Cultural / Religious Attire?

Last updated: 15th August 2005
Question ID: #662
Short URL:
Printer Friendly Version Email this page
15th August 2005

Assalamoalaikum Are the sari and 'bindi', also known as 'tikka' (the ornamental jewel worn on the forehead) regarded as garments/ornaments of religious significance (hindu) or just cultural, originating from the asian subcontinent? Is it permissible to wear such clothing/ornament? Similarly, if one chooses to wear long skirts and tops such as is worn by some western women, is this decision reprehensible or of no consequence either way? Does wearing this clothing represent some affiliation to others who wear it? Jazakallah Khairun Wassalaam


In the name of Allah the All-Knowing

1) The bindi also known as the ?holy dot" is seen in Hinduism as a symbol of Uma or Parvati, which are names of a Hindu deity who is a consort of Shiva (which is another idol of the Hindu faith). A bindi is believed by Hindus to protect women and their husbands through these idols. None of these Hindu notions have a place in Islamic doctrine.

Even though the bindi has now become a decorative item of jewellery in other continents such as Europe and America. For a Muslim Female, whether young or old to deliberately impersonate or resemble other religions is extremely sinful and Haram.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam has said,
?Whosoever impersonates a nation will be from them (on the day of Reckoning)?.(Mishkaat)

A Muslim male or female does not adorn him or herself with symbols of idols and deities other than Allah.

2) The sari is a dress which does not fulfil the requirements of Hijaab and does not significantly cover the ladies ?Awra? (parts of he body which must be concealed from others). The Sari has been described as 'The apparel that covers all...yet reveals all' (Internet ref)). The sari reveals the arms, the abdomen and other features of the lady. Even though it does not hold the same religious implications as the bindi it is not permissible to be worn by Muslim women.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam has clearly stated, that
[i:35e0a371f4]"There are two types of people who will be punished in Hell and whom I have not seen: men having whips like the tails of cows and they will be beating people with them, and, women who will be [b:35e0a371f4]dressed but appear to be naked[/b:35e0a371f4], inviting to evil; and they themselves will be inclined to it. Their heads will appear like the humps of the Bactrian camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Jannah and they will not smell its fragrance which is perceptible from such and such a distance.''[/i:35e0a371f4]

3) The tops which are worn by western women are revealing and many are flamboyant. Even if they cover the ?Awra? of the aspect of the tops is that it is made to cling tightly around the female body so it reveals that what Allah has made fradh to be covered. Hence, it is Haram. One consequence has been mentioned in the Hadith that such women will not even inhale the fragrance of Jannah (Paradise). There are many more in other Ahaadith which make reference to this evil of wearing such revealing garments. If a married lady wears such garments for only for her husband within the confines of the house then this is permissible.

As for the long skirts, some designs are see through and are worn as a fashion statement. Today, so called ?Gypsy skirts? are in fashion but soon they will be replaced by something else, a Muslim should keep him/herself aloof from such fashions.

The Long skirts which are made of thick material, are not see through, do not cling to the body and there is little risk, if not none, of them exposing the wearer are only permissible. In My humble opinion, because they do offer the lady concealment of the lower body better than trousers. It may also be advisable to wear some form of undergarment underneath the long Skirt, e.g. long socks etc. The skirt must be below the ladies ankles and there must be no likelihood of exposure. Concealment should be the reason not fashion. Both a Muslim male and female should adhere to the Islamic fashions which is everlasting.

And Allah the Greatest knows best
15 August 2005

Answer last updated on:
15th August 2005
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 05
Location: Batley, England