Is a woman’s voice `awra?   

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

Is a woman’s voice considered `awra (nakedness) in our school? Is it permissible for her to recite the Koran in front of men who are not her mahram?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The voice of a woman is not considered `awra, so it is permissible to listen to her voice as long as fitna is not feared by it, for then it becomes haram. As for her raising her voice to recite the Koran in the presence of men who are not her mahram, it is not haram according to Imam al-Ramli, but it is disliked out of fear of fitna. Al Khatib al-Shirbini disagreed with him and said, “It is haram, by analogy that it is haram for a woman to raise her voice to call the adhan (call to prayer) in front of non-mahram men, as he expounded in Bushra al-Karim ( 1/76, 60). So for this reason, it is surely better for a woman to lower her voice in front of non-mahram men when she is reciting Koran so that she does not enter into difference of opinions.

Amjad Rasheed

[Translated by Sr. Shazia Ahmad]


السؤال : هل صوتُ المرأة عورة عندنا ؟ هل يجوز أن تتلو القرآنَ أمامَ رجال غير مَحْرَم؟ الجواب : صوتُ المرأة ليس بعورة ، فيجوز الاستماع إلى صوتها ما لم تُخْشَ منه الفتنة فيحرم حينئذ ، أما رفعُ صوتها بتلاوة القرآن بحضرة رجل أجنبي فلا يحرم عند العلامة الرملي لكنه مكروهٌ خوفاً من الفتنة ، وخالف فيه العلامةُ الخطيب الشربيني فقال : يحرم قياساً على رفع صوتها بالأذان بحضرة الأجنبي فيحرم ، كما بينه في “بشرى الكريم” (1/60،76) فلذلك يتأكدُ على المرأة خفض صوتها بالقراءة عند الأجنبي خروجاً من الخلاف .


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