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My brother is in a unlawful relationship with a Muslim girl. Should I tell my parents?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

My brother returned from school a few weeks ago, and confessed to me that he has started a secret relationship with a Muslim sister at his school. They have not committed fornication, but have started a physical relationship of some kind. I don’t know how this could have happened as we are from a good family Alhamdulilah, and I and my sister would never imagine doing anything like this. I told him to contact our local religious scholar immediately for guidance. I also told him the Hadith of the Prophet pbh that when one has sinned, the 2 things that must be done immediately is to stop the sinning, and repent sincerely to Allah swt. He begged me not to tell our parents. I am conflicted. On the one hand, I feel like I am also deceiving them by keeping this huge secret from them. On the other hand, I feel like it would cause them such pain to know this about their son, and seeing them feel pain would destroy me, and so maybe I should try to fix the problem without informing them. Please advice as this is very distressin.


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

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

Your brother has confided in you and that is a very good thing. Praise him for having the courage to approach you and admit his mistake. Keep your relationship very strong with him because the fitna of sins is spreading faster and faster, day by day. You want him to be able to confide in you every time and be able to approach you without any hesitation.

Tell him to make a sincere repentance from this sin and cut off all communication with the girl immediately. Your sister can also advise the girl that she should fear Allah and desist from this sin so that she also takes heed. 

Ask your brother how he would like it if someone did the same with his sister? Gently remind your brother that this is a great sin and just as he would not want anyone to have such a relationship with his sister, likewise, he should not have any unlawful relations with this or any other girl.

Tell him that if he stops now, Insha-Allah, it will give him the strength to resist and keep himself chaste for his future wife. Every time the thought of any girl comes, tell him to make dua to Allah to protect him from engaging in a haram relationship. Have him memorize the following dua with its meaning. It is beneficial for keeping chaste and pure:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدَى وَالتُّقَى وَالْعَفَافَ وَالْغِنَى

O Allah! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self-sufficiency. [i] [ii]

Tell him that if he promises to sincerely act on your advice, you will keep this a secret and not mention it to your parents. This is because the purpose is his reformation (islah) and if you achieve that, you do not need to tell your parents this time around. It is better that he tell you about what he is doing and you are able to do something about it rather than have him keep his activities secret. However, if you see that he is not trying and is not willing to control his nafs, then you should notify your parents.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Sohail ibn Arif,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

اللهمَّ ! إني أسألُك الهدى والتقى ، والعفافَ والغنى . وفي روايةٍ : والعفَّةَ [i]

 صحيح مسلم الرقم: ٢٧٢١  

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم (اللهم إني أسألك الهدى والتقى والعفاف والغنى) أما العفاف والعفة فهو التنزه عما [ii]

لايباح والكف عنه والغنى هنا غنى النفس والاستغناء عن الناس وعما في أيديهم 

شرح النووي على مسلم، ١٧/ ٤١ دار إحياء التراث العربي   

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

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