Q: I live in Saudi Arabia, and I just got engaged to my cousin who lives in USA. I’m aware of the cultural differences between the two countries. I’m worried about how my cousin should wear clothes. I didn’t ask her to wear abaya because she said that girls in USA don’t have to wear abaya and it’s not necessary in order not to get men’s attention, like in Saudi.
She also works in big well known company in an office environment with men and women together. I would like to know what Islam says about wearing jeans (not tight), makeup (little bit) and high heels shoes? And is it ok to work with men in an office environment, and is it ok to ride in a car with a male colleague?
2. How should Muslim men and women conduct with their brothers/sisters in law? Is it ok to talk or sit together with them in a family gathering? Is it ok to travel with them together with one’s husband?
3. Is it ok to shake the hand of a non-mahram?
1. She is talking nonsense. A woman should be dressed modestly wherever she may be. And the abaaya is a natural garment that conceals the entire body. Further, the right thing is that if women need to work then from within the home, not to move around in public places. For a woman to seclude herself with a man is impermissible and this opens the doors to suspicions and shaytaani influence.
2. Men and women should be seated separately with a veil in between. To be informal and sit freely is not Muslim behaviour. It is against morality and respect.
3. No. This is forbidden.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.