My question is about guests. I would like to know what my rights are: A young relative of my husband is coming to stay with us “indefinitely.” When my husband goes to work, I’d be at home alone with this relative of his… and I realize this is problematic. Also, it is difficult for me, as he is staying for an indefinite period of time. What do I do?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
To begin with, remaining in seclusion (khalwa) with a non-Mahram is decisively unlawful in Shariah, for it is opening the door for Fitna and making Shaytan’s work even easier. When two people of the opposite gender are alone in a way that a third person is not easily able to enter upon them, the third amongst them will be Shaytan, as mentioned in the Hadith of our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) recorded in most reliable Hadith collections.
Thus, it will not be permitted for you to be alone in the house with this male guest. Your husband is at work until evening and is not expected to return during the day; hence, remaining in Khalwa with his guest in the house would be unlawful and sinful. Therefore, you need to explain this to your husband and ask him to relay this to his friend. There is nothing like safety, as the scholars say.
As far as the guest staying at your house for an indefinite period of time is concerned, you have full right to inform him in a polite and gentle manner that it is difficult for you to cope with this, due to the reasons you have outlined in your email.
Abu Shurayh al-Ka’bi (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should honour his guest. The guest’s reward is to entertain him for one day and one night, and he has the right to be entertained for three days. Anything above that would be considered an act of charity. And it is not permissible for the guest to remain by him to an extent that he puts him into difficulty.” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim. See: Mishkat al-Masabih, no: 4244)
Hence, the guest has a right to stay for three days, but after this period, you have full right to ask him to leave in a gentle and polite manner. What you need to do is discuss the whole situation with your husband. First and foremost, you need to tell him that you cannot remain alone in the house with this male guest whilst he is at work. Thereafter, discuss with him the position you find yourself in, and find a way to come to some sort of solution, without hearting the feelings of the guest. May Allah make matters easy for you, Insha Allah.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK