A believer, at every moment, is worried and concerned about pleasing Allah Ta‘ala. Regardless of the time, place, season or circumstance, he is always cautious as he fears ruining his relationship with his beloved Allah Ta‘ala. Before carrying out any action, uttering any words or going to any place, he first ponders as to how it will impact and affect his relationship with his Most Kind Creator.

With the onset of summer, the temperature is swiftly increasing and the thermometer is steadily climbing. Hence, mere mention of the word ‘summer’ brings to mind for many the picture of a serene beach with crashing waves and a cool breeze. However, when we reflect and ponder over the typical beach in the holiday season, we find that it is no place for a Muslim – whether male or female.

During the holidays especially, the beaches are jam-packed with people picnicking and partying, while alcohol is circulated and music is blasted. Therefore, it is obvious that a Muslim should not enter into such an environment.

However, even if there are no picnics and parties with music and alcohol, the primary purpose for which people come to the beach is to swim. When swimming, non-Muslims dress in an extremely revealing manner which requires no elaboration. The ‘awrah (satar area) of males and females alike is openly and shamelessly exposed before one and all.

When this is the stark, undeniable reality, then how can a Muslim happily come to such a place and how can he feel comfortable in the midst of these scantily-clad people? Even worse and more worrying, how can he bring his wife and children – especially young daughters – to such places and expose them to such imaani pollution and spiritual poison?

In the era of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), there was a facility among the non-Muslims in certain lands known as a ‘hammaam’ which was a public bathing facility similar to the Turkish baths and saunas of today. Since it was the custom and norm among the non-Muslims to expose their satar area, entirely or partially, in the hammaam, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) cautioned the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) regarding the hammaam saying, “The worst of places is the hammaam! Voices are raised in it and the ‘awrah (private areas of the body) are exposed in it!” (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #1548)

From this, we understand that even males must exercise caution and refrain from going to places where their Deen will be compromised. In this regard, apart from the beach and public pools, some other common places in which people’s satar area is generally exposed are gyms, sportsgrounds, cycling events, marathons, etc. (i.e. apart from the sin of intermingling between men and women, due to the shorts that are worn which reveal the satar area, the sin is compounded).

As far as females are concerned, then Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) clearly mentioned that the hammaam (and other similar places such as the beach, public pools, water parks, etc.) are completely off-limits for them. In fact, such was the emphasis that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) placed on this that he said, “No (a woman may not enter the hammaam), even if she enters it with a pants, cloak and a scarf!” (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #1546)

In essence, on account of the hammaam being a place which is filled with shamelessness and nudity, due to which it diametrically opposes the Islamic value of hayaa which is integral to imaan, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has prohibited a woman from visiting it. Thus, a Muslim woman should not even come close to beaches, public pools, water parks and other places which abound with immodesty and shamelessness. In fact, she should also exercise caution when using the pool at home that it is not done in sight of any non-mahram and that her hayaa is not compromised in the presence of mahrams as well.

Similarly, she should never go to such places where her modesty may be compromised through her body becoming revealed to others (i.e. non-mahram men and non-Muslim women), such as a hair salon, beauty parlour, etc. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “There is no woman who removes her scarf in any place besides the home of her husband, except that she removes the veil which is between her and her Rabb (i.e. she discards the hayaa and taqwa which Allah Ta‘ala commanded her to uphold).” (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #1546)

When this is what Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned in regard to removing just the scarf, then we can imagine how much worse it is when a woman exposes other parts of her body as well!

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with true hayaa, may He safeguard our imaan and Deen until our final breaths, and may He bless us with the ability to stay far away from all places which are not conducive to Deen and hayaa, aameen.