Responsibility of the Milk Mother

Question: I nursed a friend’s child for about a month while she worked. Her mother was nursing and had to work and she refused the formula, so she told me to go ahead and nurse her. Years passed and her mother asked me to be sure I nursed her daughter enough times to make me her milk mother. I assured her I had. It seems she did not wish me to be her milk mother and she resented me for it even though she instructed it. We later had a falling out and she has not spoken to me since. What is my responsibility to my milk daughter and her mother?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, as you had not done anything wrong. I pray that you can reconcile with her, not just because of your milk-daughter, but because she is your sister in Islam.

Responsibility

As for your relationship with your milk-daughter, she is like your daughter, and your sons are like her brothers. Your husband and your father are her mahrams. There is no financial responsibility upon you toward her, but rather, the basis of your relationship is love, respect, and honour. See the details here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-you-tell-me-about-the-role-one-takes-as-a-babys-milk-father/

Generally speaking, it is always worthwhile to try and get along with people even if they have been unjust or have wronged you. While you mustn’t allow someone to disrespect you, you can tell her that you are not comfortable with this silence between you and that you would like to reconcile. If she refuses, at least there is no sin upon you. If she demands an apology, you could apologize once, for the sake of Allah.

This du`a will benefit you in sha Allah:

اللَّهُمَّ أَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِنَا وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِنَا وَاهْدِنَا سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَنَجِّنَا مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَجَنِّبْنَا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَبَارِكْ لَنَا فِي أَسْمَاعِنَا وَأَبْصَارِنَا وَقُلُوبِنَا وَأَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ وَاجْعَلْنَا شَاكِرِينَ لِنِعْمَتِكَ مُثْنِينَ بِهَا قَابِلِيهَا وَأَتِمَّهَا عَلَيْنَا

“O Allah, join our hearts, mend our social relationship, guide us to the path of peace, bring us from darkness to light, save us from obscenities, outward or inward, and bless our ears, our eyes, our hearts, our wives, our children, and relent toward us; Thou art the Relenting, the Merciful. And make us grateful for Thy blessing and make us praise it while accepting it and give it to us in full.”

May Allah reward you for your sincerity and for doing the right thing.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Seeking Refuge in Allah From Worrisome Thoughts

Question: I frequently have negative thoughts; like someone will harm or do magic on me and those around me. Because of this, I am unable to concentrate on my work; I wonder if someone has done magic on me. Over the years, I have developed a habit of saying “Auzubillah” {just Auzubillah, and not Auzubillahi min ash-shaitanir rajim} whenever such thoughts come. It makes me feel safe, and after saying this, I can concentrate. Since this happens all day, and I cannot recite du`as or surahs every time, I just say Auzubillah. Is saying just Auzubillah permissible? How do I get rid of such thoughts and increase my focus?

Answer: 

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is permissible for you to recite A`udhu BiLlah by itself. If you recite the complete ta`awwudh (the saying “A`udhu BiLahi min ash-Shaytan ir-rajeem), it would be even better.

A du`a

I thought this hadith and du’a would benefit you:

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, used to teach them the following words in the case of alarm, “I seek refuge in Allah’s perfect words from His anger, the evil of His servants, the evil suggestions of the devils and their presence.” `Abdullah ibn `Amr used to teach them to those of his children who had reached puberty, and he wrote them down (on some material) and hung on the child who had not reached puberty [Abu Dawud].

The Arabic of the above du`a:

‏ أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ غَضَبِهِ وَشَرِّ عِبَادِهِ وَمِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ

                                                                 وَأَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ

Getting rid of these thoughts

The thoughts that you are getting are pure waswasa (baseless misgivings), and you must train your mind for thought-control and ignore them. Paying attention to them only makes them stronger and more frequent. Seeking refuge from the devil is good, but your ultimate goal is to reduce their frequency to little or none. I feel that your thoughts stem from stress and worry. Please make a habit of doing more dhikr and filling your life with more knowledge, learning, reading, and dhikr. Use for free time for these things and you will find that your thoughts go directly to the last thing that you read or learned. Keep doing this until it becomes your perpetual state.

Steps and resources

The absolute best steps that you can take are in this excellent article, please read it in full:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/living-religion/how-do-i-calm-my-worries/

Please see these links as well. The more informed you are, the more you can control what to do about it.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/distinguishing-between-thoughts-from-ourselves-shaytan-and-allah/
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/seeking-refuge-from-the-devil/

Magic

I don’t think that anyone has done magic on you. I feel that the thoughts you are having are from yourself and it’s better to train yourself to get rid of them. This will give you self-control and confidence, a tool that is very useful in life. Please see this video about magic and the related articles linked under it:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/jinn-sihr-black-magic-protect/

May Allah give you the best in this world and the next, and help you overcome every difficulty.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

My Non-Muslim Parents Want Me To Marry a Non-Muslim

Learn a Short Surah

Question: Idolatrous parents don’t approve of their daughter’s marriage because her suitor doesn’t believe in idol worship. Instead, they want her to marry an idol-worshipper. She does not currently believe in idol worship and believes firmly in Almighty God. What should she do in light of the Quran and hadith?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.  This must be a difficult time for you since your beliefs are very different from your parents’ beliefs. I pray that you can reconcile with them with ease and good character without undue pain and hardship to either party.

