What Do Saudi Men Wear to Swim In?

Islam is for swimmers

Last year I had written a post on whether Saudi women liked to swim.  And this year I was reminded by a regular reader of my blog that I had never addressed whether Saudi men liked to swim and if so, what do they wear.  The hot weather certainly remains in Saudi Arabia so I thought it was a good time to address this query.

Because there are less restrictions on the Saudi men, more of them get the opportunities to swim than Saudi women.  Saudi men can easily roll up their pants legs and wade in to the sea if they are not wearing shorts or swimming trunks.  Whereas of course, the women must restrict themselves to the female swimming areas unless they are at a very private location.

So what does the Saudi man typically wear?  Do they swim trunks, Speedos or an “Islamically correct” swimsuit for men?  I am advised that just about anything goes.  It is recommend that the Saudi (Muslim) man wears swim trunks which come down to the knee in order to be Islamically correct and that the chest should also remain covered.  T-shirts and long shorts are the traditional swimwear the majority of Saudi men will wear.  However that being said, one may see the occasional Saudi men in shorter swim trunks which are above the knee at the Jeddah or Damman seashores.  And outside of Saudi Arabia, anything can go in the way of swimwear to include Speedo trunks although Speedo’s are viewed as inappropriate attire for the Saudi (Muslim) male.


36 Responses

  1. No speedo, but sometimes something worse… white underwear that becomes see through once in the water… not a pretty sight at all… and I’m glad that does not happen very often… usually someone that could not resist the urge to get in the water without any preparation and just had to do it…

    I repeat… Not a pretty sight

  2. One more thing… about the picture
    “look at how he is looking into her eyes…. now thats love
    it looks like the Titanic if it happened between Jeddah and Cairo”

    Stolen from a comment I saw on facebook

  3. At the private beaches we frequent, most of the Saudi men wear long swimming trunks or long shorts and no t-shirt. I have not seen any Saudi men wearing a Speedo at all….since the early eighties….but perhaps in Europe, it’s different. I wonder what they wear at the nude beaches in the south of France. ??? Anyone been there recently? And, I wonder if the fully clad Saudi ladies go to that beach with their husbands. I would think that they would really stand out in the crowd…..but I can’t imagine that they’d ever go to one.

  4. I think boardshorts are more common these days, even around consevative (yes, I’m talking about male Southeast Asian kind of shy).

    And if everyone wearing board shorts looked like this, you probably would not have minded seeing them off the beach too.

    PS: @Qusay,
    on the look of love [and, if she isn’t drowning under her soaked niqab],
    Oh, aren’t we REALLY glad that your eyes aren’t hot, man! Dude, halala for you MashAllah!

  5. Over here its speedo…boxers…swim trunks…whatever. Even jeans now and then…and yes…rarely but still happens…thobe pants, which are see through. Seriously, do men not really know these thobe pants are see through anyhow…without water added?

    While I assume that lady in the pic is having fun (cant see face so she could be terrified of water for all we know) I do know from personal experience that all that material in the water is very heavy and draining on your energy. Good thing her husband is holding on to her.

    btw curious…will she get into her car soaking wet with all that on since most public beaches dont have changing areas (at least not here in Bahrain)…lol.

  6. I know boardshorts are pretty popular amongst shy beachgoers. You probably wouldn’t don’t mind seeing it worn off the beach if they looked this good.

    PS: @Qusay, Halala for your MashAllah, dude! At least she’s not drowning under her soaked niqab!

  7. I agree, anything goes for Saudi males (young and old) swimming in public,
    but covering their chests as a should? Islamicly speaking, bare chests are not considered indecent.
    so wearing a t-shirt while swimming is a rare occurrence from my personal experience here in Jeddah.

  8. This is off-topic but the picture of the woman swimming with her husband made me recall that a brand of ‘muslim swimsuits’ is called ‘burqini’. kind of cute, don’t you think? lol.

