At What Age Does a Young Woman Become Mahram to All Men?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra


Around which age, a woman becomes mahram to all men?


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

There seems to be an error in the use of terms here.

The term “mahram” means a non-marriageable family relation that one cannot legally get married to. This can occur through direct blood relation (ex. brother and sister), breastfeeding during infancy, or through marriage (such as a mother- or father-in-law being forbidden to marry their son- or daughter-in-law). There is no age at which one becomes unlawful to marry their mahram. There are laws that govern each category. [Marghinani, al-Hidaya]

What I assume you are asking about is at what age a young woman must cover her hair and body from the sight of strange, unrelated men (including cousins). This must be done from the onset of puberty, marked by the monthly period coming for the first time, or if that is delayed, then by reaching the age of fifteen lunar years (approximately fourteen years and seven months in the solar calendar). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.