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Sunday, July 19, 2009

AWRAT PARTS

Those parts of a responsible person’s body which are haram (prohibited) for him (or her) to open and show others and for others to look at while performing namaz (daily prayer), or any time, are called Awrat (genital) parts. Men and women were commanded to cover their awrat parts through the suras (chapter of Quran-al Kareem) of Ahzab and Nur, which were revealed in the third year of the Hegira. In Hanafi and Shafi’i Madhhabs [1] a man’s awrat parts for namaz are between his navel and lower parts of his knees. The knees are awrat in Hanafi and the navel is awrat in Shafi’i. The namaz performed with these parts open is not acceptable. When performing the namaz, it is sunnat [2] for men to cover their other parts [arms, head], [and to wear socks if a long robe or a gown is not available]. It is makruh [3] for them to perform the namaz with these parts exposed.



All parts of free women, except their palms and faces, including their wrists, outer parts of their hands, hanging parts of their hair and under their feet are awrat for namaz, in Hanafi. There are also valuable books saying that outer parts of hands are not awrat. According to them, it is permissible for women to perform namaz while outer parts of their hands up to wrists are bare. But, for having followed all the books, it is better for women to perform namaz wearing a gown with sleeves long enough, or a head cover large enough, to cover their hands. There are (savants) who said that women’s feet were not awrat in namaz, but those same savants said that it was sunnat to cover and makruh to open them when performing namaz and when going out. [It is written in the book Kadihan that hanging parts of hair are like feet]. If one-fourth of a man’s or woman’s awrat part remains bare as long as one rukn, the namaz becomes annulled. If a smaller part remains exposed, the namaz does not become nullified, but it becomes makruh. For instance, the namaz of a woman one-fourth of whose foot has remained bare will not be sahih (valid). If she herself uncovers it, her namaz becomes annulled immediately.


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GLOSSARY

[1] Madhhab: all of what a profound ‘alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.

[2] sunnat: act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada.

[3] makruh: (act, thing) improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam); makruh tahrima: prohibited with much stress.

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