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Are My Cousins Mahrams to Me? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Are my cousins mahrams to me? Can I marry one of them?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.

The children of aunts and uncles are cousins to one another. Cousins are not mahrams to each other, and therefore, it is permissible for cousins to marry each other.

[al Yaqout al Nafis]

Please see also: Who is Mahram

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Who Becomes Mahrams When Two Parents Marry?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My father is getting married again soon.

My step mother to be has 4 children, 1 son and 3 daughters. My family is also 1 boy and 3 girls.

Will anyone become mahram to anyone?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. I’m sorry to hear about the recent passing away of your mother. May Allah have mercy upon her and make easy your grief. I also pray that Allah grants your father a blessed marriage and that it is a source of goodness for you all.

Mahrams through marriage

When two families are combined through the marriage of parents, the following rules of mahrams apply:

– Your step mother will become you and your siblings’ mahram the moment the marriage contract between your father and your step mother is finalised.

– Your father will become mahram to your step mother’s children once the marriage contract is finalised and their marriage is consummated.

– None of the children from either family become mahram to each other through the marriage of one parent to another. This means that all the correct rules and etiquettes need to be observed with each other (from the opposite sex). If you’re living in one house, this may require a little bit of thought and working out how best to setup living arrangements and house rules. However, many people do resolve these matters and live very happily, so insha’Allah you can work around this.

– Any children born to your father and your step mother will be mahram to all the siblings on both sides.

I hope this clarifies the matter for you. May Allah grant you all happiness.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Are Step Siblings From Each Other’s Unmarriageable Kin (Mahram)?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

If two individuals who are divorced and have kids from their previous marriages marry, what is the shariah ruling (mahram or non-mahram) regarding the kids from the previous marriages?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah,

No, step siblings are not from each other’s unmarriageable kin (mahram).

As such, the girl would need to cover up in front of the stepbrother.

This is contrary to half-siblings who are in fact actual siblings.

Please see also: Who is Mahram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Can My Brother-In-Law Be My “Mahram” for a Trip?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I am a 22 year old woman and this year I have applied for Hajj and I have planned to go with my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law.

Can they be my mahram? Can I get a visa?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, your brother-in-law is not from your unmarriageable kin (mahram). This is because a mahram is somebody whom it is impermissible for you to ever marry, and this does not apply to your brother-in-law.

Godfearing scholars have stated that women may travel as long it is safe and dignified for them to do so. It is, however, often recommended to perform the pilgrimages with a mahram as fulfilling the rites can get difficult.

As for the specific visa process, you’ll need to consult with your local travel agents to see what the current process is.

[Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha fi al-Hazr wa al-Ibaha (56-57)]

Please see: Who is Mahram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

My Uncle Is Sexually Attracted to My Sister. What Should We Do?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have an uncle who is sexually attracted to my sister. He ignores his wife and kids who are suffering from this. My sister doesn’t mind the behavior of my uncle. I am very tense and frustrated because of this issue.

What should his wife do? Can we go out with him or talk with him?

Answer: Thank you for your question. I pray you are well.

Mahrams (non-marriageable kin)

Your uncle is your mahram and the general rule is you can talk to each other, go out together, be in seclusion, and see parts of the awra that is not ordinarily seen outside the house. Normal affectionate physical contact between an uncle and a niece is also permissible, such as affectionate hugging, kissing on the cheek and head etc. Any sexual contact or inclination, however, is strictly prohibited.

Good opinion and Confirming facts

The first thing to do is to confirm facts. Your uncle may be close to your sister, but what are the reasons you think he is sexually attracted to her? Before saying or doing anything about the situation, you must work out if it is true or not. Is it possible that he just feels very comfortable and close with her, as an uncle is permitted to be with a niece?

To find out what the relationship is based on, you may have to speak to one or both of them directly. Your sister has explained that she talks normally to her uncle, and she may not see the point you are making. It may well be that your uncle and his wife’s relationship suffers because of his closeness to your sister, and I’m sure if there is constant communication and affection directed at your niece then this may upset his wife and children, but at the end of the day, he/they may not be doing anything wrong in the specific way you have mentioned, even if they do talk all the time or hold hands. Your uncle’s marriage may have its own problems, and he may confide in your sister in a way he can not to his wife, children, or others.

