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As a Man Can I Work as a Hair Stylist and Cut Women’s Hair?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalam’aleykum

As a man can I work as a hair stylist and cut women’s hair?

Answer: Asalamu alaikum

Allah Most High says:

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ النور 30

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do” (Qur’an 24:30).

A woman’s hair is part of her ‘awrah (nakedness), and hence it is impermissible for a man to look at the uncovered hair of a woman, let alone touch it.

جميع بدن الحرة عورة إلا وجهها وكفيها و قدميه نور الإيضاح

“The entire body of a woman is ‘awrah (nakedness) except for her face, hands, and feet” (Nur al-Eedah).

فشعر الحرة حتى المسترسل عورة في الأصح وعليه الفتوى فكشف ربعه يمنع صحة الصلاة ولا يحل النظر إليه مقطوعا منها في الأصح مراقي الفلاح

“A woman’s hair is ‘awrah (nakedness), including that which hangs down from her head” (Maraqi al-Falah).

Wassalam,
Umer

Is It Permitted to Breastfeed in Public?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum

What is the Islamic stance on breastfeeding in public?

These days there are many things you can buy that help you cover up while breastfeeding, so you don’t expose yourself.

Is it frowned upon to breastfeed in public?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

​Nursing in public would be permissible, with ​two considerations:

(1) she must remain covered, by Islamic standards​–​which is possible by using appropriate coverings;

(2) she should choose a place that, in her societal context, is appropriate and dignified, whenever possible.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Is the Knee Cap Included in the Minimum Nakedness?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

(1)Is the knee cap included in the minimum nakedness in the Hanafi school?

(2)What is the minimum nakedness in the Shafi and Maliki school?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you well, insha’Allah.

The minimum nakedness (‘awra) in the Hanafi school is from below the navel to the bottom of the knee. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said, “The knee is from the nakedness.” [Daraqutni]

Accordingly, the entire knee is considered to be part of the nakedness in the Hanafi school, contrary to the Shafi​`​is and Malikis who don’t consider it to be​ as such.​ [Ibn Hajar, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj; Dardir, al-Sharh al-Kabir]

Please also see:​ ​A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra) and: Covering the Nakedness for a Man: Answers

And Allah knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Wear Maxi Skirts?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Is It Permissible to Wear Maxi Skirts?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

For as long as your maxi skirt and cardigan are loose (not figure-hugging) and covers your awrah, then it is permissible to wear. Basically, wear clothes which you can pray in.

Clothes become impermissible to wear when it is figure-hugging and/or exposes your awrah. Wearing tight socks is fine.

May Allah grant you success in dressing in a way which pleases Him.

Please refer to the following links:

A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a Nephew See and Touch the Neck and Breast of His Aunt?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum.

1. Can a nephew see and touch the neck and breast of his aunt?

2. Can an aunt kiss her nephew on his chest as a sign of affection?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

What you have mentioned would go against the dictates of modesty and appropriateness because such interaction, whilst permitted, needs to be restrained, dignified and proper.

In general, both are in and of themselves permitted as the neck and breast are not from the nakedness (`awra) with respect to him, and neither is his chest with respect to her.

However, there would be at least impropriety in this, particularly in our times. If there is desire from either side, this would obviously be impermissible.

Please also see: Who is Mahram and: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)

And Allah alone knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Problematic to Have Holes in My Clothing for Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is there a size limit in holes of clothes that we pray in?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Covering the nakedness is a condition for the validity of the prayer.

Thereafter, it is problematic to have holes in your clothing from which the nakedness underneath can be seen from a normal distance.

Please also see: Covering the Nakedness for a Man: Answers

And Allah alone knows best.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Why Is the Thigh from the Nakedness According to the Hanafi School?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As Salamu Alaykum,

The subject of the awrah was being discussed in a lesson and the following hadith was mentioned:

