forty hadiths for women
by muhammad bin shaker ash-sharif
in the name of allah, most gracious, most merciful
praise be to allah, lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon muhammad, his apostle, the constant bearer of good tidings and the constant warner to the whole of mankind.
the following is a group of hadiths concerned with some islamic regulations for women. i collected and divided into chapters. it includes only forty-three hadiths, simple and easy to memorize. i followed the steps of many previous compilers who collected forty hadiths in various subjects. all hadiths are certain and accurate, i.e. mentioned in sahih muslim and/or al bukhari or agreed upon by the prominent hadith scholars.
i pray to allah, the high and almighty, to accept this modest work from his humble worshipper, forgive all my sins and mistakes, guide my intention, and let me die on good deeds.
chapter 1 : woman’s pray at home is better than going to mosque
narrated by ibn 'umar: allah's apostle said: “do not prevent women (wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc) from (praying at) mosques. yet, their prayer at home is better (for them).”
chapter 2 : woman’s freedom to go out for their needs
narrated by 'aisha: allah's apostle said: "you (women) have been allowed to go out for your needs."
chapter 3 : evils behind unnecessary socialising of unveiled women
narrated by ibn mas'ud: allah's apostle said: “(unveiled) woman is a cause of corruption. once she goes out satan beautifies her in the eyes of men (to seduce her as well as them). at her home, she is the closest (to the face) of her lord.”
chapter 4 : woman should take the permission of her husband before going out
narrated by ibn umar: one of the wives of umar (bin al-khattab) used to offer the fajr and the 'isha' prayer in congregation in the mosque. she was asked why she had come out for the prayer as she knew that umar disliked it, and he has great “ghaira" (self-respect). she replied, "what prevents him from stopping me from this act?" the other replied, "the statement of allah's apostle (p.b.u.h): 'do not stop allah's women-slave from going to allah’s mosques. "
chapter 5: prohibition on women regarding putting perfumes when going out
narrated by abu mousa al ash’ari: allah's apostle said: “if a woman uses perfume and passes the people so that they may get its odour, she is so-and-so, meaning severe remarks. (i.e. about to commit adultery).”
chapter 6 : prohibition on women regarding showing her charms when going out
narrated by fudhalah ibn ‘ubaid: allah's apostle said: “three persons are doomed …. among them a woman whose husband is not present and provides for her; yet she shows her charms to (foreign) men.”
chapter 7 : women should not travel without mahram
narrated by ibn 'abbas: allah's apostle said: "a woman should not travel except with a dhu-mahram (her husband or a man with whom that woman cannot marry at all according to the islamic jurisprudence)." a man got up and said, "o allah's apostle! i intend to go to such and such an army and my wife wants to perform hajj." the prophet said (to him), "go along with her (to hajj)."
chapter 8 : women should have their own entrance to the mosque
narrated by ibn 'umar: allah's apostle said: “should we leave this entrance (at the mosque, i.e. al masjid al nabawi ) only for women to enter.” the sub-narrator, ibn nafie’ said: “ibn ‘umar did not use this entrance (after that) until his death.”
chapter 9 : women should not walk in the middle of the street
narrated by abi ausaid al ansari: while allah's apostle was going out of the mosque he saw all men and women in the road. he told the women: “you should wait behind. you should not walk in the middle of the road.” the narrator said: “women afterwards used to walk so close to the wall so that their dresses often stick to it.”
chapter 10 : women should perform tawaf without mingling with men
narrated by ibn jarieh said ‘ata had told him when ibn hashim prevented women from performing tawaf with men: how could he prevent them while the wives of the prophet performed tawaf with men?” i (i.e. ibn jarieh) said: before or after (the verse of) hijab (was revealed)? he said: “upon my life, after hijab.” “how could they intermix with men?” i asked. “they didn’t,” he replied. “’aisha used to perform tawaf at a dividing space from men; she didn’t intermingle with them.”
chapter 11 : men shouldn’t enter freely into private places where foreign women are
narrated by 'uqba bin 'amir: allah's apostle said, "beware of entering homes or rooms in which foreign ladies are." a man from the ansar said, "allah's apostle! what about (al-hamu) the in-laws of the wife (the brothers of her husband or his nephews etc.)?" the prophet replied: the in-laws of the wife are death itself.”
chapter 12 : women should have their own learning venues
narrated by abu huraira: a group of women came to allah’s prophet and said to him: “we cannot attend your majlis (gathering) of men, so, appoint us a day to come to you (alone).” he said: “we will meet at the house of so and so.” he went to them on the specified date and place. among what he said at that day to the present women was “any woman who rises up three children for the sake of allah will enter paradise.” one woman said: “and two?” “and two,” the prophet said.
