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Relationship to family members

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Assalamu alaykum Respected Mufti Sahib, I have been observing purda along time ago but unfortunately it was not the correct purda i.e. there was no purda from immediate family members like cousins and sister’s husbands. Now Alhamdulillah Allah has given me the ability to do purda the right way and I have started doing purda from all of them which also means not talking to them. I have always observed purda from my husband’s brothers and have never spoken to them since I got married. This was no big issue for them because they understand the command of Allah and do not feel bad if I don’t talk to them. As for my family members they are unaware of some of the orders of Allah and for this reason they are feeling upset that I don’t talk to them anymore. Before starting purda with my family I had informed the mothers of my cousins and my older sisters about the whole issue and told them to tell the males not to feel bad about it. They think I have cut ties with them and they feel broken hearted. They think that I have bad and rude Akhlaq that I can’t even say Salam to them any more. I had always had my intentions pure and clean and had no intention to hurt or insult them. Please help me and counsel me on what to do. Am I allowed to give Salams to my same age cousins and brother in laws? What are the etiquettes of the phone when they call?


It is not permissible to talk to non-mahram family members. Indeed maintaining unity with relatives is an important injunction of Shari?ah as well, however, that is without violating other laws of Allah. If male family members make salaam, you may reply to the salaam softly, and not in a sweet voice. Salaam should be given as long as there is no fear of fitna.When they call you can talk only what is necessary.

They should understand: Allah Taãla mentions in the Noble Qur’an, ‘(O Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), tell the believing males to lower their gazes. tell the believing females to lower their gazes …’ (Quran 24:29-30). The injunction of lowering the gaze is clear that it is not permissible for strange males and females to look at one another. Due to the immorality of times and weakness of resistance, it is compulsory for a female to cover her face which is the focus of her beauty. The covering of the face conveniently facilitates the accomplishment of the purpose of lowering the gaze.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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