Is it permissible for women to go to public baths?
Our Prophet said, “It is not permissible for a woman who has a private bathroom at home to go to a public bath.”
However, in obligatory cases, women can go to public baths, too. As a matter of fact, Hazrat Aisha went to a public bath due to her illness.
If a woman has to go to a public bath due to an obligation, she has to follow the rules of tasattur. A woman cannot show her body parts between her navel and knees to other women. She must not open those parts. It is better to prefer public baths that have separate rooms.
Once Abu Hanifa went to a public bath to make ghusl for the Friday prayer. However, there was a man near him; he did not cover between his navel and knees fully with his loincloth. Abu Hanifa closed his eyes so as not see and look at the man. Meanwhile, he lost his metal water bowl. He tried to grope for it. The man found the bowl and gave it to him. He asked Abu Hanifa, “O Imam! When did you become visually handicapped?”
The Imam answered,
“When I saw that you were handicapped in terms of tasattur, I became visually handicapped. If you feel ashamed and cover your mahram parts, I hope my eyes will see again, and I will not look for my bowl again.”
The man realized his mistake and covered his mahram parts with his loincloth fully. Then, the Imam opened his eyes and made ghusl with open eyes.
(Hedley Cant, Sur Magazine)
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