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Thread: Detailed Explanation of Awra

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    Default Detailed Explanation of Awra

    I am looking for a precise, documented, scholarly explanation of the awra for both men and women.

    Where does the definition come from? Hadith? Culture? Cognate information?

    Why is a man's awra different that a woman's awra?

    Why do some believe that a slave woman has less of an awra than a free-woman?

    Remember it is key to know exactly who said it, and what Hadith is comes from. It would be a plus to discuss the authenticity of the Hadiths.

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    syn4k, it's so good to see you back!

    It seems to me the only real rule the Koran establishes about dressing modestly is to...well, dress modestly. It tells you to cover up you private parts. I don't know what the ahadith say. Perhaps a more specific question would help, although some at the board are bound to be more knowledgeable than myself on the subject.

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    Veteran Member Nawawi619's Avatar
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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    As Salamu Alaykum


    The following fatwa gives some Quran and Hadith proofs about the awrah for the female according to the Hanafi school:

    http://www.daruliftaa.com/question.a...nID=q-05102588

    The following is an even more comprehensive answer regarding the awrah of the woman http://www.daruliftaa.com/question.a...nID=q-16282598

    More on the hijab and niqab http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...=2892&CATE=128

    Below is a detailed discussion from the Shafi'i school about the awra of men and women in and out of salah:

    What is the ‘awrah of a man and a woman?

    A) The ‘awrah of a man is from navel to knees. The proof for this is the following hadīth of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
    فإن ما تحت السرة إلى الركبة من العورة
    “So verily, what is between the navel to the knees is of the ‘awrah.”

    And also the Prophet said that when someone marries off his slave or laborer he is not to look at what is between the navel and knees for:

    فإنما بين سرته وركبته من عورته
    “For what is between the navel and knees is from the ‘awrah.”

    Takhrīj: Reported by Ad-Dāraqutnī in his Sunan 1/132 and Al-Bayhaqī in his Kubrā 2/229.

    The following hadīth proves that the thigh is from the ‘awrah of a man:

    غَطِّ فَخِذَكَ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ الْعَوْرَةِ
    The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Cover your thigh, for certainly it is of the ‘awrah.”

    Takhrīj: This hadīth is reported by At-Tirmidhī who said, “It is Hasan.” Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh in Mu’allaq form, though he weakens it due to mingling in its chain in his Tārīkh Al-Kabīr 2/248. Imām Ahmad in his Musnad 3/479, Abu Dāwūd 4014 and Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr responds to those who criticize its chain in his Taghliq at-Ta’liq by quoting many different follow up chains. Imām Al-Bukhārī states in his Sahīh, “It is reported from Ibn ‘Abbas, Jarhad, Muhammad ibn Jahsh that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said the thigh was ‘awrah.”

    Also the hadīth of Ma’mar reported in the Musnad of Imām Ahmad that goes:

    حَدَّثَنَا هُشَيْمٌ حَدَّثَنَا حَفْصُ بْنُ مَيْسَرَةَ عَنِ الْعَلَاءِ عَنْ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ مَوْلَى مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جَحْشٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جَحْشٍ خَتَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَرَّ عَلَى مَعْمَرٍ بِفِنَاءِ الْمَسْجِدِ مُحْتَبِيًا كَاشِفًا عَنْ طَرَفِ فَخِذِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَمِّرْ فَخِذَكَ يَا مَعْمَرُ فَإِنَّ الْفَخِذَ عَوْرَةٌ


    The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came into the Masjid and Ma’mar was uncovering a part of his thigh. So the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Cover your thigh Oh Ma’mar! For verily, the thigh is ‘awrah!”

    Takhrīj: Reported by Imām Ahmad in his Musnad and Al-Haythamī said in his Majma’: “Its men are all impeccably trustworthy (thiqāt).” It is also reported in At-Tārīkh Al-Kabīr of Al-Bukhārī, and Al-Hākim in his Mustadarak while Adh-Dhahabī remained silent concerning it.

    Also the hadīth of Ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) that states:

    حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ سَابِقٍ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْرَائِيلُ عَنْ أَبِي يَحْيَى الْقَتَّاتِ عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ مَرَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى رَجُلٍ وَفَخِذُهُ خَارِجَةٌ فَقَالَ غَطِّ فَخِذَكَ فَإِنَّ فَخِذَ الرَّجُلِ مِنْ عَوْرَتِهِ


    The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw a man exposing his thigh. The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him, “Cover your thigh! For the thigh of a man is from his ‘awrah.”

    Takhrīj: Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad 5/290 and At-Tirmidhī in his Sunan; however, he remained silent regarding its level of authenticity. It was also reported by Imām Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh in Mu’allaq form. In the chain of this narration is a man named Abū Yahyā Al-Qattāt who is weak according to the majority of scholars, though this hadīth is used as supportive proof.

    The opinion that the thigh is ‘awrah opposes the Mālikī and [minor] Hanbalī view. Imām An-Nawawī stated, “A large number of scholars state that the thigh is ‘awrah, though Ahmad and Mālik in a report from him state that the ‘awrah [for a man] is only the genitalia and buttocks.” This was also said by the Thāhiri madh-hab, Ibn Jarīr (although Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr casts aspersions on the report from him, see Nayl Al-Awtar where he is quoted Vol. 1 524), and Al-Istakhrī. The above proofs are utilized by the Shāfi’ī school in response to their opponents.

    B) The ‘Awrah of a woman in Salāh is everything save her hands in face. Imām An-Nawawī states in his Minhāj,
    ”…and as for the free woman, her ‘awrah is everything save her face and hands. And it is a condition of her clothing that the color of her skin cannot be seen.”



    Shaykh Sulaymān Al Jamal in his Hāshiyah explaining the words of Imām An-Nawawī says,

    وهذه عورتها في الصلاة . وأما عورتها عند النساء المسلمات مطلقًا وعند الرجال المحارم ، فما بين السرة والركبة . وأما عند الرجال الأجانب فجميع البدن
    “And this is her ‘awrah in Salah. And her ‘awrah amongst the Muslim women and the mahārim men (fathers etc) is what is between her navel and knees. As for her ['awrah] in front of ajānib (foreign) men it is all of her body.” (Hāshiyat Al-Jamal ‘Alal Sharh Al-Minhāj)



    The great Shāfi’ī jurist, Imam Taqiyud-Dīn Al-Hisnī said,

    ”And it is makrūh (hated) that one makes Salāh in a garment with pictures on it, and that a woman wear niqāb, unless she is in the masjid and in it are men who are ajānib, and they are not caring about looking, so if she fears that they are looking at her, it is harām for her to lift the niqāb, and this happens in a lot of places such as the going to Bayt Al Maqdis (Jerusalem)…” [Kifāyatul Akhyār 1/181]

    Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Al Qāsim Al Ghazzi Ash-Shafi’i said,

    “And the entirety of the free woman is ‘awrah except her face and hands, and this is her ‘awrah in Salāh. As for her ‘awrah when she leaves Salah, then her ‘awrah is all of her body.” [Fat-hul Qarīb bi Sharh Al-Faath At Taqrīb page 19]

    Shaykh Zakariya Al-Ansāri (rahimahullāh) stated, when discussing Salāh, “And the ‘awrah of a free woman is everything save the face and the hands.” Shaykh Ash-Sharqāwi states in his explanation of this,

    وعورة الحرة .. أي : في الصلاة . أما عورتها خارجها بالنسبة لنظر الأجنبي إليها فجميع بدنها حتى الوجه والكفين ولو عند أَمنِ الفتنة
    ”And this is her ‘awrah in Salāh. As for her ‘awrah outside of it, when the ajnabi (unrelated marriageable man) can look at her, then all of her body including the face and the hands, even if there is security from fitnah.” (Tuhfat At-Tullāb pg. 174)

    Imām Taqiyud-Dīn As-Subkī said,

    “And what is the closest (in opinion), from what our companions have produced is that the face and the hands of a woman are ‘awrah in nathr (i.e. looking) and not in the Salāh.” (Quoted by Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbinī in his Mughnī Al-Muhtāj)

    The proof that the woman’s face is not ‘awrah in Salāh is what is reported from ‘A’ishah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha):

    حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ حَدَّثَنَا قَبِيصَةُ عَنْ حَمَّادِ بْنِ سَلَمَةَ عَنْ قَتَادَةَ عَنْ ابْنِ سِيرِينَ عَنْ صَفِيَّةَ ابْنَةِ الْحَارِثِ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا تُقْبَلُ صَلَاةُ الْحَائِضِ إِلَّا بِخِمَارٍ
    “Rasūlullāh (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The Salāh of the mature woman is not accepted except when she is wearing a khimār (veil on the head that covers her hair and neck).”

    Imām At-Tirmidhī grades this hadīth hasan and then says, “Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī said, ‘It is not permitted for a woman to expose her skin and hair in Salāh.” It was authenticated by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahīh, reported by Abu Dāwūd, Ahmad, Al-Hākim in his Mustadarak saying, ‘It is Sahīh upon the conditions of Imām Muslim’ and Adh-Dhahabī agreed.

    To read more on the ‘awrah of a woman in the Shāfi’ī school please see the following article: http://seekingilm.com/archives/167

    The Woman’s Feet

    There is disagreement regarding a woman’s feet. Are they ‘awrah or not? Imām Al-Ghazzālī states in his “Al-Wasīt”,

    وظهر القدم عورة وفي إخمصيها وجهان
    “And the tops of the feet are ‘awrah, and regarding the soles of the feet, then there is two views (i.e. they are and they are not).” [Vol 2, page 174]

    There is a minority view reported from Imām Al-Muzanī, the early erudite student of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī, wherein he stated, “The feet of a woman are not ‘awrah.” (Recorded by Imām Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbīnī in his Mughnī Al-Muhtāj, Taqiy-ud-dīn Al-Hisnī in his Kifāyat Al-Akyār, as well as others.)

    The living Shafi’ī jurist Amjad Rashīd stated in one of his fatāwa,

    مذهبنا أن ستر قدم المرأة في الصلاة واجب
    “Our madh-hab is that the woman covering her feet is obligatory (wājib).” Although he does give minor dispensation for the opinion of Al-Muzanī (see: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...=3747&CATE=387 )

    The argument that the woman’s feet are ‘awrah stems from the principle that the entirety of a woman is ‘awrah, unless proof is given otherwise, as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The woman is ‘awrah.” (Tirmidhi who said ‘Hasan Sahīh’ and Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahīh) Furthermore, there is a specific text regarding this issue reported from Umm Salamah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha) that states,

    حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ عَنْ مَالِكٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ زَيْدِ بْنِ قُنْفُذٍ عَنْ أُمِّهِ أَنَّهَا سَأَلَتْ أُمَّ سَلَمَةَ مَاذَا تُصَلِّي فِيهِ الْمَرْأَةُ مِنْ الثِّيَابِ فَقَالَتْ تُصَلِّي فِي الْخِمَارِ وَالدِّرْعِ السَّابِغِ الَّذِي يُغَيِّبُ ظُهُورَ قَدَمَيْهَا
    From the mother of Muhammad ibn Zayd who said I asked Umm Salamah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha)as to what clothing a woman should wear while praying. She said, “Pray in the Khimār (that which overs the head) and the Dir’a that is long enough to cover the tops of the feet.”

    This is also reported from Umm Salamah as a question to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) although the majority of scholars say that it is weak because nearly everyone who narrated the report did not mention the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) therein, and the one who was mistaken in this report was a man by the name of Abdur-Rahmān ibn Abdullah ibn Dīnār who has criticisism against him (as said by Imam Al-Mundhirī). So the strongest report is that this is a statement of Umm Salamah and her verdict, which the majority of Shāfi’ī jurists cling to.
    The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people appoint ignorant as their leaders. They are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Assalamu Alaikum Rah'matulla

    Thanks for the wb Yahya

    Nawawi,

    Where do these two people get this info?
    The ‘Awrah of a woman in Salāh is everything save her hands in face. Imām An-Nawawī states in his Minhāj,
    ”…and as for the free woman, her ‘awrah is everything save her face and hands. And it is a condition of her clothing that the color of her skin cannot be seen.”

    Shaykh Sulaymān Al Jamal in his Hāshiyah explaining the words of Imām An-Nawawī says,

    وهذه عورتها في الصلاة . وأما عورتها عند النساء المسلمات مطلقًا وعند الرجال المحارم ، فما بين السرة والركبة . وأما عند الرجال الأجانب فجميع البدن
    “And this is her ‘awrah in Salah. And her ‘awrah amongst the Muslim women and the mahārim men (fathers etc) is what is between her navel and knees. As for her ['awrah] in front of ajānib (foreign) men it is all of her body.” (Hāshiyat Al-Jamal ‘Alal Sharh Al-Minhāj)
    Seems like... the Qu'ran says nothing about this. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never did either (so far as I can tell)...

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Salam Syn4k,
    Seems like... the Qu'ran says nothing about this. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never did either (so far as I can tell)...
    You're correct, in fact, the quote above comes from a hadith (tradition) that is known to have a defect (hands & face).

    Regards

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    Veteran Member Nawawi619's Avatar
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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Salam Syn4k,

    You're correct, in fact, the quote above comes from a hadith (tradition) that is known to have a defect (hands & face).

    Regards
    As Salamu Alaykum


    A defect according to who? The Shafi'is have a certain usul that they follow in regards to the evidence and what is acceptable or not. The other three have their usul in the way evidence is accepted and interpreted.

    I think it is an unfair assessment to use someone else's criteria for a ruling derived from the methodology and hermeneutics of a particular juridical school like the Shafi'is.

    That is why there is ikhtilaf on the issue of the face and feet for women. The four madhhabs differ on what is the awrah for the woman. All four have their proofs and methodology and its just a matter of researching it or consulting a mufti who can give such evidence.

    The way we look at rulings and how they are derived isnt as easy as looking it up in a good index of the quran or the hadith, there a lot more to it. If one opens any textbook to usul al fiqh one can see its a very exacting process.

    For example if you want to know the proofs to the Shafi'i school rulings one can turn to several sources like Al Majmu' of Imam Nawawi which is over 20 volumes in print or Imam Bayhaqi's Sunan al Kubra which is 8 volumes in print.

    In other words these classical scholars didnt pull these rulings out of thin air.
    The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people appoint ignorant as their leaders. They are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Quote Originally Posted by syn4k View Post
    Assalamu Alaikum Rah'matulla

    Thanks for the wb Yahya

    Nawawi,

    Where do these two people get this info?


    Seems like... the Qu'ran says nothing about this. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never did either (so far as I can tell)...
    As Salamu Alaykum


    Well I can tell you this much, they didnt just pull it out of thin air. I think the post I gave earlier gave ample evidence and detailed reasoning as to the Shafi'is position on the awrah (the other three schools have just as good proofs and methodology toward why they view such things a certain way).

    There are many ways one can find out the textual proofs, reasoning, etc for rulings...that is the consult the larger works of the particular schools for the proof texts. Like al Majmu' of Imam Nawawi which is between 20-27 volumes in print (in classical arabic), Imam Mawardi Al Hawi al Kabir (20 volumes in print), Imam Bayhaqi's Sunan al Kubra (8 volumes in print), and many others.

    I think one would have a better appreciation of Islamic legal scholarship if one actually did the same research and looked into usul al fiqh works, the larger legal compendia, etc.

    For english speakers, if you really want to know who process these legal jurists use in deriving law i recommend Dr Mohammed Hashim Kamali's work Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence which is over 500 pages.

    But I think a casual glance of the Quran and Hadith isnt enough to determine whether or not the prophet salla llahu alayhi wa sallam advocate this or that. By making such claims we assume we are specialists at the same caliber of the likes of Imam Nawawi who was a hadith master specialist (he memorized over 100,000 hadith and their chains, narrators, their significance, etc) , a mujtahid in fatwa for the Shafi'i school and the main assessor of the rulings of the Shafi'i school, wrote many works like Riyad us Salihin, Arbain an Nawawiyah, Al majmu (he finished a fourth of the work), minhaj at talibin, etc etc. Imam Nawawi's exegesis of Sahih Muslim is regarded as the most authoritative of commentaries on Sahih Muslim.
    The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people appoint ignorant as their leaders. They are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Salam Nawawi619,

    I understand your concerns. My intention was not to make it seem like the scholars pulled things out of thin air. I am going to hope that I don't have to defend myself in regards to the great scholars any more. I want to be clear that I have the utmost respect for them and the schools of thought and the entire knowledge base. Please with that in mind, my post was to acknowledge brother Syn4k's post. I can link you to tons of links that would say what you have posted is incorrect and that the entire body, face and all (niqqaab) is mandatory. You have mentioned that there are differences of opinion, so I don't see why other differences of opinion should not be considered.

    As for the hadith (tradition) in question, I said it has its defects because it was narrated by someone who could not have related it from Ayesha (ra). I believe it is also considered Mursal (broken link).

    Regards

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Nawawi,
    Thank you very much for your detailed responses! I'm really quite excited about all this information you have given me.

    Ron,
    Thank you for your comments as well.

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Salam everyone,

    Why is a man's 'Awrah between the navel and the knee? Since, according to my understanding, the purpose of covering up is to not show these intimate parts (which by showing would have negative effects), then why is it that a man can show his chest, back, stomach, arms, neck, and legs (to the knee)? Women clearly find these parts attractive and sexy (not all), so why the difference?
    To anyone reading my posts:
    I used to be hadith rejector. After studying hadith at a surface level, I realized the large amount of nonsense dispelled by this forum and their top users. The exemptions are Al Boriqi, Nawawi, Lumumba and hlatif (who is no longer here). My advice, leave this forum. If you read anything of me rejecting hadith, know that it is nonsense and I no longer hold that view. Read my "Bio" for more info.

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Quote Originally Posted by aamantubillah View Post
    Salam everyone,

    Why is a man's 'Awrah between the navel and the knee? Since, according to my understanding, the purpose of covering up is to not show these intimate parts (which by showing would have negative effects), then why is it that a man can show his chest, back, stomach, arms, neck, and legs (to the knee)? Women clearly find these parts attractive and sexy (not all), so why the difference?

    As Salamu Alaykum


    Abu Ayyub al Ansari said, "I heard the messenger of Allah (salla llahu alayhi wa sallam) saying, ' All above the knees is awra, and all below the navel is awra'" (Al Darqutni, vol 1, page 231)
    The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people appoint ignorant as their leaders. They are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Wasalam Nawawi,

    Thanks for your response and the reference. However, I'm still curious why not the rest of the body as well. I'm sure the Prophet pbuh didn't do it arbitrarily, so do you know if there are any commentaries on the hadith regarding why only the navel to the knee?
    Last edited by aamantubillah; 27th August 2009 at 16:35. Reason: EDIT: original question didn't make sense.
    To anyone reading my posts:
    I used to be hadith rejector. After studying hadith at a surface level, I realized the large amount of nonsense dispelled by this forum and their top users. The exemptions are Al Boriqi, Nawawi, Lumumba and hlatif (who is no longer here). My advice, leave this forum. If you read anything of me rejecting hadith, know that it is nonsense and I no longer hold that view. Read my "Bio" for more info.

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    Veteran Member Nawawi619's Avatar
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    Default Re: Detailed Explanation of Awra

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Salam Nawawi619,

    I understand your concerns. My intention was not to make it seem like the scholars pulled things out of thin air. I am going to hope that I don't have to defend myself in regards to the great scholars any more. I want to be clear that I have the utmost respect for them and the schools of thought and the entire knowledge base. Please with that in mind, my post was to acknowledge brother Syn4k's post. I can link you to tons of links that would say what you have posted is incorrect and that the entire body, face and all (niqqaab) is mandatory. You have mentioned that there are differences of opinion, so I don't see why other differences of opinion should not be considered.

    As for the hadith (tradition) in question, I said it has its defects because it was narrated by someone who could not have related it from Ayesha (ra). I believe it is also considered Mursal (broken link).

    Regards
    As Salamu Alaykum

    I am not discounting differences of opinion at all from the other three schools. I think what I took issue with is the downplaying or dismissal of the Shafi'i's school's position on the face, hands, and feet. Shafi'i school actually does not take the mursal hadith as a proof in it by itself unless it is further strengthened by other musnad hadith that are sahih or hasan. The Malikis and I believe the Hanafis take the mursal hadith as a proof in it of itself. This is all from different usul or methodology.

    So in other words I cant go around saying the Malikis are wrong in x, y, z because they use this certain type of proof and my school of jurisprudence doesn't, I was taught by my teachers to respect the differences of legal opinion from the four schools because they take root back to the sahaba themselves.


    I don't have a problem with those who take the face, hands, and feet as not awrah and those who do. Both are authoritative positions I would be lying if I said the Shafi'i school's mu'tamad position says its ok to show the face. So its all about integrity when citing the positions of the schools. And personally, I trust the positions of the four schools compared to contemporary voices because unlike the classical schools who've had thousands upon thousands of scholars of high caliber check, revise, upgrade its positions for over a thousand years, the contemporary voices positions need to be heavily scrutinized by specialists in the field.

    There is a good discussion of it at this link http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...=7123&CATE=328
    The Prophet Muhammad (Salla Llahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people appoint ignorant as their leaders. They are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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