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Women – Aurat and Tabarruj

15 November 2018 7:10 am // Written by Siti Noor Hidayah Binte Abdul Ghani;

“ I will cover my aurat after I get married someday”

“She just got back from umrah, therefore she is now wearing the tudung

“Putting on the tudung but can still see her aurat

“She doesn’t wear the tudung but she prays 5 times a day without fail!”

“The tudung is only for religious muslim girls”

Meaning of aurat

Aurat means flaws. In fiqh, it means part of the body in a person that is required to conceal or protected from sight of non-mahram. Covering the aurat is obligatory for both men and women. However, in this issue, I will be emphasizing on aurat on women.

The command to conceal aurah is stated in surah Al-Ahzab, verse 33:

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.”

And in surah An-Nur, verse 31:

“And tell the believing women to reduce (some) of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which (necessarily) appears thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment…”

It is observed that these verses is directed to the wives of Prophet Muhammad in particular and all muslim women in general as the mothers of the believers are role models to all woman in every time and place.

From this verse, it is made clearly that concealing the aurat is obligatory as soon as one has reached the age of puberty. It is an obligation just just like how performing daily prayers and giving alms are.

Identity of a muslim woman is easily taken notice of thus reducing the formation of fitnah from the society as stated in surah Al-Ahzab, verse 59:

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”

Hijab as part of aurat

Hijab comes from the arabic word حَجَبَ (pronounced as hajaba) meaning to hide from view or conceal. In present time, the context of the hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. As mentioned from Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 59, there is no specific indication of how extensive the covering is in bringing down the outer garments. Hence, Islamic scholars have their own set of opinion based on Al-Quran and Hadis encapsulated in their books. This, I shall not elaborate as it will require another set of Ar-Risalah.

The tudung and the clothing of a Muslim women

Tudung is a part of covering the aurat. Tudung is a piece of cloth used to cover the head to the bosom, revealing the face only. Besides donning the tudung, clothes must be loose and thick enough so as to conceal the body shape or its skin, from neck to the feet. It must also be one that is not attracting attention from the opposite gender.


Tabarruj is being excessive in adorning oneself.

According to Sheikh Abu A’la Al-Maududi, tabarruj in relation to woman has 3 meanings:

  1. When she exposes the beauty of her face and body before non-mahram men.
  2. When she exposes the beauty of her clothes and jewellery before them.
  3. When she exposes herself before them through the way she walks and moves.

Logically, since the covering of the aurat is an obligation to muslim women, it is without doubt that tabarruj is prohibited as cited in Surah Al-Ahzab verse 33 earlier.

Does Islam accentuates on the importance of the appearance of a Muslim woman only?

Importance of inner beauty

The appointment of Prophet Muhammad SAW as the messenger of God elevates the status of women during the times of ignorance where female infants are buried alive and women are seen as sex objects.

In elevating the status, Prophet Muhammad SAW under the guidance of Allah, implemented the obligation of covering the aurat as outer beauty and at the same time, highly emphasizes on the inner beauty of a woman. This is define in her character.

In addition to that, the Prophet SAW educated the men on respecting women. {According to Jabir ibn Abdullah, when he asked the Prophet SAW, about a man’s gaze falling inadvertently on a strange woman, the Prophet SAW replied, Turn your eyes away. (narrated by Muslim). In another tradition, the Prophet SAW chided for looking again at a woman. He said, the second glance is from Satan.

Also in surah An-Nur, verse 30 to 31:

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands….”

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