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The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim women.

سم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركــــاته
The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim women. 


This section consists of the kalaam of our shaykh, Saalih ibn Foazaan ibn Abdullah al Foazaan(may Allah preserve him) in form of questions and answers (fataawa).

Allah subhaanahu wa ta aala says in in His Book:

...and not to reveal their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islaam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.Suratun-Nur 31

From that which has been highlighted in the forementioned ayah it is permissible for the believing women to reveal their adorments (those areas of adorments eg. the likes of the face,hair,neck,forearm & lower shin. wallahu aalum) amongst believing women, or female slaves or children who have no sense of same or sex.

The question however now arises in regards to the type of clothing worn in these situations from that which is suitable and allowed.

In this regard several questions were asked to Shaykh Saalih ibn Foazaan ibn Abdullah al Foazaan (May Allah preserve him) :

Question: Many women hold an opinion regarding the awrah of a woman infront of another woman is that which is between the navel and the knee. So some of them do not hesistate to wear clothing that very tight or open revealing large portions of the chest and arms. What do you say concerning them?

Answer: What is required from the muslim women is modesty and shyness, and that she should be a good example to her muslim sisters,and she shouldnot expose to them except that which is considered normal/befitting for/of righteous muslim women to show amongst themselves. This is what is initially upon them and is safest for indeed being unattentive and laxed in exposing that which there is no need to expose could lead to further unattentiveness and carelessness hence leading to that which is forbidden. wa Allahu aalum (and Allah knows best) [1]

Question: Does a woman wearin tight clothes infront of other women come under the hadeeth ((...women who will be clothed yet naked...))?

Answer: There is no doubt that the wearing of tight clothes which reveal the alluring parts of the body is something not permissible, not permissible except for wearing it for her husband only. As for infront of other than her husband then it is not permissible.Even if there is only women present because she will represent as a bad example for them.When they see her doing so they may follow her in it. Also she has been ordered to cover her awrah with that which is loose and a be covered in front of everyone except her husband. So she covers her awrah in front of other women as she does in front of men except that which is considered normal and befitting of her to show amongst other women like the face, hands,feet and that which there is a need to uncover/reveal..[2]

Question: What is the ruling concerning the wearing of clothes which are see thru or tight to the extent that it reveals her bodily parts?

Answer: It is obligatory upon the women that their clothing is not of the likes that it is so thin that the colour of the skin may be seen thru it, neither that it is so tight as to reveal the shape of her bodily parts this is because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said : ((Two types of people from the inhabitants of hellfire i have not yet seen: Women covered yet uncovered when they walk they swing their sides/hips, upon their heads resemble the humps of camels they will not enter al jannah nor will they find its scent, and men who have with them whips resembling the tails of cows with them they beat the slave of Allah))[3]

Shaykh ul Islaam ibn Taimiya - may Allah have mercy upon him- in Maj'moo al fataawaa says regarding the staetment of the messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ((...covered but uncovered...)) means the wearing of clothes that doesnot cover her so she is clothed but in reality she is naked, like the woman who wears clothing which is thin so as to show her skin or clothing which is tight which clings revealing her bodily parts for example her posterior or the thigh or the likes. Truly the clothing of a woman is that which covers her not showing the shape of her limbs or more than that becuse it is that which is loose and non transparent. [ 4]

What has preceeded, is some of the fatwaa given by shaykh Saalih al Faozaan -may Allah preserve him- pretaining to the attire of muslim women amongst muslim women hopefully bringing some clarity to this affair. However for one to hold the opinion that the awrah of the muslim woman amongst muslim women is that which is between the navel and the knee then from that which is upon them is:

    *  firstly ,to present evidence in this regard and a presidence for this opinion from ahul Ilm.
    *  secondly to acknowledge that holding the opinion that the awrah is of such (between women) would illiminate such clothing such as 'hipsters' or 'stretch jeans' or the likes as the shape of the bodily parts can clearly be seen and there for is not permissible, as explained by the shaykh may Allah preserve him.

1 al muntaqaa min fataawa vol.3 p307 #453
2 al muntaqaa min fataawa vol.3 p307 #454
3 please refer to an english translation of saheeh muslim for a more precise translation of the hadeeth.
4 al fataawa al jaamatu li Imra'atul muslima vol.3 p845 #763.



