Pants are Forbidden for Muslimah? – The majority of women today wear trousers, whether at home or outside the home. Then, has it been permissible for Muslim women to wear pants? Or are we the ones who prescribe the permissibility of something that is prohibited?

Prohibition of Impersonating Men

The Prophet SAW clearly explained that it is forbidden for men to imitate women, and vice versa. Imam Bukhori narrates in his shohih book:

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: لَعَنَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْمُتَشَبِهِيْنَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ بِالنِّسَاءِ وَاْلُمَتَشَبِهَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ بِالرِّجَالِ تَابَعَهُ عَمْرٌو أَخْبَرَنَا شُعْبَةُ

Whereas in ancient times, pants were a special attribute that was only worn by men. So if a woman wears pants, she can immediately be considered tasyabbuh (resembling) a man. This tasyabbuh assumption is often associated with hadith “Man tasyabbaha bi qoumin fahuwa minhum” (Whoever resembles a people, then he is part of that people).

Scholars consider that this hadith is not explicit or specific to anything, but only mentions it clearly, so what is considered illat here is tasyabbuh or likeness. Meanwhile, if the goods being compared are no longer the specialty of a people, then the law changes anyway.

Limits on Whether or Not Pants are Allowed

As time goes by, trousers are no longer exclusively for men, they are even very commonly worn by women. So the law changes according to the illat. Syeikh Abdul Karim Zaidan in his book al-Mufashshal fi Ahkamil Mar’ah wal Baitil Muslim juz 3 page 343. He explains the permissibility for women to wear trousers but with several conditions:

ذَكَرْنَا فِيْمَا سَبَقَ يَجُوْزُ لِلْمَرْأَةِ لَبِسَ السَّرَاوِيْلَ بَلْ وَرَدَتْ السُّنَّةُ بِالتَّرْغِيْبِ فِيْهِ وَاسْتِحْبَابِهِ لِمَا فِيْهِ مِنَ السَّتْرِ الْعَوْرَةِ الْمَرْأَةِ، وَلَكِنْ يَجِبُ أَنْ يُعْلَمَ بِأَنَّ اْلمَرْأَةَ كَانَتْ تَلْبَسُ السَّرْوَالَ تَحْتَ ثِيَابِهَا فَإِذَا لَبِسَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ (السَّرْوَالَ) كَمَا يَلْبَسُهُ الرَّجُلُ فِي وَقْتِنَا الحَاضِرِ، دُوْنَ أَنْ تَلْبَسَ فَوْقَهُ ثِيَابًاً أَوْ جِلْبَاًباً فَهَذَا لَا يَجُوْزُ

From this editorial, it is clear that it is permissible for women to wear trousers as long as they fulfill several conditions, namely: first; cover the private parts well so that they are not transparent or show the curves of the body, secondly; wearing long clothes to cover women’s lower parts, third; the model is not specifically for men only.

So the prohibition on women wearing trousers does not come from their trousers but rather from other reasons, namely conditions that are not met.

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