Must the legs be covered when wearing Hijab?

asalaamu alaikum wr wb.

Unfortunately I have started to see more and more of this trend of Muslim women with a perfect scarf yet entirely exposed lower legs.  First it was skinny jeans/leggings which cover the skin yet show the shape and has moved now to skirts and dresses which cover to the calves but not further south! There is also another trend of wearing the now widely popular wide legged “skirt pants” yet exposing the awrah by not wearing a shirt or over garment which covers fully.

For example…In Turkey this is apparently quite a popular look!

This sisters outfit to the hem of her skirt is quite modest and covering yet, she has her lower legs exposed…this negates her hejab!

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I do hope sisters realize that according to all of the scholars of Islam…a womans awrah is her entire body and she must cover everything with loose, opaque clothing from the head to the feet with only her face, hands and feet exposed. Granted the hands, feet and face exposure varies between scholar/madhab with some scholars deeming a womans feet as awrah and some do not! Sister Pixie of I Love Hishma did a great post about this Here.

There are many hadeeths regarding what hejab entails for Muslim men and women and one of the hadeeths used to show the necessity for a long garment which covers the body and yes even the lower legs is this one;

The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said (of a woman’s public clothing, which was the jilbab): “They should lower their garments a hand span,” (half their shins down). Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) further said, “Women’s feet would still be uncovered.” Allah’s Messenger sallalhu alahi wa salaam replied: “Let them lower them a forearm’s length, but not longer.” (At-Tirmidhi).

As I mentioned in a previous post “What Does Hijab Entail”  I gave proofs for the need for covering the awrah with ones attire and that the majority of scholars have ruled that an overgarment is required or atleast highly recommended (or attire which looks like an overgarment and covers like one).  Ofcourse…we should always err on the side of caution…right?

Now, for those sisters above in those pictures, if their hems covered to to their feet or they wore baggy, loose pants then their curves/awrah would be covered!

Another common style which is far from hejab is wearing pants-even wide-legged pants with a short shirt which also exposed the awrah! Just because you are around non-Muslim (or even Muslim) women who do not cover…you should never weaken your hejab to appease them because they will never  accept your hejab anyway and who do you cover for anyway?  I hope you say your Lord (Allah subhana wa ta’ala)!

Such as the sister below…the only thing that tells the world shes probably a Muslim is the perfect headscarf…but thats about it! Otherwise shes dressed just like her companions who are not in hejab.


I love both of these types of pants, I own several pairs myself and I wear them constantly as they are very comfortable and are very modest. But, for them to fullfill the requirements of hejab, they should be worn with a longer length shirt, jilbab, abaya,  manteau or overgarment which would ensure the awrah is full covered.

Or like this…

11 thoughts on “Must the legs be covered when wearing Hijab?

  1. As-salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah. Does that mean it’s not okay to wear a skirt that comes down to a little above the ankle with leggings?

    • Wa alaikum as salaam wr wb! Sister you need to inquire with the scholars you follow but based on the hadeeth mentioned below the legs are awrah down to the feet or down to the ankles (based on school of thought)…isnt it best of err on the side of caution? Couldnt you wear the skirt or dress with loose jeans something which covers better? Wouldnt that ensure the awrah is covered?

  2. I agree with this sentiment, definitely, but I think some parts of it may be a bit harsh. Would it maybe be possible to block out the faces of these women so they aren’t identified? I think it’s important that we make excuses for our siblings in Islam; perhaps they are new to hijab, perhaps they don’t know what hijab is supposed to entail, perhaps they are working their way into wearing looser, longer clothing, etc. Whatever the reason, even if they do know what hijab is supposed to be and prefer wearing tighter, more revealing clothing, we should be accepting and show sisterly love, and not publicly call out specific people on the internet. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to say that non-Muslims or non-hijabi Muslims will never accept our hijab. There are many, many non-covering Muslims that respect hijab (and may even aspire to wear it some day, insha’Allah), and plenty of non-Muslims that respect it too.

    • asalaamu alaikum…Yes I agree, and thats one purpose behind this post…is to educate those who do not know! If this stuff is not brought out into the open or discussed then these Muslimaat will never learn that hejab is more than a headscarf. I did blot out the other faces…pardon me, I was doing 2 things at once when I wrote this post. LOL. lastly…Maybe I did come off as harsh, but thats not my intention but ive found that regardless anytime I or other sisters write posts which try to educate other sisters about the hejab we generally are deemed as harsh. I dont know whether its because sisters dont want to hear the reality or what…but be it harsh or not, its out there and is important and again, if its not discussed then how will they know? They will see evryone else and think that skinny jeans or leggings with a tunic is OK when out and around non-Mahrams…
      Also…sister…while I agree there are some non-Muslims who may accept our covering…many do not, even if they want to say on the surface they do, deep down, in their hearts they do not, they find covering modestly fisabIllah a threat to their personal integrety because we are doing something they could never do…that is throw their vanity to the wayside and cover modestly as a form of piety to their Lord! Also its in the Quraan that Muslims should be careful taking non-Muslims are companions because we will be influenced by their behavior and if all of your friends are not Muslim (or even are Muslim) and wear skinnies and tank top, wont you feel weird going out in a jilbab or abaya/proper hejab amongst them? What if they engage in haraam activities…what about peer pressure? Especially for younger sisters this is a major problem. Look at that picture above, that sister is dressed identical to her friends yet the only marker
      that she is a muslim is a scarf on her head, remove the scarf and she is dressed exactly like them! You cant tell me that doesnt have an impact, even subconsciously. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have non-Muslim friends…but that having close non-muslim friends can impact how you observe your faith,
      especially if they endulge in activities which are clearly haraam. I’m not trying to get all tyrranical and rude, but thats just the reality. We’ve all been teenagers…we’ve all seen peer pressure.

      • That’s true about the peer pressure, especially for our younger sisters. I guess I was thinking in terms of myself; I’m older and (relatively, lol) mature, and peer pressure has very little affect on my clothing (I wear chest covering hijabs and overgarments on a daily basis, even though I was the only one at my college to do so). Also, my non-Muslim friends are all very respectful of my faith, Alhamdulillah; I set down pretty clear limits, and they don’t give me any trouble about breaking for prayer, they don’t ever offer me alcohol, they don’t question my clothing, etc. Sometimes I forget that not all Muslims have that luxury.

        I know you weren’t intending to be harsh; clothing is always a touchy subject amongst pretty much everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims.

  3. Jazakh’Allah for understanding…yea, for us older sisters…we generally are better able to resist peer-pressure (often, but ofcourse…not always! Ive come across many Muslimaat my age who wont even cover because they worry more about society and less about their faith)…but esp. for younger ones this is a huge and major problem. I know 1 sister @ the masjid who ears niqab and is very conservative yet its a battle everyday with her 13yr old daughter who attends a public school because she is teased for covering so this girl tries to fit in as much as possible. I dont know what the “magic solution” is…maybe there is none, maybe it boils down to personality…but this is a huge problem and this is again why God was telling us, as Muslims to try to stick with fellow Muslims as close companions…atleast you dont have to make excuses for why you wear baggy attire or why you cover or why you dont party, drink or do haraam things… y’know.

    I really dislike it when sisters think im being harsh when thats not my intention. Maybe I can sometimes come off as that, but really…I’m not. LOL

  4. I have to say it does make me sad when I see Muslims who aren’t following hijab properly for a few reasons- first, because they are not following Allah’s command. Second, it makes me sad because I’m a convert and I wear jilbab and niqab. When my non-Muslim family sees other Muslim girls wearing skinny jeans or tight clothes, they end up getting mad at me for being an “extremist” and wondering why I refuse to dress like other Muslim girls. I do try to go easy on people though, because I remember when I first put on hijab, I didn’t fully understand it, and thought that as long as my (short) t-shirt was loose and my jeans were loose, it was OK to wear them. Now I know that was wrong, but then I didn’t. And besides, even if I had known it was wrong, I didn’t have proper clothes at the time. Some things are unexcusable though, like showing your legs. I mean really, how hard is it to put on a pair of trousers or another skirt underneath a short skirt? 0_o

  5. @UmmIbrahim & Sarah:
    Its so refreshing to hear what you girls are saying. Firstly with UmmIbrahim, i love the way you say it as it is and make no apologies about it. How can we be Muslim and not tell others what Allah has COMMANDED us to do. That is in essence what a muslim means..to submit to Allah and his commandments. Everyone always says “don’t judge only Allah can”..but then if we all keep out mouths shut then how are we advising and helping our muslim brothers and sisters. Many times people who speak out against these obvious topics such as hijab are rebelling due to their personal emotions with the issue, maybe it being that they cannot bring themselves to covering properly yet and so they use this defensiveness due to their personal human weakness to show their rebellion from hijab..same with niqab. Please don’t stop your hijab posts it gives us courage to continue in striving for a more perfect hijab because we can always improve weather it be with outer-wear or our inner modesty. Allah reward you!.
    @ sara..When you talked about how ure a convert and when ure family sees “hijabis” in not so “hijab friendly” attire it makes them always question you..AMENNN..i have the exact same problem here in australia. Its difficult because my mum will always tells me that she saw some lovely hijabis at the shops with beautiful make-up and lovely clothes and then she sees me “her little penguin” as she calls it and its hard for her to realise that what i am wearing i believe to be the more correct way of hijab ….anyway i wish sisters all had one uniform which was correct hijab instead of this fashion crap they consider to be hijab. Look I’m not saying that quality/style/design should be overlooked because if we have to wear an abaya most of our going out time then it should be comfortable/breathable/clean and well designed if u can afford it of course, but when i see mini skirts/stockings/hooker heals with a napkin as a head covering..it infuriates me. Im young and i wanna wear that stuff too but i know that Allah commands for women to wear hijab and there ARE CRITERAS for proper hijab. But no one wants to hear it..the argument is always…”but everyone has a different view on what the criteria is”..arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr LOL

  6. Salamoualeikoum
    I though about pic5 that jalabiya without headscarf is more modest than headscarf with tight top and trousers. And nevertheless, according to the social standards, only the sister with a headcarf is considered as mohajaba and no matter what she wears down…

    • As Salaam Alaykum, first I would like to say shukrun jazaleen to umm ibrahim and the rest of the ladies! While I do wear Abaya/Jilbab 90% of the time I have been opting to wear maxi dresses and such to university as that is the one place that I feel ostrasized for wearing proper hijab…but alhumulillah I wore an Abaya today and I thought of your words often Umm Ibrahim and it really got me through. I know your blog is a hobby and you may have doubts about the impact it makes on others but I am here to attest that it does make a difference- so thank you for being you🙂 keep up the great work!

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