Islamic Dress Code

All praise is due to Allah swt, the lord of the worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.


For sometime now I have been discussing modesty in my (As my students call it) “Life lessons”. It is a lesson in which we generally talk about anything and everything related to Faith. So as part of this general study, we did the question – ISLAM IS IN THE HEART. THE WAY I DRESS DOES NOT COUNT. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? YES OR NO, EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER.

My students asked for my opinion on the subject. I thought I would share my opinion. You may agree or disagree, but please bare in mind everyone is entitled to their own opinion. :).

I do not agree with this statement. Allah swt sent Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as an example to mankind. As mentioned in Surah Ahzab, Ayah 21:

لقد كان لكم في رسول اللہ اسوة حسنة

Definitely, for you in the Messenger of Allah is the best of examples…

So if He sallallahu alayhi wasallam is the best of examples and it was said about him that he was more shy, more modest than a woman on her first night of marriage, then following his example it would be logical to dress modestly as well.

Yes, it is up to each individual to dress as they please within the right setting. However, I believe that when a person steps into the outside world or rather into world where the injunctions of Islam must be obeyed, then the person should set an example of the religion they follow and in doing so, a person’s intention should not be to please others, but rather it should be to remind people of Allah swt. The way a person dresses should be a reminder that sacrifices have to be made in order to please Allah swt and to attain the Akhirah.

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has mentioned in a hadeeth:

الحياء شعبة من الايمان
Modesty is part of faith.

If modesty is a branch of faith as mentioned in the hadeeth and each branch of this faith, Islam, can lead a person to Jannah, then why is it that we as Muslim’s go against it?  It should be remembered that the world was made for us but we were made for Jannah and in order to gain entry into Jannah we MUST sacrifice our desires and go in accordance to the limits permitted by Allah swt. That would be the greater struggle. If desires were made permissible in all aspects of life then Jannah would lose its value. There would be no point of us being in this world to attain what is to come in the hereafter.

Spiritually, what the senses feel or touch, become embedded in the heart, soul and mind. So, if wearing tight, see-through clothing is immodest- then immodesty will be embedded into our hearts. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said in a hadeeth:

اذا لم تستحيى فاصنع ما شئت
when you have no shame then do as you please.

Humankind has been created with desires and seeing immodesty will lead him to sin. The mind cannot then comprehend how a person can be so thoughtless and selfish. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has said in a hadeeth:

All of my Ummah will be forgiven except those who divulge their sins. And part of divulgence is when a man errs at night, and after Allah conceals his sins, in the morning, he says, I did such and such last night, removing Allah’s cloak after He veiled him. [Al-Bukhari]

Therefore, thoughtless because Allah swt hides the sins we do in private yet a person does not think about how he or she openly sins in front others by dressing immodestly. How is it logical to make others a witness for your own sins?! And selfish because a person dresses against the guidelines outlined by Shariah, hence sinning and then allowing the wrong type of attention being directed towards them, therefore giving weight to their own sin.

It is much more logical to dress appropriately in a time where immorality and shame is so common that the fashion industry is bringing back the style of the Stone Age. It is more logical to dress in accordance to the unique dress code Allah swt has provided us with because it frees us from the slavery of the fashion industry, where a person needs to change their wardrobe in accordance to the fashion of the time.

In my opinion, the Islamic dress code gives a person respect, dignity and honour. It gives a person a sense of pride in the fact that he or she is not judged based on what they dress like. A person cannot say “Who are people to judge? I will dress as I please” because to the nearest meaning in the words of Umar ibn Khattab (rd), “During the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam people were judges by Allah swt and his Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam because revelation came to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. But after the demise Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, people will judge in accordance to what they see.” It is not even really a matter of who judges and who doesn’t because the person who is judging will not be accountable for another person’s deed. It is in fact a matter of dressing in the appropriate manner which we have been blessed with by Allah swt. A person’s clothing or rather outer appearance should be such that an example could be made to those around them. It had been narrated in Tirmidhi (r) that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said:

“If anyone gives up fine clothing, which he could wear, out of humility in front of Allah, Allah will summon him on the Day of Judgement in front of the entire creation to give him the choice of wearing whichever clothing of Imaan he wishes to wear.”

Thus in the words of Sufyan Ath-Thwari (r) “Do not take a small sin lightly; instead, think about Who it is that you are disobeying.” It should also be remembered that what is concealed is more precious than what is revealed.

To conclude I would like to say that I think the statement “Islam is in the heart” is slightly hypocritical because if Islam is truly in the heart and Islam is the perfect religion, it is a complete way of life and a Messenger of Allah swt was sent to show us how to live in accordance to its laws then why has it not had an effect on the outer appearance? The basic fundamental of Islam is to believe in the heart the Kalimah, La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah, and to utter it with the tongue. If the indication of the Kalimah is to believe in the oneness of Allah swt in the heart and to follow the teachings and practices of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam in our daily lives and we went in accordance to this, then a person can say with conviction that “Islam is in my heart” otherwise this person is deluding themselves as much as everyone else.

All praise is to Allah swt at the beginning and at the end.

May you be rewarded for visiting my page and may we all benefit. Ameen.

The Katibah.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. IsmailSatia
    Sep 13, 2015 @ 00:44:53

    Well said Sister, totally agree with you!

    Liked by 1 person


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