“No woman should describe another woman to her husband…”

Ibn Al-Mundhir recorded that `Ikrimah commented on this Ayah,

[وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ]

(and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers…), “The paternal uncle and maternal uncle are not mentioned here, because they may describe a woman to their sons, so a woman should not remove her Khimar in front of her paternal or maternal uncle.”With regard to the husband, all of this is for his sake, so she should try her best when adorning herself for him, unlike the way she should appear in front of others.

[أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ]

(or their women,) this means that she may also wear her adornment in front of other Muslim women, but not in front of the women of Ahl Adh-Dhimmah (Jewish and Christian women), lest they describe her to their husbands. This is prohibited for all women, but more so in the case of the women of Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, because there is nothing to prevent them from doing that, but Muslim women know that it is unlawful and so, would be deterred from doing it. The Messenger of Allah said:

«لَا تُبَاشِرِ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَرْأَةَ فَتَنْعَتَهَا لِزَوْجِهَا كَأَنَّهُ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهَا»

(No woman should describe another woman to her husband so that it is as if he is looking at her.) It was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Ibn Mas`ud.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah An-Nur

Advertisements

The Etiquette of Women walking in the Street

[وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَـتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَـرِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِى إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِى أَخَوَتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّـبِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِى الإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُواْ عَلَى عَوْرَتِ النِّسَآءِ وَلاَ يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ]

(31. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over their Juyub and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or their right hand possessions, or the Tabi`in among men who do not have desire, or children who are not aware of the nakedness of women. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.)

Allah’s saying:

[وَلاَ يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ]

(And let them not stamp their feet…) During Jahiliyyah, when women walked in the street wearing anklets and no one could hear them, they would stamp their feet so that men could hear their anklets ringing. Allah forbade the believing women to do this. By the same token, if there is any other kind of adornment that is hidden, women are forbidden to make any movements that would reveal what is hidden, because Allah says:

[وَلاَ يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ]

(And let them not stamp their feet…) to the end of it. From that, women are also prohibited from wearing scent and perfume when they are going outside the home, lest men should smell their perfume. Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet said:

«كُلُّ عَيْنٍ زَانِيَةٌ، وَالْمَرْأَةُ إِذَا اسْتَعْطَرَتْ فَمَرَّتْ بِالْمَجْلِسِ فَهِيَ كَذَا وَكَذَا»

(Every eye commits fornication and adultery, and when a woman puts on perfume and passes through a gathering, she is such and such) — meaning an adulteress. He said, “And there is a similar report from Abu Hurayrah, and this is Hasan Sahih.” It was also recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i. By the same token, women are also forbidden to walk in the middle of the street, because of what this involves of wanton display. Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Usayd Al-Ansari said that he heard the Messenger of Allah , as he was coming out of the Masjid and men and women were mixing in the street, telling the women:

«اسْتَأْخِرْنَ فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَكُنَّ أَنْ تَحْقُقْنَ الطَّرِيقَ، عَلَيْكُنَّ بِحَافَّاتِ الطَّرِيقِ»

(Keep back, for you have no right to walk in the middle of the street. You should keep to the sides of the road.) The women used to cling to the walls so much that their clothes would catch on the walls.

[وَتُوبُواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ]

(And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.) means, practice what you are commanded in these beautiful manners and praiseworthy characteristics, and give up the evil ways of the people of Jahiliyyah, for the greatest success is to be found in doing what Allah and His Messenger command and avoiding what He forbids. And Allah is the source of strength.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah An Nur

Brief Advice to Muslim Sisters

When you intend to visit your relatives or your Muslim sisters, carefully select the appropriate day and the hour of your visit and its duration. There are appropriate and inappropriate times for paying visits even to relatives and friends. [1]

Ensure that your visit is pleasant, brief and enjoyable. Avoid turning it into a boring, wearisome, inquisitive and lengthy visit. Instead, it should be a visit whose purpose is to rekindle and nourish an old friendship or kinship. The visit is desirable if it is short and considerate, and it is undesirable, if it is long and tiresome during which conversation moves from being purposeful and valuable to being aimless and useless.

The honourable Tábi’í, Muhammad Ibn Shiháb Az-Zuhrí [Rahimahullah] said, “When a meeting becomes too long, shaytan then has a share in it.”

Ensure that during the visit most, if not all your talk, is of value. Keep away from backbiting, gossip and idle talk. A wise muslim woman (and man) does not have time for such talk.

[1] This also applies to phone calls.