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Rules related To looking At others

بسم الله الرّحمن الرّحيم

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ….

“(O’ Prophet!) Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts - that is purer for them; surely Allah is aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks…”

Al-Qur’an · Surah al-Nur · Ayat 30-31

اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لاَ يَبْلُغُ مِدْحَتَهَ الْقَائِلُونَ وَ لا يُحْصِي نَعْماَئَهُ الْعَادُّونَ وَ لاَ يُؤَدِّي حَقَّهُ الْمُجْتَهِدُونَ الَّذِي لَيْسَ لِصَفَّتِهِ حَدٌّ مَحْدَودٌ وَ لاَ نَعْتٌ مَوْجُودٌ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلى مَوْلاَنَا وَ مُقْتَدَانَا أَبِي الْقَاسِمِ مُحَمُّدٍ وَ عَلى أَهْلِ الْبِيْتِهِ الْطَيِّبِينَ الطَّاهِرِينَ لاَ سِيَّمَا بَقِيَّةُ اللهِ فِي الأَرْضِيِينَ وَ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلى أَعْدَائِهِمْ أَجْمَعِينَ إِلى قِياَمِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

The Rules of Looking Related to Men

A) Men Looking at Other Men

1 – Rule: Men are permitted to look at the entire body of other men except the private parts, with the condition that it is not done with the intention of lust or seeking sexual pleasure. ABGKLMST

Therefore: It is haram to look at any part of the body of another man, even the face and arms, if it is done with the intention of lust or seeking sexual pleasure. Similarly, it is also not permitted for men to look at the private parts of other men who are baligh, either with or without the intention of lust.

Note: The meaning of “intention of lust” or “seeking of sexual pleasure” is the fear of falling into sin or corruption.

2 – Rule: If a man fears that if he looks at the body of another man, he is liable to commit a sin, then he is not permitted to look at that man’s body. BGKLMT

3 – Question: What is meant by the private parts?

Answer: For men, the private parts include the anus, penis and testicles. For women, the private parts include the vagina and anus. AGKLMST

Therefore: The back part of the leg (thighs) are not counted as the private parts, and therefore it is permissible to look at them, however according to Ihtiyat Mustahab it is better to refrain from looking at them (as well).

4 – Question: In lakes, ponds, public showers, or on the banks of rivers… men wear something in which the skin of their body is not showing, however the form and shape of their private parts are completely showing – is it permissible to look at them?7

Answer: What is meant by the covering of the body is that the skin of the body should not be visible, and in the event that one is not led into committing a sin, then looking (at such a man) is not a problem. AGKLT

If in this action there is fear of falling into corruption or committing a sin, then it is not permissible. B

5 – Rule: Fathers are not permitted to look at the private parts of their sons who are baligh, whether it be in the shower or anywhere else. Also, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, the father is not permitted to look at his son’s private parts even before the son has become baligh during the time when he is Mumayyiz. AGKLMS

It is haram to look at the private parts of a child who has reached to the age of Mumayyiz. BT

6 – Rule: It is haram for a doctor to look at the private parts of another man, except in the case of necessity.AFGKLST

Therefore: It is not permissible for a man to refer to a doctor for birth control (vasectomy) so as to prevent his wife from becoming pregnant. However, it is not a problem to have such an operation performed in the event that it is not permanent (the operation can be reversed), but since such operations necessitate the need for someone else to look at the private parts, thus it is haram. However if there is a procedure which can be performed such that it does not involve the doctor looking at the private parts, then it is not a problem. Also, if one’s wife is a doctor and she can perform the operation, then it is permissible.

B) Men Looking at Mahram Women

7 – Rule: Men are permitted to look at the entire body of their Maharim, with the exception of their private parts, with the condition that this looking is not done with the intention of lust and there is no fear of falling into corruption. (One’s wife is an exception to this rule). ABGKLMST

Therefore: Men are not permitted to look at the private parts of their daughter, mother, sister or any other Maharim women, even if it is done without the intention of lust or falling into sin. Similarly, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permissible to look at the private parts of a Mumayyiz child who is not yet baligh.

8 – Rule: According to Ihtiyat Mustahab, men should refrain from looking at the area from the navel down to the knees of their Maharim. GKLM

Men and women who are Mahram to each another are permitted to look at the complete body of one other, with the exception of the private parts, with the condition that the looking is without the intention of lust.B

C) Men Looking at Non-Mahram Women

Non-Mahram women are divided into two categories: Muslims and non-Muslims. As for those who are Muslims, they are further divided into those who correctly observe their hijab, and those who do not observe it.

Muslim women who observe the proper Islamic hijab.

9 – Rule: If a Muslim woman is properly observing her hijab, then it is not a problem for a man to look at her face and hands, as long as the following conditions are met:

Her face and hands have no decorations (zinat) on them.

