Did the Prophet talk to women and ask them how they were?

Details of the Question

- Did the Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) talk to believing non-mahram women in his ummah and outside his ummah and ask them how they were?

- Did the Prophet (pbuh) answer the women when they addressed him like "Good morning, hello, how are you?" Did he answer the questions of women?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- There is a verse of the Quran showing that the Prophet (pbuh) talked to the women outside his wives:

“Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things).” (al-Mujadala, 58/1)

This issue is seen clearly in the verse above.

-The following is stated in the Quran:

“…Be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.” (al-Ahzab, 33/32)

The verse warns that when a woman has to talk to a non-mahram man, she needs to talk seriously, solemnly and shyly.   

- There is information showing that the Prophet (pbuh) greeted women and answered their greetings.

Asma bint Yazid narrates:

“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stopped by some women (I was among them) and greeted us.” (see Abu Dawud, Sunnah,148; Tirmidhi, Istidhan, 9; Ibn Majah, Adab,14)

Abu Talib’s daughter Umm Hani greeted the Prophet (pbuh), who heard her but did not know who she was because he could not see her; the Prophet (pbuh) answered her greeting and asked who she was. Then, he said, “O Umm Hani! Welcome!” (Bukhari, Ghusl 21; Salah 4; Muslim, Hayd, 70-71, Salatul-Musafirin 81-82; Tirmidhi, Istidhan 34)

According to what is understood from the practices of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Companions, it is permissible for men and women to greet each other and talk if it is necessary unless there is a risk of mischief and misunderstanding. (Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar, I, 406; Zakariya al-Ansari, Asnal-Matalib, I, 176)

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