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The Judgement Of Tabarruj (The Dazzling Display)

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The issue of Tabarruj is separate from that of covering the Awrah and also separate from that of the dress that a women should wear in public. Tabarruj occurs when a women performs a dazzling display of her beauty and reveals it to strangers. Tabarruj is forbidden by a clear-cut evidence from the texts of Sharia’a. Allah (SWT) says: “Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage – there is no blame on them if they lay aside their outer garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty.” [Al Nur 60]


We understand from the verse that Tabarruj is in any case completely forbidden. Allah (SWT) permitted such women to lay aside their outer garments, on the condition that they should not make a dazzling display of their beauty. If the elderly women are forbidden from Tabarruj, this means that other women are forbidden as well.

Allah (SWT) says: “And that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.”

He (SAW) in this verse forbids one form of Tabbaruj in which women strike their feet in a way in which the ankle chain releases a sound which reveals their beauty. In the early days of Islam, women used to wear ankle chains and strike their feet to display their beauty and draw men’s attention. So the verse descended to put a stop to such dazzling display of beauty and to such kind of Tabarruj.


It has been narrated on the authority of Abu-Musa Al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume and walks past a group of people and they scent it, she is considered to be an adulterer”. It means like an adulterer in terms of sin. It has also been narrated on the authority of Abu-Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: There are two types of people of Hell whom I have not yet seen. The first are people that have whips like the tail of oxen, with which they beat people. And the second are women who are naked inspite of being dressed, they will be led astray and will lead others astray and their heads will look like the humps of camels. These women will not enter the paradise, they will not even experience the faintest scent of it, even though the fragrance of the Paradise can be perceived from a great distance.”

These text bear clear evidence about the interdiction of Tabarruj.


We ought to also to differenciate between Tabarruj and make up. Tabarruj is forbidden in Islam. However, applying make-up has not been forbidden by the Divine Law of Islam (Sharia’a) except in times of mourning over the loss of a husband, as it has been narrated on the authority of Umm Atyia who said that the Messenger of Allah said: The woman should not mourn any dead person more than three days, except for the husband whom she should mourn his death for four months and ten days, during which period she is not to wear colourful clothes except if the colours are not bright; she is not to put on Kohl, nor perfume, nor to cut or trim anything except the excessive curls and the long nails.”


And on the authority of Abi-Dawood the same Hadith includes the phrase “nor should she dye her hair”, and in the Nissa’i version “she should not comb her hair”.

This saying (Hadith) is an interdiction of applying make up when in mourning, and this means that make up is allowed otherwise.


To apply Kohl or Henna, or to wear earrings, chains or bracelets etc., is allowed. The Sharia’a has however forbidden some types of make up or beauty accessories like tattoos or adding artificial hair; for on the authority of Ibni-Omar, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“Allah curses the woman who adds artificial hair to her own and the one who adds it for her, and the tattooed woman and the tattoer woman.”


Although the Sharia’a allows the woman to apply make up and display her beauty to her Mahrams like her brother, father, husband and others, she is still forbidden from applying make-up outdoors except for the type of make up which is in any way allowed in Muslim society. Therefore, if a woman is about to go out, she should remember that she is not going out to display her beauty or to attract men’s attention but to attend to life’s necessities like shopping etc.


These are the Judgements of Awrah, and of the woman’s garments (Khimar and Jilbab), and also that of Tabarruj (dazzling display). If there were a dress which covers the woman’s Awrah, it does not mean that it is automatically allowed for her to wear it outdoors, because the Sharia’a has determined the type of garment that the woman is allowed to wear outdoors. Trousers for instance are not suitable for a woman to wear in public despite the fact that they perfectly cover the Awrah. If a woman goes out wearing trousers, then according to the texts of Sharia’a she is sinful, simply because she ignored one of her duties. That is why we are strongly advised not to confuse the issue of what the women should wear in public with that of covering the Awrah or with that of Tabarruj.

Trousers, even if they are not transparent, a woman should not wear them before strange men, Muslims or not, for when she wears them she is in fact displaying her beauty and this is Tabarruj, and Tabarruj is forbidden (haram).


So all items of wear like trousers and wigs and hats which the Sharia’a has not determined and deemed as fit to be worn in public are forbidden even if such items do cover the woman’s Awrah. This means that the Muslim woman should not wear items of clothing which would cover her Awrah but leaves her displaying her beauty or looking like men or looking like unbelievers.

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Jazakallah kheir,


If the trousers are loose and baggy and do not show the shape or size of the legs, and have a long top or dress covering the buttocks, then they are acceptable (if not men's trousers or being worn in the intention to immitate a man). There is no evidence anywhere in the Quran and hadith stating that women are not to wear trousers, as long as they fulfill the requirements of hijaab which include:

1. Loose/baggy to not define the body

2. Not see through

3. Not bright/colorful/attractive

4. Not of a man's style


And Allah swt knows best.

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