Can a Man See a Woman Without Hijab Before Marriage?

Can a Man See a Woman Without Hijab Before Marriage?

In Islamic Shariah, modesty is integral to maintaining decency and respect between men and women. In this situation, one question may arise, can a man see a woman without a hijab before marriage?

There are different rules about what a man can see before marriage based on different interpretations and cultural practices. As for Awrah, which must always be covered, it’s the most important concept. For pre-marital interactions, some scholars permit men to see certain portions of a woman without a hijab.

Here, we will discuss what is permissible for men to see women without hijab according to Islamic Shariah and the reason for looking before marriage.


What Are Allowed for a Man to See a Woman Without Hijab Before Marriage?

A man may see a woman without a hijab before marriage, but it is only a few portions of her body. They’re:

  • Face and hands
  • Hair
  • Feet


Face and Hands

If you’re considering marriage, seeing a woman’s face and hands in Islamic culture is generally acceptable. In Islam, these areas are seen as less private than the rest of the body.

This means that during the pre-marital phase, it is permissible for a man to see a woman without her hijab covering her face and hands. The reasoning behind this practice is to allow potential spouses to understand each other’s physical appearance while still upholding modesty.

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “If one of you proposes to a woman, there is no harm in his looking at (some parts) of her (body) if he is looking at her for the purpose of getting engaged to her, even if she is unaware of that.” [Ahmad on the authority of Abu Humaydah]

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The exposure of a woman’s hair is generally discouraged in the context of non-mahram men, as it is considered part of her adornment. Regarding seeing a woman without a hijab before marriage according to Islamic Sharia, there are varying opinions among scholars.

Some scholars argue that a man should not see a woman’s hair before marriage, as it is still considered part of her adornment and should only be shown to her husband.

“The man is not permitted to look at the hair of a woman he is considering for marriage as her hair is legally deemed to be from her nakedness (awrah), and the permission of looking only extends to her hands and face.” [Qadri Pasha, al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya: Article 3]

Others believe that in certain circumstances with a genuine intention for marriage, it may be acceptable for the man to see the woman’s hair. This is based on the idea that potential spouses have the right to know each other’s appearance before deciding.

A reference stand on this is as follows:

“Therefore, her hair can be inspected as the hair is the most important thing a person who proposes marriage would like to see, and this is what incites him to accept her.” (Hanbali School).



But, other interpretations allow women to show their feet in certain circumstances, particularly when there is a genuine interest in marriage. This perspective suggests that it is still acceptable for a man to see a woman’s feet before marriage if he intends to propose and seek her hand.

Abu Haneefah said, “It is permissible to look at the face, hands and feet, and no more than that.” (Bidaayah al-Mujtahid wa Nihayyat al-Muqtasid, 3/10)

In some interpretations, the feet are considered part of the ‘awrah’ for women, which refers to the public areas that should be covered. According to this perspective, it is recommended that women cover their feet as a means of modesty and preserving their privacy.


What Are Not Allowed for a Man to See a Woman Even With Hijab Before Marriage?

According to Islamic Sharia, certain boundaries must be respected between a man and a woman before marriage. The following are prohibited:


  • Awrah (private parts)
  • Shape and contours
  • Specific gaze
  • Obscene content


No 1. Awrah (Private Parts)

Men are not allowed to see a woman’s private parts, even with a hijab, before marriage according to Islamic laws. While the awrah generally includes the entire body except for the face, hands, hair, and feet, these exceptions are permissible for men to see even before marriage.

Here is what a man is not allowed to see even before the woman gets married to him:


  • The area between a woman’s navel and her knees: This is considered part of her awrah and should be kept covered.
  • Other private parts: A man cannot see these intimate areas of a woman’s body.


No 2. Shape and Contours

The guidelines of Islam emphasize the importance of modest clothing for women, particularly to prevent the revealing of body contours. Both men and women must respect each other’s privacy and avoid staring at a woman’s body contours, even if she is wearing modest clothing.


No 3. Specific Gaze

Men are instructed to lower their gaze when interacting with women who are not their close relatives. This means that even if a woman is wearing a hijab, a man should avoid looking at her with prolonged or inappropriate intent. The gaze should be lowered to show respect and avoid unnecessary temptation.


No 4. Obscene Content

Avoid seeking or sharing obscene content to maintain modesty and adhere to Islamic values.

Men are prohibited from seeking or sharing obscene or indecent content, including explicit images or conversations. This principle applies before marriage, as modesty and chastity are integral to Islamic values.


Unveiling the Sanctity of Islamic Marriage: Guidelines for Premarital Interactions 

The response to the question about what is acceptable for a man to see a woman without a hijab before he marries her should now be clear to you. According to Islamic Sharia, men are only allowed to see women without hijab before marriage in specific circumstances, such as family gatherings.

During pre-marital concern, Islam acknowledges the natural desire for attraction and avoids immodesty by allowing potential spouses to see each other’s faces, hands, hair, and feet.

And you should note that certain boundaries and regulations must be followed even with hijab. Following these guidelines will enhance the sanctity of marriage within the Islamic tradition by creating an atmosphere of purity and dignity.


Author Bio

Talha Ubaidullah’s unique combination of skills as a lifestyle and relationship writer, coupled with his proficiency in SEO, has made him a well-rounded professional in the digital sphere. Whether he is crafting engaging articles, offering valuable advice on relationships, or optimizing content for maximum visibility, Talha continues to make a positive impact on the lives of his readers and clients alike. You can follow him on Twitter and Reddit.





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