Is it permissible for a man to stay alone in a place with his wife's sister or his brother's wife?
Submitted by on Mon, 21/12/2009 - 11:50
Dear Brother / Sister,
There exists temporary mahramiyat for a man regarding his wife’s sister. A man cannot marry the sister of his wife. However, if his wife dies, he can marry her. For a man, his wife’s sister is like any other woman regarding other issues. It is necessary to be careful about the limits of mahramiyat.
For a woman, her husband’s brother is non-mahram. He is like a stranger. It is necessary to be careful about the limits of mahramiyat. It is not permissible for a man to look at his wife’s sister or any other woman lustfully. It is necessary to be more careful about mahramiyat regarding relatives like that. It is not permissible to stay alone with any of them at home.
Once our Prophet (pbuh) said, "Avoid entering places where there are women." When a person from Ansar (Muslim from Madinah) said, "O Messenger of Allah, what about the relatives of the husband of a woman?”, he said, "They are death". (See. Bukhari, Nikah, III; Muslim, Salam, 20)
Explaining that hadith, Imam Nawawi said: "A person may stay alone with the wife of his brother due to the customs and traditions; it is death. The fact that chatting with him is forbidden is more important than the prohibition of chatting with strangers. That is the correct meaning of the hadith."
It is necessary to be careful about the limits of mahramiyat regarding the sister of one’s wife.
Questions on Islam
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- Are women neglected in the Islamic law?
- Why is the share given to women in Islam regarding inheritance is half of that given to men? What is the arrangement Islam introduced regarding the share of women in inheritance and equality?
- what are wifes duties towards husband and vice versa?