Selling western style clothes for men and women

Q: I sell men's and women's clothes. I sell men's jeans, short pants and t-shirts with different photos. And I also sell women's jeans, short jeans, tops, leggings, blouse, crop top, bodysuit. Is this permissible in Islam to sell? My customers are 99.99% Christian.

A: Islam commands men and women to dress in a respectful and decent manner, upholding the dictates of shame and modesty. Hence, Islam commands women to wear clothing that are long, flowing garments, that are non-transparent and do not reveal the shape of a woman's body. Similarly, as far as men are concerned, Islam commands them to wear clothing that is modest, respectful, and covers the body. Hence, the sunnah attire for men is the kurta, pants and topi. One should wear such clothing and promote such clothing.

Most of the western attire for women opposes the Islamic principles of shame and modesty as they promote clothing that is transparent, tight-fitting and revealing the shape of a woman's body. Similarly, many of the western clothing which is promoted for men is clothing that is not in keeping with the Islamic teaching e.g. tight fitting clothing, jeans, clothing with pictures of animate objects, etc. A believer should refrain from wearing such clothing or promoting it in any way by selling it, etc.

Hence, if the clothing you wish to sell is tight-fitting, body-hugging clothing which reveals the shape of the body, or it is transparent and the body may be seen through the clothing, or the clothing promotes indecency and shamelessness (e.g. mini skirts), or it has pictures of animate objects on it, then this type of clothing should not be sold by a Muslim. We are prohibited in the Hadith from adopting the styles and fashions of the kuffaar and promoting their culture and values.

However, it is permissible for you to sell clothing that is not indecent and is not against the Islamic teachings.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)