Islamic dress code

AL-MALABIS الملابس


  • Comes from the Arabic word “Hajaba” meaning to hide from view, to conceal, to protect, to cover.
  • Not just the headscarf but the clothing in its entirety.
  • Dress is only one side of Hijab but it includes behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public (as well as in private).
  • No fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing but there are some requirements that must be met.


  1. A woman should not show her beauty or adornments except what appears by uncontrolled factors such as the wind blowing her clothes.
  2. The head cover should be drawn so as to cover the hair, the neck and the bosom.


  • Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. [An-Nur 24:30-31]
  • O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should cast their outer garments over them (when abroad); this is more proper, that they should be known (recognized as such) and not molested. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. [Al-Ahzab 33:59]


1.  Body parts to be covered

  • It must cover the entire body, apart from whatever has been exempted (hands and face may remain visible).

2.  Thickness

  • It should be thick. It must not be so thin that one can see through it.
  • See-through is NOT Hijab! Transparent or light fabric makes a woman more tempting and beautiful.

3.  Looseness

  • It must be wide and loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the woman’s body. The purpose of clothing is to prevent temptation. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the color of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a clear image in the minds of men.
  • One desirable way to hide the shape of the body is to wear a cloak over other clothes.  However, if the clothing is loose enough, an outer garment is not necessary.
  • The Prophet ﷺ once received a garment as a gift. He gave it to Osamah Bin Zayd, who in turn gave it to his wife. When asked by the Prophet why he did not wear it, Osamah indicated that he gave it to his wife. The Prophet then said to Osamah,Tell her to use a ‘Ghulalah’ under it (the garment) for I fear that it (the garment) may describe the size of her bones.”  [Ahmad, Abi Dawud)]
  • Ghulalah is a thick fabric worn under the dress to prevent it from describing the shape of the body.

4.  Not resembling clothing of the opposite sex

  • Do not wear man’s clothing and do not try to look like a man. It is Haram for men to imitate women (vice versa) in the way they dress and other matters.  The Prophet ﷺ cursed the man who wears women’s clothes, and the woman who wears men’s clothes. “They are not part of us, the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.” [Bukhari, 5546]
  • Do not wear man’s clothing and do not try to look like a man (and vice versa). The Prophet ﷺ cursed effeminate men and masculine women. He said, “Throw them out of your houses.”

5.  Not resembling clothing of the disbelievers

  • Haram to imitate the Mushrikin and Kuffar in their manners of dress, so it is not permissible to wear clothing that is unique to them. The Prophet ﷺ saw Ali wearing two garments dyed with safflower and said: “These are garments of the Kuffar; do not wear them.” [Muslim, 2077] Safflower: a thistle-like Eurasian plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the composite family, having heads of orange flowers that yield a dyestuff and produce seeds containing an oil used in cooking, cosmetics, paints, and medicine.
  • Includes other worships, festivals or clothing that is specific to them.
  • Deviation combined with modern customs and imitation of Kafir was one of the causes of the Muslims’ decline and weakness, which enabled the foreigners to overwhelm and colonize them. …Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves … [Ar-Ra’d 13:11]

6.  Not an adornment for beautifying one’s self

  • Its design must not consist of bold designs which attract attention.
  • Hijab is not just a protection from men, but from a woman’s ego as well.  It prevents her from having to spend hours in front of the mirror doing her hair

7.  Not a garment of fame and vanity

  • It should no attract attention of men (and women, as well)  to the woman’s beauty. Allah clearly states “…not to display their beauty.”
  • Haram to wear garments that causes the wearer standing out from others so that people will look at him and will become known for it. The Prophet ﷺ said: Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity, Allah will dress him in a garment like it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Another versions: “…then set it ablaze.” & “will dress him in a garment of humiliation.”] [Abu Dawud, 4029; Ibn Majah, 3606 and 3607; classed as Hasan by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Targhib, 2089]


  • She has to cover the whole body except the face and the hands upon reaching the age of maturity.
  • Aishah reported that Asma Bint Abu Bakr (radiyallahu anhuma) came to the Prophet ﷺ while wearing thin clothing.  He approached her and said:  “O Asma!  When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands.”  [Abu Dawud]


  • The Prophet ﷺ said: “There will be in the last of my Ummah, scantily dressed women, the hair on the top of  their heads like a camel’s hump. Curse them, for verily they are cursed.” 
  • In another version he said: …scantily dressed women, who go astray and make others go astray; they will not enter Paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelled from afar.” [At-Tabarani and Sahih Muslim]
  • 2 TYPES OF WOMEN IN HELL: Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There are two types, among the denizens of Hell, I have yet not seen them. One possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they flog people with them. (The second one) the women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise and they would not perceive the odor of Paradise, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance (from great distance).” [Sahih Muslim, #6840]
  • CAMEL’S HUMP: Hair gathered on top of their heads – what looks like a camel’s hump.
  • Using hair extension is Haram because it is a kind of cheating.


  • Refer to the Ayah mentioned above [An-Nur 24:31]
    • Husband
    • Father
    • Father-in-law
    • Son
    • Stepson
    • Brother
    • Nephew
    • Slave men
    • Male attendant who lacks vigor
    • Young boy who knows nothing about sex


  • Cover your sister from other men
    • Part of your Hijab is to conceal your sister’s Awrah as well.
    • Although some sisters wear the Hijab themselves, they forget that they cannot talk about another sister and her beauty with their husbands, brothers.
    • The Prophet ﷺ said: “No woman should mix with a woman and describe her to her husband so that it is as if he can see her.” [Muslim]
  • No shaking hands with a non-Mahram
    • Not permissible to shake hands with foreign men. It is part of your Hijab.
    • The Prophet ﷺ said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than to touch a woman who is not permissible for him.” [At-Tabarani]
    • It is not rude to refuse to shake hands with non-Mahram men.
    • Simply explain politely that it is a part of your religion so they will understand.
    • They might even apologize for extending their hands.
  • Stay away from non-Mahram men
    • Some sisters assumed that since they are properly covered, it’s okay to sit around with them … NO!
    • No laughing, joking, or hanging out.
    • No talking, chatting on the internet/phone.
    • There is no such thing as “we’re just friends.”
  • Talk to them if needed
    • Allah says:  … then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner. [Al-Ahzab 33:32]
  • Staring at a brother
    • Staring at the brothers or ‘checking them out’ is NOT Hijab
    • Allah orders us to “lower your gaze”
    • Why? Because a single ‘look’ can say more than a thousand words. So, even if you are properly covered, keep those eyes down, have Haya and avoid  Fitnah
    • And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts), and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms…. [An-Nur 24:31]

Tinkling jewelry and jingling bracelets/anklets

  • Loud and anything tinkling, be it jewelry, bracelets, clip-clopping shoes, little bells on clothes, you name it.
  • If it jingles or makes noise, it is against the principles of Hijab, because it attracts attention to the one wearing it.
  • And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance… [Al-Ahzab 33:32]

Walk with modesty

  • Be careful, even in the way you walk. You are not a runway model displaying the latest fashion. Walk with modesty and you will be respected
  • The Prophet said: “There are two types of the people of Hell that I have not seen yet … women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait …” [Muslim]


  • Wearing make-up is also part of the beauty Allah orders us NOT to display.
  • If your head and body are appropriately covered yet you are wearing bright red lipstick or dark eyeliner, that’s not Hijab, unless you are wearing a face cover.


  • Women are forbidden to wear perfume when they go out of their houses. Keep those nice fragrances for the home, between you and your husband.
  • That’s part of Hijab too, even if you are going to the Masjid. “A woman passed by Abu Hurayrah and her scent was overpowering. He said, “O female slave of Al-Jabbar, are you going to the mosque?” She said, “Yes,” He said, “And have you put on perfume because of that?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Go back and wash yourself, for I heard the Prophet say: ‘If a woman comes out to the mosque and her fragrance is overpowering, Allah will not accept any prayer from her until she goes home and washes herself.’”
  • “Any woman, who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.”
  • “If any one of you (women) goes out to the mosque, let her not touch any perfume.”
  • “Any woman, who has scented herself with Bakhur, let her not attend ‘Isha prayers with us.”
  • Reasons for prohibition
    • Women’s fragrance may cause undue provocation of men’s desires – also included other things to be avoided by women who want to go to the mosque (beautiful clothes, jewelry that can be seen, excessive adornments and mingling with men).
    • The prohibition covers perfume applied to the body and to the clothes. It should not be perfumed with Bakhur (incense) or fragrance.


  • Gold and silk are Haram.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Gold and silk have been permitted for the females of my nation and forbidden for its males.” [Sahih Al-Jami # 209]. He also said: “Men who wear silk in this world will have no portion [of heavens] in the hereafter.” [Muslim]

  • Isbal (letting the garment hanging down beyond his ankles) is Haram.

The limit for any garment are the ankles. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whatever of the lower garment beneath the ankles is in the Fire.” [Bukhari, 5450]

  • Dress code for women number 2-4-5-7 mentioned above are same with men


  • Sunnah to start with the right when wearing clothes and to say Bismillah and to start with the left when taking off clothes. The Prophet ﷺ said: “When you get dressed and when you do Wudu, start on the right.” [Abu Dawud, 4141; classed as Sahih by Al-Albani in Saheh Al-Jami, 787]
  • Sunnah for the one who is putting on a new garment to thank Allah and make Dua.
  • When the Prophet ﷺ put on a new garment, he would call it by its name, whether it was a turban, a shirt or a cloak, then he would say: “Allahumma lakal hamd anta kasawtanihi as-aluka khayrahu wa khayri ma suni’a lah wa a’udhu bika min sharrihi wa sharri ma suni’a lah (O Allah, to You be all praise. You have clothed me with it. I ask You for the good of it and the good for which it was made, and I seek refuge with You from the evil of it and the evil for which it was made).” [Tirmidhi, 1767; Abu Dawud, 4020; classed as Sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jami, 4664]
  • Sunnah to pay attention to keeping one’s clothes clean, without feeling arrogant or exaggerating about it. The Prophet ﷺ said: “No one will enter Paradise in whose heart is a mustard-seed of arrogance.” A man said: “What if a man likes his clothes to look nice and his shoes to look nice?” He said: “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty; arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” [Narrated by Muslim, 91]
  • Mustahabb to wear white clothes. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Wear white clothes, for they are the best of your clothes, and shroud your dead in them.” [Tirmidhi, 994, Hasan Sahih]
  • Not permissible to wear animal skin of a dead animal (one that has died of natural causes) unless it has been tanned.
  • Clothes made of wool, goat hair and camel hair, these are pure and permissible.


  • What fits in one country might not fit in another country.
  • As long as you meet the minimum requirements of covering, wear what fits in your locality.
  • It should not grab attention that will cause people to look at you.
  • You have to blend with the society without causing yourself to commit a sin.


[excerpted from Islamic Garden]

  • The Headband Hijab: It is a band of fabric approximately 4 inches wide. It covers the back of the head and allows all the hair to be exposed.
  • The Dupatta (The Saran Wrap Hijab): It covers all the hair, but it is totally transparent.
  • The Mickey Mouse Hijab: It is when a sister wears a black scarf and tucks it behind her ear, so that her ears stick out.
  • The Yoyo Hijab: It is the scarf that keeps falling down and needs to be constantly pulled back up, down, up, down, up, down, just like a yoyo.
  • The Convertible Hijab: Any type of social event when the Qur’an is being recited at this point, all the convertible Hijabs come up until he says “Sadaqallahul Adhim,” then they take off their scarves.
  • The Communal Hijab: When 2 or more sisters draped under one covering (hanky, dinner napkin, purse, coffee saucer) during the recitation of Qur’an.

HIJAB IN THE BIBLE [1 Corinthians 11:5-16]