Women’s dress in prayer

28 Dec 2018 Ref-No#: 1273

Assalamu alaikum, in Pakistan women wear traditional shalwar kameez. It consists of a knee length shirt with baggy trousers. I used to wear it covering my feet with socks and head and upper body with a scarf. I have heard from an imam that that is not sufficient and an outer garment ie abaya must be worn. 1) I want to confirm if it is correct.
2) If it is the case, how should I instruct my mother and sister to listen to me? They already think that I am being an extremist in Islam. Jazakum’Allahu khairan


Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

It is necessary for a female to cover her entire body, besides her face, hands and (according to some ‘Ulama) her feet. Care must be taken that the neck, ankles and wrists are fully covered. Similarly, the clothes should not be see-through. If  this is attained when dressing in the manner described in your question, the Salah will correct, and it is not necessary to specifically wear an Abaya.

Yes, the clothes should be such that it does not take away your concentration in Salah. If you have to straighten the Dopatta (scarf) continuously in Salah, then it will be Makruh (abominable) to wear such a Dopatta. Generally, many women find it easier to just wear a Burka, since it fulfills all the afore-mentioned conditions.

As a general principle we should remember that when standing in prayer, we are standing infront of Allah, the king of kings. We should beautify ourselves accordingly. Allah Ta’ala says: “O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel (Zeenah) at every time and place of prayer.” (Surah al-A’raf, 31)

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