Question: My mum’s recently married after being divorced for 25 years which means I now have a step-father. I have recently just married also and Alhamdulillah my wife wears full niqaab. I still live with my parents. My wife wears full niqaab and Abaya around my house when my stepdad is around who is 50 years old. The future plan is my mum and step father will move out and get their own place. Until then I feel a level of awkwardness around my house when my wife is in niqaab around my step-father.
My step-father has had such a great and positive impact in my life; I easily call him dad and have accepted him to be my father at ease. I love him very much and he is very dear to me. He has clean noble intentions. I recently asked my wife to take off her niqaab when my step-father is around the house; however I mentioned she can still cover her arms, body and hair. She started crying uncontrollably and things are not the same between us. Am I being unreasonable? I would just like to hear your views and what you think I should do in line with shariah and contextualise with regards to my situation.
Answer: Firstly, you should understand that married life is based around trust. You should trust your wife’s intentions for doing purdah in this situation.
As your wife is doing Niqab with her own choice and will, there should be no reason for anyone to stop her.
Your stepfather is not your wife’s Mahram, so you should not feel any awkwardness, as she is trying her utmost to abide by the guidance of shariah.
However, she would not be required to treat him like a total stranger walking in the street. If she wears proper clothing and just leaves her face open while doing the housework or during family gathering, then there is some flexibility. It is hoped that she will not be sinful in doing so. Allah knows best.