Islamic Wisdom: Awrah / Satr (Intimate parts of Body) Which Speaks the Overall Covered Body & Islamic Dress Code


The Shari‘a requires men and women to cover the intimate parts of the body which are known as awrah or awrat or Satr (Arabic: عورة ‘awrah, Urdu, Persian ستر, Satr) of the human body must, according to Islam, for both men and women must be covered with clothing. Exposing the intimate parts of the body is unlawful in Islam. The covering of one’s nakedness (awrah or awrat or Satr) is of utmost importance for a male and female in Islam, thus the Qur’an and Sunnah have laid great emphasis with regards to this.

In Islamic Sacred Text Quran and Hadith:

The term ‘awrah as it is used in the Quran is confined neither to women nor to men. The Quranic text reveals the use of the term in various passages. The below verse is about privacy as the Quranic text states:

O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness — that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember. (The Holy Quran 7: 26)

Another verse;

“… and let those among you who have not yet come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before the morning prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the late-night prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) each other.” (The Holy Quran 24:58).

Another passage in the Quran that uses the term ‘awrah, is in Surah Al-Ahzab where it concerns fleeing from battle.

It states: “A group of them ask the Prophet for leave, saying, “Our houses are ‘awrah”, even though their houses are not awrah. Their intent is to flee the battle.” In this case, the term ‘awrah means “vulnerable”. (The Holy Quran 33:13).

There is another context that relates the story of creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden. In these two instances, the term saw’ah is used as an equivalent to ‘awrah.

“O ye children of Adam! We have bestowed dress upon you to cover your nakedness…”.

Another word which almost has the same meaning of ‘awrah, is the word farj (Arabic: فرج‎‎) the plural is furuj (Arabic: فروج‎‎). Another quote concerning covering the ‘awrah is:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, and the believing women, to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known (as respectable woman) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” -Al-Ahzab:59 (Qur’an)

The Quran admonishes Muslim women to dress modestly and cover their breasts and private areas. The Quran explicitly states that “O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women” (Quran 33: 32) and as such has separate rules specifically for the wives of the Prophet. The Qur’an tells the male believers (Muslims) to talk to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad from behind a hijab (curtain or veil). [Quran 33:53] Some people, especially in modern times, argue that these are not rules for all Muslim women because of the ayah of Quran 33:32. However, the ahadith clearly attest that these were considered universal directions at the time and that most of the face was considered to be part of the body that was to be covered:

“After Muhammad issued the command (Quran 24:31) for women to cover themselves, the women responded by tearing up sheets [or outer garments] to cover their faces.” Sahih Bukhari (60:282)

This passage was as follows:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their khimār over their breasts and not display their beauty except to their husband, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. (Quran 24:31)

It is mentioned in the following hadith:

‘Abd al-Rahman, the son of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, reported from his father: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: A man should not see the private parts of another man, and a woman should not see the private parts of another woman, and a man should not lie with another man under one covering, and a woman should not lie with another woman under one covering. (Muslim, Book 3, Hadith 667)

The above hadith emphasizes that a man should not be allowed to sleep with another man in one bed, nor should a woman be allowed to lay with another woman under one blanket or in one bed. Therefore, when we have a daughter or a son who has grown-up (though they have not yet reached puberty) is suggested to separate their beds or bedrooms though they are brother/sister.

The awrah for Men in Islam:

In daily life, male awrah is generally not too noticed, men are rarely considered as the cause emergence of lust like women did.

  • The Males Awrah are Between Navel and Knee

“Because between navel until knee is awrah.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

These also applied between brothers and sisters, either with relatives, friends, or others. If exposing the body parts within the boundaries of the awrah is included as sinful because they do not perform the command of Allah SWT to conceal their awrah according to the Islamic shari’a.

  • Men Are Not Justified to Wear Short Pants up to His Knee

“Conceal it (your thy), for it is aurat”. (Narrated by Malik).

This is also strengthened with the following hadith

“Do not show your thighs and also do not see the thighs of people who are still alive or dead” (Narrated by Abu Dawud)

It is clear from those hadiths we can conclude that men are also required to wear a decent dress, conceal the awrah, and not show their thighs to others. Generally, thighs are associated with women, women who dress but do not to covering their awrah until their thighs are seen by others are identified as women who are not religious and other prejudices.

  • Men Are Not Allowed to Seen Another Men Awrah

“And do not a man seen other manawrah….and a man should not be with another man in one cloth.” (Narrated by Muslim)

In the daily life for example a man who lives in the same place like a boarding house or a rented house, or are in the same matter such as hospitality (silaturahmi) by gathered together, sometimes fellow men wear clothes that he thinks are the most comfortable such as very short clothes and pants cause they assuming that with a fellow man it does not matter wearing that kind of clothes, but that matter is not justified in Islam as described with the above hadith, so even though fellow men gathered or are in the same place either at home or wherever they still obligated to conceal his full awrah. Learn more about: benefits of modesty in Islam

  • Not Allowed to Wearing Thin and Tight Clothes

“O children of Adam, we have bestowed upon your clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness — that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” (QS. Al A’raf : 26)

An example in daily life is sportswear which men generally wear thin and very tight clothes and shorts until the shape and curve of their body are clearly seen while in that place there are so many men and women who are not his mahram because that will cause on lust.

The awrah of Men with Women

The boundary of men’s awrah and other women, not his mahram is the same as the boundary of awrah between men, which is within his navel and knee, with the rules as follows:

  • Not Arousing Lust
  • Not in One Assembly (Face to Face)

“Take care of yourawrah except from your wife.” (Narrated by Imam Lima)

So, men are required to conceal their awrah wherever and with whoever he is unless while with their wife.

The awrah While Performing Prayer

Concealing awrah is also one of the valid requirements in worship, Allah said,

“O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid.” (QS. Al A’raf : 31)

Prayer is worship where someone is directly facing to face with Allah, so it should be wearing decent clothes as a form of submissive servant’s an honor to his Lord as said in the hadith of Rasulullah

“Conceal awrah when standing prayer before Allah is a form of exaltation towards Him” (Narrated by Al-Bada’i : 116)

Male awrah is within the navel to his knee, but various hadith narrated that when praying we should wear more covered clothes which cover the upper body (shoulders), Rasulullah ever forbade someone praying only wear a piece of cloth that does not conceal his shoulders at all.

“Rasulullah forbade a person to pray using a blanket without covering it on the shoulders and forbid praying that only wear a pants without a scarf (cloth covering shoulders).”

The above hadith shows that it is an obligation to conceal the upper body while praying. Learn more about: how to increase iman in Islam

The awrah for Women in Islam:

Women’s ‘awrah is a more complicated issue and it changes according to the situation. The Satar of believing women is different. The woman cannot show any part of her body to a non-mahram male.

  • You can’t show your awrah to
  • You can get married to
  • You can’t travel alone with to Mecca
  • Her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and any further paternal ancestors that she has
  • Her stepfather
  • Her sons, grandsons, great-grandsons, and any further male descendants she has from her children
  • Her brothers
  • Her uncles, whether her mother’s brothers or her father’s brothers
  • Her nephews, whether her brothers’ sons or her sisters’ sons
  • Her husband (she’s already married to him)
  • His mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and any further maternal ancestors that he has
  • His stepmother
  • His daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, and any further descendants he has from his children
  • His sisters
  • His aunts, whether his mother’s sisters or his father’s sisters
  • His nieces, whether his brothers’ daughters or his sisters’ daughters
  • His wife

The awrahfor Children in Islam:

The most important thing is for a parent to deal wisely and in a balanced manner with his children’s mistakes. They should beware of letting their eagerness to deal with and correct the mistake cause them to make an even greater mistake.

