the muslim women jilbab 2

the requirements of the jilbab



Al-Qurtubi, explains: "Women in the past (i.e. before the ayahs concerning covering

properly were revealed) used to cover their heads with the khimar, throwing its ends

over their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, in the manner

of the Christians. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the khimar."

Hence, the Khimar must fully cover not only the hair, but the neck, the shoulders and

the chest.

Regarding the feet, this is clarified in the following hadith from Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah Be

Pleased With Him) who reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings be

upon him) said: On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not look at the man who trails his

garment along out of pride. Umm Salamah then asked: What should women do with

(the hems of) their garments? He replied: Let them lower them a handspan. She said:

Their feet would be exposed! He (Peace and Blessings be upon him) then said: Let

them lower them a forearm's length but no more.” [Reported by At-Tabarani]

So it is clear that the dress worn in public must cover the entire body (including the feet)

except what has been specifically excluded.

Surat An-Nur spells out specifically the commands concerning the fact that a woman's

natural beauty and her adornments are to be concealed from strangers except by (1)

What may show due to accidental or uncontrollable factors such as the blowing of the

wind or an accidental (i.e., unintentional) look by a non-mahram etc., and (2) What has

been exempted.

Therefore, from the above proofs from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Statements of

the Salaf of this Ummah, we can conclude that a jilbab or an outer garment or cloak of

some type must be worn by a Muslim woman over her normal clothes whenever she

goes out in public or if she is in the presence of strangers (i.e., men that are not a

mahram for her) within her own home or the home of a close relative and that simply

covering the hair with a headscarf along with normal clothing is not sufficient.

Requirements of the Jilbab

Requirements of the Jilbab 6

Garments such as the abaya, the chador, a cloak or other similar garme nts that are

worn over normal clothing can also be defined as a “jilbab” as well as any combination

of clothing that covers as a single over garment (such as the Abaya) does.

The Jilbab Must be Sufficiently Thick and Loose

The jilbab should be thick and opaque so as not to display the skin color and loose

enough so as not to reveal the shape and size of the woman’s body beneath it.

Transparent, thin and/or tight clothing which simply cover the skin do not meet the

requirements of a proper hijab.

We find a very severe warning against wearing this type of clothing in the following

hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) who said that the

Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings Be upon him) said: "I will not be a witness for

two types of people who are destined for the fire: people with whips, like the tails of

cows, who beat the people (i.e. tyrants who are the enemies of their own people) and

women who, although clothed, are yet naked seducing and being seduced, their hair

style like the tilted humps of camels. These will not enter the paradise nor will its

fragrance reach them although its fragrance reaches a very great distance” [Muslim]

The Scholars have interpreted the Prophet’s (Peace and blessings be upon him)

statement “although clothed, are yet naked” as meaning a woman wearing clothes that

do not cover her body properly.

Al-Qurtubi reports a narration from `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that some

women from Banu Tamim came to see her wearing transparent clothing. `Aishah said to

them: "If you are believing women, these are not the clothes of believing women."

Al-Qurtubi also reports that when a woman came to see ‘Aisha h wearing a sheer,

transparent khimar, whereupon `Aishah (May Allah Be pleased with her) said: "A

woman who wears such clothing does not believe in Surat An-Nur."

Further proof that the jilbab should be both sufficiently loose and thick can also be found

in the following hadith from Usamah ibn Zaid who said: Allah's Messenger (Peace and

blessings be upon him) gave me a gift of thick Coptic cloth he had received as a gift

from Dahiah Al-Kalbi, and so I gave it to my wife. Thereafter the Prophet (Peace and

blessings be upon him) asked me: Why didn't you wear the Coptic cloth? I replied: ‘I

gave it to my wi fe.’ The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) then said: Tell her

to wear a thick gown under it (the Coptic garment) for I fear that it may describe the size

of her limbs. [Narrated by Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi, and Al-Haakim]

Requirements of the Jilbab

Requirements of the Jilbab 7

So, from this, we can conclude that a skin-tight body suit or blue jeans (for example)

which may conceal the skin color, are nonetheless lacking as proper hijab because they

still reveal the size and shape of the body.

