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Can a Colleague of the Opposite Sex Come to My House to Work?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Is it permissible to have a work colleague of the opposite sex come to your house for work purposes?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Having a member of the opposite sex come to one’s house to deal with one personally is something that should be avoided as much as possible. The religious, emotional, and legal dangers are very obvious to anyone who knows the nature of men and women.

For a man to have his female work colleague come to his house, he must have someone else in the house with him. Otherwise, they could meet on the front porch where they can be seen by passers-by and neighbors.

If the third person has to step out very briefly, it is okay, provided that they could literally walk into the house and the room where the man and his female colleague are in minutes, but this too should be avoided as much as possible. Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/living-religion/seclusion-office/

For a married woman to have her male colleague come to her house, she would have to have the permission of her husband to do this. The meeting or work being mandatory would not mean that she could overlook his right to choose which men come in the house.

A husband should also consult with his wife to see if she is comfortable with the women that are coming to her house, however, this is not her right per se, as long as it does not affect her use of her home and as long as he is not alone with any woman that he is not married to. This is more to do with the tao of marriage than the letter of the Sacred Law.

In a cultural setting, where is it not acceptable to have a colleague of the opposite sex over for work, even if a third person were there, there would also have to be permission from the parents as well. This is because in such cultural settings, doing something like that would ruin the good name of the family and would be considering harming the parents. This applies to both men and women. [Fatawa al Bulqini]

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-is-the-meaning-of-khalwa-seclusion-with-the-opposite-gender/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/hadith-about-seclusion-khalwa-and-unmarriageable-kin-mahram/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/permissible-stay-flat-brothers-wife-child-us/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/guidelines-for-interacting-with-the-opposite-sex/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/limits-of-relationship-between-males-and-females/

One should also be very careful of feelings developing from over-familiarity, especially in these scenarios. Please see: http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/hazm/dove/ringdove

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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