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Hadeeth Four: Women should not wear tight-fitting clothes and thin materials outside the home (dressed yet naked)―or have humps like camels on their heads, nor call other women to their sins.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:
صِنْفَانِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ لَمْ أَرَهُمَا قَوْمٌ مَعَهُمْ سِيَاطٌ كَأَذْنَابِ الْبَقَرِ يَضْرِبُونَ بِهَا النَّاسَ وَنِسَاءٌ كَاسِيَاتٌ عَارِيَاتٌ مُمِيلاَتٌ مَائِلاَتٌ رُءُوسُهُنَّ كَأَسْنِمَةِ الْبُخْتِ الْمَائِلَةِ لاَ يَدْخُلْنَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يَجِدْنَ رِيحَهَا وَإِنَّ رِيحَهَا لَيُوجَدُ مِنْ مَسِيرَةِ كَذَا وَكَذَا
“There are two categories of people of Hell whom I have not yet seen: a group having whips like the tails of oxen with which they will beat people. And women who will be dressed but appear to be naked―they will incline to evil and make others incline to it. Their heads will be like the humps of a two-humped camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they will not smell its fragrance even though its fragrance can be smelled from such-and-such a far distance.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2128)
Benefits and lessons:
1. This hadeeth highlights a miracle from the miracles of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in that he was informed of future events.
2. “A group having whips like the tails of oxen (or cows) with which they will beat people.” Ibn Bāz (rahimahullah) said: This refers to men appointed to beat the people without any right such as the police and others, whether they are appointed by the rulers to do so or not. An-Nawawi said similar words in explanation of this hadeeth.
3. “Women who will be dressed but appear to be naked” means that she’ll be partially covered and parts of her will be uncovered seeking to show off her beauty and beautifications. It also refers to women who wear thin clothes so the skin underneath can be seen―and to women who wear tight garments that expose their nakedness and the shape and size of their curves. These are garments of immodesty that do not serve to conceal her but instead to expose her.
4. “They will incline to evil and make others incline to it,” means she has inclined away from decency and virtue towards disobedience and evil―she has lost her morals, and perhaps stops praying and worshipping Allah―and falls into fornication. Furthermore, she invites others to sin and corruption through her wicked deeds and actions. And this occurs due to the weakness of her imān or its absence. In this there is a warning to women from keeping evil company and taking immoral women as their friends―rather, when believing women see such immoral conduct from their Muslim sisters, they should advise them sincerely. And if she is able to forbid them, she should do so: a mother reprimands her daughters, or a woman admonishes her female relatives and acquaintances, and so on.
5. “Their heads will be like the humps of a (two-humped) camel inclined to one side.” The scholars say: this means that they enlarge their heads by adding things to it such as a head-wrap or cloth with which they wrap their heads―or something that causes her head to seem like the hump of a camel. It includes those women who style their hair in such a fashion (bun) that it resembles the hump of a camel.
6. “They will not enter Paradise and they will not smell its fragrance even though its fragrance can be smelled from such and such a far distance.” This is a severe warning that threatens these wrongdoers. However, this does not mean that these women are unbelievers or that they will remain eternally in the Hellfire. Rather, this a warning to these Muslim women that Allah may punish them and they are deserving of punishment due to their lewd, immoral and sinful deeds. And the punishment in the Hellfire is in accordance with their sins―and if they were Muslim women upon Tawheed (worshippers of Allah alone), they will not remain in Hell forever―they will be punished for their disobedience and then admitted into Paradise.
7. When a woman is in public or among unrelated (non-mahram) men she must make sure of the following:
i. That her outer-garment (jilbāb) covers her entire body except for her face and hands. Covering the face and hands is a Sunnah and recommended but not obligatory.
ii. That her outer-garment is loose and not tight so the shape of her body (and its curves) is not seen.
iii. That her outer-garment is thick so that it is not see-through.
iv. Her garments should not resemble the clothing of men.
v. Her garments should not be ostentatious (seeking to show off and stand out from the believing women).
vi. Her garments (or herself) should not be perfumed.
8. The jilbāb is an outer garment that is worn over the ‘house clothes’ and over the khimār (headscarf) of a woman. The jilbāb covers her from the head to her feet. It can be one-piece or two-piece and she puts it on before leaving the home or when in the company of non-mahram men. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When a woman reaches the age of adolescence, it is not correct that she displays any part of her body except this and this — and he pointed to his face and hands.” (Abu Dawood, no. 4104) This hadeeth is clear proof that a woman is obligated to cover her whole body. The rules of modesty are legislated and ordained by Allah, not dictated by the whims of people.
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