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Are My Grandparents’ Siblings and My Father-In-Law’s Brothers From My Unmarriageable Kin (Mahram)?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

1. Are my grandparents siblings mahram to me?

2. Are my father-in-law’s brothers (uncles-in-law) mahram to me?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

A person is from your unmarriageable kin (mahram) when they are immediately related to you, (a) by blood (qaraba), (b) through marriage (sihriyya) or (c) through nursing (rada`a). For details, please see: Who is Mahram

1. Yes, your great-uncles, namely, your grandfather’s brothers, are from your unmarriageable kin (mahram).

2. No, your father-in-law’s brothers are not from your unmarriageable kin (mahram).

[Qadri Pasha, al-Ahkam al-Shar`iyya fi al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya (Article 22)]

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Kevin Schoenmakers

Is My Non-Muslim Father’s Unmarried Partner My Mahram?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My non-Muslim father cohabits with a woman. Would she become my mahram if they had intercourse, even without being married?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for wanting to do that which pleases Allah.

No, his partner is not your mahram. If he marries her, then she becomes your step-mother, and will become your mahram.

Please refer to the following link:

Who is Mahram

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Grand River Conservation Authority

Can I Pray in Public With a Man Who Is Not Related to Me?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: As a woman, is it permissible to pray with a non-mahram man when it is just the two of us and we are in a public area (not secluded) but relatively empty?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The basis is that such a prayer would be valid and permitted in light of it being in a public place provided the interaction between the two individuals is appropriate and adheres to Islamic norms of gender interaction. [Ibn Abidin, Hashiya (1:381)]

With this said, it may still be best to avoid this unless there are other factors involved, such as concern for safety in public when praying alone or the like.

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Heather Anne Campbell

Can a Woman Travel Alone for More Than 48 Miles If There Is a Benefit?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I want to attend a 2 weeks Islamic retreat which is around 200 miles away from my home.

Unfortunately I have been unable to arrange for a mahram to accompany me. Is it permissible for me to attend this retreat?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

You may attend such an event without a mahram provided the journey is safe, which is generally the case.

The ruling of the Hanafi school is stricter on this issue since it stipulates a mahram for any travel undertaken by a woman exceeding the travel-distance, which is 48 miles. Two-hundred miles would be included in this as it well exceeds such a distance.

However, the position I have seen adopted by my teachers and other scholars, is allowance of such a journey if there is: (a) need or benefit, and (b) the travel is safe. This has been mentioned as fulfilling the major conditions of the Maliki school according to Shaykh Rami Nsour who adds the condition that the actual journey itself should last less than 24 hours. Most travel today lasts less than this.

This position of permissibility is also lent support by some scholars in other schools, such as the Hanbali and Shafi’i schools. [Ibn Muflih, al-Furu (3:236); al-Nawawi, al-Majmu (8:342); Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (4:76)]

Due to the difference of opinion on the issue, a number of contemporary scholars have permitted women to travel without a mahram for educational purposes, visiting parents, and so forth when the conditions of safety and security are met, which are generally fulfilled by modern modes of transportation. These scholars include Shaykh Qara Daghi, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and the European Fatwa Council.

Please see: Can a Women Travel Alone for Islamic Educational Purposes? [Maliki School]

And Allah alone know best
Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is My Half-Brother From My Unmarriageable Kin (Mahram)?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

If a brother and sister had the same mother but different fathers, and were NOT breastfed then will they be mahram (unmarriageable) to each other?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

A half-sibling is one who shares a parent with you, and such a person is from your unmarriageable kin (mahram). This is contrary to your stepbrother or stepsister who are not considered as such. [Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i fi Tartib al-Shara`i]

Allah Most High said, “You are forbidden to take as wives your mothers, daughters, sisters, paternal and maternal aunts, the daughters of brothers and daughters of sisters, your milk-mothers and milk-sisters, your wives’ mothers, the stepdaughters in your care– those born of women with whom you have consummated marriage, if you have not consummated the marriage, then you will not be blamed– wives of your begotten sons, two sisters simultaneously– with the exception of what is past: God is most forgiving and merciful.” [4.23]

Please see: Who is Mahram and: Are My Half-Brothers Unmarriageable Kin (mahram)?

