Faculty of Sharia Law to expel student wearing face veil

The only student wearing the face veil studying at the Faculty of Sharia Law will be asked to remove it during class or face being expelled if she refuses to do so, Dean of the Faculty of Sharia Law Dr Ibrahim Zakariyya Moosa has reportedly stated.

An online religious news website in the Maldives, ‘Islaameenoor’, reported the girl as saying that she was called to go to the office after class, whereupon Dr Zakariyya told her that it was not compulsory for Muslim women to wear the face veil.

Dr Zakariyya reportedly told the girl that studying was compulsory under Islam, and that if wearing the face veil obstructed her from studying, she should not wear it even if it was a Sunnah.

According to Islaameenoor, the girl responded that she did not wear the veil to create confusion about the religion, but to uphold the religion as much as she could, the paper reported.

Dr Zakariyya allegedly told her that he had no choice to allow something disallowed, and that she should not come to study wearing the face veil although she was able to come wearing a loose black hijab.

According to the paper, Dr Zakariyya told her that in different parts of the country terrorists had used the hijab to hide weapons, and that there was “no way to identify the sex of a person wearing the full hijab”.

Dr Zakariyya explained to her that there was no way the faculty could confirm that it was really her attending the exam if she wore the face veil, to which the girl replied that if the faculty was suspicious, female staff working in the faculty could remove her face veil and check.

Dr Zakariyya then told the student that there was an opportunity to secretly have headphones in her ear while doing the exams, which she said was possible even wearing the normal veil without covering the face.

When Minivan News attempted to contact Dr Zakariyya, the front desk at the faculty referred Minivan News to the Maldives National University. The Maldives National University referred Minivan News back to the faculty of Islamic Studies, which said it did not have the authority to comment.

Maldives National University Chancellor, also the former Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy, also said he did not wish to comment on the matter.

Former State Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, currently Dean of Islamic Studies at Villa College, said he had not heard of the matter and would not comment on it unless the reports had been officially confirmed.

Online newspaper ‘Sun’ meanwhile today reported Dr Zakariyya as confirming that the reports were correct, and he had advised a student wearing the face veil to remove it while coming to study.

He reportedly told the paper that the Faculty of Sharia Law would “take strict measures” next year in such cases.


42 thoughts on “Faculty of Sharia Law to expel student wearing face veil”

  1. Here comes the problem. Out of hundreds of women who cover with full face veil, only one girl was doing that course in the full veil. Now Dr. Zakariyya has provoked the issue more students will be likely to do the full face-veil as a protest against this.

    The girl shall be allowed to don her full veil because there is no ban on girls who dress provocatively either. clothing shall not be a hindrance to education and Dr. Zakariyya better know that if the two letters infront of his name means anything. This issue of face-veil is going to be the start of a big fithna and provoked for no reason.

    Mark my words.. This is like the waking up of a giant monster who has been sleeping for a long time. By the time this issue is resolved one way or another way, blood will be spilled.

  2. This is not a religious issue.

    If I were to attend an exam/class in a ninja robe that hides me completely beyond all recognition - then I'd be instantly thrown out.

    The reasons have been spelled out in the article. There are times when it is absolutely necessary to identify the person - in schools, courts, public offices, transit points.

    These people should be free to wear it elsewhere, if they like.

  3. I am sure that this article would soon be attacked by anti islamic comments, but before it gets pwned by those comments, let me tell a little bit about this issue. Ok wearing the full veil is an issue in exams and such (it does say that in the article), but this girl is getting obstructed not because she is going to an exam but from studying as a whole. I have heard of this issue since the Gayoon times, and nothing changed in this stigma agains veils in education sector.

    Of course, I am not so arrogant to deny any short comings here, but if they are willing to cooperate and declare their identity when it arises, why are they barred from these basic rights?

    To be frank, only superficial muslim countries like Maldives banned basic human rights where people are obstucted from studying because of how they dress. Even in Australia in many universities I have been, I have heard from muslim students from Turkey and such countries coming here because they have more freedom to study while also wearing the veil. And they are a vocal group in these universities. I wonder why they are not barred from education? And most of the non-muslims treat them with respect. Simply put, the human rights of muslims are thrown to garbage while gay rights, prisoner rights, MP rights are overbearing any other rights in Maldives.

  4. Can anyone explain me what is wrong with our community?
    I believe schools, colleges and institutions have a dress code which we have to follow. If you are unable to follow a particular institutions rules than you are in wrong place and better for you find a place with rules of your licking.

  5. I support Zakariyya on this. Nowhere in Islam says it is compulsory to cover your face completely. If it is good enough to pray without wearing a Nigab in front of the Holy Kabaa then it should be good enough for everyone else.
    Now this has becomes a security issue and all public places like shops, offices, schools, hospitals etc should ban the Niqab.

  6. A simple regulation should suffice, Dr. Zakariyya should not have put forward those flimsy reasons. A full face veil would be a hindrance in a place of learning. It would definitely hamper her ability to communicate effectively with people and vice versa. Schools, workplaces have policies on how people dress.

    I wouldn't condone it even in public because it could become a trend, like the buruga where girls are actually coerced in wearing them.

    However we can't ban this "ninja" dress just because we don't like it. We would be no different from Iran then, which bans "western influenced" clothing - the style defined by the whim of the religious police officer who happens to be around.

    The clothes one wears should be a personal choice.

  7. A heavy handed approach (such as 'forcing' to remove face weils), to crack down extremism will not work. When will people understand this?

  8. @ hassan ahmed

    "If you are unable to follow a particular institutions rules than you are in wrong place and better for you find a place with rules of your liking."

    Similarly, go to another country if you do not want to respect the constitution of Maldives.

  9. I strongly believe that people should show their faces when travelling on a plane even as this is a a strick security issue. People should start to adhere to rules where they go instead of implementing their own. How can u jump into a swimming pool in a Ninja costume and say its my religion.

  10. @ OMG! - "To be frank, only superficial muslim countries like Maldives banned basic human rights" doesn't the muslim bleif in general ban basic human rights...

  11. @Rocket on Wed:
    I thought that you are a democratic person. It looks as though you have no tolerance at all!
    I do not see the majority of local women wailed fully. And is absurd for someone to sit in a classroom fully wailed. The lecturer will not know exactly who that person is and I believe it is his or her duty to know who is present in his or her lecture hall.
    Please be informed that Maldivian law does not stipulate the rights of one individual at the expense of the majority. I believe it is not the customs norms and law obeying citizens like me who should go out of the country rather it is people who wish to force others stubbornly to do things that they think are right.

  12. @Rocket
    Re your post ‘a heavy handed approach…’
    I agree with you in principle. Force may not be the ideal way to deal with extremism. However, in our dualist existence as individuals and social beings, our individual rights are not absolute and reach their limit when they infringe on societal rights. Even though it may not always be easy to demarcate the line between the two, societal laws and regulations provide a clear indication as to where one’s individual rights end.

    And it may not be wise to use, or perhaps more appropriately to abuse, religion and impose one’s own personal interpretation of religion on society as a whole. Especially, when the issue at hand – veiling the face or not - seems to be a case of confusing religion (dheen) – beliefs and practices of religion as stated, (albeit, not always in concrete form and therefore open to interpretations), in its foundation texts, with religiosity (dheen verikan) – the way one interprets and expresses these beliefs and practices.

  13. Someone should step up and do what Ataturk did, and get a law passed which says that ALL prostitutes must wear a niqab in public.


  14. Congratulations Dr. Zakariyya. At last we've got someone brave enough to address this issue. Other scholars are too politically inclined that they do not want to address such issues even when they know that covering the face is not compulsory in Islam.

    People should not be allowed to go inside the schools covering their faces to fetch their kids either.

    In Maldives, I have seen women covering the face even inside the mosque when they pray. However in Mecca the women take off the face veil when they pray.

  15. this is not a religious issue at all. Dr. Zakariyya is right as face veil is not an obligatory thing in Islam. Even prayer is not accepted if you cover face. So why is it so important to make a big haahoo of this. I support banning face veil in public places, especially schools as it creates fear also. One a judge told me that a criminal wearing a hijab and face veil was seen riding on a motor bike and the criminal apparently took off the veil and shouted at the judge saying he is free. If you cant build enough trust to show your face to your society and your classmates that person is a mad psycho.

  16. oops! how about security issue?
    first they covering face and body as ninja so any fanatic can penetrate school perimetr
    second they can wearing explosive device
    third - will be?

  17. Yes, I support Dr. Zakariyaa's decision. The veil only generates and represents the Islamic Hardliners. You know most bombers have wives wearing veils. They will be extremists. Check in Indonesia. The hardliners haves women wearing veils. If Maldivian wants a peace, prevent any little source of radicalism to emerge in your country. CONGRATULATIONS DR. ZAKARIYAA.

  18. Yes, I support Dr Zakariyaa's decision. Veil will represent and generate the hardliners. They will be extremists. Many bombers in Indonesia have wives wearing veils. They are exclusive and not easy to associate with others. If Maldivian wants a peace, please prevent any small or little things as a source of radicalism. Please check the radicalism group in Indonesia. Congratulations Dr Zakariyaa. BE AWARE OF RADICALISM.

  19. Students should not be allowed to wear the face veil. How would we know if someone else showed up and took class tests? Dr Zakariyya was right on this one. The girl could easily take it off in class and wear it outside.
    Same goes for people who fly in aeroplanes, they should be asked to take off their face veils.

  20. I'm relieved to read most of these comments on this article..in France and Belgium there was a big commotion from local muslims when the full veil was banned..meaning the face couldn't be covered in public for the simple reason of identification..the same goes for any man or woman, from any cultural background or religion, wearing a cap or scarf covering their face..there was a lot of misunderstanding and protest..I'm happy to read that some people do understand it for the right reasons without blaming it all on discrimination of religion.

  21. @paid Adhaalath Troll

    Oriyaamaa ves claahah vanun manaa.
    Ehkoh foruvaigen ves claahah vanun manaa.

    Ehenveemaa meegaa mi manaakuranee hahdhuvahana alhaa dhaa kanthahthaa. Medhuminvaru adhives huhdha. Kamuge dhekolhah visnaafaa vaahaka dhakkaa.

    Aharen Dr. Zakariya ah thaaeedhu kuran.

  22. @ The Mullah

    "And it may not be wise to use, or perhaps more appropriately to abuse, religion and impose one’s own personal interpretation of religion on society as a whole."

    Now step into the shoes of the veiled and I'm afraid your exact words can be repeated -- this time, from their perspective.

    Its not easy to demarcate the lines between individual freedom and scocietal norms. But, unless we have strict demarcation lines, it is difficult to impose anything.

    This girl was admitted to the course, while the uni officiclas knew that she wears the veil. So my point it, it is not half way through her course that the veil issue should be raised.

    If the uni allows veiled women into their courses, they should not make a fuss when someone wears the veil. If veiled women are not allowed into uni, then it should be written somewhere in the uni rules and regulations.

  23. It really is amazing how you can so easily expect the most number of comments on an article on Minivan would be on the article regarding religion or something related to religion.

    That being said, here's my two pennies on this "issue".

    It is a universally accepted fact by all Muslims that the face veil is both part of Sunnah and therefore Halal (permissible) in Islam. It is also an accepted fact that the wives of the Prophet Muhammad wore niqab (face veil) and that there were women other than the wives of Muhammad who wore the niqab, thereby establishing the permissibility base on Muhammad not banning it in his times.

    In regard to this article, the issue of whether the niqab is compulsory or not can be left aside, based on the above statement on permissibility.

    Now the issue here is that a Muslim girl from an allegedly 100% Muslim nation where the constitution clearly says that the State Religion is Islam, went to a state funded public university or college wearing something that is permissible in the religion of the state, and is now likely to be barred from her constitutionally given and guaranteed right to an education.

    That the university/college would be unable to identity her during exams and the "fear" that she may wear headphones underneath her hijab, is laughable and inadmissible. The reasons are simple. Various universities and colleges across the Muslim world allow women wearing niqab to enter into their classes or exam halls by simply having a female staffer check the identity of the veiled students. The same is the case in most of the rest of the world as well, where security measures require veiled women to show their face to the relevant authority, most of the time a female staffer from a relevant department. That we cannot do the same in our university/college, that the same courtesy cannot be extended in a "100% Muslim country" is just laughable. And regarding the headphones "issue" then it would be best if we banned wearing hijab for exams completely, as a small pair of headphones can be hidden away easily inside the normal hijab as well.

    In addition to this, where people claim that a girl wearing niqab would be hindered from studying properly due to what she is wearing, I have seen classes at the Islamic University in Malaysia where men and women share the classroom, though kept on two different sides within the room (much the same as in Maldives) and where there are women wearing the full veil and yet participating fully in the classroom. They debate, they ask questions, they give answers, and they study well. Yet we cannot expect the same from our own?

    I'm not saying that women should wear the niqab, or not. It's a personal choice as far as I'm concerened. But from where I stand, me thinks that as such a proud "100% Muslim nation" we should atleast be more open towards celebrating the fact that a veiled woman is going to study, especially by our state owned university. Even if private colleges may be unwilling to accept their students wearing the niqab, the state should try and encourage for everyone, be it veiled or not, to partake of their constitutional rights.

    So in parting, I say kudos to the niqabi who dared.

  24. @ voluntary troll

    I was expecting you brother 🙂 ..
    This is not Europe or America. We are one people on one religion. Although we have a few wayward kaafirs most of us are muslims. So we shall refrain from copying from their laws. We have seen how fruitless and bitter this dispute of face-veil goes in various countries. Turkey is a good example.

    Even if one thinks strictly in terms of politics, no political party will want to join in this poisonous debate on dress code. Besides even if no laws are coded or enforced very few will go to public or private institutions in full veil or completely naked. Let the people dress as they want and restrain them if they are a serious threat to the society in terms of security, morality or whatever.

    Now in this particular story, the girl in question goes to a religious institution to study and she had been going there quite sometime before somebody realized that this is against some dress code. So this is a clear case of anti religious bias.

  25. @paid Adhaalath Troll

    There is no anti religious bias in this. the whole issue is about logical and acceptable social norms. however if you do want to go all religious on this issue please do so by showing facts. show me a single verse in the quran that without any reasonable doubt compels a muslim woman to wear the face-veil.

    And while you are searching for such a verse, you will come to learn that the quran advise muslim women not to dress in any manner that draws harassment towards them (in any society that they decide to live).

  26. Niqab is not obligatory in religion. It is not a religous issue. If Muslim women are not allowed to pray with NIqab, God has set the standard.Why dispute this!

  27. no one can deny this. Prayer is not acceptable if women wear Niqab while praying. During prayer women should not cover face.

  28. What then Dr. Zakariyya Ibrahim moosa!? Do you want them to go to school in the nude; as far as I am concerned, that is the only option being offered to this young woman, who properly considers her face to be awra, and most egregious to behold by those men who are not married to her, father or uncle to her, or possess her as their personal property.

    Truly our zionist, secularist elite burden and toil greatly for the sole purpose of bringing a daily sequence of egregious humiliations on the Muslim faithful. How wretched and evil they are!

  29. @dhivehi Hanguraama!
    Do you mean to say ALLAH is wrong. IF niqab is obligatory, how can ALLAH not accept prayers if face is covered. This means when a woman faces to ALLAH and kneels and prostrates, she should not cover her face. It is not obligatory for muslim women to cover face and face is not considered awra in Islam. If ALLAH considers face as AWRA surely women should be asked to cover face while praying.

  30. Concerned and authorities need to focus on grass root of the issue before this gets worse & go out of hand that many have missed to mention.

    Maldivian were muslims centuries ago and I don't find other wise, wearing full veil will make them to a better muslim than hundreds of years old muslim culture of Maldives unless its fashionable... the question is, are we better or well informed and knowledgeable muslims now than our forefathers??. Or Are we importing extremeness into the country??This is the question where the government & it's institutions need to make the hands dirty with.

    Ninja robe is not a culture of Maldives its imported from desserts where radical extreme hippocratic muslim hardliners from Saudi Arabia bread there ideology with ulterior motives to keep the grid of muslims around the world keep on spending the money on the name of religion where they are marketing there products together with there oil . One should know there is no better way to market a product (tourism industry) like they are doing also one should know the suffering of humans across the globe and its environment.

    In a societies Cultural differences makes the conflicts where there is no longer tolerance and understanding.
    Uniform and dress codes are coded in schools apart from national dress code. One also should look into the past of Maldives from Northern to southern tip of the nation to understand how citizens has been living

    These people need to study muslim religion and anthropology so they can get educated and assimilate in common culture of a country where the interests of the country and its citizens future and future generations are served to live in harmony and to educate to face the major challenges emerging with. It might also help them to teach evolution of species. DNA of every individual on this planet will tell the short story of who we are regardless of religious beliefs and ethnic back grounds. By ignoring facts and blaming selfish gene in us is not a way feeble minded to justify truth of origin of the morality that humans are true seeking prime mates without having to decline universal morals. Once, Socrates have said, we think we know but we know nothing.

  31. The problem here is not that weather the girl in niqab's prayers will be accepted or not. Its about individual freedom. Why can't we be a little bit tolerant and let those who want to cover themselves cover? Is that too much to ask? Untill very recently before 9/11 Europe had no issue with niqab or beard. Those kaafir countries were more tolerant of islamic symbols than we the 100% muslim country...
    this is absurd ennu?

  32. Ibrahim Muhammad.

    Umm, DUH...that's probably something to do with the fact that the face of a woman is not beheld by men WHILE they pray.

    However in matters pertaining to social activity, where the two genders are in close proximity and in plain sight, a woman must cover her face, lest she be like the horse that strayed from its stable and was preyed upon by the wolvf. Indeed, a chaste woman, is a safe woman!

    Dr.Zakariyya, not only is forcing this woman to go against her religious beleifs, he is also forcing her to invite herself to the lust of men, and thus to great danger!

  33. @paid Adhaalath Troll

    so not only did u totally ignore providing fact, u went on as far as changing your claim of "anti-religious bias" to "social tolerance". please, give yourself a break.

  34. good going sisterr..keep it up and dnt remove ur face veil at any case....dr zakariyya, this is the starting of ure falling

  35. Dear sister..please go to Arabia or Pakistan. The desert is your climate. There are no sandstorms here. If you fell in the water you will drown in your Holy hijab.

  36. @ my brother troll
    trying to take a break, but these guys are not giving me one either. 🙂

    @ Dear Valu soru,
    This is our country and we will be here inshallah for the forseable future. Our sisters will reside here and they will wear face veil in bigger numbers thanks to the provocation of islamic dress code. Educate yourself about the veil if you must, but don't assume anything yet. Little knowledge is dangerous! Remember that.


  38. Dear students ... it seems like Dr. Zakariyya will be by your side on the day of judgement to excuse and explain your actions.

  39. Now these fools are claiming that while a woman prays her face is not beheld by men. If so why isn't she allowed to pray naked, just covering her private parts!
    Little knowledge is of course more dangerous. This shows this is the standard set by ALLAH.

  40. i'm afraid thinking that how far your thoughts are from islam.suppose she was in a fithna[temptation] then its a must to wear face veil...and care is better than cure.jazaakahllah khair for being such a nice sample for all muslim womens.


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