Is there such a thing as an Islamic dress?

Is there such a thing as an Islamic dress?

There is no such thing as an Islamic dress. We have general guidance, which we have to adhere to. The design, style and colour depends on your culture and where you live.

There are certain fashions which are prevalent in society such as ripped jeans, skinny jeans and baring different parts of the body, which is not in line with the concept of decent and dignified dress in Islam.  

What can and can’t Muslims wear?

Our role models are not celebrities, YouTubers and influencers. Our role model is the Prophet (peace be on him) and his wives. Allah Almighty commanded us to follow him, not celebrities or influencers.

Indeed in the Prophet you have a perfect role model to follow. (33:21)

People who wear t-shirts with inappropriate slogans and pictures, such as drugs or swear words, are sending a message out that they don’t care about anyone’s feelings or anything. It is like sticking two fingers up at the world. This is not the mentality of a believer.

Believers are supposed to care about others, about be good citizens and members of society, rather than wearing clothes that are rude, silly, inappropriate or provocative.

What attire is appropriate for men?

Men too have to cover their awrah, which is between (but not necessarily including) their navel to their knees. They should not dress in tightly fitted clothes, though many men go to the gym and like to show off their muscles by wearing clothes that are too small for them. Some of these men are da’ee (those who invite others to Islam) and every time they appear on YouTube, their muscles are on display. Though it is not haram, it is not appropriate or from the etiquette for them to do this.

Any form of dress that attracts the other sex is not permissible. Who said that women don’t feel attraction? For this reason, it is not just for women but for men to observe appropriate attire.

What attire is appropriate for Muslim women?

A woman’s dress should cover her from head to toe, it should not reveal the shape of her body, and it should not be transparent.

Is there a restriction on colours that women can wear?

Some women consider it more pious or think it will draw less attention to themselves, but in some societies, black stands out more. Are women recommended to wear particular colours?

It depends on the society you are in. Go with your community. In some African cultures for instance, they wear bright colours which reflect the colours of the trees and jungle and the environment they live in. It is vibrant and beautiful. It would alien to dress in black in that community. Similarly in China they wear a certain type of clothes. If you wear something else you will look odd. The Prophet (peace be on him) wore the same dress as those in his community, the same as Abu Lahab, Abu Talib and the Kufaar (disbelievers) in our terms.

Apart from the fact he would not wear clothes that dragged on the ground, he wore the same style of dress as those around him, which were appropriate for the climate and the area. He did not invent a new dress for Muslims.

Is there a restriction on colours men can wear?

The principle is that men should not wear colours that are effeminate. There is no specific colour that they cannot wear as it depends on social norms. For instance, we cannot say that men should not wear red, as Scottish men wear red in their tartans and it is not considered a feminine colour. However in other societies, bright red and bright pink are usually worn by women, and should therefore be avoided by men in those societies. The basic idea is that the male and female sex should be distinct from each other.

Do women have to wear an abaya?

The abaya is not THE Islamic dress, it is an Islamic dress. If the Prophet (peace be on him) had gone to Siberia, would he have worn a thobe? No. He would have worn a long, thick coat. Islamic dress is anything that covers the awrah (nakedness) that is decent and modest. Wear something that is not tight, revealing or transparent.

Can you wear clothes with images of creatures?

If your clothes have small creatures on your clothes, such as little birds and butterflies, you may wear them.

Can women wear make up in front of non-Mahrams?

Many scholars have written chapters on beautification, what is or isn’t allowed. But within this, we need to understand the most important concept, which is not to overstep the limits of Allah Almighty.

Allah Almighty commanded women to veil their beauty.

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31).

A woman beautifies herself for her husband. Outside the house makeup is not allowed. And only if your husband likes it, of course. And if he does, it’s rewarding for her to wear it for him.

Fake eyelashes, hair extensions, coloured contact lenses

Outside the home, a woman is not permitted to display her beauty to other men, who are her non-mahrams.

Under beautification we have many other things, such as fake eyelashes, fake hair, coloured contacts etc. Are they allowed? It depends whether you are in your home or not.

At home, we see the example of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) who used to adorn herself for her husband:

We entered upon Aisha, wife of the Prophet (peace be on him). She said the Apostle of Allah (peace be on him) entered upon me and saw two silver rings in my hand. He asked What is this, Aisha? I said I have made these two ornaments to beautify myself for you. (Abu Dawoud)

It is a good thing without a doubt to dress well and enjoy the favours that Allah Almighty bestowed on you.

At home and especially in front your husband, a woman is encouraged to look good, to dress well, to take care of her hygiene and appearance. And it is the same for him, to look good for her.

Outside the home, in front of non Mahrams it is not permissible for women to wear make-up or beautify themselves, as they have been commanded to be modest in their dress and appearance.

‘Abdallah bin Shaddad bin Al Had narrated:

“O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you raiment to cover your shame as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.” (Quran 7:26)

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Culture vs Islam (Western Culture) 2020

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.