And Allah alone knows best.

في البدائع للإمام الكاساني: وتحرم عليه أخواته وعماته وخالاته بالنص وهو قوله عز وجل: {وأخواتكم وعماتكم وخالاتكم} سواء كن لأب وأم أو لأب أو لأم لإطلاق اسم الأخت والعمة والخالة، ويحرم عليه عمة أبيه وخالته لأب وأم أو لأب أو لأم اهـ.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What Are the Consequences for My Family After Breastfeeding My Brother’s Daughter?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have breastfed my brother’s eldest daughter. Will my son become a mahram to other kids (meaning siblings of the child I breastfed) as well? Will my son become mahram to my brother’s wife?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The general case is that the child who is nursed is considered to be akin to a member of the family, yet this ruling is not applicable to the siblings of the nursed child.

As an example, Zaid and Khalida have two children: Sara and Ahmad. Khalida nurses her friend’s son Dawud. Dawud is now considered to be a milk brother to both Sara and Ahmad. However, Dawud’s sister, Mona, remains unrelated to the family and could marry Ahmad if she so wanted.

[Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i fi Tartib al-Shara`i]

I hope that is clear, insha’Allah.

Please also see: Adoption and Creating a Mahram Relationship Through Nursing

And Allah alone knows best.

في البدائع للإمام الكاساني: ويجوز للرجل أن يتزوج أخت أخيه لأبيه من النسب وصورته منكوحة أبيه إذا ولدت ابنا ولها بنت من زوج آخر؛ فهي أخت أخيه لأبيه فيجوز له أن يتزوجها، وكذا يجوز للرجل أن يتزوج أخت أخته من الرضاع وهذا ظاهر اهـ.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a Woman Perform a ‘Mujra’ or Any Other Dance in Front of Her Brother?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Can a girl perform a ‘mujra’ or any other dance in front of her own brother without music?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Dancing in front of someone of non-marriageable kin (mahram) would be permitted if: (a) it is done with one’s nakedness covered (b) in a manner that does not lead to fear of sexual arousal, and (c) not distinguishably of the type primarily associated with the corrupt and immoral.

Regarding the Mujra, it has negative connotations among people today with its association with prostitutes and its origin is also not something that can be religiously sanctioned. Therefore, it should be avoided. Other forms of dance that fulfill the three conditions mentioned above would be permitted.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What Is the Distance a Woman Can Journey Alone?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Is it permissible for a woman to travel alone to visit her grandmother in an hospital which is 30 km from her home?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Yes, you can visit her provided it is safe to do so.

According to the Hanafi school, it is permitted for a woman to journey up to the travel distance (approximately 48 miles) without a member of her unmarriageable kin (mahram).

Travelling beyond this is impermissible in view of the words of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), “A woman should not travel for three days [= travel distance] without a close male relative.” [Bukhari]

Please also see: The Definition of a Resident Person & Traveler and: Can a Women Travel Alone for Islamic Educational Purposes? [Maliki School]

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Pursue Her Studies in a Foreign Country Without a Mahram?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam Alaikum,

Does the Hanafi school deem permissible for a woman to pursue higher education in a foreign country without a mahram?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

According to the Maliki school, a woman may travel by herself without a mahram as long as the trip is not longer than 24 hours.

Please see: Can a Women Travel Alone for Islamic Educational Purposes? [Maliki School]

It is permitted to take a dispensation from another school in the presence of a need or benefit.

Please see: Do I Have to Follow Every Single Ruling of My School of Thought?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Perform an Obligatory Hajj Without a Mahram? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I am an educated female, never married, teaching in a university. Can I perform hajj with a female colleague going with her mahram? My parents have given permission to proceed to the holy journey.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is permissible for a woman to perform an obligatory Hajj without a mahram, even were she to travel alone, so long as she is reasonably sure of her well-being. Traveling with a woman and her mahram also accomplishes this goal.
Beyond the legal permissibility, you should also ensure that your travel plans accord with the host country’s rules and regulations in place for the pilgrimage.

Source: al-Hawashi al-Madaniyyah

Please see also: Can a Women Travel Alone for Islamic Educational Purposes? [Maliki School]

Shuaib Ally