Wearing An ‘Abaa’ah That Has Sleeves As An Outer Garment Is Like Wearing A Thawb
The Shaykh, ‘Allamah Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Exclusive Translation For Sisters Upon Istiqaamah
In recent times, an ‘abaa’ah (A woman’s outer garment), which is being referred to as the Islamic ‘abaa’ah, has become widespread. It is placed upon the head  but it has sleeves from the arms to the shoulders. What is your eminence’s opinion about wearing these types of outer garments?
O my brothers, the ‘abaa’ah was only established to conceal (the woman) and it was not established for adornment; it is not a garment of adornment. It is impermissible for it to be taken as a means of adornment, to be embroidered, to place designs/drawings in it or to adjust it to have arms and thus become like a thawb (the gown worn by Muslim men). This would not be considered an ‘abaa’ah it would become a thawb.
The sole purpose of the ‘abaa’ah is for the woman to cover [correctly]. It should conceal her whole body like the large loose outer garment which is the Jilbaab. The intent behind it is to conceal the woman and it is not meant for adornment. Rather, it should conceal her adornments in front of [strange] males. It is not allowable to make [impermissible changes] to the ‘abaa’aat [plural of ‘abaa’ah] and to then call them Islamic. This is an effort to improve sales as they are not Islamic; this is only to boost sales as the Islamic outer garment [‘abaa’ah] is the one that is concealing, spacious, thick and lacking any designs, embroidery and adornment. It should be plain and simple like this; it should not have anything on it. Yes.
 [TN] Sadly, many of the ‘abaa’ahs that are worn today do not even start from the head but are worn on the shoulders. Insha Allah, in the coming weeks we will translate some of the verdicts of the scholars concerning this along with the proofs and evidences.
 [TN] This is a piece a beautiful advice that should be heeded by those who sell women’s clothing; they should be extremely careful what they sell as some garments are designed to be purposely tight and others are examples of what the Shaykh has stated are impermissible. Laxity in this area has even plagued by some of those who ascribe to the Sunnah in the West. May Allah guide the Muslims and allow them to implement the Quran and the Sunnah as practised by the companions.
Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah