Q&A (Fatwa)

#1042: Rules Regarding Living With Brother In-Laws In The Same Apartments

Assallaamu’alaykum wa rahmatuLLAAH wa barakaatuh.
May Allaah honor you all with jannah. Aameen.
Please what are the rules regarding living with ones brother in-law in the same house with hubby?


Wa’alaikumus Salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh.

All praises is due to Allāh.

May Allāh guide you and keep you firm in your Deen. Know verily, free mixing and secluding with non-mahrams (brother in-laws included) is prohibited because this can lead to great fitnah. So, it is therefore not permissible for non-mahrams to live with a woman in the same apartment, sharing amenities like kitchen, toilet, bathroom, living room, etc. with her, because this will make her uncomfortable to practice her Deen as expected and also give shaitan a headway to cause fitnah.

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Āmir narrated that the prophet said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from the Ansār said, “O messenger of Allāh! What do you say about an in-law (the woman’s husband relatives like his brother, uncle, cousins, etc)? He replied: ” He is death itself (i.e his seclusion with her is as serious and dangerous as death.)” [Bukhari and Muslim]

An-nawawī (may Allāh have mercy on him) said: ” It means that the fear of him is more than that of others, and evil and temptations are more likely to happen from him because it is easy for him to reach the woman and be in seclusion with her without anyone objecting to him doing so; unlike other non-mahrams.

Some scholars stated that the non-mahram meant in the mentioned hadīth include also the wife’s marriageable male relatives (like her cousins and so forth) as well.

Note: A woman is not Islamically prohibited from receiving and honouring non-mahram man in her home on condition that she observes the Islamic criteria in this regard which are as follows;
1. This must be with the permission of her husband.
2. She should not allow anyone to enter upon her except in the presence of one of her mahrams or someone by whom the seclusion is neglected.
3. She must observe the Islamic hijāb, and she should not talk to them in a soft and attractive voice as she talks to her husband. She must avoid anything that may cause temptation if she needs to serve them food, receive message, and so forth.

A man should try to provide a separate apartment for his wife where she doesn’t need to interact or share amenities with other members of his family (non-mahram).

Negligence in abiding by the teachings of the Shari’ah has led to many sad and unfortunate incidents, brothers impregnating wives of their own brothers. We seek Allah’s guidance and refuge from evil doings.

Allah knows best.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

Abū Abdillah

8th Dhul Qadah, 1441AH.

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