Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I live in the UK where many women are disbelievers, thus they do not dress with modesty, exposing the majority of their body parts. Due to necessity, I’m forced to work at a mixed workplace where I sometimes have to speak to them.
I try to keep it formal, so is it permissible for me to look at the woman whilst talking? Or when she has a piece of equipment which she is holding and she wants me to look at?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for aiming to follow the Quranic injunction of lowering the gaze. Allah sees your effort, ma sha Allah.
Lowering the Gaze
It is permissible to look at the person that you are working with, as long as it is kept to what is necessary. Do not let your glance stray to her body, but if you must look at her, look at her face, and address her with politeness and formality.
When is it obligatory to lower one’s gaze?
Lower Your Gaze – Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya
Remember that you are God’s caliph on this Earth, and you might be her only door to Islam, the Quran, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). You don’t want her to accuse you on the Day of Judgment of not telling her about Islam or misrepresenting it. Be exemplary in your character, be hopeful, avoid temptation, and remember Allah at all times.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.