Islam is more than just a religion. It is a way of life in which each aspect is designed specifically for a happy and healthy life as well as eases the pave way to paradise. While the world sees modesty as something low or weakness, Islam puts modesty in the first line of life. Modesty is a sign of way to respect oneself as well as others. It is applied in every aspect in life including on the way of dressing for both men and women. See also importance of respecting parents in Islam.
To this extend, Islam creates dress code for both women and men. The main purpose of the dress code is to protect the society and also promote modest way of dressing and behavior. The dress code according to Islam creates clear boundaries between men and women so that both sexes can conduct modest life with dignity and respect to each other. So, how a women should dress in Islam? Here is the explanation.
- It should conceal the entire body parts except face and hands
In Islam, women should cover the entire body parts except face and hands. This clothing is known more as hijab. However, the specific clothes are not mentioned but covering the aurat is required in Islam.
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts from sin and not show their adornment except only that which is apparent, and draw their headcovers over their necks bosoms and not reveal adornment except to brothers, or brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, or their women (i.e. their sisters in Islam,) or their female slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants free of physical desires, or small children who have no sense of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah altogether, O you believers, in order that you may attain success.” (Surah An-Nur: 31)
- It should not be translucent or see through.
Transparent or see through clothes is highly forbidden in Islam as it does not cover any body part. Transparent or netted scarves or clothes are worn to openly display certain body parts or hair should be avoided. Rasullullah has given warning for wearing transparent clothing which shows body parts or tight clothing which highlights the body figure.
“Many women are clothed but naked in reality. Such women will never enter paradise nor will they smell its fragrance.”
- It should be loose
According to Islam, women’s clothing should be loose, not tight fitting, and also long. Tight fitting clothes display body figure is definitely forbidden for Muslim women. Also, Allah orders women to lengthen their garment or clothing. See also laws for Friday prayer for women.
“O you Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers to lengthen their garments. This is better so that they will be recognized and not harmed. God is Forgiver, Merciful.” (Quran Surah 33:59)
The exact amount of how long should we lengthen the garment is not specific because God knows we will live in different society and cultures. However, it is clear that the length of the garment should enough to cover the aurat and it is loose enough not to show the body figure.
- It should be modest
Islam highly appreciates modesty including in clothing. The design of the clothes should be modest and avoid three deadly sins which are arrogance, show off, and self-indulgence. Clothing is an easy access to those three sins, thus, we should be more careful in clothing choice. See also importance of generosity in Islam.
“Eat what you feel like and wear what you feel like. But avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance.” (Hadith Bukhari)
- It should have less accessories
Still in the discussion of modesty, women’s clothes according to Islam should have fewer accessories. The clothes should be worn not to gain popularity or fame. This means that it should not have bling thing like visible jewelry. Jewelry may be used in the presence of husband only. See also how to treat pregnant women in Islam.
- It should not attract attention of opposite gender
The main aim why Islam regulates women’s way of dressing is to protect them from strange men’s gaze. This is because clothes are the first thing that people see from us. Excessive clothing accessories can indeed attract attention of opposite gender. However, even if the clothes should be modest, but it should not be clumsy or ugly.
- It should not resemble men’s attire
Islam clearly emphasizes the difference of women and men clothing. In Islam, both sexes should dress accordingly and not to resemble each other. It is highly forbidden for women to dress like men and vica versa.
“The curse of Almighty Allah is upon those women who dress or imitate men.”
- It should not resemble specific clothing to other non-Muslim groups
Hijab or head veil and loose clothing is like an identity for Muslim women. Thus, Islam strongly orders its believer to dress accordingly. The dress, however, should never resemble peculiar dress of the disbelievers or non-Muslim groups.
- It should not be perfumed
When leaving the house, women should not use perfumed both in the body and the clothes. However, perfume can be used at homes in the presence of husband only. This is to avoid gossip as well as prevent strange men gaze.
- It should not reveal women’s beauty spots
In general, Islam orders women to wear clothes which do not reveal the beauty spot such as breasts, back side, and thighs. This is because some women’s body parts may attract men’s attention even draws sexual intention. Whatever the clothes look like, it should not reveal women’s beauty spot. Learn more about verses about love of Allah.
Islam is a way of life. It even regulates the way of clothing for both men and women. For women, the clothes should be loose, not transparent and tight fitting. The clothes should be modest but not clumsy or ugly and not attract men’s attention. The main point for women dressing rules is to protect them from strange men’s gaze and possible sexual harassment.