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Can One Cover One’s Chest With Loose Clothing or Must the Hijab Be Drawn Down Over It?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Is it required that women cover their chest area with the scarf they wear on their head? If so, to what extent? I am aware of the verse that says to cover the bosom with it, but can this be done with loose clothing? For example, a popular style nowadays would be a rectangle hijab wrapped around the head with one strand on one side of the chest and the other thrown back behind the shoulder.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Covering the chest

As you indicated in your question, it is a Quranic injunction covering one’s bosom or chest area with one’s khimar. Please see this link for full and explicit detail about the verse:
https://seekersguidance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/unveiling-hijab-ebook.pdf

Fashion

As you have read from the link, a woman is commanded to cover her bosom with her head-covering, and fashion or popularity would not be a valid reason to ignore this. Women will always come up with eye-catching ways to don their hijab, and you should look into your heart about how you feel about that. If you incline to the meaning of this verse, and it feels right in your heart to draw your hijab down over your chest, then that is your taqwa (God-fearingness) speaking. Listen to that voice and ignore the latest Muslim fashionistas.

May Allah give you the best of both worlds, and may you don the finest silks and brocade in the highest Paradise.

[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 Master’s 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.

 

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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