Touching a Younger Brother

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have a younger brother. He kisses and sucks my breast, and I kiss his belly
and suck his nipple as sign of caress. Is it permissible?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

While it may not be sinful in the manner you described it, it would be better to disengage this practice.

The ‘Awra of a Lady Before Siblings

The Jurists have stated that it is permissible for a lady to show her neck and chest to her mahrams, and what is permissible to look at would also be permissible to touch. For example, it is permissible for a brother to hold his sisters hand in the absence of anything inappropriate.

The issue here is that, in all Muslims cultures, a lady’s chest is not generally shown to the siblings, and people would go to great lengths to avoid this. Mere legal permissibility does not mean approval. There Shari’a recognises valid cultural practices which support – not contradict – its principles.

Here, the promotion of modesty would be the underlying cultural impetus. Also, mere legal permissibility does not mean promotion and approval.

(Marghinani, al Hidaya; Ibn ‘Abidin, Nashr al ‘Urf)

I hope that helps.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.