Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
During Ramadan, I went to a salon to wax my private area-done by another woman. Does that invalidate my fast? Is there a punishment for that?
Waxing your private area by another woman does not invalidate your fast, but it is unlawful.
A Muslim woman may expose herself to another Muslim woman except what is between the navel and knees.
A Muslim woman must cover herself in front of a non-Muslim woman in the same way that she covers in front of a non-Mahram man, according to the Hanafi school. I have copied and pasted the relevant section of a link below. Please read it carefully.
You would be required to make tawba (repentance) and commit to never letting anyone except your husband see you between the navel and knee. Millions of Muslim women remove their own pubic hair, and it’s not difficult with the many methods available today. You can wax, trim, shave, and use hair removal cream, and the possibilities are endless. Be sure to teach your daughters the same.
‘Awra of the Women
Check this link on the awra in front of non-Muslim women
A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)
The ‘Awra of a woman in front of non-Muslim women is, strictly speaking, the same in front of non-Mahram men, i.e., the whole body besides the hands, face, and 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, Allah Almighty states in that verse: “their women” [Quran, 21:31], indicating that a woman must only expose herself to her woman and not others.
The exegetes of the Quran differ concerning the interpretation of this statement of Allah. Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“Regarding the statement of Allah “or their women,” there are two opinions. First, it refers to women of 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 what is permitted 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). This is the adopted opinion, and the idea of the predecessors is based on superiority (istihbab)”. [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 the Hanafi School adopts. 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”. [Ibn ‘Abidin, 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 an 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 a corrupt Muslim woman fears this, then one should avoid uncovering it in front of her also.
Therefore, the ‘Awra of a woman in front of a non-Muslim woman 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 exposing some part of the body in front of them will be permissible if this is difficult.
Ruling of Covering in Front of Non-Muslim
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. Secondly, it may be at times tough 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.” [Tafsir 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, Fitna’s, such as lesbianism, has become so widespread that it has become necessary for women to observe caution with non-Muslim women. However, if it is difficult to cover fully, one may consider not protecting and minimizing it to the minimum.”
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters 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.