Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Islamic Dress Code?

So, I have been trying to do some more research on the Islamic dress code lately and found it was really difficult to find good solid arguments with evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah - usually it's vague guidelines or a debate over niqaab, neither of which help me too much.

The Qur'an refers to this topic at least twice:

  • "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [33:59]

  • "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..." [24:31]

    There are varing interpretations on these ayat. I want to hear from you guys - what do YOU think is proper Islamic dress? Not just opinions please though - I'd love to see evidence.

Oh, and an article that has awesome general guidelines can be found here. Check it out!


Justin said...

assalaamualaykum Marya et al.

>> There are varing
>> interpretations on these ayat.
>> I want to hear from you guys -
>> what do YOU think is proper
>> Islamic dress? Not just
>> opinions please though - I'd
>> love to see evidence.

Specifically regarding the veil/hijab, you might find these beneficial:

The Veil in Islam
- Shaykh Gibril F Haddad


Why Hijab ?
- Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller


The Hijab between Human Thought and Sacred Law
- Shaykh `Isam Eydoo


However, when discussing shar`i-related questions, the following article is requisite reading before engaging in dialog over such issues:

"Asking for "Evidences" is a Clear Daleel of Your Ignorance…"
- Shaykh Ridhwan Saleem



Huda Shaka` said...

Jazakum Allah khairan Justin...especially for the last article.

Also, here's another interesting article on hijab from a more lay-muslim stand point. The point of the article is not to a give a ruling on the issue but to put it in perspective:


Amer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samina said...

I remember at one point in my life, I had done some research for a class and could not find any solid hadith where it explicitly said that we should dress the way we do. Now the problem is we dress the way we do because that is how the women at the time of the Prophet (saw) dressed and we are following their example. As a matter of fact, the wives of the Prophet (saw) were given even more stricter restriction as in that they had to talk to men from behind the veil because they were the wives of the Prophet (saw). In a hadith, Aisha said "Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr (RA), entered upon the Apostle of God (saw) wearing thin clothes. THe Apostle of God turned his attention from her and said , "O Asma, when a women reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her except that she displays parts of her body except this and this, " and he pointed to her face and hands. (Sunan Abi Dawud). (This hadith is considered weak because the narrator who transmitted it from Aisha is not known). Even though its a weak hadith, its strengthened by the fact that women of the sahabah and the tabieen dressed the way the Prophet (saw) had taught them. There are a lot of things stated in the Qur'an that are not clear when you read it, but when you see the Prophet or the sahabas implement them then i becomes more clear to us. Somebody had commented about how the hijab issue was interpreted by men (on the facebook note). Well during that time, the ulamaa were only men, hence it was interpreted by men, BUT at the time of the Prophet (saw) wives, they were the best of examples and the first among them all was Hazaraat Maryam (as).

And then with the argument about how the Qur'an says that there is no compulsion in religion and that a women's relationship with Allah is private matter, therefore she chooses the way she dresses..etc. This is very true that she cannot be forced to dress in any way, FORCED being the key word. But any women who is a Muslim seeks to get closer to Allah in her journey thru life and one thing we seek in our deen is knowledge and one way to get closer to Allah (just as Muslim men have to do) is to learn out our beautiful deen. And what better way to improve ourselves as Muslims but to follow what the Prophet (saw), the perfect Muslim, has set forth. He (saw) was the living example and he taught us how to be good Muslims and we has Muslims in this dunya need to try to embody what he taught us so we can please Allah and reach Jannah. And one thing the Prophet (saw) taught us was how to dress and behave MODESTLY. Women can not be forced, they have to understand their deen and then take it upon themselves to improve themselves as Muslims, only then are they following what Allah has ordered and what the Prophet (saw) has taught.

Here is an article the goes into depth with explaining what hijab is: http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=173&

I am not criticizing those that don't wear hijab...we should focus first on the issue of modesty (the way we talk and behave). covering the body will come in time, inshallah, but our actions and behavior speaks first.

Huda Shaka` said...

A quick comment on Samina's comment. The verse referring to "no compulsion in religion" in surat Al Baqarah is not addressed to people who are already Muslim, but to those who are not Muslim. In other words, one cannot be forced to enter Islam but once a person chooses to become a Muslim he/she must abide by the teaching's of Islam.

Angie Ellaboudy said...

Some hadiths about Islamic Dress Code for Women:

- Abu Dawood related that ‘Aishah (May Allah Be Pleased With Her) said: "After this Ayah
was revealed the women of the Ansaar appeared like crows." (Because of the color and
shape of the cloaks they wore).

- Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that: When the verse, "That
they should draw their over garments (jalabib) close around them" was revealed,
the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing over
garments (jalabib).

- Ibn Masud (May Allah Be Pleased with him) said, "Jilbab is that sheet of cloth which is
worn on top of the scarf."

- Ibn Al-Hazam said: The word jilbab means the outer sheet which covers the entire
body. A sheet smaller than that which would cover the entire body, cannot be
categorized as jilbab. [al-Muhallah,Vol 3. Pg. 217]

- Muhammad bin Sireen (May Allah have mercy upon him) said: "When I asked
Ubaydah bin Sufiyan bin al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with him) the meaning of this
verse and how the jilbab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was
also the explanation of the word 'Alaihinna in this verse" [Commentary by Ibn Jarir and
Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p .457 ]

- Umm Atiyya (May Allah Be pleased with her) narrated that “We were ordered to bring
out our menstruating women and secluded women* to the religious gatherings and
invocation of the Muslims on the two Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to
keep away from the musallah. A woman asked, "O’ Messenger of Allah! What about
one who does not have a jilbab?" He said, "Let her borrow the jilbab of her companion".

- narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) who said that the
Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings Be upon him) said: "I will not be a witness for
two types of people who are destined for the fire: people with whips, like the tails of
cows, who beat the people (i.e. tyrants who are the enemies of their own people) and
women who, although clothed, are yet naked seducing and being seduced, their hair
style like the tilted humps of camels. These will not enter the paradise nor will its
fragrance reach them although its fragrance reaches a very great distance” [Muslim]

- Al-Qurtubi reports a narration from `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that some
women from Banu Tamim came to see her wearing transparent clothing. `Aishah said to
them: "If you are believing women, these are not the clothes of believing women."

- Al-Qurtubi also reports that when a woman came to see ‘Aisha h wearing a sheer,
transparent khimar, whereupon `Aishah (May Allah Be pleased with her) said: "A
woman who wears such clothing does not believe in Surat An-Nur."

- Abu Dawood narrated from Abu Hurayrah (May Allah Be pleased with him) that the
Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Do not prevent the female
slaves of Allah from attending the mosques of Allah, but let them go out unadorned.”

- The Messenger (Peace a nd Blessings be upon him) said: “Allah curses those men who
imitate the women, and He curses those women who imitate the men.” [Al-Bukhari]

- ‘Abdullah ibn `Umar (May Allah Be pleased with him) said he heard Allah's Messenger
(Peace and Blessings be upon him) say: The man who resembles a woman and the woman who resembles a man is not from us [Ahmad and At-Tabarani]


Megan said...

wow, Angie listed a bunch of hadith...I think I have a few more to add...(Which at the very least shows that beyond The Qur'an, there is plenty of daleel that women should be wearing SOMETHING)
Nonetheless, i haven't felt anymore that everyone must be clad in Arab style jilbabs, so much as fulfilling what is within the lines of the Qur'an and all of these hadith. Allahu 'Alim.

Al-Qurtubi reports that a bride came to ‘Aisha, the wife of The Prophet, wearing a sheer khimar whereupon ‘Aisha said “A woman who wears such clothing does not believe in Surat An-Nur.”

Aisha, radiallahu anha, said “May Allah grant the women of the Ansar His Mercy; When Allah revealed His words “And that they draw their khimars over their chests (be-khumuurehena ‘ala jayubehenna), they tore a portion of their wrapping garments and used them as a khimar.”

‘Abdullah, son of “Umar bin Khattab, radiallahu anhum, reported that Allah’s Messenger, sallalahu alayhe wa sellum, said “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not look at the man who trails along his garment with pride.” Thereupon, Umm Salamah asked, “What should women do with their garments?” The Prophet said, “They should lower their garments a hand span.” Umm Salamah replied, “Women’s feet would still be uncovered.” Allah’s Messenger replied, “Let them lower them a forearms length, but not longer.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Usamah bin Zaid said, “Allah’s Messenger gave me a gift of thick coptic cloth he had received from Dahiah Al-Kalbi, and so I gave it to my wife. Thereafter, the Prophet asked me, “Why didn’t you wear the coptic cloth? I replied, “I gave it to my wife.” The Prophet then said, “Tell her to wear a thick gown under it, for I fear that it may describe the size of her limbs.”

From these ones came the belief for me, the eivdence as Marya said, that I should cover my feet, and not wear clothes that hug my arms, legs, etc...showing the shapes of them. AN ongoing struggle, indeed, for myself, and I imagine many muslimahs out there. Alhamdulellah, Allah is our judge :) He is, after all, Ar-Rahman :)