Home GCC Saudi Women Need Not Wear ‘Abaya’: Senior Cleric

Saudi Women Need Not Wear ‘Abaya’: Senior Cleric

Saudi Women with Abaya

Rabat – With the arrival of young Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in the Saudi leadership, a lot of major social changes, deemed progressive, are taking place.

After Saudi women were allowed to drive cars and attend football stadiums, a senior member of the top Muslim clerical body said that Saudi women need not wear the abaya, usually black loose over-garment robe, to cover up their bodies in public.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, the highest religious body in the country, said in an interview with a local broadcaster on Friday that Muslim women should dress modestly, but not necessarily the abaya.

“More than 90 percent of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas,” Sheikh Mutlaq said, adding that “we should not force people to wear abayas.”

This issue has already provoked a heated debate among Saudi social media users with mixed reaction on social media.

For some the ‘Fatwa’ is another indication of the Kingdom’s efforts towards modernization; however, other users regard this decree as another step towards destroying Islamic values.

However, for some other social media users, this is an invitation to women to take off their clothes.

While the Saudi cleric is against forcing women in Saudi Arabia to wear Abayas, Macy’s, a major U.S. retailer, is launching a hijab-friendly collection in collaboration with an Islamic fashion brand.

The modest fashion line, expected to launch a collection on Feb. 15, includes a variety of hijabs or headscarves, as well as modest tops, pants, dresses and abayas.

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