Can a Woman Look at Another Woman’s Stomach for Instructional Purposes?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Someone sent me a video about stomach fat reduction, and in it, a lady was showing her bare stomach. I thought her body shape was nice and said “ma sha’ Allah” to avoid casting an evil eye on her. But she was showing her ‘awra; is this kufr?

I thought it would be okay to look at this woman’s stomach because it was for instructional purposes. I know women should avoid looking at other women’s nakedness, but when I checked right after, I learned it is forbidden. Did I commit kufr by thinking it was okay to look at this woman’s stomach?


Thank you for your question. You are correct; it is impermissible for a woman to look at another woman’s stomach below the belly button, even if it is an instructional video about exercise. Looking at what is above the belly button is fine. Please see the details here: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)

You have not committed kufr by saying “ma sha’ Allah,” but you have sinned by looking. The appropriate thing to do is to make sincere repentance (tawba) and commit to not to look at such images again.

It is never necessary to look at a woman in good shape to get motivated to get in shape. If you really need inspiration, read about it or look at a fully clothed-lean woman. You will still be able to know her waistline. Another method of inspiration is to get a blood test. If the results are not great, then you know it’s time to get moving and get serious before you end up with diabetes or heart disease. May Allah reward you for your efforts.

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, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.