Sayyidah Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) says,

“I was once in the blessed presence of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while Maimoonah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was also present. While we were with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), ‘Abdullah bin Ummi Maktoom (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) arrived, and this was after the law of hijaab (purdah) was revealed.

“When ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) arrived, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed us, ‘Adopt hijaab from him.’ We replied, ‘O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Is he not a blind man who can neither see us nor recognize us?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, ‘Are the two of you blind? Can the two of you not see him?’” 

(Sunan Abi Dawood #4112)


1. The blessed wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were the purest of women, living in the purest of ages, in the purest of presences – the presence of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – and the man who entered, over and above being blind, was a Sahaabi and was thus from the purest of men. Despite the level of purity that prevailed, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) still instructed his respected wives to adopt hijaab in the presence of this Sahaabi, as there is more precaution in this.

2. When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) commanded his respected wives to adopt hijaab and not look at this blind Sahaabi in the situation of pristine purity described above, we can well imagine the law that applies to us! After all, we live in an age and environment wherein evil, immorality, shamelessness, lewdness and lust prevail. Sadly, we have drifted far from the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Many of our functions, weddings, and even ‘Islamic’ events are held without segregation between males and females.