Islamic Wisdom: According to the Qur’an & Sunnah the Islamic Perspective of Clothing Code
Islam is a complete code of life and gives us guidance in every aspect of our day-to-day lives and Islam provides guidance for all walks of life i.e. individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, national and international.
Hello, Readers hope all’s well. It is time for another post in my new series,” Islam a complete code of life “ and also part of my previous series “Islamic Wisdom”, and “ Understanding Islam series” where I write about Religious Sacred knowledge through religious wisdom, philosophy science, and logic.
As I said in my previous recent story, “ It discovers unknown realities from the known ones. Wisdom makes logical rules using plausible reasoning by induction and deduction.” and “Allah teaches us so much through wisdom if we every one are willing to watch and listen to see and hear the Wisdom. Allah teaches us a lot about Himself, through wisdom. He teaches us about lots of topics.”
Anyway, Like many other religions especially Abrahamic religions Islam, Christianity, and Judaism; Islam required a certain code of conduct for its believers.
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.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the best Human being and role model for mankind all the time. He is infallible in all aspects of his blissful life. As he lives life, he teaches us how a human should live a life.
Today’s story will highlight the basics of Islamic beliefs, rules, and principles of dressing code for both men and women through the several approaches to the “ wisdom concept “ in the Sacred text sources and the general “ concept of philosophy science “. Today is a really interesting subject as you saw and read in the title. This is a great subject and I believe most people are curious to know about it.
I hope you medium readers will enjoy and take this opportunity to learn new things about other religions and culture.
So, Let's start the journey of learning in a positive environment.
The manner of dress of Muslims has drawn great attention in recent years, there are some misconceptions about Islam and its rules, principle, and different Muslim countries’ traditions and culture as well around the world specifically in western countries.
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.
There are many Islamic scholars and other Muslims
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.
It should be noted, too, that
“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.
Today’s story is going to be a bit of a long one but I hope you stay for the full ride because it’s also a super interesting one!
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.
Islam has also uttered the need for clothing and emphasizes modesty. Clothing in the Quran has been talked about in several verses. The Quran pays a great deal of attention to the way a human being covers himself. Clothing is what shows a person’s dignity and therefore the Quran recommends that we dress modestly.
Allah says in Quran,
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)
Clothing covers the parts of the body which must be covered in public, following the standards of modesty which are innate in all human beings: “Children of Adam, We have sent down clothing to you to conceal your private parts.” (Soorat Al-A‛raaf, 7:26)
Clothing covers the body against heat, cold, and harm in general. Heat and cold are weather phenomena that can harm people. Describing the benefits of clothing which He has provided for His servants, Allah states, “He has made shelters for you in the mountains and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat and garments to protect you from each other’s violence. In that way, He perfects His blessing on you so that hopefully you may devote yourselves to Him.” (Soorat An-Nahl, 16:81)
To understand the concept of clothing in Islam, There are some key principles. I would like to briefly talk and gives some references from Islamic Holy sacred texts Quran and Hadith which help you guy to understand them. These principles are simple and easy. I will also share talk about Christianity and their sacred text bible, the only reason behind this is to give both religions' perspectives.
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.
Islam and modesty have a similar relation which soul bears to the body. In literal meaning, modesty is the behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.
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.
Every Prophet had been given something unique and distinct by which they are remembered.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Said:
“Every religion has a character, and the character of Islam is modesty.”
Read more about Islamic Modesty here;
Islamic Perspective on Modesty
Modesty is the way of Islam., i.e being modest in all facet of life, in way of dressing, the way one approaches and…
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.
Haya is a self-controlling force rooted in fear of embarrassment, knowing that a respected observer is watching. It regulates man’s actions based on religious law (Sharia), the intellect (‘Aql), and accepted customs (‘Urf). In telling the truth, modesty is reproached. Hence, in informing others of the truth and bringing examples in that regard, there is no shame.
Read more about Islamic Modesty (Haya) here;
Islamic Wisdom: Haya: More Than Just Modesty
The concept of Haya is considered a major Islamic virtue and an integral part of human character. Haya’ is modesty…
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.
