RULINGS RELATED TO WOMEN
Q1: In some societies, women are deprived of religious education; so, how can this be dealt with?
A: Attention should be paid to this matter. Women are half of the society. Religious scholars and preachers of the faith must look after this aspect either by setting aside time to guide and educate them, or by educating a special group of women so the latter may spread the religious education among the rest, or by offering them religious courses, or other steps may be undertaken according to abilities and circumstances. Men should also be made aware of the necessity for them to educate their women; this should be emphasized to them, in order to fulfill their obligation to guide their families and save them from the fire, about which Allah Almighty says, "O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which stern (and) strong angels are appointed, (angels) who do not flinch (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah but do (precisely) what they are commanded” (Qur'an, 66:6).
Q2: Some women's beauty shops need female staff. Does a believing woman have the right to work in beautifying women who do not observe Hijab and who adorn themselves before non-Mahrams?
A: Yes, she is permitted to do so.
Q3: Is it permissible for the woman who does not cover her face to apply light natural powders on her face?
A: Doing so is not permissible if it is considered to be self-beautification.
Q4: A woman improves her facial look, such as by fixing her eyebrows or applying the kohl, what is the ruling in her regard?
A: There is no harm in it, but she is not permitted to show her embellishment to non-Mahram men, other than applying kohl, wearing a ring and a bracelet.
Q5: Is it permissible for an unmarried virgin girl to apply makeup on her face such as the use of eyeliner, facial powders, lipstick, kohl, etc. in order to get someone interested in marrying her?
A: If she was not in the presence of non-Mahram men then there is no problem in doing so in itself.
Q6: Is it permissible for a man and woman to dye the hair with commonly known chemical dyes in order to hide grey hair? Is it permissible for a woman to do so with the intention to look good for her husband?
A: Yes, it is permissible.
Q7: What is the ruling about dying hair or the use of what is called "mesh” for a woman?
A: The dying referred to is permissible; it is neither prohibited nor does it void Wudhu because it does not prevent water from reaching the hair.
Q8: You mention in your treatise of Islamic laws that it is permissible to leave the face and hands uncovered. Is it permissible for a woman to uncover her face even if it is attractive in a way which may cause men to look at her with sexual excitement?
A: Yes, she is permitted to uncover her face without applying embellishment other than the use of kohl, and men should lower their gaze and not look at her with sexual excitement.
Q9: Should a woman cover her feet?
A: It is an obligatory precaution to cover them in the presence of non-Mahram men.
Q10: If a woman uses a wig to cover her real hair, is she permitted to show herself in a way which really is not her real self, seeking embellishment and veil at the same time?
A: By itself, the matter is permissible, but it is prohibited in the following cases:
(i) If it encourages the doing of what is unlawful.
(ii) If it is a manifestation of not following the creed.
(iii) If it is a violation of the sanctity of Islamic law.
(iv) If it sexually excites one who looks at her; and similar cases.
We have mentioned in more than one place of the Introduction what may be beneficial in this regard.
Q11: Some women's hair falls in certain cases. Are they permitted to let a male doctor examine their hair so he may treat them if falling hair causes difficulties for them as it is most likely?
A: Yes, it is permissible.
Q12: I am a young religious woman, and a young man wishes to marry me. Through his family, he asked to see my personal picture without the head covering.
A. Is it permissible to take the desired picture with such makeup and self-beautification as is commonly used by women in such situations, and without the said head covering?
B. Is it permissible to send the picture for the purpose referred to above?
A: It is permissible to send the picture for the said purpose, but it must be photographed by a woman or by a Mahram man. As for the embellishment, it is permissible if it is according to the common and usual way so as it does not mislead or deceive the man; otherwise, it is unlawful. In any case, it is best not to apply such makeup for the picture.
Q13: Is it permissible for a woman to wear colored head cover outside her home?
A: There is no harm in doing so unless they are unusually flashy to the extent they sexually arouse men. In the latter case, it is an obligatory precaution to avoid wearing such clothes.
Q14: We, Muslim women in the West, cannot or find it difficult to wear the black cloak (Abaya). Are we permitted to cover up with anything else, perhaps a loose overcoat and the like?
A: Hijab is not restricted to wearing the black cloak. Rather, Hijab suffices in any form as long as it is not excessive in the way it is cut, designed and decorated so it is likely to attract a man’s sexual arousal; in the latter case, one should not wear it based on an obligatory precaution.
It is hoped that believing women, especially the youth amongst them, avoid places of sedition and sexual lust. They should keep themselves distant from lewdness and moral disintegration. They must care about their dignity and decency, especially in foreign lands, for doing so protects women, thus protecting her respect, her honor and her dignity; it also protects her Islamic culture and her religious knowledge. They should be Islam's messengers in their conduct, and its advocates inviting others to it through their behavior. They should not fuse themselves into a corrupt society and dissolve into it. What has the Western woman gained from her culture and conduct?! What has she reached, that the Muslim woman may find her worthy of being emulated, of following her footsteps?!
We plead to the most Praised One to protect the believing women from the pitfalls of perdition, to make them the embellishment of Islam and faith; surely He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy.
Further beneficial advice has been given in the Introduction.
Q15: What is the ruling regarding a woman who wears or who beautifies herself with jewelry before a non-Mahram man while fully adhering to the Hijab clothing as required by the Sharia, keeping in mind that she does not do so in order to intentionally show her adornment?
A: A woman is prohibited from displaying her adornment to a non-Mahram man other than her kohl, ring and bracelet.
Q16: In the West, contact lenses can be placed on the eye’s iris, changing its color to various colors. Does a Muslim woman have the right to put on such contact lenses in order to look beautiful and appear wearing them before non-Mahram men?
A: Such adornment is not permissible for displaying before non-Mahram men.
Q17: What is the ruling regarding a man tailoring clothes for a woman, taking her measurements from clothing which had been taken off?
A: Apparently, by itself it is permissible unless it results in something which the Sharia prohibits, such as arousing sexual desires or encouraging lewdness, especially if the woman enjoys a high social status to the extent that she is looked on as a role model. If she does so, other women who do not adhere to the legislated restrictions may be encouraged to do so. Rather, it is best for a believing woman to rise above doing this and its likes in any case, for this will be more fitting for her decency, and the furthermost from implications of sedition and corruption. Allah, the most Praised and Exalted One, is the One Who helps us achieve goodness, Who supports our steps towards the right guidance.
Q18: Is it permissible for a woman who observes Hijab to learn to drive a car if her trainer is non-Mahram man who remains alone with her during the lesson without this necessarily causing her to fall into doing what Islam prohibits?
A: Yes, it is permissible, although it is best to avoid it as much as possible. If we suppose that a pressing need imposes it, there must be precaution against falling into doing what is unlawful.
Q19: Is a woman allowed to look at what a man normally exposes of his body at public places?
A: Yes, it is permissible for her to look – within the conventionally understood limits – at what he exposes, which the usual coexisting and mixing of people requires. However, it is an obligatory precaution not to stare at him.
Q20: Are women allowed to look at football (soccer) games, boxing and the like, since some parts of the bodies of the players are uncovered?
A: Yes, it is permissible as explained in the answer to the previous question. If such is seen on television, there is no problem about watching it, even if one may stare at it, except if sexual arousing results from this.
Q21: Should a woman cover her hair and body before an insane person if his recovery is not expected? Should she cover up before such a person if there is a possibility that he sometimes recovers, although his recovery may be only partial?
A: She is absolutely prohibited from appearing without covering before an insane person, and she has to veil herself, unless he has no desire for women, for in this case she does not have to veil herself. However, it is an obligatory precaution to restrict oneself – in regards to the permissibility to not veil herself before such a person – to an individual who has always been in this condition [of insanity] since his childhood.
Q22: Is it permissible for both genders to work together in factories and offices? Is there anything unlawful or disliked in the contacts that take place among them in conversation, while eating together, or the like? What are the boundaries of this contact since they all work at the same workplace?
A: A woman is permitted to uncover her face and hands without embellishment other than the application of kohl – in the way as it has been traditionally applied – the ring and the bracelet. She is prohibited from beautifying herself with anything else. She is also prohibited from uncovering anything besides the face and hands, not even the feet, for it is an obligatory precaution to cover them.
A man is prohibited from looking at a woman with lust and pleasure. It is also an obligatory precaution for the woman not to look at him studiously and stare at him.
Each gender is prohibited from touching the other, even by handshaking or kissing, even if it may be innocent and without sexual excitement, merely a greeting.
Both genders should seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed and avoid isolation with a member of the opposite sex, even if the door of the room is open. They should not talk too much amongst each other for this may drag one into sin. Surely Allah, Praise and Exaltation belong to Him, is the One Who protects, Who guides to the straight path.