Referring to the aforementioned fact, Allah Almighty says: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.” (An-Nur: 31-32)
Dr. `Abdul-Kareem Zidan, professor of Shari`ah at Al-Azhar University, states the following: “The majority of Muslim jurists state that the woman’s feet is `Awrah. However, the Hanafis maintain that the woman’s feet are not `Awrah. I myself prefer the opinion of the Hanafis.
However, the Shafi`is, the Zahiris, Imam Al-Awza`ie, and Imam Malik, maintain that whole of the woman’s body is `Awrah except her face and hands.
However, some of the Hanbalis maintain that whole of the woman’s body is `Awrah because Imam At-Tirmidhi reported in his Hadith that the woman’s body is `Awrah (i.e. with the exception of her face and hands as daily dealing warrants uncovering them). Thus, the proponents of this opinion permitted the woman to uncover her face and hands because it is difficult for her to behave with them being covered in her daily life activities.”
Moreover, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, adds:
“With respect to non-Mahrem men and non-Muslim women, a woman’s `Awrah is her entire body with the exception of her face and hands, according to the interpretation we have preferred.
We agree with Imam Al-Razi’s argument that Islam has permitted the woman to expose those parts of the body, the face and hands, which need to be exposed in order to carry out daily business and for giving and taking; it has commanded her to cover what it is not necessary to expose, and has forgiven her accidental, inadvertent exposures or such exposures as are required by necessity. All this is in accordance with the flexibility of Islam.
Imam Al-Razi, states: “Since the showing of the face and hands is necessary, the jurists had no choice but to agree that they are not `Awrah, and since the showing of the feet is not necessary, they have differed concerning whether or not they are `Awrah.” (Tafsir of Fakhr al-Deen al-Razi, vol. 20, pp. 205-206)”