Questions and Answers

  1. Question: What is the ruling in the matter of a woman embracing another woman passionately, kissing, and flirting with her with sexual desire? What if they go even further and enter the domain of deviant sexual behaviour?

    Answer: All of this is harăm with varying degrees of prohibition.

  2. Question: Very often women ask specific questions [related to women’s issues] from seminations. Is it permissible for them to ask explicitly, even though some questions might be of a private nature? Is it permissible for the studentss to answer them in the same explicit manner?

    Answer: It is permissible for both parties for the sake of learning and teaching religious laws, but they both must have sincerity of intention, observe decency and decorum [in their speech], and refrain from explicitness in matters that are not appropriate to be expressed explicitly.

  3. Question: During foreplay, a sticky substance is discharged in the woman’s vagina; and when the foreplay continues, she sometimes has orgasm. Is it obligatory on her to perform major ablution (ghusl) when she reaches the first stage of discharge or only when she reaches the climax? And will this ghusl make up for wudhu?

    Answer: Ghusl does not become wăjib for the woman until she reaches the level of sexual excitement. Once she reaches that level and the liquid is discharged, it becomes obligatory on her to perform ghusl of janăbat which should compensate for wudhu.

  4. Question: During the pilgrimage season, women use some pills to delay the on set of their monthly period; when the period sets in, it comes with frequent intervals. Would the laws of menses apply on that discharge?

    Answer: If it comes with interruption and does not continue —even inside the private part after the first initial discharge— for three days, the laws of menstruation should not apply.

  5. Question: A vast majority of Muslim women who observe hijăb are used to keeping their chins and a small part of the under chin exposed but they cover the neck. Is this permissible for them? And how big an area of the face women can expose? And are the ears included in that?

    Answer: The ears are not part of the face, therefore it is obligatory to cover them. As for the part of the chin and the under chin that are seen when putting on the common head scarf, it is to be considered as part of the face.

  6. Question: Is it permissible to shake hands with a non-mahram women who is advanced in age (qawă‘id) and do not have high hopes of getting married? What is the approximate age for qawă‘id?

    Answer: It is not permissible to touch the body of a non-mahram woman at all, except when necessary. There is no specific age for the qawa‘id because it varies from one woman to another; the criterion [of defining the qawă‘id] is what has been mentioned in the [Qur’ănic] verse: she should be advanced in age and do not aspire for marriage (24/60).

  7. Question: If putting on the face veil (an-niqăb) in a country [like England or America] sometimes arouses astonishment and inquiries, is it obligatory to take off such veil since it would become part of the libăsu ’sh-shuhra?

    Answer: It is not obligatory [to do so]. However, if wearing it arouses disapproval by and dislike of the general public in a particular country, it would be classified as “libăsu ’sh-shuhra” in that country and it would not be permissible to wear it over there.

  8. Question: Is it permissible for a woman in hijăb to learn driving, if her instructor is a non-mahram and is alone with her during the driving lessons, provided that nothing harăm takes place in the process?

    Answer: It is permissible, provided that one is immune from falling prey to immorality.

  9. Question: Some beautician outlets employ female staff. Is it permissible for a woman  among the believers to engage in applying make up of women —Muslim or non-Muslim— who do not observe hijăb and who wear make up in the presence of non-mahram men?

    Answer: If that work is considered as a contributing factor to the harăm act and promoting it, she is not allowed to do it; however, such a consideration is truly far-fetched.

  10. Question: Is it permissible for a woman who does not observe hijăb to get rid of her facial hair, to straighten her eyebrows, and to wear natural and light make up?

    Answer: Getting rid of facial hair and straightening the eyebrows do not prevent her from keeping her face open [while putting on the hijăb], provided she is confident of not getting sucked into something harăm and that exposing her face is not done with the intention of inviting harăm looks.

  11. Question: Is it permissible [for a woman] to dye her hair, fully or partially, in gatherings exclusively for women with the intention of attracting attention for the purpose of marriage?

    Answer: If dyeing is for a cosmetic reason and not with the purpose of deceiving (like concealing a defect or old age), there is no problem in it.

  12. Question: If a woman puts on a wig that covers her real hair for the purpose of beauty as well as hijăb, is she allowed to expose her face now that it looks different?

    Answer: She is permitted to use the wig, yet it is a beauty item that must be concealed from non-mahram men.

  13. Question: There are some stockings whose colour matches that used to embellish the legs. Is it permissible for a young woman to wear it?

    Answer: She is allowed to wear it, but if it is considered a beauty item, it is necessary to conceal it from non-mahram men.

  14. Question: Is it permissible to wear stockings that conceal what is underneath it?

    Answer: In principle, there is no problem in it.

  15. Question: A Muslim woman nurse visits patients; part of her work involves touching the body of men, Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Is this permissible for her, knowing that leaving her job would make it hard for her to find work? And is there a difference between touching the body of a Muslim and that of a non-Muslim?

    Answer: It is not permissible for a woman to touch the body of non-mahram man, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, except when it is necessary, in which case the prohibition is overridden.

  16. Question: A Muslim woman wears high heel shoes that hit the ground in such a way that it draws attention. Is she allowed to wear it?

    Answer: It is not permissible, if it is intended to draw the attention of non-mahram men to herself, or if it generally causes temptation [for committing sin].

  17. Question: Is it permissible for a woman to wear rings, bangles, or necklace for the sake of beautification?

    Answer: It is permissible and it should be concealed from non-mahram men except for the rings and bangles, provided that there is no danger of committing that which is harăm, or that exposing them should not be with the intention of drawing forbidden attention.

  18. Question: In the West it is possible to wear coloured contact lenses. Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to wear them for the sake of beautification and then appear in front of non-mahram men?

    Answer: If that is considered as an item of cosmetics, it is not allowed.

  19. Question: Is it permissible to sell ova of a woman? Is it permissible to buy them?

    Answer: It is permissible.

  20. Question: In some cases, women start losing their hair. Is it permissible for them to expose their hair to a doctor for the sake of treatment, irrespective of whether loss of hair entails difficulty for them, in that it is just for the sake of embellishment?

    Answer: It is permissible in the case of difficulty that is normally unbearable; and not without it.

  21. Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to join a co-education college in the West in spite of the moral breakdown, and the laisser-faire attitude of some male and female students?

    Answer: If she is confident that she can preserve her faith, fulfill her religious duties, including the hijăb, refrain from harăm looking and touching, and be immune to immoral and adverse atmosphere, there is no problem in it; otherwise, it is not allowed.

  22. Question: In some Western countries, artists sit on the kerb of public footpaths and paint pictures of those who wish to get their portraits drawn for a fee. They do so by asking their customers to pose for them, and then carefully observe their faces in order to paint their portraits. Is it permissible for a woman with hijăb to ask the artist to draw her picture?

    Answer: She should not do so.

  23. Question: Is wrestling in its various forms permissible for women? And are women allowed to look at the semi-naked bodies of the wrestlers live or on television without lustful thoughts?

    Answer: Wrestling is not allowed, if it involves hurting oneself or the opponent when it crosses  the boundary of haram. It is a obligatory on a woman not to look at the body of a man, innocently, even on television, with the exception of the head, hands and feet, and other parts that are not normally concealed.

  24. Question: Is it permissible for women to look at the bodies of men who take off their clothes [i.e., shirts] during the mourning ceremony [when they do the mătam]?

    Answer: Based on obligatory precaution, they should refrain from it.

  25. Question: A man voluntarily takes the responsibility of raising a girl, then she grows up into a woman. Is it obligatory on her to observe hijăb in his presence? Is it obligatory on him not to look at her hair and not to touch her at all?

    Answer: Yes, all that is obligatory; and her relations with him should be like that of a non-mahram.

  26. Question: If pregnancy causes great difficulty for a daughter and a disgrace for her family, is she allowed to abort the foetus?

    Answer: It is permissible before the soul enters the feotus, if the difficulty reaches a level that is usually unbearable and there is no way out for her except abortion.

  27. Question: Is a woman allowed to wear trousers and take to the streets and markets?

    Answer: It is not allowed, if it reveals the contours of her body or would normally arouse temptation.

  28. Question: Is it permissible to wear a wig with the purpose of drawing attention and embellishing oneself in gatherings that are exclusively for women? Is this counted as “concealing the shortcomings”?

    Answer:There is no problem in it, if it is done only for beautification, and not for deceiving and concealing physical drawback, in the case of would-be marriage.

  29. Question: Is it permissible for a woman in menses to recite more than seven verses from the Holy Qur’ăn (other than the verses that require obligatory prostration)? If it is permissible, is it disliked (makrűh)? And does that mean that she will be rewarded for reciting, albeit less [than normal]?

    Answer: She is allowed to recite other than the verses that require obligatory prostration; and when it is said, “it is disliked to recite more than seven verses,” this means that the reward of such recitation will be less.