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.
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.

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.
Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Women’s Attire in Private and Around Unmarriageable Relatives

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: How should women dress while in private and around unmarriageable relatives (mahrams). Is it permissible for her to wear half sleeves and uncover her hair, while wearing the traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

There is a difference between what legal limits entail and what dignity and propriety entail.
In terms of legal limits, the ‘nakedness’ (awra) of a woman in front of her immediate kin (her father, grandfathers, brothers, children, and first uncles) is: navel to knee plus the waist area.

As for propriety and dignity, our scholars tell us that young women should dress in a modest manner, preferring loose unrevealing clothing even at home.

This is akin to men: would it be proper for men to walk around at home with only a long towel covering them from navel to knee? No, it would be undignified and unbecoming.

Wearing a head covering (hijab) when alone, however, is neither obligatory nor a specific recommendation, except when one has reasons to fear unrelated men entering suddenly.

It is, nevertheless, from general proper etiquette (adab) to wear a head covering, when reasonably possible, as an expression of one’s modesty and dignity before Allah. In the same way, it is proper etiquette (adab) for men to have their head covered at home as well.

This is understood from the words of the beautiful beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and followers), “Allah is more deserving of one’s sense of modesty than people are.” [Bukhari and others]

This modesty (haya) is an inward trait that each believer, male or female, should strive to cultivate. The proper manners of Islamic Law are means that Allah and His beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) have shown us towards becoming realized in these inward perfections, that are themselves the means to the realization of our slavehood, love, and thankfulness to Allah.

Faraz Rabbani

Remaining Naked When Alone

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What is the ruling on not having one’s nakedness (awra) covered in front of animals, such as a pet bird or cat?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

In general, it is either recommended or necessary (wajib) to cover one’s nakedness (awra) even when alone, except when there is an inevitable need. Ibn Abidin deemed the latter opinion stronger, though the former is valid too, as many chose it. It goes back to the Prophet’s words (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Allah is more deserving of one’s shyness.”

Imam Zayn Ibn al-Nujaym said in his al-Bahr al-Ra’iq:

“Know that there is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that it is obligatory to cover one’s nakedness (awra) in front of others… And when alone, there is difference of opinion [as to whether it is obligatory], but the correct opinion is that it is necessary (wajib), unless the uncovering was for a valid reason, as mentioned in Sharh al-Munya.” [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 1: 283]

Imam al-Haskafi said in “Durr al-Mukhtar,” “[To cover one’s nakedness] is a general obligation, even when alone, according to the correct opinion, unless it is for a valid reason.”

Ibn Abidin explained in his Radd al-Muhtar:

“‘Even when alone,’ that is: outside of prayer it is obligatory to cover one’s nakedness in front of others by scholarly consensus, and even when alone according to the correct opinion…

“Now, the apparent meaning of covering one’s nakedness when alone outside of prayer [in this context] is that which is between the navel and knee, such that even women do not have to cover other than that [when alone] even if it is of their nakedness (awrah) [in front of others]…

“‘According to the correct opinion,’ for Allah Most High, even though He sees the covered just as He sees the naked, sees the one whose nakedness is uncovered as leaving proper manners, and sees the one covered as exhibiting proper manners. These proper manners [here] are obligatory [f: because of the primary texts about them] whenever there is ability to exercise them.

“‘Unless it is for a valid reason,’ such as using the toilet or cleaning oneself. In the “Quniya,” several opinions are mentioned about showering naked: that it is disliked; that it is excused, Allah willing; that there is nothing wrong with it [but it is better not to]; that it is allowed for a small amount of time; that it is allowed in a small washroom…” [Radd al-Muhtar, 1: 404-405]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructed all men and women that, “Modesty is from faith,” [Bukhari and Muslim] and that, “Modesty brings only good.” [Bukhari and Muslim]


Faraz Rabbani

Getting a Massage from Member of Opposite Gender

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: What does Islam say about getting massage? I am a guy, will it be sinful to get massage from a lady?


Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

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

It is permissible to get a massage, but sinful to allow a member of the opposite gender to touch you. A man may get a massage only from a man, and a woman only from a woman. Moreover, one may not reveal one’s nakedness (`awra) for the sake of the massage.

For details of a man’s nakedness in front of others, please see:

What is Considered Nakedness for Men?

For details of a woman’s nakedness in front of other women or men, please see:

Going to the Salon for Hair Removal

For a comprehensive and detailed explanation of nakedness (`awra), please see:

A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Going to the Salon for Hair Removal

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: Assalaamu alaykum,

Is it permissible for a pregnant woman to go to a salon for removal of pubic hair? As pregnancy progresses, it is difficult for a woman to manage removing pubic hair herself.

Answer: Assalaamua alaikum warahmatu Allahi wabarakatuh,

It is not permissible for a pregnant or non-pregnant woman to go to the salon for pubic hair removal.

The following is a summary of the ‘awrah or nakedness that must be covered of a Muslim woman depending on who is in front of her.

If it is:
1- another Muslim woman, then she must cover from the navel to under the knees (i..e including the knees). Therefore, even if the salon was owned by Muslim women, it would still be impermissible to get pubic hair removed.

2- a non-Muslim woman, then she must cover like she does in front of a man which is everything except for the face, hands, and feet.

3- a man, then she must cover (as mentioned above): everything except for the face, hands, and feet.

If removing the pubic hair is difficult due to pregnancy or other reasons, the woman is required to do that which she can without overburdening herself.

Shaista Maqbool

Checked & Answered by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Is It Permissible to Remove Eyebrow and Other Facial Hair?

Hair Removal Methods: Epilators, Waxing and Creams

Removing Chest & Pubic Hair

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

If I Find a Hole in My Clothes That Exposes My ‘Awra (Nakedness) After Completing Prayer, Would I Have to Repeat the Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Omar Qureshi

Question: Assalamu Alaikum,

I have a question concerning the clothing during prayer according to the Shafi’i School. If I find a hole in my sock, or perhaps anywhere on my garment, after completing salah, do I have to repeat that prayer?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaikum.

InshaAllah all is well.

Case of Doubt

Shafi’i jurists state that if a person has a doubt regarding the performance of an integral or not fulfilling a condition (Covering one’s ‘awra is a condition of the prayer) of the prayer after one finishing the prayer, then the doubt doesn’t not affect the validity of the prayer. (‘Iyana Talibin, v. 1, pg. 208)

Case of Certainty

In the case where one is certain that after completing a prayer, one has not fulfilled a condition of the prayer, it would then be obligatory to repeat the prayer.

Keep in mind that covering the feet is required for women but not for men. So a hole in the sock during prayer for a woman would affect the prayer’s validity but not for a man.

If an upright individual (as defined by Hadith scholars) were to inform you that your ‘awra was exposed during prayer, you would be obligated to accept his/her report and repeat the prayer. (‘Iyana Talibin, v. 1, pg. 227)

Allah the Exalted knows.
Omar Qureshi

Shaykh Omar Qureshi completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri – Columbia in Microbiology in 1995 and later obtained a M.Ed. in Science Education – Curriculum and Instruction from the same institution. As a teacher in Saudi Arabia, he also studied various Islamic Sciences with Sh. Salman Abu-Ghuddah. He continued his Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria at Ma’had al-Tahdhib wa-l-Ta’lim and privately with local Damascene scholars such as Sh. Hussain Darwish. Currently Omar serves as the Dean of Academics and Instruction at Islamic Foundation School located at Villa Park, Illinois. In addition to teaching, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education and Comparative Education at Loyola University in Chicago, where he is focusing on Muslim moral educational philosophy.