Guest Author - Linda Heywood
There is no Islamic Dress Code other than what is written in the Quran and in the Quran God first instructs men to subdue their eyes, lower their gaze, don’t look! So, no matter what a woman has chosen to wear, for a man, it is better not to look. And God knows everything they do; men and women.
Chapter 24, verse 30
Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes and to maintain their chastity. This is purer for them. God is fully Cognizant of everything they do.
For women they are told the same thing, don’t look at men. Do not show anything that does not need to be shown and cover your chests. It does not say cover your head in this verse it says cover your chest.
Chapter 24, verse 31
And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes and maintain their chastity. They shall not show any parts of their bodies, except that which is necessary. They shall cover their chests and shall not relax this code in the presence of other, than their husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, other women, the male servants or employees whose sexual drive has been nullified, or the children who have not reached puberty. They shall not strike their feet when they walk, in order to shake or reveal certain details of their bodies. All of you shall repent to God, O you believers that you may succeed.
When you read verse 60 of the same chapter it says that elderly women who do not expect to get married can relax their dress code so long as they do not reveal too much of their body. God says that to maintain modesty is much better.
When sitting at home with family members’ women can relax in the way that they dress (33:55). But at the end of the verse God says He witnesses all things. So no matter how a woman choses to dress, it is up to the male family members to keep a clean mind and reverence God. They should not leer or touch inappropriately.
Chapter 33, verse 55
The women may relax around their fathers, their sons, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, the other women, and their female servants. They shall reverence God. God witnesses all things.
Notice in the following verse God does not tell women how long their skirts have to be. He leaves that for women to decide. What one woman considers modest another woman may not. God does not say, ‘skirts to the ground’. God does not say, ‘no trousers’. God says lengthen your garments. How long? That is for you to decide.
Chapter 33, verse 59
O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen their garments. Thus, they will be recognized and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
When people go to the mosque they are told to be clean and dress nicely, it does not say ‘wear this or wear that’. It does not say that only men should attend prayers at the mosque. When God speaks of the children of Adam it applies to both men and women.
Chapter 7, verse 31
"O children of Adam, you shall be clean and dress nicely when you go to the masjid. And eat and drink moderately; Surely, He does not love the gluttons."
When it says eat and drink moderately, what comes to mind is that if you eat a large meal before going to pray, the likely hood of unwanted gas expulsion is high. Who but a glutton would pass wind in your face while at prayer?
But the first rule of dress is again directed at men and women, O children of Adam, and God says that the best garment you can wear is the garment of righteousness.
Chapter 7, verse 26
"O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of God's signs, that they may take heed."