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى، وَيَحْيَى بْنُ أَيُّوبَ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ، وَابْنُ، حُجْرٍ قَالَ يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى أَخْبَرَنَا وَقَالَ الآخَرُونَ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، – يَعْنُونَ ابْنَ جَعْفَرٍ – عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي حَرْمَلَةَ، عَنْ عَطَاءٍ، وَسُلَيْمَانَ، ابْنَىْ يَسَارٍ وَأَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مُضْطَجِعًا فِي بَيْتِي كَاشِفًا عَنْ فَخِذَيْهِ أَوْ سَاقَيْهِ فَاسْتَأْذَنَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَأَذِنَ لَهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى تِلْكَ الْحَالِ فَتَحَدَّثَ ثُمَّ اسْتَأْذَنَ عُمَرُ فَأَذِنَ لَهُ وَهُوَ كَذَلِكَ فَتَحَدَّثَ ثُمَّ اسْتَأْذَنَ عُثْمَانُ فَجَلَسَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَسَوَّى ثِيَابَهُ – قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ وَلاَ أَقُولُ ذَلِكَ فِي يَوْمٍ وَاحِدٍ – فَدَخَلَ فَتَحَدَّثَ فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ دَخَلَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَلَمْ تَهْتَشَّ لَهُ وَلَمْ تُبَالِهِ ثُمَّ دَخَلَ عُمَرُ فَلَمْ تَهْتَشَّ لَهُ وَلَمْ تُبَالِهِ ثُمَّ دَخَلَ عُثْمَانُ فَجَلَسْتَ وَسَوَّيْتَ ثِيَابَكَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ أَلاَ أَسْتَحِي مِنْ رَجُلٍ تَسْتَحِي مِنْهُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

 
(Muslim Book 31 Hadith 5906)

There is one opinion in the Maliki Madhab, which says that the above hadith shows that showing the thigh to non related men is disliked not haram, whilst the other opinion and the opinion of the Hanafi Madhab says that its obligatory to cover the awrah. How is the above hadith understood in the Hanafi Madhab to support its opinion?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

According to the Hanafi school, the thigh is from the nakedness (`awrah) of a person.

“The thigh is [from the] nakedness” is a rigorously authenticated tradition (hadith) from the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as related in Tahawi’s Sharh Ma`ani al-Athar, Bayhaqi in his Sunan al-Kubra, and Tirmidhi’s Jami`– though the latter grading it as sound. There are many wordings of this and similar hadith which explicitly state that the thigh is from a person’s nakedness.

Although the hadith you mention is related with an authentic chain, many of the scholars have found problems with it, and others have simply interpreted it away with a sound meaning.

For example, it is possible that this incident occurred before any specific ruling had been given regarding the nakedness; or that this was specific to the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and permitted for him. In some narrations, the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) only had his knee uncovered. Furthermore, when Abu Bakr and `Umar entered, they sat in a place where they would not see his knee (Allah bless him and give him peace). But when `Uthman entered, there was only one place left to sit, where he would have seen the Holy Prophet’s knee (Allah bless him and give him peace), so he covered it up.

Others have stated that the report mentioned in Muslim in inconsistent (mudtarib), and that the basis of the hadith does not even mention the thigh. Bayhaqi related that Imam Shafi`i said, “what is narrated concerning `Uthman and the uncovered thighs is dubious and doubtful.” And this is the upshot: the strongest versions of this hadith don’t mention the thighs being uncovered. [al-`Ayni, `Umdat al-Qari, quoting Imam al-Tahawi & others]

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Covering the Nakedness for a Man: Answers