  9. hmm it’s been so long ago i can’t remember but I think i saw quite a few bare chests !!! That little girl looks so happy – small pleaseures in life seem to satisfythem a lot 🙂

  10. Good points raised on the “sunni underpants.” The thobe fabric and that of the pants is so shear that if a man is standing in the sun the wrong way, his whole body is clearly illuminated. You’d think there’d be a fatwa for that so women don’t go around having fitnah (JOKING)…..

  11. I think those thobes with the sun behind them are totally sexy with the right men inside.
    Totally haraam!
    I do like the loving look in the photot.
    But what a ridiculous notion; to go in the water with all those black drapes. A nineteenth century swimsuit with a small skirt would be quite ok. That is if you follow the writings of the Quran, not the scholars.

  12. 1- I believe this picture was taken in Ghaza..
    2- I was in one of the Greek islands last summer.. and I did see 2 Saudi women there.. fully covered… and I’m not gonna go on and tell you what happened to one of them.
    3-I don’t think there’s anything ridiculous in going into the water fully covered… i think its just a different culture… how you dress in the water is a matter of norms and preferences…. Very similar to how you choose to dress on the street!

  13. Nader, no it isn’t. You can’t do sports, move, and certainly not swim dressed like that. not real proper muscle building swinmming.
    It’s unnatural, unhealthy and therefore cannot be Gods will.
    It cannot be so in any logic method of reasoning
    Moreover, you will eventually suffer from ailments connected with the depravation of sunlight and vitamin D. No God can design humans in a way that they need sunlight on their skin for health and then force half of humanity to do without it.
    No God can design half of humanity to look like they do and then proclaim them an awrah for how they look and force them into the most restrictive and unhealthy and uncomfortable covering.

    This is men’s work.
    Men’s invention.
    Men’s obsession.
    And it is a recent obsession, for 99,99% of humanity used to walk around sensibly dressed for thousands of years, including the major part of Arabia.. Until about 70 years ago when this bidah was forced upon the whole female part of Saudi Arabia, and is now exported to make the rest of the world’s muslim women suffer.

    What happened to one of the saudi women?
    Did she drown?

  14. My dear Aafke,,,
    First of all, you need to chill out, my friend. No one talked about doing sports.. no one talked about swimming.. We only talked about going into the water.. that’s it… just going into the water!
    Take it easy Aafke, and remember, not everything should be turned to an argument about the veil. 🙂
    And no, she didn’t drown. later in the evening she was … well.. how can i say this…… hmm…. well.. she took off her abaya and much more than that… she took off almost everything. I couldn’t believe my eyes till I saw her wearing her abaya back!
    What is it that Carol usually say? some people are full of contradictions?

  15. Nader, ok, okeeee…. chillllllll….. 😎

    No really? :O How bizarre? What happened?
    It’s like what people do who drink: People who are drunk may do such things ànd feel very sorry for it afterwards!
    One good reason not to drink!
    How did you know it was the same woman? 😉

  16. @Hning – my apology for the delay…I did not realize that this comment had ended up in the spam filter!

  17. @AmericanBedu, I’m okay. Just wrapping up mourning for the passing of my thunder. Twice. Hihi.

  18. @ Aafke,

    whats ridiculous is that, a family having an amazing time altogether and here some of us are forcing the stereotype on them that a girl covered up cannot enjoy.

    ease of swimming and all the sports you are mentioning, well maybe you do not need an abaya for that. but when one woman whose covering since forever decides to go in a PUBLIC beach, she would definitely NOT prioritize the sun rays, speed, health, ease of movement, etc etc. over her veil that she did not take off since whatever number of ears.

    until about 70 years ago BIDDAH was taking place in Saudi Arabia, people were asking the graves. it was a great blessing from Allah that Shaikh Abdul Wahab Rehmatullah stepped in and may Allah bless him forever for the changes he had made to stop certain wrongful acts in this holy land.

    and what do you mean by “no god” ? there is only one god.

