12327: Women uncovering their hands in front of vendors … a wrong action


Many women who go out to the markets to buy things from shopkeepers uncover their hands. Some others uncover both the hand and forearm. This happens in front of people who are not their mahrams. What is the ruling on that? 

Praise be to Allaah. 

Undoubtedly, for women to uncover their hands or forearms in the marketplace is a wrong action and a cause of fitnah (temptation), especially since some of these women wear rings on their fingers and bracelets on their wrists. Allaah says to the believing women (interpretation of the meaning):

“And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment” [al-Noor 24:31] 

This indicates that the believing women should not show anything from which may be known what adornments she is concealing, so how about those who uncover the adornments on their hands so that people can see them?  

I advise the believing women to fear Allaah and to give guidance priority over their own desires, and to adhere to the command which Allaah gave to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who are the Mothers of the Believers and the most perfect women in good manners and chastity. Allaah said to them (interpretation of the meaning):

“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salaah (Iqamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification” [al-Ahzaab 33:33] 

So that they might have a share of this great wisdom:

“Allaah wishes only to remove Ar Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification” [al-Ahzaab 33:33] 

I advise the believing men whom Allaah has appointed as qawwaamoon (in charge) over women to fulfil the trust which Allaah has placed on their shoulders and given them responsibility over these women. So they should advise them and teach them, and prevent causes of fitnah. They will be asked about that when they meet their Lord, so let them think of how they will respond. 

“On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allaah warns you against Himself (His punishment) and Allaah is full of kindness to (His) slaves” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:30]  

I ask Allaah to reform the Muslims, men and women alike. 

From the fatwas of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen for al-Daw’ah magazine, No. 1774, p. 60
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