It is impermissible to look at a non-Mahram woman’s face except for a valid necessity under Sharee‘ah
Fatwa No: 29978

  • Fatwa Date:12-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 11, 1435
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Question

Assalaamu Alaykum
What are the due boundaries of talking to non-Mahram women in Islam? Is it permissible to speak with them and with female relatives like cousins, given that we talk about lawful things? What are the limits of looking at non-Mahram women? Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Undeniably, any woman other than one’s wife and his unmarriageable female kin is a non-Mahram woman for him, whether she was among his female relatives or not.

Hence, it is impermissible for him to look at a non-Mahram woman except for a valid need under Sharee‘ah such as looking at a woman for the purpose of marriage during the legitimate premarital sighting, or during testifying and so on. Moreover, it is permissible for Muslim men to look at non-Mahram women in these cases, provided that they are not alone together and as long as he is looking at them only when necessary. Furthermore, one should avert his gaze as soon as the need is over.

Additionally, it is permissible for a man to talk to non-Mahram women provided that they both adhere to the due Islamic rules and criteria while dealing with non-Mahrams such as the lack of fear of falling into a sinful act from both sides, and shunning enjoying each other’s voices. Moreover, Muslim women should not use softened speech while talking to non-Mahram men, and they should adhere to their due Hijab and adopt modesty. Add to that the fact that both men and women should lower their gazes, and that they should talk to each other when the need arises; if there was no valid reason under Sharee‘ah, then it is better for both of them to avoid it, hindering the devil’s endeavor in luring you into vice and sins.

Allaah Knows best.

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