Marrying a non-Muslim man

Please see this answer about why a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, there is simply no room for it in the shari`ah and there is unanimous consensus about its impermissibility.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/muslim-woman-not-allowed-marry-non-muslim-man/

Non-Muslim father to act as a legal guardian

If your parents are non-Muslim, while you are Muslim, your father may not act as your guardian for your marriage contract. In such a situation, you would ask an imam or other reliable legal upright Muslim man to act on his behalf.

In addition, you would not need his permission to marry the man of your choice. Please see these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-a-convert-and-ready-to-marry/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-overcome-the-hardships-of-getting-married-as-an-hidden-convert/

Family and Wisdom

With the understanding of the above rulings, you should proceed with love, tact, and wisdom. Your parents brought you into this world and they should be involved in attending the wedding and being informed every step of the way. Explain to them gently that what they want from you is not possible.

Respect their views and hear their advice, even if you disagree and will not act upon it. Tell them that you appreciate any marital advice that they can offer after the marriage has taken place and that you hope and expect that they will be active participants in your children’s lives.

Du`a

Ask Allah after your daily prayers and during the last third of the night to facilitate this matter and that your parents be patient and accept your differences. It may take time, but I am certain that they will continue to love you and respect your choices in life. Read some Qu’ran every day with the meaning and learn your obligations in your daily Islamic practice and as a Muslim wife.

Consider taking these free courses:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/introduction-to-islam-what-it-means-to-be-muslim/

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Telling My Parents About My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I’m in a true relationship with a person for the past 8 years since our student days. We both are honest and true for each other. We want to make our relationship halal and for that, we need more time because he is not settled financially yet. I am getting many marriage proposals and my parents are telling me to get married but I want to marry him only. My parents don’t know that I’m in a relationship and I want to tell them about it but I’m afraid.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The first thing that I need to tell you is that your relationship is not honest or true, as you describe. You have lied to your parents, done the impermissible in the eyes of Allah, and your relationship is based on lust, not love.

Repentance

The first step to getting what you desire is to turn to Allah and repent for your sins. You have had a secret boyfriend, been in a secret relationship, and have become close to a man and emotionally attached instead of following the rules of gender interaction in Islam. Stay away from him from now on and only proceed with a serious engagement or nikah. Please see this link on sincere repentance:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Istikhara

After your repentance and resolving to stay away from him, pray istikhara to see if this man is the right one for you. Do not think to make such a big decision just based on feelings, please consider the Prophetic advice first. It seems to me that man who agreed to be in a relationship with you for 8 years without a nikah doesn’t honor you.

Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/istikhara-prayer-for-marriage/

A proposal: Engagement or nikah

He must come to your family with his parents and offer a formal proposal. There is no reason to tell your parents of your past with him, as it will only break their hearts. Tell them that you are attracted to this proposal and that you feel that it is right for you. If they give their permission, then you are all set and you can have your nikah. If they don’t, you will have to walk away from him.

If your boyfriend can’t come with his family to propose yet, then you must wait for him to find the right time. If you can find a way to hold off your parents, do so, but if you can’t you might have to tell them the truth which will cause them pain and disappointment. Otherwise, you will have to leave him. You certainly can’t be expected to wait for him very long. At least, he should have the decency to propose to you so that you can get engaged, if not married.

Put Allah first

I pray that your situation works out for you, but I recommend that no matter what happens, you put Allah first in your life and strive to live your life by His rules. Learn the halal and the haram of daily life, worship, and the rights and obligations in a Muslim marriage. May Allah reward you and give you the best of both worlds.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Discharge While Praying

Remembering the Sunna to Find Love
Question: I come from an irreligious family, how I can change them? Also, I have a lot of vaginal discharge so I always use the bathroom before I pray and wash off any discharge and change my pantyliner. But then when I’m praying I feel a little wetness and I don’t know whether it’s discharge or urine. Do I have to do wudu again and repeat my prayer?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. First, let me congratulate you on your obedience to Allah and His Messenger, it is truly inspiring to see a young lady like yourself covering and praying and hoping to help her family change. May Allah reward you greatly.

Discharge

Your discharge situation is simpler than you think. You are correct to use the bathroom, wash, make wudu, and pray. This is the best way to ensure that you have wudu. Keep in mind that it may not be necessary to change your panty liner, as, in the Shafi’i school, regular discharge is not considered filth, it only invalidates the wudu.

As for any wetness that you feel afterward, you don’t need to worry about it all. You don’t need to go to the bathroom to check and see what happened. Very often, one can feel something, but there really is nothing there.

You also should not push toilet paper into your private part (insertion), because it is safer and healthier not to insert anything in the privates, especially if you are unmarried. The shari`ah would never ask such a thing of you.

Also, make a point of drying yourself well after using the bathroom, as leaving any wetness there, can lead to infection, especially if your underwear is not cotton. So keep up with what you are doing, without all the extra checking.

Parents

As for your parent, it is difficult to see them live a lifestyle that is not pleasing to Allah, and the best thing that you can do is be a good example of generosity, kindness, and service. They should correlate your new religious behavior with your increase in good character and maturity. Don’t be mean, impatient, or critical or they will associate that with Islam and be displeased with it.

Continue to tread on the path of righteousness and gain Islamic knowledge and apply it as you go along. Don’t worry too much about their amulet, because as their religion grows, they will drop these little habits. I pray that you can be a guiding light for your parents and their source of pleasure and happiness whenever they look at you.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Multiples Husbands in Paradise


Question: I can’t help but be frustrated as a woman who struggles with lowering my gaze and having a strong desire for multiple men. I strive for the sake of Allah not to do anything haram. I am troubled that a lot of scholars say men only have these struggles and that’s why they get rewarded with the maidens in paradise. I can’t help but feel neglected and as though my struggles don’t mean anything. I too wish to have multiple companions in Paradise. Will I not be granted such?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Restraint is rewarded

Please know that you will be rewarded for every atom of restraint and patience that you show for the sake of Allah and I pray that you can be married soon to a man with whom you can complete your religion.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever guarantees for me what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I shall guarantee Paradise for him” [Tirmidhi].

Multiple husbands

A woman’s reward in Paradise will be the likes of which she has never seen, never heard, not ever imagined. Please do not fear for your reward there, rather prepare well for the Day of Judgment. See the details here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/what-do-women-get-in-paradise/

Busy yourself with goodness

My advice to you is to continuously lower your gaze and push out thoughts of these multiple attractive men. Make dhikr when the thoughts come and practice pushing them away, no matter how times they come back. Learn your religion in your free time, the halal and the haram of daily life, and the essentials of worship. Occupy yourself with the good, such as keeping the company of positive religious people, fresh air, and circles of knowledge so that your ego will not occupy you with falsehood. May Allah reward you and facilitate your matter for you.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Accepting a Proposal

 

Living Green Series

Question: A guy from back home requested my hand in marriage. I spoke with him over the phone and did istikhara. After reading a Seekersguidance article about marriage, his name came up. I thought it was a good sign, but I still said no. Then I felt I made a mistake and prayed to Allah that if this proposal comes back, I’ll say yes. After a few months, they did propose again. I’m not sure now. He does not want me to work and wants me to move back home. I’m worried I won’t be happy with him with these conditions.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is indeed confusing and frustrating when one is trying to choose one’s spouse and make the best decision. I pray that Allah guides you to the right decision for you and puts blessings in your situation.

Istikhara

If I were in your shoes, I would pray istikhara again. This situation is different from the last situation because the timing is different and you or the suitor may have changed and seen things differently. Pray it for 3 or 7 days and see how you feel. If you are feeling good overall, that is a good sign but if you are having doubts again, then this is a bad sign. See the etiquette of istikhara here:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/

A basis to pray your istikhara on

Usually before one prays istikhara for marriage, one has a basis to consider someone. Does this man have any of the qualities of a good suitor? Have you followed the Prophetic advice when you considered him? The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!” [Bukhari and Muslim].

So, in short, if this man has the qualities that you should consider first in a husband, then you should pray istikhara and follow it. If you still can’t decide, talk to him a few more times to learn about his personality and go with your instinct. If he doesn’t even have the praiseworthy qualities of a pious husband, I think that you should just walk away.

Working and living back home

If you do decide to accept this man, you should wholeheartedly accept his conditions and not get upset later on. If there is any room for compromise, you should have that discussion now. As for living back home, be ready to accept it when you do go there and know what you are getting into. If you really feel that it’s not right for you, after praying istikhara and speaking to elders, friends, or scholars for advice, then walk away now.

Resources

Please see these articles and be sure to take a free course on marriage so that you can learn about your rights and obligations and strive for a spiritually Islamic marriage.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/arrogant-decline-proposal-promiscuous-man-now-scholar/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/marriage-in-islam-a-reader/

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

May Allah reward you and give you the absolute best in your choice of marriage for your world and hereafter.

Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Marrying My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I was born and raised in UAE and lived there for 14 years with my family and then we shifted back to Pakistan. Now that I am 18, my family is planning to shift back to the UAE. I have been in a relationship for 3 years here and when I told him about us shifting, he proposed a nikah so that our relationship would be accepted and halal. I want this, too, but how do I talk to my parents as they won’t let me marry at 18 years old.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I commend you for willing to make your relationship halal and for wanting to step out of the sin that you are currently committing. May Allah reward you for your intention and open a way for what is best for you.

Talking to parents

There really is no way around it. You will have to speak to your parents and tell them that you have found someone that you believe suits you and your family. You don’t need to reveal your illicit relationship to them, as that would break their hearts, and Muslims may not reveal their sins to others.

You may even consider asking a third party to sit down with your parents and recommend this boy to them so that it’s not only coming from you. Another option is for the boy to come directly to your parents with his father, and they officially propose. Or, his mother could call your mother and tell her that she would like to propose marriage. Involving the parents would be the most honorable way. Of course, his parents would have to be convinced, first.

Then if your parents were to accept, both parties could agree on a timeline for a nikah and wedding reception. An immediate nikah would be optimal so that the relationship becomes halal, but you would have to wait for your parents’ permission. A delayed nikah is better than nothing and you should consider yourself blessed if they agree, even if they make you wait.

If they refuse

If your parents refuse this official proposal, first discuss the reasons with them. If they want you to complete university, promise them that you will. Perhaps you can meet halfway. Complete half of your degree, and then marry, and then complete the other half. If they feel they don’t know the boy, perhaps you can have them sit down and get to know each other. If they have some other concerns, try to address it and use politeness and good character to convince them.

If they refuse, even after many discussions, then you are left with no choice. You will have to move on and allow your heart to heal and find someone else at the right time and in the right way. If this happens, don’t ever tell your future spouse about him.

For now

For now, you should repent and cease all physical contact with him. You both have to make a major decision and there is no sense in dragging this on if it will not lead to fruition. Get serious, stop seeing him, make a good intention, and start working on convincing your parents. If it doesn’t work, make the painful break and start the healing process. Don’t ever allow yourself to be used and disrespected in this manner again. May Allah make it easy for you and guide you to the best decision.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better” [Musnad of Ahmad].

Please see the link below:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-am-in-an-impermissible-but-healthy-relationship-what-should-i-do/

[Ustadh] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Disclosing Past Sings

Question: I used to smoke a lot of recreational marijuana and drink alcohol occasionally. By the will of God, I have not touched either in over six years or have any desire or intention to try them again. Should I tell my fiancé about my past with these drugs? I’m afraid of the small chance that she hears from someone else, that she will be extremely saddened and not trust me.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. First, I want to congratulate you on beating your habit and transforming yourself for the better. May Allah continue to keep you on the right path and increase you in every blessing and goodness.

Hadith on disclosing sins

Abu Hurayra reports that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, All my Community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such, while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under the cover of Allah, and they rendered Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning” [Bukhari and Muslim].

The Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “The one who [sincerely] repents from sin is like the one who has no sin” [Ibn Majah].

Do not inform her

It is not permissible for her to ask about your past or current sins, nor for you to disclose them. You have left the past behind you and it should stay there. If you fear that someone else might disclose it to her, it is permissible to deny it. Fearing another’s action doesn’t permit you to do something impermissible. Ask Allah to keep these sins in the hidden past and to protect you both from its evil consequences.

See this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-we-deny-having-committed-sins-after-we

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Giving Salams to Non-Mahrams

Turning Back to Allah

Question: What are the rules and practices around a woman giving salaams to a non-mahram man? I have been told conflicting information: one side says to give salams to all Muslims and the other says that, as a woman, I’m only to greet women and unmarriageable (mahram) men.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

The ruling

It says in the Reliance of the Traveller,

“r33.1 (Nahlawi:) It is offensive (def: r32.0) to greet with “as-Salamu ‘alaykum” anyone who is: (…) (8) a young lady who is not a member of one’s unmarriageable kin (dis: r32.6); [pp. 768-769].

Ustadh Abdullah Misra mentions, “A young un-related woman and a man do not have to reply to the other’s salams out loud (many scholars say they actually shouldn’t salam in the first place if they are only addressing each other without necessity, as a way to prevent unnecessary interaction).

Using wisdom

According to the above, we can see that a man or woman should not be greeting the opposite gender if they are not related to them. However, if one feels that a relationship with, say, a cousin, or a brother-in-law, will be strained, or worse, that this will push them away from Islam, one may use tact and wisdom to determine whether one should greet them or return their greeting aloud. Generally speaking, politeness, affability, and kindness was the approach of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace. May we all follow his great example and take him as our ultimate role model.

Please see this excellent article about all the etiquettes, rulings, and habits concerning the salam:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/forgotten-sunnas-greetings-peace/

May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.