Islamic Women Dress Code



(Rules pertaining to Muslim women Hijab & Dressing)

♦ What is the meaning of Awrah?

Awrat is the intimate parts of the body, every Muslim man and woman should cover them with clothing. It is a sin to expose them to others according to Islamic law.

♦ What is the awrah of a woman in privacy?

It is necessary (wajib) (and recommended according to another opinion), to cover one’s minimum nakedness (between the navel and knee for both men and women) even when alone. The exception to this is when there is a need, such as taking a shower, relieving oneself, or changing one’s clothes. Even in such situations, it is recommended to minimize the exposure.

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “Modesty is part of faith (Imaan).” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Ya’la ibn Umayya reports that the Beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “Verily Allah is modest and discreet and He likes modesty and discretion. When one of you takes a bath, one should cover one’s self.” (Abu Dawud, Nasa’I & Musnad Ahmad).

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

It was asked from Prophet ﷺ. ‘O Prophet of Allah! What about when one of us is alone (Awrah in alone)?’ He said: ‘Allah is more deserving of being shy from Him than the people.'” (Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi)

♦ What is the awrah of a woman for salaah (prayers)?

The whole body is the awrat, except the face and the hands up to the wrist joints.

♦ What is the awrah of a woman for her husband?

It is permissible for the spouses to look at any part of each other’s body. As such, there is no Awrah in front of the spouse (for this will be exempted from the ruling of concealing in privacy due to need).

Scholars mention, however, that although it is permissible for the spouses to look at any part of the partner’s body, it is disliked that they become completely naked during cohabitation. A cover or sheet over the naked bodies would be sufficient.

Sayyida Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said: “I never saw the Beloved Prophet’s ﷺ private parts”. (Ibn Majah)

♦ What is the awrah of a woman for mahram males (Males not permitted to marry)

The Awra of a woman in front of her Mahram men (those with whom marriage is permanently unlawful), such as the father, brother, son, paternal uncle (father’s brother), maternal uncle (mother’s brother), father in-law, grandson, husband’s son (from another marriage), son in-law, etc consists of the area between the navel and knees, and also the stomach and back.

Thus, it will be permissible for a woman to expose the following parts of her body in front of Mahram males: head, hair, face, neck, chest, shoulders, hands, forearms, and legs from below the knees. It will not be permissible to expose the stomach, back or any area which is between the navel and knees.

♦ What is the awrah of a woman for a non-mahram males (Males permitted to marry)

The whole body is the awrat, except the face and the hands up to the wrist joints.

The Beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

“When a woman reaches puberty no part of her body should remain uncovered except her face and the hand up to the wrist joint.” (Abu Dawud)

♦ What is the awrah of a woman in front of a Muslim woman?

The Awra of a woman in front of fellow Muslim women is from the navel up to and including the knees.

♦ What is the awrah of a woman in front of a Non- Muslim woman?

There are two opinions exist between the scholars of Islam.

​One opinion is awrah of a woman in front of non-Muslim women is all her body except her face, hands and feet.

The second opinion is, same like other women, that is, from the navel up to and including the knees.

However, the majority is adopted the first opinion. However, scholars say that if this is difficult, then it will be permissible to expose some part of the body in front of them. The ruling of covering in front of non-Muslim women is not as strict as the other situations, for, firstly, there is a difference of opinion between the scholars regarding it, and secondly, it may be at times very difficult to cover in front of women.

♦ How should a Muslim woman dress?

A Muslim woman should dress according to what Allah Almighty and Beloved Prophet ﷺ ordered.

Accordingly, there are 7 conditions should be taken into consideration, before choosing a woman’s dress.

1. Clothing must cover the entire body, only the hands and face may remain visible.

2. The material must not be so thin that one can see through it.

3. The clothing must hang loose so that the shape / form of the body is not apparent.

4. The female clothing must not resemble the man’s clothing.

5. The design of the clothing must not resemble the clothing of the non Muslim women.

6. The design must not consist of bold designs which attract attention.

7. Clothing should not be worn for the sole purpose of gaining reputation or increasing one’s status in society.

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

“Modesty is part of faith, and faith is in Paradise, but obscenity is a part of hardness of the heart and hardness of heart is in Hell.” (Mishkaat)

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said:

“Those women who seem naked even when dressed and those who walk flirtingly and those who plait their heads like the humps of camels, thus inviting people’s attention, will not enter Paradise nor will they smell its fragrance even though its fragrance can be smelt from a very far distance. (Muslim)

♦ Is it compulsory (Fardh) for a woman to cover her face (Niqab)?

No, covering the face is not compulsory in Islam, provided disclosing the face will not make any temptations (Fitnah).

For example: If a woman sees some men and fears that if she shows off her face, they will continue to look at her or make any troubles. In this case, she can cover her face to overcome this Fitnah.

♦ Are Muslim girls allowed to wear leotards, shorts and T-shirt as worn for Physical Education and for school sports?

