A Passing Shot at 'Egyptian Jalbaab'

Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 1:33AM / 1337


This is an informal but serious writing that has its setting Nigeria, or more conveniently, in the Southern part of Nigeria where there has been a tremendous Sunnah resurgence in the past years. 

The piece is about what is called 'Egyptian Jalbaab' which is becoming the vogue now among the Sunnah sisters in Nigeria. 

I may be wrong calling it 'Egyptian Jalbaab' because I never cared to check that etymology. I grossly depend on what we hear our womenfolk call it.

The Egyptian Jalbaab is a kite-like piece of Jalbaab with distinct features that made it different from others. 

Among the other styles of Jalbaab is the Afghani Type (which the traditional Zumrah women used to wear), Up-and-Down Style (still common with the sisters in TMC and MSSN circles) and Albaanee Style - that later became very popular (see below for its origin).

A Little Background 

About 20 years ago, on the heat of Niqaab debate, 'Albaanee Khimaar' was what later became widespread among the Muslim sisters. It gradually replaced the two-piece Khimaar taught by the Saudi-returnee scholars especially in Ibadan. 

One of the distinct features of Albaanee Khimaar was that it used to be an overflowing garment that will hardly show the shape of any woman wearing it. In other words, the Fad'faad factor (فضفاض) was clearly in place.

For those conversant with the discussions then, you would recall that Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee - rahimahullaah - did a tahqeeq of Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah's treatise on Hijaab Mar'ah Wa Libaasu-ha Fee Salah which later led to his Jalbaab Mar'ah Muslimah wherein he brought proofs for some Eight Conditions a Jalbaab must meet.

The Fourth Condition, according to Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) in the book, is that it must be Fad'faad, that is, it must be wide enough and not tight-fitting. A Jalbaab must be like a container that eats up a Muslim woman as she walks about. 

The outcome of that was that the Muslim women began to put it and wear it about around the streets and the name 'Khimaar Albaanee' followed it about.

May Allaah reward Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Naasirudeen Al-Albaanee - rahimahullaah - for that. He did not invent the Jalbaab he rather unveiled it from the Sharee’ah. 

The Jalbaab style went round the world. In fact, the argument of Ash-Shaykh Al-Albaanee - rahimahullaah - against the compulsion of women covering their faces went in the opposite effect. More Muslim women began to cover their faces having read the Eight Conditions of a valid Jalbaab outlined with proofs by Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee - rahimahullaah - in Jalbaab Mar'ah Muslimah.

Ash-Shaykh Al-Albaanee - rahimahullaah - even acknowledged this fact - of more women covering their faces after reading his book - in the revised editions of the book.

So things went well on until around 2005 when 'Egyptian Jalbaab' came on stage. Only Allaah knows how it came in. But for sure, it was through the backdoor. There was no scholarly work to back it unlike 'Albaanee Khimaar.'

Very unfortunately, the Fourth Condition of Fad'faad of a Jalbaab was/is grossly undermined in the style of Jalbaab said to originate from Egypt - though still a supposition. 

(Even the so-called Albaanee Khimar if sewn revealing the shape is not acceptable). 

The Egyptian Jalbaab, as they fondly call it, is tight-fitting (or slim-fitting as they would like to call it), shapely, fashionable and 'presentable' than those Albaanee Load and Taliban Blanket! 

Though this Egyptian Jalbaab is sewn in different sizes but the same style. The style is usually kite-like, as said earlier, (I am tempted to say it is coffin-like; I couldn't fight that temptation. Man is weak!). 

An Egyptian Jalbaab sewn in the largest size - that is, with Fad'faad - is still fitnatic for men. Sadly however, many of it is sewn to make Muslim women look smart and fashionable. 

It is always an obnoxious scene when an otherwise plumpy Muslimah 'forces' herself into it. 

I am tempted, again, to make some adjectives for the usual scene but... 

This Egyptian Jalbaab is just a replica of a man's jalabia (khamees) with some width extension at the chest level. The down part is usually narrow. 

And from this Egyptian Jalbaab is some metamorphosis now. The styles of Jalbaab have now become numerous thanks to our 'sophisticated' and 'modern' sisters that want to prove it to the world that 'they are still in town.'

Perhaps they need be reminded that Jalbaab or Hijaab (as a broader term) need not be a design in itself. 

When The War Against Began 

At its inception, I was among they very few voices that decried it back in Ilé-Ifẹ̀. It was a part-success. The womenfolk loved it, many of them resisted it. 

Around 2010, I was also instrumental to decrying it at Ẹdẹ when it began to creep in. Many women yielded this time around. Walhamdulillaah. 

But today, the Egyptian Jalbaab has gone haywire. It is fastly sending Albaanee Khimaar away. The Muslim women seem to have settled with it as we - their husbands, brothers, fathers and guardians - look on. After all, the women are still covered!

We have been dominated and conquered! 

But we still need to be careful - we the men - about our women. This Egyptian Jalbaab (and its sub-styles) is becoming a Fitnah from our women to our men.

No city is spared in this malaise. It is everywhere. Thanks to its free promotion via the social media. 

The 'Islamic' boutique shops - online or otherwise, should fear Allaah regarding this style of Jalbaab. You can have a free rein regarding women inner wear - design anything, sell anything, no problem, so far it is for the husband! But this outdoor wear, fear Allaah regarding them. 

Also, the teachers of Sunnah need to remind our sisters about the use of proper Jalbaab. 


If our women say they cannot do away with this Egyptian-Styled Jalbaab, let them sew it wide and spacious, and less fashionable. We hope they will be able to do that. But that they avoid it altogether is better. 

Allaah possesses all Knowledge. 

May Allaah safeguard the Ummah from all kinds of Fitnah. 

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Name: Kifaya Bint Sulaiman
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 2:11PM
Comment: Your are right about that sir, a lot of people make it fashionable even Albanee style is sometimes fashionized. Personally,I observed that wind easily blow away Albanee style if one isn't careful while it's not like that with a widely sewn Egyptian. May Allah guide us. Ameen.
Name: Abu Fatimoh
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 2:28PM
Comment: Why should they leave it altogether? If it is not correct yet abandoning it completely cannot be a correct opinion. It will be too emotional bcos people are just starting to appreciate the institution of Hijaab while there are up to 95% Muslim women yet to see the lime light. Allah knows best..
Name: Abu Fatimoh
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 2:28PM
Comment: Why should they leave it altogether? If it is not correct yet abandoning it completely cannot be a correct opinion. It will be too emotional bcos people are just starting to appreciate the institution of Hijaab while there are up to 95% Muslim women yet to see the lime light. Allah knows best..
Name: Abdulrasak Hamza Olumide
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 2:43PM
Comment: Aameen.. Jazaakumullahu khayrah sir for this awesome piece. The extent this Fitnah creeps in cannot be overemphasised. I abhors it completely; just like the MSSN, TMC 'two-two'. It is already a cankerworm. Our lectures for the Ummus and sisters should be directed in this channel. May Allah bless you abundantly for this write-up. It really came in handy..
Name: Ummu Ubaidah
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 2:43PM
Comment: Egyptian style shouldn't be an exception sir, ur personal dislike for it doesn't change the fact that it meets the conditions of the female outer garment if properly sewed. Wallahu Musta'an.
Name: Ummu A'bdiLlaah Almuwahhidah
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 3:41PM
Comment: JazaakumuLlaahu khayran for this piece sir... May ALlaah increase us in beneficial knowledge & understanding.. Permit me to make little contribution to this piece sir... I am a seam stress (modest wears fashionista) to be precise and I know what jalaabib styles entails.. Even though we have different styles ranging from Umbrella, T.junction, Egyptian & Nursing mother etc... In as much they are sewn in a way that doesn't go against shareea'h, Then, there shouldn't be a problem.. I have some clients that prefers Egyptian style of jilbaab to other styles not because of any other thing but because they feels safe in it because it is usually sewn properly by me....(most wide) The jilbaab is called Egyptian jilbaab because the style was innovated from EGYPT. It possess all the features of an acceptable jilbaab according to shareea''h (only if it sewn by an Upright Muslimah) ✔It is a one piece garment that covers the whole body from head to toe. ✔It is very wide and doesn't define the body shape ✔It neither resemble men clothing nor unbelieving women clothing And many more features like that.. Even though there are some seam stress that sews it in a tight fitted way which makes it to look like a gown...perhaps, it is that fitted types you have been seeing sir... There is a way the umbrella style(Al albaani style) can be sewn in a fitted way as well it is called SIDE SEAM...I think what matter most is the way it is sewn and not the name.. I'll like that you write an article about jilbaab sleeves because Shayton has indeed overpowered some sisters regarding the type of sleeves they are wearing.. Ranging from tight fitted sleeves, smoked sleeves, Carebean, pleated, overlapping & butterfly etc.. Because there is no how a particular jilbaab can fulfil all the conditions of an acceptable jilbaab, if it sleeve is adorned or fashioned... JazaakumuLlaahu khayran sir..
Name: Ummu Rumaysah
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 4:05PM
Comment: Thanks for this beautiful write-up sir, may Allaah honey you. Permit e to say that the Egyptian khimar does not in any way resemble the clothing of men (jalabia) if the entire width of the fabric is used, it can be very wide and roomy without it revealing the shape of the wearer. I think the bone of contention here should be how well a Jilbaab checks all the Jilbaab rules and not the name it is called. Allaahu 'aalam..
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 4:40PM
Comment: What a fair write up! Jazaakumullahu khayraa. I think those making contributions to the write up should check the conclusion, I think all your contributions are still roaming around the conclusion. Baarakallahu feekum Qaaf : 37 إِنَّ فِى ذٰلِكَ لَذِكْرٰى لِمَن كَانَ لَهُۥ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind]..
Name: Abu Umar
Wednesday 10-Feb-2021, 11:05PM
Comment: Jazakumullahu khairon, may Allah reward you and grant this ummah understanding of deen.
Name: Ibrahim
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 2:02AM
Comment: Dear Author, May Allaah preserve you upon goodness, please kindly at graphics which shows these Varieties of Jilbaab, so the audience can be able to differentiate and know the correct ones. Aayaakumullaahu Ustaz Salaam alaykum wa rahmatuLlaah wa barakatuuh.
Name: Aboo Aamaal
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 4:07AM
Comment: Jazaakumullaahu khayran Sir for this pertinent admonition What I will say is that any Muslim woman who still hasn't taken any lessons on the legislated Jilbaab of the Muslim woman and it's CONDITIONS is doing herself a disservice because she's worshipping Allah without knowledge in that aspect of her religion. Go and learn about it, find an Ustadh to read to you a good book on Hijaab, don't assume you already know from imitation, or you'll be with the band waggon with no direction except wherever fashion and vogue tolls. It's an integral part of you as a Muslim woman and it's not just about you! May Allah guide and strengthen you..
Name: Rofee'ah Bint Lukman
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 4:27AM
Comment: Umm Abdillahi all muwahiddah...shukhran for taking your time to put down that beautiful comment. With the writer's description of an Egyptian jilbab I'm still lost and wondering if it is the one I use to know or another type Though I cannot deny the fact that it has been bastardised by some individuals, but still that was not the origin....Allahu musta'an.
Name: Aboo Aamaal
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 4:45AM
Comment: By extension, to all our sisters who are Jilbaab seamstress or stylist, from fulfilling the Sharee'ah obligation regarding your job/business is to seek proper knowledge about the Sharee'ah compliant jilbaab; what it entails and all its requirements, and be well grounded in its understanding, the kind of grounding that won't be displaced in the face of confusions. And to sincerely apply that knowledge whenever you are required to sew a Jilbaab, you are free to experiment and be creative when styling other kinds of clothing, but fear Allah when it comes to the Jilbaab. Don't aid your sisters in transgressions even if that is what will satisfy your customers, what Allah had apportioned for you of provision will never miss you, be courageous enough to object, don't be a puppet in the hands of your customers in transgressing Allah's bounds! May Allah bless you and the works of your hands..
Name: MEP Personel
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 1:43PM
Comment: JazaakumuLlohu Khairan Ustadh for the write-up....but what I just need to clarify include... What makes a Jilbaab an Egyptian Jilbaab... materials or style sewn ? Does it mean that all Jilbaab that meet up with the sharia'ah's conditions are termed al-baanee Jilbaab....even if it was sewn with materials from Egypt What matter most is devoting one's effort in educating our noble Sisters regarding the sharia'ah's (established) Jilbaab and avoid creating any hatred for any Jilbaab irrespective of the region. Egyptian material Jilbaab can still be sewn in albaanee's form and vice versa. Our Sisters should avoid all the fitaan we do see from those used as Jilbaab advertisement. Ko je bo se je.... Wa-Llohu A'alaam.
Name: Mazeedah Jilbabee_empire
Thursday 11-Feb-2021, 3:31PM
Comment: Jazakumullahu khayran sir,may Allah continue to keep you upon goodness, but I want to say that the Egyptian jilbab, in and of itself is not coffin like,those ones you see are manipulated probably on the instruction of the wearer or a seamstress who does not know what a jilbab should be ,the Egyptian jilbab is very big when seen with the full length of the fabric gotten in Nigeria 60-70inches,it comes from the head all the way down,it does not resemble the dress of the male folk in any way (unless of course it has been altered),I think the issue is the wearers not knowing the conditions of a muslimahs jilbab(that is where the Ummah need your honoured self) it might also interest you to know that the 'Albanee khimar' is now been seen in a way that it can be shaped,it is sometimes referred to as umbrella jilbab with slit. The Egyptian jilbab if sewn well fulfil all the conditions listed by shayk Muhammad Naasirudeen Albany نسأل الله السلامة و العافية.
Name: Bashiroh
Friday 12-Feb-2021, 3:37AM
Comment: Na'am Alhamdulillaah Shukran Sir. The sewing of Egyptian Jilbaab may depends on how it was sewn. I do sew a free n comfortable Jilbaab fr my customers and non of them bring complaints... The only the we'll like you to discuss is those adorning Jilbaab JazakhumulLahu Khair.
Name: Umm Zayd
Sunday 14-Feb-2021, 5:13AM
Comment: Shukran for the write up but there are certain advantages of Egyptian jilbaab if it is widely sewn because when the wind blow it will not show ones shape compared to the albanee jilbaab. Also Egyptian jilbaab is best recommend for a busty woman. Wa Allaahu 'Aalam.
Name: Umm Zayd
Sunday 14-Feb-2021, 5:13AM
Comment: Shukran for the write up but there are certain advantages of Egyptian jilbaab if it is widely sewn because when the wind blow it will not show ones shape compared to the albanee jilbaab. Also Egyptian jilbaab is best recommend for a busty woman. Wa Allaahu 'Aalam.
Name: Arofah
Sunday 14-Feb-2021, 5:29AM
Comment: It's true that the Egyptian qimar is too fashionable and may not cover what it's supposed to cover in plumpy women but the common style we use before is flat on the chest and makes the size of the wearer's chest known. I feel somehow whenever I wear it and and someone looks at me at the front..