dr saleh as saleh

Clarification on the ‘Awrah and the Covering of Women in the Presence of Other Women and Mahrams

By Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (رحمه الله)

All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

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 (رحمه الله) 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.


[1] 'Awrah: The private parts that must be covered.
[2] Mahaarim pl. of mahram a husband and a woman’s male siblings who are not lawful for her to marry.

This is the answer of our Shaykh (رحمه الله) concerning this question, which is often raised by many sisters. I ask Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) to make it a benefit for all of us. All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

Prepared by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (رحمه الله)

27-7-1427 AH.
21st August 2006.

[Transcribed by Abu Abdullah Al Amreeki. Text Edited by Umm Al-Ahmad al-Kanadiyyah]

guardiansofislam  asked:

Hello I was looking through your blog & I read a post of yours that said "Allah is above the Heavens." This statement is incorrect. Muslims don't believe Allah is above the Heavens. It doesn't make any sense. Muslims believe Allah exists without being in a place or direction; Allah doesn't resemble His creations. Saying "Allah is above the Heavens" is saying that Allah has a body, & that He resembles His creations. Surat ash-Shuraa, 11: <<ليس كمثله شيء>> "There is absolutely nothing like Him."

Assalaam Alaikum,

I hope this message finds you in the best of imaan & health by the grace of Allaah. I ask you to kindly begin your message with the Salaams, as it is a right upon the believers and a greeting of peace.

Please excuse me as I do not normally respond to messages publicly, however in having a brief browse through your blog, I cannot determine whether you are a brother or sister and I refrain from responding to messages from brothers privately due to the ruling regarding gender etiquette/interactions in Islaam. BaarakAllaahu feekum for your understanding.

I appreciate your message, but I would like to inform you that the correct belief in Aqeedah (Creed) of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah in regard to this attribute of Allaah, based upon the understanding of Qur’an & Sunnah by our Pious Predecessors (Salaf-us-Saalih), is that Allaah is above His throne [in a manner that suits His majesty]. In the Creed of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, we understand and accept this statement in the literal sense without distortion, likening Allaah to His creation, or defining His attributes metaphorically.

As stated in the noble Qur’an:

اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۖ مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ

“It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded?”

(Surah As-Sajdah, 32:4)

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ تَبَارَكَ اللَّـهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)!”

(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:54)

أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ ﴿١٦﴾ أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is Over the heaven (Allaah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake? Or do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning.”

(Qur’an, Surah Al-Mulk, 67:16-17)

And mentioned in numerous other Suwar of the Qur’an.

Moreover, there are a number of statements by the Salaf-us-Saalih in support of the above, such as the ones below for example:

Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported:

“When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) passed away, Abu Bakr (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) ascended the minbar, praised Allah and said:

"O people! if Muhammad (ﷺ) was your god whom you worship then your god has died, and if your God is the one above the heaven (fis-sama’) then your God did not die. Then he recited: ‘Muhammad (ﷺ) is not but a messenger. (Other) messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels (to unbelief)?…’(3:144) until he completed the ayah.”

[Reference: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (20/560-562); Ar-Rad ‘Ala Al-Jahmiyyah by Ad-Darimi (p.44-45); Musnad Al-Bazzar (1/182-183)]

Abdullah Ibn Ma’sood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“Between the lowest heaven and the one after it is the distance of five hundred years, and between every two heavens is the distance of five hundred years, and between the seventh heaven and the Kursi is the distance of five hundred years, and between the Kursi and the water is the distance of five hundred years, and the Throne (Arsh) is above the water, Allah the Almighty is above the Throne (fawqa Al-Arsh). And nothing is hidden from Allah of your deeds.” And in another narration “He knows what you are upon.”

[Reference: Graded Hasan. In Al’Adhamah by Abu Ash-Shaykh Al Asbahani (2/688-689); Al-Mujalasah wa Jawahir Al-‘Ilm by Ahmad Ad-Daynuri (6/406); An-Naqd by Ad-Darimi (1/422); Sharh I’tiqad Ahl AsSunnah wal Jama’ah by Al-Lalikai (3/395-396); Ithbat Sifat Al-‘Uluw by Ibn Qudamah (p.151-152) and others]

Malik ibn Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“Allāh is above the heavens and His knowledge is everywhere.”

[Reference: al-’Arsh 2/180]

For more statements of the Salaf on the ‘Uluw (highness/elevation) of Allaah, I advise you to read the following:

  1. Statements of the Salaf on Where is Allaah (Part 1)
  2. Statements of the Salaf on Where is Allaah (Part 2)

As Muslims and adherents of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah (the people of the Sunnah united upon the truth) it’s upon us to understand the Qur’an & Sunnah as the earliest generation of Muslims understood it, and not through our fallible ‘logic’, ‘rational thinking’ or any other methodologies. Alhumdulillaah the guidelines, statements, and understanding of how we should understand our blessed deen has already been established, and it is our obligation to seek the correct knowledge regarding this methodology.

As Imam At Tirmidhi (rahimahullaah) said regarding the verses and Ahadith which concern the Attributes of Allaah:

“The madhhab in this issue from the people of knowledge from the imaams such as; Sufyaan At-Thawree, Malik Bin Anas, Sufyaan Bin Uyaynah, Ibn Mubaarak, Wakee’ and other than them is that they narrated these texts and said: ‘these ahadith are narrated and we believe in them and it is not to be said: ‘how’.’ And this is what the people of hadeeth have chosen, that these ahadith are narrated as they have come and are to be believed in, and it is not allowed to interpret them, nor is it allowed to try to conceive them (mental images) and it is not allowed to say: ‘how’. This is the affair of the people of knowledge which they have chosen and have gone towards.”

[Reference: Jaami At-Tirmidhi (4/97) Tahqeeq by Abdul Wahhaab Abdul Lateef, Daar Fikr.]

For a list of classical books by the Salaf and early scholars on the ‘Uluw (elevation/highness) of Allaah, I recommend reading the following:

  1. Sharh As-Sunnah of Imam Barbahaari (d. 329H) 
  2. Radd Alaa Jahmiyyah of Imam Ahmed (d. 241H)
  3. Radd Alaa Jayhmiyyah of Imam Daarimee (d. 280H)
  4. Radd Alaa Jahmiyyah of Imam Ibn Mandah (d. 395H)
  5. As-Sunnah of Imaam Ibn Abi Aasim (d. 287H)
  6. As-Sunnah of Abdullaah Ibn Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal (d. 290H) 
  7. Ithbaat Hadd Lillaahi of Imam Dashty (d. 655H)
  8. Kitaab Al-Arsh of Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 297H)
  9. Risaalah ilaa ahl-Aththagar of Imam Al-Ashari (d. 364H)
  10. Al-Ibaanah of Imam Al-Ashari (d. 364H)
  11. Maqaalaat Islaamiyyeen of Imam Al-Ashari (d. 364)
  12. Al-Hujjah Alaa Taarik Al-Muhajjah of Ibn Taahir Al-Maqdisee (d. 507H)
  13. Khalq Af’aal Al-‘Ibaad of Imam Bukhaari (d. 256H)
  14. Al-Ibaanah of Ibn Battah (d. 387H)
  15. Al-Hujjah fi Bayaan Al-Muhajjah of Isma’eel Al-Asbahaani (aka Qawaam As-Sunnah) (d. 535H)
  16. As-Sunnah of Imam Al-Humaidi (d. 220H)
  17. Usool As-Sunnah of Imam Ahmed (d. 241H)
  18. Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah of Imam At-Tahaawi (d. 796H)
  19. Naqd Alaa Bishr Al-Mareesee of Imam Ad-Daarimee (d. 280H)
  20. Kitaab At-Tawheed of Imam Bukhaari (d. 256H)
  21. Kitaab At-Tawheed of Imam Ibn Khuzaimah (d. 311H)
  22. Kitaab Al-Eemaan of Imam Ibn Mandah (d. 395H)
  23. Kitaab At-Tawheed of Imam Ibn Mandah (d. 395H)
  24. As-Sunnah of Imam Khallaal (d. 311H)
  25. Ash-Sharee’ah of Imam Aajurry (d. 360H)
  26. Qaseedah Haaiyyah of Imam Ibn Abi Dawood (d. 316H)
  27. Sareeh As-Sunnah of Imam Tabari (d. 310H)
  28. I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah by Imam Laalikaaee (d. 418H)
  29. I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah of Imam Isma’eelee (d. 371H)
  30. As-Sunnah of Imam Muzani (d. 264H)
  31. Aqeedatu-Ar-Raazi’ain of Imam Abu Haatim Ar-Raazi and Imam Abu Zur’ah Ar-Raazi (d. 277H, d. 264H)
  32. Kitaab As-Sunnah of Imam Harb Al-Karmaani (d. 280H)
  33. Kitaab Al-Qadar of Imam Al-Farayaabi (d. 301H)
  34. Mukhtasar Al-Hujjah Alaa Taarik Al-Muhajjah of Imam Nasr Al-Maqdisee (d. 490H)
  35. Risaalah Al-Qairwaaniyyah of Imaam Ibn Abi Zaid Al-Qairwaani, also known as Imam Malik As-Saghir (d. 386H)


I hope the information above is of benefit to you Inshaa’Allaah!

For additional reading on this subject, I strongly suggest looking at the resources below:

  1. The Transcendence (‘Uluw) of Allaah — Refuting Doubts & Misconceptions Prepared by Dr. Saleh As Saleh (rahimahullaah) [PDF]
  2. Is Allaah Confined to a Place? By Shaykh Al Albaani (rahimahullaah) [Video]
  3. Above the Throne [Website]

May Allaah bless you, and guide you, I, and all of the believers the truth. And may He keep us firm upon it, Ameen.

Take care and have a nice day/night!


The levels of Belief In

[For better reading, click Here]

Al Ilm - knowledge

Believing that Allah’s eternal Knowledge surrounds everything and nothing escapes It.  He knows all what has occurred before it occurs, all what will occur and all which has not occurred. This includes all his creation’s movement and stillness, deeds and sayings, and  whatever they conceal and reveal, ect..

{not even the weight of an atom (or a small ant) or less than that or greater, escapes from His Knowledge} [Sabaa:3]

The Prophet ﷺ said: (There is none of you but has his place assigned either in the fire or in Paradise) They said: (O Allah’s Messenger ﷺ Why shouldn’t we depend [on Al-Qadar] and give up work?) The Prophet ﷺ said: (No, but carry on doing good deeds, for everyone will find easy [to do what will lead him to his destinated place]) then he recited this ayat:

{As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, and believes in Al Husna (Tawheed, path of righteousness) we will make smooth for him the path of ease, goodness} [Al-Layl:5-7] [Bukhari & Muslim]


Believing that Allah has written everything about the creation before creating it, this writing is in  Umm ul Kitaab / Mother of the Book, also called;  Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz / Preserved Tablet

{Do not you know that Allah knows All that is in the Heaven and on earth? Verily, it is all in the book. Verily! That is easy for Allah} [Al Hajj:70]

The prophet ﷺ said: (Allah had written the ordained measures [and due proportions] of the creation, fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth and His Arsh was on the water) [Muslim 1397].

This writing is final and never changes, however there is other writings that come after, and that can change if Allah wills so. {Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz)} [Ar-Rad:39]


Believing that whatever Allah wills, occurs, and whatever He does not will, never occurs, and nothing occurs in His kingdom (the universe) but by His will.

{And you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)} [At-Takwir:29]

The Will of Allah is of 2 types:
1) Universal Will: Is related to all what took place or will take place whether it is liked by Allah or not; disbelieve, belief, obedience, disobedience ect.. This Will is also known as Mashee'ah.{And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam} [Al-Anaam:125]

2) Judicial Will: Is related to all what Allah loves and likes whether it occurs or not,  belief, obedience, good deeds, ect..  { Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.} [Al-Baqara:185]


Believing that Allah is the creator of all things including slaves’s deeds whether they are good or bad

{He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements} [Al-Furqan:2] {While Allah has created you and what you make} [As-Saffat:96]

Yet, the slaves have real will and choice but all under the will of Allah, their deeds are creation of Allah which He decreed and set under His slaves’ ability so their actions are truly attributed to them, and in the day of judgement they will be called to account for them

{So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.} [Az-Zalzala:8]


Explanation of Al Haa'iyyah by Sheikh Saleh Al Fawzan

The Four Levels of the Belief in al-Qaadr by Dr. Saleh as-Saleh

Explanation of Hadith N°2 of Forty Nawawi Hadiths by Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen


Defining Eaman- Shaykh Dr Saleh As Saleh رحمه الله very few scholars that you can understand, without a middle man, speaking to you in English. May Allaah protect us from ignorance and give us knowledge and wisdom, its fruits, zeal to call towards it, and patience. Aameen.