As I was going around reading the blogs that I normally enjoy I caught this one about undergarments on ILoveHishma. I really can’t agree with what she wrote or her reasoning behind it. I don’t want to make a big deal out of what she is saying but I want to maybe bring another perspective.
The premise of the article is that a Muslim woman who wears hijab and overgarments should only wear long clothing underneight their overgarment, something which is suitable for salaat.
Unless I’m totally misunderstanding the article, I think this is what she is saying. She reasons this out by stating that the women of a sahaba prayed at home and prayed in their garments worn around the home, which they would then wear under their overgarment.
Yes this is probably accurate, but at that period of time most people owned only 1 or 2 items of clothing, for women this would undoubtly be a dress-like garment for around the house and another type of garment worn on top when outside of the women. There is a hadeeth about a husband and wife sharing the same piece of clothing or garment for going out because they were too poor to afford two garments. If anyone has the exact hadeeth I am mentioning, please share it. Clothing was a big deal during their time, everything was hand made and cloth was handwoven and therefore expensive. They would wear their garments until they were worn out and then they would probably patch it. This was the norm around the world until fairly recently.
So I do not think this reasoning has much validity when it comes to justifying what should be worn under an overgarment.
As far as I can remember, I have never heard of any scholar from Sunnism, Shia’aism or Salafiyyah stating that a woman has to wear anything specific under their overgarment. From what I have been taught, all that matters is how you appear when you go out and that certain areas of the body are covered on both Muslim men and women. How you cover up is a matter of personal choice (jilbab, abayaah, long tunic, manteau, chador, etc) and what you wear under really shouldn’t matter at all. As long as your covered and nothing is sticking out, you’re wearing proper hijab. A Muhajabah wearing skinny jeans and a tube top under her jilbab or abayaah with her hijab worn properly is no more improperly dressed than if she were wearing a long gown under her abayaah. It comes down to personal preferences. Some women prefer wearing gowns and dresses and will do so whether they are at home or outside of it, other women prefer jeans and a teeshirt.
To put it into a cultural context, here in Saudi Arabia many of the young women go out in a variety of different kinds of clothing. Some do wear casual jalabeeyas or skirts under their abayaahs but most wear PJ pants,khaki’s, jeans or even…skinny jeans and whatever kind of top strikes their fancy be it a tank top, teeshirt or a sweater and unless they take their abayaah off in the bathroom to do wuduh you are none the wiser. In Iran it’s a similar situation where most women wear knee or calf length manteau with pants and many top it off with a chador, yes you can see the pants usually sticking out, but you can’t tell what sort of a shirt she has on under their manteau.
I wanted to point this out because I don’t want any Muslim woman new to covering to be afraid of covering and think that you have to go out in a bazillion different long layers because there is a fear of not being covered up enough under ones overgarment.