Home Women's Issues Hayaa Handbook Avoiding the Avenues of Attraction

Avoiding the Avenues of Attraction

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As discussed previously, when the need arises for a Muslim woman to emerge from her home, she should do so with complete hayaa, where she is most concealed and attracts the least amount of attention to herself. However, we should bear in mind that there are different avenues of attraction and ways through which attention can be drawn to a woman.

One avenue, of which we are all aware, is that of clothing. Insha-Allah, a separate article will soon be prepared to address this topic. Nevertheless, two pertinent avenues of attraction and attention are:

- Perfume – how often does it not happen that a person’s fragrance is perceived before the person is even heard or seen? Hence, perfume is indeed a potent way for one to draw attention to himself or herself – especially as perfumes are designed to arouse feelings of attraction in a person. Thus, it is impermissible for a woman to apply any perfume or fragrance when leaving the home.

Sayyiduna Abu Moosa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Every eye (that casts a lustful glance towards a non-mahram) is a fornicator, and when a woman applies perfume and then passes by a group (of men), then she is such-and-such, i.e. an adulteress.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2786)

- Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed, “And say to the believing women... and they should not strike their feet so that the adornment which they conceal is known...” (Surah Noor v. 31)

From this verse, we learn that women should even strive to maintain hayaa in their footsteps. In other words, they should not stamp their feet and walk, as this will cause the adornments worn beneath their cloak or burqa to jangle or make a sound. Naturally, hearing the jangling sound of a strange woman’s jewellery is a cause of temptation for men. Likewise, they should not walk in a manner that will draw attention to themselves. Also, such shoes must be avoided which will draw attention to the sound when walking, which is generally common with high heels and other such footwear.

- In his blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed the women saying, “Ensure that you stick to the sides of the path.” (Sunan Abi Dawood #5272) This is another important teaching of hayaa – that when a woman is required to leave the home, then in trying to remain inconspicuous and avoid standing out, she should walk on the side of the path where she will draw less attention to herself.

We often hear deceptive slogans such as “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” and “It’s better to stand out than fit in.” However, Islam teaches us that when a woman is compelled to leave the home, she should NOT stand out. Rather, she should strive to adhere to the highest standards of hayaa and concealment in all respects.