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Does Looking at the Reflection of One’s Nakedness Break Wudu?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Does looking at the reflection of one’s nakedness break wudu?

Answer:  ​Walaikum assalam,

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

No, neither looking at one’s nakedness (awra)—such as one’s private parts—nor looking at its reflection break wudu.

Wudu is only broken by specific things—such as the exiting of filth, flowing blood or pus, sleeping lying down, . Please find related answers in the SeekersHub Answers – www.SeekersGuidance.org).

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

What Is From the Awra (Nakedness) of a Young Child?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

1. What is the awra (nakedness) of a young child? At what age does it apply?

2. Can a child see the awra of an adult, male or female? If so, at what age do the restrictions apply?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

The nakedness (awra) of a child depends upon their age. As such, the jurists (fuqaha) mention the following points which apply equally to girls and boys:

1. A baby or toddler has no nakedness. Some scholars specified that a child less than four years of age is considered in this category.

2. A young child, namely, above four, has a nakedness which includes his front private organ and rear orifice, exclusively, until seven years of age.

3. A child aged seven, at which point he is normally considered to be discerning, has a nakedness that includes his front private organ and rear orifice and what surrounds them both. The severity of this nakedness increases in gradual stages from seven years of age until ten.

4. From ten onwards, their nakedness is akin to the nakedness of adults.

Note that these are general guidelines which aren’t universally applicable because humans obviously differ in nature. Accordingly, what a specific child’s nakedness would be depends upon how “adult” they look, even if they are young in years.

As for children seeing the nakedness of an adult, technically the Sacred Law only directly applies to those morally responsible, thus to children once they hit puberty. However, they are instructed to begin upholding the law in a general capacity from seven years of age in order that they may become accustomed to and submit wholeheartedly to the Supreme Word of Allah Most High. But they aren’t accountable for seeing the nakedness of another person, whether unintentionally or otherwise, even though the latter is usually a clear warning sign of bad upbringing (tarbiya).

(N.B. The years stated are according to the lunar calendar.)

[Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, quoting Haddadi’s al-Siraj; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.273)]

A Word of Caution

Please note that, out of proper and dignified decorum, children should be taught about covering their nakedness from two years old onwards. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught that, “Modesty is from faith,” and “Modesty brings about only good.” [Bukhari]

They should not be allowed to remain undressed while at home or outdoors. This will, insha’Allah, help them to understand from a young age about the concept of privacy and nakedness (`awra), and that looking or touching these private areas [whether of oneself, or another child or adult] is not permissible because it is a private area.

A caregiver would ideally teach the child about such modesty from a young age so that the child understands not to uncover themselves publicly, or allow themselves to be uncovered by another person [who is not their parent or guardian]. Even in the latter case, it would only be done for the purpose of washing the child, or helping them to dress [and not unnecessarily].

Please also see: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra) and: Remaining Naked When Alone

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

قال في الدرّ المختار: وفي السراج: لا عورة للصغير جدا، ثم ما دام لم يشته فقبل ودبر ثم تغلظ إلى عشر سنين، ثم كبالغ .اهـ

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Is It Necessary for a Woman to Cover Her Feet in Front of a Stranger?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have heard that in Hanifi fiqh a women does not have to cover her feet in-front of a stranger. What is he proof for this?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmatuLlah,

Yes, according to the most expansive position in the Hanafi school, a woman’s feet are not from her legal nakedness (‘awra) and she does not have to cover them.

However, there is some difference of opinion within the school regarding this matter which can be summarized in the following positions:

(1) They are not from her nakedness, as chosen and deemed soundest by al-Wiqaya, Kanz al-Daqa’iq, al-Hidaya, al-Muhit, and others due to the hardship in covering, particularly by those who may not have anything to cover with.

(2) They are from her nakedness. This is what Qadi Khan deemed most correct in his Fatawa, and it is also the position al-Aqta’ and al-Isbijabi chose, as per the outward purport of the traditions (hadith). This is what would appear to be the manifest transmission (zahir al-riwaya) of the school.

(3) They are from her nakedness, yet not during the prayer. This is what was chosen by al-Ikhtiyar and al-Fatawa al-Sirajiyya.

Having said that, the jurists explained that this difference applies to the sole or underside of the foot. As for the top part, some argued that there also appears to be a difference of opinion, and thus, they are either (a) from the nakedness, or (b) not from it. Though some jurists held that there is no difference of opinion on the top part of the foot, and it is simply not included in these discussions.

As for the tradition cited by Imam Abu Dawud in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) informed of the nakedness of a woman, and then proceeded to make two exceptions by pointing to his hands and face, it is a probabilistic text which establishes the dislikedness of looking at a woman’s feet, yet not the obligatory nature of covering them.

The upshot, therefore, is that the entire foot is not from her nakedness as later scholars, such as Imam Shurunbulali, state explicitly due to what they deemed as necessity. What this entails is that the way of praiseworthy caution and scrupulousness would be to cover your feet in front of unrelated males, and likewise during the prayer, yet not object to nor reprimand those who may practice otherwise.

[Shaykh Abu al-Hajj, Muntaha al-Nuqaya ‘ala Sharh al-Wiqaya (2.115); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.272); Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss; Halabi, Ghunyat al-Mutamalli fi Sharh Munyat al-Musalli [Halabi Kabir] (211)]

Please also see: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra) and: Is the area under the chin from the nakedness of a woman? and: Can I Remain Naked When I’m Alone?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

قال الإمام محمّد أمين في ردّ المحتار: ((قوله: (على المعتمد) أي من أقوال ثلاثة مصححة، ثانيها عورة مطلقا، ثالثها عورة خارج الصلاة لا فيها. أقول: ولم يتعرض لظهر القدم. وفي القهستاني عن الخلاصة: اختلفت الروايات في بطن القدم ا ه. وظاهره أنه لا خلاف في ظاهره. ثم رأيت في مقدمة المحقق ابن الهمام المسماة بزاد الفقير قال بعد تصحيح إن انكشاف ربع القدم مانع: ولو انكشف ظهر قدمها لم تفسد، وعزاه المصنف التمرتاشي في شرحه المسمى إعانة الحقير إلى الخلاصة. ثم نقل عن الخلاصة عن المحيط أن في باطن القدم روايتين، وأن الاصح أنه عورة، ثم قال: أقول: فاستفيد من كلام الخلاصة أن الخلاف إنما هو في باطن القدم، وأما ظاهره فليس بعورة بلا خلاف، ولهذا جزم المصنف بعدم الفساد بانكشافه، لكن في كلام العلامة قاسم إشارة إلى أن الخلاف ثابت فيه أيضا، فإنه قال بعد نقله: إن الصحيح أن انكشاف ربع القدم يمنع الصلاة، قال: لان ظهر القدم محل الزينة المنهي عن إبدائها، قال تعالى: * (ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليعلم ما يخفين من زينتهن) * ا ه كلام المصنف.)) اهـ.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Can I Pray in Track Pants With Tiny Holes Just Below the Waist?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I bought a pair of track pants and just below the waist there is a 1 inch stripe of mesh with very tiny holes on it running across the pants along the waist. Do these tiny holes for breathability count as exposing the ‘awrah? Can I pray with such pants on?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

It would be permissible to wear these track pants. Any prayer performed in them would also be valid.

The reason for this is twofold: (a) one’s nakedness is actually not visible through these holes to an onlooker due to their size and make, and (b) even assuming it was visible, the waist is not part of one’s nakedness in the Hanafi school. [Ibn Abidin, Hashiya]

[Ustadh]Salman Younas

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Is Laser Hair Removal for the Bikini Area Permissible?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is it allowed for a woman to remove hair from the bikini area through laser if the procedure is done by a female (Muslim) doctor?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The basis is that this would not be permissible as it is not permitted to reveal the area between the navel and knee to even members of the same-sex. Additionally, there are methods of hair removal that one can undertake without the assistance of others, such as shaving and waxing.

It would only be permitted to undergo this treatment in medical contexts when deemed necessary. If one is genuinely unable to shave or wax such a region due to some real harm that may be caused by normal means of hair removal, one may seek out a professional for such laser treatment. It should be noted that “sensitivity” alone is not a sufficient reason unless it is a of a type that causes real harm as opposed to mere discomfort or some temporal pain. This is particularly the case when one can lessen the immediate discomfort through creams, taking pauses when shaving etc.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Dr. Braun

Should a Woman Cover Her Feet During Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum

Should a woman cover her feet during prayer?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. This is a matter in which there is legitimate difference of opinion within mainstream Sunni scholarship.

The prevalent opinion in the Hanafi school is that the feet (below the ankles) are not from areas of the body a woman must cover (i.e. her awra)—both within the prayer and outside the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, in some other schools of Sunni scholarship, the feet are necessary for women to cover. Thus, it can be an expression of caution (wara`) to cover the feet—particularly for prayer. (This is not, however, obligatory.)

When advised about matters of difference of opinion, thank the person advising, but don’t feel obligated to follow the advice.

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

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Chris Lewis

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

Are We Allowed to Read and Listen to the Quran While Breastfeeding and Pumping?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum.

Are we allowed to read and listen to the Quran while breastfeeding and pumping?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Yes, you can listen to the Qur’an while breastfeeding your child.

Technically, the breast is not considered to be from your nakedness (`awrah) in front of your unmarriageable kin (mahrams).

However, in both cases it would be superior to cover yourself with a nursing cover or the like, particularly in the latter case when there are cultural sensitivities to be aware of in addition to the dictates of modesty and propriety.

Please also see: Who is a Mahram?

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani