Can I Perform ‘Umra With My Foster Father?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Am I allowed to perform ‘Umra with my foster father, who looked after me for many years? Since one or two days after my birth, they have adopted me, so is this man a mahram (unmarriageable kin) to me? I am 26 years old, and my foster mother is no more. So can I perform ‘Umra with my foster father?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

If your late foster mother milk-nursed you while married to your foster father, this may have established familial ties between you. Please view the conditions for this here.

If the legal requirements for milk-nursing foster relations were not established, your foster father would not be considered your mahram, and you would need an alternative mahram to travel with you (though your foster father could join as well).

Alternatively, if you have no legal mahram or husband, there are alternative views that you may adopt, which you can read about here. Please read this related answer as well.

The following answer by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad provides helpful information related to your question:

Caring for an Orphan

Caring for an orphan is a tremendous act of goodness that will bring one close to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) on the day of Judgment. Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them. [Bukhari]

Mahram (Unmarriageable Kin)

Shaykh Faraz Khan mentions, “The key principle to remember when understanding the fiqh of adoption is that the adopted child is not deemed a relative of the new caretakers at all; rather, the child is simply under their care. As established by the Quran and Noble Sunna, the child must retain his lineage despite his new upbringing.”

Allah Most High states, “[…] Nor does He regard your adopted children as your real children. These are only your baseless assertions. But Allah declares the truth, and He ˹alone˺ guides us to the ˹Right˺ Way. Let your adopted children keep their family names. That is more just in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers, then they are ˹simply˺ your fellow believers and close associates. There is no blame on you for what you do by mistake, but ˹only˺ for what you do intentionally. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran, 33:4-5]


In Islam, a mahram relationship is established through blood or nursing. If you were not nursed by a woman who is your foster father’s mahram, your foster father is not your mahram; therefore, physical touch, seclusion, removing your hijab, and so forth will not be allowed with him.

This is a delicate issue, and I recommend you have this conversation with him if he is open to it. Regardless of the outcome, always focus on worshipping Allah as best as possible and eliminating the haram and makruh (disliked) from your life to the best of your ability, and ease will follow by the grace of Allah.

Please see many more details here:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.