Question: In hot weather being fully covered in abaya and scarf gets too hot. It is difficult to find thin material sometimes, and sometimes thin material may be thin but isn’t cool. So what can we Muslim sisters wear? Can we reveal forearms or dip our legs up to our calves at the beach and then lower our garments again? Can we expose our ankles so we can go in the water?
Keeping cool in the summer
Sister, thank you for your important question. The best advice that I can offer you on keeping cool is here:
As for your other questions, it is not permissible for a woman to expose her ankles, calves, or forearms where a non-mahram can see her. As such, most women I know would walk straight into the ocean at the beach and let their clothes get wet up to the knees, whether in abaya or in loose pants. Wet clothing cools one better than simply wetting the skin. Also, a handful of water poured on the top of your head and forehead does wonders to catch a breeze.
I pray that you can find the right method to keep cool. Also, be mindful of the time of day that you go out. A woman covered in thick clothing at midday in the summer at the beach will probably get dehydrated or unwell, so choose an evening stroll or a day activity where there is shelter from the sun.
Please see these links on modest clothing:
May Allah reward you for your efforts.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.