Is wearing the jilbab obligatory for younger women?
Thank you for your question. Ma sha Allah, I am pleased to see that you are concerned about how to best dress yourself for the pleasure of Allah, and I pray that young women around you can follow suit.
As you have mentioned, the answer below explains that jilbabs are considered superior to regular loose clothing, but both suffice.
The Tafsir (Qur’anic exegesis) of the verse that you mention is below, translated by Ustadh Mokrane Guezzou:
(As for women past child-bearing, who have no hope of marriage) and do not need to get married, (it is no sin for them) for such women (if they discard their (outer) clothing) in front of strange people (in such a way as not to show adornment) without adorning themselves or showing their adornment to strangers. (But to refrain) to keep their outer garment on (is better for them) than discarding it. (Allah is Hearer) He hears what they say, (Knower) He knows their deeds. [Tanwir al-Miqbas]
And here is the Tafsir according to Tafseer al-Jalalayn:
“And as for menopausal women who have ceased to menstruate or to bear children because of old age who do not expect to marry for that reason, they would not be at fault if they put off their clothes such a robe a cloak or the facial mask over a head veil in such a way as not to display adornment that is hidden such as a necklace a bracelet or an anklet, but to refrain from doing so by not putting them off is better for them, and God is Hearer of what you say Knower of what is in your hearts.“ [translated by Feras Hamza]
As we can see, the practice of how a woman covers herself, return to `Urf, the custom of the land. A woman is not blamed for dressing loosely, according to standards of modesty in her land, no matter what loose garment she chooses. If a woman wishes to wear an outer garment, I would certainly encourage her, as there is nothing looser and it tends to be the least attractive in public. May Allah give you the best of this world and the finest silks and brocade in the next world.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.