Islam has taught people to have a sense of modesty and to cover their private parts, this is for both women and men. Islam does not allow women to see the private parts of other women or men (besides their husbands), and men are not allowed to see the private parts of the other men or women (besides their wives). Exposing the awrah is unlawful in Islam and is regarded as a sin.
Read more about Islamic Awrah here;
Islamic Wisdom: Awrah / Satr (Intimate parts of Body) Which Speaks the Overall Covered Body &…
Awrah is an Arabic term that denotes the intimate parts of the body, for both men and women, which must be covered with…
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.
In the ancient era, it was just to cover our bodies. But today we have a whole different scenario, clothing can define our personality, can depict a character and for some, it belongs more to a kind of social status( those high-class things). It also acts as an instrument to define ourselves to the world that who we are and being in our own comfort zone.
Read more about The Significance Virtues of Clothes here;
The Significance Virtues of Clothes
What we wear tells people who we are and how to treat us.
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.
Islamic clothing is known for its modesty. A Muslim is allowed wear whichever clothes he wishes so long as they are modest, free from impurities, not made from forbidden materials, and within textual guidelines. Textual guidelines mean that it must abide by the commandments of the Qur’ān and Prophetic Tradition.
Both men and women are expected to show modesty in the clothes they wear. Women are expected to dress in a way that shows they are believing women.
Read more about the Islamic Dress code here;
Religious Wisdom: Modest Dress Code
Different Religions promote modest appearance, among men and women, to various degrees. The dress is influenced by…
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.
The veil is considered as a sign of obedience among Muslim women in Islam. The veil is an important part of sharia, that women are obliged to wear. It is not merely an identification means, adornment, or a barrier for women to fulfill their roles and task in society. Wearing a veil that appropriates the guidance of the Messenger of Allah -peace, and prayer of Allah be upon him- is an obligation for women, just as they are obliged to perform any other obligations in sharia, such as prayers, fasts, etc.
There are two important instances of wisdom in ordering Muslim women to cover themselves. Muslim women are women who deserve respect and who are to be protected from any offense or harassment. The veil both shows that they are Muslims, decent, and free (not bondmaids), and demands protection against any harassment. Although no one can claim that a woman who does not wear a veil desires to attract the attention of men to herself, it is an undeniable and frequently witnessed reality that a woman who displays her charms often exposes herself to unwanted attention.
The Significance Importance of Veil & Influence on Our Lives and Sociality
A Brief definition and explanation of the Veil Everything you want to know about it.
Islamic Jurisprudence & Law:
Islamic law is oftentimes used as a synonym for sharia. However, we must understand this Islamic law to be a law created by men, and not the law of God which itself is perforce unknown and unknowable. In fact, the Arabic term sharia literally means “path,” and is used in the Quran to refer to God’s law.
Because sharia in the Quran was not as specific as one may have wished, and once the Prophet was no longer living to interpret the divine laws for the Muslim community, highly educated scholars and jurists were entrusted with the responsibility of elucidating God’s law. It is the body of laws that these ninth- and tenth-century jurists developed that came to be known as Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), a human legal system that stands in contrast to sharia, which is God’s Law. The Arabic word fiqh literally means “understanding.”
By the end of the eleventh century, four schools of Islamic jurisprudence emerged, each named after its leading interpreter: Maliki, Shafii, Hanafi, and Hanbali. Each of them struggled to interpret the few Quranic verses on women’s dress and to name with certainty those body parts that were to be concealed.
Muslim Jurists developed a five-part moral scale to evaluate every conceivable human act from mandatory, to recommend, to morally neutral or permissible, to reprehensible to prohibited. Such a scale was meant to guide humans in understanding which acts they were required to perform and which ones to avoid if they were to obey God’s law.
In my previous article, I had explained about permissible (halal) and the prohibited (Haram) in Islamic Sharia 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.
Read more about Permissible (halal) & Prohibited (Haram) UNDER Shariah LAW here;
Permissible & Prohibited UNDER Shariah LAW
Shariah (or divine law) also has its do’s and don’ts permission and prohibition
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.