2. The looking is done without the intention of lust or falling into sin or corruption. ABK

According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permissible to look at even the face and hands of a non-Mahram woman, whether she has any zinat on them or not. G

In every way, if the non-Mahram is a Muslim woman who observes the proper Islamic hijab; or even if she does not observe the proper Islamic hijab, but if she was told about hijab she would observe it, then to look at her face and hands without the intention of lust and falling into sin is not a problem. However, according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, it is better not to look at her face and hands. S

If the zinat on the face and hands consists of an ordinary ring, the removal of facial hair or applying Surma, even if these things are common among old women, then it is not wajib for the women to cover them, and also, it is not a problem for the man to look at them as long as this look is not with the intention of lust. T

Therefore: Men are not permitted to look at the face and hands of women who do not observe proper hijab; for example, those women who have an amount of hair showing, have short sleeves on, or those women who have not covered their arms, wrists or hands.

10 – Rule: It is haram for a man to look at the hands of a non-Mahram woman who has a ring, bangles or bracelet on, long fingernails, nail polish applied, or who has beautified herself in any other way – whether the non-Mahram is a close relative or a non-family member. ABKG

In the event that the non-Mahram woman is wearing an ordinary type of ring on her hand, then it is not a problem to look at her hand. However, in all other instances, if she has any other type of zinat on her hands, then it is not permissible to look at this. T

Note: Shop owners whose products are usually of the type that mostly only women use, for example, jewelry or clothing accessories; and those shops that sell cosmetic items and items for beauty and skin care, etc… are most susceptible to falling into this sin (mentioned in rule 10), and more than others, must be careful in observing the correct Islamic rules and regulations.

11 – Question: In public and other schools, there are some practicing Muslim men, who teach Muslim girls. Naturally, it is necessary for the teacher to write something on the board, and as it is normal, the girls look at the hands and face of the teacher without the intention of lust and sexual pleasure. Is this type of looking permissible?

Answer: It is not a problem for women to look at the face and hands and other parts of the body that men normally do not cover, as long as it is not with the intention of lust or fear of falling into sin. AGKLMS

Answer: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is haram for a woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man. However, the permissibility for a woman to look at the parts of the body of a non-Mahram man that are commonly left open, for example, the head, etc… is not free from doubt, unless this type of looking leads or helps one in committing a sin.B

12 – Question: Is it permissible for a man to look at the face and hands of a non-Mahram woman who is in the Taqlid of a Marja‘ who says that it is permissible to keep these open?

Answer: There is no connection between the permissibility of keeping the hands and face open and looking at these parts.G

13 – Rule: It is not permissible to look at a non-Mahram woman who has any kind of beauty on her, even if it is something such as a woman trying on some clothing, a ring, a bracelet, a belt, or anything else to see if it fits. AKG

If the zinat on the face and hands consists of an ordinary ring, or the removal of facial hair or applying Surma, even if these are common among old women, then it is not a problem for a man to look at these parts as long as it is done without the intention of lust. However, as for other types of zinat, for example, bracelets and bangles, these must be covered from non-Mahram men and in addition to this, non-Mahram men are not allowed to look at such things either. T

14 – Question: Is it permissible to look at the sole, top, heel of the foot or the calf of a non-Mahram Muslim woman if she has not covered it properly, and if it is without the intention of lust?

Answer: No, it is not allowed, and with the exception of the face and hands, a man is not permitted to look at any other part the body of a non-Mahram woman. ABK

Answer: It is haram to look at the body of a non-Mahram woman in any way, and according to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permissible to look at her face and hands either. G

Answer: In the event that the woman is among one of those who observes her proper Islamic hijab, or if she was told about the hijab, she would follow it, then it is not permissible to look at those parts, otherwise it is not a problem. S

Answer: According to Ihtiyat, it is not allowed to look at the feet (top and the bottom of the feet up to the ankle)T

15 – Rule: If a man fears that in the event that he looks at a non-Mahram woman he will fall into sin, then he must not look at her. AKLMS

He must not look at her. B

16 – Rule: It is haram to look at a non-Mahram woman with the intention of lust. or to bring about sexual pleasure, even it may be her face and hands, or the shape of her body. ABGKLMST

D) General Rules

17 – Rule: It is haram to look at anyone or anything with the intention of lust or with the fear that one will fall into sin (with the exception of one’s spouse), even if one is looking at a Mahram. This rule applies to looking at a woman, man, animal, inanimate object, photo, film, statue, or any other thing. It is also haram to look at one’s own body in the mirror or in anything else with the intention of bringing about sexual pleasure. ABGKL

Question: Is it haram to look at anything that would bring about sexual pleasure even if it may be a person looking at his own body?