chapter 13 : women should not carry funeral
narrated by abu sa'eed al-khudri :allah's apostle said, when the funeral is ready and the men carry it on their shoulders, if the deceased was righteous he will say, 'present me (hurriedly),' and if he was not righteous, he will say, 'woe to (me)! where are they taking (me)?' his voice is heard by everything except man and if he heard it he would fall unconscious."
chapter 14 : women should not take off their clothes outside their homes
narrated by abu al mulaih al hathli: some women from homs asked for permission to visit ‘aisha’s and she said: “perhaps you belong to the place where women enter hot baths (for washing), i heard the apostle of allah saying: if a woman puts off her clothes in a place other than her house, she tears the veil between her and allah.
chapter 15: woman should not describe another woman to her husband
narrated by 'abdullah ibn mas’oud: the prophet said, "a woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he were actually looking at her."
chapter 16: women should not speak unnecessarily in the presence of foreign men
narrated by abu huraira : the prophet said, "the saying 'sub han allah' is for men and clapping is for women i.e." (if something happens during the prayer talking is not allowed, except the men can invite the attention of the imam by saying "sub han allah (i.e. glorified be allah )", and women, by clapping their hands).
chapter 17 : prohibition of lamentation over the dead
narrated by um 'atiyya: at the time of giving the pledge of allegiance to the prophet one of the conditions was that we would not wail, but it was not fulfilled except by five women.
chapter 18 : exchange of salutation between men and women once there is no temptation
narrated by asmaa: allah’s apostle passed by a group of women near the mosque. he waved his hand to them in salutation and said: "beware of being ungrateful to your husbands, beware of being ungrateful to your husbands.”
chapter 19 : men and women may talk to each other in good intention
narrated by anas bin malik: the prophet passed by a woman who was sitting and weeping beside a grave and said to her, "fear allah and be patient."
chapter 20: a woman can offer herself in marriage to the righteous man
narrated by anas: "a woman came to the prophet offering herself to him in marriage, saying, "have you got any interest in me (i.e. would you like to marry me?)" anas' daughter said, "how shameless that woman was!" on that anas said, "she is better than you for, she presented herself to allah's apostle (for marriage)."
chapter 21 : a woman should not be married against her will
narrated by abdullah ibn abbas: a virgin came to the prophet and mentioned that her father had married her to a man against her will, so the prophet allowed her to exercise her choice.
another hadith asserts this point.
narrated by abdullah ibn abbas:
the prophet said: a guardian has no concern with a woman previously married and has no husband, and a virgin must be consulted; her silence being her acceptance. (book 5, number 2095: abu dawud)
chapter 22 : a woman is not allowed to promise her husband not to marry after he dies
narrated by um mubashir: allah’s apostle proposed to the widow of al baraa bin ma’rour but she told him: “i promised my (dead) husband not to marry after him.” “this promise is not valid,” said the prophet
chapter 23 : a woman should not ask for divorce without a reason
narrated by thawban: allah’s apostle said, “any woman who asks divorce from her husband without a reason, the smell of paradise is prohibited for her.”
chapter 24 : young women can sing and play the tambourine in weddings and similar occasions
narrated by ar-rubai’ bint mu’auwith: the prophet came to me after consuming his marriage with me and sat down on my bed as you (the sub-narrator) are sitting now, and small girls were beating the tambourine and singing in lamentation of my father who had been killed on the day of the battle of badr. then one of the girls said, "there is a prophet amongst us who knows what will happen tomorrow." the prophet said (to her)," do not say this, but go on saying what you have spoken before."
chapter 25 : wives have great duty towards their husbands
narrated by ‘abullah bin abi awfa: allah’s apostle said, “had i ordered a person to prostrate to someone rather than allah, i would have ordered the wife to prostrate to her husband. by allah, who holds the soul of muhammad in his hands, the wife will not be fulfilling her duty towards allah until she fulfils her duty towards her husband. if he asks her (for sexual intercourse) while she is on a camel (what means, being busy), she should not disobey him.”
chapter 26 : angels curses the disobedient wife
narrated by abu huraira: allah's apostle said, "if a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning."
chapter 27 : woman should be grateful to her husband
narrated by abdullah ibn abbas: allah's apostle said, “i also saw the hell-fire and i had never seen such a horrible sight. i saw that most of the inhabitants were women." the people asked, "o allah's apostle! why is it so?" the prophet replied, "because of their ungratefulness." it was asked whether they are ungrateful to allah. the prophet said, "they are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. if you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, 'i never had any good from you.' "
chapter 28 : woman should not obey her husband if ordered to do a sin
narrated by 'aisha: an ansari woman (from the supportes) gave her daughter in marriage and the hair of the latter started falling out. the ansari women came to the prophet and mentioned that to him and said, "her (my daughter's) husband suggested that i should let her wear false hair." the prophet said, "no, (don't do that) for allah sends his curses upon such ladies who lengthen their hair artificially."
chapter 29 : woman should not donate from her money unless upon husband’s consent
allah’s apostle said: “a woman, once married, should ask for husband’s consent if she wants to give away a gift (or donation) from her money.”
chapter 30 : woman should help her husband and his dependants
narrated by jabir bin 'abdullah: "my father died and left seven or nine girls and i married a matron". allah's apostle said to me, "o jabir! have you married?" i said, "yes." he said, "a virgin or a matron?" i replied, "a matron." he said, "why not a virgin, so that you might play with her and she with you, and you might amuse her and she amuse you." i said, " 'abdullah (my father) died and left girls, and i dislike to marry a girl like them, so i married a lady (matron) so that she may look after them." on that the prophet said, "may allah bless you," or "that is good."
chapter 31: husband should provide for wife and children
narrated by 'aisha : hind (bint 'utba) said, "o allah's apostle! abu sufyan is a miser. is there any harm if i take of his property what will cover me and my children's needs?" the prophet said, "take (according to your needs) in a reasonable manner."
chapter 32 : prohibition of changing allah’s creations unnecessarily
narrated by 'abdullah: allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those who remove their face hairs, and those who create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, and women changing the features created by allah. why then should i not curse those whom the prophet has cursed? and that is in allah's book. i.e. his saying: 'and what the apostle gives you take it and what he forbids you abstain (from it).' (59.7)
chapter 33 : woman should not wear tight clothes
narrated by abu huraira: allah's apostle said, "two are the types of the denizens of hell whom i did not see: people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people, and the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make their husbands incline towards it. their heads would be like the humps of the bukht (very huge) camel inclined to one side. they will not enter paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance.”
chapter 34 : woman should not wear false hair like jews
narrated by sa'eed bin al musayyib: mu'awiya came to medina and he addressed us and took out a bunch of hair and said: i never saw but the jews using this (adding of artificial hair) and i can well recall that when this act would reached allah's messenger (may peace be upon him), he would name it as cheating.
in another narration mu'awiya said one day : should i tell you the evil make-up. allah's apostle forbade cheating. it was during that time that a person came with a staff and there was a cloth on its head, whereupon mu'awiya said: behold, that is cheating. qutada (the sub-narrator) said: this implies how women artificially increase their hair with the help of rags.
chapter 35 : woman should not lie and adopt falsehood
narrated by a’sha that a woman came to allah's apostle) and said: i have a co-wife. is there any harm for me if i give her the false impression (of getting something from my husband which he has not in fact given me)? thereupon allah's messenger (may peace be upon him) said: the one who creates such a (false impression) of receiving what one has not been given is like one who wears the garment of falsehood.
chapter 36 : women should not wear high shoes
narrated by abu sa’eed al khudri, allah’s apostle said :” a jewish women used to put two wooden legs to lengthen her shoes, so that no one could recognise her, for she was very short.” the prophet forbade this action that is a kind of cheating others.
chapter 37 : women should not shave their heads
narrated by ibn ‘abbas: allah’s apostle said, “women do not have to shave their head, only to shorten their hair (i.e. in hajj and other practices)”
chapter 38 : women’s dying their hands and feet with henna
narrated by 'a'isha, ummul mu'minin: a woman made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for the apostle of allah. the prophet closed his hand, saying: i do not know this is a man's or a woman's hand. she said: no, a woman. he said: if you were a woman, you would make a difference to your nails, meaning with henna.
chapter 39: women should cover her face in the presence of foreign men
narrated by 'abdullah bin umar: a person stood up and asked, "o allah's: apostle! what clothes may be worn in the state of ihram?" the prophet replied, "do not wear a shirt or trousers, or any headgear, and also do not wear anything perfumed with wars or saffron, and the muhrima (a woman in the state of ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves."
chapter 40 : women are allowed to wear gold and silk
narrated abu musa al ‘ashari: allah’s apostle said, “wearing silk (clothes) and gold is no allowed for the males of my ummah but allowed to the females.”
chapter 41 : women, not men, are allowed to wear clothes dyed in saffron
narrated by 'abdullah b. 'amr: allah's apostle saw me in two clothes dyed in saffron, whereupon he said: has your mother ordered you to do so? and i said: i will wash them. he said: but burn them.
chapter 42 : women should not show their ornaments to foreign men
narrated by abu huraira: allah’s apostle said, “woe unto women from the two reds: gold and saffron-dyed clothes.”
chapter 43: women should not imitate men in dress, movements, and way of speech
narrated by ibn 'abbas: allah's apostle cursed those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of women and those women who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of men.