Any Restrictions on Dress Colors for Muslim Women?

06 January, 2019
Q Assalamu alaikum shaikh, as far I know Islamic dress / hijab of women should cover her whole body except hand & face, the dress should be also loose,thick. My question is about color of dress. I read in a fatwa that women can wear colorful dress but it can't be eye catching or arousing desire. I searched on the internet there was a list of colors which grab attention & they are lime green, hot pink, vivid yellow, bright orange, yellow, red, orange. Is it haram for me to wear dress of those color while going outside house, in public in front of non mahram in whatever places?

Answer

Short Answer: There is no mention of dress colors in the Qur’an. Women may wear any color of clothing they would like, although it would be wise to keep in mind cultural customs and situational expectations when making clothing decisions.

_________________________________________

Salam sister and thank you for your question.

Scriptural Evidence Only for General Modesty

The Qur’an itself only mentions clothing requirements for women in two places.

The first verse is in Chapter 24, where Allah (SWT) says:

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments except what normally appears.

Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness.

Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful.” (24:31)

And the second is in Chapter 33:

O Prophet! Ask your wives, daughters, and believing women to draw their cloaks over their bodies. In this way it is more likely that they will be recognized and not be harassed. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:59)

These clothing guidelines are very general, only advising women to cover their bodies except in front of close family and other women.

There is no mention of any specific color or style that must be worn.

Likewise, the hadiths regarding women’s clothing are also quite general, simply mentioning modesty.

Nowhere has it been said that female companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) must only wear black or dark colors; in fact, there are narrations of people who observed the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) wearing red and yellow garments.

Given this evidence from the Qur’an and hadiths, it is not haram for women to wear any color of clothing.

Keeping ‘Urf and Common Sense in Mind

Even though women are free to choose whatever color clothing they would like, they may wish to consider the practices of other women in their community or culture (a principle in Islamic law known as ‘urf).

For example, Muslim women in West Africa and Southeast Asia usually wear clothing in very bright colors and patterns, and wearing all black would stand out and be inappropriate in that environment.

In the Gulf countries, Muslim women generally wear black garments, so wearing bright colored clothing would stand out and be inappropriate there.

While wearing black in Senegal or yellow in Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be haram, it would be more respectful and less attention-grabbing to wear the colors that the locals wear.

Different situations and events may call for different clothing choices, too.

On ‘Eid, it is common to see people dress up in their best clothing, so wearing very bright colors would be a reflection of the joyful mood of the day.

During hajj, many women like to wear white clothing to match the men’s ihram outfit, and to symbolize purity and simplicity.

If a woman is performing itikaf (a spiritual retreat in a mosque during Ramadan), clothing in neutral, subdued colors would best fit the reflective atmosphere during that time.

To sum up, women may wear any color of clothing they would like, although it would be wise to keep in mind cultural customs and situational expectations when making clothing decisions.

I hope this answers your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/muslim-women-dress-west/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/wear-black/

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/my-journey-to-islam/amazed-by-muslim-womens-dress/

Women in Mosque: Any Special Dress Code?

 

About Anne Myers
Anne Myers is a proud Wellesley College graduate and holds a Master of Divinity focusing in Islamic studies. She has experience in pastoral care in hospital and university settings. Her passions include Islam, feminism, traveling, reading, watching cooking competitions, and her cats.