What Makes a Modest Yet Fashionable Muslim Man?

Discover the principles of modest fashion for Muslim men and how MVSLIM’s new series, ‘The Sartorial Muslim Edit,’ serves as a guide to blending faith with modern style.

When we think of modest fashion, we often picture Muslim women, especially hijabis. What’s rarely discussed is modest fashion from the perspective of men, particularly Muslim men. Why is this the case?

A big problem in Muslim cultures is that we tend to place the importance of honor and chastity solely on women, rather than men.

In Surah An-Noor, Allah mentions men’s sartorial decency and modesty first in verse 30, then discusses women’s in verse 31:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.” (Qur’an 24:30)

Awrah vs. Modesty

But what makes a modest Muslim man? Is it simply about covering one’s awrah (عورة) – the “intimate” body parts that should be covered – between the navel and knee?

Covering the awrah is the bare minimum requirement for decency for the Muslim man. Are we just about doing the bare minimum, or do we aim to strive for excellence?

The difference between merely covering one’s awrah and true modesty lies in embodying haya’ as a Muslim man.

What is Haya’ (حياء)? Haya’ is a central characteristic of Islam, representing natural shyness and a sense of modesty.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Haya (modesty) is part of faith.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 56]

Yes, it is permissible for a Muslim man to walk around topless or with shorts, but is this the character of a Muslim man that you wish to represent?

Islam’s expectation of modesty requires a Muslim man to be presentable by taking extra steps and paying attention to how he dresses. This is not to impress or please others, but to please Allah and represent Islam in the best way possible.

Introducing… The Sartorial Muslim Edit

Allah SWT said: “Ask, ˹O Prophet, “Who has forbidden the adornments and lawful provisions Allah has brought forth for His servants?” Say, “They are for the enjoyment of the believers in this worldly life, but they will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Judgment.” (Qur’an 7:32)

This verse tells us that Muslims should take good care of their clothes, presenting a pleasant appearance without extravagance. The Prophet SAW used to check on himself before meeting his companions.

The idea that personal appearance, especially among men, has its roots in the Sunnah and has inspired us to create a new series on MVSLIM in collaboration with United Kingdom-based modest fashion stylist and content creator, Mohamed Sharif @theswolearab.

Mohamed Sharif, host of The Sartorial Muslim Edit (@theswolearab)

The Sartorial Muslim Edit (TSME) is a much-needed style and lifestyle guide for the Muslim man, blending faith with modern men’s fashion.

From an episode on the importance of having the right accessories that will set you up for success – and no, not the kind of accessories you might expect – to an episode about the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in Islam, TSME is a series for every Muslim man who strives to take better care of his appearance while being guided by our Deen.

Follow MVSLIM on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled for future episodes, InshaAllah.