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Am I allowed to change my top in front of my cousin-sisters or aunties?

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  • Am I allowed to change my top in front of my cousin-sisters or aunties?

    Since my childhood, I was taught that I am allowed to change my top in front of my cousin-sisters and aunties. And the awrah of a muslim woman in front of other muslim women is from navel to knee. I share my room with my cousin-sister and we usually change our tops in front of one another.

    But, recently, one of my aunties has told me that I am wrong. She has given me following video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX0mrSSAMng

    Was I wrong all these years? Could you please let me know about the proper ruling on this issue?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bright Glow View Post
    Since my childhood, I was taught that I am allowed to change my top in front of my cousin-sisters and aunties. And the awrah of a muslim woman in front of other muslim women is from navel to knee. I share my room with my cousin-sister and we usually change our tops in front of one another.

    But, recently, one of my aunties has told me that I am wrong. She has given me following video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX0mrSSAMng

    Was I wrong all these years? Could you please let me know about the proper ruling on this issue?
    There is a difference if opinion, shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn baz rahimahullah says that the awrah of a woman is from the navel to the knee but it is better for her to cover more. One of the reasons being if a non mahram man entered the room and saw her it would be better if she was covered more.

    On the other hand shaykh Muhammad ibn saleh al uthaymeen rahimahullah appears to hold the opinion that women must cover more although im not sure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Obaidah23 View Post

      There is a difference if opinion, shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn baz rahimahullah says that the awrah of a woman is from the navel to the knee but it is better for her to cover more. One of the reasons being if a non mahram man entered the room and saw her it would be better if she was covered more.

      On the other hand shaykh Muhammad ibn saleh al uthaymeen rahimahullah appears to hold the opinion that women must cover more although im not sure.
      Thank you for the information!

      Regarding your first point - what if the door is closed when we are changing?

      Regarding the second point - what is implied by 'covering more'?

      It would be great if you could help me to understand these points. Thank you!! :)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bright Glow View Post
        Thank you for the information!
        Regarding your first point - what if the door is closed when we are changing?
        Regarding the second point - what is implied by 'covering more'?
        It would be great if you could help me to understand these points. Thank you!! :)
        "Regarding your first point - what if the door is closed when we are changing?"
        I don't know, but he never said its obligatory to cover more, he said its better to.

        ​​​​​​​"Regarding the second point - what is implied by 'covering more'?"
        ​​​​​​​He specifically mentions that its better for her to cover her back, chest and legs, but other than that I'm not sure.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Obaidah23 View Post

          "Regarding your first point - what if the door is closed when we are changing?"
          I don't know, but he never said its obligatory to cover more, he said its better to.

          "Regarding the second point - what is implied by 'covering more'?"
          ​​​​​​​He specifically mentions that its better for her to cover her back, chest and legs, but other than that I'm not sure.
          Dear Sister "Bright Glow",

          I could be wrong. But, in my opinion, what Obaidah23 is trying to say by mentioning 'covering more' is that you should not be completely bare-breasted in front of your cousin-sister even though you both are females. It is a matter of modesty. And I agree with Obaidah23.

          My personal suggestion would be - please try to keep your bra on while changing your top in front of other women. This is what I have learnt from my elders. However, I am not sure about the proper ruling on this issue. Perhaps, more knowledgeable person may give you better answer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is the ruling different for a quick change vs. hanging out/chilling? The rule Obaidah23 gave sounds more suitable for normal wear, how much should be covered while sitting and talking to each other or being in each others presence, ex bare breast & cover back/chest/legs. But if someone is doing a quick change they will have different body part covered at any instance, ex a person might have their pant on while changing their top or vice verse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kya View Post
              Is the ruling different for a quick change vs. hanging out/chilling? The rule Obaidah23 gave sounds more suitable for normal wear, how much should be covered while sitting and talking to each other or being in each others presence, ex bare breast & cover back/chest/legs. But if someone is doing a quick change they will have different body part covered at any instance, ex a person might have their pant on while changing their top or vice verse.
              I am sorry. I think I have not understood your answer.

              Are you saying that when the sister has her pant on she can change her top in front of her cousin?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tania_1989 View Post

                Dear Sister "Bright Glow",

                I could be wrong. But, in my opinion, what Obaidah23 is trying to say by mentioning 'covering more' is that you should not be completely bare-breasted in front of your cousin-sister even though you both are females. It is a matter of modesty. And I agree with Obaidah23.

                My personal suggestion would be - please try to keep your bra on while changing your top in front of other women. This is what I have learnt from my elders. However, I am not sure about the proper ruling on this issue. Perhaps, more knowledgeable person may give you better answer.
                One of the scholars I was quoting was saying that women only have to cover between the navel and the knee, but if they cover more its better. The other scholar seemed to be saying that they have to cover more

                Comment


                • #9
                  Modesty is always a good virtue to have, sister. Hayaa is not found in anything except that it beautifies it.

