Does a Woman Who Has Intercourse with Her Younger Brother Remain His Mahram?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

A Muslim woman had intercourse with her 5-year-old brother while he is sleeping many times, and also did oral countless times with him. She then came to an understanding that she’s done wrong and repented.

Would they still be counted as mahram? What should she do?

Answer

I pray you are well.

Yes, they are technically mahrams to each other, but, they cannot be alone together, and they would not be permitted to travel alone together or have any physical contact. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

This is due to the impermissible interaction that has occurred between them in the past. It will certainly have had a negative effect on the brother, and, it seems that the sister had existing issues, as this is not normal behavior.

Children are not ready, on many levels, to be exposed to any sexual acts or themes. It warps their young, innocent minds and can have a lifelong effect on them. With the occurrence of these events, it is possible that such interaction could happen between the siblings again in the future, hence the normal rulings of mahrams not applying to them.

Repenting and Rectifying

This person should repent sincerely for their actions and for any harm that may occur to their sibling. This is a serious matter and it has far-reaching consequences.

Despite the difficulty, she needs to bring the matter to light. This does not mean making it public knowledge; rather, responsible adults and professionals need to be made aware of the matter.

This is due to the psychological harm that will most likely have occurred to the child. He will need help, and perhaps the harm can be mitigated if he gets the attention he needs early on.

She will also likely need some help too. This is due to any background issues she may have, and for any residual effects of her actions. This may be difficult, but it’s important for both siblings. It is part of what is needed for rectification.

May Allah bring healing, ease, and wellbeing to everyone involved.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.