Mounir, a Muslim from France, sent natury a list of Qur'anic verses dealing with clothing some time ago: 7:20, 7:22, 7:26-27, 7:31, 20:118-119, 20:121, 24:31, 24:58, 33:59. He was, he wrote, skeptical about a Muslim being (or being allowed to be) a naturist, and asked natury about their views here.
Qur'an contains some verses about wearing clothes. Therefore, it is often claimed, that in Islam nudity is forbidden or even declared as a sin.
However, the interpretation of the Qur'an is a science in itself. For centuries, "Koran exegesis" has been considered a demanding, scientific discipline. The Cologne-based Islamic scholar Katajun Amirpur writes about this in the weekly magazine DIE ZEIT:
“Even traditional Islamic exegesis presupposes a relation of revelation and history, and insists on the necessity of subjecting even apparently clear verses to detailed linguistic and historical interpretation, rather than simply taking them to be literal. This, however, is little perceived in our lands. The procedure of picking out individual verses from Qur'an, in order to substantiate mostly only one's own preconceived theses, as is practiced today by critics of Islam and fundamentalists alike, and thus bringing them together in an unintentional closing of ranks, is grotesque from the Islamic-theological point of view, and even more so: it is a sign of complete ignorance. Qur'an is not a quarry.“
Thus, you cannot pick out a single (verse) quotation and interpret the wording contained therein as generally valid – often the Qur'anic verses are related to specific historical situations (e.g., Sura 48 (al-Fath = The Success), which was written during a war situation between Medina and Mecca) and their wording, taken by itself, is not generally valid, but context-related. Likewise, many Qur'anic verses are to be considered only in connection with other verses in order to achieve correct interpretations.
This does not make it easy for natury (and other lay people) to interpret the Qur'anic statements on the subject of clothing. In fact, we cannot fulfil the claim of a well-founded Qur'anic analysis due to a lack of basic scientific work. We are aware of this and explicitly point this out.
Verse 7:26 says: “O children of Adam, we sent down upon you raiment to cover your nakedness, and robes of splendour; but the garment of godliness, that is better".
So, clothing to cover nakedness is approved of, but if you do not cover your nakedness but are filled with godliness – then you are better clothed than with any other clothing. So if you are devout, you can remain in the nude.
So far about a possible, isolated interpretation of this one verse, to which, to our knowledge, there is no other Qur'anic verse with a related theme. Verse 7:26 seems to pave the way to naturism – even with public nudity – for every Muslim, the only prerequisite being deep faith. Whether this also applies to women is hard to decide. Although according to the Qur“an, men and women have equal rights, on the other hand, different rules apply to men and women. We leave this – as well as statements on other questions – to the Islamic scholars because of the complexity of the Islamic science of interpretation.
There are also Muslims, who have recognised, that nudity is not a sin in Islam. Farhat Othman's web contributions contain detailed essays on this topic (language: French), but also numerous answers and comments, which often contradict his statements, that Islam allows Muslims, to be nude and to live as naturists:
- “La nudité n’est pas un péché en Islam“ (nawaat.org)
- “Bloc-notes : Oser le nu pour rénover l'Islam“ (kapitalis.com)