  19. YQ, I mean the one and only God made humans the way they are and then orders one half to cover what he/she has made? I don’t believe that. That’s what human men like, not what the one and only god likes.
    And this one God has made human bodies in such a way that they need active lives and sun on their skins for health, and then denies that health for 50 % because otherwise men can’t control themselves?
    If there is one God I still don’t believe that that God is either stupid, or mean, and defenitely not unlogic and hypocritical. Those are human characteristics
    Anyway, the quran, if you’ve ever taken the trouble to read it, doesn’t call for excessive covering, only the breasts and down to the knees.
    This picture shows an excess of covering which isn’t sunnah. Moderation in all: worship, food, charity and dress.

  20. Aafke, lol then please differentiate between a Mahram and a non-Mahram. why does Islam separate the two and has asked us to cover in front of Non-Mahram and not with Mahram? cover what? does this mean you can walk naked in front of the Mahram?

    like i said earlier, it is IMPOSSIBLE for an ordinary person to read the Qur’an and interpret its complete meaning.

    You trust Doctors with their degrees, engineers with their degrees, accountants with theirs, and it goes on and on. But when it comes to Islam you ignore the scholars who have actually studied Islam more than an engineer who has mastered his engineering.

    From your comments I see you fight for your own freedom in Saudi Arabia and its cultural norm which enforces certain rules on women using the Qur’an as a source. That is good, but not when you start interpretting and criticizing what Islam says. Draw a clearer boundary between Islam and culture. According to what you say “Breast and knees”, mashaAllah then the whole of Lebanon is a religious country I guess

    Islam has promoted physical fitness and activities very very very true. But that could be done privately, NOT in a public beach (especially where some jerk is ready to take pics like the one above).

    Bring me credible scholars opinion on the whole abaya, covering, veil thing. ONE that matches what you say. Scholars like Shaikh Munajjid in the Eastern Province, or other famous ones.

    And please read:

  21. YQ, Actually I don’t trust docters implicitly, and I am a FIRM beliver in ”Think For Yourself”
    So that also excludes scholars who have vested interests, personal, financial, and political. And in my opinion ”explain” islam according to those interests.
    The Khimaar was introduced by the Ottomans, into Saudi Arabia, so the explaination in the link you send me is allready tending to forget history and adapting it to what they like now.
    The word hijab occurs only a few times in the Quran and never in connection with women covering.
    The brilliant idea that women have to cover everything except their eyes and hands in an increadibly hot country stems from one of the hadith, not the quran. And I don’t believe in the ahdith: they were written down a hundred years after the prophet died, and there are so many contradicting each oither and even the Quran that I don’t even feel te need to discuss the unreliabillity of the hadith.
    Right after the prophet died there were allready reports of people making hadith up to suit their own purpose.
    A hadith which contradicts the Quran must be at fault. Then why give it devine status?
    And about history: how do you explain the many photo’s of women who do not cover excessivly? How do you explain that this fashion is only a few decennia old if it is mandated by God?
    How do you explain the paintings of women from the hijaz wearing colourful clothes and no niqab from only 30 years ago?
    No, sorry, all this stuff about covering is bidah, and quite recent at that.

    And if they cover the breasts and down to the knees in the Lebanon they are at least correctly and modestly dressed.

  22. you dont believe in hadith hmmm… then how do you pray?

  23. The Prophet said…pray as you SEE me pray…not as you might read in the hadith…which btw all the hadith combined do not give an accurate understanding or description of how to pray from start to finish. There are books that detail how to pray from start to finish…but not hadith….which makes me wonder…why do Muslims always point to hadith when asking…how do you pray?

  24. If Hadith could change, then why wont someone bother to change one of the main pillars, one that differentiates between a Muslim and non-Muslim? Why would someone NOT change the books that tell us how to pray?

    Btw are you people Shiah/Shiite ?

    PS. when you reject the Hadith, you claim to reject all what the beloved Prophet SAW said. In order words, his words do not carry any value to you.

  25. Rejecting “some” hadith does not mean rejecting “all”…we are obligated as Muslims to descern what is correct Islam from what is culture and fabrication shoved into it by men along the way. If hadith contradict the Quran in even a single word…how can you argue that its straight from the Prophets mouth? If that were true then we should refer to the Prophet as the fabricator, liar, distorter, and downright woman hater…not every word that he uttered was divine…nor was every word he spoke written down…and of what he spoke that was written down…there is NO WAY IN HELL to verify with 100% accuracy or proof that he did indeed say that exactly the way its written…and obviously since there are numerous glaring contradictions…we dont have to think to hard to realize that SOME hadith are hardly islamic in any way shape or form…

    Why do we have to be Shia? they arent the only sect that has troubles understanding the word of God.

  26. Coolred, you make so much sense to me on this subject. I never understood why one person’s life, every action, bathroom habit and word held so much weight. I understand that Muslims revere Mohammad, but it’s really obsessive to the point of hilarity and god status to an outsider like myself.

  27. Thank you Susanne…common sense…thats all it takes. Something many (I would like to say most or all but I just cant) are born with.

  28. Thats soo stereotypical of all of you. There are sooooo many saudi men that are wayy hotter than our American or European men. Some are even more modern than you and allllooooooot of them are much much richer than all of you combined.. And just because some of the people here are religous you can’t judge the rest of the population. My friends for example can’t go anywhere other than school without there bodyguards. Andd you philippinos ” south east asians” shouldn’t talk. Your probably maids or runaway drivers. I should know my boy friend is saudii

  29. @Jessica
    If he’s your “source” then he’s not completely honest. Some Saudi men MAY be hotter than SOME European/American men… Some may be more modern than some, MANY of them are NOT richer than American/Western men.

    And FYI, there is nothing wrong with the opinion of someone because they are a maid or a driver, or because they are Philipino/South East Asian- talk about stereotypical (actually you sound more racist here).

  30. she is happy ??
    and so ??
    she can take it off if she wants !!!
    just leave muslims alone !!
    don’t discuss about them !!
    they’re just PERFECT !!

  31. @ Jessica, you do realise that if you are only a ”girlfriend” chances are about 99% he’s just using you for sex and maybe to do his housework, and he will drop you like a hot brik when a hotter girl comes along, or if you get pregnant, or if he is ordered to marry by his family, or if he goes back to KSA?
    Just so you are warned.

  32. Islamically speaking, there is no problem with a male wearing a speedo, as it is only disliked and NOT Muharam (completely forbidden) to expose the thighs, this is indicated and justified by a hadith narrated by Aisha (ra) and in Bukhari and Muslim, in which the prophet Muhammad (phuh) remained seated with his thighs exposed when both Umar and Abu Baka (raa) entered his home.

    Thus, scholars say that from this hadith it is only disliked to show the thighs, thus muslim men may wear speedos and be fine, as long as their privates are covered.

    I have a saudi friend who plays waterpolo with me on my university team here in Australia. and we all have to wear speedos,

    the egyptian water polo team wears speedos, the tunisian and morrocan swim teams wear speedos and so do many of the muslim nations down in south east asia, thus this whole issue with men and speedos and modesty and being completely covered is very much a cultural and tribal issue if anything and NOT a religious issue. just see the Burkini for an example of an islamically acceptable female swimwear, which doesnt have all that fabric holding her down and possibly drowning her. this may not be culturally acceptable but it is ISLAMICALLY ACCEPTABLE.

  33. Welcome to American Bedu, Mohamad and thank you for your comment. I appreciate the information and detail you have provided.

    Best Regards, Bedu

  34. First by allowing you to view this image
    Second, you claim you justice, democracy, and now you are putting images is not your right to view
    Third, why not display your photos with your sweetheart you gay

  35. What the f is this ? Why degrade women to that level.

  36. what the important thing in the image (man and woman are swiming) (if unknown woman liked to swim in her cover, u people start giving openions)

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