Does Islam specify a dressing code for women during the iddat period? As far as I am aware there is no such specification in the Quran, however I read on various Islamic forums that the woman should stop wearing jewellery (nose-pin, earrings, ring, plain rings, bangles etc.) applying kohl, using fragrance, applying oil (even if it is without fragrance), using comb, in short, she should stop using every type of adornment. She should not wear beautiful clothes, and stop wearing colourful clothes like yellow, red, etc. What is the source of these restrictions and why does the Quran not mention these? If these restrictions draw on Hadith(s), could it be the case that the Prophet (PBUH) said those things to specific individuals in a specific context and do not necessarily apply to Muslim women of all cultures for all times? Would it be reasonable to follow it in spirit i.e. dress decently according to the local custom and avoid fancy clothing, dark makeup and heavy jewellery?
Thank you. Scholars who support the view I shared in my original question quote Hadith such as the ones quoted below. How are these Ahadith to be interpreted?
Narrated Um ‘Atiyya:
We were forbidden to mourn for more than three days for a dead person, except for a husband, for whom a wife should mourn for four months and ten days (while in the mourning period) we were not allowed to put kohl in our eyes, nor perfume our-selves, nor wear dyed clothes, except a garment of ‘Asb (special clothes made in Yemen). But it was permissible for us that when one of us became clean from her menses and took a bath, she could use a piece of a certain kind of incense. And it was forbidden for us to follow funeral processions.
SAHIH BUKHARI (Vol. 7, Book 63, Hadith 254)
A woman was bereaved of her husband and her relatives worried about her eyes (which were diseased). They came to Allah’s Apostle, and asked him to allow them to treat her eyes with kohl, but he said, “She should not apply kohl to her eyes. (In the Pre-Islamic period of Ignorance) a widowed woman among you would stay in the worst of her clothes (or the worst part of her house) and when a year had elapsed, if a dog passed by her, she would throw a globe of dung, Nay, (she cannot use kohl) till four months and ten days have elapsed.”
All these Ahadith are based on the same principle of Sadd-e-Zariya and keeping in mind the environment of mourning surrounding a widow, in which a woman should respect the mourning house and also to protect herself from all circumstances leading to any discord in the future related to an expected pregnancy, if any. They do not constitute separate prohibitions.
Please refer to this response by Ghamidi Sahab from 32:47 to 33:38
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