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The Muslim Woman's dress (Abayah / Jilbab) as prescribed in the Shariah

Q: Recently, a kind of `Aba'ah (a loose outer garment) which shows the shape of the body and is tight has become popular. It is composed of two light layers of crepe fabric; and it has wide sleeves, embroidery and designs; and it is worn coming from the shoulders. What is the ruling of Shari`ah (Islamic law) on this kind of `Aba'ah? Please advise us. May Allah reward you! ...

A: the `Aba'ah, as prescribed in the Shari`ah for women, is the Jilbab, which fulfils the aims of Shari`ah.

It completely covers and prevents Fitnah (temptation).

Accordingly, women's `Aba'ah must meet the following conditions:

First, it must be made of thick material that is not transparent, and it should not cling to the body.

Second, it should cover the entire body, and be loose enough so that it does not show the shape.

Third, it should be open from the front only, and the sleeve openings should be narrow.

Fourth, it should not have any adornment that attracts attention, so it must be free of designs, decorations, writings, and symbols.

Fifth, it should not resemble the dress of Kafirs (disbelievers), women or men.

Sixth, it should come down from the top of the head. Based on the above, the kind of `Aba'ah mentioned in the question is not the kind of `Aba'ah that is prescribed for women in the Shari`ah.

Thus, it is not permissible to wear it, because it does not meet the necessary conditions. It is also not permissible to wear any other kind of `Aba'ah that does not meet the necessary conditions, or to import them, manufacture them, sell them, or distribute them among the Muslims, because this is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear All‚h. Verily, All‚h is Severe in punishment.

The Committee has stated that and has advised the believing women to fear Allah (Exalted be He) and to cover their entire bodies with the Jilbab and Khimar (veil covering to the waist) from non-Mahrams (not a spouse or unmarriageable relatives), in obedience to Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and so as to avoid the causes of Fitnah.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member Member Member Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd Salih Al-Fawzan `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah Al Al-Shaykh

Fatwas of Permanent Committee>Group 1>Volume 17: Hijab and Adornment>Women's Hijab and Dress>Women's clothes and its rulings>Women wearing tight cloaks / Fatwa no. 21352