‘Stylish’ so-called ‘Abayas & Niqaabs’ in the Light of Shariah

[Majlisul Ulama]

ALLAH TA’ALA COMMANDING Muslim women, states in the Qur’aan Shareef: 

“And, remain inside your homes, and do not make an exhibition (of yourselves) such as the displays of Jahiliyyah (the pre-Islam days of ignorance and immorality of the pagan Arabs).”

The first and foremost requirement of Hijaab (Purdah) is the Waajib requirement of remaining indoors. Emergence from the home for women when not occasioned by a true need allowed by the Shariah, is flagrant violation of the Qur’aan’s prohibition, as well as of many Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

When there is a valid reason, the Shariah allows women to emerge from their homes fully covered, with their normal, flowing Islamic dresses concealed by means of unattractive outer-cloaks (jilbaabs /burqahs).


The type of long Arabian dresses which women of purdah-pretence nowadays wear is not a Shar’i jilbaab. Such dresses may be worn within the home precincts. It is not permissible for a woman to parade around in public with this type of gown / dress without it being concealed by a large outer-cloak which completely conceals the shape of the body and the style of the dress.

The long black dresses called ‘abaayah’, are not the jilbaab which the Qur’aan and Sunnah order for women to wear when circumstances of need compel them to leave the home confines. The purpose of the jilbaab is twofold: Concealment and to render the female unattractive to the vulgar gazes of fussaaq and fujjaar males, as well as to the accidental gaze of good men.

However, our womenfolk, totally ignorant of the true meaning of Hijaab and uncaring of the commands and prohibitions of the Shariah, commit deception with attractive long Arabian style dresses. While they do understand their immoral motives for donning these stylish dresses in public and for not wearing the jilbaab of the Qur’aan, they seek to deceive others by conveying the idea that they are women of Purdah when in reality the opposite is their state.


Every woman is aware of the condition of her heart. While she may deceive others with her flamboyant Arabian style dress to give the impression of Purdah observance, she cannot deceive herself and Allah Ta’ala. About the corruption lurking in the nafs, the Qur’aan says:

“In fact, insaan has thorough awareness of (what is lurking) in the nafs, even if he puts forth excuses (to cover up and justify his/her acts of deception).”  

The burqahs too, nowadays, do not satisfy the Shariah’s order of jilbaab, especially the half-size and quarter-size deceptive ‘burqahs’. In fact, such ‘burqahs’ are lewd garments donned to deceive.


In these times, two items of Hijaab have been adopted as a licence for haraam emergence from the home and prowling in the streets and market-places. The o­ne is the fictitious ‘jilbaab’, and the other is the fictitious ‘niqaab’.

The fictitious ‘jilbaab’ is not a Shar’i jilbaab which as mentioned earlier is a large unattractive cloak concealing the entire body from above the head to the feet.

The fictitious ‘niqaab’ is not a Shar’i niqaab which should conceal the whole face without exposing the eyes. It is unlike the piece of cloth which most women don to attract the opposite sex with their eyes.

These two fictitious items have emboldened women who are bereft of Purdah of the heart—the heart which is the seat of haya and purdah—and are regarded as licence to wander around outside the home at will and desire. Consequently, women in droves roam in public places, even in casinos, whereas it is haraam for them to be. They mistakenly labour under the notion of observing purdah with their stylish Arabian dresses and little rags o­n their faces.

Similarly, they perpetrate self-deception by believing that they are purdah-nasheen ladies of Islam when they wander around the world sitting in the driving seat of vehicles with little rags tied around their faces, As for the treachery lurking in their hearts and the surreptitious glances cast hither and thither from behind the niqaab if it is a full cover, or cast by the exposed eyes from above the piece of rag supposedly covering the face, Allah Ta’ala is well aware. Neither Allah Ta’ala nor intelligent men are duped by this outer façade of deceptive ‘purdah’.

Remember that the first and foremost requirement of Hijaab is to remain glued within your homes as commanded by the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

For more Detailed and to understand Shariah’s view on Hijaab, the reader may visit the followin post: Islamic Hijaab


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