Interestingly, the juridical discussion of women’s attire did not treat the specific question of hijab, or appropriate Islamic dress to be worn by women in public. Muslim women’s dress was understood to be part of Islamic etiquette and not of required Islamic behaviors.
This means that in traditional Islamic law, the whole debate over clothing fell into the legal categories of appropriate Islamic conduct (wajib and adab), rather than mandatory behaviors (fard) such as praying, fasting during Ramadan or giving alms to the poor. From the perspective of early Islamic law, and in contrast to the way many Muslims continue to assume, failing to cover one’s private parts (Arabic awrah) constitutes only a minor sin for Muslims, not a major sin.
Donning hijab can thus only be a “recommended” action, not a “required” behavior.
The only element debated by Muslim jurists was whether a woman’s hands and face were to be concealed or whether they could be left uncovered. On this specific matter, the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence differ. (See the examples with the two photos above.)
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 Hanbali school, like the Shafii, urges the Muslim communities living within their jurisdiction, to follow a more conservative dress code than the Hanafi and the Maliki. And this is one of the primary reasons Muslim women living in Saudi Arabia or Indonesia dress differently from those in Egypt or Morocco.
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.
We provide here an overview of the traditional interpretations of Islamic texts, and of the more progressive interpretations of these same texts are they are developing today.
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.
According to most traditional scholars, the Quran explicitly and unquestionably requires that Muslim women cover their entire bodies with loose-fitting clothes and that they only leave their faces and hands uncovered. This interpretation of the Quranic verses continues to have a number of followers today, as can be observed by the way many Muslim women wear hijab around the world.
Some traditional Islamic scholars have opted for an even more extreme interpretation of the Quranic verses on women’s attire and asserted that the entire woman’s body ought to be covered, including hands and face. Some Muslim women feel swayed by this interpretation and dress in a manner consistent with this traditional view. Some Muslim rulers also have adopted this interpretation and required that women living in their country, whether Muslim or not, dress in this most conservative style. This is how we may interpret Muslim women’s adoption of a niqab (a veil that covers the face but not the eyes) or a burqa (a veil that covers both the face and eyes).
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.
Progressive Muslims have called into question the reliability of Abu Dawud’s hadith and challenged the authenticity of his hadith based on their research into the massive scholarship of the hadith tradition. They have observed:
- 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.
The general rule in the Sharee‛ah is that all types of clothing and adornment are allowed.
Indeed, Islam does not require Muslims to wear a certain type of clothing. It considers all types of clothing lawful as long as such clothing serves the required purposes without exceeding the bounds set by Islam in this respect.
The Prophet ﷺ wore the same type of clothes prevalent in his time and did not order people to wear a particular type of clothing. He only warned them against certain qualities relating to clothing, for the general rule in Islamic Law regarding dealings in general, including clothing, is that everything is allowed unless there is evidence that states otherwise; this means nothing is considered forbidden except with evidence, as opposed to acts of worship, such as the prayer and fasting, which are governed by the principle of restriction, in that legally responsible people must not perform any act of worship unless it becomes clear to them that it is prescribed and approved by Allah Himself, and thus no act of worship may be performed without textual evidence from the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Eat, drink, dress and give charity, but without extravagance or arrogance.” (Sunan An-Nasaa’ee: 2559)
While Islam outlines a code of modesty, it has no fixed standard as to the type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, Muslims may use the same type of clothes commonly used in their respective countries, with the exception of those that Islam has declared forbidden.
Forbidden Types of Clothing
- 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”.
- 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).
It is prohibited to wear clothing that involves imitation of the dress traditionally worn by non-Muslims or clothing of religious significance.
- 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.
- 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)
Extravagant clothing is forbidden, but this varies from one person to another depending on one’s income and the financial obligations one has to fulfill.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
There is no single religion, whether universal or local, that does not have its own beliefs about the relationship between the body and Allah. An important aspect of religion that must be observed is the religious code of dress for both men and women.
Without a doubt, Allah in His wisdom advises the believers to dress and behave in a way that elevates their status both in this life and the hereafter.
The philosophy behind what is commonly called Islamic modest dress is rooted in the concept of guarding one’s senses against anything that may lessen one’s innocence.
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