While it is clearly desirable for Muslims to apply the sharî‘ah or Islamic law as completely as possible, some provisions in the law require more immediate application than others. These include the laws of purity (tahârah) to ensure the validity of one’s salat as well as the rules of the salat itself.
One of the requirements of salat for both men and women is modest dress, which is also vitally important because how one dresses is immediately visible to the public and therefore reflects on the Muslim community, including how Muslims are viewed from the outside as well as how they view themselves from within.
If a people are to respect themselves, they should wear respectable dress. Women’s dress in particular is important in this regard, because of the importance of women in society, because of the onslaught against Muslim women’s dress by some of the public media, and because of the way materialistic society tries to lure the citizen victims away from modesty and uprightness by urging them to wear provocative and demeaning clothing….
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Dr. Khalid Yahya Blankinship
Born in Seattle, WA, Khalid Yahya Blankinship obtained his BA in History in 1973 from the University of Washington, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 1975 from the American University in Cairo, and an MA in Islamic History in 1983 from Cairo University. His Ph.D. in History is from the University of Washington in 1988.
After traveling extensively in Europe and the Middle East, Blankinship long resided in Egypt and in Saudi Arabia at Makkah, becoming fluent in both classical and colloquial Arabic. He taught English for several years at the American University in Cairo, and then History at the University of Washington. In 1990, Blankinship moved to Philadelphia, where he was appointed in the Department of Religion at Temple University. Promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1996, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religion 1998-2002, Departmental Graduate Director 2003-2013, and Chair again from 2013. He is active in lecturing and research on religion in general and Islam in particular.
In addition to courses on Islam, he regularly teaches Religion in the World as well as Religion and Science. He has regularly presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the American Oriental Society (AOS), and has also participated in meetings of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He has delivered lectures in many places, including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, India, and Malaysia. Also, Blankinship studied with a number of Muslim religious scholars, especially Shaykh Ismâ‘îl Sâdiq al-‘Adawî (1934-1998), the Imâm of Masjid al-Azhar in Cairo, and he has made the acquaintance of many well-known scholars of the Muslim world. He has posted a number of his responses to questions on Muslim law (on-line). He participated in the series of religious lectures in the Arabic language called al-Durûs al-Hasaniyyah (Hasanian Lectures) presented before the king in Morocco during Ramadân 1989-2000.Dr. Khalid Blankinship is a regular contributor to the Lamppost Education Initiative. We are pleased to announce that we have published a new book by Dr.Blankinship. ‘Murshid Al-Qari’-A Reader’s Guide to Classical Muslim Religious Literature in English’ is a unique work that explores the English translations of the Qur’an and Tafsirs.