Islam is not only a religion it is a complete code of life. It gives a complete code of conduct regarding every aspect of life. When we should get up in the morning, what our morning routine should be, what should be our eating habits, which should be our means of bread earnings, and which should not be? This means we have a complete manual about our everyday life in Islamic teachings. Similarly, Islam gives us a complete dress code, what to wear and how to wear it. Which kind of dress is not permissible? Everything is mentioned in Quran and Ahadith.
Thus, Islam teaches everything about manners of clothing.
Basic Purpose of Clothing
According to the manners of clothing in Islam, the primary purpose of dress is to cover and conceal shame. A human and an animal have some basic differences, one of them is a sense of sanctity. An animal is indifferent to any concept of shame and chastity. A man has an instinctive sense of chastity. He covers his private parts and whole body.
Allah SWT said in Quran e Kareem;
“O children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of fear of Allah, that is best…”
Similarly, one of the basic purposes of dress is to adorn one`s self. A person dresses up to look elegant, beautiful, and praiseworthy. Another purpose of dressing according to manners of clothing in Islam is, it protects a man from harsh weather conditions, either hot or cold. Allah Almighty said in Holy Quran in Sura e Nahl;
“He (Allah) made you garments to protect you from heat (and cold)”
In Quran e Kareem Allah SWT tells the basic purpose of clothing along with the manners of clothing in Islam.
Dress Code for Men
A man is bound to cover his body from abdomen to knees, it is the minimum level of coverage of the body which is called Satr. Otherwise, modesty is in covering the complete body. A man is bound to lower his gaze, it is also a part of satr for men. Another forbidden thing for men, according to manners of clothing in Islam, is silk and gold. Men cannot wear silk as a dress. Silk is attached to delicacy and softness, which are feminine traits. Neither delicacy nor softness is admirable for men. A man should have a strong character and a strong personality. A man`s attire should be as masculine as a man himself is. The same is the case with gold. Gold is a feminine metal, used for ornaments. So, it is forbidden for men. Men can wear silver rings only. Yellow color is not liked for men according to the manners of clothing in Islam. Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon Him did not like the yellow dress for men. Another important thing according to the manners of clothing in Islam is “garments of fame” or wearing a dress for showing pride and arrogance. Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him forbade this kind of cloth.
Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said,
“Allah the Almighty will make those who wear garments of fame In this world wear garments of humiliation in the hereafter.” Ibn e Majaa, Libas, 24
It clearly shows the Prophet`s wrath on wearing garments of fame and pride.
On another occasion, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said,
“Allah will not look at the person who drags his garments (behind him) out of pride and arrogance.” (Bukhari, Libas 1,5)
It does not mean that a man is not allowed to dress up in with elegance. As long as a man refrains from pride, fame, show off and excessive waste of money, he can wear whatever he wishes to wear. Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said,
“As long as you do not fall into the mistake of pride or waste, you may eat whatever you like and wear whatever you wish” (Bukhari, Libas, 1)
Manners of Clothing for Women
A woman is also commanded clearly what to wear and how to wear it. There is a proper guideline for manners of clothing for women in Islam. The first and foremost condition for a woman`s cloth is a saatir dress. Which means wearing a dress that completely covers her body from head to toe, except for the parts of her body that a revealed by themselves. These parts that are allowed to keep uncovered are the hands, feet, and face. The parts of the body other than these parts should be covered completely. Allah SWT said in Quran e Kareem,
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…”
This is the basic requirement for the dress of women in Islam. Similarly, Islam teaches how a woman should dress up while going out of her home. The dressing should be modest and an outer covering should cover the whole body.
“O Prophet tells your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments close round them (when they go abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.”
This verse shows the responsibility of a Muslim woman while going out of their house. A woman should cover herself completely with an outer garment like an abaya or a shawl. It is one of the basic manners of clothing according to Islam.
Women should not wear revealing dress, once she gets into puberty.
“Women should be more careful in clothing. One day Hafsa binte Abdur Rahman visited Ayesha RA was wearing a long thin head scarf Ayesha RA took it and replaced it with a thick one for her”
Thus, it is clear that Islam teaches the complete manners of clothing to its followers, whether they are men or women.