Al-Azhar University Professor Sabri Abd Al-Raouf: It Is Okay for Bridegroom's Mother to Smell Bride's Armpits before Wedding
Following are excerpts from an interview with Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf of Al-Azhar University, which aired on Dream 2 TV on May 1, 2009.
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: The mother [of the bridegroom] and other female relatives may look at the bride’s hair and neck, and may smell her private parts.
Interviewer: Smell what?!
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: Her armpits, for example. Some women and girls sweat, and there are men who are nauseated by this.
Interviewer: So the mother may check to make sure...
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: The mother may go near the bride, in order to check whether she smells good or bad. There is nothing to prevent this. But the groom is forbidden to look at any part of her except her face and hands.
Interviewer: But there is a fatwa that permits him to see whatever his female relatives may see.
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: He is not allowed to see what the female relatives see.
The khimar is the piece of cloth that women use to cover their heads and the protruding part of their breasts. This is what Islamic law requires.
Interviewer: So what this woman is wearing is not a hijab?
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: Pardon me?
Interviewer: What she and many other girls wear is not a proper hijab?
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: I am only looking at you. I’m not looking in her direction.
Interviewer: So you avert your gaze. But what will you do when you watch a re-run of this show?
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: I don’t know...
Interviewer: You are trying to tell me that when you watch TV, and there are women wearing this kind of veil, you avert your gaze?
Prof. Sabri Abd Al-Rauf: I concentrate on my listening, not on my looking. I listen to hear whether what they say is proper or not.