68. Dress for Men & Women to guard Modesty


Surah No. 7, Al Aaraaf, Ayat No. 26 & 27

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْءَاتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَo

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَo

Translation :


O children of Adam! We have given you clothing to cover your shame, and they are decorative. However the garments of righteousness is the best. Such are the signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! O Children of Adam! let not shaitan deceive you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Paradise, stripping them of their garments to expose their shame: he and his tribe watch you from a position where you cannot see them: We made the devils, friends of those who do not believe.



Surah No. 24, An Noor, Ayat No. 30


قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ

o خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ


Translation :


(O Apostle) Say to the believing men, that they should lower their gaze (do not look at the forbidden things and beings) and guard their private parts : that will make greater purity for them: and Allah is well aware with all that they do.



Surah No. 24, An Noor, Ayat No. 31

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَo


Translation :


(O Apostle) Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze (looking towards forbidden things and beings) and protect their private parts ; and they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear ; they should draw their scarves over their bosoms and do 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 slaves whom their right hand possess (female slaves) or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the sex; And they should not strike their feet (on earth) in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O Believers ! Turn you all towards Allah and beg, so that you may be successful.


Surah No. 33, Al Ahzab, Ayat No. 59

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًاo

Translation :


O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments over their bodies (when they go abroad). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be teased. And Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.


Comments :

When Allah had created Adam, it was Shaitan who refused to bow down infront of Adam ; and then it was he, who has brought about fall of Adam and Eve.

Allah say's in Surah No. 7, Al Aaraaf, Ayat No 20 to 22 :

"Then Shaitan began to whisper suggestions to them, bringing to uncover their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: "why Your Lord only prevent you this tree from you, Only because, you may become angels or become immortal."And he swore to them, that he was their sincere adviser. So by cunning he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became open to them, and they began to cover their bodies with the leaves of the garden. And their Lord called to them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Shaitan was an avowed (declared) enemy to you?"

The Qur'an therefore instruct to the men and women to dress in a modest way. The basic purpose of dress is to cover the private parts of the body. The message in these verses is not directed just towards the Muslims but directed to the whole mankind. When men show negligence to God's Guidance and turn away from the Message of the Quran, they virtually place themselves at the mercy of Shaitan. For,  it is Shaitan who leads them to immodesty in the same way he did with Adam and Eve. It is therefore mandatory that the believers must wear the clothes strictly according to the will of Allah.

The Command of lowering the gaze does not mean that the gaze should always be kept lowered. It only means  that one should avoid looking freely to those things which are forbidden. . If it  happens unintentionally, then they should turn their eyes away. However, there are certain exceptions, which relate to occasions when it is really necessary to see a woman. For instance, when a man intends to marry a girl then it is permissible to see her. Mughirah bin Shu'bah has stated,. "I wanted to marry a girl in a certain family. The Holy Prophet (saws) asked me whether I had seen the girl or not. When 1 replied in the negative, he said: `Have a look at her; this will enhance harmonious relationship between you two'." (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Nasa'i, Ibn e Majah).

For males, the satar is the part of the body from the navel to the knee and for the female satar is the entire body, excluding only the hand and the face. It is very important that the satar must be kept concealed not only before others but also when alone. The Holy Prophet (saws) has warned: " Never remain naked  as you are with the angels of goodness and mercy. These angels never leave you alone except when you go to your wives. So feel shy of them and give them due respect. " (Tirmizi).

Quran also say that the women should not purposely and intentionally display their make-up. However she can display their adornment before their husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons and the sons of their husbands (from other wives), their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their female associates  and those in their possession  and male attendants incapable of sex desire  and those boys who have not yet attained knowledge of sex matters concerning women.

When these verses were revealed the head-wrapper (dupatta) was introduced among the Muslim women, which was meant to cover the head, the breasts, and the back, completely. The way the Muslim women responded to this Command has been described by Hazrat 'A'ishah.  She states that when Surah An-Nur was revealed and the people learnt of its contents from the Holy Prophet (saws), they immediately went back to their houses and recited the verses before their wives, daughters and sisters. There was an instantaneous response. The  women, responded to it and the next morning all the women who came to the Prophet's Mosque for prayers were dressed in wrappers. (Ibn Kaseer, Vol.III, p. 284, Abu Da'ud).

The women are also directed that they should not stamp their feet on the ground otherwise their hidden decoration (ornaments) should be known."

Incidentally, another thing that is proved by this verse is that the Holy Prophet (saws)not only had one daughter but more  daughters. Hazrat Khadijah was the mother of aII the Holy Prophet's children namely Qasim, Tahir, Tayyib and Zainab, Ruqayyah. Umm Kulsum and Fatimah." (Ibn Hisham, vol. I , page 202).

Conclusion :

According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is having the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality; the word for a  veil used in the Qur'an is khimār (خمار) and not hijab

Now there is big question mark as to what kind of dress should a man and a woman wear ? 

In the present world, the kind of dress the men are wearing does satisfy the need but the type of clothes the women are wearing is totally against the above decree of Allah. In fact, these dresses do not fully cover the body of a woman and also do not satisfy her personal needs. In earlier days the women were wearing clothes in different ways in the  eastern and western countries. In those days women in the eastern countries used to give more importance to cover their bodies in a decent way. Recently the western influence dominated and the young generation of east accepted it happily. Unfortunately most of the  young women of Muslim community came under the same influence. In the present days the woman dress is more or less common in east and west. It is also very unfortunate that the believers have ignored the above decree of Allah and joined the same stream of nonbelievers.

Please remember that a Muslim man is prohibitted from wearing silk clothing or gold jewelry but a Muslim woman is allowed to wear silk or gold. The best way for her to  wear lose clothes, which do not show the outline of her body. And when she goes out, she should use a simple sheet (Large size dupatta) wrapping the body and covering the head with the same sheet (dupatta). This way she will get lot of protection from the opposite sex. In the present world  it has become a need for number of Muslim girls and women to go out for doing some work independently. If they go out and wear lose clothes and use a large size dupatta for wrapping the body and covering the head , they will get lot of protection from the opposite sex and  they would be considered as noble and pious women .

One must understand that it is mandatory (Farz) to practice each and every guideline provided by Allah in The Holy Quran. As a Muslim one cannot accept one guideline which suits to his way of life and ignore another ,which does not suit him.This must be kept in mind that violating the Qur’anic command is wrong and  is totally against our religion.

Those men and women who are strictly following the above guidelines, must feel comfortable with their head high and they should not develop  inferiority complex but feel themselves superior to others.