When is a step-father considered a Mahram to his step-daughters? 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by TheMufti.com

Q. I was divorced and I remarried. I have one son from my second wife. My second wife has two daughters from her previous marriage. One is 18 and the other is 22. Am I a Mahram to my second wife’s two daughters?

A. Yes, you are a Mahram (non-stranger) to your second wife’s daughters.

This ruling is based on the condition that if a husband has had conjugal relations with his wife, then the husband would be a Mahram to the wife’s daughters. If he did not have conjugal relations with his wife, then he will not be a Mahram to the wife’s daughters as explained in the Quran. Allah Ta’ala mentions:

“Prohibited for you are…your step-daughters… (From women) with whom you have had intercourse though if you have not had intercourse with them, there is no sin on you, (your step-daughters would not be prohibited for you) [Surah Nisa 4/24]

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.