Fatwa ID: 02943
Answered by: Shaykh Umer Khan
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
I have read that in Islam awrah of a woman is from naval to knees in front of mahram. Summer is very hot in my region and there are 22 hours load-shedding every day.
Will it be ok if a woman takes off her shirt in front of her mahram (sons, brothers and father) within the room due to intense heat?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The legal ruling in the Ḥanafī madhhab is that the ʻawrah of a woman in front of maḥram men (those with whom marriage is permanently unlawful, such as her father, brother, son, grandson, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, father-in-law, etc) outside of ṣalāh is the area between the navel and [inclusive of] the knees, as well as the stomach and back (al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, 5/328, al-Hidāyah, 4/461, and other sources).
While this is the absolute legal minimum that a woman must cover in front of maḥram men, our jurists (the fuqahā') explain that the chest and breasts should not generally be exposed as this goes against proper etiquette (adab) and established customs and norms (ʻurf), and doing so has the potential to cause temptation (fitnah) and/or desire (shahwah). Not wearing a shirt in front of maḥrams would go against the dignity and modesty of a respectable Muslim woman, and the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said: "modesty is from faith" (al-Bukhārī, Muslim).
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Shaykh Umer Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham