Islamic Wisdom: According to the Qur’an & Sunnah the Islamic Perspective of Clothing Code

Photo by Ruben Hanssen on Unsplash

Islam contains many rules for daily life and human relationships.

The Quran is complete when it comes to the fundamentals. Quran is enough for the guidance of all mankind. The Quran’s message is eternal & universal, transcending our differences in race, color, ethnicity, and nationality. It provides guidance on every facet of human life from economics & the ethics of trade to marriage, divorce, parenting, gender issues, and inheritance.

Photo by Zahid Lilani on Unsplash

Even Some western countries have even attempted to outlaw certain aspects of Islamic dress customs, such as covering the face in public, and also some groups suggest that restrictions on the dress are demeaning or controlling, especially to women. Actually, These western countries are a nation built upon ideals of religious freedom.

This controversy stems largely from a misconception regarding the reasons behind Islamic dress rules.

That’s the second main goal of the writing of this story is to be clear and concise about those misconceptions about the Islamic dressing code specifically Muslim women’s dress around the world. my main objective is not to deal with the wrong information that is spread about Islam, simply to present what Islam truly is and its core faiths, beliefs and rules, and principles about different life aspects, based on the authoritative sources of Islam Quran and the Sunnah.

Any kind of misconception about Islam and Muslims is totally meaningless.

if somebody has a concern about Islam.

the best way to know about Islam is to study about Islam.

You find everything about Islam in Quran, Sunnah, and other sacred Islamic textual sources.

who spend their lifetime spreading the true messages of Islam and the Quran.

They clarify the misconception about Islam, even sometimes the involve several debates and dialogues by personalities of other religions. They use logic and science as their yardstick for the religious scripture.

“the way in which Muslims dress is really driven out of simple modesty and a desire to not draw individual attention in any way.

Muslims generally do not resent the restrictions placed on their dress by their religion and most regard it as a proud statement of their faith”.

Islam gives guidance about all aspects of life, including matters of public decency. Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings the Quran, which is considered to be the revealed word of Allah, and the Hadith the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, who serves as a human role model and guide.

“codes for conduct when it comes to dressing are greatly relaxed when individuals are home and with their families. The following requirements are followed by Muslims when they appear in public, not in the privacy of their own homes”.

In this article, I will cover everything to give you helpful knowledge to understand the Islamic perspective about clothing and those who misunderstand or have less knowledge. I hope you medium readers will enjoy and take this opportunity to learn new things about Islam this article helps to clear those misunderstandings and also guide those who are misguided or they do not have enough knowledge that they need.

Islamic Perspective on Clothing:

The ultimate purpose of clothing is to cover and bound according to the set borders of Islam. Clothing isn’t only to cover ourselves but to please and reflect one’s social image towards others.

O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of piety — that is best (Surah Al-Araf, verse 26).

Allah has permitted people to wear nice clothes and put on a good appearance, as doing so is one aspect of remembering Allah’s blessings upon them. As the Qur’an states, “Say, ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants and the good things, clean and pure, which Allah has provided for them?’ Say, ‘They are [lawful] for the believers in the present life but they shall be exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.’ Thus We explain Our signs for people who understand.” (Soorat Al-A‛raaf, 7:32)

Islamic Perspective on Modesty:

In my previous articles; Modesty is the way of Islam., i.e being modest in all facet of life, in way of dressing, the way one approaches and talk to people, the way one spends his/her wealth and time, the way you interact with every living thing.

Photo by Ifrah Akhter on Unsplash

In Arabic, the word used for modesty is ‘haya’.

The concept of modesty in Islam defines the boundaries with respect to decency that is set for every Muslim in terms of attire, speech, actions, and behavior.

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Said:

“Every religion has a character, and the character of Islam is modesty.”

Read more about Islamic Modesty here;

Haya: More Than Just Modesty:

The concept of Haya is modesty, bashfulness and shyness combined. It refers to an extremely desirable quality that protects us from all evils. It’s a natural feeling that brings us pain at the very idea of committing a wrong. Haya is the basic building block of Islamic morality. When it is lost everything is lost.

Awrah / Satr (Intimate parts of the Body):

Awrah is an Arabic term that denotes the intimate parts of the body, for both men and women, which must be covered with clothing. The first obligation upon a Muslim is to cover these parts of his or her body. It is a primordial obligation that continued throughout the Shari’a of every prophet. A believer is obliged to cover his awrah or Satr; this means that Muslims shall necessarily cover up their body parts that come under the definition of awrah or Satr.

The Significance Virtues of Clothes

Clothes play a vital role in our lives. our need for clothing comes in one part from our need to protect from the elements. Also, there’s the societal expectation that we cover up at least certain areas of our bodies. In most parts of the world, it’s enshrined in law.

Modest Dress Code:

There are many different religions around the world and have different beliefs and differences. Religious clothing is worn according to religious practice, tradition, or significance to a faith group. Every religion and society defines modesty in its own ways. The concept of modest dress changes according to culture and religion.

The Significance Importance of Veil

The word “veil” could be used to explain a wide range of headscarves and clothing, the term has found important meaning and application among Muslims and Christianity throughout history.

Islamic Jurisprudence & Law:

In Islam, everything considered harmful either to the body, mind, soul or society is prohibited (haram), while whatever is beneficial is permissible (halal).

Halal rules are certain specified rules which must be followed by Muslims. In the Islamic system, each and every individual in society is given equal importance and all such rules and laws which give due advantage to a particular are prohibited. Anything which harms society even including animals is not allowed in these rules. Any money earned without any work involved be it mental, physical or any other way is also not halal, it means prohibiting wrong ways to earn money.

Islamic law says about Muslim women’s proper dress:

The Hanbali and Shafii schools, the most conservative of the four, required Muslim women to cover their entire bodies, including their faces and hands. Most Maliki and Hanafi jurists believed that the entire woman’s body, except for the face and hands, had to be covered.

Implications for Muslim women today

Muslims are expected to follow the rituals and adopt the practices (including those related to veiling) of the Muslim-majority society they live in. These practices are defined by the particular school of the Islamic law that the country observes.


The information about veiling that is gleaned from Islamic religious texts (the Quran or the hadith), is ambiguous and open-ended. In fact, whether or not veiling is required in Islam, and the extent of that veiling depends primarily on the interpretations of religious texts by Islamic scholars, as well as on the particular country Muslim life in.

Traditional interpretations

Traditional interpretations of the Quranic verses treating women’s clothes were developed from the ninth to the thirteenth century, that is two to six centuries after the Prophet’s death. These interpretations were made by Quranic scholars, the most important of whom are undoubtedly Al-Tabari (b. 839, Iran); al-Razi (d. 1209); ibn al-Jawzi (d. 1200). This tradition of Quranic exegesis is known in Arabic as tafsir.

Progressive interpretations

Progressive Muslims is a group of pious Muslims from around the globe who are seeking to reinterpret Islam and core religious texts from an egalitarian, socially inclusive perspective. They believe that Islam, as is practiced around the world today, has been hijacked from the egalitarian spirit that was the core of the message that the Prophet received and preached in the seventh century. Their goal is thus to peel away the layers of interpretations that have been imposed on the Quran over the centuries and that have closed off the more open-ended and fluid message of the Holy Book.

Progressive interpretations of the Quran

Progressive Muslims’ engagement with the Quran and with its exegetical tradition has led to the following conclusions:

  • The Quran does not prescribe a specific dress code for women. Rather, it invites both men and women to observe culturally appropriate codes of modesty.
  • The notion that Muslim women are required to veil is an interpretation of the Quran, rather than a prescription explicitly enjoined in the Quran. This interpretation has been superimposed on the Quran beginning in the ninth century by exegetes who read the Holy Book from the perspective of their own socio-cultural traditions.
  • The only women who were required to veil during the Prophet’s time were his wives. In fact, in the seventh century, the verb “to veil” was synonymous to “become the wife of the Prophet”.

Progressive interpretations of hadith

Progressive Muslims are also engaged in a rigorous examination of the hadith tradition and especially as it relates to Muslim women’s proper attire.

  • Abu Dawud’s hadith is not reliable because it is cited only in this one collection and is not attested anywhere else. It thus exhibits the very feature marking possible fraudulent reporting according to the complex evaluation system of authentication developed by classical hadith scholars themselves.
  • Abu Dawud’s hadith is not reliable because it is not supported by an unbroken chain of reporters going all the way back to the Prophet to guarantee its authenticity as all hadiths are supposed to be. It is cited only by Abu Dawud who lived in the ninth century, that is two hundred years after the Prophet’s death.
  • Abu Dawud’s hadith is unreliable because the female body parts that ought to be concealed are not contained in the Prophet’s own words, but are specified by the hadith reporter himself, in this case, Abu Dawud.

General Rule Regarding Clothing

Islam is a religion that lays down rules based on the dictates of the pure nature innate in all humans (fitrah), straightforward reasoning, and sound logic.

Forbidden Types of Clothing

  1. Clothing that reveals the private parts: Muslims are required to cover their private parts with appropriate clothing, as the Qur’an states, “Children of Adam! We have sent down clothing to you to conceal your private parts.” (Soorat Al-A‛raaf, 7:26)
    Islam has fixed the standards of modesty for both men and women. For men, the minimum amount to be covered is between the navel and the knee. For women who are in the presence of men not related to them, they must cover their bodies except for their face and hands.
    Islam requires that clothing must also be loose enough to cover the body properly. Therefore, skin-tight and see-through clothes are not allowed in Islam. In fact, the Prophet ﷺ warned those people who do not observe modesty in dress, calling them “types among the people of Hellfire”, one of them being “women who are clothed yet naked”.
  2. Clothing that involves dressing like or imitating the opposite sex: This type of clothing is strictly forbidden in Islam and wearing it is considered one of the major sins. This imitation may be extended to include imitation in the manner of speaking, gait, and movement, for Allah’s Messenger ﷺ cursed men who wear women’s clothes and women who wear men’s clothes. (Sunan Abu Daawood: 4098) He also cursed men who make themselves look like women and women who make themselves look like men. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5546) By directing men and women to observe different modes of dress, Islam takes into account the biological differences between them and encourages them to act in accordance with the dictates of reason and dictates of sound reason and the pure inner nature innate in all humans (fitrah).
  1. Clothing that involves imitation of the dress traditionally worn by non-Muslims, such as the type of clothing worn by monks and priests and wearing a cross. This also includes clothing that is specific to a certain religion, for the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Sunan Abu Daawood: 4031) This imitation extends to wearing clothing of religious significance. Imitation of this type is a sign of weakness and lack of confidence in the truth one adopts.
    Imitation here does not include wearing clothing that is predominant in one’s country even if such dress is worn by the majority of non-Muslims, for the Prophet ﷺ used to wear clothing that was common amongst the Quraysh pagans with the exception of those clothing items that are expressly forbidden.
  2. Clothing that is worn with pride and conceit: The Prophet ﷺ said, “No one who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim: 91)
    It is for this reason that Islam warns against trailing one’s lower garments on the ground out of pride. The Prophet ﷺ said, “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not even look at those who drag their garments on the ground out of pride.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaare: 3465; Saheeh Muslim: 2085)
    Islam also warns against wearing the so-called libaas ash-shuhrah (flamboyant, flashy clothing). In fact, this term refers to a number of things including any type of weird clothing which has certain qualities that attract the attention of the general public, making its wearer known for it; ‘notorious clothing’ due to its type or loud and repulsive colour; any type of clothing that makes its wearer an object of pride and fame, attracting too much attention to himself. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever wears clothes of shuhrah in this world, Allah will make him wear clothes of humiliation on the Day of Judgement.” (Musnad Ahmad: 5664; Sunan Ibn Maajah: 3607)
  1. Silk clothing or clothing adorned with gold or silk for men: Referring to gold and silk once, the Prophet ﷺ said, “These are forbidden for men among my followers but permissible for women.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah: 3595; Sunan Abu Daawood: 4057)
    By silk is meant pure silk obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm.
  2. Extravagant clothing: The Prophet ﷺ once said, “Eat, give charity and wear clothes. Let no extravagance or pride be mixed with what you do.” (Sunan An-Nasaa’ee: 2559)
    The manner of dressing, however, varies from one person to another depending on one’s social position. If a person is rich, he may purchase clothing that a poor person cannot afford, given his monthly outcome, economic position, and other financial obligations he has to fulfill. While a piece of clothing may be considered a form of extravagance for a poor person, it may not be considered such for a rich person.

Final Thoughts:

This story focuses on clothing in Islam of Muslims, especially women that is appropriate to the sharia. A brief article that talks about the dress code in Islam through textual and logical proofs.

I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective and until next time, keep reflecting.

Thank you for reading!

Finally, I pray to Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and make us part of the group who is among the most righteous! Ameen.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

Yeah, don’t forget to follow me for more amazing content. Happy Reading!!!

If you enjoyed reading, learned anything interesting, or know anyone who should read this, please feel free to recommend or write a response. I’m always excited to hear from others and learn.

You can read my most popular medium stories here.



Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid


Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous