islamic topics

Islamic fashion for non-Muslim Women

An Islamic Fashion Festival celebrated in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) made many Muslims revisit and reflect on the trends and history of Islamic clothing for women.

It all started out with Muslim women wearing loose Jalabeeb (Islamic garments also referred to as Jilbab or Abaya) to cover their bodies in line with Islamic teachings and guidelines. The next step for Muslim women who migrated to western countries or who grew up in non-Muslim countries was to demand some spice out of such modest clothing. Muslim designers responded and added flair that mostly comprised of transforming the traditional plain colored Muslim clothing to colorful, beaded and embroidered modest clothing. Soon after that, colorful hijabs, embroidered abayas, and long printed floral skirts surfaced in the Islamic market making Muslim females compete in fashion no less enthusiastically than their non-hijabi colleagues.

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The amazing part of this trend is that it all didn’t stop there. Now, non-Muslim women have jumped in the foray and are demanding colorful abaya dresses, long tunics and fancy shawls and scarves as well. The non-Muslim women though have demanded their own customization to the fashionable clothing. They have been demanding abayas that fit tight to their bodies and want slits in abayas to expose parts of their bodies. Muslim designers all over the world have been responding to such demands and are laying the foundation of new line of “Islamic Clothing for non-Muslims”.

How notable is this trend? Well…..when designers such as Calvin Kelin and Christian Dior start designing abayas, then we know it is no small affair.

Want to guess what is next for Islamic Clothing?

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45 comments… add one
  • Zaara el Bedawi

    Asalaamu alaikum. I don’t think fashion trends should be of a concern to Muslim women. If the trend of Islamic fashions in an un-Islamic manner is what non-Muslim women want, then let them have it. If the desire is to have slits to show more of the body and soon, most likely, shorter and shorter “abayas” then it is no longer Islamic fashion. Non-Muslim women and designers have created yet another look to stir up the fashion world. Muslimahs, remember who you are and why you dress modestly. It is not for ourselves n or for the fashion world, it is for Allah only.

  • zeinab sufi

    Masha Allah nice one

  • Gulzar Khan

    If we somehow hire the services of Christion dior , Kelvin klein or other fashion designers lobbyists to offer
    or lobbyists to make famous models offer salat and recite quraan in a fashionale manner, we may
    convert many non muslims to Islam. These people may be hypocrites but at least Islam will become fashionable.
    Islamic banking is a farce and is much worse than conventional banking. When veil becomes fashion then the spirit of piety goes away. Where as we must wear decent dress to cover our bodies it must not be the show off .
    May allah keep us on straight path
    Amen
    Islamabad Pakistan
    P.S. i am not a narrow minded Muslim. in fact I am a very liberal person. But I am against using Islam for business.

  • Stacey

    I don’t see anything wrong with non muslim’s wanting to wear islamic
    clothing however, there is absolutly no need to put slits in them. How could
    it still be islamic if we are puting slits and making them tight? To dress
    islamic is to dress modest and modesty in my opinion is covering our beauty.
    Not parading it to allure others.

  • Rashida

    i read this article and like to add something from my veiw.5 years back i was at school and had the taste to wear
    fasionable clothing and had a taste to follow the non muslims.even if we had to wear islamic dresses becous of the family background i wanted to change it as i liked fasion, then later i had got chances to learn islam properly and understand,Alhamdulillah now i have a clear idea about hijab-the islamic values of dress.
    i feel the main thing which makes women think they should wear tight dresses…etc if the
    media. women are bran washed and feel that western culture is the best. oce a person understood why we should follow islam, then automatically she will feel it and will try to do in the proper way other than
    trying to show reasons and change as non muslims.so the best way is to motivate ppl

  • Segiru Sule

    The idea of making islamic clothing more atractive and modern is a welcome development. But care should be taken
    in order that, that distinctive islamic outlook is not eroded. If that happens, islamic feminine appearance would
    have towed the line of western culture. You may recall that western women dressed to properly cover themselves in
    the middle ages, but things started to fall apart when the idea of women liberation reared its ugly head in the
    western world. Since then, things took a nose-dive and gradually, western women now prefer to go half naked in the name
    of fasion.

    While I welcome the idea of moslem women becoming a little more fashionable than the traditional jilbab and abaya
    designs, modernisation should not jettison the basic idea of proper covering of the woman’s vital areas as
    prescribed by islamic tenets. Yes, it is a welcome development that non-moslem women now embrace moslem styled
    clothing, but care must be taken. This is more so as the non-muslim women are already introducing variations such
    as slits, tight fitting and revealing versions of muslim clothing. This is where I think muslim women should be
    wary and take caution.

  • deyaa

    Islam as a religion is suitable for all humanbeing in all times

  • ahmed

    it is really funny and surprising that any thing is labelled as islamic. Islam doesnt define to wear abaya or jilabiya etc but simply guides to cover those parts of body which may attract non mahram men to look at her and feel sensational thoughts in mind. Male too has to wear modest clothing.

    It is unfortunate that women are stripped off their clothes in so called modern societies and men wear full;even in winter women dont cover legs and clearly expose their bodies. This is where the root of the evil is and here starts the crime of rape and gang rapes and unwedded births. The satan who is open enemy of human being leads them astray and now in scandinivian countries 67% of couples are living without marriage. This leads to total moral bankruptcy. THere is a vicious circle going on and on. It is important for a women not to tempt men and cover up her body decently.these colourful abayas are also tempting. May Allah gives prudence and guide to all women and men to stright path.

  • Abaa Sumayyaah

    Well, it only goes a long way to prove that Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of Allaah and has spoken the truth. He had prophesised this will happen… either Muslimat shun away or follow our predessesors step by step…

    May Allaah guide aright, amin.

  • Fatiu Olalekan Sulaimon

    A muslim woman should take Hijab or the islamic mode of dressing – Hijab is required even before her salat (prayers) can be accepted by Allah. It is therefore important for Muslim women to cover their body appropriately. Thanks.

  • Iman

    “Fashionable” islamic clothing is a contradiction in terms. Clothing can be traditionlly Arabic, or nontraditional,but the moment it becomes “fashion” it fosters a nonIslamic frame of mind. I’d like to see some more creative clothing for inside the home which is where the woman’s dress should be a distraction from the outside world. I hate seeing the elaborate headdresses found in one “Islamic” women’s magazine,which look like the “humps of cambels”, something we should avoid in public.

  • Malik

    Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of Allaah and has spoken the truth. So it is our duty to convey our Prophet’s message to all world. Islamic clothing dressing is better for Muslim women than other form of clothing. Besides it is very comfortable as well.

  • ABDALLA ABU KHALID

    True that things will reach to a situation as if the believer is holding fire in his hand…Trials
    will come from left and right ,may Allah guide us and our sisters, daughters, aunts, mothers, nieces and all our relatives and Muslim sisters and brothers to the way He likes and pleases Him

  • Leila

    I am from a democratic country and only about three months had a taste of Islamic dresses.
    But regretfully, because of the background of my family, I had to go back to my usual dressing.
    Those three months were the happiest time in my life, due feeling myself covered among the other men
    and felt myself as pure as clean water in the sight of Allah.

    Here I only want to say, that Islamic dressing do not need any changes toward the new fashion.
    It is very nice and very comfortable indeed.

    thank you very much

  • Sabine-Amina El Yamani

    Salam aleykum wrbk!

    What is “islamic fashion?” Is it a way for “muslim women” to look more like a “non muslim women”? The problem is, that lot´s of muslim women and men forgot the real meaning of islamic clothing! Clothing that covers the whole body without showing the shape of the body and no bright colors etc. I guess, that the “real” islamic clothing wouldn´t be interesting for any non muslim women!
    Inshaallah, may Allah (t) help everybody (muslim and nonmuslim) to find the right way!

    Wa salam from Germany

  • fathima

    Muslim Women should be in hijaab in order to be a 100% Muslim

  • Jennifer Latifa

    This is not news!!! But it is wonderful to see that the news media has taken note.

    When I converted to Islam over 40 years ago, I was a model at one of the hottest speciality stores in Washigton, DC. On my last fashion show I wore a wedding dress where the designer hat was designed by a top designer and marketed as being a “Morrocan” design. It hit all of the news papers.

    After that I could find any pattern in Vogue or McCalls tht mirrored Islamic clothing.

    Allhumduillah!!

  • Hi everybody, the idea is not that bad at all. But for everything in life ALLAH has clearly demarcated a line or a limit, whereby if we transgress, we are all aware what will be our destination. Let us not fall in to the temptation of following up or competing with the western or the non-muslim world. It may feel good for designer hijabs, or to colour up the hijabs, be careful we don’t end up with something which leads our sisters fall in the trap laid by Satan. As it is said, that man thinks about a thing, does something else, and the end result is a totally different one. Many times it has been proved right. I’m not discouraging anybody here, its just an advise for you to accept or not. The existing hijabs are fine, if our sisters want some changes, well go ahead, but please remember when we all stand in front of ALLAH ONTEH Day of Reckoning, hope we have the answers to the queries posed by HIM.

    Sorry for the big write-up and take your valued time.

    With my best regards to one n all.

    Mohammed

  • tahir raza

    very nice

  • masha-Allahu Barakallahu Fikum“Fashionable” islamic clothing is a contradiction in terms. Clothing can be traditionlly Arabic, or nontraditional,but the moment it becomes “fashion” it fosters a nonIslamic frame of mind. I’d like to see some more creative clothing for inside the home which is where the woman’s dress should be a distraction from the outside world. I hate seeing the elaborate headdresses found in one “Islamic” women’s magazine,which look like the “humps of cambels”, something we should avoid in public.

  • ANY THING DECENT IS ISLAMIC AND ANY THING INDECENT IS U UNISLAMIC

  • Shariah Al-Khatib

    Asalaamu Alaikum, if non-muslim women want modest wear, they should be willing to wear it
    modestly. I dress modest to please Allah, only; furthermore, Islamic designers should not
    consider gaining by altering that which they believe. Remember, these are non-muslims, so
    they don’t respect the belief. Don’t become the weakest link!

  • Muhammad Bello

    Salaam, It is a welcome development that the so called modern designers are switching to Islamic style designs. But let us not lose sight of the fact that our women in North/West Africa, the Rural Middle East and Asia have been dressed for centries in elaborately tailored hijabs and himars and habayas. Infact habayas of varying fabrics, prints and embroideries have been gracing our women for long.
    Let the Western World now copy what our Leader and Prophet Muhammad SAW brought for us and let them realize that only Islam brings moral purity. May our women and us all be guided by Allah SWT unto the right path. The path of those with whom He is pleased and not those that earn His anger.

  • Muslimah Abdul-Wajid

    I believe that we, Muslimahs, are slowly following the path suggested by
    Shaitan. Here in the west, we are becoming less modest by taking off our
    coverings, putting on the coverings of the non-Muslimah, and adding a
    khimar. As time moves towards the Day of Judgement, more and more of my
    sisters are dressing just like the non-Muslim, and adding a khimar.
    Additionally, our behavior is following suit. As for the islamic designers
    adjusting their products to accomodate non-Muslim taste, non-Muslimahs are
    not the only ones purchasing these altered garments. Muslimahs are
    buying and wearing the garments, deluding theirselves to feel they are
    still being modest. My sisters lets wake up now and not end up as one
    the majority of the inhabitats of the Hellfire, Ameen.

  • Hunain

    AOA
    Alhamdullilah we are muslim, so it is our duty to give the islamic teaching. But in islam it is necessary that muslim women should hide their bodies, and try to wear abaya and scarves, because in Malaysia i saw mostly muslim women wants to wear like short shirts and jeans to showing everyone, but this is not good in our religion, so i am requesting to every muslim women to wear abaya and scarves.

  • ummmichael28@yahoo.com

    As you read the linked article in the post, you can see that they really do not want to dress as we do(muslimahs do)
    as we dress according to Quran and Sunnah. The non-Muslim want to make money and in my opinion a mockery of us
    buy making islamic fakes of such clothing and by making them tight fitting to the body and to have slits to reveal body parts.

    I pray to ALLAH that muslims do not fall into this mess that the Shaatan has brought to. Ameen.

    We have beautiful muslimahs who make clothes for us and we do not want business to be taken away from them by the big businesses. Ao,PLEASE don’t fall into this trap!
    AsSalaam Alaykum!
    Ukhtii Aqueelah
    Stone Mountain, USA

  • Tahirah Shaikh

    As an American Muslimah married to an Indian, I find it interesting at work the sheer number of women that admire and wish to purchase the Shalwar Kameez without realizing it is standard Islamic Attire for women in India and Pakistan and prehaps many other areas of Asia. I am always asked where I got mine from and could I get a set for them. It is modest yet elegant, when worn traditionally.. Not the Bollywood style of the shortened tops and skin tight at that.

    It is very simple to alter many commercially available patterns and sew your own too. Not to mention that most communities have sister that have a cottage industry and sew clothes for those of us that can’t or don’t have the time.

    Just because designers are westernizing and updating the traditional attire, we sisters must keep our watch up, and refuse to buy versions of traditional attire that show too much. I am fortunate in that the place I work at allows religious headgear to be worn. But not the abayah. So it is most important that I hide as much as I can

    Salaam Alaykum
    Tahirah Shaikh

  • Saad

    I think that the clothing we are talking about, should be approprately called hijab inspired, because it lacks the elements of hijab, not revealing. It is still a good development, that muslims are being copied, it is a step that may lead to many unexpected good outcomes but care should be taken that we dont get influenced negatively, as for variety in the hijab I think that is welcome as long as it is not tight fitting or revealing ie truly hijab.

  • Tasneem meant2bmuslim@yahoo.com

    I think that trends and new fashion are always going to be the main
    point of the islamic clothing in this society, however, changing the clothing in ways like making the clothing tighter and even add slits is just going too far.
    Islam is a religion that tells us to be the best we can be,
    because of that we should try to encourage the Muslim youth
    to be better, and not worse.

  • samsudin

    assalamu’alaikum, the purpose of islamic clothing in Islam is to cover the aurat for men and women. It shouldn’t attract the attention of either the men or women as it would cause a fitnah.

    The so called ‘islamic dressing’ is a distraction from the real path and the so called ‘muslim designers’ jumping the bandwagon of the deviant fashion! there is even a hadith to this effect by the Prophet SAW.

    We shouldn’t be apologetic, Muslims! The Islamic way of life has been clearly laid out for us muslims through the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and the Righteous Companions. wasalam

  • Jafar Ali

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    My observations are as follows –

    1. Designers are only worried about their business irrespective to their community.
    2. It is our duty to encourage and motivate our women about Islam and its teachings.
    3. Once they understood the necessity and meaning of wearing the Hijab we need not to worry.
    4. Copying our attire may be one of the first steps to learn Islam, so we should not take it negatively.
    5. Our sisters copying modern (they mean) dress. some time we cannot digest our neighbour.
    6. i see Muslims in the Carribean islands with full hijab. They are limited in number but are following Islam fully.
    7. When i was in Dubai, i purchased Abayas for my family women. i felt very bad and thought how nonsence things are going on in the name of business. I pray the almighty Allah to give strong EEMAN to the rulers in Middle East.
    8. Finally, Muslim women may delay learning but once understood she will never go back to dress in tight and transparant hijabs

    Regards
    Jafar Ali
    Anguilla

  • Ayesha

    Dressing in an Islamic way does not mean dressing in a middle eastern culture way. It means dressing in a modest way according to the teachings of Muhammad Peace be apon Him. Somehow people have gotten the impression that a Muslim woman should look like she lives in the middle east. We need to separate culture from religion. I will dress in the clothes of my country but following the ideals taught in the Quran and by Muhammad ,peace be upon him. The clothes are not Islamic or non Islamic….the person wearing them is.

  • Alikutty

    Dear brothers and Sisters,

    Below are my views on the subject in hand.

    We, Muslims are very lucky, as we have got full guidelines in everything that is related to our day to day life. Our Prophet Muhammed (BPUH) taught us everything that are to be maintained in our life with the full authentic support from Holy Quran and his Hadith. The thing that we have to do is to follow it without any hesitation. Hence, the dress code prescribed by our Prophet (PBUH) is to be followed, no matter whether we do it by wearing Abaya, Burka, Purdha or Shalwar etc). Most importantly, it should be modest and decent one as per the teachings of Islam.

    May Allah shows us the righteous way in all matters. Aameen.

  • Hayat

    Salam,

    I converted to Islam last year, out of conviction and because I want to make people understand Islam and not stigmatise Muslims.

    I have lived all over Europe and the USA.

    Currently, I live in a part of Spain, where Islam is deeply rooted in history.
    Because of the proximity to Morocco, there are many Muslimahs in the streets,
    dressed at all levels of “decency” according to Islamic tradition.

    Some are dressed very conservatively in dark, simple hijab, while others wear
    pretty bright colors.

    At age 42, I made a very conscious decision to convert. I understand the fundamental rules of the Qur’an, have accepted them and integrated them into my life as far as my employment and social circumstance allow, without being singled out. I completely agree, that in the Islamic world, man / woman should dress according to Islamic guidelines and rules. If a family decides to move to a “Western” country, assuming they do it for the betterment of their family lives’, then I applaud the bravery and courage. However, as much as Islamic countries fight against “Western” culture to infiltrate their world, I believe that Muslims in the “Western” world need to adjust.

    Rome was not build in a day, and Islam needs to be explained over and over again, until people understand the message of peace and enlightenment behind it.

    The idea of Islam and the reasoning behind Hijab will much easier be explained and understood if presented in a fashionable, colorful way – instead of scaring nonbelievers away and alienating ourselves by living behind a curtain.

    It is great for a teenage girl to be raised and educated in the “West”, while
    her family is trying to fullfil the challenging task to raise her as a Muslimah.
    I don’t think it fair to subject the daughter to difficulties with integrating into her new social environment (which most likely she did not ask to be in herself) by making her wear dark, drab Islamic clothing. If she were to wear colorful, pretty hijab,
    it would be much more likely that she be accepted and appreciated for her pretty Islamic clothing, and along with it given the opportunity to make Hijab – and subsequently Islam – understood.
    Same goes for adult Muslimah: by blending ourselves in with society a bit more,
    more opportunities to deliver the message of Islam will open up. I do not mean
    suggest that slitted skirts and deeper necklines are the way to go.
    Slits and tight fitting clothes are counterproductive, I agree.
    Still, many Islamic fashion designers have embraced the inspirations of “Oriental” clothing.

    So let us embrace this opportunity to make the clothes and with them Islam
    more attractive. Once the message of the Qur’an is understood, every women
    will be able to make the right choice for herself.

    A splash of color and some beads make for a happy girl underneath the fabric.
    And after all, Allah never meant to deny us happiness.

    Blessings upon you.

  • Nurhusien

    My fear is for those sisters who have less knowlege abt islam, and those who do not know why Allah chooses the best dressing for them and for those who beleive making hijab (abaya) is reflection of non democracy of a given country and for those who dress it for the sake of their families or gov’t. The so called Islamic fasion will attract those weak sisters more than the non muslims. For me i feel so sorry for such a thing to happen in a place, especially a muslim country (where many of their women feel those things i mentioned earlier).

    I m sure this will not be a concern for those mature sisters who are strong in their iman and know why they do it and who choose for them (i.e. Allah)

    Wassalamualikum

  • Fatma Alyan

    I can see this trend spreading around me already. However, I think it is everyone’s duty to keep reminding people that the Islamic dress has to be loose, not transparent and not to be revealing the body in any way. These reminders should also include reminding the benefits of wearing the proper Islamic clothes….

  • Abdel hamid

    Islamic dress should not be westernized in the sense that it looks more provocative….

  • najat

    We keep talking about hijab and its issues on, and on and on….It ‘s really simple…Muslim Women should simply follow Allah’s commands on hijab, wear it, and it shouldn’t be a big issue…We have so many other issues to face that need our attention….

  • Afreen

    Assalam – Alaikum

    After reading this message I feel that I have to follow this path
    of Islam. Ur organisation is doing a tremendous work. Heartly I pray to
    ALLAH that he gives more and more achivements to ur organisation in this
    humanitarian work.

  • kabir Muhammad

    In my opinion, there is no subsitute to dress in hijab (dressing islamically). There shouldn’t be any discussion on this.

  • Habeebullahi

    Assalam-Alaikum,
    I will like to say that fashion in terms of short Abaya or split are all unislamic for the
    muslim women and it should never be encouraged among the muslim women. Such acts are actually inviting
    other means to break through the modesty of the muslim women. Remember
    in (Q33:59), Allah says,”…..muslim women to draw thier cloaks (veils) all over their body (i.e
    themselves completely except the eyes to see the way) that would be better, that they
    should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed.”

    From this verse it implies that muslim women would get more respect (by Allah or public at large). The idea of
    dressing against Allah’s commands to supposedly look respectful and acceptable by people is just a false
    trap that many Muslim women fall into. So I advise that such clothing should not be accepted by the muslim communities.
    Maa salam

  • Gina Maclang

    I wasn’t born a Muslim. I accepted and learned about Islam a year ago. I used to wear tight-
    fitting outfits with slits and everything. But since I learned Islam and been a muslim I agreed
    whole-heartedly that a muslimah should not show her figure openly. We must please only Allah
    and nobody else, thus we must abide with Allah’s rules and teachings. Let us avoid these un-
    important and worldly things.

  • Umm 'Imraan

    Allah (Swt) and His Rasul (SAW) have already defined what and how the
    hijab should look like so anyone trying to define it otherwise is
    arguing with his Creator, and Allah is too Great for that.
    As muslims ‘we hear and we obey’ period!

    hawwa’u – Umm ‘Imraan

  • Aya

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    We are in this world only because it is a test… let us never forget that. My dear Sisters, don’t fall into the trap of the Shaytan. Don’t bother to change yourself for the sake of others: which would you rather have, a “day or two” (remember, in day of judgement this will be our answer for our life span here) in this life, or eternity of paradise (take this option!!! do your best, worship ALLAH (ST)!!)

    Salam

  • There are many types of Muslim fashions that even non-Muslims can do especially in these days. Because Muslim fashions are slightly shifted to westernization, that’s why even western women have started liking Islamic fashions.

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