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1. Men must not look at women-totally haraam. 2. Women are excused-they can look at men if there is no fear of fitna…advise

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I heard Tafseer of Surah Noor yesterday at Taraweeh by our Young Imam and the points he told me I never heard in my life-that might show my ignorance of Islam and I feel I may have been mis-representing Islam by imposing such a hard opinion on my womenfolk. To tell you the truth I felt it was a bombshell! Women are going to love it for sure. I just had a second thought let me ask you before declaring it to my household. The points are: 1. Men must not look at women-totally haraam. 2. Women are excused-they can look at men if there is no fear of fitna. Evidence is that Aisha RA was allowed to watch the sports of slaves by The Prophet SAW himself. Regarding covering of face there are two opinions of Quranic verse of Surah Nur ?start———–ma-zahara——–till end?. Ibn Masood RA says it means to cover the face. Ibn Abbas RA says it does not mean to cover face. Those women who cover their face are citing for Ibn Masood’s ruling of Ayaah and those women who do not cover their face are following Ibn Abbas’s ruling of Quranic Ayaah. Hence you will see today in the Islamic world both interpretations of Quranic Ayaah of both high caliber companions are revived in one form or the other.

Answer

It is not permissible for men and women to look at one another. Allah Ta’ala
states in the noble Qur’aan, ‘Tell the believing males to lower their gazes.
Tell the believing females to lower their gazes.’

The prohibition is for both – men and women. The incident in reference was
before the laws of Hijaab. The majority of the Imaams have adopted the
interpretation of covering the face, hence, Niqaab (face veil) is
compulsory. Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA) has adopted the other interpretation and
ruled that the face does not have to be covered due to need, for example, in
front of a Qaadhi (Muslim judge) for identification, etc.

However, if there is a fear of Fitnah as is prevalent today and the face is
the centre of beauty and attraction, then even Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA) rules
that the Niqaab is compulsory.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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