MODESTY IN DRESSING

Allah the exalted says in Qur’an 24 verse 30 :Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

Allah the exalted says in Qur’an 24 verse 31: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, [a list of relatives], [household servants], or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

 

Allah the exalted says in Qur’an 33 verse 59: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when outside) that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Allah the exalted says in Qur’an 7 verse 26: O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!



Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: Islam is naked, modesty is garment”

The essence of Islam is total submission to the will of Allah and to make ones opinions subservient to the commands of Allah, therefore, if one asks why Hijab (Purdah) is necessary, the only reply would be because Allah and His Messenger have so decided.

 

Narrated Aisha (the Prophet’s wife): Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: ‘O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. (Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4092)

 

N.B.: This particular hadith is regarded as ‘weak’ (i.e. not reliably attributed) by some scholars, including the hadith’s collector, Abu Dawud.

 

Terminologies.

  1. Mahram: a person related to a particular individual by blood, marriage or breastfeeding. Once he or she is not permitted to marry, such as, father, nephew, uncle etc

        Allah The Almighty Says: {And not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women.} [Quran 24:31]

       As regards “their fathers” up to the end of the verse, Ibn Katheer( may  Allah have mercy upon him) said, “These are all Mahrams for the woman who, therefore, is allowed to appear to them in her adornment without excessive display of beauty.”

Explanation of Mahrams:

  • Their fathers: The woman’s father.
  • Their husbands’ fathers: The husband’s father and grandfathers, up to all levels.
  • Their sons: The woman’s sons down to all levels, and also the sons of daughters down to all levels.
  • Their husbands’ sons: Male sons of the husband, including grandsons down to all degrees, whether they are sons of the husband’s sons or daughters.
  • Their brothers: The woman’s brother
  • Their brothers’ sons: The brother’s sons down to all degrees.
  • Their sisters’ sons: The sister’s sons down to all degrees.
  • Their women: Muslim, not polytheistic women, according to the preponderant opinion.
  • That which their right hands possess: This may mean either their bondmaids or bondmen.
  • Male attendants having no physical desire: They are men who are not at the same level as the women and have no interest in or desire for women; or the oblivious person who has no desire; an imbecile; and, an impotent man. The eunuch who can describe women is excluded.
  • Children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women: Because they are so young they do not understand anything about women or their ‘Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered). If a child is young and does not understand that, there is nothing wrong with him entering upon women, but if he is an adolescent or approaching adolescence, so that he knows and understands these things, and can make a distinction between a woman who is beautiful and one who is not, then he should not enter upon women.

 

  1. Haya: natural or inherent shyness and sense of modesty.
  2. Hijab: conceal, hide and screen are different meanings of the term hijab. it commonly refers to female headscarf and in broader terms to modest clothing and behaviour.
  3. Faasidatul akhlaq: a woman with evil intentions. Some non believing women do not understand the virtue of hijab. They could describe your looks to the opposite gender if they have the opportunity and we do not want that.
  4. Rajlin an nabiyy: a strange male. a man who is non mahram or outside a womans family
  5. Aurah: minimum parts of the body that should be concealed at all times. Aurah for a female is divided into two which are in Solah and outside Solah. 

 

Aurah of a female outside Solah.

Alone

In the presence of Muslim women

In the presence of her male Mahram

In the presence of a kaafir female

In the presence of rajlin an nabiyy

In the presence of her husband

From navel to knee. Muslims can only be totally naked when necessary But according to Imam Shafi, only her buttocks 

From her navel to knee but due to current times, from her chest to knees

From her neck to knee but her arms can be open

Most scholars agree that her whole body except palm and face due to faasidatul akhlaq but Imam Hanbali believes that its is from her chest to knee

Her whole body except face and hands. Imam Shafi says no exception

A woman has no Aurah in front of her husband





Womens dressing code.

The purpose of hijab is to cover the aurah. Aurah varies in different situations and amongst different groups of people. As long as the conditions below are fulfilled, a woman may wear whatever she pleases.

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil.(Abu Dawud, Book 2, Number 0641)

  1. The hijab must conceal the entire body except the face and the hands(which may not be compulsory)
  2. It must not be translucent or tight. Tight clothes may cover the skin but it still shows the shape and size of the body.
  3. It should not attract the attention of the opposite gender, thus it should not be extravagant or opulent.
  4. It should not be a garment worn because of vanity nor to gain popularity or fame.
  5. It should not be perfumed to the extent that it calls for attention.
  6. It should not resemble the clothing worn by men.
  7. It should not resemble the clothing worn by the non believers.

 

Mens dressing code.

  1. His dressing must cover from the navel to the knee.
  2. It should not resemble the clothing of the non believers.
  3. It should not resemble clothing worn by the opposite gender.

        Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Allah’s Apostle cursed those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of women and those women who are in the similitude of men.(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 773)

  1. It should not be tight or see through
  2. It should not be made from silk, jewellery of gold.

        Narrated Al-Bara: The Prophet ordered us to observe seven things: To visit the sick; follow funeral processions; say ‘May Allah bestow His Mercy on you’, to the sneezer if he says, ‘Praise be to Allah!’; He forbade us to wear silk, Dibaj, Qassiy and Istibarq (various kinds of silken clothes); or to use red Mayathir (silk-cushions).(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 740)

  1. Clothing made from gold and pure silk are prohibited for men but acceptable for women.
  2. Their clothing should not fall below their ankles.

         Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: The Prophet said Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection at the person who drags his garment (behind him) out of conceit. On that Abu Bakr said, “O Allah’s Apostle! One side of my Izar hangs low if I do not take care of it.” The Prophet said, ‘You are not one of those who do that out of conceit.”(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 675)

 

Note that western clothing is permissible for both male and female if it does not represent a sect that is against the teachings of islam. The article written above is compulsory for all Muslims who have attained maturity and puberty.

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