Is it Permissible for a Woman to Uncover in front of Her Husband’s Stepfather?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


Is my husband’s stepfather my mahram, or would I need to observe hijab in front of him?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Thank you for your question.

Your husband’s stepfather is not your mahram (unmarriageable kin), and therefore, you need to observe hijab in front of him.


Allah Most High says, “And [has been made unlawful for you to wed] any wife wedded by your natural descendants.” [Quran, 4:23] Your husband is not the natural descendant of your stepfather-in-law. Your stepfather-in-law is, therefore, not mahram (unmarriageable kin), and you must observe hijab in front of him. [Khatib, Mughni al-Muhtaj]


When circumstances so require, live with your stepfather-in-law graciously and reasonably within the law of Allah. Please recall the inner meaning of the hijab. The whole of one’s behavior, speech, gaze, and conduct should be defined by modesty.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned, “There is never any obscenity in a thing, but it mars it, and there is never any modesty in a thing, but it adorns it.” [Ibn Maja]

I pray this is of benefit and Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life.

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.