1) Are there any restrictions for women wearing certain colours in public?
2) What are the restrictions for women’s Salah attire (can it have patterns/calligraphy/colours etc)?
It is allowed for a woman to wear a coloured Hijab in public provided the colour is not eye-catching. If we look into the Sunnah, we find that the Sahabiyaat wore different colours, such as black [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood (no. 4101], rose colour [al-Bukhari (no. 1618)], green [al-Bukhari (no. 5825)], etc.
Shaikh Bin Baz (d. 1420 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked:
Question: “An old custom is found in our province where all the women wear black. Is this recommended or disliked?”
Answer: “Women have a choice in clothing: black or green or red or other than that. Clothing that is spacious. As for believing that it is a means of drawing closer to Allah, then that is an innovation. As for if they want to wear black because it is more concealing for them in front of men, then there is no harm in that. Or they do so for other reasons, like that it is cheaper, or for other reasons, without a belief that it is a means to drawing near to Allah and obedience, then there is no harm. As for having a belief that black has a distinction and it is a means to draw near to Allah and an obedience to Allah, then this is an innovation, incorrect…”. End. [Reference]
However, the Hijab should not be a colour or design which attracts the attention of the opposite gender as that would negate one of the benefits of the hijab which is to conceal the woman and her beauty. Therefore, she should avoid any bright colours, glitter, eye-catching accessaries on the Hijab, etc.
Shaikh al-Albani (d. 1420 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “The second condition: that the hijab is not an adornment in and of itself due to the statement of Exalted in the above-mentioned verse in Surah an-Nur: “And not to show off their adornment” [24:31]. Due to the generality of the verse, it includes the external clothing if it is adorned such that it attracts the gaze of men towards her”. End. [Jilbaab al-Mar’atul-Muslimah (pg. 119)].
In relation to the Salah attire of a woman at home, then the scholars have mentioned that the covering of the woman in prayer is not the same as her covering when going outside. While she veils herself when praying and going out for the sake of Allah, she also covers when going outside from the gaze of men which is not the case when she at home [See: Majmoo’ al-Fatawaa of Ibn Taymiyyah (13/62)]. With that being said, she can wear any clothing in prayer which is concealing and spacious. This is whether it has colours, or patterns, calligraphy etc. However, it should not be clothing which will distract her in the prayer.
I asked my Shaikh Abdullah al-Khawlaani (may Allah have mercy upon him) this question about Salah attire. He replied saying: “If the clothing is ample and concealing, then the prayer is valid wearing it. If its adornment distracts her in the prayer, then it is disliked. Otherwise, there is no dislike”. End. [Answered via Whatsapp on Sun Feb 21, 2021].
The proof for the last portion of the Shaikh’s speech is the Hadith of ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) offered prayer while he was wearing a Khamisa of his that had printed marks. He looked at its marks and when he finished prayer, he said, “Take this Khamisa of mine to Abu Jahm, for it has just now diverted my attention from my prayer, and bring to me the Anbijania (a plain thick sheet) of Abu Jahm bin Hudhaifa bin Ghanim who belonged to Bani Adi bin Ka`b.” [al-Bukhari (no. 5817)]
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan