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April 9, 2010

Awrah is a term used within Islam which means the parts of the body that should be covered and not exposed in public. 

As Salaamu Alaikoum.  We had a sister challenge me at the website the other day by saying that there are many hadiths that say that the Prophet(sa) said the bottom of a womans feet is awrah.  Since she brought forth the challenge publicly, I asked her to bring forth her evidence of just one such hadith.  She was unable to do so.  Instead she sent me the Hadith of Um Salamah of which I gave you all as the proof that a woman’s foot is awrah.  I also informed you that it is the TOP of the woman’s foot, so be careful wearing open foot sandals. So as to end any confusion that may be out there from our new users and to show that I do not make things up or speak from my desires, here is the authentic hadith which proves it to be the top of the woman’s foot.  And all the scholars are in agreement of its authenticity and its fact.


There is no such dispute over what constitutes a woman’s ‘aurah. It is stated that her entire body is ‘aurah and must be covered, except her hands and face. Says Allah in the Qur’an, “And to display of their adornment only that which is apparent (do not expose any adornment or beauty save the hands and face).”


It has been authentically related from Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar and ‘Aishah that the Prophet said, “Allah does not accept the prayer of an adult woman unless she is wearing a headcovering (khimar, hijab).” This is related by “the five,” except for an-Nasa’i, and by Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Hakim. At-Tirmidhi grades it as hassan.

It is related from Umm Salamah that she asked the Prophet, “Can a woman pray in a long shirt (like a night shirt) and headcovering without a loincloth?” He said, “If the shirt is long and flowing and covers the top of her feet.” This is related by Abu Dawud. The scholars say it is sahih in mauqoof form (as a statement of Umm Salamah and not that of the Prophet.)

Also from Maliks Muwatta:  Yahya related to me from Malik from Muhammad ibn Zayd ibn Qunfudh that his mother asked Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “What clothes can a woman wear in prayer?” She said, “She can pray in a shift that reaches down and covers the top of her feet.“

It is also related that ‘Aishah was asked, “In how many garments is a woman to pray?” She answered, “Ask ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib and then return to me and tell me what he said.” ‘Ali’s answer was, “In a headcover and a long flowing shirt.” This was told to ‘Aishah and she said, “He has told the truth.”

The clothes worn must cover the ‘aurah.  A woman should cover her entire body while offering prayers, including her head, hair and top of her feet.  If one’s clothes are tight or so thin that one’s skin colour can be seen, they are not suitable for prayer.


Sister Laila Nasheeba



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