assorted clothes

Can a woman remove her clothes in front of a non-Muslim woman?

Question: Is it ok for a Muslimah to disrobe partially, in front of a non-Muslim woman, for a massage ?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent.

As Imam Al-Dasouqi explains, the Awra (what is obligated to be covered) of Muslim women among other Muslim women is from the naval to the knees. As for Muslim women among non-Muslim women, it is everything except the face and hands. Thus, it would be impermissible for a Muslim woman to disrobe partially, i.e show other than her face and hands, for a massage.

One wisdom behind this ruling is that the Awra of a Muslim is not just the physical body, but also descriptions of the body as well. For example, it would be impermissible for a brother to describe his Muslim sister or mother’s hair to another male who is not her family member. Likewise, it is impermissible for a Muslim woman to expose her body to a non-Muslim woman since a non-Muslim woman would not be trusted to follow the aforementioned Islamic prohibition against describing another person’s Awra. After all, if she is not a Muslim, why would she feel obliged to follow the rules of Islam?

And Allah knows best.

Written by Uthman Qureshi

[Source: Hashiyat al Dasouqi 1/213]
أَيْ هَذَا إذَا كَانَتْ الْحُرَّةُ أَوْ الْأَمَةُ مُسْلِمَةً بَلْ وَلَوْ كَانَتْ كَافِرَةً وَهَذَا مُسَلَّمٌ فِي الْأَمَةِ وَأَمَّا الْحُرَّةُ الْكَافِرَةُ فَعَوْرَةُ الْحُرَّةِ الْمُسْلِمَةُ مَعَهَا عَلَى الْمُعْتَمَدِ مَا عَدَا الْوَجْهَ وَالْكَفَّيْنِ كَمَا فِي بْن لَا مَا بَيْنَ السُّرَّةِ وَالرُّكْبَةِ فَقَطْ كَمَا هُوَ ظَاهِرُ الشَّارِحِ وَقَوْلُ عبق مَا عَدَا الْوَجْهَ وَالْأَطْرَافَ مَمْنُوعٌ بَلْ فِي شب حُرْمَةُ جَمِيعِ الْمُسْلِمَةِ عَلَى الْكَافِرَةِ لِئَلَّا تَصِفَهَا لِزَوْجِهَا الْكَافِرِ فَالتَّحْرِيمُ لِعَارِضٍ لَا لِكَوْنِهِ عَوْرَةً كَمَا أَفَادَهُ شَيْخُنَا وَغَيْرُهُ

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