Understanding Islam

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Man's Awrah


Does the awra of the male include the knee or not/ many people that I talked to say yes, but in the English translation of the Dr. Karadawi's halal and haram in Islam he has said that it is from the belly-button UP TO  the knee not below the knee. Are there any Hadith that may prove useful in this regard? I know that this might sound like a trivial matter, but as a person who is physically active in an environment as warm as Australia, with the additional burden of not being able to find shorts which go below my knee (I'm 200 cm tall) it would be useful if I could once and for all be certain what the actual Shari'ah directives are with regards to man's awra. Thanks in advance and wasalaam.

Adis Duderija

Question from Australia

It is quite clear from the Qur'anic prescription regarding the etiquettes of interaction between males and females that during such times, both men and women should wear dresses, which adequately cover their private parts and are considered to be 'decent' in their society. This really implies that under normal circumstances, while socially interacting with each other, both men and women should refrain from unnecessarily revealing any parts of their body or attracting others toward themselves.

However, this directive relates specifically to social interaction between males and females. In contrast to social interaction, there can obviously be a number of instances where, because of the requirements of our work or while playing a sport etc, we may wear shorts and other less covering clothes. However, even under such circumstances, the Prophet (pbuh) has directed men to keep their bodies - between the naval and the knees - covered.

It is reported in Abu Dawood that the Prophet (pbuh) said that a man should not reveal any part of his body below the naval and above his knees.

I hope this helps.


Moiz Amjad
December 4, 2001

Answer published by Moiz Amjad