I had a question regarding wearing abayah in front of family members, such as cousins, an aunt’s husband, brother-in-laws, etc. I have worn modest clothing (loose shalwar kameez) and hijab in front of my cousins and family and I have just begun wearing abayah outside to college, stores, etc alhamdulillah. However, I have never worn abayah in front of my family and therefore would like to know if it is fardh or not to wear it in front of family members. My family and I are very close (I visit them regularly 3-4 times throughout the year and we have grown up together – we are all like brother and sister). Two members of my family wear abayah in front of family, however one wears jewelry and a lot of make-up on top of it, which to me, defeats the purpose of mabayah. However, my mother only wears it outside and says that since we see our family all the time and are extremely close to them, it isn’t necessary. However, I would like to know whether it is fardh, because if it is, I will start wearing it in front of them, and if it not, what constitutes as “abayah” in front of family? A younormal shalwar kameez that is moderately loose and covers my body with the exception of my face, hands, and feet? Jazakallahu Khairan – I have been needing this question answered for a while and while my cousin has been pushing me to start wearing abayah, I want to do it knowing the entire ruling behind it.
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.
Dear sister/brother in Islam
There are two aspects to your query
A) Hijab from family
B) Family ties
In principle, there are two type of family members, a) Mahram-those one cannot marry b) non Mahram – those one can marry.
According to Shariah, it is not necessary to observe hijab with ones Mahram (father,brother,uncle). However, hijab with non Mahram (cousins etc.) is necessary. It is therefore not permissible to talk to them or expose any part of your body in front of them. Wearing an abaya (cloak) while exposing the face or any other part of the body does not constitute complete hijab. Furthermore, wearing attractive designer abayas is against the objective of hijab.
Maintaining family ties is of utmost importance and a great act of virtue. However, this should be carried out within the parameters of Shariah as fulfilling one injunction of shariah at the neglect of another is not permissible.
And Allah knows best
For: Darul Iftaa