This video was not actually supposed to be aired. The arrangement is this, all the three Israeli networks agree that if the army doesn`t like what`s filmed, the footage is never broadcast. In this case, the army decided this video is too embarassing, too damaging so it ordered it shelfed. But israel`s Channel 2 decided to break the embargo and the army and the government and a lot of viewers did not like what they saw.
The producer of this video used the pronoun “she” to refer to israel. Well, that pronoun should be changed to “it”.
To watch the video, kindly click on the image below:
The covering of one’s nakedness (awra) is of utmost importance for a male and female in Islam, thus the Qur’an and Sunnah have laid great emphasis with regards to this. We also see the various books of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) discussing the issues relating to the Awra of both the male and female in great detail. In this brief article, I will attempt to shed some light and look comprehensively as to what is a woman’s Awra.Awra is an Arabic term the plural of which is Awrat. Linguistically, it means a hidden and secret place, and a person’s Awra is that which must be kept hidden. It also refers to everything that causes shame when exposed, thus, the Awra of an individual is the area of the body which (normally) causes embarrassment if exposed. (Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-Arab, 9/370).In the terminology of Islamic Jurisprudence, Awra refers to the area or part of the body that must be covered with appropriate clothing. In the English language, it is normally translated as ‘nakedness’ or ‘area of the body that must be concealed’. Many people (normally form the Indo/pak) refer to it as ‘Satar’. For the purpose of simplicity, I will use the term ‘Awra’ in this article, Insha Allah.
THE AWRA OF A WOMAN
A woman’s Awra can be initially divided into two categories:1) Inside prayer 2) Outside prayer The latter is then divided into further sub-categories:a) In seclusion b) In front of the husband c) In front of Muslim women d) In front of Mahram males (unmarriageable kin) e) In front of non-Mahram males f) In front of non-Muslim women g) In front of non-Muslim Mahram males 1) Awra inside prayer (Salat)A woman’s Awra whilst performing Salat consists of the whole body except the face, hands and feet. Allah Most High says: “O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel (zeenah) at every time and place of prayer.” (Surah al-A’raf, 31)The majority of the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all), their followers (tabi’un), Jurists and exegetes of the Qur’an have deduced from this verse (along with the other evidences) the obligation of covering one’s Awra in prayer. (See: Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an, 4/205, Ma’arif al-Qur’an (English), 3/565)Sayyida Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who experiences menstruation (i.e. who has reached puberty, m) except with a head cover (khimar).” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 641, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah and others)The great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Durr al-Mukhtar:”The Awra for a free woman (i.e. not a slave, m) is her full body including her descending hair according to the correct opinion, except for the face, hands…. and feet”
. (See Radd al-Muhtar, 1/405).Therefore, a woman must cover herself properly when performing Salat. Everything besides the face, hands and feet must be covered. The face must be covered properly so that no hair is exposed. Also, care should be taken that no part from above the wrists and ankles is exposed.It must be remembered that the Awra whilst performing Salat must be covered regardless of another person being present or otherwise, and regardless of whether one is performing Salat in dark or light. (Maraqi al-Falah, 210)
The feet, according to the more correct opinion, is not regarded as part of Awra. However, due to the difference of opinion with regards to it, it would be more precautious and advisable to cover them, as it will be explained in detail later.
With regards to the area below the chin, it should be remembered that the limit of the face in length starts from the point where the hairline usually begins to the bottom of the chin, and in breadth the portion between the two earlobes. (Maraqi al-Falah, P. 58)
Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that the area below the chin is not included in the face, thus it would fall within the legal definition of Awra, and one should try to cover it. However, because of the difficulty in covering it, if a little part of it became exposed, there should not be a problem.
Finally, (in this section), the Awra must be concealed from before entering into Salat and must remain concealed until the end. If quarter of a part/organ that requires concealment is exposed before initiating Salat, then Salat will not be valid from the outset. If however, quarter of the organ which is included in the Awra becomes exposed during Salat, then, if this remains to the duration of reciting Subhan Allah thrice, Salat will become invalid, otherwise, it will be valid. (See: Maraqi al-Falah, P. 242)
Note) One should consult a scholar with regards to how the parts of the body are categorized and divided, for at times, one may regard a organ of the body to be one part, whereas, legally, it may be considered to be two parts.
