Q: My question is based on my recent reading of Qur'an (specifically verses 24:31, 24:60 and 33:59) and the following Hadiths (Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 4090, Sahih Bukhari Book 8 347, Sahih Bukhari Book 72 684, Sahih Bukhari Book 10 552 and Sunan Abu Dawud Book 32 4091) which focus on the subject of a Muslim woman's dress. My questions are:

  1. Is an outergarment (jilbab) compulsary?
  2. Is there any specifications for this jilbab such as it should cover from head-to-toe, be an overcoat etc? Or could it be any outer garment wrapped around one's body such as the dupatta or saree end (in the case of Indian clothes)?
  3. And if the jilbab in the form of a coat/cloak is not fard and can assume any form such as a dupatta or large headscarf over a regular skirt-and-blouse combination, then would you please explain the meaning of the verse 24:60?


A: The jilbaab is meant to be an outer garment that will conceal the actual shape of the body, mainly from below the waist upwards covering the entire face.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

يـٰأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُل لِأَزوٰجِكَ وَبَناتِكَ وَنِساءِ المُؤمِنينَ يُدنينَ عَلَيهِنَّ مِن جَلـٰبيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذٰلِكَ أَدنىٰ أَن يُعرَفنَ فَلا يُؤذَينَ ۗ وَكانَ اللَّـهُ غَفورًا رَحيمًا ﴿الأحزاب:٥٩﴾

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)