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 al kafi 1379


I have a brother in law who is blind. Sometimes my mother in law would visit me bringing him along to my house. Is it permissible for me to not cover my awrah when other non-mahrams is absent since he cannot see?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

It is narrated that Fatimah binti Qays said:

 أَنَّ زَوْجَهَا الْمَخْزُومِيَّ طَلَّقَهَا فَأَبَى أَنْ يُنْفِقَ عَلَيْهَا فَجَاءَتْ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَخْبَرَتْهُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ لاَ نَفَقَةَ لَكِ فَانْتَقِلِي فَاذْهَبِي إِلَى ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ فَكُونِي عِنْدَهُ فَإِنَّهُ رَجُلٌ أَعْمَى تَضَعِينَ ثِيَابَكِ عِنْدَهُ

Her husband al-Makhzulmi divorced her and refused to pay her maintenance allowance. So, she came to Allah's Messenger (may peace he upon him) and informed him, whereupon he said: “There is no maintenance allowance for you, and you better go to the house of Ibn Umm Maktum and live with him for he is a blind man and you can put off your clothes in his house (i. e. you shall not face much difficulty in observing purdah there).”

Sahih Muslim (1480)

According to Imam al-Nawawi, there is another narration for the above hadith with the addition of the phrase “If you (O Fatimah) uncover your hijab, he (Abdullah ibn Ummi Maktum) cannot see you.” Thus, this narration strengthened the opinion that it is not obligatory to cover one’s awrah in front of a blind person. (Refer Syarh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim 10/99-100)

There is also another hadith regarding this issue that seems as though it contradicts the above hadith. From Ummu Salamah R.Anha:

عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَتْ: كُنْتُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعِنْدَهُ مَيْمُونَةُ، فَأَقْبَلَ ابْنُ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ وَذَلِكَ بَعْدَ أَنْ أُمِرْنَا بِالْحِجَابِ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «احْتَجِبَا مِنْهُ»، فَقُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَلَيْسَ أَعْمَى لَا يُبْصِرُنَا، وَلَا يَعْرِفُنَا؟ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «أَفَعَمْيَاوَانِ أَنْتُمَا [ص:64]، أَلَسْتُمَا تُبْصِرَانِهِ

I was with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) along with Maimunah (May Allah be pleased with her) when Ibn Umm Maktum (May Allah be pleased with him) (who was blind) came to visit him. (This incident took place after the order of Hijab). The Prophet (ﷺ) told us to hide ourselves from him (i.e., observe Hijab). We said: "O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), he is blind and is unable to see us, nor does he know us." He replied; "Are you also blind and unable to see him?"

Imam Abu Daud commented: This matter (prohibition of not covering awrah in front of a blind person) is specific for the wives of the Prophet PBUH, for Fatimah bin Qais was given permission to live with Abdullah ibn Ummi Maktum and not cover her awrah in front of him.

Sunan Abi Daud (4112). This hadith is sahih according to Imam Abu Daud, Imam Tarmizi and Imam Nawawi.

According to Imam al-Saharanfuri when he commented on the above hadith, there is taarudh (contradiction) between both hadiths stated above and the method to harmonize them is with the opinion that the prohibition of not covering the awrah in front of a blind person is a righteous attribute, especially in situations where one feared that fitnah may happen, while the permissibility is a facilitation in situations where one is certain that fitnah will not occur. There is also an opinion that state the prohibition is only for the wives of the Prophet PBUH. (Refer Bazl al-Majhud fi Halli Sunan Abi Dawud 14/120)

Syeikh Ibn ‘Uthaimin and Syeikh Salih al-Fauzan said that the hadith narrated by Imam Daud is unauthentic and contradicts the authentic hadith narrated by Imam Muslim, where it states that it is permissible to not cover the awrah in front of a blind person. (Refer Fatwa Nur ‘ala al-Darb and Al-Muntaqa min Fatawa al-Fauzan 61/5)


In our opinion there is no absolute contradiction between both hadiths and both can be considered according to one’s specific condition and situation. The prohibition of not covering awrah in front of a blind person is a righteous attribute and a careful opinion that is highly encouraged, especially in situations where one fears that fitnah might happen. As for the permissibility of not covering the awrah in front of a blind person is a facilitation in situations where one is certain fitnah will not happen. But at the same time, one should still wear appropriate clothing in front of a blind person who cannot see.

However, in our opinion, it is prioritized to be righteous and careful in maintaining and protecting our awrah at all times and situations in protecting and maintaining our dignity and religion.