“… And separate them in their beds” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, and classed as saheeh/sound by al-Albaani. See Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 1/97)

Try to explain to them how ugly this action is, and tell them that this is something the Shaytaan likes, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytaan (Satan) deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve)] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiments, to show them their private parts. [ Quran al-A’raaf 7:27]

It was narrated that Bahz ibn Hakeem said,

my father, told me, from my grandfather, who said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what about our ‘awrah (private parts)?’ He said, ‘Conceal your ‘awrah from everyone except your wife and female slaves whom your right hand possesses.’ He said, ‘What about a man with another man?’ He said, ‘If you can manage not to let anyone see it, then do so.’ I said, ‘What if a man is on his own?’ He said, ‘Allah is more deserving than you should be modest before Him.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood. Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani. See Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, no. 3391)

And tell them that this abhorrent action is something which is done by evildoers and immoral people who are hated by their Lord. May Allah make your children righteous. Ameen

Scholars view:

Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaimeen (RA), was asked: “There is a phenomenon with some women, wearing short and tight dresses which expose their features and dresses without sleeves exposing the chest and back, appearing almost naked. When we advise them, they say that they do not wear such clothes except in the presence of other women and that the ‘awrah of the woman in front of other women is from the navel to the knee. What is the ruling regarding this, and what is the ruling regarding wearing these types of clothes in front of mahrams?

He (RA) answered: The answer for this is to say that it is authentically narrated [by Abu Huraira(R), said that the Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH) said: “Two are the types amongst the denizens of Hell whom I have never seen, the one possessing whips like the tail of an ox, and they flog people with them. (The second one) women kasiyatun ‘aariyaat: who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced (to wrong paths) and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise, and they would not perceive its odor, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance (from a great distance).” Sahih Muslim 5310 and 6840

The people of knowledge interpreted the phrase kasiyatun ‘aariyaat (dressed but naked)” as those women who put on tight, short, or light clothes that do not shield what is underneath.

The Right of the Private Part:

The right of your private part is that you should protect it from everything that is unlawful for you and help it by lowering your eyes this is certainly the best way to help it. And you should also remember death often, and threaten yourself with God and try to make yourself fear God. Preservation from sin and receiving help in so doing are possible by God’s help. There is no strength or power but in Him.

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” (The Holy Qur’an, al-Nur 24:31)

Every verse in the Qur’an in which the private parts are mentioned is with regard to protecting it from fornication, except for this (above) verse in which it means to protect the private parts from being seen.”

The awrah for religious practices Salat (prayer):

Salat (prayer) is either obligatory (wajib) or supererogatory (mandub). Covering the ‘awrah is one of the conditions of prayer being valid because Allah, may He be exalted, says: (interpretation of the meaning):

“Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying” [al-A‘raaf 7:31]

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: What is meant by adornment in this verse is wearing clothes whilst praying. This was narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafseer, 12/391.

  1. Cleanliness of the Body: The human body has to be completely clean from all types of impurities, whether they are impurities in effect or they are impurities in fact. One must obtain the purity whether through Wudu i.e. Ablution or in some cases through Ghusl i.e. bathing. Recommended: Procedure to Perform Ghusl properly as per Islam.
  2. Cleanliness of the Garments worn by the individual: All of the garments that are worn by the individual including gloves, socks, cap etc. must be made sure to be pure and clean beyond any shadow of even the slightest of doubts.
  3. Covering of the Satr: For the men, the Satr is the part of the body located between the knee and the navel, for the women, it is the entire body, excluding the hands, face, and feet. Women must also ensure that their ankles are not exposed during the prayer.

Rules Related To awrah:

Islamic rules of awrah or covering for both men and women are intended to safeguard and preserve their honor and dignity of them. Rules of covering vary according to whether the degree of risk of temptation is greater or lesser; where such risks of temptation are greater, rules of covering are stricter, and where the risk is minimal, rules are minimal.

Final Thoughts:

The awrah in Islam is an intimate or private part is a place on the human body that it is usually customary to keep covered once you hit puberty or are mature mentally with clothing in public areas, as a matter of decency, which only Allah really knows.

I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective and until next time, keep reflecting.

Thank you for reading!

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and make us part of the group who is among the most righteous! Ameen.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid


Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous