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WOMAN’S ‘AWRAH IN FRONT OF OTHER WOMEN AND MAHRAMS

Praise be to Allaah.

The ‘awrah of a woman in front of her mahrams such as her father, brother and nephew is her entire body except that which usually appears such as the face, hair, neck, forearms and feet. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women”

[al-Noor 24:31].

Hence it is permissible for a woman to show her adornment in front of her huaband and mahrams. By adornment it is meant the place where an adornment can be worn such as a ring in the hand, neclace in the neck, earrings in the ears and anklets in the ankles and so on.

By this we can understand that a mahram can look at the womans hand, face, and so on and there is no wrong in that.

This applies both to the husband and to the others who are mentioned along with him. The general meaning implies that it is permissible for those who are mentioned to look at the places where these adornments are worn just as it is permissible for the husband.

A woman is not to show her adornment to the non mahram as Allah said: “and not to show off their adornment”, here the reference is given to the non mahrams and strangers.

There are two kinds of adornments, the hidden and the apparent. The hidden adornments include the necklaces, earrings, anklets, henna on foot etc. For a woman it is not permissible to showoff these adornments to non mahrams. It is not permissible for a non mahram to look at them And the places where these adornments are worn like neck, ears, legs etc.

These mahrams differ in the degree of closeness and risk of fitnah (temptation). Hence a woman may show to her father what she may not show to her husband’s son.

Allah has mentiond husbands first among the mahrams. Then He mentioned the other mahrams and described them all equal with regard to showing adornment.

The mahrams may differ according to what is in their hearts. It us more safe for a woman to unciver in front of her father and brother than to uncover in front of her Husbands son.

The awrah of the woman with another woman is the area between the navel to her knees, whether the woman is her mother or sister or is not her mahram. It is not permissible for a woman to look at the area between the navel and the knee of another woman, except in cases of necessity such as medical treatment and the like.

However this does not mean that a woman may uncover and expose her body to her friends and other women of her family. No sane and intelligent woman will ever do that. This action is carried out only by immoral and evil doers. Also this is not the sound fitrah of a human being.

A woman must dress among other women with dignity and modestly in clothes that cover her body properly. She should not expose herself except what is apparent during working and serving others and this includes head, neck, forearm and feet.

We ask Allaah to guide us and you.



And Allaah knows best.

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