The wearing of leotards, shorts and T-shirt reveals the awrah of the female and the shape of her body. Islam doesn’t allow such type of dressing. Muslim females (especially those who have reached the age of puberty) participating in sports should wear long and baggy tracksuit pants and a loose long T-shirt that reaches well below the waistline or till her knees.

♦ Are Muslim females allowed to wear swimming costumes?

No. When a female wears swimming costumes, her awrat parts are exposed. Further, swimming pools and beaches are mixed with both men and women. If your parents own a swimming pool on their own private property, there is no harm in swimming in it provided that the costume meets all the requirements of the Shari’ah. Pls check the minimum Awrah requirements in the above questions.

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to wear jewellery?

Yes, women are allowed to wear jewellery. But, females should not wear such jewellery that causes a jingle noise with movement. It can attract the attention of strange men, which is forbidden.

♦ Should a Muslim woman obey to her husband who rejects wearing Hijab?

A Muslimah should not obey to anyone’s orders which are against for those of Allah and his Beloved Prophet ﷺ. It is the order of Allah and his Beloved Prophet ﷺ to cover the entire body except face and hands up to wrist. So every Muslim women should obey this. If anyone (including husband) orders her for not to obey it, then she should not listen to them and follow the order of Allah. 

♦ Is it permitted for Muslim women not to wear Hijab for her work or studies?

No, it is not permitted for Muslim women to disobeying Allah’s order for these reasons. If her work does not allow wearing Hijab or covering her awrah, then she should leave that work and find another one. If her college or school does not allow, then she should change her school or college where she can follow her Islamic dress code.

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to cut their hair?

It is allowed to women to cut the hair, providing it should not imitate men or non-Muslim women.

Today, some women cut their hair short like those of men. It is Haraam for a woman to cut her hair, to dress un-Islamically or imitate men.

Beloved Prophet ﷺ cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men, and he said: “Throw them out of your houses.” (Bukhari)

A woman should try to keep her hair clean and tidy if it is long. In fact, hair for a woman, like the beard for a man, is a significant element of beauty blessed by Almighty Allah.

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to shave their head?

No, it is forbidden for women to shave their head, unless there is an excuse. (Example: illness)

Beloved Prophet ﷺ forbade women to shave their heads. (Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i)

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to remove their facial hair?

It is allowed for women to remove the abnormal hair from their body. That is, that hair comes in places where hair does not usually grow for women. For example: hair in upper lips (moustache), chins and cheeks (beard).

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to shave their eyebrows?

No, they are not allowed to shave their eyebrows. The shaving of eyebrows and the painting of new ones, or shaving or plucking certain hair from eyebrows is not allowed in Islam.

“Beloved Prophet ﷺ  cursed the women who plucked and those who were employed to pluck the eyebrows.” (Abu Dawud)

♦ Are Muslim women allowed to remove the hair from their body?

Yes, it is allowed for women to shave or remove the hair from their body. Since, it is allowed for women to remove any abnormal hair which comes in their body. Hence, it is allowed for them to remove hair from hands, legs, stomach, armpits and private parts.

♦ Can Muslim women wear wigs or hair pieces for beautification?

No, this is not allowed in Islam for any reasons.

“Hazrat A’ishah (RadhiAllahu Anha) reported that the Beloved Prophet ﷺ cursed women who wore hair pieces and the women who aided in this practice.” (Bukhari)

If a woman has short hair, she should not try to add false hair. If another lady asks her to help fix false hair on her head, she should refuse.

♦ Are women allowed to tattoo themselves or space their teeth?

No. Beloved Prophet ﷺ cursed women who, in order to increase their beauty, deliberately space their teeth, thus disfiguring the creation of Almighty Allah. Even tattooing is not allowed as it also disfigures the natural creation of Almighty Allah. Those who have tattoos should have them surgically removed.

“Beloved Prophet ﷺ cursed women who tattooed, and those who got themselves tattooed those who sharpen the teeth of others (as a mark of beauty) and those who had their teeth sharpened.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

♦ Are women allowed to use cosmetics?

Yes, women are allowed to use cosmetics provided that the ingredients of those cosmetics are halaal (allowed) and that she does so at home.

Further, a woman should make herself beautiful at home for her husband, by beautifying her face with cosmetics, by keeping herself clean and by having a pleasant fragrance. Antimony (Surma) may be applied, from time to time, for it clears the sight, and gives the eye beauty. Women should also avoid direct sunlight as its rays destroy her natural beauty.

♦ Are females allowed to use perfumes?

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said that the perfume used by females should not have strong smell.

Beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “Males should use that perfume which does not give colour but has a strong smell; and the females should use that perfume which gives colour but has a light smell.” (Abu Dawud)

This is to avoid gossip and to prevent strange men from looking at them. Ladies are allowed to use only non-alcoholic perfumes in the privacy of their homes for their husbands only. A perfumed woman may not leave her home unless she got rid of the smell of the perfume.

♦ Are females allowed to use henna (a red plant – dye or mendhi)?

Yes. It is preferable for females to use henna on the hands and legs. Make sure that the henna is of a Halaal substance and not contaminated with Haraam substances.


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