In the same way, in time of emergencylike fire and flood or drowning of woman in river etc man is allowed to touch awoman. A woman can also appear without veil before a judge.19According to Muslim scholars, in three categoriesthat a woman can meet and this classification can be named as closest circle ofrelatives; a closer circle of relatives and friends; and outsiders andstrangers. The closest circle includes closest relativesonly e.g. husband, father, brother, father-in-law, nephews, stepbrothers, smallchildren etc. A woman usually deals with this category inside her home.

In sucha situation, a woman is allowed to appear without any veil before theserelatives. She is also not prohibited to display her beauty before them.Restrictions on a woman in these conditions are very nominal. Second category of people includes allthose people set down in verses 31 and 61 of surah Al-Noor. These versesdescribed the kind of Pardah, which Muslim women are required to observestrictly. It includes lower of gaze and guard of their modesty, not displayingtheir beauty and unnecessary ornaments and should not act to attract others tothem. There arose certain ambiguities in the time of the Holy Prophet regardingthese restrictions, e.g.

that the observance of Pardah will end all social contactsand dependants who did not come under the classifications of mahram (closerelatives) will be left unattended. Another verse in the same surah wasrevealed. It states that restriction does not mean end of all social relations.Close relatives and sincere friends not only can meet with each other but theycan also break bread together. In all such places, there is no threat towoman’s chastity, this may include educational institutions, hospitals,offices, factories and all places where men and women can do work together.

The third category comprises outsidersand strangers. Usually a woman meets such people in public. It is asserted thatall Muslim women are instructed to remain at home and should not go out unlessnecessary.In order to protect dignity of theProphet, the wives of the Prophet were instructed to remain in their homes.Moreover, the wives were instructed tobe available in their homes, as their special status and responsibilitiesrequired from them.

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