Saudi Crown Prince stresses optional black abaya

02 August 2022


Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman said that wearing an abaya was not obligatory for Saudi women, but “it is important to observe propriety”.

In his interview with CBS America’s “60 Minutes” program, the Crown Prince highlighted that wearing a black abaya was not obligatory for Saudi women. He said the Shariah law was clear and required women to dress modestly like men.

The Crown Prince added that the laws did not directly require women to wear a black abaya or black headdress. Note that an abaya is a lightweight cloak that women wear over their everyday clothes.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, former Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Mecca, confirmed that His Highness the Crown Prince’s statement that wearing an abaya was not obligatory, met the teachings of Islam, fatwas issued by scholars, and there was nothing in it that would require further clarification. He noted that black was not the only color recognized by the Islamic law for Saudi women.

Al-Ghamdi added in his interview with “Abaya does not have to be black. Women may wear any outfit that covers what needs to be covered, and there is no need to put something on top after that”.

He also noted that “the history of the emergence of black abaya went back to the late Ottoman era”, and hadiths said that mothers of believers and wives of the Prophet also wore colored robes.

Meanwhile, women’s shops in the Kingdom began displaying colored abayas in their windows, and in light of the fact that the country’s General Sports Authority had allowed families to attend football stadiums, abayas in the colors of football clubs appeared in shops, which women can wear while attending matches.

Football is extremely popular among Saudi women and this can be seen in social networks, where Saudi women are interested in football. Therefore, colored women’s clothes with international club logos have become very popular in the country.



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