Is My Stepmother’s Sister from My Unmarriageable Kin (Mahram)?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum,

Is my stepmother’s sister from my unmarriageable kin (mahram)?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

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

No, your stepmother’s sister is not from your unmarriageable kin (mahram).

You should avoid direct contact with her, but do so in a tactful manner.

Please see also: Who is Mahram

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Walk Around Topless in Front of Unmarriageable Kin?

Question: I am a married woman living with my in-laws i.e. father-in-law, mother in-law and my husband’s sister. My husband says I can merely cover between my navel and knees in front of them because they are unmarriageable to me and there is no sign of lust or fitna. My husband also says that they can also touch those parts if needed as they are unlawful to marry and if there is no lust. Please tell me if this is correct or not.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The nakedness (`awra) of a woman in front of her unmarriageable kin (mahram) is from navel to knee, stomach and the back. [see: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)]
Note that the entire back is considered to be from the nakedness, not just the back of the stomach.
Uncovering the chest area would not be prohibited in and of itself, yet would be contrary to the dictates of modesty and what is befitting for a dignified Muslim woman. A sense of bashfulness and covering up are keys to taqwa. The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Modesty is from faith.”
See: Modesty in Islam – Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa – Video and: IslamCast Daily Hadith – 018 – Modesty is From Faith
And Allah alone gives success.
Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is a Father Who Molests His Daughter Still Considered Her Mahram (Unmarriageable Kin)?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: What punishment is given to a father who (sexually) molests his own daughter? Is he still considered her mahram?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

As salamu alaikum,

All praises are for Allah Most High, the Gently Kind and Loving. I’m very sorry to hear about this. Allah is on the side of the innocent child who has been violated through this abominable crime, and will call the perpetrator to full justice on the Day of Judgment. That will indeed be a day more horrifying for the oppressors than one can imagine. The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Beware of oppression, for indeed oppression will be waves of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

Someone who has been affected by this should not delay in seeking counseling, through professional channels, as well as a mature scholar in the community. They should make Allah their closest companion through constant supplication and remembrance. Whereas the prayers of so many people have a veil between them and Allah, for this person, Allah has removed all veils for them. The Prophet [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said, “Fear the supplication of the oppressed person, for there is no veil between it and Allah.” [Bukhari]

Punishment for Crimes and the Recompense of those Afflicted

While descriptions of punishments for certain crimes were told to us, this was done to give mankind a glimpse at how terrible the torment of Hellfire is for the wrongdoers; surely there are punishments for other crimes that we do not know of, but that are beyond description and imagination.

In exchange, those who were wronged will be recompensed immensely for what they patiently had to live with in this life, according to the severity of what they went through. As Allah promised His beloved Prophet: “And the Hereafter will indeed be better for you than what came before.” [Quran 94:4]

Is the Father Still Considered a Mahram? What Are the Legal Implications?

As for whether the father is still considered a mahram (unmarriageable relative), he would technically still be a mahram to the daughter. However, it would be obligatory upon the daughter to avoid all situations of seclusion with the father, given his corruption and untrustworthiness.

This would be true of whether something actually occurred, or something like this is feared will happen. Thus, if he is her sole mahram, Hajj would not be obligatory for her, as the father would not be fit to travel alone with her as a guardian. This is what I have learned upon consulting Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, one of the world’s foremost jurists specializing in family issues according to Islamic Sacred Law.

True Healing is Through the Remembrance of Allah

The final thing to remember is that true healing occurs only by completely giving one’s pain and grief up to Allah in devotion, and through that, realizing His never-ending warmth, love and mercy for you. He says, “Lo, by the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest.” [Quran 13:28]

We ask Allah Most High to make it easy for those who have suffered from this and to heal their hearts, and to eradicate this abominable crime from our communities.


Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is My Maternal Uncle Considered by Mahram (Unmarrigeable Kin)?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I was abandoned by my father at birth and I don’t know my paternal family. Moreover my maternal grandfather is dead and I don’t have a brother. I was raised by my mother but above all by my maternal uncle. He has been like my father.  I  searched for my father and I found him, but he left again soon after I found him.  Is my uncle considered as my mahram? What about my father who didn’t raise me?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

May Allah grant you ease and facilitation.

A mahram is an individual to whom marriage is permanently imperrmissible and invalid. This permanent impermission and invalidity is established by (a) kinship, (b) foster relations, or (c) marriage relations. [Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

Your maternal uncle is considered your mahram on account of kinship. Similarly, your father will also still be considered your mahram, as well as many other members of your family such as your grandparents, brothers, nephews, maternal uncles, and paternal uncles.

Apart from the ruling of it being impermissible to marry one’s mahram, there are also other important rules that need to be taken into account. The rules of hijab do not apply between an individual and their mahram, though modesty needs to be emphasized at all times. Similarly, rulings related to interaction between an individual and their mahram are more lax than between an individual and a non-mahram, as long as their is no fear of inappropriate actions and the like.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Are First Cousins Considered Like Brother and Sister for the Purposes of Marriage?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: One of my relative is about to marry his father’s own brother’s daughter.  Isn’t he a mahram to her? Aren’t they like brother and sister. Is it allowed in Islam?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

It is permitted to marry one’s cousin. This is clear. [Mawsili, al-Mukhtar li’l Fatwa; Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

The scenario you mention seems to indicate that he is marrying his cousin. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Examples from the Sunna

Examples from the sunna include that of the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her), his cousin; and that of Sayyiduna Hanzala (Allah be pleased with him) who married his cousin Jamila bint Ibn Ubayy.

The Conclusion

The upshot is that they are not considered like brother and sister. Far from it, rather, they are considered to be two unrelated people. He is not of the unmarriageable kin (mahram) for her; hence they would observe proper etiquette accordingly.

Related Answers:

[1] Are First Cousin Marriages Permissible in Islam?

[2] The Ruling of First Cousin Marriages: A Balanced Perspective

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani