Is It Permissible to Share a House with One’s Brothers-in-Law?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Is it permissible for my wife, son, and I to move into my late parents’ home with my two brothers and their spouses? We all have different sections in the house and bathrooms but share the kitchen. My father-in-law told my wife that it was disturbing news that she was moving in with strange men (brothers-in-law) under one roof as it is not acceptable in Islam.

At one time, I did not let my single sister-in-law spend the night at our house because we lived in a tiny flat, and she was single. Who is at fault?


In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Most Compassionate

Black and White

So, you ask about the shari’a view of both situations. It is permissible for you to move into a home with your brothers, and it is acceptable for a girl to sleep at her married sister’s house.


However, generally speaking, both scenarios are awful ideas. A woman has a right to separate housing; it ultimately is the best way to keep the peace in the family and avoid an invasion of privacy. A Wife’s Right to Housing Separate From Her In-Laws. It will also be difficult for her to cover inside the home and lack total freedom, mainly if she is not used to sharing her home.


She also might find herself alone at home with a brother-in-law, which is unlawful. It is not only forbidden to be alone with a non-mahram but even more unlawful to be alone with the one whom the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) referred to as death. He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Beware of going into houses and meeting women (in seclusion). A person from the Ansar said, ‘Allah’s Messenger, what about the husband’s brother, after which he said: The husband’s brother is like death.’” [Muslim]

Check this:
What Is the Meaning of Khalwa (Seclusion) with the Opposite Gender?

Single Girl Sleeping Over

As for a single sister-in-law sleeping over, it is always better to avoid it. Temptation runs in everyone’s blood, and even if there is absolutely no temptation, it is a ripe situation to cause a rumor or such or affect your relationship with your sister. An unmarried girl is generally protected in all Muslim cultures and kept closer to home to prevent abuse or temptation.

May Allah Most High give you success in your housing situation and reward you for maintaining ties of kin.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.