At-tabarruj for women is the impermissible exposure of adornment and beauty before non-Mahram (marriageable) men. This applies to exposure of jewellery, bare skin, makeup, or whatever may excite sexual desire such as behaving in an alluring manner through speech, a strut etc.
This can be clarified from evidence from the Qur’an, Sunnah and noble scholars:
Allaah azza wa jal mentions in his Noble Book:
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves immorally (tabarruj) like that of the Days of Ignorance. And establish the prayer and give the Zakaat and obey Allaah and His Messenger” (Surah Al-Ahzaab: 33)
Ibn Katheer (rahimahmullaah) said: Mujahid said:
“A woman would go out and walk amongst men (i.e intermingling) . This was the Tabarruj of the Day of Ignorance."
“The women would walk out, swaggering and flirting (with men) so Allaah forbade them from doing that”
Muqatil bin Hayyan said:
“Tabarruj is when a woman puts a Khimar on her head but not fastening it properly so her necklaces, earrings and neck, and all of that can be seen. As a result of this, these are all exposed from her. This is Tabarruj” (Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn katheer, volume 3, page 94)
Imam Al-Qurtubee (rahimahullaah) said:
“From the ways of Tabarruj is that a woman wears two transparent garments that describe her body” (Tafseer Al-Qurtubee, volume 12, page 310)
Imam Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Naasir As-Saa’dee (rahimahullaah) said:
"This (ayah) means: Do not go out whilst you are beautified or perfumed, as the women of the Days of Ignorance used to do since they did not have any knowledge or religious characteristics." (Tafseer Ibn Sa’adee, volume 6, no.107)
Imam Al-Albanee (rahimahullaah) said:
“Tabarruj is when a woman exposes her adornment, body features and all that she is obligated to cover which invites the desires of men” (Mar’at-il-Muslimah , page 54)
The Messenger of Allaah (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“And the worst of your women are the ones who commit Tabarruj, who strut around in arrogance. They are the hypocrites” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan)
An admonition by a student of knowledge on the dangers of women displaying their beauty in public and in front of non-mahram (un-related) men:
The Dangers of at-Tabarruj with specific examples – Hasan as-Somali
These excerpts are examples of at-tabarruj taken from this lecture:
The first example of at-tabarruj:
It is a form of at-tabarruj if the Jilbab does not cover and conceal the whole of the woman’s body.
It is a form of at-tabarruj if the Jilbab does not conceal and cover the whole of the woman’s body.
For the third time and I hope that your hearts are open as well as your ears. Because some people listen but they do not absorb it with their heart. One of the forms of at-tabarruj is if the Jilbab does not cover the whole of the woman’s body!
Like if the jilbab it came from the woman’s shoulder that is a form of at-tabarruj. If the jilbab it comes from the women’s shoulder that is a form of tabarruj. AGAIN! If the jilbab it comes from the shoulder and not from the HEAD that is a form of at-tabarruj.
WHY IS IT TABARRUJ?
Because if the jilbab comes from the shoulder than it contradicts the word ‘ALAA. ‘Alaa means that something should start from the highest point that we find in the saying of Allaah
“azaawajal yudneena AAalayhinna min jalabeebihinna”
and the women they should drew their cloak over their whole body ‘ALAYHINNA. So ‘alaa here it means that the jilbab it should come from should the highest point of the woman. The highest point of the woman is the HEAD. The shoulders of the woman is not the highest point of the woman.
That is why when the woman she wears the jilbab from the shoulders it will reveal the shape of the body. Whereas the legislated jilbab that starts from the head it will conceal ALL OF HER BODY from the head to the chest and that which is below it because it has come from the head. So sisters those that are wearing the jilbab from the shoulder what is known as the shoulder ‘abaa’a then this is a form of tabarruj.
And this is an opposition to the saying of Allaah “yudneena AAalayhinna min jalabeebihinna” that they should draw their cloaks ALL over their bodies from the top of their body because ‘alaa means it starts from the highest point.
I hope that is clear as the sun in the sky. Because the prophet sallaahu alayhi wasallam he said: “I have left you upon clear guidance. Its night is like its day. No-one deviates from it expect that they are destroyed.”
Sisters it is time, it is time, it is time that you understand the meaning of at-tabarruj. That you advice those individuals are falling into at-tabarruj that we learn and teach our children the meaning of at-tabarruj.
The second type of at-tabaruuj:
It is a form of tabarruj if the jilbab comprises of two pieces; a piece that covers the top of the body and a piece that covers the bottom of the body. Like someone wearing a long skirt and shirt and covering her hair. That is tabarruj! That is tabarruj!
And the shaykh he mention because this is in contradiction to what we have mentioned from the scholars of Islaam that the jilbaab is one piece that covers the whole body. And the shaykh he said: the wisdom behind preventing this type of garment is to prevent people from playing with this noble dress.
And we see this wisdom becoming clearly evident in the latter decades. Because when it was said to the women that there is no specific dress that you have to wear but the most important thing is that you cover your body everyone understood this how they wanted to understand it and that is why various types of what they refer to as ‘jilbab’ have appeared. Some of them wear jeans and scarf and they say that is jilbab. Some of them have something covering their hair and shoulder ‘abaa’a and parts of the hair out and they say that is jilbab.
The third type of at-tabarruj:
It is a form of tabarruj if the jilbab is considered to be ziina (beauty and an adornment in itself)- it is tabarruj na’am!
Those people that are wearing fishnet stockings for people to see that is tabarruj! Those people that are wearing diamonds and rhinestones upon their over garments that is tabarruj. Those people that have ruffles, they have the audacity to have ruffles on the back of their over-garments like they are going to a bull; that is tabarruj. That is tabarruj ya sisters!
The wisdom behind the jilbab been legislated is for the woman to cover her beauty and her adornment from the men who are strangers.
Allaah ‘ajaawajal He said: and the believing women they should not expose and reveal their adornments and their beauty.
As we said earlier whether this is their natural beauty or whether this is something extra like jewellery, or something they have put upon their clothing.
And it is amazing, it is amazing, amazing some of the nisa- women they know this – they know that the jilbab should NOT be a source of beauty! The jilbab they know it should be an adornment its self. However they intentionally wear the jilbab that has been decorated with embroidery that will attract the attention of men.
It is amazing- it is absolutely amazing- it is absolutely amazing- that maybe one of the women you find she wears a badge on her khimar- she wears a badge on her khimar or she wears a flower upon her khimar on her head or she wears some type of jewellery on her head over the jilbab and the shaykh he said some of them they wear different colours whether it is a ribbon or flower or whether it is badge on top of the jilbab on their head like the comb of a rooster- like the comb of a the rooster! This is from the strange affairs by Allaah!
And this shows the woman that wears these type of things she does not understand the purpose of the jilbab- she does not understand the purpose of the jilbab or that she is playing games with her religion. May Allaah protect any of the sisters from falling into this.
Even though Allaah has commanded the woman to remain in her house so that she can be more concealed from the eyes of the men as Allaah He said : “and remain in your houses.” It is understood from this clear text that the more the woman reveals her adornment and her beauty to strangers then she is further from fulfilling the requirements of the jilbab and closer to tabarruj. Subhan Allaah.
Sisters, it is tabarruj if the jilbab is it self is adornment- stay away from those jilbabs that have Muslimah written on the front of it. Stay away from those jilbabs that’s have niqaabi written on the front of it. Stay away from those jilbabs that have embroidery all up and down the arm. Stay away from the shoulder jilbabs- stay far away from them. Because we do not want you to fall into tabarruj.