O Children of Adam! We have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the clothing of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth). (Qur’an – 7:26)

In man’s clothing and adornment Islam takes into serious consideration the principles of decency, modesty, chastity and manliness. Anything in clothing or adornment incompatible with the attainment, maintenance and development of these qualities is inhibited by Islam. The clothing material and the dressing manners which may stimulate arrogance or false pride and vanity are strictly prohibited. So are the adornments which may weaken the morality of man or undermine his manliness. Man should remain loyal to his manly nature, which God has chosen for him, and keep away from all the things that are likely to weaken or endanger his character. This is the reason why Islam warns man not to use certain clothing materials, e.g., pure silk, and certain precious stones and metals, e.g., gold, for the purpose of adornment. These are things which suit the feminine nature alone. The handsomeness of man is not in wearing precious stones or flaunting in pure and natural silken clothes but in high morality, sweet nature and sound conduct.

For woman who is close to the age of puberty or has reached it, Hijaab is necessary. Many complain that the Hijaab enjoined upon the Muslim women is far too restrictive and rigid and is in order to keep them inferior to men. Ignorance and misunderstanding can only be the cause of such beliefs. Besides Islam which other religions or nations have given homes full protection from exploitation from strangers? While at the same time guides women upon importance of purity and morality as well as upholding her status and dignity.

A woman is likened to a sweet creature everything about her is an attraction for spectators. Islam protects her by enjoining her to wear Hijaab so that covering herself does not attract the swamps of flies and dirty creatures attracted to uncovered sweets as in the case of today’s woman who falls prey to this.

  • When Islam allows woman to use the things which are forbidden for man and which are suitable for the feminine nature alone, Islam does not let woman go loose or wander unrestricted.
  • It allows her the things which suit her nature and, at the same time, cautions her against anything that might abuse or upset that nature.
  • The manner in which women should dress up, beautify, walk and even look is a very delicate question, and Islam pays special attention to the matter.
  • The vision of Islam in this respect is focused on the general welfare of women. Islam has served advice to both man and woman to help women in particular to retain and develop their dignity and chastity, safe from being the subject of idle gossip or vicious rumors and suspicious thoughts.
  • The advice is imparted in these Qur’ anic verses: Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them. And God is well-acquainted with all that they do. 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 before their husbands, their fathers … . (and certain other members of the household); and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments (24:30-31).

Islam is very sensitive to the manners of clothing and ornaments. It makes it crystal clear that both man and woman should be confined to their respective natures to safeguard their natural instincts and endow them with modesty and high morality.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported as having said that God condemns those men who behave or act in a womanlike fashion, and those women who behave or act in manlike fashion.

Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that Islam lays no restrictions on the harmless or proper items of clothing and ornaments. In fact, the Qur’ an calls such things the beautiful gifts of God and reproaches those who look upon them as forbidden (7:32-33)

Islam gives guidance about all aspects of life, including matters of public decency. Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some minimum requirements must be met.

Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings: the Quran which is considered to be the revealed word of Allah, and the Hadith or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who serves as a human role model and guide.

First Requirement: What parts of the body are to be covered?

The first bit of guidance given in Islam describes the parts of the body which must be covered in public.

For women: In general, standards of modesty call for a woman to cover her body, particularly her chest. The Quran calls for women to “draw their head-coverings over their chests” (24:30-31), and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) instructed believing women to cover their bodies except for their face and hands. Most Muslims interpret this to require headcoverings for women. Some Muslim women cover the entire body, including the face and/or hands.

For men: The minimum amount to be covered is between the navel and the knee.

Second Requirement: Looseness

Islam also guides that clothing must be loose enough so as not to outline or distinguish the shape of the body. Skin-tight, body-hugging clothes are out, for both men and women. When in public, some women wear a cloak over their personal clothing as a convenient way to hide the curves of the body. In many predominantly Muslim countries, men’s traditional dress is somewhat like a loose robe, covering from the neck to the ankles.

Third Requirement: Thickness

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once warned that in later generations, there would be people “who are dressed yet naked.” See-through clothing is not modest, for either men or women. The clothing must be thick enough so that the color of the skin it covers is not visible, nor the shape of the body underneath.

Fourth Requirement: Overall appearance

The overall appearance of a person should be dignified and modest. Shiny, flashy clothing may technically meet the above requirements, but defeat the purpose of overall modesty.

Fifth Requirement: Not imitating others

Islam encourages people to be proud of who they are. Women should be proud of their femininity and not dress like men. And men should be proud of their masculinity and not try to imitate women in their dress. For this reason, Muslim men are forbidden from wearing gold or silk, as these are considered feminine accessories.

Sixth Requirement: Decent but not flashy

The Quran describes that clothing is meant to cover our private areas, and be an adornment (Quran 7:26). Clothing worn by Muslims should be clean and decent, neither excessively fancy nor ragged. One should not dress in order to gain the admiration or sympathy of others.

Beyond the Clothing: Behaviors and Manners

Islamic clothing is but one aspect of modesty. More importantly, one must be modest in behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public. Dress is only one aspect of the total being, and merely reflects what is present on the inside of a person’s heart.

Is Islamic clothing restrictive?

Dress requirements are not meant to be restrictive for either men or women, and most Muslims who wear modest dress do not find it impractical. Many people continue with their activities in all levels and walks of life.

Why Modesty in Dress?

Islam prescribes modesty in dress and action to preserve dignity and respect between men and women in society. Muslims believe that a person’s beauty is not for public display and that one should look best for family and close friends, not strangers on the street.

 

Both Muslim men and women are forbidden from dressing like or imitating the opposite sex. For this reason, Muslim men are forbidden from wearing gold, silk, or “feminine” jewelry such as earrings.

For women, distinctive dress offers protection from unwanted advances and makes it clear to others that she is a modest and religious woman. The differences between male and female minimum dress requirements have simply to do with the biological differences between men and women.

With dignity in manners and dress, both men and women are free to go about their daily lives as contributing members of society, without issues of sexuality interfering or becoming a distraction. Many Muslim women are of the opinion that modest dress allows them to be recognized for their intelligence and contributions to society, not judged by their perceived beauty or lack thereof. In the end, most feel we should all be appreciated for our minds and hearts, not judged by what we look like on the outside.

The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said: “There will be, in the last days of my Ummah (nation), women who are dressed and undressed. Curse them: they are accursed.”  (Al-Tabarani)

Prophet’s (pbuh) companion Abu Hurairah (May Allah be please with him) related that the Prophet (pbuh) referred to: …women who are naked even though they are wearing clothes, go astray and make others go astray, and they will not enter paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelled from afar. (Muslim)

The “dressed and yet undressed” women are those who wear transparent or very tight clothes, or clothes which are cut in such a way that they expose the body. Such clothes reveal more than they conceal.

The Prophet (saws) said: Belief and the sense of shame are tied together; if one is lost the other is lost.”

So, please pay attention to the call of our Creator Almighty Allah and listen (read) carefully to the beautiful words of wisdom from the last Prophet (pbuh) of Almighty Allah. Your success in this life and the life after death depends clearly on accepting this universal TRUTH, sent to the whole humanity.

Know Islam – Know Reality!

O Children of Adam! We have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the clothing of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth). (Qur’an – 7:26)

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