Subject : Rules for Entering Turkish Baths
Fatwa Number : 3801
Date : 10-09-2023
Classified : Call to Islam & Sincerity in Advice
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

I own a Turkish bath where the morning period is for women and the evening period is for men. It's worth mentioning that during the women's period, all employees are females. What is the Islamic ruling on this?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islam places great emphasis on personal hygiene and cleanliness for every Muslim. It encourages people to maintain purity, remove impurities, and take care of their appearance. The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, permitted his companions to use the bathhouses (hammams) in the region of Sham (Greater Syria). He (PBUH) said: "You will conquer the lands of the non-Arabs, where you will find houses called Hammamat (bathhouses). Men Should only enter them wearing a waist wrap, and do not let women enter them unless they are sick or bleeding following childbirth." (Transmitted by Abu Dawoud).

The term "hammam" here refers to public bathhouses that people visit for cleansing and relaxation. These bathhouses serve as places for cleanliness and therapeutic purposes. They include facilities similar to modern steam rooms and fitness centers, which offer services like steam baths and exercise sessions.

It is disliked for women to enter such places without a valid reason, such as needing treatment or hygiene that can only be obtained through these means, as Islam emphasizes the importance of modesty in dress and covering one's private parts. Women are advised not to remove their clothing outside their homes except when necessary. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: "Any woman who takes off her clothes outside her husband's house has torn apart (that which stands) between her and Allah, the Almighty." This hadith is reported in Ahmad's Musnad and Ibn Majah's Sunan, and it is considered authentic by scholars. 

If necessity requires a woman to enter such places, she should ensure that only women are present in those places. Additionally, she must observe the boundaries of modesty in front of other non-Mahram women, avoid wearing clothing that excessively exposes her body, and refrain from unnecessary physical contact with the private areas of her body. She should also lower her gaze and not look at the private areas of other women.

In the book "Mughni al-Muhtaj (Vol.1, Page 224)" by Imam Shafi'i, it is mentioned: "It is permissible for men to enter the bathroom, but they must lower their gaze from what is not permissible for them to see, and preserve their modesty from exposure in the presence of those who are not allowed to look at it... As for women, it is disliked for them to enter without a valid reason, as per the hadith: "Any woman who takes off her clothes outside her husband's house has torn apart (that which stands) between her and Allah, the Almighty." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi, and he graded it as Hasan)."

In conclusion, according to the general rule in Sharia, a woman should be cautious and avoid places where she may need to remove her clothing. However, if there is a genuine need for her to enter such places for medical treatment or hygiene, then she should ensure to lower her gaze and cover her 'awrah (private parts) as required by Islamic guidelines. In addition, there is no harm for a woman to work in such places, but she must adhere to the Shariah principles of lowering her gaze and refraining from unnecessary physical contact with other women. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.