What Is the Modest Way of Interaction between Opposite-Gender Siblings?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
It’s been six months since my wedding, and I cringe at how my husband (30yrs) and his younger sister (23yrs) behave. I read about siblings kissing each other and learned it’s okay to give a peck on the cheek to a mahram. But is it okay for my sister-in-law to kiss her brother on the cheeks, neck, hands, and legs, including touching his body frequently? My husband does the same to her, not just once in a while but multiple times daily.
Initially, I ignored it, thinking maybe my family is strict and their upbringing was different, but as days passed, I realized that my husband spends most of his time with her and not me (since the corona lockdown). Whenever I pass by, I see them kissing or cuddling each other.
I empathize with your pain; the situation you describe sounds excessive to me and could potentially be sinful.
Please see this answer on how to deal with this situation:
My Uncle Is Sexually Attracted to My Sister. What Should We Do?
The two issues that I see are that he is being inappropriate with this sister and, second, he is not spending enough time with you. For the first issue, you should sit next to your husband when he is cuddling her and hold his hand or start a conversation. Be smiling and cheerful, and tell him you miss him. This might encourage him to keep his hands off his sister.
You could also ask him point-blank if he has sexual feelings for his sister. If he says no, believe him, then at least remind him that he should not touch her between her navel and knees and vice versa. You should also explain to him that his behavior with his sister makes you uncomfortable and that you were not brought up with this type of excessive affection. Maybe he can slow it down for you.
As for the second issue, there are many things that you can do to gain his attention. Dress up at home, perfume yourself, and spend all your free time with him. Eat your meals with him, ask him to read a book while you are cooking, or help you in the kitchen.
Pray with him five times a day, take a walk outside daily, or exercise with him at home and wear lingerie to bed. Just add yourself to his life throughout the day so that you are in his presence and if your sister is around, sit close to him so that you are in his personal space. This might dissuade her from sitting by him all the time. Cuddle him the same way his sister does, to remind him that doing this with you is normal, not with her.
Another thing you can do to improve the situation moves out and/or get your sister-in-law married. You will gain independence if you live away, and her husband will occupy her time if she gets married. All in all, this can’t last forever. Things may naturally fall into place when your children and her children come around. Pray that it happens soon.
Any problem you have, turn to Allah for guidance and success. He can change the affairs of any person merely at will. Pray the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to give you the wisdom to deal with this and bring you and your husband close. Fulfill your obligations to him and encourage your husband to help you with charitable good deeds and serving others. Imam al-Shafi’i said, “Your nafs (ego): if you don’t keep it busy with the truth, it will keep you busy with falsehood.”
Check this link:
Does Kissing One’s Daughter-in-Law Lead to Hurmat al-Musahara?
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.