Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is wearing the jilbab obligatory?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum

Allah Most High says:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. That is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful”. [Surah al-Ahzab, 59]

As Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam explained in one of his answers:

“A jilbab [f: the Qur’anic term, translated above as “their outer garments”] is an outer garment that women must wear when emerging in front of strangers. This garment must be wide, loose, and modest and covers the body completely.”

What is meant by an outer garment is something that:

  1. covers the awrah,
  2. is thick and non-transparent,
  3. loose,
  4. and modest.

This can be something that is a separate loose garment worn over one’s clothes, or simply loose clothing that fulfills the abovementioned conditions, as the scholars explicitly mention.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

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