Umm Ayyoob quotes some of the narrations which Shaykh al-Albani brings about the permissibility for the woman to pray wearing her house dress (regular home clothing) and a Khimar (head covering) and then he brings the narration that she should wear an outer garment type of covering (e.g. like a Abayyah).
Then the Shaykh says:
‘Then all of this is understood to be, that it is more complete and better for her to wear an outer garment type of covering and Allaah knows best.’
[Mentioned in ‘Tamaam al-Mina Fee Taleeq ala Fiqh-us-Sunnah’ p.161-162]
Umm Ayoob says:‘So in summary: Shaykh Albani -Rahimullaah- holds the opinion that it is recommended for the woman to wear the Jilbaab (Abayyah) on top of her house dress and a head covering for the prayer. His sources for this are the following:
1- His understanding of the authentic Athaar (narrations) which show that it is sufficient for the woman to wear a house dress and head covering for the prayer.
2- The Shaykh affirms the Athaar which show that the dress of the woman in prayer should be a house dress and head covering along with a Jilbaab or wrapping sheet worn for prayer, or a wrapping garment.
3- Combining between these Athaar which are all authentic, Shaykh Albani concludes that it is recommended for the woman in the prayer to wear a Jilbaab and that it is better and more complete.
This is what the Shaykh established in his book ‘Tamaam al-Mina Fee Taleeq ala Fiqh-us-Sunnah’ however I want to point to an important point about this topic and that is exemplified in that the Shaykh ‘Allaama al-Albani -Rahimullaah- retracted from his saying that of recommendation of wearing the Jilbaab in the prayer to the opinion of it being obligatory to wear it in the prayer, as it occurs in his book ‘Hijaab al-Marrata al-Muslimah Fee al-Kitab wa Sunnah’ and in the book ‘Jilbaab’ in the last print.
This opinion of it being obligatory, is after his book ‘Tamaam al-Mina’ which affirms the Shaykh’s -Rahimullaah- retraction from the opinion of it being recommended to the opinion of it being obligatory.
The Shaykh -Rahimullaah- said while refuting the followers of Imaam Shafi’ee :
‘They say (the followers): that it is recommended for the woman to pray in a long and loose fitting shirt and head covering and to take a Jilbaab thick above her clothing to prevent her showing the size of her limbs.’
The opinion of recommendation negates the apparent order, which is that it is obligatory as has preceded.
The statement of Imaam Shafi’ee -Rahimullaah- in the book ‘al-Umm’ which we previously mentioned, where he said (1/78):
‘….and if a man prays in a shirt (garment) which is see through then it is not allowed for him to pray in that . . . and if he prays in one shirt (garment) which is tight and is not see through then it is disliked for him to pray in that, but it is not mentioned that he should repeat the prayer….. and there is more of a concern for the condition of the woman than the man if she prays in the house dress and head covering by which the house dress shows her size.’
Shaykh Albani continues:
‘Verily Aeysha -Radi Allaahu anha- said:
‘It is necessary for the woman to pray wearing three garments: a house dress, a Jilbaab and a head covering.’
‘Aeysha used to undo her waist wrapper and wear it as a Jilbaab.’
She used to do this so that nothing shown from her clothing.
Her statement: ‘It is necessary…’ is an evidence that it is obligatory to wear the Jilbaab.
Also, with the same meaning is the statement of Ibn Umar -Radi Allaahu anhu- :‘If a woman prays then she should pray in all her garments: house dress, head covering and a wrapping garment (i.e. like an Abayya or sheet).’
[‘Jilbaab al-Maraatul Muslimah Fee al-Kitaab wa Sunnah’ p.134-135]
Umm Ayyoob continues:
‘So the Shaykh has two opinions in this issue, the opinion that it is recommended, to which I previously indicated to, and the other opinion of it being obligatory, which he affirmed in the various prints of his book ‘Jilbaab al-Maraah’, and this is a strong proof of the Shaykh’s trustworthy responsibility of knowledge and how he retracted from what he viewed as a mistake, and how he was very careful with the truth and researching it, may Allaah have a lot of mercy upon him.’
[‘Various women’s issues from the Fiqh of ‘Allaama al-Albani –Rahimullaah’– compiled by Umm Ayyoob p.57-58]