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Thread: Clothing Requirements?

  1. #1

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    Question Clothing Requirements?

    I saw a Muslim lady in the shops today & she had her hijab on (is that right? her head scarf?) but also had her full arms & legs covered. I was thinking that this lady must've been so hot as it's pretty close to 30deg here today. Which made me wonder, is it part of a Muslim woman's clothing requirements to have their full body covered when they are out & about?

    Last edited by {sarah}; November 19th, 2007 at 01:12 PM. Reason: oops typo!

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    Interesting question Sarah. I dont know the answer but when my sister and I went shopping one day,there was an Muslim lady in the fitting rooms trying something on and her husband went stark raving mad at her because he could see her feet under the curtain!!! He told her to get out immediately as he was taking her home and he literally dragged her out of the store .... we didnt know what to do or say. It is so interesting the different way people live.
    Last edited by Deltadawn; November 19th, 2007 at 03:19 PM.

  3. #3

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    There are a few different opinions on the matter (Muslims can't even agree on what date our major festivals fall on lol) but the majority opinion is that a woman's hijab is from the wrist to the ankle and includes her hair. Some scholars argue that a woman should also cover her feet, there are a few scholars who also argue that a niquab (the face covering) is obligatory but AFAIK this is a more modern position.
    There are others who argue that since the verse in the Quran that deals with hijab mentions that it is in part to reduce harrassment whilst in the west it increases harrassment that in the western context the scarf is not obligitary. There are others who claim that the scarf is not obligatory and is only made so by patriachal interpratations of the sources of Islamic law.
    I should mention that hijab is meant to be an attitude as well as a dress code - it has both an internal and external dimension. There are many women who wear hijab but don't follow many of the teachings of Islam. The slightly derogatory name for them is undercovers.
    I should also mention that hijab applies to men as well as women. They are also meant to dress in a modest fashion - if you look at the tradition clothes of many Muslim communities you will notice that the men are also covered. In addition a Muslim man is meant to lower his gaze which means that even if a woman doesn't cover he's not meant to take a second look.

    Of course it gets hot - everyone gets hot in 30 degrees but from my pre-hijab days there isn't a great differance. I guess it depends on how adept you are at dressing for the heat. I find that a loose skirt in a pale colour and a loose top in a light fabric is not really hotter than shorts and a t-shirt. I imagine that for those who choose to wear heavy dark clothes it's a lot hotter.

    ETA - We don't cover in front of our family members.


    ETA - tonydayl, domestic violence is no more acceptable in Islam than in any other religion. All muslims are meant to emulate the behaviour of the prophet (pbuh) and he was never violent towards women or children. I don't find abusive behaviour interesting regardless of who is perpetuating it.
    Last edited by Phteven; November 19th, 2007 at 02:33 PM. Reason: ETA stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    Of course it gets hot - everyone gets hot in 30 degrees but from my pre-hijab days there isn't a great differance. I guess it depends on how adept you are at dressing for the heat. I find that a loose skirt in a pale colour and a loose top in a light fabric is not really hotter than shorts and a t-shirt. I imagine that for those who choose to wear heavy dark clothes it's a lot hotter.
    I read somewhere that in some ways the style of the traditional Islamic dress for both men and women evolved out of a practical requirement to keep cool and reduce sun exposure in hot climates as well as being an expression of modesty. I'm not sure if that is true or not...?

  5. #5

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    Yikes Tonydayl that is so not cool.

    So Hijab is more the whole deal than a name for the head scarf?

    You're right in that if you accomodate & wear light breathable fabrcs then you shouldn't have a problem with the heat, I hadn't thought of that! I knew about the not covering in front of family, does that mean you could hang out at home in shorts & t-shirt without a problem?


    (sorry not meaning to make clothing sch a big issue, just curious )

  6. #6

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    Suse, my BIL (he's a non-Muslim Australian) refuses to wear shorts unless he's swimming on the grounds that the sun shining directly on his legs is hotter than if it shines on long pants instead so he'd definately agree with you.
    Of course from skin cancer/sunburn perspective covering offers much more protection and it decreases wrinkles. If you ever meet a woman who has covered her face for a long time you'll freak at how few wrinkles she has.

    ETA - yep I hang out at home in shorts and a t-shirt (or my pj's if I'm in a lazy mood lol). I usually keep an abaya (a long dress/robe)around to chuck over the top in case of unexpected visitors but sometimes I can't find it in the chaos and then I have to run around like a mad woman looking for it - it's a bit embarressing.

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    Dachlostar - I think you may have misunderstood my story. He was in no way being physically threatening - he was more embarrassed.
    Last edited by Deltadawn; November 19th, 2007 at 03:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    ETA - yep I hang out at home in shorts and a t-shirt (or my pj's if I'm in a lazy mood lol). I usually keep an abaya (a long dress/robe)around to chuck over the top in case of unexpected visitors but sometimes I can't find it in the chaos and then I have to run around like a mad woman looking for it - it's a bit embarressing.
    Hee hee, I have the same problem at home - it gets really really hot up here and most days I just slob around in my undies (sorry if TMI). I have a couple of summer dresses that I keep by the door for such emergencies but almost always manage to open the door then realise that I've thrown them on inside out! Such a good look!

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    Aah good thinking with throwing something on over what you've got on when someone knocks on the dopr. I wondered about that too LOL!

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    Interesting thread. I wondered the same thing about hot weather and hijab. I don't like wearing shorts in public (too modest) so I wear long floaty 100% cotton skirts alot and i actually find they are cooler than going bare legged. As long as you wear very light cotton, not heavy cotton or synthetics it's very comfortable. The movement of the fabric kinda creates a breeze and keeps the direct sun off them. Jayjays have lovely peasant style long skirts ATM that go right down to your ankle... i'm wearing one now as I've been out all morning... the fabric is extremely light in weight and feels as light as a feather much more comfy than shorts IMO.

    The thing I wonder about is how much your hearing is impeded? In winter when I wear beanies over my ears I find that my hearing suffers but maybe I have a problem. I notice that Indian men wear turbans that cover their ears too. I guess it could be useful in keeping wind blown sand out of your ears. But being a pedestrian i am highly dependent on hearing coming vehicles from around our suburbs many blind corners and I wonder how having your ears covered affects things.

    Finally, Chloe you mentioned that women who cover up but don't practice the law of Islam are called undercovers. If women travelling through Islamic countries decided to cover up would this be looked down upon in a similar way? Would it be mildly offensive if I wore a hajib if we travelled in the more remote areas of the UAE for instance?

    Thanks for answering our questions

  11. #11

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    I don't think it impedes hearing much. I've never noticed it but then again I have a bit of industrial deafness going on from too much time listening to loud music.

    As for covering to travel I think that most Muslims would appreciate a woman of another culture covering as a sign of respect.

  12. #12

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    OK - this is purely from a curiosity perspective .......

    When you are at home uncovered, do you cover to (for example) hang clothes out?? Or is that when the abaya comes into use??

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    That would depend on how private your house is.

  14. #14

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    Interesting thread.. The laws of modesty in Judaism have similar clothing requirements.

    You have to wear skirts, they must cover your knees (even whilst sitting), your tops must go up to your collarbone and past your elbows, and married women must cover their hair (either with a wig or hat/scarf). It technically isn't law, but such a widely held custom it has the same level as a law, is that you must cover your legs with either stockings or socks.

    I don't find I'm really any hotter in summer as long as i dress smartly. So that is mainly wearing cotton, and loose skirts and tops. The hardest one i find in the heat is stockings, but i'm used to it, so it really only bothers me probably 2 days out of a year.

    I really enjoy dressing this way, i feel like i'm making a statement about myself and my boundaries. Which is funny, because before i became religious i thought all women who dressed this way were either brainwashed or repressed.

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    Could you wear thigh high stockings Yael? Just a thought.

    I totally agree about skirts being cooler, despite being pregnant, I've stayed quite cool so far in this weather!

    I really like the idea of dressing for modesty, from a Christian perspective, I know the New Testament tells us that we shouldn't cause our brothers to stumble...so those Christian women with those low cut tops on Sunday morning might need to rethink. (Of course, the bible also tells us not to judge, so I don't get too grumpy about it. )

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    Yael I am so amazed that you wear a wig, I honestly never would have imagined that in 5 million years, you look awesome One question though if you don't mind... Why skirts / dresses? Is there some specific reason you don't wear pants?

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    I agree Shannon... well said.

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    Ok, from what I understand the whole clothing thing is to deter looks of passion from men other than her own husband (yes? I am new to everything Islam). But what I don't get is that you see all the young Islamic women where i live and they are covered from head to toe in beautiful clothing, with their hair covered and their faces all done up. They look gorgeous! Would this be contradicting the whole head-dress anyway?

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