Interaction with ex wife
As we move further away from the time and age of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and we near to the Day of Judgement, the Muslims are getting more and more weaker in their beliefs and practices. Immodesty and adultery are common in the society we live in. They do not only affect the individuals, but also ruin families and tribes.
No nation or religion has ever permitted or allowed its followers to indulge in these acts. Islam being the most understanding religion and the most divine cannot allow its followers to tread the path of immorality and immodesty.
Islam has laid down rules which act as precautions against Muslims falling into this path of immorality. One of the rules is the observation of hijaab. However, Islam being a comprehensive religion takes into consideration of all Human needs and has permitted interaction between the sexes within certain limits specified by the Quran and the Sunnah.
Allah (SAW) in the Holy Quran has said: “O’ Nabi! Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty…” And say O’ Nabi! To the believing women that they should lower their gaze, guard their modesty and they should not display their beauty except that which appears.” (Surah Noor V.30-31)
Here is an example of a pious young woman:
“Then one of the two women came to him, walking with shyness…” (Surah Al Qasas V.25)
Commentators have written that their father thought that he should make up for the favour Saaiduna Musa Alayhi Salaam had done to his daughters. Hence, he asked one of his daughters to bring him with her. She went to Saaiduna Musa Alayhi Salaam and talked to him with an element of modesty. This shows that despite the fact that hijaab was not enjoined, good women would not talk to men freely. She went to him with a need, so she talked with shyness. Some commentators have said that whilst talking she had raised her sleeve up to her face to cover her face. (Tafsir Qurtubi P.176 v.13)
It is related by Saaiduna Ibn Abbas Radiallahu Anhu that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said: “No person should be alone with a woman except when there is a mahram with her.” (Sahih Bukhari)
“When a man and a woman are alone together, Shaaitan is the third.” (Sunan Tirmizi p.221 v.1)
In brief, when interacting with a woman who is not a member of your unmarriageable kin like your sister, mother or your wife etc… you must avoid Khalwa (seclusion), guard your Gaze and avoid physical contact.
The things, which the person should adhere to, are as follows:
- One should ensure that such a situation does not a rise where he will be alone with a strange woman as mentioned above. If there are two women and one man that is permissible. The reason for this impermissibility is for the protection of the woman and the man so that a situation does not arise where a man might be tempted. (Fathul Bari P.276 V.9)
In your situation, instead of being alone with your ex-wife, try arranging a meeting in such a place where khalwat cannot take place, for example a café or at your home.
- Guard your Gaze. This is proven through the aforementioned Quranic verses from Surah Noor.
Guarding your gaze is a sign of modesty and respect. It is narrated by Saaiduna Jarir Radiallahu Anhu that he asked the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam regarding looking at a woman suddenly, he replied “turn your eyes away.” (Sahih Muslim)
It does not mean one should keep one’s eyes glued to the ground all the time. Scholars have said that looking at a woman in certain situations will be permissible. For example, if you are seeking a woman for marriage, if you work in such a job where you need to look and interact with a woman, looking will be permissible as long as you don’t look with desire. Similarly, if you are a teacher, looking at female students is permitted as long as you don’t look more than necessary or with desire.” (See Sunan Tirimzi P.207 V.1)
- It is also important that the woman adheres to the guidelines of pardah and nakedness. For a woman, this means covering the whole body except the face and hands. (Raddul Muhtar p.532 V.9)
In conclusion, when you find yourself in a situation with a woman and there is a need to talk to her, then it will be permissible as long as one adheres to the teachings of the Shariah and remains within the boundaries of Islam.
Only Allah Knows Best.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham