Ruling on women uncovering their hands and feet in Salah


Q: Which parts of the body should a woman cover in Salah (Prayer)? Should she cover her hands in Salah? If a part of her feet becomes uncovered, does this render her Salah invalid?

A: A woman’s entire body is `Awrah (i.e. must be covered in public). Accordingly, in obligatory and supererogatory Salah a woman must cover all her body except the face. The Sunnah (acts, sayings or approvals of the Prophet) for a woman is to uncover her face in Salah if there is no Ajnaby (a man other than a spouse and unmarriageable relatives) present. As for the rest of her body, it is obligatory to cover it in Salah. Covering her hands is Mustahab (desirable), but if she uncovers them, there is nothing wrong with this according to the correct scholarly opinion. As mentioned above, it is Sunnah for a woman to uncover her face in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. This applies to the pubescent female in both obligatory and supererogatory Salah. If a large part of her body, such as her feet or a large part thereof, becomes uncovered while offering Salah, she has to repeat the Salah according to Jumhur (dominant majority of scholars). However, if merely a small part becomes uncovered and she covers it, it is forgivable in sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills).

 ~

(Part No. 7; Page No. 248)

Q: What is the ruling on women covering their hands in Salah?

A: If a woman covers them, it is better although not obligatory. There is nothing wrong in uncovering them. It is permissible for her to uncover her face in Salah. However, in the presence of Ajnaby, she must cover it. In the presence of a Mahram (spouse or unmarriageable relative) or other women, the Sunnah is to uncover her face. As for the hands, if she wishes she may uncover them, according to the correct scholarly opinion. Or if she wishes, she may cover them and this is preferable in order to avoid the divergent opinions of scholars who hold that the hands must be covered in Salah. As for the feet, they should be covered in Salah.

~

Q: Must women cover their hands in Salah?

A: It is preferable for women to cover their hands in Salah, but there is nothing wrong with uncovering them. A woman may uncover her face in Salah if there is no Ajanaby present. This also applies to her hands, but there is nothing wrong with covering them for this issue is open to choice. It is Sunnah for a woman to uncover the face in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. As for the hands, a woman has the choice either to cover them – which is better – or to uncover them in which there is nothing wrong. As for the feet, she must cover them.

~

(Part No. 7; Page No. 249) 

Q: Your Eminence, once we heard you mention that a woman who offers Salah with her hands and feet uncovered must repeat the whole Salah. Please clarify this matter for us, knowing that we are practicing Muslims abiding by Shari`ah (Islamic law). Since we have heard this ruling, my wife has been covering her feet and hands during Salah.

A: Scholars (may Allah be merciful to them) stated that a woman’s entire body is `Awrah, and thus she has to cover it all in Salah except the face. This is based on what was reported in the Hadiths from Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that state that all a woman’s body is `Awrah. Scholars differed as to whether the hands should be covered or not. Regarding the feet, the Jumhur stated that they should be covered. As for the face, there is nothing wrong in uncovering it according to Ijma` (consensus of scholars). In fact, uncovering it in Salah is Sunnah unless there is an Ajnaby present. The correct view in this regard is that a woman when offering Salah must cover all her body except the face and hands. According to the correct scholarly opinion, it is not obligatory to cover her hands, but if she covers them, this is better in order to avoid the divergent opinions of scholars who hold that covering them is obligatory. As for the feet, it is obligatory to cover them according to Jumhur because all a woman’s body is `Awrah and the feet are considered `Awrah. Thus, there is no reason to uncover them and they should be covered whether by wearing socks or long garments while offering Salah. What I said and clarified more than once on the program “Nur `ala Al-Darb (Light on the Way)” is that it is obligatory for a woman to cover her entire body so that nothing of it shows. She should not wear something see-through. Her garments must be concealing, not showing her hair and body except the face; for it is Sunnah to uncover it if there is no Ajnaby present. As for the hands, scholars differed as to the ruling on them, but it is better to cover them. If a woman uncovers them, there is nothing wrong with this. As for the feet, as mentioned above, it is obligatory to cover them. As for having to make up for the Salah, this is due to having violated one of the conditions of Salah by offering Salah without covering the feet. Therefore, if a woman offers Salah without covering her feet, she has to make up for it. But if she does so out of ignorance of the ruling, may Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) forgive her for what is past and she does not have to make up for the past Salahs. It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that: He saw a man offering Salah quickly. He called him and the man came and greeted him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, “Go back and offer Salah, for you have not offered Salah.” The man went back and offered Salah as he had offered it before, then he came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and greeted him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) returned the greeting and said to him, “Go back and offer Salah, for you have not offered Salah.”

The man again offered Salah as he had offered it before. When he had done this three times, he said: By the One Who sent you with the Truth as a Prophet, I cannot do any better than this. Please, teach me. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When you go to offer Salah, perform Wudu’ (ablution) properly, face the Qiblah (Ka`bah-direction faced in Prayer), pronounce Takbir (saying: “Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]”), and then recite whatever you can of the Qur’an. Then bow until you are at ease in that position, then rise until you are standing erect, then prostrate until you are at ease in your prostration, then raise yourself and sit until you are at ease in sitting. Do this throughout the entire Salah.” (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered this man to repeat the presently due Salah and did not order him to repeat any past Salah, because the man was ignorant about the ruling. It seemed that the man was accustomed to offering Salah in such a manner; but because he was ignorant about the ruling, the Prophet (peace be upon him) excused him from making up for the past Salahs and merely ordered him to repeat the Salah due at that time. This indicates that whoever is ignorant about a ruling of Salah then becomes informed about it has to only repeat the presently due Salah. As for past Salahs, they are waived because of ignorance. This is what is implied by the Hadith, for the Messenger (peace be upon him) did not order the man who offered Salah incorrectly to repeat his past Salahs due to ignorance and because this entails hardship. In the same way, if a woman is used to offering Salah without covering her feet out of ignorance about the ruling, she does not have to repeat the past Salahs, in sha’a-Allah, according to the correct scholarly opinion. This is because she is excused because of ignorance. Thereafter, she has to abide by covering her feet and the rest of her body when offering Salah. This excludes the face and hands as mentioned above because they are not `Awrah according to scholars. But if she covers her hands to avoid the divergent opinions of scholars, this is good as stated above.

~

Q: What is the ruling on women covering their hands and feet in Salah? Is this obligatory or is it permissible to uncover them, particularly if there is no Ajnaby present or when offering Salah with other women?

A: Regarding the face, it is Sunnah for a woman to uncover it in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. As for the feet, it is obligatory for her to cover them as stated by the Jumhur. However, this is a controversial matter among scholars, as some of them permitted uncovering them while the Jumhur did not permit it and held that it is obligatory to cover them. It was reported by Abu Dawud (may Allah be merciful to him) from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she was asked about whether it is permissible for a woman to offer Salah while wearing Khimar (veil covering to the waist) and Qamis (dress or gown) and she replied, “There is nothing wrong with that if the Dir` (chemise) covers the tops of her feet.” Thus, covering the feet is better and keeps a woman on the safe side. As for the hands, there is latitude in this matter. There is nothing wrong in either to cover or uncover them, although some scholars consider it preferable to cover them. Since this matter is open to choice, it is good in sha’a-Allah if a woman covers them. If she offers Salah while her hands are uncovered, there is nothing wrong with this.

  ~

Q: Is it obligatory for women to cover their hands and feet during Salah? What do you advise people? May Allah reward you with the best!

A: The Sunnah for a woman is to cover her face in Salah in the presence of an Ajnaby. If there is no Ajnaby present, the Sunnah is to uncover her face whether prostrating or standing. As for the feet and the rest of her body, they should be covered since it is obligatory for a woman to cover all her body except the face and hands. As mentioned above, it is Sunnah to uncover the face when no Ajnaby is present. As for the hands, it is better to cover them. If a woman uncovers them, there is nothing wrong with this according to the correct scholarly opinion. However, some scholars regard it obligatory to cover the hands. Hence, it is better to cover them to avoid the divergent opinions of scholars. If a woman uncovers her hands in Salah, her Salah is valid.

~

Q: What is the ruling on women uncovering their hands and feet in Salah? If this is not permissible, does uncovering them render their Salah invalid? May Allah reward you with the best!

A: Uncovering the feet is not permissible in Salah according to the Jumhur and it renders a woman’s Salah invalid. Thus, if a woman offers Salah while her feet are uncovered, she must repeat the Salah according to most of the scholars. As for her hands, this matter is open to choice. If she covers them, it is better. If she uncovers them, there is nothing wrong with this in sha’a-Allah. It is Sunnah to uncover her face in Salah, but if there is an Ajnaby present, she has to cover her face and hands. In the presence of other women or a Mahram, there is no problem in uncovering the hands while offering Salah. However, if she covers them, it is better. As mentioned above, it is Sunnah to uncover the face in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present.

 ~

(Part No. 7; Page No. 255)

Q: What is the ruling on a woman uncovering her hands and feet in Salah? What is the ruling on a woman who is used to offer Salah while uncovering her face and hands out of ignorance about the ruling?

A: It is obligatory for a woman to cover her feet in Salah according to most scholars. As for the face, it is Sunnah for a woman to uncover it in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. As for her hands, this matter is open to choice. If she covers them, it is better; and if she uncovers them, there is nothing wrong with this. Her Salah is still valid, Al-hamdu lillah (All praise is due to Allah).

 ~

Q: What is the ruling on a woman who offers Salah at home while uncovering her hands and feet without being seen by any man?

A: A woman’s entire body is `Awrah, thus she must cover it all in Salah even if there is no one present. This excludes the face for it is Sunnah to uncover it. As for the rest of her body, it is obligatory to cover it except the hands as some scholars permitted uncovering them. However, it is better to cover them to be on the safe side. If a woman offers Salah while her feet, arms or chest is uncovered, her Salah is invalid since she must cover all her body except the face and hands. Therefore, a woman can cover her hands in Salah to be on the safe side because all a woman’s body is `Awrah that has to be covered even when no Ajnaby is present.

  ~

Q: What is the ruling on a woman covering her feet in Salah as a matter of course?

A: A woman should cover her feet in Salah as maintained by the Jumhur. This is based on what was reported by Abu Dawud from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was asked: May a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She (may Allah be pleased with her) replied, “There is nothing wrong with that if the Dir` covers the tops of her feet.” This means that a woman must cover her feet when offering Salah just as she covers them in the presence of an Ajnaby. This is the favored view and the view of the Jumhur.

~

Q: What is the ruling on uncovering the feet while offering Salah?

A: Covering the feet in Salah is obligatory for women and it is one of the conditions of validity of Salah according to the Jumhur. Thus, if a woman offers Salah while her feet are uncovered, she has to repeat the Salah. She should cover them by wearing socks, a long dress, etc. May Allah guide us to the best!

 ~

Q: A questioner from Tripoli, Libya, asks: Is it permissible for a woman to offer Salah  while her feet are uncovered?

A: It is obligatory for a woman to cover her feet in Salah according to the Jumhur. It was reported in a Hadith that Um Salamah was asked: May a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She replied, “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.” Thus, a woman when offering Salah has to wear long clothes that cover her feet or wear socks. This is what is prescribed and obligatory for her according to the Jumhur. She should cover her feet while offering Salah, whether by wearing long clothes or socks.

~

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to offer Salah while wearing a garment that does not cover the top of her feet?

A: No, it is not permissible. It is obligatory for a woman to cover her feet in Salah according to the Jumhur, whether by wearing long clothes or socks. This is according to what was reported from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she was asked: O Mother of the Believers, may a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She replied,  “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.” The view of the Jumhur is that a woman’s entire body is `Awrah, which must be covered in Salah except the face, for there is nothing wrong with uncovering it. In fact, it is Sunnah to uncover the face in Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. As for the hands, this is a controversial matter among scholars, but the correct scholarly opinion is that there is nothing wrong with uncovering them. However, it is better for a woman to cover them. Regarding the feet, it is obligatory to cover them whether by wearing long clothes, such as Qamis (long shirt) or long Izar (garment worn below the waist), or by wearing socks.

 ~

Q: What is the ruling on the Salah of a woman who uncovers the soles of her feet?

A: If a woman offers Salah while wearing a long dress that covers her feet when standing, bowing and prostrating, there is no harm if the soles of her feet are uncovered according to the apparent meaning of the Hadiths related in this regard and this does not render her Salah invalid. This is based on the following Hadith reported from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was asked: O Mother of the Believers, may a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She (may Allah be pleased with her) replied, “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.” This Hadith was also reported as a Hadith Marfu` (a Hadith narrated from the Prophet with a connected or disconnected chain of narration).

However, the preponderant opinion according to the scholars of Hadith is that it is a Hadith Mawquf (words or deeds narrated from a Companion of the Prophet that are not attributed to the Prophet) narrated from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her). According to the apparent meaning of this Hadith, it is not obligatory to cover the soles of the feet. For example, when prostrating it is most likely that they are already covered by the long garment which covers every part of the feet while prostrating. But supposing that part of the sole of her feet becomes uncovered occasionally when bowing or prostrating, this does not affect the validity of Salah. This is according to the saying of Um Salamah: Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet. Thus, if a woman wears long clothes that cover her feet while offering Salah, this is sufficient.

~

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to offer Salah without wearing socks? Is it obligatory for her to cover her feet in Salah?

A: It is prescribed for women to cover their feet in Salah whether by wearing socks or long clothes. Thus, if a woman offers Salah while wearing a long garment that covers her feet, this is enough and she does not need to wear socks. This is according to what was reported by Abu Dawud from Um Salamah that she (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked: May a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar without having to wear Izar? She replied, “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.” The Jumhur hold the view that women’s feet are `Awrah and it is obligatory for a woman to cover them in  Salah. Thus, a believing woman should cover her feet whether by wearing socks or long clothes.

~

Q: If a woman offers Salah while her feet are uncovered, would her Salah be invalid? Advise me, may Allah reward you with the best!

A: Yes, because according to the Jumhur if a woman uncovers her feet in Salah her Salah is rendered invalid. Therefore, women are to cover them whether by wearing long clothes or socks. This is the view of the Jumhur. The basis for this is the Hadith reported from Um Salamah as a Hadith Marfu` and Mawquf. It was reported that she (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked: May a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She (may Allah be pleased with her) replied, “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.” This Hadith was reported as Hadith Marfu` from the Prophet and as Hadith Mawquf from Um Salamah. Scholars of Hadith ranked it as Hadith Mawquf from Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her). The same ruling is based on the Hadith that reads: A woman is `Awrah. Women’s feet are, thus, `Awrah and they should be covered whether by wearing long clothes or socks.

As for men, their `Awrah that must be covered in Salah is from the navel to the knee, along with one of the shoulders. As for women’s hands, it is better to cover them in Salah. But there is nothing wrong if a woman uncovers her hands or face in Salah when there is no Ajnaby present. It is Sunnah for a woman to uncover her face when offering Salah if there is no Ajnaby present. Also, she has the choice either to cover her hands in Salah, which is preferable, or to uncover them in which there is nothing wrong in sha’a-Allah.

~

Q: What is the ruling on wearing socks for Salah?

A: It is good for a woman to wear socks to cover her feet while offering Salah. If she wears long clothes that cover the feet, there is no problem in that.

