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Imposing a Code of Dress on a Wife

Question and answer details
Samah
Imposing a Code of Dress on a Wife
2004-05-17
Dear scholars, as-Salamu `alaykum. My question is: Is it really the responsibility of the husband to decide what his wife wears? Is he to decide whether or not she wears a one piece coat or a long jacket and a long skirt (two pieces) as well as deciding on its color and style, along with the color and style of the hijab? Can you give me an idea about the manner of dress of the Prophet's wives (peace and blessings be upon him) because as an active Muslim women in da'wah I feel that wearing the one piece coat will be perceived by non-Muslims like wearing a winter's coat. Am I right? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Zienab Mostafa
Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

In her response to your question, the prominent Muslim scholar and da`I, Zienab Mostafa states:

“Dear sister in Islam,

May Allah bless you and reward you for your keenness to follow Islam. When Almighty Allah revealed the verse of hijab in Surat An-Nur, He set the requirements of the Islamic dress code for us. A woman has to cover her body. There is no precise description given, which means that she can cover herself in whatever way she wants as long as she covers her entire body except for the face and hands.

The matter of the dress code in Islam is flexible in order to accommodate people in every time, and every culture, and there is no certain design for the outfit, and no color recommended or prohibited. So you can choose whichever color you want as long as you follow the command of Allah.

Concerning your husband, you can discuss this issue with him to realize the fact that you live in a western society and that you are carrying the message of Islam to people, therefore you need to be like a normal person amongst them. It is very important for you and him as active Muslims, to communicate with people so they can accept you and the message you bring. It is important for people to see you in the best image and shape.

The wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), used to wear a black cloak because this was the custom at that time and it was obligatory for them to cover their faces as well. However, this does not apply to all Muslim women. Allah asked Muslim women to follow the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in terms of behavior and acts of worship. It is important for us to follow them in those ways. Some women follow them in their way of dressing, and I ask Allah to accept this from them, but it is not obligatory to follow their way of dress especially if you live in a western environment."

You can also refer to the following fatwas:

Requirements of Hijab

Hijab: Always A Woman’s Business?

Hijab, Why?

Does Hijab Infringe upon Women’s Liberty?

How Should a Muslim Woman Conduct Herself?

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