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What Should a Man Cover From His Body?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Assalamu alaykum

What is the awra of a man amongst family and/or strangers?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The awra of a man is from just below the navel till just below the knees. This applies to a man in front of his siblings/parents as well as in front of strangers.

In front of his wife there is no specific awra since it is permissible for them to see of each other any part of the body.

This is in regards to the legal ruling. As for propriety it is from one’s dignity to cover that which is customarily known to be dignified. This applies when amongst people but especially when in public spheres.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al -Falah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam
Yusuf Weltch

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

What Should Be Considered When Covering the Nudity for the Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

When wearing loose sleeves, it is likely that when raising or lowering the hands, the underside of the arms might be visible from the front. Shirts with buttoned sleeves usually have a slit near the wrist which might expose some part of the arm as well. Is it necessary to account for these possibilities?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you should ensure that your arms are covered for the prayer such that the skin underneath cannot be seen under normal circumstances. If you often wear a blouse around the house, consider wearing a loose cardigan when praying, or get yourself a prayer outfit.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

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 Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Should I Avoid Changing My Clothes in Front of My Child? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Should I avoid to change my clothes in front of my child?

Answer: Wa’alaikum assalam.

I hope this finds you in the best of states. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. May Allah increase you in your striving to be diligent in the religion.

Covering one’s awra in front of one’s children

The awra of a man is what is in between his navel and knees (not including the navel and knees), though his navel and knees must be necessarily covered in order to cover the obligatory area. This is in front of all people, except himself and his spouse.

The awra of a woman in front of her un-marriageable kin (children, parents etc.) is also what is between the navel and the knees.

In terms of parent’s uncovering their awra in front of one’s children, then:

1. In regards very small children, what our teachers in Tarim taught us is that if the individual child shows awareness of what nakedness / awra is, then this is the time that parents should be diligent about not exposing the awra (what is between the navel and the knees). This usually takes place around 3-4 years old, but depends on the individual child. This also has the added benefit of ingraining in the child the importance of covering the awra.

2. If the child is at an age of discernment, which usually is about 7-8 years old, then one must not uncover one’s awra in front of their child, irrespective if they are aware of the concept of nakedness/awra or not.

To answer you specifically then, you have said that your child is one and a half years old. As such, there is no harm in your uncovering your awra in front of them, such as when you get changed or if you want to take a bath with them. However, you are obliged to cover your private parts (genital areas at the front and behind) regardless of the child’s age.

[Tufha al Muhtaj, Nihaya al Muhtaj]

May Allah grant you tawfiq and every good.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Friend’s Husband Walks Around in Pyjamas. What Can She Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My friend’s husband sometimes walks about in pyjama pants with a short shirt. These pyjama pants are tight-fiting. She is uncomfortable that he walks around like that in front of their daughters, and that he prays like that too. She has asked him to wear longer shirts to cover, but he gets mad at her.

Is she too sensitive?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward your friend for being a woman of modesty. Your friend’s concerns do have a basis in Sacred Law.

Nakedness

According to the Shafi‘i madhab, the nakedness of a man is between his navel and his knees [Reliance of the Traveller, f5.3].

(A: It is offensive for men to wear tight clothing that discloses the size of the parts of their body which are nakedness (def: f5.3), and this is unlawful for women.) [Reliance of the Traveller, f17.1]

As described above, it is offensive for your friend’s husband to wear tight clothes.

Prayer

Please refer to the following excerpts for more information on clothing a man’s nakedness in prayer:

It is recommended for a man to pray in his best clothes, and to wear an ankle-length shirt
and a turban (O: and a shawl over head and shoulders, a mantle, and a wraparound or
loose drawers (N: under the ankle-length shirt)). If he does not wear all of these, it is
desirable to wear two, namely the ankle-length shirt with either the mantle, the
wraparound, or the loose drawers. [f5.7]

If only wearing enough to clothe one’s nakedness, one’s prayer is valid, though it is
recommended to place something on one’s shoulders even if only a piece of rope.
If one does not have clothes but is able to conceal part of one’s nakedness, one must
cover the front and rear private parts. If only one of these two can be covered, it must be
the front. If one has no clothes at all, then one performs the prayer without clothes and
need not make it up later. [f5.8]

Etiquette

There is the letter of the law, and there is the spirit behind it. Prayer is a daily act of humbling oneself before one’s Creator. It would be disrespectful to show up to a respected elder’s home in pyjamas; imagine standing before one’s Sustainer in that state.

Modesty

Children learn so much from just watching their parents. If your friend’s husband wants his daughters to adorn themselves with virtues like dignified restraint and modesty, then it would be prudent for him to be a good role model. Modesty begins inwardly, and flows outwardly.

Sincere concern

Encourage your friend to keep making dua for her husband, and for her to be the good example for her daughters. Encourage them to attend circles of knowledge and recite the Qur’an frequently. A stronger connection to Allah is often the most effective way to remedy any difficulty in life.

Please see:
What is Modest Clothing for Men and Women?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi‘i fiqh, Arabic, Sirah, Aqidah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

What Is the Male Dress Code According to the Shafi’i School?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

What is the male dress code according to the Shafi’i school?

Answer: Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

I pray that you are well.

The minimum requirement for a male to cover in front of others is between the navel and the knees, non-inclusive. Uncovering that area in front of others, not including one’s wife, or for reasons of medical necessity, is impermissible.

This is a minimum requirement, and the area that one must cover for a prayer to be valid. It does not speak to what is appropriate to wear in normal everyday circumstances. Generally, not following one’s societal norms above meeting the minimal requirement is disliked.

Wassalam,
Shuaib Ally

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

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