CHAPTER THRITY-TWO

THE SUNNAH OF WOMENS DRESS

O Allah (The Exalted) bless our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his wives and progeny and all the Prophets and Messengers and closest angels and all the righteous slaves of Allah (The Exalted) in all the rain sky has rained since it was formed and bless our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in everything the Earth has produced since it was spread out.

Naked on the Day of Resurrection The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Many women in spite of being dressed will be raised naked on the Day of Resurrection.” i Allahu Akbar! Can we imagine all mankind will be present; do we want to be seen naked? The reason is because although they are clothed, they are not correctly clothed according to the Shari’ah. This could either mean, they wear tight clothing, see through, half sleeves etc. A women’s clothing should be loose and covered properly. It is necessary for a woman to wear clothes with full sleeves. Wearing of half sleeve kurtas is unlawful (forbidden) and a major sin (Ghuna-e-Kabeera). It should neither be thin that the contours of the body can be seen. Women who wear such dress will be raised naked on the Day of Resurrection; this needs serious consideration. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) once said, “Two kinds of folks would be in the worst situation in Hell. Firstly, those officials who would carry with them whip’s looking like the tails of cows, and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite wearing clothes they would attract strangers (men) towards them and will themselves be attracted to them. Their heads will be hanging on a side like the humps of fast camels. They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of it despite the fact that the fragrance of Paradise will reach far distances.” ii Allahu Akbar! Respected Sister, let us take serious the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and change our lives for the better. Those sisters who already observe this should speak to the other sisters and promote the Sunnah.

Devil looks at you Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying that, “A women should be concealed, for when she goes out, the Devil looks at her.” iii In order to save ourselves from the Shaytan, follow the Sunnah closely, Insha-Allah there will be blessings in our lives and homes too.

Wearing a head scarf The reason for wearing a headscarf is to cover the hair. Some women wear the scarf in a manner that the front part of the hair is open, meaning the scarf is worn half way on the head, this is forbidden. Some women cover the front part but leave their plaits hanging from the back uncovered. This is also strictly forbidden. The correct method of wearing a scarf is to cover every hair, the ears, neck and chest should also be covered. If a scarf that is worn that the blackness or colour of the hair can be seen meaning it is transparent it is not permissible to wear and if Salaah is offered in this manner it will not count and will have to be repeated. Iv

The Hair This means that the hair on the head should all be covered and not partly with either some hair from the front showing or from the back as seen in today’s society.

Ears Both ears should also be covered with the scarf and not tie the scarf in such a manner that the ears are open.

Neck and throat The neck and throat should also be covered with the scarf and not worn in such a manner that the neck or throat can be seen.

Chest The chest should also be covered with either the scarf or the top as this is part of the covering for the woman.

Dahya Qalabi (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that, “Once the prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was presented with some material from Egypt called Qibtiyah. He gave me a piece of it and said, ‘Make a shirt for you from this and give the rest to your wife to make her scarf, but ask her to put lining underneath so that her body cannot be seen through it.’” v Once ‘Aisha’s (may Allah be pleased with her) cousin, Hafsah bint ‘Abdur-Rahman (may Allah be pleased with her) came to visit her. She was wearing a scarf made of thin material. ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) took it and ripped it up and gave her one of her own scarves made of thicker material. Vi

Women’s obligatory clothing In the privacy of the home, her nakedness when on her own is that which is between the navel and knees. In the prayer it means everything besides the face and hands. And when outside the home on the street, it refers to the entire body but the face and hands, just as in prayer. Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan writes in Irfan-e-Shariat, “If a women goes in front of a non-Mehram man in a state where any part of her hair, throat, neck, back or stomach, arms, legs can be seen, or the clothing is thin that it is see through than according to conscientious of the scholars it is forbidden and such a woman will be an open sinner (fasiqa) and if her husband is pleased with the way she dresses he is a “Dayooth” (cuckold) and for people to make him the Imam is a sin.” Vii

What is Satr-e-Aurat? It is important to understand this as many seem to be ignorant about this fact. Satr-e-Aurat means to cover. In Bahar-e-Shariat an encyclopaedia of Hanafi jurisprudence it states under the section of Salaah that except for the five parts i.e. face, both hands upto the wrists and both feet upto the ankles all the body is aurat, meaning should be covered. This is split into thirty parts of the body, however, we will mention those that are most neglected. The same rule applies in Salaah.

  1. The head, meaning from the top of the head upto the start of the neck should be all covered without a single hair visible. 2. The hair that hangs down should also be covered. 3. The right ear 4. The left ear 5. The neck (and throat) 6. The right shoulder 7. The left shoulder 8. The top right arm including the elbow 9. The top left arm including the elbow 10.The bottom right arm (below the elbow upto and including the wrist) 11.The bottom left arm (below the elbow upto and including the wrist) 12.The chest, below the neck/throat to the breasts 13.The right breast

14.The left breast 15.The stomach, meaning from below the breasts upto and including the navel 16.The upper back, meaning the other side of the chest 17.Both armpits upto the lower back 18.The right hip 19.The left hip 20.The vagina 21.The posterior 22.The right thigh upto and including the knees, the knee is not a separate part but is included 23.The left thigh upto and including the knees, the knee is not a separate part but is included 24.Below the naval upto the start of the pubic hair and the lower back, is all one aurat. 25.The right shin, from below the knee upto and including the ankle 26.The left shin, from below the knee upto and including the ankle.

Many Scholars have not included the back of the hands and the base of the feet as Aurat. viii Although the woman’s face is not an Aurat, it is still forbidden to expose it to non-permissible males (those a woman is not restricted to marry). Also it is forbidden for non-permissible males to look at their face. ix From the above we find that all the body should be covered outside Salaah in front of non-Mehram men as it should be in Salaah.

Arms Many women cover their heads properly, however, neglect covering the arms and wear short sleeves due to ignorance and following fashion. This is part of the covering (aurat) and should not be neglected.

Transparent This is also neglected due to ignorance and following the latest fashion and this is falsely seen as covering the body, however, if the clothing is transparent then it goes against the rules of covering.

Tight clothing Many are seen with the correct head covering, however, the rules of covering are neglected and women are seen wearing tight clothing which is forbidden and should be avoided at all cost.

Clothed but naked? ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that, “Once my sister Asma (may Allah be pleased with her) came to visit me. She was wearing a dress made of some thin Syrian material which you now call Saffak. When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw her, he said, “These are kinds of clothes which have been prohibited in Surah Nur (because they show off your beauty).” He then asked Asma (may Allah be pleased with her) to change into something different.” X

Hijab and the family People who live in the same household get so close to each other that at times they don’t think about the principles of the Islamic law (Shariah). Therefore, Hijab is often not observed with the brother in law; although there is a strong emphasis on observing Hijab with them.

‘Uqbah bin Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) once said that, “Do not go near Ghair Mehram women.” One man asked him, “O Prophet of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) what is the command about the brother in law of a woman?” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) responded, “The (dangers in not observing Hijab with) brother in law is like death.” Xi

Although a woman is required to observe Hijab with all Ghair Mehram men, to avoid coming in front of the brother in law without Hijab is as important as it is to avoid death. Similarly, men of the in laws have been instructed not to freely mix with their sister in law and not to look at these women.

Veiling Shaykh Ahmad Raza Khan writes: for women to veil (do parda) in front of their Shaykh (peer) is necessary (Wajib). There are Shaykhs in today’s day and age who sit with women and the women start to jump around the room and their voices can be heard outside the room, this is totally against the Shariah of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant hi peace) and is shamelessness. One should not take Bai’ah with such a Shaykh. xii Shaykh ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddith-e-Dehelvi (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in ‘Akhbar al-Akhyaar’ “There was a drought once, everyone supplicated but it did not rain. People went in the court of Shaykh Nizam-ud-Deen (may Allah be pleased with him) to ask him to make supplication, he went to his mother and held her hand and said, “O Allah! This is the hand of such a women upon whom no –non-permissible male has looked at, make it rain due to her, when he completed these words it rained heavily.” xiii Subhanallah! Sisters should strictly follow the Shari’ah and become close to Allah (The Exalted). We need pious women who can be followed as an example in our societies.

Paradise For Following The Sunnah Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying, “When will the Last Hour come, Messenger of Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘What have you prepared for it?” The person replied, ‘I have not prepared a lot of (voltentry) prayer or (voltentry) Fast or (voltentry) Charity for it, but I love Allah (The Exalted) and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘You will be with the one you love.’ xiv Do we want to be raised on the day of Judgement with those who follow today’s fashion? Definitely not! The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said, “Whoever gives life to one of my Sunnahs which was eliminated after my time will receive the reward of all those who practice it without their reward being diminished…” xv Subhanallah! This is the chance to increase our rewards for the hereafter and abstain from sin.

May Allah (The Exalted) give our sisters the ability to follow the Sunnah of the beloved wives and daughters of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Ameen!


i Bukhari ii Muslim iii Tirmidhi iv Fatawa-e-Alamgiri: Vol: 1, page 54. Bahar-e-Shariat Vol:2, page 43 v Abu Dawood vi . Imam Malik vii Irfan-e-Shariat. P 81. viii Bahar-e-Shariat, Vol: One. Section of Salaah. ix ibid Vol: 2. x Baihaqi xi Bukhari & Muslim xii Ehkam-e-Shairat xiii Ghunah Gar Kwanteen. P.21 xiv Ash-Shifa: Chapter one; Section two: On the reward for loving the Prophet, with reference to Al-Bukhari. xv Tirmidhi (hasan), Book of knowledge; al-Baghawi, Shah al-Sunnah 1:233. Ash-Shifa with reference to Ibn Majah who considers it hasan.

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