2) Awra Outside Prayer
a) Awra in privacy and seclusion
It is necessary (wajib) (and recommended according to another opinion) in the Hanafi school, to cover one’s minimum nakedness (between the navel and knee for both men and women) even when alone. The exception to this is when there is a need, such as taking a shower, relieving oneself, or changing one’s clothes. Even in such situations, it is recommended to minimize the exposure.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Modesty is part of faith (iman).” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)Ya’la ibn Umayya reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Verily Allah is modest and discreet and He likes modesty and discretion. When one of you takes a bath, one should cover one’s self.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Nasa’I & Musnad Ahmad). This is a command of recommendation when alone.Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) said in his Durr al-Mukhtar:“(And to cover one’s Awra), this is a general obligation, even when alone, according to the correct opinion, unless it is for a valid reason.”Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) writes whilst commentating on the above in his Radd al-Muhtar:”(al-Haskafi’s statement “Even when alone”
) That is: Outside of prayer, it is obligatory to cover one’s Awra in front of others by scholarly consensus, and even when alone according to the correct opinion”¦..Now, the apparent meaning of covering one’s Awra when alone outside of prayer (in this context) is that only which is between the navel and knees, such that even women do not have to cover other than that (when alone) even if it is of their Awra in front of others”¦.(al-Haskafi’s statement “According to the correct opinion) For Allah Most High, even though He sees the covered just as He sees the naked, sees the one with their nakedness uncovered leaving proper manners and sees the covered exhibiting proper manners. These proper manners (here) are obligatory whenever there is ability to exercise them.
(al-Haskafi’s statement “Unless it is for a valid reason”) Such as, using the toilet or cleaning one self (istinja)”. (See: Radd al-Muhtar, 1/405, matlab fi satr al-awra).Therefore, (according to the more correct opinion), a woman must cover even in privacy between her navel and (including) knees except when there is a need, such as relieving herself, showering, changing her cloths, etc”¦b) Awra in front of the husband
In principle, it is permissible for the spouses to look at any part of each others body. As such, there is no Awra in front of the spouse (for this will be exempted from the ruling of concealing in privacy due to need).
Scholars mention however, that although it is permissible for the spouses to look at any part of the partner’s body, it is disliked that they become completely naked during cohabitation. A cover or sheet over the naked bodies would be sufficient.
Sayyida Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) private parts”. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith no. 662)c) Awra in front of Muslim womenThe Awra of a woman in front of fellow Muslim women is the same to that which is a man’s Awra in front of other men, i.e. from the navel up to and including the knees.
It is stated in al-Hidaya:
“A woman may see of another (Muslim, m) woman that which is permitted for a man to see of another man, due to them being from the same sex, and the non-existence of desire (shahwa) between them normally”¦..Similarly, due to the need and requirement of them exposing amongst themselves”. (See: al-Marghinani, al-Hidaya, 4/461).Therefore, a woman must cover from the navel up to and including her knees in front of other Muslim women.d) Awra in front of (Muslim) Mahrams (unmarriageable kin)
The Awra of a woman in front of her Mahram men (those with whom marriage is permanently unlawful), such as the father, brother, son, paternal uncle (father’s brother), maternal uncle (mother’s brother), father in-law, grandson, husband’s son (from another marriage), son in-law, etc consists of the area between the navel and knees, and also the stomach and back.
Thus, it will be permissible for a woman to expose the following parts of her body in front of Mahram males: head, hair, face, neck, chest, shoulders, hands, forearms, and legs from below the knees. It will not be permissible to expose the stomach, back or any area which is between the navel and knees. (See: al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/328 & al-Hidaya, 4/461).
This ruling is based on the verse of the Qur’an in Surah al- Nur:
They (believing women) must not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, their brother’s sons, their sister’s sons or their women”¦” (24-31).It will also be permissible for a Mahram to touch those parts that are permissible to expose in front of them, provided there is no fear of temptation or desire.Imam al-Quduri (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“There is nothing wrong in touching those parts that are permissible to see” (Mukhtasar al-Quduri).However, it should be remembered that if there is a fear of temptation (fitna), then it will be impermissible to expose these parts even in front of Mahrams, neither will it be permissible to see or touch those areas of a Mahrams body. (See: al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab, 3/218).e) Awra in front of non-Mahram males>
The Awra in front of non-Mahram males (those with whom marriage is lawful), which includes cousin brother, brother in-law, paternal uncle (one’s father’s sister’s husband), maternal uncle (one’s mother’s sister’s husband), husband’s uncle, husband’s nephew, etc) consists of the whole body except the face, hands and feet. It is similar to that which is considered Awra in prayer (salat).
Imam al-Marghinani (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“It is impermissible for a man to look at the whole body of a non-Mahram woman (due to it being part of Awra, m) except for her face and hands, for Allah Most High says: “Women must not display their beauty and ornaments except what appear thereof” (al-Nur, 31). Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) interpreted this verse with the face and hands… This is textual evidence on the impermissibility of looking at her feet (for it is awra, m), but Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) said that it is permitted to look at her feet due to need”. (al-Hidaya, 4/458).Imam al-Tumurtashi (Allah have mercy on him) states in Tanwir al-Absar:“A woman’s Awra consists of her whole body except her face, hands and feet. However, she will be prevented from exposing her face in amongst men due to the fear of temptation (fitna)”.Therefore, a woman’s Awra in front of non-Mahram men is her whole body except her face, hands and feet.It must be remarked here that there is a difference between Awra and Niqab or Hijab. Due to the failure of distinguishing between the two, many people become victims of misinterpreting Islamic law in one way or another.
The face according to the scholars is not part of the Awra, yet, as we have seen in the text of Imam al-Tumurtashi, it will be necessary to cover it due to the fear of temptation and incitement. Ibn Abidin states: “(A young woman will be prevented from exposing her face), not because it is part of Awra, rather (for the fear of temptation)”. (Radd al-Muhtar, 1/406)Thus, our discussion is solely regarding Awra, and not Hijab or Niqab. As far as the decisive ruling with regards to the covering of the face or otherwise is concerned, we leave that for another time.It is also worth mentioning here that although the Fatwa position in the Hanafi Madhab is that the feet are not included within the Awra, but there is another strong opinion (within the madhhab and according to other Madhabs, such as the Shafi’is), that they are part of Awra, and must be covered. As such, legally, one will not be sinful for exposing them, but it would be advisable as a precautionary measure to cover them.
Moreover, (according to the Fatwa opinion), it is only allowed to uncover the feet up to the ankles. Anything above the ankles is from the Awra without a doubt. Many women wear veils, Burqas and Jilbabs that normally cover the ankles, but reveal the leg area above this while walking (especially in the wind, sitting and coming out of a car, etc), thus they commit the sin of exposing What is considered Awra according to all.
Therefore, we need to emphasise the importance of covering the feet. Covering the feet is just as important as covering the face if not more, for the face is not considered part of Awra, whilst, there is a strong opinion in the Hanafi Madhhab (and the Fatwa opinion in the other madhhabs) that the feet are.
Those who strongly call for and emphasise the necessity of covering the face (not that I object to them) must also realise that the feet are just of the same importance. At times, all the emphasis is laid upon the face, whilst the woman is seen to expose the area above the ankle while walking and there is no realisation that a sin is being committed.
f) Awra in front of non-Muslim women
The Awra of a woman in front of non-Muslim women is, strictly speaking, the same that is in front of non-Mahram men, i.e. the whole body besides the hands, face and the feet.
The verse of Surah al-Nur that we quoted earlier details the list of people besides whom a woman is not allowed to expose her beauty. Such people (as explained earlier) are known to be her Mahrams (unmarriageable kin). Also, in that verse, Allah Almighty states: “their women” (al-Nur, 31) indicating that a woman must only expose herself to her woman and not others.The exegetes of the Qur’an differ with regards to the interpretation of this statement of Allah. Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Allah have mercy on him) states:“With regards to the statement of Allah “or their women”, there are two opinions. The first is that it refers to those women who are on the same religion (din) as them (i.e. Muslims, m). This is the opinion of the majority of the predecessors (salaf). Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) states: “It is impermissible for a believing/Muslim woman to uncover herself in front of non-Muslim women, and she is only allowed to expose that what is allowed in front of non-Mahram men”¦ Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) wrote to Abu Ubaida ibn al-Jarrah (Allah be pleased with him) to stop non-Muslim women from entering bath areas (hammam) with Muslim women.The second opinion is that, it refers to all the women (i.e. she may uncover in front of all the women, m). This is the adopted opinion, and the opinion of the predecessors is based on superiority (istihbab)”. (See: Tafsir al-Kabir, 8/365).As we have seen, that Imam al-Razi (Allah have mercy on him) adopted the second view in that a woman may uncover in front of non-Muslim women to the extent of what she is allowed to uncover in front of Mahram men.However, many scholars chose the first view, and it is the view that is adopted by the Hanafi School. Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“An unbelieving woman is similar to a non-Mahram man according to the correct opinion. Thus, she is not allowed to see the body of a Muslim woman”. (Radd al-Muhtar, 6/371)Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains:”It is impermissible for a Muslim woman to uncover in front of a Jewish, Christian or a atheist woman except if she is her slave”¦It is also disliked that a corrupt woman (fasiqa) sees the body of a pious woman, for she may describe her to the men, thus she should avoid taking off her outer garment (jilbab) or scarf (khimar)”
. (ibid).It is evident from the text of Ibn Abidin that the main reason for the impermissibility of uncovering in front of a non-Muslim woman is that she may describe her to other men. If this is feared from a corrupt Muslim woman, then one should avoid uncovering in front of her also.Therefore, the Awra of a woman in front of non-Muslim women is all her body except her face, hands and feet. Thus, a woman should cover in front of non-Muslim women whenever reasonably possible. However, scholars say that if this is difficult, then it will be permissible to expose some part of the body in front of them.
The ruling of covering in front of non-Muslim women is not as strict as the other situations, for, firstly, there is a difference of opinion between the scholars regarding it, and secondly, it may be at times very difficult to cover in front of women. The great exegete, Imam al-Alusi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“This opinion (of not covering in front of non-Muslim women) is more appropriate these days, for it is almost impossible to cover in front of them”. (Ruh al-Ma’ani)In conclusion, a woman should cover whenever reasonably possible in front of non-Muslim women, especially when there is fear that she may describe her to other men. Also nowadays, Fitnahs such as lesbianism have become so wide spread that it has become necessary for women to observe caution with non-Muslim women. However, if it is difficult to fully cover, then one may take the concession on not covering and minimising it to the minimum.g) Awra in front of non-Muslim Mahrams
With regards to a woman’s Awra in front of her Mahrams who are non-Muslim, such as a non-Muslim father, brother, son, etc, I could not find an explicit ruling on the issue in the Hanafi School.
However, it seems that non-Muslim Mahrams are similar to other Mahrams in that a woman may expose herself besides from the navel to the knee and the stomach and back, provided there is no fear of temptation (fitna).
There are two reasons for this:
Firstly, the verse of the Qur’an and the statements of the jurists (fuqaha) are general when discussing Mahrams. They don’t distinguish between a non-Muslim and Muslim Mahram. The Qur’an permits a woman to expose herself (to a degree, as explained above) in front of her father, brother, son, etc without specifying that he be a Muslim.
Secondly, the Fuqaha explicitly mention that a Mahram with whom a woman may go on a journey of Hajj includes also a non-Muslim. Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“A woman may travel for Hajj with her husband or a Mahram, even though if he (Mahram) is a slave or a non-Muslim or (he is considered a Mahram, m) due to breastfeeding. He must have reached puberty and is sane, and a boy who is close to puberty is like the one who has reached puberty, except a fire worshipper and an immoral and corrupt person”.Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains:“The reason why travelling with a Mahram who is a fire worshipper is impermissible, is that they (fire worshippers, m) consider marriage with a close relative to be permissible”. (Radd al-Muhtar, 2/464)Imam al-Kasani (Allah have mercy on him) states:”A Mahram is one with whom marriage is permanently unlawful”¦ whether this Mahram is a free person or a slave, for slavery is not contrary to the close relationship (mahramiyya), and whether he is a Muslim, a non-Muslim or an atheist (mushrik), for a non-Muslim Mahram normally safeguards her, except that he is a fire worshipper, for he considers marriage with her to be permissible”
. (Badai’i al-Sana’i, 2/124).It is stated in Fath al-Qadir:“It is permissible for her to travel with all types of Mahrams except a fire worshipper, for he believes marriage with her to be permissible”. (Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir, 2/422).In the Shafi’i Madhhab, we have a clear text permitting the uncovering in front of a non-Muslim Mahram. Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (Allah have mercy on him) states:”It is not permissible to look at what lies between the navel and knee of one’s close relative (mahram); everything else is permissible, provided there is no desire (shahwah), and even if he is a non-Muslim, because the close relationship (mahramiyyah) makes marriage unlawful, so it is as if they were two males or two females”
. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj ala al-Minhaj)Therefore, it would be permissible for a woman to uncover besides the area between the navel and knees, and the stomach and back in front of her non-Muslim Mahrams, provided two conditions are met:1) That there be no desire (shahwah) or fear of temptation (fitna), especially when we live in a age where evils such as incest among the non-Muslims is becoming common,
2) That the non-Muslim close relative not be from among those who believe that it is permissible to marry close relatives,
Finally before parting, I would like to mention in relation to our discussion three points.
Firstly, it should be remembered that all the parts of the body that need to be covered (in the various situations discussed above) must be covered with clothing that is loose and opaque. The clothing must not be close-fitting whereby the figure of the body is visible or transparent by which the colour of the body is able to be seen. If this is not taken care of, then it will not be regarded to be sufficient covering of the Awra.
Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“Clothing that is considered to be sufficient covering is such that, it is not possible to see thorough them”.Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains:“(It is not possible to see thorough them), meaning in a way that the colour of the skin can not be visible. This exempts thin and other see-through clothing”¦ However, if the clothing is thick in a way that the colour of the skin is not visible, but it is tight to the body, then this should not prevent the validity of Salat”¦ However, it is still impermissible to see that part of the body”. (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1/410)This excerpt of Ibn Abidin explains that if the skin of the body becomes visible in prayer, Salat will become invalid. However, tight clothing would not prevent the validity of prayer, yet it is still necessary not to wear tight-fitting clothing.Secondly, in all the foregoing occasions where it is permissible to uncover and expose the body, if there is a fear of desire (shahwa) on either side or there is fear of temptation (fitna), then it will be necessary to cover. A woman may make this decision herself in accordance with the surroundings she is in.
Thirdly, it will be permissible to uncover and expose parts of the Awra in cases of extreme need and necessity, such as medication. However, care should be taken that this is limited to only the part that needs treatment. If treatment is needed on the actual private parts, then it would be better to receive treatment from someone of the same sex. However, if this is not possible, then it would be allowed to receive treatment from a specialist of the opposite sex, with taking due care of the injunctions and guidance of Shariah.
Allama Ibn Abidin (may Allah have mercy on him) states:
“It is permissible for a male physician to view the affected area of a woman for the purpose of medication, provided it is minimised to only the area that actually needs treatment, for necessity is restricted to only the actual need. If the private parts need treatment, then a female should carry out the treatment, as seeing someone of the same sex is less of an evil.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 5/261)The above was a comprehensive look at the Awra of a woman. The extent of the Awra differs from one occasion to another and from one person to another. The whole concept and idea behind this is that Islam desires its followers to live a life that is chaste and free from any type of corruption or immorality. This is a basis for every sound and pure society. May Allah guide us all to the straight path, and that we are able to act upon the injunctions of Shariah in a manner that is most pleasing to Allah Almighty.
FEMALE ISLAMIC DRESS-CODE
The Qur’an and Sunnah have laid down certain principles with regards to the dress code of both males and females. A Muslim and a Muslima are both required to adhere to the Islamic teachings both internally and externally.Allah Most High says:“And abstain from all sins, internal or external.” (Surah al-An’am, 120)Regarding dressing, Allah Almighty says:”O children of Adam! Surely we have bestowed upon you a garment to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you, and the garment of piety is the best.”
(al-A’raf, 26)In view of the above-mentioned verse of the Holy Qur’an, other verses and sayings of our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), the Jurists (fuqaha) have deduced certain rules and principles with regards to the dress of males and females.The following are the principles of dressing for females:
1) The whole body of the woman must be concealed. Only the hands and feet (and according to some scholars, the face, when there is no fear of Fitna) can be exposed. Allah Most High says in Surah al-Ahzab:
“And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves as in the days of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance).” (V: 33)Allah Almighty further says in the same Surah:“O Prophet! Say to your wives and daughters and the women of the believers, that they should cast upon themselves the outer garment (Jilbab). That will be more convenient for them not to be known (as such) and not be molested. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”(Surah al-Ahzab, 59)In a Hadith recorded by Imam Tirmidhi (Allah have Mercy on him) with a authentic chain of narrators, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:”A woman is supposed to be concealed. When she emerges outside (without covering herself properly), Shaytan makes her adorned in front of men.”
(Sunan Tirmidhi)It is clear from the above that a female must cover herself fully before coming in front of non-Mahram men. Even the hands and feet should be concealed, if possible.2) The garment of the female must not be so thin that her body can be visible.
3) Her cloths must not be close-fitting and tight; rather they must be loose, as to avoid the figure and shape of the body being exposed and visible.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
“There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: People with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed YET NAKED, inciting men and their heads looking like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter paradise and even smell it’s fragrance, even though it’s fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 2218)The above Hadith is clear in that the clothing of a female must not be transparent and/or tight-fitting. The meaning of “clothed yet naked” is nothing other than that.4) There should be no imitation of the Kuffar (non-believers). In a Hadith recorded by Imam Abu Dawud (Allah have Mercy on him) and others, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:“Whosoever imitates a nation is amongst them.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 4031)It should be remembered here that not everything what the non-Muslims wear and do, is Haram and unlawful. Imitation, which is prohibited, is effected in two ways:a) One wears a particular type of clothing with the intention of imitating the Kuffar, meaning, one wears something because one wants to be like a particular non-believer or non-believers.
b) Wearing any clothing which is unique and exclusive to the non-believers and/or part of their religion, will be considered imitation, thus unlawful. (See the Fatwa of Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani in Taqrir Tirmidhi)
It becomes evident from the above that if a woman wears certain Western cloths for the sole reason of pleasing her husband, and no other men (Mahram or non-Mahram) see her, and she observes the full rules of Hijab when emerging outside, and the intention is not to imitate the Kuffar, then this would be permissible.
5) Any clothing which creates pride and arrogance in the heart must be avoided. In a Hadith recorded by Imam Ibn Majah (Allah have Mercy on him), the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
“Whosoever dresses himself out of pride in this world, Allah will dress him/her with the same clothing on the day of Qiyamah and he/she will be entered in to Hell.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)6) Imitation of the opposite sex is also impermissible.Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) relates, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) “Cursed those men who imitate women and those women who imitate men.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7/205)7) One should avoid being extravagant and spending lavishly on cloths. The meaning of being extravagant is to spend out on cloths to the amount which is beyond one’s normal capacity.Allah Most High says:
>”And do not be extravagant, for Allah loves not the extravagant.” (Surah al-An’am, V: 141)8) The cloths should be clean, pure and free from anything filthy and dirty, as purity is part of ones Faith (Iman).The above are the Islamic principles with regards to the dressing of females. Some of these rules may also apply to males. It is evident that this subject is lengthy and needs much more elaboration than this small article. However, one may able to get the gist of what the Islamic guidelines are. This humble servant is, at present, working on this important subject and has an intention (Insha Allah) to publish a book which deals with all aspects relating to women’s Awra, dress and adornment. It needs 5 to 6 months and allot of Duas.
THE FEMALE VOICE AND SINGING
Allah Almighty has created this natural attraction and charm in the voice of a female that it plays a vital role in provoking and inducing the sexual appetite, desire and passion of a man.
This is a reality which can not be denied. Even the psychologists are in agreement with this fact. Many Psychologists have stressed that the voice of an individual plays a great role in arousing sexual desires.
This is the reason why Allah Most High commanded the wives of the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) especially, and all Muslim women in general, to abstain from conversing with non-Mahram men in a soft and sweat tone.
Allah Most High says:
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like other women, if you are God-fearing. So do not be soft in speech. Lest in whose heart is disease should be moved with desire.” (Surah al-Ahzab, 32)This verse indicates that men and women should not talk unnecessarily and when they do so, both the content and manner of conversation must be appropriate, and free of anything inciting.Imam Abu Abd Allah al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in his famous exegesis of the Qur’an, al-Jami li Ahkam al-Qur”an:
“It was a custom of Arab women in the days of ignorance (Jahiliyya) to speak to men in a soft and inciting way. This was prohibited by this verse of the Qur’an.”It has been narrated from some of the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) that, after the revelation of the above mentioned verse, when the need arose for them to converse with a non-Mahram male, they would do so by placing their hands over their mouths. This was to prevent any softness or incitement in their voices. (Hadith recorded by al-Darqutni in his Sunan with an authentic chain of narrators)The great Hanafi scholar Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas says in his Ahkam al-Qur’an (his excellent work on the verses of the Qur’an relating to law):
“This verse (above-mentioned) indicates the impermissibility of women raising their voices in the presence of non-Mahram males, as this may lead to Fitna. This is why our (Hanafi) scholars have declared the reciting of Adhan for women as Makruh, as she will need to raise her voice, which is not permissible.” (Ahkam al-Qur’an, 5/229)He further says:“Allah has prohibited women from striking their feet when He says: “And they (women) shall not strike their feet so that there be known what they hide from their adornment.”(24:31). So if they are prohibited from letting non-Mahram hear the sound of their footwear, then the prohibition of raising the voice in an inciting way will be prohibited from a greater extent.” (ibid)Allama Murtadha al-Zabidi, the great Hanafi faqih, Sufi and linguistic says in his commentary of the ‘Ihya’ of Imam al-Ghazali, ‘Ithaf al-Sadat al-Muttaqin’:”A group of Scholars have distinguished between the singing of males and females. Listening to the singing of non-Mahram women has been declared by them as Haram, and the listening to the singing of Mahram women is deferred upon. Qadi Abu Tayyib al-Tabari said: If the singer is a non-Mahram female, then it will not be permissible for men to listen to her. This ruling will apply, regardless of whether the woman is with or without Hijab.”
(Vol: 6, P: 501)The above-mentioned is clear in determining that, one should avoid listening to the voice of a female unnecessarily. If there is a need to converse with them then, it should be done in the manner stated previously.Q. Is the voice of a female part of her Awra?
As far as the female voice is concerned, according to the preferred opinion in the Hanafi School, it is not considered to be part of her nakedness (awra). However, if there is a fear of Fitna then, the female should not raise it and the male should avoid listening to it.
One of the great Hanafi scholars Ibn Humam (Allah have mercy on him) says in his ‘Fath al-Qadir’, quoting from ‘al-Nawazil’:
“The melodious voice of a female and her singing will be considered as Awra. This is the reason why it is better for her to learn the Qur’an from a female teacher rather than a male who is blind, as her recitation in tune is Awra. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The reciting of Tasbih is for men and clapping is for women.” (m, Meaning if the Imam makes a mistake in Salat , the males will invite his attention by reciting Subhan Allah and women, by clapping their hands). (Fath al-Qadir, 1/260)Imam Ibn Abidin, after quoting the same from al-Nawazil writes in Radd al-Muhtar:“It is permissible for women to converse with non-Mahram men at the time of need (and visa versa, m). However, what is not permissible is that they stretch, soften and raise their voice in a melodious way.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 1/406)From the contemporary scholars, Dr. Wahaba al-Zuhayli from Damascus writes in his famous al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu:”It is unlawful (haram) to listen to the voice of a female, which is in a melodious and musical tone, even if it is by reciting Qur’an.”
(1/755)The above quotations indicate that a woman’s voice is not part of her Awra. However, it will not be permissible for her to raise her voice in a melodious way, and men will not be allowed to listen to the singing female voice. When a woman sings or raises her voice in a melodious way, it then becomes part of her Awra.Thus, in conclusion, it is evident that a male should avoid listening to the Nasheed and Na’at of non-Mahram females. Similarly it is necessary that females do not sing in front of non-Mahram men, whether in their presence or by recording their voices and releasing albums.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al Kawthari
Leicester , UK
NEARLY half of Scotland’s police forces have no idea about the number of religious hate incidents reported in their area.
Despite the west of Scotland’s problems with sectarianism and growing concerns over Islamophobia in the wake of the 7 July terror attacks in London, Strathclyde Police does not track crimes linked to faith.
Neither the Fife nor Dumfries and Galloway force compiles such statistics. However, police in other areas have been collating them for up to a decade.
Community leaders expressed concerns yesterday, claiming little action could be taken to address religious hatred until the true picture was known.
Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, said: “There is a climate of fear of Islam and general tension about the international situation. Until you know the scale of the problem, you can’t tackle it.”
He said there was a “communication gap” between the Muslim community and police, and expressed concern that some officers were treating crimes linked to religion as racially motivated.
Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, suggested the data could prove valuable in the battle against sectarianism.
He said: “If this was done, then you could track trends and can have benchmarks for complaints which will give you a feel for whether the problem is increasing or diminishing.”
Ian Wilson, the grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said: “Bigotry in society – when it manifests itself as abuse or antisocial behaviour – deserves to be faced down. If you don’t have stats, it’s an unknown quantity.”
Under legislation passed by Holyrood in June 2003, police can investigate offences as “religiously aggravated”.
In March, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) unveiled an action plan on tackling religious hate. By 2009, it aims for “consistent monitoring” of such crimes and incidents across Scotland’s eight police forces.
Colin Mather, Deputy Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police and chairman of ACPOS’s religion and faith reference group, said: “We know religiously motivated crimes can have as great an impact on individuals as those directed against their race.
“There is a need to ensure such incidents are being captured and monitored consistently and effectively to influence national, as well as local, strategies and policy and ensure the necessary support is provided to victims.”
Strathclyde Police said: “There is no statutory requirement on us to record this information. However, we are working towards a new information management system which will allow us to capture and analyse all aspects of hate crime.
Fife Constabulary said the recording of incidents relating to faith, race and sexual orientation were based on “perception”.
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary declined to comment.
SCOTLAND’S senior police officers have recognised the need to target hate crimes linked to religion.
An action plan targeting the problem was unveiled earlier this year by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
It will try to have statistics on religious hate crimes gathered and collated uniformly across the country.
Recruits will be educated about a range of faiths.
Northern Constabulary has been recording reported incidents of religious related crime for more than a decade.
Inspector Janice Innes, of Grampian Police – which has been compiling statistics since 2004 – said: “You don’t know if there is a problem until you look.”
A spokesman for Central Scotland Police, which also tracks these offences, said: “There is a move nationally to see a more consistent recording standard.”
Lothian and Borders Police and Tayside Police also compile figures.
On Sunday, May 6, 2007, the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer told head teachers attending their annual conference in Bournemouth that they are perfectly entitled to forbid pupils to wear Islamic dress and need not fear a legal challenge under the Human Rights Act.
It was, he suggested, all a matter of common sense.
This is a very welcome development. For, while wearing the veil is a matter of personal choice – and accepted in our country which is famed for its tolerance – there are times when it is obvious that this Muslim symbol clashes with the British way.
Sometimes it as simple as being able to see the faces of our fellow citizens as we go about our daily business. The school classroom is one such area, the courtroom is another.
There are times when members of the Muslim community go too far and the Daily Express is not afraid to say so. The setting up of Islamic courts applying Sharia law is one such example.
The Lord Chancellor has now made it possible for schools to say “No” to the veil. Head teachers have been told that common sense does not conflict with human rights.
In other words, they have been given the green light to just say “No” when the occasion demands it.
Well, obviously Muslim female students are now coerced into giving up their veil (hijab) in UK if they want to attend school and learn. So, it`s officially a war on Islam. They want to strip our rights off one by one. They are fighting hijabs now. I wonder what is next.