Saturday, August 29, 2009

Speaking with a non-mahram

I was just looking up some information on hanging out with non-maharams and I found this fatwa from

It's a male asking what the conditions and limitations are to speaking with a non-maharam woman. The sheikh writing this response starts off by saying that women's voices are not awra in and of themselves, so it is not forbidden to hear them. It can be permissible to talk to them under certain circumstances. And then he starts:

The woman should speak without elongating the words, making her voice soft, or raising her voice.

OK... That's fine and all. Good advice for a woman, but this is a man asking. Later:

What is forbidden is being too soft in speech. It is obligatory for women to speak in an honourable manner, which means, as the mufassireen explained, that they should not make their voices soft when addressing men. In conclusion, what is required of the Muslim woman when she speaks to a non-mahram man is that she should adhere to what is mentioned in this aayah. She should refrain from what is forbidden and should fulfil her duties. She should speak only when necessary, and only about matters that are permissible and honourable, not evil.

Again, OK! But he is not a woman! What should he do or not do?

Between a woman and a non-mahram man there should be no intonation, gestures, chat, joking, flirting or playful talk, so that there will be no room for provocation of desires and doubts.

Good, this works both ways. But wait, next sentence:

Women are not prevented from talking to non-mahram men when it is necessary to do so, such as dealing directly with them when buying things or conducting any other financial transaction, because in such cases it is necessary for both parties to speak.

We're back to women again! The article does continue with one sentence that says that men may greet women, but that it must be free from anything that could provoke desire in their hearts. It ends:

If there is fear of fitnah being provoked by this greeting, then the woman should refrain from either initiating or returning the greeting, because warding off fitnah by neglecting the greeting is warding off mischief, and warding off mischief takes precedence over doing something useful. (See al-Mufassal fi Ahkaam al-Mar’ah by ‘Abd al-Kareem Zaydaan, vol 3/276). And Allaah knows best.

Basically, from the male perspective, what he should have gotten from this that women have a lot of ways in which they can cause haram conversations to happen. It is the women's responsability to keep their voices steady and professional and to only talk when necessary. You can greet women in a situation that might cause fitnah and it will be her duty to not return your greeting.


24 Comentários:

LK said...

I always wonder why we have to take responsibility for everything and the men never have to take any responsibility for their actions.

They are suppose to take as much responsibility as we do but in articles such as this one it never comes out that way. Makes things seem unfair at times.

This was really interesting though.

Candice said...

Yeah, the responsability is so often put on the women. This is not the way it should be. We have to be careful about certain things, but the men do too. And this question was from a male and the answer should've been about what he needs to do. If he felt the need to mention women (like in case women had the same question as this man), he should have *added* it to the article.

Umm Omar said...

yeah, that doesn't make sense. If the man is asking the question, why does the answer involve (only) what the responsibilities of the woman are? Weird.

Sarah Alaoui said...

I dislike

Life's Balance Beam said...

I honestly feel it was written this way because the question was specifically written about what women should and should not do. HOWEVER there are alot of men who initiates conversation.

but i dont think its that we take responsibility for everything i just think we should see the hikma in it. allah says in quran that men are made weak to women.

on the authority of sulaymaan at-tameemee who said i heard abu uthman an-nahde narrate from usamah ibn zayed (radiallahu anhu) that the prophet (salaallahu alayhi wa salaam) said:

"i have not left after me any trial more harmful to men than women"
[saheeh bukhari 5096/9, muslim 2097/4 and at tirmidhee 2780)

I think because if we speak, especially in soft manners usually we have a way to lure men and attract them with out noticing and THEY get the wrong idea and start to feel too comfortable n act like 1 big raging hormone lol. sisters we have weapons!! n we alllllll know how to use them in one way or the other hehe

Anonymous said...

yeah I'm with Sarah, I dislike too.

maybe us women should just walk around with a sign that says "do not talk to us, we're walking fitnah". lololol :p

I think that hadith saying "i have not left after me any trial more harmful to men than women" is pretty awful. :( That's just me though.

ellen557 said...

I agree with Aynur 100% re that hadith. I guess you could think of it in terms of how men can be affected by women but then even that is quite out of character when compared to other hadiths.

I think we can dispute a lot of those "don't talk to women" things just by using Islamic history... like Fatima (as) gave a sermon in the mosque once and (I might be remembering this one wrong though) spoke to men about important things, but I think she usually sat behind some sort of screen. Still, though, that shows that the voice alone is not as bad as this guy is saying.
Yes, we should watch ourselves and how we act but honestly I don't think this sheikh is giving men (and women) enough credit for how much self control they really are able to exercise.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

This is so typical of modern Islamic fatwas. All the responsibility falls on the women as if God put us here to just test men and cause problems. Not only do I not agree with what women should be doing, according to this sheikh, but I also don't agree that women should be doing all of it!

It's so ridiculous and it makes me so angry! And what's worse is that I KNOW sooo many Muslims out there will believe this without thinking for themseleves or doing some research!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I totally agree with Ellen - "Yes, we should watch ourselves and how we act but honestly I don't think this sheikh is giving men (and women) enough credit for how much self control they really are able to exercise."

Why are Muslims seen as 2-yr old children who have no control over anything? I'm sorry but when I talk to a man, I can control myself thank you very much. Ridiculous! If a man asks me for directions, I'm not going to start sweating and look around for somewhere to have sex with him right away. God has given us responsibility in the ultimate thing - whether or not to believe in Him and Islam. If He has given us that much, why would we then need to be controlled and manipulated by sheikhs like little kids?

Candice said...

Life's Balance Beam: The question was actually written specifically about what men shoul do. He asks when it is permissible for him to greet women.

I'm glad everyone has the same type of reaction as I did to this.

And that hadith: "i have not left after me any trial more harmful to men than women" really IS awful! I do not believe that one bit. It goes against the spirit of Islam that says we are partners in this life and that we are equal. I will not believe such a thing. I stay far away from the hadiths that go against Islam (directly or in its spirit) and so I won't accept this as true. Without saying it's fabricated, because it could have been said in some sort of context, I don't know, but I will ignore it and not think about it.

Life's Balance Beam said...

Astaghfirullah to every one sayin a hadith is awful. its not for any one to decide a matter after Allah and the prophet made it clear. i understand where u guys are coming from, but we have to fear allah. and as far as the mothers of the believers speaking to men, it was never out of necessity and was done so in a proud manner and about the religion. and behind a screen. i do agree with ALOT of men acting as if we're to blame for pig behavior and i do not agree with that AT ALL but unless the guys intent was clear that he was intending to say women are to blame idk i just dont feel is right to make an assumption on thats what he meant.

but calling the words of our naabi "awful" or critisizing the hadiths or ayats is dangerous, so i would suggest we all watch our speech before we end up outside the folds of islam. this religion is easy, and its beautiful, the status of women is very high its just certain indivisuals who take the text how they want instead of taking it how it is. and allahu alim.

and let me clear up before any one decides to "bash" me. i am NOT saying anyone is outside the folds of islam, but i am saying its very dangerous to make statements like that. hadiths are not novels nor is the quran and the words in them are written for the sake of the ummah and the wisdom beind them is far more than half of it will even comprehend. so lets all fear allah and ask for more guidance so that there is no ill feelings towards the words of him or our prophet salaallahu alayhi wa salaam


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Yep, I agree with everyone else. The responsibility is NOT only upon the woman.
Its like the cases where a woman is gang raped by 5 men and then she receives a sentence of flogging for being "sexually immoral" just because she happened to be on the street alone.
It kind of infuriates me.

Oh, and I don't see anything wrong with not agreeing with that hadith. Sure, there is a line of transmission, but they are not that sacred people. Hadiths exist to clear up matters that the Quran doesn't explain in detail and that is it.
Especially if the hadith can be used to subjugate one group of people under another. That is truly awful.

Life's Balance Beam said...

oh yeah one more thing n then im done i promise

And that hadith: "i have not left after me any trial more harmful to men than women" really IS awful! I do not believe that one bit. It goes against the spirit of Islam that says we are partners in this life and that we are equal. I will not believe such a thing. I stay far away from the hadiths that go against Islam (directly or in its spirit) and so I won't accept this as true. Without saying it's fabricated, because it could have been said in some sort of context, I don't know, but I will ignore it and not think about it.

the sources starting with Al Bukhari is actually the most authentic source out there, so before you make statements like "i will not believe such a thing" you should seek to learn more about the hadiths the sciences of them and seerah inshaallah. the hadith is not saying all women are bad, it is saying that some women, most actually have a way of luring men, it is NOT against islam seeing as though the majority of the inhabitants in the hell fire WILL be women, because of their gossip, nakedness, backbitting, and misleading.

something great for u to read on hadiths inshaallah, pixies blog about quran vs. hadith. theres alot of insight for all of us to learn, and even i am not exempt from making these errors, this is why we all (myself included) need to stop basing everything off of our personal feelings, and learn our religion so that our children do not grow up to resent islam for taking hadtiths personal. if you dont fit the discription then u have nothing to worry about right? idk

and i REALLY hope nothing im saying is taken to offense because wallahi im saying it with the purest intentions ever, and i am also applying everything i say to MYSELF because i am FAR from perfect ya allah!

Well back to this boring job now *sigh*

Candice said...

There's definitely a misunderstanding, LBB. I don't think anyone was critisizing the words of the prophet. I feel they were voicing their opinion that they don't believe these are the words of the prophet at all. Anyway, this is where I come from on that.

And don't worry about bashing. I won't let that happen on my comments section!

Oh, and about the sheikh's answer, I really think that just reading the question and the answer makes it clear what his intentions were. That is, if he understood what he was answering. If he was not clear in what he wrote and he should retract it.

Only thing I will say though is that I know sometimes it's a question asked in English and then translated to Arabic to a sheikh, and then his answer is translated back to English. It is possible that there were things lost in translation as there are bound to be in such situations. It's really funny that Muslims are not more careful about that! They should know more than anyone how distorted things can get in translation. And they should have someone who speaks both languages looking over what gets published on their website. If someone is going on this website for advice, he or she shouldn't have to think of all these circumstances to pick from the answer what might have been good advice. The advice should be there and clear. They should write what they mean.

Life's Balance Beam said...


i didnt mean dont agree with it, im saying dont say its "awful" Nothing is made clear to a person unless allah makes it clear too them. hadiths are hadiths for a reason, and if that hadith was not relevant to this day then i think they would be classified as "daeef" (weak) or not published at all.

also that hadith im sure does not mean only MUSLIM women. its women in general. why is it that we all freak out when a woman wears hijab incorecctly, or see naked women in the west wearing bikinis around our husbands, but the hadith is "awful"? its saying women are a danger to men, n nakedness is one of the reasons behind it. while u do have your pious men mashaallah who lower their gaze, most men will be men *sigh* and the eyes get to wondering and thennn the mind. but again allahu alim and love u all for the sake of allah!

Life's Balance Beam said...


i agree 100%%

and i apologize if i took the comments in the wrong way forgive me, but yes i agree with the translation errors!!

my uncles and grandfather speak about 4 different dialects in arabic and the translation does no justice, i think thats why i dont feel the hadith was meant with any pun intended, its jsut that our lack of understanding especially the arabic language, they have mannny sayings and when u translate we're like...huhhhh?? so ik what u mean completely!

Life's Balance Beam said...

thats why the quran states that wee need to learn the arabic language!! yallah yallah sisters lets get on the ball inshaallah ! :D

(my broken arabic is only foos-ha and egyptian amaya. gosh i need help) lol

Life's Balance Beam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Candice said...

The issue about Hell having so many more women than men is something that bothers me a lot! I hadn't thought about this for a while. Almost wish it wasn't brought up but I have to make a quick comment about it.

If men and women are equal in their capacities to obey God and be good people, AND are equal in the test they receive by God in this life, then the number of men and women who "pass" or "fail" should be near equal too.

If they are not nearly equal, then either God was unfair in the test he gave them or God was unfair in creating them. God is not unfair, so my personal conclusion is that this is not true.

If I were to believe it was true, it would mean that I believe that either God gave women a harder test or God made women inferior. The moment I start to believe this is the moment I will stop to be Muslim.

Life's Balance Beam said...

I see where your coming from i really do, how ever lol. i dont think its that allah gave us harder tests and made us unfair, but one of the key things for us to understand in islam is allah created us with free will. so we have the choice to do whatever we want as so long as we understand the religion of allah, We are all presented with tests, rather they be hard or not thats up to allah but he will never toest u with something you cannot bare, but when we are tested its up to US what we do, rather we do good or bad. with people in general we follow our nafs (self) and what WE feel, before following what is right, and i cannot attest for any other muslim, but one example i will make, is the whole hijab thing. this is one of the most discussed topics amongst the muslims AND the non muslims, but the role of hijab and the conditions of it are made CLEAR, yet you still have women saying its not waajib, or they make excuses as to why they dont wear it (following their nafs and not the commandments of allah)or raising our children, most of our children know more about tv than islam and then they grow up to do what ever when ever because they were never taught properly and that is the wifes duties to be the teacher of the child (of course the father has a helping hand)

so i dont think its a matter of being treated fairly, because if we were not treated fairly we would ALL have tests, but we do all have tests and its up to allah what test he presents us with, but its up to us what we do with the test. u get what ims sayin?

i feel like im ramblin... i think its because im fasting and im starved fatigued and feel sick due to allergy season but im sitting in a friggin cubical bored out my mind with 4 hours to go!! lol yay me

Pixie said...

As salaam alaykom ramatulluahi wa barakto sisters!

Candice: MashaAllah to your diagnosis of the response. Usually the answers on Islamqa are accurate (in terms of evidences) but abrubt and sort of biased in their response. Could be translation, could be the country of origin on the Shiekh making the answer (Saudi anyone lol?). Anyways, I always take their responses with a grain of salt and know they are generally Hanbali (with a Saudi cultural bias and general misinformation about the composition of modern cosmetics---don't ask).

That hadith Life`s Balance Beam is adressing, about there being more women in hell than men is quite correct and sahih. People forget that there are women outnumbering men in Jannah too, in other ahadiths. Understaning all of the evidence on the subject as well as the authenticity of the hadith in question is important. People should not forget about the women of Sahaba (they too outnumbered the male believers and thus it was permissable for men to marry more than one wife at the time) also the Prophet sallalalhu alahi wa salaam said one of the signs of the Day of Judgement was that there would be more believing women then believing men. I think it has all to do with numbers, not Allah subhanhu wa ta`ala being unjust.

UniMuslimah said...

Salaam alaikum,
I'm so sorry sister, I meant to comment on your blog SOO much sooner!

I hate this reply to his question. It's a MAN asking the limitations and conditions in speaking to a woman- and yet the answer is all about what women shouldn't do? Maybe the sheikh misunderstood the question or something (got to remember those excuses, eh?)- but someone should let the guy know that he's missed the point of the question.


Alberto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ayah said...

Salaams dear,
I suppose I'm commenting late, but I just came across your blog today. Islam qa is a nonsensical site, run by the worst of misguided extremists. They issue opinions containing phrases like, "Obviously, men are superior to women" and that women should not drive cars because "men are more deserving" of the privilege.
The site is garbage from beginning to end, and I would advise finding a more reputable source of information.

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