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Can one look at the Awrah for Marriage?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umme Hamza


I have read that with certain conditions one can look at a woman he is interested in marrying whose face and hands will be uncovered. Can one gaze at her breasts area and hips? Or should the gaze be only confined to her face?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The Prophet (pbuh) said:

إِذَا خَطَبَ أَحَدُكُمُ الْمَرْأَةَ فَإِنِ اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ يَنْظُرَ إِلَى مَا يَدْعُوهُ إِلَى نِكَاحِهَا فَلْيَفْعَلْ

“When one of you asked a woman in marriage, if he is able to look at what will induce him to marry her, he should do so.”

He (Jabir) then said: I asked a girl in marriage, I used to look at her secretly until I looked at what induced me to marry her. I, therefore, married her.[1]

In normal circumstances, a man must lower his gaze from looking at women.

When a man is looking for marriage, there is now a need to look at the potential bride to find out if he is attracted to the woman or not. In this case, it is permissible for a man to look at the face of a woman he is interested in marrying, even if he feels desire.

It is important to note that the looking is restricted to the face and hands, and it would not be permitted to look at other parts of her body since they are all part of the awrah in front of a non-mahram. However, it will be allowed for him to send another woman to go and see her, and then describe her to him, even if it was other than the face and hands.[2]

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Nasima Umme Hamza

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham


[1] Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith Number 2082

[2] Ibn Abideen, Raddul Muhtaar, Volume 6, Page 370

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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