What is Tabarruj?

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Abu Ubaydah (رضي الله عنه):
“when a woman exhibits her beauty and her body in a way as to cause sexual excitement in men.”

Mubarrad (رحمه الله) said:
“when a woman reveals her physical attractiveness which she is required to hide.”

Mujahid and Qatadah (رحمه الله):

“means walking in a lewd way.”

Muqatil (رحمه الله):
“when a woman only covers hear head with her scarf without covering her neck and chest.”

Ibn Jawzi, (رحمه الله) after quoting the above statements, writes: “I believe that coming out of her house and roaming about the streets in itself is sufficient to cause trouble, let alone exhibiting her beauty and her body.” [Ahkaam’un Nisa]

1. Tabarruj is disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger (ﷺ)

The one who disobeys Allaah and His Messenger (ﷺ) can only harm himself and can not in any way harm Allaah. The Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“All of my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” It was asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, who would refuse?” He (ﷺ) said: “He who obeys me enters Paradise and he who disobeys me has refused.” (Reported by al-Bukhaaree)

It is reported that Mu’awiyyah (رضي الله عنه) gave a sermon in Greater Syria and in it he mentioned that the Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited seven things and he named tabarruj as one of them.

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to dislike ten kinds of behavior and he (‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood) mentioned that from amongst them is displaying and beautification which is done in an improper place.

Jalaal-ud-Deen as-Suyuti (d.911H) (rahimahullaah) said that: “Tabarruj, by displaying beautification, is showing off to strangers and this is disliked.” This is the explanation of the meaning of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood’s statement “improper place”, it is not the case if the beautification is done for the husband.

2. Tabarruj is a grave destructive sin

Umayymah, the daughter of Ruqayyah visited the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to acknowledge the message of Islam and to acknowledge that he (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was and is the Messenger of Allaah. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to her:
“I give my acknowledgment that you must not set partners to worship besides Allaah, that you do not steal, commit fornication or adultery, that you do not kill your child, that you do not commit any falsehood before your hands and between your legs, that you do not wail and that you do not make tabarruj like that of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era).” (Reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Shaykh Ahmad Shakir graded the chain of the hadeeth as “good” and stated that Imaam ibn Kathir mentioned this hadeeth in his tafsir [exegesis] saying that the chain of this narration is “good”) [narration]

It’s clear that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) associated tabarruj (display of beauty) with grave destructive sins.

3. Tabarruj brings the curse and expulsion from the Mercy of Allaah

The Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There shall be (in the later) part of my nation women who are dressed but are in fact naked. On their heads are humps like those of camels. Curse them for they are surely cursed.” (Reported by at-Tabaaranee, Shaykh al-Albaanee graded this hadeeth “Saheeh”)

4. Tabarruj is an attribute of the people of hell

The Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Of the people of Hell there are two types whom I have never seen: The one possessing whips like the tail of an ox and they flog people with them. The second one the women who would be naked in spite of their being dressed, who are seduced to wrong paths and seduce others with their hair high like humps. These women would not get into Paradise and they would not perceive its odour, although its fragrance can be perceived from such and such distance.” (Reported by Muslim)

The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When people see wrong or evil and they don’t change it then it is eminent that the Punishment of Allaah will fall upon them.” (Reported by Aboo Daawood and others)

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