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Can I Appear Before My Father and Brothers in a Nightie?

Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman


Can I appear before my father and brothers in a nightie? I do not wear any pyjama or underwear beneath it but it is loose and it reaches below the knees. Can I pray salah in nightie at Fajr times?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The believing women at the beginning of Islam were extremely pure, chaste, and modest respecting their dignity which was the blessing of belief in Allaah and His Messenger and following the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Allah SWT mentions in the Qur’an those who you do not need to do hijab in front of:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء

And they should not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sister’s sons, or women, or those whom their right hands possess (concubines), or the male servants not having need of women, or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women. [Surah Nur verse 31]

As you can see in the verse there’s a list of male mahrams the woman does not need to cover in front of (hijab in front of).

You mentioned “nightie” in the question. One may know that there are various types of nighties e.g. lace nighties, V-neck nighties, maxi-dress nighties, net nighties, mesh nighties, etc. where different types conceal and reveal the different amounts of the body parts of the woman. We know that a woman may wear ‘whatever’ she pleases in front of her husband only.

As for the rest of the Mahram members, she must wear clothes that cover her

  • Naval to her knees
  • And back

It’s mentioned in Rad-Al-Muhtar

ستر أعضاء المرأة للمحارم …السرة إلى ركبتيها و الظهر ما قابل البطن من تحت الصدر إلى السرة

A woman covers her body within the presence of her mahrams … the navel to her knees and the back (that portion which is the level from under the chest to the navel) [Rad-Al-Muhtar vol 1 page 408]

And going onto the second part of the question of what a woman has to wear at prayer times – a woman’s clothing should cover all of her body whilst praying and this is indicated in the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who was asked about what clothes a woman should pray in.

She said:

تُصَلِّي فِي الْخِمَارِ وَالدِّرْعِ السَّابِغِ الَّذِي يُغَيِّبُ ظُهُورَ قَدَمَيْهَا

“She should pray in a khimaar (head cover) and a long blouse (chemise) that covers the tops of her feet.” [Abu Dawood Hadeeth no: 639].

A Khimar is defined as:

خامة تغطي الشعر وتصل الى اسفل الصدر

“A covering that covers the hair and reaches below the bottom of the chest”. [qamus alfaadh al islaami page 105 alyamaamah publications]

This shows that a woman (one who has reached puberty or more) must be covered from the head (hair completely covered) to the tops of her feet in baggy clothing whilst praying.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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