Is It Obligatory That One’s Hijab Covers the Chest Even if One’s Shirt Is Loose?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I read your answers to similar questions that I have, but I would like some clarification. Some of your answers mention that as long as clothing is loose and modest, it suffices for the purpose of jilbab. You also have an answer that says the hijab must cover the cleavage area even if someone is already wearing a loose shirt. Are there any opinions that say as long as the cleavage is visibly covered, the hijab does not have to fall over it? If it must cover it, how much of the chest?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Generally speaking, a loose shirt does cover the chest, but a hijab drawn over it covers it much better.

The ruling

You will see the details of using one’s hijab to cover the head and hair, throat,  and upper chest in this link:

Covering the chest

The explanation of the verse in the Qur’an is as mentioned in the link above, and I have not seen any opinion that interprets it differently. As such, a Muslim woman should make the effort to draw her hijab over her chest, though I have seen some women cover their chest with another layer of cloth, such as a loose jacket, poncho, or cape that fulfills the same purpose.

Trust your instinct

A woman knows when she is dressed modestly to the best of her ability. Ignore baseless misgivings (waswasa) about it. If you have chosen a modest outfit, and have drawn your hijab over your chest, and feel that your body shape is covered and does not attract undue attention, then go with it and feel confident that you are following the shari’ah. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 master’s 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.