Q&A: Western Garments

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Question:
The article on dressing in the last issue of Al-Haadi refers:
I must admit that in the last few years, I too have gradually become more Westernised in my dressing style. However, I now wear such garments only at home. I do this for my husband. Is there anything wrong with this?



Answer:

There are several factors to consider in determining whether there is anything wrong with the type of garments you are wearing within your home.

Firstly, as mentioned in the article you have referred to, the primary object of clothing is to cover one’s satr (part of the body that is compulsory to cover). The satr must be covered in such a manner that neither is any portion even slightly visible through the garment, nor must the shape of the satr be discernible. If either of these conditions is not fulfilled, the person dressed in such a manner is “clothed yet naked” as described in the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

“CLOTHED YET NAKED”
 
Generally Western garments religiously adhere to two “criteria” - being shorter and tighter. In most cases the shape of the satr is clearly discernible due to the tighter fit of the clothing. The designers seem to try to make them such that even the undergarments must be discerned from beneath the clothes. Thus the abovementioned description of the Hadith, of being “clothed yet naked” will apply. In one’s home often there are other males besides one’s husband. One cannot appear “naked” in front of any of these males, be they one’s sons, brothers, father/father-in-law, uncles, etc. Thus to wear the type of garments described earlier even in the home will not be correct.

EXAMPLE
 
Secondly, if there are no other males in the home, what example are you setting for perhaps your daughters? As mentioned in the last issue, if the mothers of today wear thigh-length garments, the daughters of tomorrow will wear them hip-high. You will wear them in your home. Your daughters will wear them outside.

OPPOSE
 
Thirdly, we have been commanded to oppose the ways of the Jews and Christians (the West). Why must one resort to imitating them in order to adorn oneself for one’s husband? Deeni conscious women throughout the centuries adorned themselves within the confines of the home for their husbands. However, they did not resort to imitating the kuffaar.
      
The above is sufficient to answer your question. We suggest that you always keep the following aayat in mind: “And the garments of Taqwa (piety) is best” (7:26).
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