Modest clothing in Islam: Abaya, Hijab, Quranic Insights.

Modest clothing in Islam is compulsory for both women and men. Modesty, also called Haya, holds great importance and is emphasized both in the Holy Quran and through the hadiths of our Prophet Muhammad (). Muslims are encouraged to be humble, respectful, and dignified in their conduct.

Following the Islamic way of living will give a believer men and women rewards from Almighty Allah SWT both in this world and hereafter. Every Muslim believes it because it is the promise of the creator of heaven and earth.

Muslim women must cover their body except for permissible parts, covering their entire body (Face and hands being optional) modestly.

Quranic verses emphasizing modesty (Modest clothing):

Surah Al-Hijab (Chapter 33, Verse 33): “And stay in your homes and do not show yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance…” This verse highlights the importance of modesty in attire and behavior, encouraging Muslims to maintain their dignity and not display themselves immodestly.

Surah Al-Nur (Chapter 24, Verse 30-31): “Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their eyesight and guard their private parts… And tell the believing women to lessen [some] of their vision and guard their private parts…” These verses emphasize that men and women should lower their gaze and maintain modesty in their interactions with the opposite gender.

Modessty in Islam hadith (Modest Clothing):

Hadith of Aisha (): Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (), narrated, “Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) was given the choice of one of two matters, he used to select the easier of the two as long as it was not sinful; but if it were sinful, he would remain far from it. The Prophet () never took revenge for his own sake, but when Allah’s legal bindings were outraged, he would take revenge for Allah’s sake.”

Key takeaways of Modest clothing in Islam.

  • Modesty (Haya) is emphasized in both the Holy Quran and the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) for both men and women.
  • First and foremost, men are required to step up in respecting women. They should not engage in any activity which demeans a woman. They must also cast down their gazes in humility and observe the general philosophy of modesty of the heart and dress.
  • Hijab or abaya does not stop men and women from interacting for the purpose of study, work etc.
  • The hijab is not a sign of inferiority for women, nor has it been imposed upon them by men. In front of Allah SWT, both men and women were distinguished from each other in terms of individual piety.
  • Muslims are encouraged to be humble, respectful, and dignified in their conduct.
  • Modesty in attire is considered a way to follow the Islamic way of living, leading to rewards from Allah in this world and the Hereafter.
  • Muslim women are required to cover their bodies except for permissible parts, with face and hands being optional.
  • Quranic verses (Surah Al-Hijab and Surah Al-Nur) emphasize the importance of modesty in clothing and behavior.
  • Hadiths emphasize choosing the easier and more modest path, seeking Allah’s pleasure, and avoiding sinful clothing choices.
  • Proper hijab etiquette includes covering the entire body, being non-flashy, thick and non-see-through, loose-fitting, not perfumed, distinct from men’s clothing, and not imitating the dress of non-Muslims.
  • Modest clothing promotes dignity, self-respect, and a sense of honor and privacy.
  • Wearing white clothing is recommended in Islam for its practical and symbolic benefits.
  • The purpose of dressing modestly is to obey Allah’s commands, maintain dignity, and preserve self-respect.
  • Haram clothing includes sheer or see-through clothing and tight, form-fitting clothing that may lead to temptations.
  • The Quran instructs believers to lower their gaze and guard their private parts to promote modesty.
  • The color of an abaya is not inherently haram; it should follow guidelines of modesty and non-flashiness.
  • Some countries have laws restricting the wearing of hijabs in specific contexts, which can infringe upon individual religious freedoms.
  • Modest clothing in Islam is important to maintain a sense of piety and respect for Allah.
  • Muslim women can remove their hijabs in specific situations, such as being around family or for medical reasons.
  • Modesty can be practiced without wearing the hijab, but the hijab is considered an important aspect of Islamic modesty.

What is considered haram cloth?

According to the verses of the Quran and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), here are some principles that I would like to help define what is considered haram clothing in Islam for both Men and Women.

Sheer or See-Through Clothing: Those clothes are Haram to wear in Islam that are transparent, revealing what is beneath. They are considered Haram because it does not cover the body appropriately. Most of the time, Immodest clothing can lead to temptations and inappropriate thoughts, which cause discomfort or distractions to others.

Tight and Form-Fitting Clothing: Praise be to Allah. Tight clothes that display a woman’s charms and cause temptations are Haram. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I have not seen two kinds of people who will go to Hell: men who use whips to harm others, and women who wear clothes but don’t cover themselves properly, leading others away from the right path.” It is discouraged in Islam that clothing is tight and reveals the body’s shape, especially if they emphasize the private parts.

Why do Muslims wear all white?

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Wear white clothes, for they have the best effect, and use them for shrouds.” [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi].

There are many benefits of wearing white clothes, both scientifically and Psychologically. White clothes reflect sunlight and heat, which helps the body cooler in hot climates. That is why people wear white garments often in desert areas.

White color, especially fabrics, provide good protection from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. White color is related with purity, cleanliness, and simplicity. This is why it is often worn during religious ceremonies in most cultures and religions.

When can you take off a Hijab?

Proper Hijab wearing etiquette:

Cover all the body: The first and foremost requirement of the Hijab is that it should cover the entire body, including the hair and neck, except for the face and hands, which may remain visible.

Not be an adornment in and of itself: The motive of the Hijab is to promote modesty and not to draw attention. It should not be designed to be flashy or attention-grabbing.

Be thick and not transparent or see-through: The fabric of the Hijab should be opaque and not see-through to ensure that it conceals the body effectively.

Be loose: The Hijab should be worn in a loose manner to avoid outlining the body’s shape. It should not be form-fitting.

Not be perfumed: Hijab should not be scented or aromatic, as this may attract unnecessary attention.

Not resemble the clothing of men: The style and design of the Hijab should be distinct from men’s clothing. It should maintain a feminine and modest appearance.

Not resemble the dress of disbelieving women: The Hijab should not mimic the attire of non-Muslim women or those who do not adhere to modest dress codes.

Not be a garment of fame and vanity: Hijab should not be worn to show off or seek fame. It should be worn with humility and as an act of obedience to Allah’s command.

What does Quran say about women modesty?

Surah Al-Ahzab (Chapter 33), Verse 59:

“O Prophet (ﷺ), convey to your wives, daughters, and the women of the believers that they should draw their outer garments around themselves. It is expected to promote modesty and prevent them from being harassed. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Modesty in Islam Hadith.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) advised: “Once a girl reaches the age of maturity, only her face and hands should be visible while wearing hijab.” (Abu Dawood)

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) emphasized the importance of modesty in clothing for both men and women, stating: “The best clothes for men to wear are those which are thick and reach down to the ankles, and the best clothes for women to wear are those which conceal their bodies.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.):

Imam Ali said (a.s.): “The woman is clothed, but she is naked; when she walks, she entices and is enticed; and when she is seen, desires are aroused, and desires arouse desires.”

Imam Ali (a.s.) advised: “Wear modest clothing to please your husband, but refrain from adorning yourself for strangers.”

What is the purpose of dressing modestly?

A study published on  called Dress as a Marker of Identity Construction in this paper has explored that clothing choices go beyond simple fashion decisions.

This study has drawn upon insights from sociology, psychology, and cultural studies to provide a broad view of the importance of modest clothing. This research has highlighted the intricate link between clothing choices and identity construction by many different factors.

The primary reason to wear modest clothing in Islam is to obey the commands of Allah in the Quran. Modest clothing also preserves one’s dignity and self-respect by covering certain body parts, as Muslims maintain a sense of honor and privacy.

Quranic verse (24:30-31) that instructs believers to “lower their stare and guard their private parts” and not display their adornments except to specific individuals.

Is it haram to wear a colour abaya?

No, it isn’t haram to wear a colored abaya because the color of the Abaya doesn’t necessarily make the Abaya immodest in any way because modesty has no particular colors.

There are specific etiquettes that must be followed when it comes to wearing a color abaya as long as it is not flashy, is opaque, is not wrapped but is a screen, and is unadorned (which means not wearing perfume). For example, in Indonesia, women wear colorful abayas that are called “Jilbab” or “Mukena.”

Different countries have different fashion sense when it comes to modest clothing in Islam. In Islam, women are encouraged to wear modest clothing which covers their bodies except for their face and hands.

Talking about color and style of clothing may vary from one culture to another, and this is often a matter of personal preference as long as they adhere to the Modest clothing in Islam’s teachings.

Hence, following the commitment to Allah’s command to cover their bodies in front of non-mahram (non-relative) men. It promotes a sense of identity, piety, and submission to God’s will.

Where is it illegal to not wear a Hijab?

Hijab has been a topic of debate almost every year; there is always a new story concerning Hijab. However, some countries or regions, such as Quebec (Canada), have banned wearing hijabs for various reasons. They say banning the Hijab is to promote equality and neutrality in schools and institutions, which is the opposite of what I believe. 


Austria has banned headscarves for children up to 10 years of age to promote equality between men and women.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Yes, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a secular country, but wearing a hijab in a court or other judicial offices is not allowed for women.


All public servants in Quebec are prohibited from wearing Hijab in positions of authority.


