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Hijab Requirements in Islam

11 November, 2023
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Is it enough for a Muslim female to wear loose skirts or trousers and knee-length long-sleeved shirts with a hijab that comes down over the shoulders and chest? Or must she wear `abaya or jilbab over it? I am a student who is currently on holiday and I wore `abayas as I don't know what the correct dress is. But I will soon be going back to college and I think it will be difficult for me to go around in `abayas all the time. Please, clarify this issue for me as soon as possible.


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:

The requirements of hijab are as follows:

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  • It should cover her whole body except face and hands.
  • It should be loose-fitting.
  • It should not be transparent or revealing.
  • It should not be an attire specifically worn by men only.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

It is important to remember that the purpose of hijab in Islam is not to cut women out from participating in the activities of the society or to keep men and women utterly segregated or to make it hard for women to function normally in life.

Rather the purpose of hijab is to help women maintain their dignity and honor as free persons and to help them fulfill their obligations smoothly and comfortably.

So the requirements of hijab are never oppressive or restrictive in any way; here are the requisites of hijab or proper Islamic attire for women:

1- It should cover her whole body except face and hands.

2- It should be loose-fitting.

3- It should not be transparent or revealing.

4- It should not be an attire specifically worn by men only.

So long as your attire fulfills the above conditions, you don’t have to worry. Remember that Allah has not revealed religion to make life difficult; rather it is intended to make it easy and comfortable for us. Allah says: “He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship.” (Al-Hajj 22:78)

He also says: “Allah wishes to lighten the burden for you; for certainly man has been created weak!” (An-Nisaa’ 4:28)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.