The following is a draft translation from Arabic.
Question: I know that Tabarruj (adorning) is dressing in a way which draws the attention, so if the Khimar was a small one and the neck of the woman or some of her hair appeared, is she described to be adorning herself? Knowing that this little which is seen from her hair or her neck, does not draw the attention, where many women who do not cover their hair walk normally in the street and they do not draw the attention?
Tabarruj (Adorning): is to display ones adornment in a way which draws the attention, but without uncovering the private parts. This limitation -without uncovering the private parts- was put, because the Tabarruj with uncovering the private parts is not allowed whether she drew or did not draw the attention.
The issue is not in uncovering the private parts, for example to put makeup on her face, or her fingers or her veil or gown, or to adorn her leg under the gown like those who put an anklet…. All this adornment if not common in the milieu in which the woman lives, and when this adornment draws the attention, then this is called Tabarruj and it is not allowed.
So, if a woman colors her nails -for example- in a village which is not used to see the nails of a woman colored, then this adornment on her nails draws the attention and is therefore not allowed, although the palm of the hand is not from the private parts.
And if she walks on the ground and the sound of her anklet is heard and draws the attention to the adornment on her leg -although her leg is covered- then this is Tabarruj and it is not allowed.
And if she wears a Khimar, an uncommon one- brocaded vividly in a manner which draws the attention, then this is Tabarruj and is not allowed although her hair is covered.
And if she wears a Jilbab (gown) which has drawings on the chest that draw the attention, then this is Tabarruj, and is not allowed although the Jilbab is a Shar’i dress.
Therefore any dressing without uncovering the private parts but draws the attention is -Tabarruj- and is not allowed, but dressing in a manner which uncovers the private parts is not allowed whether it draws or does not draw the attention.
The proof on that is;
((ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليُعْلَم ما يخفين من زينتهن))
“And that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.” [Al-Nur: 31] the woman is not allowed to move in a way which draws the attention to her anklet although her leg is covered. So dressing in a manner which draws the attention (without uncovering the private parts) is Tabarruj and is not allowed not.
The Conclusion: Dressing in a manner which draws the attention (without uncovering the private parts) is Tabarruj (Adornment) and is not allowed. And dressing in a manner which uncovers the private parts is not allowed, whether it drew or did not draw the attention. Of course uncovering the private parts is not allowed.
Therefore any dressing -in what is allowed to be seen- which draws the attention, as explained above, is Tabarruj and is not allowed. That could be known by the circumstances and reality of the milieu in which the woman lives, and knowing that generally is not a problem, because people -men and women- can estimate and know that.
This is Tabarruj (Adornment) where drawing the attention decides whether this dressing is Tabarruj or not. As for dressing in a manner which uncovers the private parts, it’s place is not in Tabarruj, but in the Hukm of the private parts, and the evidences on it are obvious, a woman is not allowed to uncover any part of her private parts, whether that was drawing or not drawing the attention; Allah (swt) says:
((وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ ... الآية))
“That they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what appears from it; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands… the Ayat” [Al-Nur: 31], “what appears from it” means the face and palm of hands, as explained by Ibn Abbas -may Allah be content with them- Rasulallah says:
«إن الجارية إذا حاضت لم يصلح أن يرى منها إلا وجهها ويداها إلى المفصل»
“If a girl menstruates, only her face and hands to the joint are allowed to be seen” reported by Abu Dawud, so -according to the evidences- a woman is not allowed to uncover other than the face and palms of hands, to other than the husband and Mahrams.
That is why the duty is to dress a Khimar which is big enough to cover the hair and neck and twist it on the chest, so that nothing appears except the face and palms of hands. Allah says:
((وليضربن بخمرهن على جيوبهن))
“that they should draw their veils over their Jeibs (bosoms)” [Al-Nur: 31] which means to twist the veil on the Jeib (opening of the shirt) so that the neck will not appear, so the veil will cover the head the ears the neck, only the face and palm of hands can appear from her body.
By Sheikh Ata ibn Khaleel Abu al-Rashta