19 February 2014 CE | 17 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

Dressing and Walking Plainly

“Aisha (radi Allahu anha) narrated that once a woman of the Muzainah tribe came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in the Masjid. She was dressed fashionably and was walking with dalliance. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said to the audience, ‘O people! Stop your women from dressing fashionably and from walking in the Masjid flirtatiously. Because, Bani Israeel were not condemned until their women began to decorate themselves and come to their Masjid walking flirtatiously.’” [Ibn Majah]

The Islamic society is designed to be constructed in such a way that everybody’s chances of going to Paradise are maximized. Paradise is where they can live as wonderfully as they please forever and ever.

During this life, the goal is to be focused on pleasing Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and building a worthwhile Hereafter. One of the instructions in this connection is for women to come to the Masjid only if they are dressed in a way that does not attract the attention of men towards them. They must not be dressed fashionably and they must walk in a straightforward manner, not enticingly, otherwise instead of benefiting them, their coming out of their houses will cause the curses of the angels to descend upon them.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says: “And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance.” [Quran: Surah Ahzab, Ayat 32]

This hadith also shows us the style with which the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) instructed people. The teachings of Islam were for all people so he would try to address everybody, not just the particular person doing something sinful at that particular time. For what one is doing now, somebody else could be doing later. This is also a more acceptable way of reprimanding people as it doesn’t directly condemn a person and is more face-saving for them.

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