My Voice is Not Awrah and I Am Not Awrah: [Brief Rebuttal Against Mrs Ambiguous -(Heba Yosry)- at Alarabiya News]


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Heba Yosry stated, “When society convinces young girls that it is forbidden for them to speak, they will grow to become muzzled women. Dar Al Ifta’s statement, as intuitive and as commonsensical as it is, is crucial. It took me some time to be able to say it. My voice is not ‘awra, and I am not ‘awra”.  https://english.alarabiya.net/views/2021/07/18/Women-s-voices-are-being-heard-across-the-Islamic-world

Firstly, this above statement can be utilized for both truth and falsehood. Allaah [The Exalted] said:

[وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ – And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know (the truth)]. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 42]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Allaah forbade us from mixing truth with falsehood, and thus leading to concealment of the truth. Mixing truth with false is by mixing the two until one of them is confused for the other. This is forgery and deceit by way of which what is made apparent is the opposite of what it is in reality. Likewise, when truth is confounded with falsehood, the culprit manifests falsehood in the image of truth and speaks with a statement that carries two meanings- a correct meaning and false meaning, so the listener is under the illusion that the speaker intends the correct meaning, whilst he (i.e. the speaker) intends the corrupt meaning”. (1)

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Falsehood does not spread except with a mixture of some truth, just as Ahlul Kitaab (i.e. those Jews and Christians who strayed after the departure of their Prophets) mixed truth with falsehood. And by way of the little truth they had, they misguided many from the truth and called them to a lot of the falsehood”. (2)

Indeed, the truth in Heba’s statement is that the voice of a woman is not Awrah, as Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated, “A woman’s voice is not awrah at all, her voice is not awrah; so she has the right to ask, and the one who is asked must respond. During the Prophet’s [ﷺ ] era, they [i.e. the women] used to ask the Prophet [i.e. questions] and he used to respond to them. Indeed, Allaah [The Exalted] said:

[قَدۡ سَمِعَ ٱللَّهُ قَوۡلَ ٱلَّتِى تُجَـٰدِلُكَ فِى زَوۡجِهَا وَتَشۡتَكِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ – Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Tha’labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad ) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah]. [Surah Al-Mujaadilah. Verse 1]

They used to ask the male Companions and those who came after the Companions, and this is a well-known matter. But the Awrah with regards to this affair is that it (i.e. the voice) should not be coquetry or softened. This is what is forbidden. Allaah [The Almighty] said:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا

O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 32]

Therefore, Allaah forbade them from softening their voices lest the corrupters- those with lusts and diseased hearts- would desire them. [وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا – but speak in an honourable manner]. Allaah commanded them to speak with an honorable and moderate voice that does not involve softening- neither a means to obscenity nor harshness; but rather it should be moderate. Neither speak in a harsh manner and with evil speech nor with a sweet voice in which there is softness and coquetry; rather it should be ordinary speech in the middle between the two – neither obscene speech nor evil speech; neither speech in which there is harshness and forcefulness; nor soft adorned speech. Neither this nor that. This is the truth that has been stated by the scholars”. (3)

Therefore, if Heba [may Allaah guide her] means that a woman’s voice is not Awrah in the manner clarified by Saudi Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him], then indeed this is truth; but anything besides that is tantamount to falsehood, evil and sin.

Secondly, regarding Heba’s statement, “I am not awrah”. This is an ambiguous statement! There is no doubt that Heba is not Awrah when dealing with those men that are related to her and she is allowed to free mix with them. See here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/mind-map-illustration-showing-the-mahrams-male-chaperones-of-a-woman-for-travel-and-sittings/ A woman is not required to cover her hair, neck, forearms and ankles up to just the beginning of her shin in the presence of her father, brother, nephew etc. As for that which is other than this, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] prohibited both men and women from showing their Awrah, except to their spouses. [See Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadeeth Number 4017]

Therefore, if this is what Heba Yosry means that she is not Awrah to her Mahaarim with regards those parts of a woman’s body that can be seen by the Mahaarim and the specific parts of the body that can only be seen by a spouse, then indeed her statement is correct; but anything other than that is tantamount corruption, falsehood and evil. Indeed, it was incumbent upon her to detail and explain her ambiguous statement as Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The basis of Banee Aadam’s misguidance is as a result of ‘General Terms’ and ‘Ambiguous Meanings’ [i.e. terms and statements that can either be utilised for truth or falsehood when not explained in detail and distinguished], especially if they come in contact with a confused mind, then how about when [evil] desires and misguided enthusiasm is added to that? Therefore, ask the One Who keeps the hearts steadfast [i.e. Allaah] to keep your heart firm upon His Religion and not allow you to fall into this darkness”. (4)

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said, “It is obligated on you to give detail and make a distinction, because unrestricted and general [statements] without clarification has indeed corrupted this existence [i.e. the world], and misguided the intellects and views [of the people] in every era”.

Al-Allaamah Saaleh al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] commented on the above statement as follows: “There has to be detail explanation. The one who is not proficient in giving detail should keep quiet, because benefit is not acquired from his speech. And every time error occurs, its cause is due to an absence of detail explanation regarding truth and falsehood. There has to be detail explanation and distinction and not to mix up [affairs]. Indeed, it may be that there is something of truth and falsehood in an opponent’s statement, so all of it is neither deemed to be false nor truth; rather there has to be a distinction between its truth and falsehood. All of it is neither rejected nor accepted; rather a distinction is made regarding the truth and what is correct and the falsehood and error in it. And if you are not proficient in giving detail, then you should not enter into this field”. (5)

Finally, we say to Heba, “Strive to be like the women mentioned in the following links:

The Role of Women in the Field of Knowledge and Education Throughout the History of Islaam

Women in Islam by Abu Khadeejah

The Muslim Woman In A Modern World – By Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Wāhid


[Ref 1: Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim’ Vol 1, page 124. slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 2: Majmoo 35/190]

[Ref3:https://binbaz.org.sa/fatwas/4140/%D9%87%D9%84-%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9. paraphrased]

[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursalah Alal Jahmiyyah Wal Mu’attilah’ – Vol 3. page 927. slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 5: An Excerpt from At-Ta-leeqaat Al-Mukhtasar Alaa Al-Qaseedah an-Nooniyyah: Vol: 1 page: 216. Slightly paraphrased]

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