Taken from : The Righteous Path-ý The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim womený-  Compiled By :Abu Aqeela
Translated By : Abu Aqeela

(With thanks to Abu-Ubaydah Yaqub Alpolandee)


Part of a man's good practice of Islam is avoiding what does not concern him 


Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about this and he replied:

Tight clothing which reveals a womanýs charms is forbidden, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: men with whips like the tails of cattle with which they strike the people meaning wrongfully and aggressively and women who are clothed yet naked, and walk with an enticing gait.

The phrase "clothed yet naked" was interpreted as meaning that they wear short clothes which do not cover that which should be covered of the awrah. It was also interpreted as meaning that they wear light clothes that do not prevent others from seeing the woman's skin underneath. And it was interpreted as meaning that they wear tight clothes, so that they are covered and cannot be seen, but their bodily charms can be seen.

On this basis, it is not permitted for a woman to wear these tight clothes, except in front of the one before whom she is permitted to show her awrah, who is the husband for there is no awrah between husband and wife, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess,  for then, they are free from blame [al-Muýminoon 23:5-6]

And Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I used to do ghusl  i.e., from janaabah (impurity following intercourse)  from one vessel, taking it in turns to dip our hands into the vessel.

So there is no awrah between a man and his wife.

But between a woman and her mahrams, she has to cover her awrah.

It is not permissible to wear tight clothing, either in front of one's mahrams or in front of other women, if it is excessively tight and shows the womans charms.

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, 2/825)  


Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee (rahimhullah) said:

"I see it is best to remind the brothers present here in this blessed gathering Insha Allaah-and to those whom these words will reach them ; about a matter which I think most of the Muslim are heedless about.
And it is not strange to anybody that reminding people with what they have neglected and what they are ignorant about ; has more priority than to speak to them about things which they usually hear on from those who give sermons , and the teachers , and those who give admonitions , and from the radio's  and other than these from among the means which have Allaah has made easy in these present times.
And also due to the statement ofthe Prophet (sallah Allaahu ala'hi wa sallam) :

"The best of thepeople ; are the most beneficial to them."
So there is no doubt that we understand from the hadeeth that ; benefitting the people is by teaching them what they donýt know , or by reminding them what they have become heedless about.
And from these matters is to know: What is the Awrah ofthe Muslim woman in front of another Muslim woman.

Indeed what is stated in some books offiqh is that the Awrah of the Muslim woman in front of another Muslim woman is like the awrah ofthe man to another man that is between the navel and the knees. And by this it means that it is permissible for a Muslim woman to expose and be naked in front of her sister ; the upper half of her body and what is lower the knees !
And what I want to remind you with is that : We have to know - before anything else- that this ruling does not have any proof from the Book of Allaah nor any hadeeth of the Prophet (sallah Allaahu alayhi wa sallam).
Another thing : The Book of Allaah proves opposite to this expansion in regards to the Awrah of the Muslim woman in front of her Muslim sister.
The scholars of tafseer have stated that in regards to the women ; there are two types of adornments : The apparent adornments , and the interior adornments.
And this is taken from two Noble verses ; the first one is the Statement of The Exalted :

"....And not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent..."

That they don't reveal their adornments in front of strange men. And this is the apparent adornment. It ruling is the one tied to the strange men. And as established from the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallah Allaahu alayhi wasallam)  it is the face and the wrists only.

As for all other body parts ýthen they are considered to be among the interior adornment ; which she is not allowed to display any of it in front of strange men.
As for the interior adornmentý it is what The Most Glorious The Most Majestic has allowed her to reveal to her mahram and to the Muslim women.
As in the famous verse , where The Exalted says :


".And not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathersý.."

"And like this The Exalted continues to name the mahram ; until He says ýor their(Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or  the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess.."

So in His statement "or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), : in this is a clear proof  that it is permissible for the Muslim woman to display in front of the Muslim woman the inner adornment which she reveals to her father , her brother , her sister, and to the other mahram.

Therefore , likewise the awrah ofthe woman in front ofthe Muslim woman is restricted to this interior adornmentýwhich we will come to know exactly what it is.

[And for this] We have to return to time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era); and see what the women were upon at that time and before their acceptance of Islaam. Thus this ruling came to clarify to the women what they are permitted to reveal in front of :

-The strange men (who are not mahram) : and this is the face and the wrists only. And this [as has been discussed] is the apparent/ outer adornment.

-And what is permissible for them in front ofthe mahram : and this is the inner adornments. So what is this inner adornment ?

Here , we have to stop a little bit at the tafseer ofthe scholars concerning this verse :

"...And not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathersý..."

What is the meaning ofthis sentence :

"...And not to reveal their adornment..."?