Answer: In itself, it is not haram for a person to look at his own body to bring about sexual pleasure.T

18 – Rule: A doctor is not one’s Mahram and therefore, except for in the case of a necessity, he is not permitted to look at the body of a non-Mahram woman. ABGKLMST

19 – Rule: If a doctor is compelled to look at a part of the body of a non-Mahram woman, they he must suffice to look at only that part of the body (that is for treatment), and it is not permitted to look at more than that. Also, if it is possible, then the examination or testing must be performed over the clothing. ABGKLMST

20 – Rule: Men are not permitted to give an injection to non-Mahram women since this act necessitates looking or touching the body of the woman, even if the injection is given into the vein. However, in the case of necessity where there is no Mahram available to give the injection, then it is not a problem. ABGKLMST

21 – Question: Does looking at the inside parts of the body, such as the liver, intestines, etc… have the same ruling as looking at the outside of the body?

Answer: Apparently, as for the prohibition in the looking and touching of the body parts, there is no difference between the outside and the inside body parts, however, just as has been mentioned in the book al-‘Urwatul Wuthqa in rule 45 in the section of looking - looking at a tooth, for example, once it has been taken out of the mouth is permissible.L

22 – Rule: In the following instances, it is haram for a woman to go to a non-Mahram man in the event that she is able to go to a female general physician, or a specialist who is a woman, who is at the same level of knowledge as that of a man for:

The taking of X-rays, taking blood for testing, ultrasound, or any other medical work, in which it is necessary to look at the body of the woman. ABGKLMT

However with the exception of those situations in which it is permitted (for the man) to look at the body of the non-Mahram woman. (These were explained in the section on ‘looking’.)S

23 – Question: In the markets, ordinary places, or in people’s houses, sometimes the eyes unintentionally fall on a non-Mahram woman that either have beautified themselves, or have not properly observed their hijab. What is the rule for looking at them in these circumstances?

Answer: That which is haram is to look, not simply having the eyes fall on someone. Therefore, that which one sees unintentionally is not a problem, however, without delay one must turn away so as to not fall into the category of looking. ABGKLT

24 – Rule: It is haram for one to go to a place with the intention that his eyes may fall on a non-Mahram woman who is not in hijab. AGKT

Going to such a place is not a problem, but one must not look at the non-Mahram women.B

Therefore: If a person passes by a certain spot at a special time in order to look at non-Mahram women, or goes to a place to fulfill a task where there are a lot of non-Mahram women, or goes to a specific place such as on a bus, recreational area for sports, or exercise, or chooses to go to any area in which there are a lot of non-Mahram there, with the main aim to look at non-Mahram women, etc… then in summary, it is not permissible for a man to perform any action in order to have his eyes fall on non-Mahram women, and thus, it is necessary for one to refrain from these things.

25 – Rule: It is haram for a man to go to a place in the event that he knows that non-Mahram woman are not in hijab, or do not observe proper hijab, such that he goes there with the intention of looking at them. AGKT

Going to such a place is not a problem, but one must not look at the non-Mahram women. B

Therefore: It is haram to go on the roof of the house, or to look out the window with the aim of looking at a non-Mahram woman. It is also haram to enter a room, kitchen, or any other place in which one knows that non-Mahram women are present with the aim of looking at them. Likewise, it is haram to look through the crack of a door, window or from the side of the curtains to peek inside a room or any other place such as these, with the aim of looking at non-Mahram women, even if it is just for one moment.

26 – Rule: It is not a problem to go to those shopping centers in which women who live in the villages or in the country side visit, and who are not accustomed to wearing the complete or proper hijab, even if one knows that he will look at them. Business transactions with them also are not a problem. AKLMT

According to what is apparent, it is permitted to look at those women - without the intention of lust - who live in the country side and places other than this (for example, those women who live in the city and who do not observe the proper hijab), who are not in the habit of covering properly - with the condition that there is no fear of committing a haram act. Therefore, associating with them, business transactions and other dealings with them are permitted as well. B

In the event that one is certain that he will not intentionally look at them, then it is not a problem.G

It is not a problem to look at “common place” women (those who do not observe hijab whatsoever, or the proper hijab) whom, if told to observe the hijab would not comply with the condition that it is done without the intention of lust and one does not fear that he will fall into a haram act. In this ruling, there is no difference between non-Muslim Women and others (Muslims or those living in the Village, etc…). Also, there is no difference in the hands, face and other parts of the body, which they normally do not cover.S

27 – Rule: It is not a problem to look at the hands up to the elbows, an amount of hair on the head, the feet up to the knees and the area under the chin and the neck of an elderly woman who is a non-Mahram. AGKLT

It is not a problem to look at the body of an old woman as long as it is not with the intention of lust. B

Rather, apparently, it is not a problem to look at all of their hair. M

28 – Rule: As for those people whom it is not permissible to look at, it does not make any difference if one looks at them from behind a glass, in a mirror, through the reflection of water or any other thing that reflects their image. (Meaning even in these ways, it is not permissible to look at them). AGKLMST

29 – Question: Is it permissible for a man to look at a woman who is very ugly, without the intention of lust? (In the event that she is not observing her proper Islamic hijab)?

Answer: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, he must not look at her, because if she is not an old woman, then a man can not be certain that his look at her would not be a lustful one.T

30 – Rule: It is haram to look at the body of a non-Mahram woman, whether tha woman knows that you are looking at her or not; whether she is blind or can see; whether she is a non-Mahram family member, such as one’s brother’s wife, the wife of one’s paternal uncle, a female cousin, etc… or she is an outsider (the ruling of looking at the face and hands has already been mentioned). Even if this looking is done without the intention of lust, it is still haram. ABKLM

According to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must also refrain from looking at the face and hands of a non-Mahram woman. G

31 – Rule: Women of the Ahl as-Sunnah have the same ruling as (other) Muslim women. AGK

E) Non-Muslim Women

32 – Rule: It is not a problem to look at those parts of the body that are not normally covered by non-Mahram women who are not Muslims (whether they be from the Ahl al-Kitab, or Kuffar), with the condition that it is not done with the intention of lust. However, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, a man is not allowed to look at those parts of the body that are normally covered. KMLT

It is not a problem to look at the hair, face, head and hands of the women of the Ahl al-Kitab and Kuffar as long as it is not done with the intention of lust and one does not fear that he will commit a haram act. According to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must not look at other than what is listed above. A

It is permissible to look at those parts of the body that are not normally covered by women who are Ahl al-Zhimmah1, rather even those women who from the time of birth have been categorized as being Kafir, as long as it is without the intention of lust and one does not fear that he will fall into sin.B

It is only permissible to look at the face and hands of a non-Muslim woman, and according to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must refrain from looking at other than these two parts of her body. G

Looking at the bodies of women who are “common place”, who if were commanded or requested to observe the hijab would not listen, is not a problem, with the condition that the look is done without the intention of lust and no fear of falling into a haram act – and in this ruling, there is no difference between Kuffar or other women (such as Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc…). Also, there is no difference between the hands, face and other parts of the body that they do not usually cover. S

Note: In the event that the non-Mahram is a non-Muslim and her covering is less than women like her would wear, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not allowed to look at her. For example, those women who in order to sexually excite others, wear a specific type of clothing. Therefore, it is not a problem to look at the hair, hands, and feet up to the knees or any other place that non-Muslim women usually do not cover.

33 – Rule: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not allowed to look at the private parts of a Kafir.S

34 – Rule: If one knows or fears that in the event that he will look at non-Mahram who are non-Muslims they will fall into sin or corruption, then they must not look at them.ABGKLMST

F) Men Looking at Children

35 – Rule: In the event that the child is a boy, it is not a problem to look at his body, until he becomes Mumayyiz, with the condition that it is not with the intention of lust. However, after he reaches the age of Mumayyiz, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permissible to look at his private parts. GKLMST

Therefore: Fathers must be cautious in not looking at the private parts of their sons who have become Mumayyiz, whether it be in the shower, or any other place.

In fact, it is haram to look at the private parts of a boy who is Mumayyiz but has not yet reached to the of bulugh, even if it is not with the intention of lust. AB

36 – Question: What is considered to be the age of Mumayyiz?

Answer: The age at which a child understands good and bad, about the relations between men and women. AG

Answer: The age at which a child understands good and bad. B

Answer: This is the age at which a child is aware of the relationships, which take place between men and women.K

Answer: The age at which a child, who has not yet become baligh understands good and bad. Also, there is the possibility that his or her looking at the body of a non-Mahram may lead to sexual excitement. MS

37 – Rule: In the event that the child is a girl and a Mahram - such as one’s daughter, sister, brother’s daughter or sister’s daughter, etc… then to look at her body until she reaches the age of Mumayyiz is not a problem; and after she becomes Mumayyiz then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must not look at her private parts.KLMS

It is haram to look at the private parts of a girl who is Mumayyiz, but has not yet reached the age of bulugh, even if it is done without the intention of lust. ABT

38 – Rule: In the event that the girl is a non-Mahram and Mumayyiz, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, a man must not look at those parts f her body that girls of that age normally cover. KM

Question: It has been mentioned in rule 2447 in the Taudhiul Masail that it is allowed to look at the body of a non-Baligh girl as long as it is not done with lust, etc… but in that same book on page 578, it has been mentioned that one can only look at those parts that are not normally covered. Which of these (two rulings) is correct, thus which one should be acted upon?

Answer: You can refer to ruling 25 in the section on Marriage in the book Tahrir al-Wasilah of Ayatullah Khomeini for more information. A

Therefore: Therefore, there is no difference between the ruling of Ayatullah Araki and Ayatullah Khomeini (as was stated above).

Answer: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not allowed for a man to look at the body and hair of a girl, who has not yet finished 9 years, but can understand between good and bad (Mumayyiz), even if it is done without the intention of deriving pleasure. B

Answer: It is not a problem to look at the face, hands and hair of a girl who is not baligh, as long as it is not with the intention of deriving pleasure and it does not lead one to sexual excitement, and by looking, one does not fear that he will fall into a haram act. L

Answer: It is haram to look at the body of a non-Mahram girl who has not yet reached 9 years of age, however, she understands between good and bad. Also, it is haram to look at her, if that look normally may stimulate or arouse sexual desires, and similarly (it is haram) to look at her hair, whether it is with the intention of lust or without. In addition, it is also haram to look at her face and hands if it is with the intention of lust and furthermore, looking at her without the intention of lust even, is not free from doubt. (This ruling comes under Ihtiyat Wajib). G

Answer: It is not a problem to look at the body of a girl who is not baligh with the condition that it is not done with the intention of deriving pleasure - with the exception of her private parts, whose ruling was already mentioned. Although according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, it is better that those parts that girls (of her age) would usually cover with clothing should not be looked at either. S

Answer: It is not allowed to look at the private parts of a child who is Mumayyiz, except in the case of necessity. T

Therefore: It is not a problem to look at the hair, hands, the feet up to the knees, neck and face of a girl who is not baligh, and who is a non-Mahram, with the condition that it is not done with the intention of lust.

Rule – 39: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permissible to look at the rest of the body of a girl, for example the shin, stomach, private parts, chest, etc…K

A Mumayyiz girl who is not baligh has the same ruling as that of a baligh woman whose ruling has already been mentioned (it is haram to look at her body, and according to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not permitted to look at her face and hands either, as was previously mentioned in detail).G

The Rules of Looking Related to Women

A) Women Looking at Other Women

40 – Rule: Women are permitted to look at the entire body of other women except the private parts, with the condition that it is not done with the intention of lust. ABGKLMST

Therefore: In public showers, swimming pools, sports halls, fitness clubs, etc… if a woman looks at other women, even the face and hands with the intention of lust, or such that she fears that she will fall into sin, then this looking is not permitted. It does not matter whether she knows the other woman or not; whether it is a young woman or and old one, whether she is ugly or beautiful. AGK

41 – Rule: It is haram for women to look at the private parts of other women, except in the case of necessity. ABGKLMST

Therefore: If the use of apparatuses that enter into the womb, or the tying of the tubes or other procedures that are used for birth control - necessitate looking at the private parts, then it is haram, except in the case of necessity. However, birth control itself is not a problem, if it does not necessitate others to look at the private parts. This is with the condition that it does not make the woman permanently sterile and if she ever wants, she can conceive once again.

For example: If a woman’s husband is a doctor, and he uses a method to prevent his wife from becoming pregnant, then it is not a problem.

Attention: Birth Control, if it does not necessitate a haram action, is not a problem; but if it involves a haram act, then it is not permitted. One’s attention must be drawn to the point that some types of birth control may involve one of the three haram acts that are stated below, whose details will come later on:

1) Looking at the private parts of another woman, except in the case of necessity.

2) Exposing of the private parts to a doctor, except in the case of necessity (which will follow in the Chapter on Covering).

3) Touching of the private parts, except in the case of necessity (which will follow in the Chapter of Touching).

42 – Question: In your reply (to us) concerning the permissibility of using the IUD, you mentioned that, “If using this device (IUD), necessitates a haram touch or look, then it is not permitted.” Please inform us, is the act of placing the IUD in the womb of the mother counted as a medical condition meaning that a doctor, midwife, or in the case of necssity a male doctor can perform this act just as in other medical cases in which it is permitted, or is this issue of the IUD not a medically related case in which instance only a woman’s mahram (her husband) is permitted to place the IUD?

Answer: This action in itself, if it does not result in the abortion of the child or sterility of the woman, is not a problem; however, the prohibition of touching and looking (at the private parts) remains as strong as before, and in this case, there is no necessity (to use the IUD) since pregnancy can be prevented by other methods. ABGKLT

Answer: It is permissible for a woman to use the IUD and things such as this to prevent pregnancy as long as there is no major harm in them. However, the placing of the instrument must not necessitate one to look or touch a part of the body, which is not permitted to see or touch. Therefore, it is not permissible that someone, other than a woman’s husband performs this action, unless it is in the case of necessity; for example, if it is dangerous for the (health of the) woman to become pregnant. Also in the case that it is unclear or unknown whether this instrument (IUD or otherwise) aborts the embryo after its fertilization; and thus, according to Ihtiyat, one must refrain from this (the usage of the IUD).S

B) Women Looking at Men who are Mahram

43 – Rule: A woman is permitted to look at the entire body of a man who is her Mahram, with the exception of his private parts, with the condition that it is not done with the intention of lust. (One’s husband is an exception to this rule.) ABGKLST

Men and women who are Mahram to one another (for example brother and sister) are allowed to look at the body of one another, but only to that extent that is common between Maharim and in other than this, according to Ihtiyat, they must not look (at the other parts). M

Therefore: It is not allowed to look at any part of the body of a Mahram man with the intention of lust, be it one’s son-in-law, son, brother, nephew, etc… and thus one must keep away from this.