France implemented a law in 2004 prohibiting wearing religious clothing and symbols in schools, although this regulation does not extend to universities.


In India, some schools restrict girls from wearing the Hijab in classrooms. Still, as a secular nation, the country permits individuals to wear headscarves, turbans, or other religious attire in public.


Kazakhstan saw some schools prohibit headscarves in 2017, followed by a government proposal to ban headscarves, niqabs, and similar clothing items in public a year later.


In Kosovo, wearing the Hijab has been banned in public schools, universities, and government buildings since 2009. However 2014, Kosovo witnessed its first female parliamentarian wearing a headscarf.


In Kyrgyzstan, certain schools prevented Muslim students from wearing headscarves and attending classes in 2011, 2012, and 2015.


Russia enforces a ban on the Hijab in schools and universities in two regions: the Republic of Mordovia and the Stavropol Territory.


Uzbekistan took measures 2012 to prohibit the sale of religious clothing like hijabs and face veils in the market. In 2018, the authorities dismissed an Uzbek imam after he called on the country’s President to lift the ban on religious symbols, including the Hijab.

The Hijab ban in various countries inflicts upon an individual’s right to freedom and religion and goes against values that uphold one’s freedom of expression and beliefs. Is the Hijab ban good or bad? The Hijab ban anywhere worldwide severely impacts Muslim women’s right to education and freedom.

Why is Modest clothing Important in Islam?

The benefits that I have realized in my life of being modest or wearing modest clothing in Islam are plenty, and I would like to share some advantages and disadvantages of both (Modest clothing in Islam and disadvantages of immodest clothing).

For example, there are certain places, such as business meetings, in which we dress up nicely in a suit because clothes are often seen as Identity construction. Imagine going out in public and wearing immodest clothing will create different ideas in individuals. Some of the benefits that I get from wearing modest clothing in Islam are.

Benefits of Being ModestDisadvantages of Being Immodest
Spiritual Fulfillment: 
Modesty is highly regarded in many traditions or workplaces, and to me, it gives a sense of inner peace and spiritual fulfillment by aligning myself with moral and ethical principles.
Lack of Respect: Immodest behavior may lead to a lack of respect from others.
Respect from Others: Being modest, I felt different respect and admiration from others for humility and dignified behavior.Damaged Relationships: Immodesty can strain relationships, as it may involve selfishness.
Healthy Relationships: Modesty promotes healthy and respectful relationships.Negative Influence: Immodest behavior can negatively influence others.
Reduced Conflict: Modesty often reduces conflicts and misunderstandings between family and friends, as it promotes humility and a willingness to compromise.Emotional Stress: Constantly seeking attention or validation through immodest behavior can lead to emotional stress.
Emotional Well-being: Modest clothing in Islam contributes to emotional well-being by reducing stress and anxiety associated with the pressures of living up to societal standards.Spiritual and Moral Dilemmas: Immodesty may conflict with one’s spiritual or moral beliefs.

When can a women take off her Hijab?

There are situations when it is allowed for a Muslim woman to remove her Hijab, such as being around one’s family. If there are mahram males (Siblings or father), a woman can take off her Hiijab. There are medical exceptions.

A woman can remove her Hijab for medical treatment. If your Hijab falls in a public place, you can put it back. There’s nothing wrong with that. While doing household chores, a woman is not compelled to wear a Hijab can remove it.

Can you be Modest without wearing Hijab?

In surah, Al-Baqara verse 256 of the Quran says there is no compulsion in Islam. This means nobody should be forced to do something in Islam against their will, including modest clothing in Islam. “Don’t make anyone become a Muslim if they don’t want to.

Islam is easy to understand, and its reasons for belief are clear. So, there’s no need to make anyone a Muslim by force. In the same way, the Hijab is compulsory for Muslim women, and there is no possibility in today’s world that a woman can be modest without wearing the Hijab.


Modest clothing in Islam and being modest is an essential step towards the “Akhirah” (the Hereafter) for both women and men. As Muslims, we are required to dress modestly and are expected to avoid any clothing or behavior that might draw attention to our bodies or be perceived as provocative.

From both religious and psychological points of view, modest clothing in Islam is an act of showing respect for Allah and maintaining a state of piety. 


  • Arish Husain

    Assalam Alaikum beautiful people! someone who loves Prophet Muhammad and his family a lot. I like finding new ways to teach important stuff, so everyone can understand what Allah wants from us and His plans. We learn to listen for whispers from Allah, understand big plans, get ready for whatever Allah has for us, and try our best. I hope Allah's blessings guide us on this special journey.Allah hu Akbar!

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