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Home » Manners and Etiquette » Adornments And Attire

The Ruling on Wearing Shorts For Swimming or Otherwise

All praise belongs to Allaah. The following question was addressed to the General Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Scientific Researches and Religious Verdicts: Many people, especially those groups associated with the army, wear sports clothes that leave uncovered a small area under the navel and half of the thighs, or more on some occasions. This has become very widespread. Please give us your view on this important issue, and explain the Shari'ah ruling for it, important because it has become accepted among people to wear these clothes.

Covering one's 'Awrah is obligatory according to a consensus of the Muslims. The woman's body is all 'Awrah, and there is a consensus that the buttocks and private parts of a man are his 'Awrah as well. But the correct scholarly opinion is that the 'Awrah for man is everything between his knee and navel. This is based on what is reported from 'Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

"Don't reveal your thigh, and don't look at somebody else's thigh, be they dead or alive." (Abu Dawud no. 3140 and Ibn Majah no. 146)

It is reported that Muhammad bin Jahsh said that once, the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed by Ma'mar, whose thighs were uncovered. The Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

"O Ma'mar, cover your thighs, for the thighs are 'Awrah." (Ahmad 5/290, Mustadrak of Al-Hakim 4/180 no. 7361 and Al-Bukhari no. 371)

Recorded by Ahmad in his Musnad, Al-Bukhari in disconnected form, and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak

It is also reported from Ibn 'Abbas, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam)said,

"The thigh is 'Awrah." (At-Tirmithi no. 2797 and Ahmad 1/275)

Recorded by At-Tirmizi and Ahmad with the wording:

"Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed by a man whose thigh was exposed so he said:

"Cover your thigh, for a man's thigh is 'Awrah." (Ahmad 5/290 and Mustadrak of AJ-Hakim no. 4/180 no. 7361)

It was also reported from Jarhad Al-Aslami that he said, "Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed by me while I was wearing a Burdah and my thigh was exposed. He (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Cover your thighs, for the thigh is 'Awrah." (At-Tirmithi no. 2798 and Ahmad no. 3/478)

Recorded by Malik in Al-Muwatta, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmizi, who said it was Hasan. These Hadeeths strengthen each other, so that they are raised to the level of being valid proofs. O Allaah, send your prayers and blessings on Muhammad, on his family, and on his Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 383-385, DARUSSALAM
Other subjects of interest:

Islamic Greetings
Interaction With Muslims
Guests And Hosting
Eating And Drinking
Bathroom Manners
Parents And Children
Husband And Wife
Adornments And Attire

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