44 – Rule: It is not a problem to look at the shape of the private parts of the man from on top of the clothing, provided it does not lead to corruption. IT

If it does not lead to sin and corruption, then it is not a problem. BT

C) Women Looking at Non-Mahram Men

45 – Rule: It is haram for women to look at the bodies of non-Mahram men with the exception of the face, hands, and that amount which men normally do not cover. AGKMST

Therefore: It is not a problem for women to look at the hair on the head, the face, the hands up to the wrist, the feet up to the ankle, and the neck of a non-Mahram man with the condition that it is not associated with lust. Thus, women are not allowed to attend sporting tournaments [such as swimming, wrestling, weight lifting, soccer (also known as football in some countries) etc… in which men do not have proper covering.

According to Ihtiyat Wajib it is haram for a woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man. However, the permissibility for a woman to look at the parts of the body of a non-Mahram man that are normally kept open, such as his head, is not free from difficulty, except if that looking helps and leads one to evil and sin (in which case, it is not allowed). B

It is haram for a woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man, with the exception of his face and hands. L

46 – Rule: It is haram to look at the arms, chest, or any other part of the body of a non-Mahram man who is wearing inappropriate clothing, such as a short sleeve shirt, or has kept the collar of his shirt open, or is wearing see-through clothing, etc… even if it is without the intention of lust. AGKLMS

According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not allowed. B

47 – Rule: It is not a problem for a woman to look at the shape and figure of the body of a non-Mahram man from on top of the clothing, if it is not with the intention of lust and there is no fear of falling into sin. ABGKLT

48 – Question: Can a woman give an injection to a non-Mahram man, or do other medically-related things which involve looking at the body of the man, if it is done without the intention of lust?

Answer: It is not permitted, except in the case of necessity. AGKLMS

Answer: According to Ihtiyat Wajib, it is not allowed, except in the case of necessity. B

49 – Rule: It is haram to look at the body of a non-Mahram man, even so much as the face and hands if it is done with the intention of lust, or one fears falling into sin.ABGKLMST

Therefore: There is no connection between the permissibility of the woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man and the necessity for a man to cover. Meaning even though it is not wajib for a man to cover himself completely, but it is wajib for the woman not to look at him.

D) Women Looking at Children

50 – Rule: In the event that the child is a girl, then up until the age of Mumayyiz, a woman can look at the entire body of the child, and once the child has become Mumayyiz, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, the woman must not look at her private parts. KMLS

It is haram to look at the private parts of a Mumayyiz child. ABGT

Therefore: Mothers must pay special attention in the shower and in other places that they do not look at the private parts of their daughters or other women’s daughters that are Mumayyiz, even if it is without the intention of lust.

51 – Rule: In the event that the child is a boy, then before he reaches the age of Mumayyiz the woman can look at his entire body; and once he becomes Mumayyiz, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, she must not look at his private parts. In this ruling, there is no difference between a Mahram boy and a non-Mahram boy. AKLMS

It is haram to look at the private parts of a Mumayyiz child. BGT

52 – Question: If we are in doubt as to whether or not a child has reached the age of Mumayyiz, then what is the ruling (related to looking at him)?

Answer: His ruling would be that of a non-Mumayyiz child. AGKLMST

Answer: From the point of view of looking, this child has the same ruling as a child who is not Mumayyiz, although according to reasoning, it is better to refrain from looking.B

Rules of Looking When in a State of Doubt

53 – Rule: If one doubts whether a certain person is amongst those whom it is permissible to look at or not, then one must not look at them. AGLM

According to Ihtiyat, one must refrain (from looking). B

Example: If a man sees a woman in the dark, of if he sees a woman coming towards him who he absolutely does not recognize, and he doubts whether she is one of his Maharim (in which case to look at her is allowed), or if she is a non-Mahram (in which case he can not look at her), then it is not permissible to look at her.

54 – Rule: If in a group of people, one has a doubt; for example, it is known that there is a Mahram there (in the group), but one does not know which one in the group it is, then one must not look at any of them. AGLM

Example: If a woman knows that there is a Mahram man amongst a group of men that are not wearing proper clothing, but she does not know which one of them it is, then she is not permitted to look at any of them. Similarly, a man who knows that he has a Mahram in a gathering of women is not permitted to look at them in order to find her. (In the event that the women do not have the proper clothing on.)

55 – Rule: If one doubts whether or not a person is a man or a woman (for example at night time, if the person is far away, fog or for some other reason), then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must not look at that person. KL

Rather, it is haram to look at them. G

It is not a problem to look at them. M

56 – Rule: If someone doubts whether an object is a human being, an animal or something else, then in this case it is permissible to look at that thing. AGLM

The Rules of Looking at Photographs

A) Men Looking at the Photographs of Non-Mahram Women

57 – Rule: Men are permitted to look at the photographs of non-Mahram women who are properly observing their hijab (in the photo) with the condition that it is not with the intention of lust. ABGKLMST

58 – Rule: If there is a photograph in which a woman has not observed her hijab properly, and the man knows that woman, then he is not allowed to look at that photo. If he does not know her, then he is allowed to look at the photograph of that non-Mahram woman, with the condition that it is not with the intention of lust. BKLT

Therefore: Either the man knows the woman, or does not know her. If he does not know her, then there is no problem in looking at her photograph without the intention of lust or deriving pleasure. However if he knows her, and she is a woman who believes in observing and protecting the Islamic hijab, then he is not allowed to look at her photograph in which she is not wearing the proper hijab. If she does not believe in observing the proper hijab, then even if the man knows her, it is not a problem to look at her photograph as long as it is not with the intention of lust or deriving pleasure.

It is not a problem to look at the photographs of non-Mahram women, or films with them in it by means of the television or other than that, if it is not with the intention of lust or fear of falling into corruption and sin, even if one knows the person in the photograph. A

In the event that the man does not know the woman, then according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, he should not look at her photograph; and if he knows her, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, he must not look at her photograph, especially if it is degrading to her stature, and /or associated with corruption. G

In the event that the woman believes in observing and protecting the Islamic hijab, then looking at a photograph of her without hijab is problematic, unless the man does not know her and looking at the photograph will not lead to any corruption. M

If the non-Mahram woman in the photo has not observed the proper Islamic hijab, then in the event that the woman is not among those who do not observe proper hijab, or do not observe hijab at all and if she was told to wear it, she would not listen, and the man looking at the photograph knows her, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, he must not look at that photograph. In other than this scenario, it is not a problem to look (at that photograph) as long as it is not with the intention of deriving pleasure or enjoyment. S

Therefore: If the man does not know the woman, or the woman is one who does not observe proper hijab or does not observe hijab at all and if she was told to wear it, she would not listen; or if she has observed her proper Islamic hijab in the photograph, then it is not a problem to look at her photo.

Therefore: Men must not look at the family photo albums in which there are women family members who are not observing their proper hijab. GK

It is not a problem to look at the photographs, even if the man knows the woman, as long as it is not with the intention of lust, and there is no fear of falling into corruption.A

59 – Question: What is the ruling of looking at the photographs of non-Muslim women, or Muslim women who are not observing their proper Islamic hijab?

Answer: In the event that the man does not know the woman and there is no fear of falling into corruption, and it is not with the intention of lust. then it is not a problem, although according to Ihtiyat Mustahab he should refrain from it. ABGKLT

Answer: In the event that the woman is a non-Muslim or does not believe in observing the proper Islamic hijab, then it is not a problem to look at it (the photograph), as long as it is without the intention of lust or deriving sexual pleasure. M

Answer: In the event that the photograph is that of a non-Muslim woman or of a woman (Muslim) who does not care (if others see her) or is a common place woman, then it is not a problem to look at it if it is without the intention of lust or deriving sexual pleasure. S

60 – Rule: It is not a problem to look at the photographs of children – whether they are boys or girls, if it is without the intention of lust and there is no fear of falling into sin. ABGKLMST

61 – Rule: In the event that one fears that by looking at the photograph of someone they will fall into sin, then one must not look at that picture. ABGKLMST

62 – Rule: It is not permitted to show a photograph to someone which one knows it is haram for that person to look it. AGK

Therefore: Women are not allowed to show pictures to their husbands, brothers, or fathers in which there are non-Mahram women who are not in hijab, and also, it is not permissible for the men to look at them either.

63 – Question: What is the ruling for looking at the photographs of a woman, when she was a child, in the event that she was not properly clothed?

Answer: If looking at those photographs does not lead to her degradation and does not arouse one sexually, then it is not a problem. T

64 – Rule: It is haram to look at any photographs with the intention of lust, be it that of a man or woman; a Mahram or a non-Mahram; a human being or something else. The photo of one’s spouse is an exception to this rule. ABGKLMST

65 – Rule: The buying, selling, and keeping of pornographic photographs is haram and (if one has them in one’s possession) then they must be destroyed. AGK

66 – Question: Is it permissible for a man to look at the photograph of a non-Mahram woman who has died, in the event that he knows her?

Answer: If there is no corruption involved, then it is not a problem. A

Answer: It is a problem for a man to look at the photograph of a non-Mahram woman who has passed away. G

67 – Question: Please give us your opinion on the role for looking related to those who are specializing in a field of medicine or those students who are studying medicine, or … and because of the field of their studies, they are forced to go through scientific books and films that have indecent material in them.

Answer: If they need to look at them for learning and it is not with the intention of deriving sexual pleasure, then it is not a problem. GL

68 – Question: Is it permissible to look at non-Muslim women on television who are not wearing the proper or sufficient clothing?

Answer: It is not a problem, if it is not with the intention of deriving pleasure and one does not fear that he will fall into corruption. ABGKLMST

69 – Question: It is permissible for men or women to look at obscene or pornographic photographs, without the intention of deriving pleasure or lust?

Answer: If it is related to corruption and deriving pleasure then it is a problem, and many types of these (photographs) are definitely haram. B

Answer: Looking at these types of photographs is not permitted. T

B) Women Looking at the Photographs of Men

70 – Rule: Women are permitted to look at the photographs of men with the condition that is not with the intention of lust, and it does not matter whether she knows the man or not, and whether the man is her Mahram or non-Mahram. K

Therefore: It is not a problem for women to look at the photographs of athletes, or martyrs, etc… unless it is associated with lust or falling into corruption.

The Rules of Watching Films

71 – Rule: Films and TV shows that are directly broadcast (live), have the same ruling as (looking at) living people, and if it is a pre-recorded broadcast, then it has the ruling of (looking at) photographs. K

Therefore: If a film or show is broadcast live, then the ruling for watching it is the same as looking at a living person. Therefore, except for the face and hands of the non-Mahram woman, men are not permitted to look at the women (with those conditions that have already been mentioned); and similarly, women are not permitted to look at the bodies of men that are in fitness or sports programs, or other than that.

Similarly, if the film or show has been pre-recorded, then for one to look at the men and women in that film or show has the same ruling as looking at a photograph. Thus, men are not permitted to look at a film in which a Muslim woman whom he knows and who has not observed the proper hijab is in. However, if he does not know her nor does he have fear of falling into sin, then he can look at her. Similarly, men are not permitted to look at the films, which have been taken during wedding ceremonies, in the event that the women are not in proper hijab, and he knows them.

Films (and TV shows), whether live broadcast or pre-recorded, have the same ruling as looking at a photograph. AGL

Therefore: According to the ruling of Ayatullah Araki, it is not a problem for men to watch films in which there are non-Mahram women, even if he knows them, with the condition that it is not with lust nor is there is no fear of falling into sin, and with the other details that were previously mentioned.

As for the ruling of Ayatullah Gulpaygani, according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, men should not watch those movies in which there are non-Mahram women, if he does not know them; and if he does know them, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, he is not permitted to watch them (along with the other details that were previously mentioned).

It is a problem to look at a non-Mahram via the television or hearing their voice, if it is going to lead to corruption or falling into sin. B

72 – Question: Is one permitted to look at photographs of naked women and or pornographic videos without the intention of deriving pleasure or lust?

Answer: It is not permitted since looking at these types of photographs or films usually has a negative and corruptive effect (on the soul). G

73 – Question: What is the ruling for women watching sporting events that are shown on television, in the event that the men participating in them do not have the proper covering on?

Answer: In the event that there is no fear of falling into sin, and it is not with the intention of lust, then it is not a problem. KLMST

Answer: Women are not permitted to, intentionally, to look at these types of programs. G

74 – Rule: As for what has been stated in the above rulings, there is no difference between films that are shown on video, movie projectors, or any other form. ABGKMST

75 – Question: If looking at a film in which non-Mahram women are playing sports, some of which are not in their hijab, may sexually excite some people who are watching it, but that same film, if others watched it, would not make them sexually excited, then is it allowed for these people to watch such a film?

Answer: If the video/program is being broadcast live, then it is not allowed to look at it with the intention of lust, whether it excites one sexually or not. However, if the show is not being broadcast live and if the person watching it will become sexually excited, then he is not allowed to view such a program, but if he will not become sexually excited, then he is allowed to watch it. T

76 – Rule: Looking at a deceased person has the same ruling as looking at a living person. GK

Therefore: A man is not allowed to look at the body of a deceased non-Mahram woman. A woman too is not allowed to look at the body of a deceased non-Mahram man, according to those rules that have been mentioned previously.

77 – Question: Is it allowed to listen to the radio or watch the television news broadcast of a woman anchorperson, or not?

Answer: It is not a problem, as long as it is not with the intention of lust or sexual excitement. BKMST

Therefore: If a person feels that he will not fall into sin, then it is not a problem, but in other than this situation, looking at her or listening to her voice is not permitted.

Answer: Looking at that has the same ruling as looking at a photograph. AG

78 – Question: It is permissible for men or women to look at obscene or pornographic photographs, without the intention of deriving pleasure or lust?

Answer: Looking at these types of movies mentioned above, that have been produced and can lead to being misled, are not permissable. L

Answer: Looking at these types of photographs is not permitted. T

  • 1. Ahl al-Zhimmah are those Jews and Christians who, living under an Islamic governemt, agree to pay the special Jizya tax. These Jews and Christians are protected under the Islamic Governement and their lives and property is sacrosanct and protected.

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