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Making purdah from cousins and close relatives

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I live in a practicing muslim family. As i grew up and realized the rules of shariah, i observed that although my family is quite strict in following shariah, we do not make PARDAH(VEIL) from our cousins and close relatives for example my family would not allow my wife to be in pardah from my brothers. This thing disturbs me immensly now that i’ve become more sensitive about following the rules of islam. I want to know the exact rulings which i can put in front of my family to convince them to start making these things right.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, it is incumbent on a female to observe the Shar’i hijab from ghair mahram. A ghair mahram is he with whom nikah is principally correct. The following males are a woman’s mahram:[1]

1)     Her father, paternal and maternal grandfathers, great grandfathers etc.

2)     Her son, step son, grandson, great grandson etc.

3)     Her father’s brothers as well as her mother’s brothers

4)     Her nephews

5)     Her brothers and half brothers

6)     Her father in law, his parents and grandparents etc.

Every other male besides the above are ghair mahrams and it is haram for a female to expose her face or any other parts of her body in front of ghair mahrams.

Consider the following verse of the Quran:

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ

Translation: And tell the Mu’mineen women that they should lower their gazes (not look at non-Mahram men with lust) and preserve their chastity (not look at or do anything that may lead to adultery or fornication or lesbianism). They (women) must not expose (anything that reveals) their beauty (whether it is parts of the body, jewellery or clothing), except what becomes apparent of it (the outer garment, which obviously cannot be concealed when a woman leaves her home). And they should wear their scarves over their bosoms (to cover their heads as well as their breasts, unlike the scarves worn during the Period of Ignorance, which covered only the top of the head). They may expose their beauty (the face, head, arms and feet) to only their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, their women (other muslim women), their (female) slaves, those male servants who have no passions (those men who are not mentally alert and who have no interest in women. Women have nothing to fear from them and are not attracted to them), or children who are not aware of women’s private parts (those immature boys who are unaware of the anatomy and distinct features of women). [2]

Contemplate on the following hadith:

عَنْ عُقْبَةَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ إِيَّاكُمْ وَالدُّخُولَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَرَأَيْتَ الْحَمْوَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْحَمْوُ الْمَوْتُ ‏”‏‏


Narrated `Uqba bin ‘Amir:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Beware of entering upon the ladies.” A man from the Ansar said, “Allah’s Apostle! What about Al-Hamu the in-laws of the wife (the brothers of her husband or his nephews etc.)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied: The in-laws of the wife are death itself.

It is generally not a matter which is frowned upon, that is for a woman’s brother in law etc to be in her vicinity and even in seclusion with her despite there being the temptation of easily falling into shitaans trap and the inevitable would occur. It would be a means of destruction in this world as well as the hereafter for all parties concerned. Hence, a woman should avoid seclusion with her brother in laws etc. the way she would avoid a situation that could lead to her death.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Aboobakr Siddeeq bin Mufti Amjad Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa

Azaadville, JHB, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]  النتف في الفتاوى للسغدي (1/ 253)

الْحُرْمَة المؤبدة بِالنّسَبِ

فَأَما النّسَب فَهُوَ الرَّحِم الْمحرم وهم أَرْبَعَة اصناف

فالصنف الاول الْآبَاء والامهات والاجداد والجدات وان علوا

والصنف الثَّانِي الاولاد واولاد الاولاد من الذُّكُور الاناث وَإِن سفلوا

والصنف الثَّالِث الاخوة والاخوات من اي وَجه كَانُوا لاب وام أَو لاب أَو لَام وَأَوْلَاد جَمِيعهم وان بعدوا

والصنف الرَّابِع الاعمام والعمات والاخوال والخالات واعمام وعمات واخوال وخالات الْآبَاء والامهات والاجداد والجدات وان علوا من اية جِهَة كَانُوا لاب وام أَو لاب اَوْ لَام يحرمُونَ بِأَنْفسِهِم

واما أَوْلَاد جَمِيع هَذَا الصِّنْف واولاد اولادهم وان سفلوا فان التناكح والتسري يحل فِيمَا بَينهم من جَمِيع وُجُوه الْقرَابَات وهم ارحام لَا محارم


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 28)

(قوله: قرابة) كفروعه وهم بناته وبنات أولاده، وإن سفلن، وأصوله وهم أمهاته وأمهات أمهاته وآبائه إن علون وفروع أبويه، وإن نزلن فتحرم بنات الإخوة والأخوات وبنات أولاد الإخوة والأخوات، وإن نزلن وفروع أجداده وجداته ببطن واحد فلهذا تحرم العمات والخالات وتحل بنات العمات والأعمام والخالات والأخوال فتح

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ -2928)

(قوله: وحرم على المتزوج) أي مريد التزوج، وقوله: ذكرا كان أو أنثى بيان لفائدة إرجاع الضمير إلى المتزوج الشامل لهما لا إلى الرجل، فإن ما يحرم على الرجل يحرم على الأنثى إلا ما يختص بأحد الفريقين بدليله، فالمراد هنا أن الرجل كما يحرم عليه تزوج أصله أو فرعه كذلك يحرم على المرأة تزوج أصلها أو فرعها، وكما يحرم عليه تزوج بنت أخيه يحرم عليها تزوج ابن أخيها وهكذا، فيؤخذ في جانب المرأة نظير ما يؤخذ في جانب الرجل لا عينه وهذا معنى، قوله في المنح: كما يحرم على الرجل أن يتزوج بمن ذكر يحرم على المرأة أن تتزوج بنظير من ذكر. اهـ.

فلا يقال إنه يلزم أن يصير المعنى يحرم على المرأة أن تتزوج بنت أخيها؛ لأن نظير بنت الأخ في جانب الرجل ابن الأخ في جانب المرأة ولا يرد أيضا أنه يلزم من حرمة تزوج الرجل بأصله كأمه حرمة تزوجها بفرعها هذا؛ لأن التصريح باللازم غير معيب فافهم.

القرآن الكريم – سورة النساء – أية ٢٣

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الْأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الْأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللَّاتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَائِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّاتِي فِي حُجُورِكُمْ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمُ اللَّاتِي دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَائِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَابِكُمْ وَأَنْ تَجْمَعُوا بَيْنَ الْأُخْتَيْنِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

Translation: Forbidden for you are (it is Haraam for you to marry) your mothers (and your grandmothers), your daughters (and granddaughters), your sisters (half and full), your father’s (and grandfather’s) sisters, your mother’s (and grandmother’s) sisters, your brother’s daughters (and granddaughters), your sister’s daughters (and granddaughters), your suckling mothers (those women who breastfed you before you turned two years of age. All the daughters, granddaughters, sisters, aunts, mother and grandmothers of the suckling mother may also not marry the child she breastfed.), your suckling sisters (those girls who were breastfed by the same woman who breastfed you), your mothers-in-law and those stepdaughters of yours (girls who are born to your wife from another man) who are in your care and with those mothers you have had intercourse (with whose mothers your marriage has been consummated). If you have not had intercourse with them (you have not consummated your marriage with the mothers of these step daughters), then there is no sin on you (should you marry their daughters after divorcing the mothers). (Also forbidden for you are) The wives of your sons who were born of you (the wives of your biological sons. However, you may marry the ex-wives of your adopted sons.), and (also forbidden is) that you join (that you marry) two sisters (real sisters, half-sisters or suckling sisters). Except what has passed (you will not be sinful for what you did before becoming a Muslim). (In a like manner, a man may not have a woman and her aunt in his marriage at the same time. He may only have one in his marriage at a time.) Without doubt Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.


فتاویٰ محمودیہ – (299 /11)

اصول: ماں،نانی،دادی وغیرہ – فروع:بیٹی،پوتی،نواسی وغیرہ – اصل قریب کی فروع: بہن،بھانجی،نھتیجی وغیرہ – اصل بعید کی صلبی اولاد: خالہ،پھوپی ……………… یہ عورتیں ہمیشہ کے لئے حرام ہے


[2]  القرآن الكريم – سورة النور – أية ٣١

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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