The answers on are based on the research of Ikram Hawramani in the Quran, hadith, scholarly works and respected fatwa sources. You can view Ikram Hawramani's credentials on the about page. Please note that we do not issue fatwas, we only compile the opinions of respected scholars (even when a fatwa is not explicitly cited) to make their opinions accessible to English-speaking Muslims. If an answer does not cite fatwas, please feel free to leave a comment asking for a fatwa citation and we will update the answer as soon as possible to include fatwas.

IslamQA: Why are Muslim men so judgmental about what a woman wears?

This is a topic that really gets on my nerves but I need an insight from a males perspective. Why is it Muslim men are the first ones to criticise Muslim women? Whether it be about how's she's dressed or how her hijaab is worn. I just feel that the majority of men do it as a control thing.

That is not really about religion but about good manners. You will never find a devout middle class Iranian or Egyptian man or middle class European convert to Islam who has a disrespectful attitude toward women. Their families have brought them up to have good manners.

But when it comes to Muslim men who have never learned good manners, for them religion often becomes an arena for what we might call “virtue signalling”, where outward appearances of faith make up most of what matters to them. To such men it is “obvious” that there is something wrong with a woman who fails to engage in the virtue signalling that they think is so important, and so they criticize her.

And it is not just a problem with men. I have often heard Muslim women criticize other women in a similar manner. Generally if a man is the type of person to do that, the women in his family will also do it. The problem is with the entire family’s manners.

And God knows best.
Asking questions is temporarily unavailable. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Learn Quranic Arabic with my book!
Available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
Commenting rules: Politeness is the only rule. We respect your right to disagree with anything we say. But comments with profanity and insults will be deleted.
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

It seems you are entertaining and perhaps encouraging speculation here. Not a word about protective jealousy, social expectations, etc. Did the sahabah concern themselves with the dress of muslim women? It seems yes. Do father’s concern themselves with the dress of their daughter’s? Are these also virtue signaling? MashaAllah you have some excellent analysis but this gave me pause as “only god can judge me” manifesting itself yet again. We establish social norms by social pressure including both praise and censure.

1 year ago

I would add parents are the first to critique their children. I wouldn’t consider this bad manners, rather the opposite. Virtue signaling is a common flaw but to blanket the censure of bad behavior as virtue signaling is intellectually lazy.

1 year ago

Nice articles btw.