Is it meaning the adornments themselves ? Or is it the places ofthe adornments ?

Meaning : is the meaning of the verse that they do not reveal the places ofthe adornments , even ifthere are no adornments worn ? Or does it mean that they donýt reveal these places when they have adornments worn?
There are two statements from the Scholars , but there is no doubt that the correct statement is that the meaning is that they do not reveal the places ofthe adornments .

Thus the intended meaning of the verse : "...And not to reveal their adornment...": it means the places where the adornments are worn , [that they do not reveal them] except to the mahram and the Muslim women ; as has been mentioned.

And this is also because it is always in our intellect that there are places [body parts] which can never take adornments, and is never the custom ofthe women to put adornments on them.

So for example : is there an adornment [jewellery] on the thighs ? The answer is: No. Is there an adornment on the back? The answer is: No. Is there an adornment on the breasts? The answer is: No. is there an adornment under the arm pit? The answer is: No. And continue to name the body parts ; and the answer is No, No, No.

Therefore , there in this verse , Our Lord The Most Glorious The Most Majestic has allowed her to reveal in front of her mahram and the women ; the parts oftheir bodies which take adornments. Nothing else.
Only the body parts which take adornments, and not more than thatý..."
Then the shaykh continues to say :

" So we have known the apparent/ outer  adornment ; and that the most that the Legislation permits her to reveal in front ofthe strange men : is the face and wrists only.

And what is permissible in front of the mahram: are the places of adornments.

So what are the places of adornments which were considered during the time ofthe Prophet (sallahAllaahu alayhi wasallam) ?

These are restricted and are well known from the body parts : the first of which is are the bracelets on the wrists and the bangles on the hands, and the necklace which is on her neck and some parts ofthe upper chest, and lastly the anklet -of which our Lord clarified that it is from the outer adornments in his statement :

"...And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment..."

This is because the women who used to go astray in regards to some ofthe Islaamic Hijaab and manners which are a must for the Muslim woman to adorn herself with they used to hit their legs while passing by men , so that the men can hear it [the anklet] and thus look at her when they hear the sound ofthe bell like sound from the anklet. So this is what some ofthe women used to do during the early days of Islaam ; when Islaam was still new.

So Allaah disciplined them with this verse. thus He said : "...And let them not stamp their feetso as to reveal what they hide of their adornment..."
So therefore , this is the last well- known adornment [together with the necklace , and the bracelet] in the time ofthe ancient Islaam.
Hence according to the verse , Allaah has allowed for the women to reveal [to the mahram and the Muslim women]these parts where these adornments are worn.

So we have clearly known what the body parts which are permitted for the women to expose in front of her father , her brother, her nephew, and lastly the Muslim women.

So we have the hands where there is the bracelets and bangles , then we have the head where there is adornments on the ears [ear rings] , and the neck as we mentioned , then the feet and some parts of her shins where the anklet is worn.

These are the parts which Allaah has permitted the women to expose in front of her mahram and her Muslim sister.

Now , how can the Muslims live in their homes , they live in exposure / nudity which resembles women who it is as if they don't even know the religion of Allaah The Most Glorious The Most Majestic ?

And I don't know the extent of this in this land because I am new here (in Jordan). But in Egypt and Syria we have been tried into trials where it has become that there is no problem for the people to expand on this exposure in their houses.

The women exposes many things of her body which Allaah has not permitted her to reveal.

So we have been put into trials with scanty clothing which have no sleeves [sleeveless tops] , and the inner clothing which used to be known in the old Arabic as tabbaný, and it is known today as shurt [the short pants] ; which at least show the thighs.

So the woman today , the mother and the daughter wear these short  scanty clothes ; and the daughter sits like this in front of her father , rather in front of her brother ; who is a youth at the peak of his youth full of desires ; [she is in his presence] and she rises her legs and puts it on the other thigh ; thus exposing her thighs completely uncovered !!
By what proof [can they do this] !? By claiming that there is no stranger , this is only her brother ?!!

This is completely against the verse which has been mentioned. Verily she is only allowed to reveal the parts of adornments, and the thighs have never been a part of adornments in any day, and probably it will never.
And more than that , it happens  the mother enters the bathroom in the house and she calls the daughter to scrub her back ; so she uncovers her back and her breasts, and [as they claim] there is no problem at all ?!
Where did they get this ?

When the verse is clear that the women is only allowed to reveal the parts ofadornments. The breasts are not a part which is adorned , and the back is not a part of adornments.

Silsilah muhadharah : 13
 

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