Can Someone Assault Another If She’s Not Dressed Properly?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

In my country, a riot has started because an old woman attacked a girl because she wasn’t dressed modestly. That old lady was arrested but soon a large group of scholars started massive protests that she did the right thing cause she was forbidding an evil.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. This is a serious problem. We need to call people back to Allah Most High and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)–and not turn them away.

Forcing people to do things turns people away.

Rather, the sunna is to call people to Allah Most High with wisdom and encouragement.

The Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) said, “Encourage and don’t turn people away. Make things easy, and don’t make things difficult.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Balance in Commanding Good

Commanding the good is obligatory, but it is done when it is likely to have beneficial outcomes–specific and general.

“Commanding good” in ways that turn people away from the religion is from spreading fitna (harm, division, dissent)–and leads to people turning away from the religion itself. [Birgivi, Tariqa Muhammadiyya]

As for the specifics of the situation: consult balanced, learned, mainstream local scholars who most embody the Mercy and Wisdom of the Prophetic Way.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.