The knees and bellybutton do not enter into the Awrah


Uthmaan bin Hakeem narrated to us, he said Abdurrahmaan bin Abi Amrah narrated to us, he said: “Uthmaan bin Affaan entered the Masjid – Dhun-Nurayn, he married the two daughters of the Prophet ﷺ Umm Ruqaya then Umm Kulthum i.e one died so he married him to the other, the angels are shy of him – he entered upon the Prophet ﷺ and his thigh was uncovered so when he sought permission he covered his thigh.

Aa’ishah said: “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr sought permission and you didn’t cover it, and Umar and you didn’t cover it?, He said: “Should I not be shy from one whom the angels are shy of, I feared if he saw me he would not of reached to what he intended while I was upon that condition.”

And upon this Hadith of Aa’ishah, and the Hadith of Anas, that the Prophet ﷺ on his journey to Khaybar uncovered his thighs as is in the narration of Bukhaari i.e he drew back the izaar from his thighs.

These two Hadiths are used as proof from those who say the thigh is not Awrah absolutely, but verily the Awrah is the front and back passage, what is between the buttocks and the private part and testicles, this only is the Awrah of the man, and this was said by Ibn Abi Dhi’b and some scholars and it was ascribed to some of them and it’s not authentic.

And the majority of scholars are upon that the Awrah of a man is from the knee and the knee is not included in it till the bellybutton and the bellybutton is not included in it, even it came on behalf of Maalik that he used to wear his izaar and show the bellybutton so that it’s known that it’s not from the Awrah, so the majority are upon that the Awrah is from above the knees till below the bellybutton, and the knees and the bellybutton are not included in it.

Using the Hadith of Jarhad as proof that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The thigh is Awrah,” and it’s a Hadith which has weakness in it, and it is strengthened by the Hadith of Ubaidillaah bin Jahsh, and the Hadith of Ibn Abbaas, and the Hadith of Abdillaah bin Amr, and with all of these Hadiths the Hadith is established, we reported in ‘Saheeh Al-Mafaareed’, the Hadith is authentically established.

And it’s authentic from what Bukhaari reported, so he said Hadith Anas is more authentic and Hadith of Jarhad is more cautious, exiting from their differing.

Al-Haafidh said his statement ‘more authentic’ that Hadith Jarhad is established but this is more authentic than it, so the speech of Bukhaari includes authenticating the Hadith of Jarhad, with what Ibn Abbaas mentioned in the Hadith of Ibn Jahsh.

And upon that are the people of knowledge acting in accordance to the Hadith and combining between the two, so they divided the Awrah into two, major Awrah which is the front and back passage without differing, the prayer is invalid by uncovering them, and it’s not allowed to uncover it in any situation with the capability of covering it, nor (wear) clothes that it can be seen through, like so, from the thigh above the knee till below the bellybutton, from them are those who enter the knees and bellybutton and the majority are upon the lack of its entering and it’s the correct opinion.

Because indeed the Prophet ﷺ used to kiss the bellybutton of Hasan, and Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him found Hasan after the death of the Prophet ﷺ, he said: “Show me the place where the Prophet ﷺ used to kiss so I can kiss,” so he uncovered his bellybutton so he kissed it.

The people of knowledge said if the bellybutton was Awrah Hasan wouldn’t have uncovered it, nor would Abu Hurairah of been pleased with that and like so, and many Hadiths have come from the Prophet ﷺ clarifying the knee, narrations have come that Abu Bakr came and his knees were uncovered, so he ﷺ said: “As for this one then he had an altercation,” and he didn’t rebuke him for uncovering his knees, so from this and what is of its likes, the knee and bellybutton are not from the Awrah of a man.

The Awrah of a man is from below the bellybutton, and the Shaykh opened Chapter on it he said Chapter: The bellybutton is not Awrah, and he made a Chapter: The knee is not from the Awrah, the Awrah of a man is from above the knee to below the bellybutton. The minor Awrah, what is besides that, the front and back passage, then this is major Awrah by unanimous agreement. The prayer is not correct by uncovering the major Awrah with the capability of covering it, as for the nude who is not able to cover himself then he prays upon the condition he is, it’s known the prayer of the nude.

Then they differed concerning the prayer of one who prays while his thighs are uncovered with the capability of covering them, so the majority of scholars are upon the invalidity of the prayer of a man whether he is in congregation of the people or by himself in his house even. If he prays and his thighs are uncovered his pray is invalid with them due to the Hadith of Jarhad and it’s a good opinion.

As for the Malikis they view that he is sinful for uncovering it but his prayer is correct, but the evidence points towards that it’s Awrah and that the prayer is invalid, and there’s no difference between the correction of the prayer between the two Awrahs major and minor, verily the difference is that this one could be uncovered in some situations and this one shouldn’t become uncovered.

“Preserve your Awrah except from your wife or what your right hand possesses,” this is what relates to the Awrah of a man only. And the speech was in what relates to the Hadith of Uthmaan may Allah be pleased with him related to our lesson.

Benefited from: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him.


Translated by: Abu ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi