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When Does a Woman Have To Cover Up in Front of a Man?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


When does a woman have to cover herself up in front of boys? i.e. at what age or stage of a boy’s life does the woman have to wear hijab in front of him?

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.


Allah (SWA) in the Holy Qur’an has said:

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women…” (Surah Nuur v.31)

The aforementioned verse tells us of those people upon whom a woman does not have to cover her face and body.

The twelfth category mentioned was referring to those young children who have not reached the age of puberty, and are totally ignorant of the secrets of women. However, if a child is aware of the secrets of women then he will be considered to be close to puberty and it will be obligatory for a Muslim woman to cover in front of him. (Maariful Qur’an p.416 v.6)

There isn’t a particular age, but when a boy is close to reaching puberty is the time when a Muslim woman should start covering up in front of him.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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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