Question(s)

During my childhood, I was always informed that the voice and name of a woman is to be concealed (‘awra), however, I was informed recently that the voice isn’t ‘awra according to the preferred position. My query is in regards to the concealment of the name of women in Islam; is it necessary? Is it necessary for me to conceal my wife’s name?

Answer(s)

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

With regards to the matter at hand, there are a few aspects that should be considered.

First and foremost, according to Shari’ah, it is perfectly permissible to take your wife’s name in public and there is no harm in this, as this is proven from the era of the Saḥabas and there is no prohibition recorded for this. [1]

However, in our present era, this should be practiced based on the local custom (‘Urf) of the people in any given society. [2]
For instance, it may be deemed ok to mention one’s spouse’ name in a gathering of close family as they may be well-acquainted with your spouse, however, it may be viewed in a negative light, if you were to practice this in a gathering of work-colleagues etc.

In the era of the Sahabas, both men & women were often well-known and referred to via their Kunyah (Teknonym). However, the primary purpose in utilising any name should be for identification and this can be often achieved in modern times, by taking one’s name directly.

Thus, in summary, it is not necessary to conceal your wife’s name. However, based on the local custom (‘Urf) of the people in any given society, it may be deemed appropriate to mention your wife’s name clearly in some gatherings, whilst concealing might be appropriate in other gatherings.

Nevertheless, as outlined above, in the perspective of Shari’ah, it is totally permissible to take the wife’s name when referring to her. This also applies to taking the name of other close female relatives such as one’s mother etc.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mubasshir Talha
DeenSpire / 12 Dhul Ḥijjah 1441/ 1 August 2020

Concurred by:

Approved by:
Mufti Tahir Wadee | Mufti Yusuf Ilolvi
[To see their profiles, click here]

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[References]

[1]
عن زينب، امرأة عبد الله رضى الله عنهما، قالت كنت في المسجد فرأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: تصدقن ولو من حليكن. وكانت زينب تنفق على عبد الله وأيتام في حجرها، قال فقالت لعبد الله سل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أيجزي عني أن أنفق عليك وعلى أيتامي في حجري من الصدقة فقال سلي أنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فانطلقت إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فوجدت امرأة من الأنصار على الباب، حاجتها مثل حاجتي، فمر علينا بلال فقلنا سل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أيجزي عني أن أنفق على زوجي وأيتام لي في حجري وقلنا لا تخبر بنا‏.‏ فدخل فسأله فقال: من هما؟ قال زينب قال: أى الزيانب؟ قال امرأة عبد الله‏.‏ قال: نعم لها أجران أجر القرابة وأجر الصدقة. انتهى
[Sahih Al Bukhari, 1466; Sahih Muslim, 1000]

[2]
العادة والعرف ما استقر في النفوس من جهة العقول، وتلقته الطباع السليمة بالقبول. انتهى
[‘Umda Dhawa Al Basa’ir, 1/253/ Al Irshad]

[3]
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: تسموا باسمي ولا تكتنوا بكنيتي، انتهى
[Sahih Al Bukhari, 110]

لأن الكنية من باب التعظيم والتوقير بخلاف الاسم المجرد، انتهى
[Al Marqah Al Mafatih, 475]

حديث عائشة رضي الله عنها أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كناها بابن اختها عبد الله،
[Sunan Abu Dawood, 4970; Sunan Ibn Majah, 3739]