The Hadith: 'A woman is `Awrah'

Q 4: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A woman is `Awrah (i.e. Her entire body must be covered in public). Is this a Hadith Da`if (weak Hadith) or Hadith Sahih (authentic Hadith)? What does it mean?

A: It is a Hadith Sahih related by Al-Tirmidhy in the following wording: A woman is `Awrah, and if she goes out she will attract Satan. He commented on the Hadith saying that it is Hadith Hasan Gharib (a good Hadith that is strange to come from this chain of narration). The Hadith was also related by Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban in their Sahih books of Hadith and others as well. The Hadith means that it is good and safer for a woman to stay in her house, for this protects her from being tempted or being a source of temptation for others. When she goes out, Satan will be attracted to her; (Part No. 17; Page No. 164) leading her astray and causing her to lead others astray, except those on whom Allah (Exalted be He) has mercy. This is because she has committed what incites Satan to have control over her, which is going out of her house. It is prescribed for Muslim women, who believe in Allah (Exalted be He) and the Day of Resurrection, to keep to their houses and not to leave them except out of necessity. Even then, they are required to fully cover their bodies and not to adorn themselves or wear perfume. This is because Allah (Glorified be He) says: And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance Allah (Glorified be He) also says: And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. When women leave their houses, they might be tempted by men who commit Fisq (flagrant violation of Islamic law), especially in markets, malls, and mixed places; and there is so much of this at the present time. We ask Allah to set right the affairs of all Muslims. There is neither might nor power except with Allah (the Most Sublime, the Most Great). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.