Being Alone with a Non-Mahram
Shaytan is always keen on tempting people and making them commit haram [unlawful] deeds. For this reason, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala warned us:
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytan, then, verily he commands al-fahshaa’ [indecency] and al-munkar [evil deeds] . . .” [an-Noor 24: 21]
Shaytan runs through the veins of mankind like blood, and one of the ways in which he induces people to commit indecent acts is by leading a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Islam blocks this way by forbidding such conduct, as the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman, but Shaytan will be the third among them.” [at-Tirmidhi, 3/474; see also Mishkaat al-Masabeeh, 3118]
Ibn Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu reported that the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “From this day on, no man should enter upon a woman whose husband is absent unless there is another man or two with him.” [Muslim, 4/1711]
It is not permitted for a man to be alone in a house, room or car with a non-mahram woman, including his brother’s wife or a servant. Similarly a female patient should not be alone with a doctor, and so on. Many people are careless about this matter, whether because they trust themselves or for some other reason, with the results that many commit indecent acts or take the steps that lead to them, which in turn results in the tragedies of confused lineage and illegitimate births.
Shaking Hands with a Non-Mahram
This is one of the cases where incorrect social customs have taken precedence over the laws of Allah, to such an extent that if you try to talk to people and show them evidence that this is wrong, they will accuse you of being backward, having a complex, trying to break family ties, doubting their good intentions, etc. Shaking hands with female cousins, brothers’ wives and uncles’ wives is now easier than drinking water in our society, but if we look properly we will understand the seriousness of the matter.
The Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle it would be better for him than touching a woman whom he is not permitted to touch.” [Tabarani, 20/212; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4921]
There is no doubt that this is an act of zina [fornication], because the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The eyes may commit zina, the hands may commit zina, the feet may commit zina and the private parts may commit zina.” [Imam Ahmad, 1/412; see also Saheeh al-Jami’, 4921]
Is there anyone more pure in heart than Muhammad salAllahu alayhi wa sallam? Yet still he said, “I do not shake hands with women.” [Imam Ahmad, 6/357; see also Saheeh al-Jami’, 7054, and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Dar al-Kitab al-’Arabi edition]
And he said, “I do not touch the hands of women.” [Tabarani in al-Kabeer, 24/342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7054 and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Arabi edition]
‘A’ishah radhiAllahu anha said, “No, by Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah never touched the hand of a (non-mahram) woman. He received bay’ah [pledge of allegiance] from them by word only.” [Muslim, 3/489]
Let them fear Allah, those people who threaten their pious wives with divorce if they do not shake hands with their brothers. We should also note that placing a barrier such as a piece of cloth is of no use; it is still haram to shake hands with a non-mahram woman.
Women Wearing Perfume When Going Out or Passing By Non-Mahram Men
This practice is widespread nowadays, despite the stern warning of the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam, who said, “Any woman who applies perfume and then goes out among the people so that they could smell her fragrance is a zaniyah [adulteress].” [Imam Ahmad, 4/418; see also Saheeh al-Jami’, 105]
Some women are very careless and take the matter too lightly, especially in front of drivers, shopkeepers, school porters, etc., even though the Shari’ah states very strictly that the woman who wears perfume must wash herself like a person must wash when in a state of janabah (i.e., perform ghusl), if she wants to go out to the mosque.
The Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “Any woman who wears perfume then goes out to the mosque, so that the fragrance can be discerned, her prayers will not be accepted until she performs ghusl like the ghusl to be performed when in a state of janaabah.” [Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/444; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2703]
We complain to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala about the bukhoor and ‘ood (types of incense) used at weddings and women’s parties before people leave, and the use of strong-smelling perfumes in market-places, means of transportation and mixed gatherings in the mosques even during the nights of Ramadan.
Islam tells us that women’s perfume should be that which has color but little smell. We ask Allah not to despise us and not to punish righteous men and women for the deeds of foolish men and women. May He guide us all to the Straight Path.
Deliberately Looking at a Non-Mahram Woman
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and to protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” [an-Noor 24: 30]
The Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The adultery of the eyes is by looking,” (i.e. by looking at what Allah has forbidden). [Reported by Bukhari, see Fath al-Baari, 11/26]
Looking for a legitimate purpose is exempted from this rule, such as looking at a woman for marriage purposes, or a doctor examining a patient for medical reasons, etc.
Women are equally forbidden to look at non-mahram men, as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and to protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) . . .” [an-Noor 24: 31]
Men are also forbidden to look with desire at a man with a hairless or beautiful face. Men are forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of other men, and women are forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of other women. If it is forbidden to look at something, it is forbidden to touch it, even over clothing. One of the ways in which Shaytan deceives people is by making them think that there is nothing wrong with looking at pictures in magazines or watching movies, because what is seen is not “real,” even though such images clearly cause so much damage by provoking desires.
[Book : Forbidden by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]