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.
In this fatwa:
Hijab is meant to protect the woman’s dignity and honor. It is not a fashion show. Therefore, hijab should meet certain conditions including the fact that it must not be tight so as to define the parts of the body.
In response to the above question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada states:
Hijab is primarily intended to protect women from furtive looks and lustful eyes. It is also meant to help women to preserve their God-given honor, dignity and modesty by preventing them from being reduced to mere objects of male gratification.
Because women by nature love to appear attractive in public in order to be looked at and admired, Allah trains them to resist such evil tendencies, by commanding them to wear modest and appropriate clothing.
The way you dress tells a lot about you; it is an announcement to the world of what kind of a person you are. So if you wear hijab and yet it is tight and reveals the contours of your body and is seductive, then it is not hijab.
In fact, you have only exchanged one type of seductive garb for another. Deep inside your heart, you wore it only in order to invite attention to yourself and your physical charm. Through such an act, you have debased yourself by reducing yourself to the position of a sexual object for the feasting eyes of men.
If your husband wants you to wear tight and transparent clothes at home while both of you are alone, he has every right to insist on that. If you were to do that in order to please your husband, you will be rewarded by Allah. Your body is a treasure you should cherish for your spouse, just like his body is a treasure for you to cherish.
However, if your husband insists that you wear such clothes outside the home, he has reduced himself to the status of a dayyouth who desires his wife to be a loose woman; no true Muslim should ever degrade himself to such a low state. Let us ask Allah to rid our hearts of the love of sins as well as all acts of disobedience; may He adorn our hearts with the love of chastity, faith and fidelity.
While it may be true that you are having a difficult time finding appropriate Islamic attire (hijab), it is not impossible to find them if you persevere. I know quite a number of Muslim women who have not only found such attire, but also wear them with confidence.
Wearing proper hijab has never diminished their performance at work, nor did it deprive them of their self-esteem; it only enhanced their consciousness of who they are and the nature of their true purpose and meaning in life.
So, I advise you not to be discouraged. Try to be confident and convince yourself that you are wearing hijab for the sake of Allah, and to guard your honor and dignity. Condition yourself to please your Creator before you try to please His creation.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.