Possibilities and Courses of action

If it is unclear if there is a sexual attraction between your uncle and your sister, or they deny it and there is nothing to suggest that it is more than a very close uncle-niece relationship, then you should accept that is what it is. However, because it is causing issues with his wife, and she understandably feels upset and even jealous about their close relationship, this needs to resolved, perhaps by trying to convince your uncle and sister to at least talk to and see less of each other than they are currently doing. If they won’t listen or talk to you, try to get a close friend or family member who may be able to mediate. Perhaps you could approach your uncle’s wife and have her suggest marriage counselling to your uncle or some other platform where she can express herself with a third party present. As mentioned, it may be that they have their own marital problems and by resolving these, your uncle may diminish the time he spends with your sister, or their spending time together may stop being an issue for his wife.

If, however it becomes certain that there is sexual chemistry in the relationship, then this is of course prohibited, and your sister specifically should distance herself from him immediately, and at least until things change, cut off communication. If she does not listen to you, then again, try to get a trustworthy third party involved. In such case, you can also distance yourself from your uncle in as much as you feel there is a genuine need to.

Turning to Allah Most High

Remember that Allah Most High is in control of everything that happens. When things get difficult for us or those we love, our first course of action should always be turn to Him for guidance, support and success. I suggest you pray the Prayer of Need (Haja) and ask Allah Most High to resolve the situation and any tension it is causing you and the family. You can find out how to pray it here.

I wish you and your family all the best and that Allah removes anything harmful from your lives and replaces it with goodness and peace.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Is the Father-In-Law Still a Mahram After the Husband Passes Away?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Will the father-in-law continue to be a Mahram for the woman when her husband passes away?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes. The father-in-law of a woman will remain her mahram even after the passing of her husband. This is clear from the Qur’anic verse: “and also prohibited for you are the wives of your sons.” (4:23)

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Can I Marry to My Mother’s Brother’s Widow?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Can I marry to my mother’s brother’s widow?

I don’t have any blood relation with her.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, it would be permitted to marry your mother’s brother’s widow.

This is on condition that you are not already married to a blood relative, such as a niece, of the lady in question. If that is the case, it would be impermissible because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) interdicted marrying a lady and her aunt. [Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud]

Similary, you cannot marry this lady during her waiting period (`idda). You can see the attached answers below regarding this. And further, please try to get some elders involved so that you don’t make any decisions which cause issues in your family.

[Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (412)]

Please also see: Who is Mahram? and: Did the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) Discourage Marrying Cousins? and: Basic Rulings and Length of the Waiting Period (`idda)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Is My Wife’s Aunt From My Mahram?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is my wife’s paternal aunt from my mahram?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, you are not from the unmarriageable kin (mahram) of your wife’s paternal aunt.

The basis with respect to the opposite gender is prohibition (hurma), unless there is an established relationship between the two parties.

In the case of your marriage, the only persons who normally become your unmarriageable kin are (1) your wife’s mothers [= mother, grandmothers and upwards], and (2) your wife’s daughters [= daughter, granddaughters and down].

However, whilst you are married to your wife, you cannot marry her aunt, just as you cannot marry her sister.

[Qadri Pasha, al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya (9); Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (411)]

Please also see: Who is Mahram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Should I Treat My Male Cousins in the Same Way I Treat Strangers on the Street?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question:  Assalam aleykum,

I reverted to Islam earlier this year. My family is completely Christian. I come from a culture in which everyone is friendly with each other and everyone’s basically cousins.

How am I meant to maintain my ties with my family, specifically my male cousins and other extended family members? How can I treat my male cousins in the same way I treat the strangers on the street?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

Family Ties

MashaAllah, may Allah reward you for your sincere concern towards your family.

When it comes to maintaining family ties, try to keep these pointers to keep in mind:

1) know your limits as defined by the Shari’ah
2) use wisdom and tact
3) give gifts to soften hearts
4) make daily dua for Allah to guide your family to Islam
5) make dua for Allah to improve your character and your dealings with your family

Abu Huraira reported that a person said: “Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness).” [Sahih Muslim]

In terms of priority, good treatment of your mother comes first, then your father, then your close blood relations.

Non-Mahram Relatives

As with any great life change, please give yourself and your family plenty of time to adjust. I don’t recommend going ‘cold turkey’ by immediately becoming cold towards your non-mahram family members. If you meet them at family gatherings, be polite, ask them about their families, then excuse yourself. Don’t go out of your way to avoid them, nor go out of your way to be close to them. Most people resist change, even if it is better for them, because we are creatures of habit. Take small steps towards distancing yourself, and over time, it will get easier for you, inshaAllah.

Aunty

Try to put yourself in your aunty’s shoes. She is probably upset that you have left the religion of your forefathers, and she may be trying to make sense of the person you are today. Concepts like mahram and non-mahram are probably confusing and upsetting to her. Try a different approach. Reassure her that you are still her niece, and that you still love her and the rest of your family. You may do some things differently now, but that doesn’t change how important she is to you, and so on. Do nice things with her e.g. go to the park, have a meal together, go on a family holiday etc. Over time, I pray that she will see how becoming Muslim has made you a better version of yourself.

Some issues are difficult to explain to non-Muslim family members. However, many challenges can be indirectly solved simply by having patience and exercising good character. Remember that Allah is the Turner of Hearts.

I pray that Allah helps you make good on your Islam, beautifies your character, and guides the rest of your family to Islam.

Please see:

A Convert Dealing with Non-Muslim Parents
How Should I Interact With Non-Mahram (Marriageable) Males?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

Can a Woman Go to Hajj With Her Sister and Her Borther in Law?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: A sister in Bangladesh is wanting to go to hajj and claims that her husband is in no mental state to take her. Her three sons cannot return back to Bangladesh to accompany their mother.

The mother is now asking whether she would be able to go along with her older sister and her sister’s husband (her brother-in-law), to Hajj?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

According to some scholars, such as those of the Hanafi school, there is no obligation of Hajj on a woman who cannot find a mahram to accompany her.

Other scholars, however, allow women to travel without a mahram for the obligatory Hajj on condition that she be accompanied by a group of upright individuals or even a single upright woman. Some scholars allowed a woman to travel alone for the obligatory Hajj provided the journey was safe.

Given these opinions and the circumstances surrounding the woman you describe, she may go to Hajj without a mahram accompanied by her sister and brother-in-law or another group of people

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

قال النووي في المجموع: قد ذكرنا تفصيل مذهبنا في حج المراة وذكرنا ان الصحيح أنه يجوز لها في سفر حج الفرض أن تخرج مع نسوة ثقات أو أمراة ثقة ولا يشترط المحرم ولا يجوز في التطوع وسفر التجارة والزيارة ونحوهما الا بمحرم وقال بعض أصحابنا يجوز بغير نساء ولا امراة إذا كان الطريق آمناً وبهذا قال الحسن البصري وداود وقال مالك لا يجوز بامرأة ثقة وانما يجوز بمحرم أو نسوة ثقات وقال أبو حنيفة واحمد لا يجوز الا مع زوج أو محرم (ج.٨ ص.١٢-٢١١ ط. الارشاد)

قال الكاساني في بدائع الصنائع: وأما الذي يخص النساء فشرطان أحدهما أن يكون معها زوجها أو محرم لها فإن لم يوجد أحدهما لا يجب عليها الحج (ج.٢ ص.١٢٣ ط. العلمية)

قال الحطاب في مواهب الجليل: ويشترط في وجوب الحج على المرأة أيضا وجود زوج أو محرم فإن لم يكن لها محرم ولا زوج فيجب عليها الخروج للحج في الفرض في رفقة مأمونة (ج.٣ ص.٤٨٨ ط. الفكر)

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.