~

Q: A questioner from The Eastern Province asks: If a woman’s feet are uncovered while offering Salah, does this affect the validity of Salah?

A: If a small part of her feet is uncovered and she covers it quickly, this does not affect the validity of Salah. But if it remains uncovered, then she has to repeat the Salah according to most scholars. As mentioned above, if a small part is briefly uncovered and she covers it, then there is no problem in sha’a-Allah.

~

Q: Is it permissible for a woman when offering Salah at home not to wear socks that cover her feet? In case she forgets to wear them, does this render the Salah invalid?

A: It is obligatory for a woman to cover her feet in Salah whether by wearing long clothes or socks. Thus, if she offers Salah while wearing long clothes that cover her feet, then it is not necessary to wear socks. But if her clothes are short, then she must wear socks.

~

Q: A questioner from Yemen asks: When I offer Salah, I do not cover the ends of my toes, what is the ruling on this? Is my Salah invalid?

A: It is obligatory for a woman to cover her feet in Salah according to most scholars. Thus, you have to cover your feet when offering Salah. As for your uncovering them in the past, we ask Allah to forgive you. But from now on you must cover them whether by wearing socks or long garments, which completely cover your feet. This is according to the following Hadith Marfu` reported from Um Salamah, who was asked: May a woman offer Salah in Dir` and Khimar? She replied, “Yes, if the Dir` is long enough to cover the tops of her feet.”

~

Q: Is it permissible for women to offer Salah while their feet are uncovered?

A: It is obligatory for women to cover their feet in Salah according to the Jumhur.

~

Q: What is the ruling on uncovering the feet in Salah for women?

A: It is obligatory for women to cover their feet in Salah according to most scholars. Thus, a woman must cover her feet by wearing long clothes.

~

Q: What is the ruling on a woman who goes out of her home or offers Salah while uncovering her feet?  

A: A woman should not leave her house while her feet are uncovered. She must cover them by wearing long clothes or socks. Also, a woman’s feet are to be covered in Salah according to the Jumhur. She has to cover them whether by wearing long garments or socks.

~

[Source:Fatwas of Nur `Ala Al-Darb|Browse by subject>Customs>Albisah (dress)>Dress for Salah>]

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
This entry was posted in Awrah, Fatwas, Garment, Prayer, Salah|Prayer, Sisters Section. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ruling on women uncovering their hands and feet in Salah

  1. Aziza says:

    subhaAllaah, if my feet were uncover during the salaah, then i have repeat the salaah again but i cant remember which salaah were…..

  2. Assalaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu…

    Please read the 3rd question, it says that…

    “As for having to make up for the Salah, this is due to having violated one of the conditions of Salah by offering Salah without covering the feet. Therefore, if a woman offers Salah without covering her feet, she has to make up for it. But if she does so out of ignorance of the ruling, may Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) forgive her for what is past and she does not have to make up for the past Salahs. ”

    …This indicates that whoever is ignorant about a ruling of Salah then becomes informed about it has to only repeat the presently due Salah. As for past Salahs, they are waived because of ignorance. This is what is implied by the Hadith, for the Messenger (peace be upon him) did not order the man who offered Salah incorrectly to repeat his past Salahs due to ignorance and because this entails hardship. In the same way, if a woman is used to offering Salah without covering her feet out of ignorance about the ruling, she does not have to repeat the past Salahs, in sha’a-Allah, according to the correct scholarly opinion. This is because she is excused because of ignorance. Thereafter, she has to abide by covering her feet and the rest of her body when offering Salah.

    Read the above 3rd question and you will find those there, insha’Allaah…May Allaah rectify our affairs Ameen.

    Barakallaahu feeki.

  3. Aziza says:

    MashaAllaah, it was not because af ignorance but the Haneefa madhab says the women’s feet isnt awra in salaah but outside, and Ibn Taymiyyah had this view too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s