The Science behind the Veil

I received this email today and unlike many others, this caught my eye – the scienctific factors behind wearing the veil. u see the veil is “not just a piece of cloth”. there are reasons why Allah has asked us to don it – for example, i’ve read that scientifically, by covering ur head you protect yourself from losing body heat through the head from the sun (and what better way to cover it than donning the hijab right ladies? yuuhuu~) – health reasons too! ain’t it just wonderful how He shows His loveeee to us…

The Science behind the Veil (Hijaab)

There are number of healths and moral benefits that wearing the veil can provide the moral duty of wearing the veil (Hijaab) in Islam is an Often-discussed topic among Muslim women. However, little has been written about scientific reasons that the veil is beneficial for society. There are, in fact, a number of health benefits that wearing the veil can provide, as well as many behavioural science studies that suggest that the Veil is the best attire (clothes) for women.

Protecting the head is very important from a health perspective. Results Of medical tests show that 40-60% of body heat is lost through the head, so persons wearing head coverings during cold months are protected about Fifty-percent more than those who do not. Chinese & Muslim medical texts take this concept even further. In the Hua Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Internal Medicine), wind is said to cause sudden changes within the body, & shaking, swaying, & Other movements that potentially upset the body’s equilibrium; thus, creating bad health.

These texts attribute the common cold to wind elements entering the body & causing the typical symptoms of sneezing & a Runny nose. In the traditional Islamic medical texts of Al Jawziyya, we can find numerous references to the “four elements” of fire, water, air, & earth, & How these affect the body in adverse ways. In particular, we are advised to stay away from drafts & to protect our heads in wind, breezes, drafts, & Cold weather.

All outdoor workers should wear some sort of head covering:
For this reason; protecting the head is even more important in warm weather. V.G. Rocine, a prominent brain research specialist, has found that brain Phosphorus melts at 108 degrees; a temperature that can be easily reached if one stays under the hot sun for any length of time without a head covering. When this happens, irreversible brain damage, memory loss & loss of some brain functions can result. Although this example is extreme, Brain damage can still be measured in small degrees from frequent exposure to & overheating of the head. Bernard Jensen, a naturopath & chiropractor, States that this is because the brain runs on the mineral phosphorus, which is very affected by heat.

Hygienic Purposes:
All public should wear a veil or head-covering Workers serving society to ensure cleanliness & purity. Workers in a Number of professions wears “veils” – nurses, fast food workers, and deli Counter workers, restaurant workers & servers, doctors, health care Providers, & many more. In fact, when we compare the number of workers who cover their heads to the number who do not, we find that more people Probably cover their heads than do not.

Social Influence:
Aside from personal & public health benefits of the Veil, it has numerous other benefits to society. In analysing visual data, Ball & Smith discuss the acknowledgement of sociologists that visual representations are influential in shaping people’s views of the world & their interpretations of life. Men use visual data to interpret their relationships with the women around them.

Many studies have found that when a person tries to rewire there instinctual perceptions, they are usually only rewired on the surface; their original perceptions still exist on some level. Brain studies show that we exist in a world of constantly varying light variables that force the brain to perform what is called “lateral inhibition” consequently, it provides us with a “steady” image as opposed to a “true” image of what we see.

Furthermore, lateral inhibition networks operate as part of the “Unconscious” brain; largely, without providing any information to the “Conscious” part of the brain about what they are doing. Therefore, the brain can provide varying perceptions of the world without our even being fully conscious of what it is processing.

Further studies cited in Encyclopedia Britannica show that how a female presents herself to society falls under the category of ritualised behaviour through which animals provide specific information to other animals, usually members of its own species.. Virtually all-higher animals, Including humans, use displays to some extent to do this, & the best known displays are visual ones.

Some biologists actually restrict the term display to refer to visual signals or gestures. These visual signals, which in animals can be simply a bright colour or plume, encourage attraction. In humans, they are usually exhibited in ornamental hair, make up, or clothing.

In our society, most of the time attractive hairstyles & clothing are worn for the purpose of making the adorner more attractive (advertising & Television has institutionalised this reality). The ever-changing variations in fashion tend to affect the brain because it typically has trouble constantly adjusting to changing shadows & forms in the world.

Reasonably then, through “lateral inhibition,” the brain automatically simplifies these images into the unconscious message that attractive hair & clothing is meant to attract. Joining these two concepts together, we can see how the human male could receive the signal of “attraction” from the brain before he has enough time to “block” it by “lowering his gaze.” Having to re-form an image already processed by the lateral inhibition network is a cause of stress for most people. Doing this day after day, after seeing many “displays,” potentially causes a great cumulative stress on society. Having to re-form an image already processed by the lateral inhibition network is a cause of stress for most people. Doing this day after day, after seeing many “displays,” potentially causes a great cumulative stress on society.

Present day stresses arise from many things; among these are the vast amounts of visual & physical input we are bombarded with in this “Information age” of personal freedom. The problem we face in this is that the body still continues to respond in the same fashion as during primitive times, releasing large amounts of these hormones, which can be very harmful. They can cause an increase in blood pressure, damage muscle tissue, lead to infertility, inhibit growth, damage the hippocampus, & suppress the immune system.

The two most effective solutions to this problem are, first, to convince the advertising industry, & society as a whole, to alter the presentation of women to our males. The second & more viable way is to simply influence women to dress modestly, which will help ensure that they do not send inappropriate visual signals to men.

Female Psychological Balance:
Last, but not least, covering the hair can also have a beneficial effect on the female psyche as well. Studies of women being interviewed for jobs show that there is a high correlation between what they wear & their perceptions of how successful they will be in their interviews. There are many more examples of how what we wear can Influence how we act.

Wearing a veil can serve to remind women of their religious duties & behavioural expectations.
It can also serve as a reminder to women that we are not only individuals, but also representatives & diplomats of our “Ummah.”


8 responses to “The Science behind the Veil

  1. ruqayyah

    behavioural expectations… may Allah forgive and show us our mistakes.

  2. simplymardy

    ah yes yes insyaAllah. tho i think that phrase “behavourial expectations” is a double-edge sword. my thoughts on another time, might be too long-winded hehe.

  3. ruqayyah

    ‘double-edge sword’.. what a term.. 8)
    but ‘behavioural expectations’ helped me with something..may it be best. thx mar.

  4. simplymardy

    ya lo… coz different ppl have different behavioural expectations towards women wearing the veil. anyways no prob ruqa :)

  5. ruqayyah

    i agree with the author tho that women who wear the veil need to the least try to meet the behavioural expectations as stated in Islam: in all aspects: tauhid, syariah and akhlaq.
    because in Islam, morality is absolute, not relative. meaning there are acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour. concept of morality in Islam does not claim ‘relativity’ to culture, ‘different ppl have different behavioral expectations’ etc.
    it is already clear in Islam what is right and wrong and insyaAllah we just have to choose ’em.
    may Allah help us to choose the righteous path, amin.

  6. Mawar Puteh

    Salam sister,

    As I was reading your entry it reminds me of what Brother Abdul Halim said at a talk he gave at NTU on Islam and Science months ago – It was a wonderful talk where he clarified the relationship between religion and science in Islam. He cautions us about seeking merely Scientific explanations of Islamic injunctions – This MAY lead us to mistakenly question Islamic rulings by basing our opinions on Science alone. I don’t know if you know of Brother Abdul Halim. I think he is a briliant guy. He is currently dong his PhD at NTU. Have you heard of him?

    Mawar Puteh

  7. simplymardy

    Wsalam sis Mawar :)

    Oh that is an interesting point to note, I’ve never looked at it that way… there is indeed a relationship between Islam & Science. for me Islam is a beautiful religion & Science proves it true. & no i haven’t heard of him. any talks he’s giving in future?

  8. Mawar Puteh

    Hi Sis,

    I am glad you find the point interesting, like I said it was a wonderful talk, very insightful. Unfortunately, he is not very popular with the establishment. MUIS and others sidelined him. I don’t know why. But a friend told me it is because he always spoke the truth in public gatherings and seminars and the truth is not always welcomed ;-( And yes he tends to be very straightforward but very very truthful and sincere.

    But brother Abdul Halim teaches at Pergas. I used to attend his classes. You always learn something new in his class and he says things other ustaz never talks about but he is not an ustaz. The thing is he is just a student at NTU!

    Mawar Puteh

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