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I have multiple inquiries on the topic of nakedness[awrah] in terms of clothes.
1) For most pants with zippers, such as jeans and khaki pants, a space between the zipper and the button exists where one could prospectively see what is below. Does this mean the awrah is uncovered? If so, then what can one do to cover the awrah? I have resorted to wearing thick wool pajamas under my jeans and khakis, as other pajamas are generally light enough to see the skin color under.
2) In terms of pocketed clothes, many pockets are made of a material that is very light, and one can definitely see the color of the skin if the pockets are put up against skn. I wear boxers under my pants all the time, but they do not go to the knee, so while from the “front” it would be hard to see the color of the skin, if one was to look from “above” they could see the skin color. What is the resolve for this? I understand that awrah is defined as covering the body except from the bottom, but does that mean that if one can see these parts of the body from above, then the awrah is uncovered? What about from the sides?
3) In terms of awrah from the sides, I have seen many people wear button down shirts without undershirts below. If one can see the skin from the sides in the space between buttons, then is awrah uncovered? What if they “smooth out” the shirt, and tuck it in so it is tightly held together, so the space exists but is covered by the tightly held together “halves” of the front part of the shirt? Then what happens if one wears an undershirt below? Most undershirts are definitely light enough to see the color of the skin.
4) Most shirts allow on to see the skin color if one stretches it a bit, and looks somewhat carefully, but not to such a degree where one has their eyes right next to it. When one normally wears the shirts, it is not particularly easy to see the color of the skin if the shirt is not very tight, but if the clothes are tight on the wearer, the skin color is more apparent. Is there a way to be able to determine what to do with clothes like these? Not buying them is not an option, as I already possess a lot of shirts like these from my childhood, but I do not know how to wear them Islamically.
5) For gym shorts, one cannot see the color of the skin easily under them, but for some strange reason one can see the features of the ground and surroundings without color. Is this a reason to be concerned about wearing them and praying in them?
6) For cargo shorts that cover the knee, on can see part of the bottom of the thigh from the front, below the knee from the part that hangs under the thigh when sitting down on a chair, and the rest is hidden mainly because of the darkness. Does this mean the leg is uncovered?
7) When sitting in prayer with shorts, part of the thigh is exposed sometimes, but it is only visible at the very bottom, so to see this part one would have to be directly under a praying person. Is this uncovered?
8) What if one prays behind an imam who’s awrah is not fully covered? Is just the imam’s prayer invalid or both parties’ prayer?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Covering the nakedness is straightforward. Don’t complicate it.
[1] The nakedness for a man is from below the navel to below the knee, from the front, back and sides.
[2] The sunna is to cover yourself with something loose, covering, and modest.
[3] If somebody were to look at you from a normal distance, and in a normal way, without seeing any part of your nakedness, you are fully covered.
[4] Potentiality is of no consideration.
[5] If you cannot see the colour of the skin from a normal distance, it is fine.
[6] The knee must remain covered at all times during the prayer, let alone the thigh.
[7] It is a condition for the validity of the prayer that one covers their nakedness. If the imam’s prayer is invalid, a fortiori the follower’s prayer is invalid.
Please see: Tight Clothing on Men and: Tight or Revealing Clothing on Men and Women
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is the area under the chin from the nakedness of a woman?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Until recently I was under the impression that the area bellow the Chin of a woman is not awrah. Occasionally I have seen some ladies covering that part of their face and thought they are most probably being cautious. But I heard it from a “major female scholar” that this part women are supposed to cover as it is not considered part of the face which we hanafi women are allowed to show. I have been praying, as well as making up years of my prayers for a long time now, without covering that part. Does it mean all my prayers until now would be considered invalid and I have to make them all up again as well as the make ups that I have been doing?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Walaikum assalam,
I asked Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani about this last year: He said that the scholars do not emphasize that the area under the chin is necessarily from the awrah that must be covered, because of the difficulty of covering it (and the wide hardship in insisting on such a ruling).
However, it would seem to fall under the legal definition of awra. Therefore, one should try to cover it. Many scholars emphasize it strongly.
I had asked Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah preserve him in good health and spirit), about this a few years ago. He said that the area should be covered, but because it is small in area, and little of it is generally visible from the sides, it would not invalidate the prayer if left uncovered.
And Allah knows best, and He alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Faraz.

Is It Permissible to Walk Around Topless in Front of Unmarriageable Kin?

Question: I am a married woman living with my in-laws i.e. father-in-law, mother in-law and my husband’s sister. My husband says I can merely cover between my navel and knees in front of them because they are unmarriageable to me and there is no sign of lust or fitna. My husband also says that they can also touch those parts if needed as they are unlawful to marry and if there is no lust. Please tell me if this is correct or not.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The nakedness (`awra) of a woman in front of her unmarriageable kin (mahram) is from navel to knee, stomach and the back. [see: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)]
Note that the entire back is considered to be from the nakedness, not just the back of the stomach.
Uncovering the chest area would not be prohibited in and of itself, yet would be contrary to the dictates of modesty and what is befitting for a dignified Muslim woman. A sense of bashfulness and covering up are keys to taqwa. The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Modesty is from faith.”
See: Modesty in Islam – Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa – Video and: IslamCast Daily Hadith – 018 – Modesty is From Faith
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani