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Is it permissible for me and my wife can share 2 bedroom apartment with my elder brother?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I am PhD student in Australia. I am getting married this December, Insha’llah. I currently share a room with my elder brother as the cost of living is very high. We both will be bringing our wives to Australia after my marriage. I am marrying so as to avoid the fitna of women here. We are planning to share 2 bedroom apartment as I am in my final year of my PhD and cannot afford to live seperately.

I wanted to know if I and my wife can share 2 bedroom apartment with my elder brother. I fear for the safety of my family as the political environment is not good these days in Australia. I and my brother will be away from home for 10-12 hours. I am of the opinion that the women folk will be safe in company of each other and will be watching each others back in our absence. Moreover that will reduce some financial burden on me as well. Is sharing apartment with my brother a right decision?


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

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

Shariah does not prohibit you and your wife from sharing an apartment with your brother per say. However, Shariah does emphasize that the laws of hijab are adhered to in every situation. From a practical point of view, we find it very difficult that you, your brother, and your wives will be able to uphold the laws of hijab in totality. Especially as young couples, you will need privacy even outside your bedroom. In this age of fitnah, it is best to have a distance even from one’s own relatives.

Furthermore, we have experienced time and again that living in close quarters causes much bickering, especially amongst women. Small things such as cooking, cleaning, etc. become major issues. Many a times, an environment of unhealthy competition is also created in terms of spending, dressing, etc.

As far as the issue of security is concerned, this can be overcome by living in a single-bedroom apartment on the same floor or in the same building.

If you can adjust your expenditure/cost of living to facilitate for renting out a small home in light of the above, you will be rewarded inshallah. Yes, if you have no choice but to live with your brother, be weary of the laws of hijab and advise your wife and brother as well.   

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hisham Dawood

Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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

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