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Miscellaneous / The ruling on women looking at non-Mahram men

The ruling on women looking at non-Mahram men

publish date : 2014-08-25 | Views : 13302
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Is it permissible for the woman to look at men, directly or watching them on TV? تفصيل القول في نظر المرأة للرجل الأجنبي

All praise is due to Allah alone, and may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions. To answer your question, we say while seeking the success from Allah: There are only three possible cases where a woman looks at non-mahram men: 1.      The case where the woman looks at them with desire or it is possible that the woman may be tempted. This is forbidden by the agreement of all scholars, as reported by many scholars such as al-Jassas and al-Nawawi. 2.      The case where there is a necessity for the woman to look at non-mahram men. This is permissible because even according to the view that does not allow women to look at non-mahram men at all, this is allowed if there is a necessity since their view is based on the principle of prohibiting the means leading to corruption. 3.      The case where the woman looks at non-mahram men without desire and necessity, and there is no fear of temptation. The scholars differed on the ruling on this case. a.       The first view states that it is permissible. This is the view of Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ahmad and one of the two views reported from al-Shafie. This view was concluded based on a number of reports, such as the hadith wherein Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “Allah's Messenger (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) screened me with his robe all the while I was watching the Ethiopians playing with their spears, and I was a young girl at that time.” Reported by al-Bukhari (455) and Muslim (893). The other hadith is when the Prophet (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) said to Fatima bint Qais after she was divorced: “Spend your ‘iddah period in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man and so you can put off your garments.” Reported by Muslim (1480). As for the ayah (interpretation of the meaning): {And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision} [Quran 24:31], they understood it to refer to that which is not allowed to see from the ‘awrah of men. b.      The second view states that it is forbidden. This is the view of the Madhab of al-Shafi’e and one of the transmitted views in the Madhab of Imam Ahmad. Their view is based on the following evidence: The ayah (interpretation of the meaning): {And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision} [Quran 24:31] and the hadith: On the authority of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her), she said: I was with the Messenger of Allah (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) and his wife Maymunah (may Allah be pleased with her) after the ayah ordering Muslim women to wear the hijab was revealed. Thereupon, the son of Ibn Umm Maktum (`Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum) came. The Prophet (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) addressed us saying, "Screen yourselves from him." We asked, "O Messenger of Allah! He is a blind man. He can neither see us nor recognize us." The Prophet (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) replied, "But both of you are not blind! You both can see him" Reported by Abu Dawud (4112) and al-Tirmidhi (2778) who ruled it as authentic.  However, the most correct view is that it is permissible unless there is fear that it will lead to evil or corruption as then it is forbidden by the agreement of all scholars, as it has been explained above.  This can happen when the woman looks at a man just to enjoy his good looks because in such case is most likely accompanied with desire and for that reason it is not allowed. As for the evidence that scholars relied on to conclude that it is forbidden for a woman to look at non-mahram men in all cases, their main evidence is the hadith of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) whose authenticity is questionable because of the existence of Nabhan, the servant of Umm Salamah in the chain of narrators, whose narrations are not reliable. However, Abu Dawud presented a counterargument when he said: “The command in the report is exclusive to the wives of the Prophet, which can be noticed in the other report wherein the Prophet (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him) ordered Fatima bint Qais to stay at the house of Ibn Umm Maktum who was blind.” As for the ayah (interpretation of the meaning): {And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision} [Quran 24:31], it is understood to talk about the obligation to lower the gaze so one does not see the ‘awrah. It is known that the face of a man is not part of that which is forbidden to see when there is no desire. This is supported by the hadith of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) wherein she mentioned that she was watching the Ethiopians playing with their spears in the Masjid. Reported by al-Bukhari (988) and Muslim (892) And Allah knows best. Your brother, Khalid al-Mosleh   12/04/1426

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