Home Quranet Chapter 3 How should one treat a girl who dresses in unacceptably immodest fashion?
How should one treat a girl who dresses in unacceptably immodest fashion?
Chapter 3

قُلْ أَغَيْرَ اللّهِ أَبْغِي رَبّاً وَهُوَ رَبُّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَلاَ تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ إِلاَّ عَلَيْهَا وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّكُم مَّرْجِعُكُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ (سورۃ الانعام, آية 164)

Say: "Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul draws the meed (reward) of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is towards Allah: He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed." (Surah 6, Verse 164)

Manar comes to the school counselor in tears.
Counselor: Good morning
Manar: Good morning. I am Manar from the eighth grade and I've come because I heard that you help everyone.
Counselor: Please, tell me what is bothering you.
Manar: What troubles me most is my parents. They don't like anything I do. They complain all the time and say that what I do is not fitting. "Look at yourself, you are a disgrace", they say all the time.
Counselor: Is there a reason why they act like that?
Manar: It's because of my friend, Nur. She's a good friend, listens to me and supports me. But my family don't like her because she dresses shamelessly. She chooses whatever clothes she fancies.
Counselor: Have you told your parents that she's a good close friend?
Manar: A thousand times. They don't listen. I'm burning up inside, it's a vicious circle. I love my friend and I love my parents and I don't want to lose any of them.
Counselor: I'd like to meet your parents. Do you agree?
Manar: Yes, yes. I want a rest from all this.

Two days later the counselor met with Manar's parents. She told them about her conversation with Manar and said she knew they didn't want Manar to stay in contact with her friend.
Mother: Yes, yes. Can't you see how she dresses? Like in Europe.
Counselor: It's no crime for your daughter's friend to be different from her. There are differences in this world. She is a good friend to your daughter, worries about her, helps her and that is what is important. I want to read you something so that you will understand: "no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.

"What do you understand from this verse," she asked the parents. They had understood correctly. "Each individual is responsible for his own sins and actions and not those of others," they said. "If that is so, you should support your daughter and understand her better so as not to burden her with issues which are not relevant to her."

Explanation: the counselor was right to separate the various components of the friend's personality - she is a good girl who cares for her friend but dresses immodestly. Not everything in life is black and white. In fact, very little in life is black and white and nobody is perfect. Parents should remember that they are not perfect either and the truth is not always entirely on their side. And since nobody is perfect, we should forgive and not expect our friends to be perfect and without flaws.

With regard to immodest dress, one can ask whether it is the responsibility of the dresser not to wear revealing clothes or the responsibility of the onlooker to exercise restraint and understand that various people regard clothes in different ways. The truth, as always, lies between. People are responsible for the way they dress and girls should not dress provocatively in order to attract attention. But the onlooker too should remember that there are no limits to conservatism just as there are no limits to permissiveness. One may demand that a girl cover herself completely as is customary in some places in the world or one can also demand a little less than that, perhaps much less, each according to taste, customs and religion. The most important thing to remember is that the responsibility never lies entirely with the women but also with the men who observe them. Otherwise we face an absurd situation whereby women are expected to dress in a manner which is convenient for men. The Quran puts it well: "No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another" which reminds us that each of us, both men and women, should be responsible for his or her own burden,.