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Interaction with Muslim husband and non-mehram non-Muslim lady

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

Is it permissible for a married man to be alone in his own home, with a non-mehram non-Muslim woman who works for him, even if he treats her as a sister? Would the case be any different if the wife of the husband did not know about this meeting and was never told? Would it be permissible if the married man was with another man and this non-mehram woman, and having a non-business conversation? Could you please provide me with some Qu’ranic verses/hadiths as well, and general advice on how the wife should approach her husband on this matter?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray all is well.

Whether the woman is Muslim or non-Muslim, or you know about these meetings or not, it remains impermissible for your husband to be alone with her. However, if they are accompanied by another man or another woman, then the situation is no longer khalwa. However, even in that scenario, caution should be exercised.

However, considering that your husband is married and that Islamic marriages are predicated on mutual respect and honesty, then it remains imperative that he consult you when he needs to speak to this woman. If there’s a reason to bring her to your home, then he needs to make sure this is okay with you and he needs to make sure you are present when this woman visits.

However, it is not okay for your husband to hang out with this woman just because she works for him. If there’s some business matter to discuss, then that’s fine. But this should be done in a business environment.

Allah Ta’ala says, “Say to the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them, and Allah is aware of what they do. And say to the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty…” (Surat an-Nur, 24:30-31).

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, says, “A man and woman do not remain alone in privacy except that the third amongst them is shaytan” (Tirmidhi).

Since you’re clearly uncomfortable with your husband’s behavior, then you need to talk to him. Don’t condemn him. But do tell him that you are uncomfortable with these meetings and would like to have the same consideration applied to you that you apply to him. I’m assuming that you don’t bring non-mahram men into your home. Likewise, your husband should have the same consideration for you when he interacts with non-mahram women.

I pray you work things out, emphasizing what is most pleasing to Allah and most conducive to the sanctity of your marriage.

Wasalaam,

Zaynab

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