouse or dress, very loud make up, skirt or dress above the knees etc.
However, Islam is very sensitive to the manners of mode of dressing it makes it clear that both man and women should be confined to their respective natures to safeguard their natural instincts and endow them with modesty and high morality. The holy prophet Mohammad was reported to have said: “god condemns those men who behave or act in a women life fashion just like women who acts in dressings of men”. Therefore, Cothing and adornment of men and women should be modest enough following the Islamic principles of dressing.
1.8 END NOTE
- Qur’an 24
- Qur’an 30-31
- Qur’an 33
- Dr Leila Ahmed is professor of Women’s Studies in Religion at Harvard University, 33, 16p.
- Leila Ahmed Women and Gender in Islam New Haven 1992, 166.
- Ahmed, above note 11, 166.
- Ahmed, above note 11, 166.
- Egboka 2011, 306.