Question: Recently, a kind of cloaks which shows the shape of the body and is tight has become popular. It is composed of two light layers of crepe fabric; and it has wide sleeves, embroidery and designs; and it is worn coming from the shoulders. What is the ruling of Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) on this kind of cloaks?

Please advise us! May Allaah reward you. We would like Your Eminence (may Allaah safeguard you) to address the Ministry of Commerce to prevent the distribution of this cloak.

Answer: The cloak, as prescribed in the Sharee`ah for women, is the Jilbaab, which fulfils the aims of Sharee`ah. It completely covers and prevents Fitnah (temptation).

Accordingly, women’s cloaks must meet the following conditions:

First, it must be made of thick material that is not transparent, and it should not cling to the body.

Second, it should cover the entire body, and be loose enough so that it does not show the shape.

Third, it should be open from the front only, and the sleeve openings should be narrow.

Fourth, it should not have any adornment that attracts attention, so it must be free of designs, decorations, writings, and symbols.

Fifth, it should not resemble the dress of Kuffaar (disbelievers), women or men.

Sixth, it should come down from the top of the head.

Based on the above, the kind of cloaks mentioned in the question is not the kind of cloaks that is prescribed for women in the Sharee`ah.

Thus, it is not permissible to wear it, because it does not meet the necessary conditions. It is also not permissible to wear any other kind of cloaks that does not meet the necessary conditions, or to import them, manufacture them, sell them, or distribute them among the Muslims, because this is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression.

Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: …but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment.

The Committee has stated that and has advised the believing women to fear Allaah (Exalted be He) and to cover their entire bodies with the Jilbaab and Khimaar (veil covering to the waist) from ghayr-Mahaarim (not a spouse or unmarriageable relatives), in obedience to Allaah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and so as to avoid the causes of Fitnah.

May Allaah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Source: Al-Lajnah Al-Daa’imah, alifta.net