MUI issues "jilboob" fatwa

The influential Indonesian group rules Muslim girls and women should not combine a tight blouse and head scarf.

By Alisha Nurhayati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

August 22, 2014
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There shall be no "jilboobs".

  •  An Acehnese official speaks to students wearing tight trousers in September 2013. Now, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa banning tight-fitting tops. [Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP]

    An Acehnese official speaks to students wearing tight trousers in September 2013. Now, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa banning tight-fitting tops. [Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP]

The latest fatwa by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) orders Muslim women not to wear snug tops with their jilbabs– a fashion practice dubbed "jilboobs" in Indonesia.

Explaining the latest fatwa issued August 7th, MUI leaders said it was better for women to dress comfortably and modestly.

"Women can dress up accordingly to keep them safe and comfortable. Tight clothing does not look comfortable," MUI chairman Din Syamsuddin told Khabar Southeast Asia.

Women have the responsibility to carry themselves according to good Islamic teachings, "including dressing up properly and not [being] vulgar", MUI vice chairman Maruf Amin said. "[This style of dress] is not in line with existing Islamic norms."

The MUI has become more active in recent years in attempting to shape what it considers proper Islamic behavior in Indonesian society. Earlier this year, it launched a "National Movement to Correct the Nation's Morals".

Last August, an MUI branch in Pamekasan, East Javaurged the government to require teenage girls to take virginity tests before admission to high school. MUI also suggested the government resist pressure to ban female circumcision .

"We like to dress up"

The new fatwa upset young women like Jakarta resident Dewi Santika.

"It has nothing to do with insulting religion. We [women who wear the style] are also Muslims," the 23-year-old told Khabar. "We do not want to insult religion.

"This model was very popular back in the 1970s and early 1990s. The main point is that it covers most of our body, and we are comfortable using it," she said. "Most Muslim women, like me, we value our religion as important, but we still like to dress up."

Fashion designer Anita Hasyim said women wearing the style don't necessarily disagree with Sharia law.

"The fact that Muslim women are committed to covering their entire body – it does show some respect for Islam," she told Khabar. But Muslim women should "take time and do some self-evaluation," now that the style has been tagged with crude terminology.

The controversial style of dress is embraced by young people "still in the process of learning and developing," said Syifa Fauziyah of the Hijabbers Community of Jakarta.

"It is our responsibility as parents and teachers to tell them the proper way to wear hijab," she told Khabar. "They will still look beautiful by wearing proper hijab."

Reader Comments
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    • muzakir h
      September 1, 2014 @ 04:09:33AM
    • I am okay with the fatwa by MUI that women are obligated to don the hijab because it is the command of Allah and the Prophet and there is no other solution except being a non-Muslim. Even convents have hijabs and it said that we are Muslim women.
    • sutarno
      August 31, 2014 @ 09:08:10AM
    • Muslimah, o Muslimah, many do not know how to dress according to the Islamic sharia. But, when they are advised, on average they will reject it.
    • syamsudin
      August 27, 2014 @ 10:08:21AM
    • I completely agree, these days it seems that women claim to be Muslims but their clothing deviates from the Muslim identity. They claim to be Muslim but they wear skimpy clothing that arouse the desires of men who see them.
    • is smile wang
      August 26, 2014 @ 08:08:46PM
    • We should have commitment in all things we do, so Muslim women must totally commit and not be reluctant when donning the hijab. Let us together carry out Amar ma'ruf nahi munkar.
    • supono
      August 24, 2014 @ 09:08:18AM
    • We are happy with the fatwa by the MUI that women must wear a hijab.
    • Walujo Pudjiono
      August 24, 2014 @ 07:08:07AM
    • I am concerned with Muslim women in Indonesia who do not understand what intimate parts are, (this is my personal opinion). Why? It is because from their way of dressing, they think intimate parts are limited to skin. Therefore, as long as their skin is covered, they have covered their intimate parts. If I remember correctly, in the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad SAW, He once said that once He is gone, many women will wear clothes but remain naked because they still display the curves of their bodies. This is our comment, we would like the clerics (MUI) to review this. If this is correct, I would like MUI to release a complete and clear article about the intimate parts of women so that they understand it better and publish it all over the country, especially to all the models who claim to be Muslims but do not understand the meaning of intimate parts. Thank you.
    • eko budi cahyono
      August 24, 2014 @ 03:08:46AM
    • Many people do not yet understand the content of the Quran. When they finally understand it, they will regret doing things that are not in line with its mandate.
    • zack
      August 23, 2014 @ 10:08:03PM
    • In this day and age, women on average do not cover their intimate parts, most of them wrap them up instead. Does Islam teach to cover or wrap?
    • faisal
      August 23, 2014 @ 11:08:13AM
    • I totally agree, boss, because if that woman was really a Muslim, why should she be embarrassed about wearing complete Muslim attire?

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