                  If you come across conflicting views, it's always better to chose taqwa over fatwa. In this case, chose the path of a higher degree of modesty.

                  You may have done things believing to be correct once, but now that you know you could have been wrong, it would be better if you avoid doing it in the future.

                  Personally, I find it a bit odd how one can be comfortable changing one's top in front of another female, no matter how close you're to her.

                  There are women in this day and age who do not even expose their hair around other Muslim women.

                  I've been married for 7 years and I've never seen my MIL's hair to date, inspite of us having lived together under one roof for long durations. She always closes the door of her room when she combs her hair or changes into an abaya/other outfits, such that when she comes out, she always has her hair covered.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah), was asked:

                    “There is a phenomenon with some women, wearing short and tight dresses which expose their features and dresses without sleeves exposing the chest and back, appearing almost naked. When we advise them, they say that they do not wear such clothes except in the presence of other women and that the ‘awrah [1] of the woman in front of other women is from the navel to the knee. What is the ruling regarding this, and what is the ruling regarding wearing these types of clothes in front of mahrams [2]? May Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) reward you abundantly on behalf of the Muslims and Muslimat and magnify your reward.”

                    He (rahimahullaah) answered:

                    The answer for this is to say that it is authentically narrated [by Abu Huraira, radiallaahu ‘anhu] that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Two are the types amongst the denizens of Hell whom I have never seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an ox, and they flog people with them. (The second one) women kasiyatun ‘aariyaat: who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise, and they would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance (from a great distance).” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 6840; see also hadith no. 5310]

                    The people of knowledge interpreted the phrase kasiyatun ‘aariyaat (dressed but naked)” as those women who put on tight, short, or light clothes that do not shield what is underneath.

                    In addition, Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah mentioned that the clothes of women in their homes at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) covered what is between the ankle and the palm; when they would leave for the market, it is known that the women of the companions used to wear overflowing dresses that were so long that the lower end of the dress would drag on the earth. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made it permissible for them to lower the end of their garment to extend to an arm’s span, without exceeding that. However, what became unclear to some women of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), “No man should look at the ‘awrah of another man, and no woman should look at the ‘awrah of another woman.” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 338] and of ‘awrah of the woman with respect to other women being from her navel to her knee led them to the [false] conclusion that this indicates that it is permissible to wear short clothes. However, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not say, “The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee, ” such that it would be taken as an an evidence. On the contrary, he said, “no woman should look at the ‘awrah of another woman.” Therefore, he forbade the one who looks because the one who wears overflowing clothes may accidentally uncover her private parts because of a need or for some other reason.

                    Similarly, when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “No man should look at the ‘awrah of another man,” did the companions then wear izar (waist garments) from the navel to the knee or pants from the navel to the knee? Is it now sound for a woman to go out and meet other women having on nothing except that which shields the area from the navel to the knee? No one says this; this is not the case, except with the women of the kufar. So those women who understood otherwise from this hadith are incorrect. The hadith’s meaning is obvious and apparent. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not say, ““The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee.” So women should fear Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) and assume shyness and bashfulness, which is from the characteristics of the woman; this is from iman (faith) as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Modesty is a branch of faith” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 56] Likewise, we know the parable: “More bashful than a woman kept in her private quarter.”

                    Not even the women of the pre-Islamic era [Jahilliyah] used to shield only that which was between the navel and the knee; this was not even the case with men in that time. Do these women want the Muslim woman to be in a worse situation than the women of Jahilliyah?

                    In summary, the dress is something and looking at the ‘awrah is something else. The legal dress of the woman in front of other women should cover that which is between the ankle and the palm. However, if the woman needs to tuck up her dress for work or something else, then she may tuck it all the way to the knee. Similarly, if she needs to roll up her sleeves all the way to the shoulder, then she may do so as needed only. However, to make this her normal dress then it is not allowed, and the hadith does not indicate this under any circumstances. That is why the address was to the one looking, not the one being looked at, and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) mentioned absolutely nothing about the dress. He did not say, ““The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee,” such that this would constitute a pretext for the misunderstanding by those women.

                    With respect to looking by mahrams, then the ruling is the same as looking of a woman at a woman, meaning it is permissible for the woman to uncover in front of her mahrams that which she uncovers in front of other women, namely the head, neck, feet, hands, arms, shins, and so forth. But she must not make her dress short.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas issued a statement on this matter, which reads as follows:

                      Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.

                      The believing women at the beginning of Islam were extremely pure, chaste, and modest, which was the blessing of belief in Allaah and His Messenger and following the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Women at that time used to wear concealing garments, and it is not known that they used to uncover themselves when they met one another or when they met their mahrams. The women of this ummah followed this mode of behaviour – praise be to Allaah – generation after generation until recently, when corruption and impropriety entered the way women dress and behave for many reasons, which we do not have room to discuss here.

                      Because of the large number of questions that have been sent to the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas about women looking at women, and what women should wear, the Committee is telling all Muslim women that women are obliged to have an attitude of modesty, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described as being part of faith and one of the branches of faith. One aspect of the modesty which is enjoined by Islam and by custom is that women should cover themselves, be modest and adopt an attitude and conduct that will keep her far away from falling into fitnah (temptation) and doubtful situations.

                      The Qur’aan clearly indicates that a woman should not show to other women anything other than that which she shows to her mahrams, that which she customarily uncovers in her own home and when doing housework, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

                      “…and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam)…”

                      [al-Noor 24:31]

                      If this is the text of the Qur’aan and this is what is indicated by the Sunnah, then this is what the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah used to do, and the women of the ummah who followed them in truth until the present day.What was usually uncovered in front of the people mentioned in this verse is what women usually uncover when they are at home and when doing housework, which is difficult to avoid, such as uncovering the head, hands, neck and feet.

                      With regard to going to extremes in uncovering, there is no evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah that this is permissible. This is also the way that leads to a woman tempting or being tempted by other women, which happens among them. It also sets a bad example to other women, as well as being an imitation of kaafir women, prostitutes and immoral women in the way they dress. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood. In Saheeh Muslim (2077) it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw him wearing two garments dyed with safflower, and he said, “These are from the clothing of the kuffaar – do not wear them.”

                      It is also narrated in Saheeh Muslim (2128) that 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: people with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, misguided and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”

                      The meaning of the phrase “clothed yet naked” is that the woman is wearing clothes that do not cover her, so she is clothed, but in fact she is naked, such as when she wears a thin dress that shows the colour of her skin, or a dress that shows the outline of her body, or a short dress that does not cover part of her limbs.

                      So what Muslim women have to do is to adhere to the guidance followed by the Mothers of the Believers (the Prophet’s wives) and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and the women of this ummah who followed them in truth, and strive to cover themselves and be modest. This is farthest removed from the causes of fitnah and will protect them from the things that lead to provocation of desires and falling into immorality.

                      Muslim women must also beware of falling into that which Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden of imitating kaafir women and prostitutes, in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and in the hope of attaining the reward of Allaah, and for fear of His punishment.

                      Every Muslim must also fear Allaah with regard to the women who are under his care, and not let them wear things that Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden, such as provocative clothes, or clothes that are revealing or tempting. He should remember that he is a shepherd and will be responsible for his flock on the Day of Resurrection.

                      We ask Allaah to set the Muslims’ affairs straight, and to guide us all to the straight path, for He is All-Hearing, Ever-Near and Ever Responsive. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

                      Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 17/290

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Shaikh al-Albany stated regarding this subject,

                        “The areas of wudu [head/face/neck, hands/forearms, feet], these are the areas of beautification that a women may make apparent in front of her muslim sister”.

                        [شريط تحية المسجد – الهجرة – عورة المرأة أمام النساء…السلسلة 641

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan was asked regarding women wearing tight clothing in the presence of other women only, he replied:

                          “No doubt that a women wearing something tight which highlights her body areas [bosom etc] is not permissible, it is not permissible except in front of her husband only. As for in the presence of others besides her husband then it is not permissible, even if it was in the presence of women only. Since then she will be a bad example for others if they see her wearing such [tight] clothes, and they will emulate her.

                          Additionally, she [the woman] is commanded to cover her ‘aura with ample and covering clothing from everyone, except her husband, she should cover her ‘aura from other women as she covers from men – except for that which is customarily accepted to uncover for women among women, such as the face, the hands, the feet, that which there is a need to uncover.”

                          فتاوى المرأة المسلمة ص437 – 438

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TazkiyyatunNafs View Post
                            Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah), was asked:

                            “There is a phenomenon with some women, wearing short and tight dresses which expose their features and dresses without sleeves exposing the chest and back, appearing almost naked. When we advise them, they say that they do not wear such clothes except in the presence of other women and that the ‘awrah [1] of the woman in front of other women is from the navel to the knee. What is the ruling regarding this, and what is the ruling regarding wearing these types of clothes in front of mahrams [2]? May Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) reward you abundantly on behalf of the Muslims and Muslimat and magnify your reward.”

                            He (rahimahullaah) answered:

                            The answer for this is to say that it is authentically narrated [by Abu Huraira, radiallaahu ‘anhu] that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Two are the types amongst the denizens of Hell whom I have never seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an ox, and they flog people with them. (The second one) women kasiyatun ‘aariyaat: who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise, and they would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance (from a great distance).” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 6840; see also hadith no. 5310]

                            The people of knowledge interpreted the phrase kasiyatun ‘aariyaat (dressed but naked)” as those women who put on tight, short, or light clothes that do not shield what is underneath.

                            In addition, Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah mentioned that the clothes of women in their homes at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) covered what is between the ankle and the palm; when they would leave for the market, it is known that the women of the companions used to wear overflowing dresses that were so long that the lower end of the dress would drag on the earth. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made it permissible for them to lower the end of their garment to extend to an arm’s span, without exceeding that. However, what became unclear to some women of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), “No man should look at the ‘awrah of another man, and no woman should look at the ‘awrah of another woman.” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 338] and of ‘awrah of the woman with respect to other women being from her navel to her knee led them to the [false] conclusion that this indicates that it is permissible to wear short clothes. However, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not say, “The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee, ” such that it would be taken as an an evidence. On the contrary, he said, “no woman should look at the ‘awrah of another woman.” Therefore, he forbade the one who looks because the one who wears overflowing clothes may accidentally uncover her private parts because of a need or for some other reason.

                            Similarly, when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “No man should look at the ‘awrah of another man,” did the companions then wear izar (waist garments) from the navel to the knee or pants from the navel to the knee? Is it now sound for a woman to go out and meet other women having on nothing except that which shields the area from the navel to the knee? No one says this; this is not the case, except with the women of the kufar. So those women who understood otherwise from this hadith are incorrect. The hadith’s meaning is obvious and apparent. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not say, ““The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee.” So women should fear Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) and assume shyness and bashfulness, which is from the characteristics of the woman; this is from iman (faith) as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Modesty is a branch of faith” [Reported by Muslim, hadith no. 56] Likewise, we know the parable: “More bashful than a woman kept in her private quarter.”

                            Not even the women of the pre-Islamic era [Jahilliyah] used to shield only that which was between the navel and the knee; this was not even the case with men in that time. Do these women want the Muslim woman to be in a worse situation than the women of Jahilliyah?

                            In summary, the dress is something and looking at the ‘awrah is something else. The legal dress of the woman in front of other women should cover that which is between the ankle and the palm. However, if the woman needs to tuck up her dress for work or something else, then she may tuck it all the way to the knee. Similarly, if she needs to roll up her sleeves all the way to the shoulder, then she may do so as needed only. However, to make this her normal dress then it is not allowed, and the hadith does not indicate this under any circumstances. That is why the address was to the one looking, not the one being looked at, and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) mentioned absolutely nothing about the dress. He did not say, ““The dress of a woman is between the navel and the knee,” such that this would constitute a pretext for the misunderstanding by those women.

                            With respect to looking by mahrams, then the ruling is the same as looking of a woman at a woman, meaning it is permissible for the woman to uncover in front of her mahrams that which she uncovers in front of other women, namely the head, neck, feet, hands, arms, shins, and so forth. But she must not make her dress short.
                            Thank you so much for the detail information!! Me and my cousin-sister never wear tight clothes. We wear hijab and pray five times.

                            My question was not about how to dress in front of other women. My question was about - am I allowed to "change" my top in front of my cousin? As you know changing the top does not take more than a few minutes.

                            I think Kya has brought up an interesting point - "Is the ruling different for a quick change vs. hanging out/chilling?" It would be great if you could give your valuable advice on this matter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ~TwinklingStar~ View Post
                              Modesty is always a good virtue to have, sister. Hayaa is not found in anything except that it beautifies it.

                              If you come across conflicting views, it's always better to chose taqwa over fatwa. In this case, chose the path of a higher degree of modesty.

                              You may have done things believing to be correct once, but now that you know you could have been wrong, it would be better if you avoid doing it in the future.

                              Personally, I find it a bit odd how one can be comfortable changing one's top in front of another female, no matter how close you're to her.

                              There are women in this day and age who do not even expose their hair around other Muslim women.

                              I've been married for 7 years and I've never seen my MIL's hair to date, inspite of us having lived together under one roof for long durations. She always closes the door of her room when she combs her hair or changes into an abaya/other outfits, such that when she comes out, she always has her hair covered.
                              Thank you for sharing your opinion, sister! I deeply respect your point of view.

                              As I mentioned in my post that I am sharing my room with my cousin-sister. Sometimes, my aunt and other cousins also share our room when guests come to our home. At that time, the situation becomes much worse. The bathroom remains occupied most of the time.

                              Since we are sharing the same bedroom, it becomes a little bit difficult for us to follow what you are mentioning here.

                              Comment

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