Unveiled Woman on TV

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

There is a pakistani muslim actress I love very much though I condemn the sinful acts she does. Yesterday I was watching an interview of her on YouTube. She was wearing modest clothes but not wearing hijab. If I watch her interview BEING A FEMALE MYSELF, am I being sinful too, since i am viewing a sinful person?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for your question. May Allah increase your desire to follow the way of Allah’s Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and that of his daughter radiyaLlahu anha.

One should draw a distinction between an act, the objective of which is sinful and an act where the objective or purpose is permissible, but one happens to be sinning in the process. The objective of the interview you make reference to is permissible, even though the actress may be guilty of disobedience by not covering herself appropriately. Thus it would be permissible for you, a female, to view the interview. Of course it is not permissible for male to view the awrah of a strange female. Had the objective of the act been impermissible, then as you quoted above in your question, observing on engaging in haram, is haram.

The distinction I make reference to above may be seen in other chapters of fiqh as well. By way of example, our scholars when discussing which journeys qualifies one to shorten and join prayers said that the journey should not be a sinful one. Thus when one travels with a sinful objective such as going to a casino, the travel is one of disobedience and accordingly one is not permitted to shorten or join prayers. However, if the objective of the travel is permissible and one happens to sin during the journey then he would still be permitted to shorten and join prayers.

Lastly, while Muslims should show love to all human beings, I feel it necessary to remind our sisters that after Allah and His final Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam, sisters should develop a special love for his daughter, Fatimah radiyaLlahu anha and his wives radiyaLlahu anhun, especially our mother Khadijah. Love them, aspire to be like them such that your heart becomes filled with their love. May you and all our sisters be resurrected in their company, Amin

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.