What Is the Ruling of Being in Khalwa with a 9 Year Old Girl While Teaching?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Is it permissible for me to teach a 9-10 year old girl (uncertain whether she has reached puberty) in a secluded place with the permission of her father who is the Imam of the local mosque?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Let not any of you be in seclusion with a (marriageable) woman unless accompanied by a non-marriageable relative.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The scholars have explained that this applies to any woman who is mature (baligh) or on the verge of maturity (murahiq). [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Being that the earliest age for a woman to experience menstruation is 9 years old, a 9-year-old is considered on the verge of maturity. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

It is therefore obligatory to refrain from being in seclusion with such a girl even if it be for a noble cause and even if it’s with her father’s permission.

What is Actual Seclusion

Seclusion is defined as (a) being alone with a (b) marriageable woman (not one’s spouse) in a (c) private place. [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

a) Alone is the absence of any non-marriageable relative of either the male or female present. They will not be considered alone if there is more than one female present. [Ibid.]

b) A marriageable woman (Ajnabiyya) is defined as a woman whom one could actually or potentially marry. This would apply to unmarried women who are not direct blood relatives (such a cousins) or women who are married and if they were divorced or their spouse passed away – one would be legally allowed to marry them (such as one’s sister-in-law). [Ibid.]

c) A private place is a place where others are not able to see, hear, or enter unannounced at any moment’s notice. A mosque even if its empty would be considered a public place. [Ibid.]


I would express to the girl’s father that doing the lesson in the Mosque or in his home is better. Likewise, one could bring along with them his mother or sister or ask that one of the girl’s relatives be present.

Another option is to do the class at the girl’s home in the public quarters of the home such that any other house member could enter at any time – this is not seclusion.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh]Yusuf Weltch

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then 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 stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest 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 Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.