A look at the of most people these days, especially the youths, confounds the mind. The clothing for men and boys seems to be getting longer, dragging even to under the shoes; men’s fashion seems to include the part that the feet steps upon! More amazing is the dressing for girls and ladies! Gone are the days when ladies are known for flowing gowns that sweep the floor; now their cloths are jumping up from above the ankle to well above the thigh. Their tops also reduce from all sides; exposing the thighs, navel and the bosom seems to be the goal of female dressing and a way of announcing that you are okay! The situation is so bad that several institutions of higher learning are now coming up with dress codes to ensure that some sanity prevails. Even some older women seem to have joined the younger one in wearing these skimpy dresses.
Allaah is the Source of all help. Allah created the animals and gave their own natural clothes to wear, He created man and gave us the sense to dress to cover up our nakedness. Therefore the more our nakedness we cover with our clothing, the better is our dress sense. However, there must be a minimum part .of our body that clothing must cover at all times, such that we would be described as naked if that part of the body was not covered.
So the questions we should ask ourselves is what is the nakedness of a man or woman? What part(s) of the body can be exposed to other people? With the different styles of dressing that pervades the society nowadays, one is at a loss at what constitute nakedness for the people. But all, praise is due to Allaah who has not left us without guidance in this [or any other] matter.
"O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the signs of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth). O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan (Satan) deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa (Eve)] out of Paradise; stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts. Verily,he and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily We made the Shayatin (devils) Auliya (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not. (Q7:26- 27)
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"Guard your awrah, except from your wife or female slave". The Companions asked him, "What if men are with other men?" He replied: "If you can manage to let no one see it, then no one may see it." They asked him, what if one is alone by himself? He replied: "Allaah deserves that you be shy of Him more than you be shy of people." (Abu Dawud)
Consequent upon these, during the days of the Messenger of Allaah, the mens garment were at the middle of their shin but definitely not beyond the ankles, while the womens own were all the way down to their toes. A look around now will tell you how far we have gone from the ways of the Companions. It seems there is a race to do opposite of what the Messenger of Allaah commanded.
His Awrah, So what is the awrah of a man or woman? Is it the same for both or is their no definition of such limit?
As for the men, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"The area between the navel and knee is a awrah" (Haakim).
These are part of the body that must be covered in the presence of both men and women, whether relatives or strangers. And when in prayer, the shoulders should also be covered (for those who have more than one garment). Awrah between members of the same gender The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"Let not a man look at another mans awrah, nor a woman to another womans awrah. And let not a man sleep under the same cover with another man, nor a woman with another woman."(Muslim).
So it is not permissible for a man or woman to expose their awrah to other members of the same gender.
Covering the Awrah from the Jinns
The covering of the awrah is so important that we are even supposed to cover them from the jinns. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"To cover the awrahs of human beings from the eyes of jinns, one should say; Bismillaah when taking off ones clothes" (Tabaraanee).
He also said "To cover the awrahs of human beings from the eyes of jinns, one should say; Bismillaah when one goes to the toilet" (Ahmad)
or one should say as Anas (RA) narrated that whenever the Prophet went to answer the call of nature, he used to say:
"Allah-umma inni audhu bika minaf khubuthi waf khabaith (O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things [evil deeds and evil spirits])". (Bukhaaree)
What about tight cloths?
Whatever has been defined as awrah, must not exposed, unless it becomes absolutely necessary to do so. Part of covering the awrah is also to ensure that the covering is not transparent or tight fitting so as to describe what is underneath, and this applies to both males and females. So it is not permissible for a man to wear clothing that describes his private part and think that is sufficient that he covers them.
For the Muslim woman, there are two opinions about What constitute her awrah.Some says her entire body is awrah and must be covered using some ahadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings be upon him) for example, he said, "(All of the woman is awrah" Other scholars say, she has to cover all of her body except the face and hand, this they also based on ahadeeths of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) for example where he said:
"When a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of her body except this and this, and he pointed to her hands and face (Abu Dawud)
A Muslim woman does not expose any part of her awrah except to her husband. As for her Mahrams (apart from her husband) and another Muslim women, they may see places where she would normally put her adornments .. Non-Mahrams male and non-Muslim females should not see beyond the face and the hands. perhaps you wonder why non-Muslim women must not see beyond the face and hands? Well the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings be upon him) has commanded Muslim women not to describe other women to their husbands (and other men), He said:
"A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was looking at her" (Bukhaaree).
Now non-Muslim women are not under such prohibition, so they might look at the Muslim woman and describe her to whoever they deem fit. And Allaah knows best.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited