Is referring to people of the opposite sex as ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ imitation of non-Muslims?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I had a question regarding addressing someone of the opposite sex. I don’t know whether or not there is any Shari` reason to use “brother” or “sister” (as is very common in MSA settings), but if there isn’t, can you tell me why it is more Islamically appropriate to use these prefixes? Are these prefixes somehow rooted in Christian/Non-Muslim practices to a degree that Muslims should not imitate them?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not ‘necessary’ (religiously) or even recommended, per se, to use these titles. However, they are simply a way of expressing mutual respect, and one’s intent to act with the dignity and propriety entailed by the example of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani


This answer was indexed from, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

Find more answers indexed from:
Read more answers with similar topics: