Praise be to Allaah.
Ahmad (6/173), Abu Dawood (4010) and at-Tirmidhi (2803) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that some women from Homs asked permission to enter upon her, and she said: Perhaps you are among those who enter bathhouses? I heard the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “There is no woman who removes her clothes anywhere other than her husband’s house, but she has torn the screen that is between her and Allaah.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah.
This hadeeth indicates that it is haraam for a woman to take off her clothes anywhere but in her own house. What is meant by that is if she removes her clothes in a place where she is not safe from being seen by men who are not her mahrams, or there is the fear that that may result in fitnah or falling into something haraam.
Al-Manaawi said in Fayd al-Qadeer, 3/176:
“Removing her clothes anywhere other than her husband’s house” is a metaphor for her being seen by non-mahrams and not being concealed from them.
“she has torn the screen that is between her and Allaah” – because Allah, may He be exalted, sent down garments for them to conceal their ‘awrah, Which is the garment of piety. So if a woman does not fear Allah and she uncovers her ‘awrah, she has torn the screen between her and Allah, may He be exalted, as she has exposed herself and did not protect herself, and she has betrayed her husband, so Allah will remove the screen that is concealing her. The punishment fits the misdemeanour and what is meant by removing the screen is scandal. End quote.
He also said (3/189):
Because if she does not adhere to what is being enjoined upon her of covering herself before non-mahrams, she will be requited for that and the requital fits the misdemeanour. It seems that removing clothing refers to her uncovering herself before a non-mahram man so that he may engage in intimacy with her or in that which leads to it. This is something different from her removing her clothing among other women whilst being careful to cover the ‘awrah, as there is no way that this could be included in this warning. End quote.
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 17/224:
What the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) meant, and Allah knows best, was to prevent a woman from being careless with regard to removing her clothing anywhere but in the house of her husband in such a way that her ‘awrah could be seen and then she may be accused of seeking to commit immoral actions and so on. As for removing clothing in a safe place, such as in the house of her family or her mahrams in order to change her clothes, or to relax and other permissible aims that are far removed from fitnah, there is nothing wrong with that. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (Commentary on hadeeths and their classification):
This hadeeth, if it is saheeh, which says that the one who removes her clothing anywhere but in the house of her husband has torn the screen – if it is saheeh, then what is meant is if a woman removes her clothing in a situation where there is the fear that she may be seen by one for whom it is not permissible for him to see her. End quote.
Based on that, there is nothing wrong with a woman removing her clothing outside her house for a necessary purpose, when she is safe from anyone seeing her ‘awrah, such as in her mother’s or sister’s house, or in indoor clubs that are only for women, or in beauty parlours where no one goes except women… And so on.
With regard to going to the hairdressers, there is nothing wrong with it if the place is only for women and there are no haraam things there such as plucking the eyebrows, imitating kaafir or immoral women, or uncovering that which it is not permitted to uncover of ‘awrahs, and it is only limited to beautifying the hair and face.
With regard to cosmetic centres, the basic principle concerning various kinds of cosmetic procedures is that if it is done to remove a defect that is disfiguring to the body, there is nothing wrong with it, but if the aim is to go to extremes in beautification, and not to remove a defect, then it is haraam.
You will find more details on that on our website under the heading “Clothing, adornment and images”
And Allah knows best.