Thu 17 Jm2 1435 - 17 April 2014
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Wearing short or tight clothes in front of other women and mahrams

What is considered a woman's aurah in the presence of her children (both male and female) and in the presence of other Muslim Women? I am asking this question because I received second hand information concerning a woman's aurah (without the daleel). This person stated that a muslim woman should not wear summer clothes (i.e. tank tops or shorts) in her home around her son (who has not yet gone through puberty but close to it). Additionally, It is the thought of some Muslim husbands that when sisters are together, they should not remove their jilbabs. Please clarify!
Jazakallahu Khair for your help!

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked about this and he replied:

Tight clothing which reveals a woman’s charms is forbidden, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: men with whips like the tails of cattle with which they strike the people – meaning wrongfully and aggressively – and women who are clothed yet naked, and walk with an enticing gait.”

The phrase “clothed yet naked” was interpreted as meaning that they wear short clothes which do not cover that which should be covered of the ‘awrah. It was also interpreted as meaning that they wear light clothes that do not prevent others from seeing the woman’s skin underneath. And it was interpreted as meaning that they wear tight clothes, so that they are covered and cannot be seen, but their bodily charms can be seen.

On this basis, it is not permitted for a woman to wear these tight clothes, except in front of the one before whom she is permitted to show her ‘awrah, who is the husband – for there is no ‘awrah between husband and wife, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, ¾ for then, they are free from blame” [al-Mu’minoon 23:5-6]

And ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I used to do ghusl – i.e., from janaabah (impurity following intercourse) – from one vessel, taking it in turns to dip our hands into the vessel.”

So there is no ‘awrah between a man and his wife.

But between a woman and her mahrams, she has to cover her ‘awrah.

It is not permissible to wear tight clothing, either in front of one's mahrams or in front of other women, if it is excessively tight and shows the woman’s charms.

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, 2/825)

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, may Allaah preserve him, said:

It is not permissible for a woman to wear short clothes in front of her children and mahrams, or to uncover more than is customary in front of them of that which will not cause any fitnah. She may wear short clothes in front of her husband only.

(Al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Fadeelat al-Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, 3/170)

(See: Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/417, 418 – compiled by Ashraf ‘Abd al-Maqsood).

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan also said:

Undoubtedly for a woman to wear something tight that shows her bodily charms is not permitted, except in front of her husband only, but in front of anybody else, it is not permitted, even if it is in the presence of other women, because she could be a bad example to others – if they see her dressing like this they may do the same.

Also: a woman is commanded to cover her ‘awrah with loose and concealing clothes in front of everyone, except for her husband. She should cover her ‘awrah in front of women just as she does in front of men, except for what women customarily uncover in front of other women, such as the face, hands and feet, whatever it may be necessary to uncover.

(al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Fadeelat al-Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, 3/176, 177).

Al-Mardaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It is permissible for a man to see the face, neck, head and calf of women who are his mahrams.” (Sharh al-Muntahaa, part 3, p. 7).

And Allaah knows best.

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Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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