Q: I wanted to know is it fardh to wear abaya for a Muslim girl and if yes please forward some authentic ahadith regarding it ?
asalamualaikum warehmatulllahi wabarakatahu
A: Assalaamu Alaikum
An Abaya is a loose over garment which is like an outer dress worn by women. This type of wear helps a woman to cover herself properly and so, many choose to wear it.
The ‘Abaya’ itself as the name of a garment is not Fardh for a girl/woman to wear, but it is essential upon her to wear such clothing/gown/cloak on her body through which she will fulfil the requirements of covering herself properly according to the Islamic teachings. So what is essential is that a girl/woman covers her entire body from her head to her feet in a manner that no part is visible to a non mahram.
Some scholars have stated that she must cover her face and hands (also) up to the wrist. Others have stated that an allowance is given for the face and the hands to be exposed, but when there is the fear of ‘Fitnah’ then the girl/woman must cover these parts.
The wearing of a woman must not be tight fitted or thin. Instead, it must be loose and non-transparent. In order to ensure that a woman’s body is concealed properly, Allah revealed the following to the Prophet (S.A): ‘O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw down their shawls over them’. (Sura Al Ahzab (33) Verse 59).
In the verse, the instruction was given for the believing women to draw their ‘shawls’ over them. The Arabic word mentioned in the verse is ‘Jalaabeeb’ which is the plural of ‘Jilbaab’. While explaining what a ‘Jilbaab’ is, the commentators of the Holy Quran have stated that it is a long shawl that covers a woman from head to toe. The requirement therefore is that a woman covers herself properly with loose outer garment in a manner that the concealable parts of her body do not become exposed.
In different cities/countries the ‘wear’ of women may differ from each other and not many women may be familiar with the Abaya. As such, every Muslim girl/woman must look at the requirements of the Shariah regarding her ‘wear’/ ‘dress’ and must adopt that which fulfils these requirements.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.