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Can I Pray With Rolled-Up Sleeves?

Question: Can I pray with rolled-up sleeves with a long-sleeved top underneath so no awrah is exposed? Sometimes the sleeves are rolled and sewn that way into the shirt or I roll up the sleeves myself. I read somewhere that men cannot do this.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

It is permissible for you to pray with your sleeves rolled up (whether sewn in or not) as long as you have a long-sleeved shirt underneath that is not tight or transparent. See the following link about a woman’s attire when she prays and otherwise:

What Is Proper Prayer Attire for Women?
What Are the Requirements of Hijab?

Please see the following link about a man’s proper attire:

Short Sleeves in Public for Men [Shafi’i School]

JazakAllahu khayran

[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 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.

Women’s Attire in Private and Around Unmarriageable Relatives

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: How should women dress while in private and around unmarriageable relatives (mahrams). Is it permissible for her to wear half sleeves and uncover her hair, while wearing the traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

There is a difference between what legal limits entail and what dignity and propriety entail.
In terms of legal limits, the ‘nakedness’ (awra) of a woman in front of her immediate kin (her father, grandfathers, brothers, children, and first uncles) is: navel to knee plus the waist area.

As for propriety and dignity, our scholars tell us that young women should dress in a modest manner, preferring loose unrevealing clothing even at home.

This is akin to men: would it be proper for men to walk around at home with only a long towel covering them from navel to knee? No, it would be undignified and unbecoming.

Wearing a head covering (hijab) when alone, however, is neither obligatory nor a specific recommendation, except when one has reasons to fear unrelated men entering suddenly.

It is, nevertheless, from general proper etiquette (adab) to wear a head covering, when reasonably possible, as an expression of one’s modesty and dignity before Allah. In the same way, it is proper etiquette (adab) for men to have their head covered at home as well.

This is understood from the words of the beautiful beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and followers), “Allah is more deserving of one’s sense of modesty than people are.” [Bukhari and others]

This modesty (haya) is an inward trait that each believer, male or female, should strive to cultivate. The proper manners of Islamic Law are means that Allah and His beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) have shown us towards becoming realized in these inward perfections, that are themselves the means to the realization of our slavehood, love, and thankfulness to Allah.

Faraz Rabbani