See through pants

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher

Assalamualaikum. I know that if the pants are see through that you can see the colour of the skin it’s not valid. But what if you cant see the colour of the skin, but he is wearing white pants and for example white under clothes (boxers), now the skin colour doesnt show but what shows is that his boxers are white, and what if the pants were pulled tightly against the leg and it was possible to see the dark hair on the leg, but still unable to see the skin colour is it valid to pray and wear these type of pants.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

The prayer is only valid if one covers one’s nakedness with clothing that conceals the colour of the skin underneath. Your question raises two important follow-up questions on this condition.

Q1. A completely transparent garment (e.g. one sewn from clear plastic) obviously violates this condition since the colour of the skin is clearly visible. But what if the garment is not transparent, but translucent? At exactly which level of transparency is this condition violated?

A1. Scholars explain that if the garment is transparent enough for one to be able to distinguish whether or not the skin underneath is black or white, then this condition is violated and one’s prayer is not valid. Merely being able to see a silhouette without being able to tell whether the skin colour underneath is black or white does not affect the validity of one’s prayer. Based on this explanation, if one can distinguish black hair against white skin, then this would be like being able to distinguish black complexion from white complexion, and one’s prayer would not be valid.

Q2. The degree to which one can see through the clothing varies depending on how closely one looks. How closely must one look to determine whether or not the colour of the skin has been concealed?

A1. Scholars explain that what counts is the look of someone with average eyesight when he looks from the distance that normally exists between two people when they are talking to one another, given average lighting conditions. In other words, you don’t have to look under sunlight, nor do you have to put your eyes right at the garment, and nor do you have to have extraordinarily sharp eyesight.

I hope that these two clarifications help you answer the questions that you posed.

Remember that these are criterion for covering one’s nakedness in the context of the prayer. The criterion for covering one’s nakedness from other people are different: the clothing that results in a valid prayer may not be permissible to wear on the street in front of other people.

Remember also that it’s always superior to wear clothing that is as modest as possible.

And Allah Most High knows best.


Reference: Hashiyat al-Bujayrimi `ala Fath al-Wahhab ,

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