Is Looking at the Face of a Non-mahram (Marriageable Kin) Impermissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Is looking at the face of a non-mahram (marriageable kin) impermissible? If so, how do I lower my gaze while speaking with them?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

A woman’s face is not impermissible to look at on condition that one does not have desire when looking or has a reasonable fear that the looking will stir up desire. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

What Desire Isn’t?

Desire isn’t a noticing of beauty. Desire is a feeling accompanied by a stirring up of sexual inclination towards that person.

If one’s gaze does not result in the above, it is within the limits of the Sacred law to look, especially if there is a religious, cultural, or otherwise need to do so.


However, even though such looking is lawful, there is a general encouragement, due to the natural human inclination toward the opposite gender, to control one’s eyes.

This entails, looking away if there is a reasonable fear of desire, not looking for extended periods of time, even if there is no desire, and watching one’s heart and intentions while doing so.

Can I Speak to a Non-Mahram for Unnecessary Reasons?
Non-Mahram (Marriageable Kin) Archives

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.