Prayer: Women’s clothing and some exposed hair…

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher

My sisters pray with their hair sometimes coming out from behind their hijabs because of the length. and sometimes they pray in trousers. Is this correct?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaykum

It is not permitted for a lady to pray with anything other than her face, hands and feet exposed. If, however, her hair became exposed during the course of the prayer then as long as the amount of hair showing is less than a quarter of her total hair then it would not invalidate the prayer. Please search the Hanafi list archives for a more complete treatment of the fiqh of praying with parts of one’s nakedness (awra) exposed.

It is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to pray in anything that adheres tightly to the skin such that the shape of one’s body can clearly be seen. If the trousers that your sisters pray in are not of this description then there is no reason to blame them. The prayer of the woman is based on modesty and concealment. That is why it is superior for her to pray at home, and why the postures that she adopts in the prayer when bowing and prostrating differ from that of the man. Therefore, adopting modest clothing when praying is superior to clothing that tells of one’s body even though such clothing might not be tight-fitting.

And Allah knows best.

Sohail Hanif

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