Additionally, a jilbab that may be sufficiently loosely fitting, but is transparent, would also

be lacking because it is not opaque and thick and would reveal the skin color of the


Color Must Not Be Alluring and Should Not Have Attractive


The hijab is intended to conceal the woman and her beauty from public view and should

not be a thing which actually enhances her beauty or draws attention. Therefore, the

jilbab should not have bright colors, eye-catching decorations nor have a glossy and/or

reflective fabric that will draw the attention of the opposite sex.

The Proof for this is as follows

Allah says:

...And do not make a display of yourselves like the displaying of the ignorance of

long ago... [Al-Ahzaab, 33:33]

Abu Dawood narrated from Abu Hurayrah (May Allah Be pleased with him) that the

Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Do not prevent the female

slaves of Allah from attending the mosques of Allah, but let them go out unadorned.”

Imam Ath-Thahabi (May Allah have mercy upon him) says in his book Kitab Al-Kaba'ir

(The Book of Major Sins): "Amongst the deeds which a woman is cursed for are;

displaying the adornments she wears, wearing perfume when she goes out, and

wearing colorful clothes..."

So, the Muslim woman is encouraged to wear soft, somber colors and to avoid jilbabs

that contain bright designs, patterns, images, bright colors or any other thing which

draws attention. Additionally, as mentioned by Imam Ath-Thahabi above, the jilbab

should not be adorned with jewelry and/or perfume.

Many women wear black, not because it is obligatory, but because it is the most

somber color and farthest removed from being an adornment.

The following report from Abu Dawood indicates that the women of the Sahaabah used

to wear black in which ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: "Afte r this Ayah (Al-

Ahzaab, 33:33) was revealed the women of the Ansaar appeared like crows."

Requirements of the Jilbab

Requirements of the Jilbab 8

The scholars have interpreted part of the meaning of “appeared like crows” as meaning

that their jilbabs were plain and black.

Also, over garments that could be considered to be libaas us-shuhrah" (extravagant

dress; dress of high status, or something worn as a status symbol) sho uld also be

avoided in accordance with the hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar (May Allah be

pleased with them both) in which Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him)

said He who wears libaas ul-shuhra (extravagant clothing) in this world will be dressed

in humiliating clothes on the day of judgement” (Ahmad Abu Dawood)

“Libaas us-Shuhrah” is worn for the purpose of standing out and/or showing off in order

to attract attention (Even the same sex) to show how expensive and/or stylish one’s

garment is.

Must Not Resemble Men's Clothing

A Muslim woman’s clothes must not resemble men’s clothing (and vice versa).

The Messenger (Peace a nd Blessings be upon him) said: “Allah curses those men who

imitate the women, and He curses those women who imitate the men.” [Al-Bukhari]

‘Abdullah ibn `Umar (May Allah Be pleased with him) said he heard Allah's Messenger

(Peace and Blessings be upon him) say: The man who resembles a woman and the

woman who resembles a man is not from us [Ahmad and At-Tabarani]

So a thick, loose fitting and sufficiently long men’s thowb (for example) would not be

considered to be an Islamically correct jilbab.

Must Differ from the Clothing of Kufaar

A Muslim’s clothing must not resemble the clothing of unbelievers. This is a general

ruling of the Shari'ah which not only includes dress but manners, religious practices and

festivals, and other customs and traditions that are exclusive to the Kufaar.

We find the proof for this in the following two hadith.

‘Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Allah's

Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) saw me wearing two saffron-colored

garments, so he said: Indeed, these are the clothes of kufaar (unbelievers), so do not

wear them. [Sahih Muslim]

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Requirements of the Jilbab 9

`Abdullah ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Allah's Messenger (Peace

and Blessings be upon him) stated: Whoever resembles a people is one of them. [Abu


So a Muslim woman should not resemble a Nun, for example, in her dress even if what

she is wearing is appropriately long, thick and loosely fitting.

We sincerely ask Allah by His Infinite Mercy to unite our hearts upon His Book and the

Sunnah of His Messenger (Peace and Blessing be upon him) and make us firm in our

efforts to spread His deen. Indeed Allah is The One with the ability to do that.


And our final du'a is All Praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds...

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Date : 4/5/2010
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