Are women allowed to wear dresses or abayas that drag and have a long trail in the back?

Question:

As salaamu ’alaykum,

I have a question regarding the dragging of a women's garment. To what extent is this permissible? Are women allowed to wear dresses (indoors) or abayas (outdoors) that drag and have a long trail in the back? 

Answer:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

Wa ‘alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

A woman’s garment can be as long as one cubit from the ankle. It comes in a hadith in Sunan At-Tirmidhi that Sayyidatuna Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها asked the Prophet  how low women should leave the lower end of their garments. The Prophet  replied that they may leave them one hand span. Upon this Sayyidatuna Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها said, “In that case the feet will become exposed.” Thereafter the Prophet  said, “They may leave them one cubit but no longer than that.”

عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ جَرَّ ثَوْبَهُ خُيَلَاءَ لَمْ يَنْظُرِ اللهُ إِلَيْهِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ»، فَقَالَتْ أُمُّ سَلَمَةَ: فَكَيْفَ يَصْنَعْنَ النِّسَاءُ بِذُيُولِهِنَّ؟ قَالَ: «يُرْخِينَ شِبْرًا»، فَقَالَتْ: إِذًا تَنْكَشِفُ أَقْدَامُهُنَّ، قَالَ: «فَيُرْخِينَهُ ذِرَاعًا، لَا يَزِدْنَ عَلَيْهِ»

والله اعلم

And Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows best.

Ilyas Husain

Approved by Mufti Husain Ahmad Madani