What part of the body must a woman cover in front of another woman? What about another man?

Short Answer

The part of a woman’s body which must be covered in front of other women (called `awrah) is from the navel to the knees (technically). So a woman should not uncover her thigh even in front of her mother, sister, or close friend. The same applies for a man in front of another man, like when changing in a locker room or swimming in a pool.

What the Qur’an Said

“…and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent, and to draw their headcovers over their chest, and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women.” (an-Nur 24:31)

What the Prophet Said

“A man should not look at the private parts (`awrah) of another man nor should a woman look at the private parts of another woman.” Sahih Muslim #338

What the Scholars Said

Imam al-Qurtubi: “Allah mentioned husbands first, then He mentioned mahrams, and described them all as equal with regard to showing the adornment. But they may differ according to what is in their hearts. There is no doubt that for a woman to uncover in front of her father or brother is more safe than to uncover in front of her husband’s son. The extent of what she may show may differ, so she may show to her father that which it is not permissible for her to show to her husband’s son.”

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Shaykh Mustafa Umar