Can Muslim women wear coats? Or, Abu Hurayrah’s ahadith on women

I came across some nonsense on the internet recently:

Some Muslim men/man, likely Salafi, who took it upon themselves to tell Muslim women to quit wearing winter coats and jackets because they didn’t erase them completely. I’m not going to link the twitter thread here but you could find it.

First, ladies, please ditch the preachers who want you to freeze to death without your coats. Be safe, be warm, be happy, be well, and love Allah as free submitters.

As for these men, I exhort them to go hide in mom’s basement where they catch sight of no real-life women. Except on the internet.

Their selective sources re: women are unreliable. See my 🧵 on Abu Hurayra.

Their overemphasis on the Ibn Taimiyah-influenced mufassir Ibn Kathir is also part of their selective narrative.

This blog post largely relies on Khaled Abou El Fadl’s book “Speaking in God’s Name,” specifically chapter 7.

Abu Hurayrah converted only 3 years before the Prophet’s death, but narrated so many hadith that prominent Sahaba rebuked him. Never married, he is the source of many reports demeaning to women.

The sahaba “severely criticized Abū Hurayrah for transmitting so many reports,” and “many traditions that contradicted … more notable Companions.” In fact, Umar (RA) threatened to exile Abū Hurayrah if he didn’t cease transmitting. Abū Hurayrah defended himself by attacking their record of piety.

Abu Hurayra criticized the Companions’ characters, for being involved in business and (in the case of Ayesha) in “beautifying” herself, while he (Abu Hurayra) spent all his time piously with the Prophet. Ali (RA) said, “Abū Hurayrah, since when was the Prophet your close companion!”

Abu Hurayra is the source of many hadith re: women. E.g. wives prostrating to their husbands, angels cursing wives who refuse sex, a woman passing before a man invalidates his prayer, more women being in Hell, and so on.

You get the idea.

For pandemic-era awareness, it might interest you to know that Abu Hurayra is also the source of a report that there’s no such thing as contagious disease.