Concerning the woman’s ‘Awra when being with Muslim women
Question: What are the parts of the woman’s body that are permissible to be unveiled in front of women? May Allah reward you.
Answer: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection:

The predominant opinion [of the scholars] concerning Al-‘Awra(1) of the woman with her Mahram (2)and Muslim women is the permissibility of showing her concealed [places of] represented in: the lower of the legs, the hands including the forearm, the brachium (upper arm), the head and the other places where she adorn herself and needs to display if she meets them in accordance with the verse in which Allah تعالىsays:
﴿‮وَلَايُبۡدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوۡ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوۡ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوۡ أَبۡنَآئِهِنَّ أَوۡ أَبۡنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوۡ إِخۡوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوۡ بَنِيٓ إِخۡوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوۡ بَنِيٓ أَخَوَٰتِهِنَّ أَوۡ نِسَآئِهِنَّ‬ ﴾ [النور: 31.]

The meaning of the verse:
﴾ And not display their adornment [i.e. beauty] except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women ﴿ [An-Nûr: 31].
Those are the ones in front of whom it is permissible for her to show some of her concealed beauty but for each one there is a specified limit. This is indicated in the hadith reported by Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ brought to Fâtima a slave as a gift. He added: and she wore a garment, when she covered with it her head, it did not reach her feet and when she covered with it her feet, it did not reach her head. So when the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ saw her struggling, he said: “There is no blame upon you: Here there is only your father and your slave”(3).
As for her other concealed beauty like the belly and the back, it is more precautious to cover them and there is no need to show them except the former parts where there is difficulty to cover. Indeed, the difficulty is repelled according to the verse in which Allah تعالى says:

﴿‮يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمۡۚ‬﴾ [النساء: 28.]

The meaning of the verse:
﴾ And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties] ﴿ [An-Nişâ’: 28]. 
Also His saying سبحانه وتعالى:

﴿ ‮يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ ‬﴾ [البقرة: 185.]

The meaning of the verse:
﴾ Allah intends for you ease and does not intent for you hardship ﴿ [Al-Baqara: 185]. 
In addition to His saying عزّ وجلّ : 

﴿‮وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِي ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٖۚ ‬﴾ [الحج: 78]

The meaning of the verse:
﴾ and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship ﴿ [Al-Hajj: 78], and other clarified verses.
Moreover, the hadith that indicates, from one side, the precaution; and from the other side, the weakness of the opinion of: the majority of scholars that the woman’s  ‘Awra in front of Muslim women is limited between the navel and the knee, and the opinion of the Hanafi [School] who added the knee to Al-‘Awra, and also that of Ibn Hazm who restricted her‘Awra when being with Muslim women to the behind and the vagina, is the hadith of the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: 
“The woman must not see a woman [her ‘Awra] then describes her to her husband as if he is looking at her” (4). 
This hadith warns against the action that leads the husband to admire the description mentioned to him that results in his wife (the woman who describes) being divorced or the fascination with the described one. That is why there must be precaution regarding the parts of her ‘Awra  that there is no need to show in order to stand against the ways of temptation.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

 

Algiers, Rabî‘ Al-Awwal 8th, 1428 H.

Corresponding to: March 15th, 2008 G.

 
(1)  For woman, all her body is ‘Awra except her face and her hands, and she is not allowed to uncover her ‘Awra before strangers (men that are not Mahram). Here, it means the parts of the woman’s body that she is not allowed to reveal before other women. Translator’s note

(2)  Mahram (plural: Mahârim): a male whom a woman can never marry because of close relationship (e.g. a brother, a father, an uncle etc.); or her own husband. Translator’s note.

(3) Reportedby Abû Dâwûd (4106) on the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Al-Irwâ’ ” (1799) and judged  Haşan (good) by Al-Wâdi‘î in “Sahîh Al-Musnad” (60).

(4) Reportedby Al-Bukhârî (5240) on the authority of ‘Abd Allâh Ibn Mas‘ûd رضي الله عنه.
https://ferkous.com/home/?q=en/fatwa-en-862

Translated by Abu Abdus Salaam Juyaanee

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