Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I have a question regarding Khalwa between a man and a woman. I am currently living with the widowed wife of my great uncle (i.e. aunt by marriage) who I am aware is not a mahram. She is an older woman and well advanced in her years. This is currently the accommodation I have. What would the guidelines be regarding seclusion, as it would not be possible to stay in a separate room for the entire day.
You need not worry. Seclusion with such an elderly lady is permissible. [Nahlawi, al Durar al-Mubaha]
Treat her with dignity and respect, and show her the kind treatment you would show your grandmother. One narration from the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, states that “good,” or “blessings” in a variant, “are with the elderly amongst you.” [Musnad al-Bazzar; Tabarani]
If there is a need to hold her hand to help her up the stairs or something, this too would be permissible.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani