A woman’s modesty in her own yard

Q. A person is having an issue with his wife and daughter. They walk in the front Yard in their Pyjamas in full view of passing traffic in the residential area. When he tells them not to walk like that they say it’s their yard and people must not look into it. What is the fatwa about a women showing her hair and revealing body shape in clothing etc. to non mahram men? What are the consequences?

A. In regards to a woman, it is compulsory for her to cover her entire body from head to toe with the exception of her hands and feet in front of strange (non-Mahram) men. This is irrespective if strange men are present on one’s property/house/yard or strange men have a ‘view’ into one’s property/house/yard. (Maraaqil Falaah 1/91)

Whilst a woman may have a right to her privacy at her own property/house/yard, it does not absolve her from fulfilling the requirements of Shariah which is applicable to her at all times. Therefore, if she is exposed to the view of strange men at her property/house/yard at any time, it still remains compulsory upon her to cover the compulsory parts of her body including her hair. In doing so, she must also not expose the shape of her body.

Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “There are two categories of people of the fire (jahannam) which I haven’t seen (non-existent at that time). Amongst them are……women who are clothed yet they are naked, attracting (to males) and are attracted to (by males). Their heads are like that of a camel’s hump which are tilted. Such women will not enter Jannah nor will they smell its fragrance although its fragrance can be smelt from a long distance.” (Muslim)

There is no merit is saying that the property/house/yard belongs a person, and that, therefore, people must not look into it. The laws of Shariah are applicable to everyone and must be adhered to at all times.

In such instances, the duty of a strange man is to lower his gazes when exposed to a strange woman and the duty of a strange woman is to cover the parts of her body that are compulsory for her to cover when exposed to a strange man. If a strange man neglects his duty, it does not absolve a strange woman from fulfilling her duty. Every man and woman is responsible to fulfil their own duties and actions and they are not responsible for the actions of others.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding. Ameen.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa