How must be the way of dressing of a Muslim woman?
The basic condition in Islam in womens dressing is her veiling herself (Hijab). Her covering all over her body apart from her hands and face. In order for a dress to be suitable for hijab, it needs to be as thick as not to be transparent and as long as to cover her private parts. Hence covering with a thin and transparent dress as to show through is not a fit way of dressing.
The meanings of hadiths that form basis to this question are as follows: Aisha (PBUH) reports; one day her sister Asma came before the Prophet (PBUH). She wore a thin dress as to show inside. On seeing her, the Prophet (PBUH) turned his face and told:
O Asma, when a woman attains the age of puberty, it is not becoming for her to show anywhere but these (showing his face and hands) (1)
In Sakhik Muslim, in a hadith that Abu Hurayra reports, the Prophet (PBUH) announces that women who go out having been immodestly dressed, that is, thin and transparent, are to go to Hell and even will not be able to smell Paradise. (2) Alkame Bin Abu Alkame reports that his mother said: Hafsa, the daughter of Abdurrahman, came before Aisha, having a thin headscarf as to show her hair. Aisha took off her headscarf and doubled it up, made it thicker. (3)
The Caliph Umar warned women not to get dressed in a way to make the body visible, though not as transparent as a mirror. (4)
Imam Serahsi, emphasizing this report, says that although the dress women wear is very thin, it bears the same emphasize the Prophet (PBUH) put. Then he recites the hadith, which reads as Transparent although dressed and goes ahead: This kind of dress is like a net. It is not veiling oneself. Therefore strangers are not religiously permitted to look at a woman dressed like that. (5) The criterion of a dress being transparent is making the color of the skin evident. When looked from a certain distance, if the skin of someone is evident beneath the dress, the veiling is not to be met whether the dress is thin or thick.
(1) Ebû Davud, Libas:31.
(2) Muslim, Libas:125.
(3) Muvatta', Libas:4
(4) Beyhakt. Sunen, 2:235
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