Praise be to Allaah.
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):
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”
has permitted a woman to show her adornment in front of her husband and
mahrams. What is meant by adornment is the places where adornments are worn:
the place for a ring is the hand, for a bracelet is the forearm, for an
earring is the ear, for a necklace is the neck and chest, and for an anklet
is the leg.
al-Jassaas (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer: The
apparent meaning indicates that it is permissible to show one’s adornment to
one’s husband and to whose who are also mentioned in the verse, such as
fathers etc. It is well known that what is meant is the places where
adornments are worn, which are the face, hand and arm… this implies that it
is permissible for those who are mentioned in the verse to look at these
places, which are the places where hidden adornments are worn, as it says in
the beginning of the verse that only outward adornments may be seen by
strangers (non-mahrams), but the husband and mahrams are permitted to see
hidden adornments. It was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood and al-Zubayr that this
refers to earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
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. End quote.
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The words of Allaah, may He be exalted,
“and not to show off their adornment”, mean that they should not show
their adornments to a non-mahram. What is meant here is the hidden
adornments, as there are two kinds of adornment, hidden and apparent. Hidden
adornments include anklets, henna on the foot, bracelets on the wrist,
earrings and necklaces. It is not permissible for a woman to show these, or
for a stranger (non-mahram) to look at them. And what is meant by adornment
is the place where the adornment is worn. End quote.
It says in
Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (5/11): A man may also look at the face, neck,
hand, foot, head and calf of a woman who is his mahram. According to this
report al-Qaadi said: It is permissible (to look at) that which ordinarily
appears such as the head and hands up to the elbows. End quote.
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. Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Allaah mentioned
husbands first, then He mentioned mahrams, and described them all as equal
with regard to showing the adornment. But they may differ according to what
is in their hearts. There is no doubt that for a woman to uncover in front
of her father or brother is more safe than to uncover in front of her
husband’s son. The extent of what she may show may differ, so she may show
to her father that which it is not permissible for her to show to her
husband’s son. End quote.
established among the fuqaha’ is that the ‘awrah of a woman with another
woman is the area between the navel and the knee, 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.
not mean that a woman may sit among other women with all of her body
uncovered except the area between the navel and the knee. No one does that
except women who are promiscuous and negiligent, or immoral and evildoers.
The words of the scholars, “The ‘awrah is the area between the navel and the
knee” should not be misunderstood, because this does not mean that this is
how women should always dress and show themselves among their sisters and
friends. No wise person would accept that and it is not what the fitrah
(sound human nature) calls for.
way a woman should dress among other women is in clothes that cover properly
and express her modesty and dignity. She should not show anything except
that which appears when she is working and serving others, such as the head,
neck, forearms and feet, as we have mentioned when discussing mahrams
Committee for Issuing Fatwas has explained what a woman is not permitted to
uncover in front of her mahrams and other women. We have quoted this in the
answer to question no. 34745.
Allaah to guide us and you.