Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
We live in Canada, and when we go to the beach for picnics or hikes, people are dressed inappropriately. My husband is concerned and wants to avoid going, so they learn haya’ (modesty). He is taking them out of swimming lessons, too, as the instructor wears a regular one-piece bathing suit. What is a solution for this? I feel we are hiding our children and hindering normal upbringing.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are frustrated with this disagreement, and I pray that you find a compromise.
Looking at nakedness
In essence, your answer is here:
In summary, it is not permissible for Muslims to look at uncovered people in mixed-gender pools. One must strive to find pools that have women-only or men-only times. This is near impossible in the West, and most of the Muslims I know in the West register their children in these lessons until they are about nine lunar years old and then stop. Even that is potentially sinful.
The decision that your husband is making is undoubtedly good for the children. He is looking after their spiritual upbringing, inculcating modesty and shyness in them, giving them something that will serve them for the rest of their lives, something that is sorely lacking in the West. If you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find private swimming lessons for your children, somehow. What about using Swimply?
Unfortunately, we have to delve into your expression “normal upbringing. ” It is not, has never been, and never will be normal for Muslims to attend gatherings, lessons, or events where everyone is uncovered. Many Muslims families don’t register their daughters in gymnastics for this reason. I beseech all Muslims to stop doing what is normal for non-Muslims and to start doing what is normal for Muslims, including myself.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.