Top Saudi Cleric: Women Need Not To Wear The Abaya

Saudi women don’t need abayas Top cleric

Saudi women don’t need abayas Top cleric

Under King Abdullah, Saudi women were granted the right to vote for the first time as well as run in local elections, which they did in December 2015. "We should not force people to wear abayas".

"More than 90% of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas", said Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the council of senior scholars - the kingdom's highest religious body. While women continue to fight for their freedom, there are still places where they are not treated equally.

A member of the Council of Senior Scholars, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, argued that the abayas women now wear are unnecessary to preserve modesty.

"A Muslim woman's commitment to wearing the Islamic hijab is a sign of obedience to God and a means of propagating chastity", Sheikh Al Mutlaq said.

A prominent Saudi cleric has spoken out against wearing abayas, the long black robes which all Saudi women are required to wear by law, according to The BBC.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been recognized as a key-figure in the most recent reforms of the kingdom.


Translation: "He is right, the abaya is only [mandatory] here, but, in every other Islamic country, veiled women only wear loose clothing rather than an abaya". Before that announcement, Saudi women were only allowed to wear swimsuits inside segregated gymnasiums and women-only swimming pools. The comments also follow a significant change announced in September in which women were given the right to drive.

Last month women were permitted to watch football live in stadiums in some cities.

The trend marks a major change in the last couple of years. The first movie theaters are scheduled to open in March this year.

Up until now, such sports and entertainment venues have been men-only areas. The government also relies on the approval of religious scholars to justify its legitimacy, which is based on Saudi Arabia's state religion of Wahhabism.

What can Saudi women still not do?

Under the system, every woman must have a male companion with her in public, usually a close family member, who has authority to act on her behalf in these circumstances.

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