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Mahram & Ghayr Mahram Relations

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Mahram & Ghayr Mahram relations

Composed by Maulana Sultan, UK

 

Introduction

Allah Ta’aala has given us a religion called Islam. Not just as a religion, but also as a complete way of life. A system of life which tackles and provides solutions for every immoral aspect of life and sets boundaries so that mankind does not exceed nor fall below the levels required to live a healthy, balanced and pure life and above all, a life in obedience to Allah.

 

One of the aspects of life covered in Islam is the interacting of males and females. As mentioned above, this aspect of life also has boundaries set in place. With certain things in life, there must be boundaries so that we can know the extent of what we can and cannot do since we are not wild and reckless but rather, civilised people. Also so that we know how far we can go in a matter before problems occur.
 

 

Definition & Of Mahram & Ghayr Mahram

With regards to the interacting of males and females, the males are classed into two groups.

 

  • ‘Mahrams’ and
     
  • ‘Ghayr Mahrams’

 

 

Mahrams’:

This category refers to all those males whom a woman cannot marry at anytime in her life whatsoever. In other word a male who is forbidden permanently, forever (i.e. one’s father, brother or son etc).

 

Ghayr Mahrams’:

This category refers to all those males whom a woman is permitted to marry
(e.g. a cousin or just a random Muslim male) or a male whom it is forbidden to
marry at that moment in time but may become permissible to marry in the future
due to a change in circumstances. In other word a male who is temporarily
forbidden (e.g. a Muslim female who is already married is temporarily forbidden
to marry another Muslim male as long as she is married. But once she divorces
her current husband and passes her ‘Iddah’ (waiting period after divorce), she
may now marry another Muslim male and he is no longer forbidden for her).

 

Importance Of Mahram & Ghayr Mahram
 

Often, in Islamic law, the above categories are required to establish
certain Islamic rules. This is why one will find that the above categories are
sometimes conditions, requirements or the basis of several Islamic laws.

 

Example 1:

Regards the Islamic topic on marriage, the above categories i.e. being a
‘Mahram’ or ‘Ghayr Mahram’ define who a person can and cannot marry.
 

 

Example 2:

Likewise regards the Islamic topic on ‘Hijaab’ and whom a woman must cover
herself a certain amount in front of, again will be determined by whether the
male is a ‘Mahram’ or not.

 

Example 3:

Also, with regards to the permissibility of women travelling more than the
distance of a ‘Shar’ee safar’ (Islamic journey approximately 48 miles from
one’s city’s border) depends on whether she can find a ‘Mahram’ to accompany
her or not. If found then her travelling that distance or more is permissible
otherwise not.

 

 

Example 4:

Similarly one of the main conditions, which make ‘Hajj’ compulsory for a woman,
is the presence of a ‘Mahram’ with her throughout her journey. Again, if she
does not find a ‘Mahram’ to accompany her during her journey to do ‘Hajj’, then
she is not permitted to go do ‘Hajj’ nor is it compulsory upon her until she
finds a ‘Mahram’ that can accompany her.

 

As it is obvious from the above examples, the knowledge of the term
‘Mahram’ and ‘Ghayr Mahram’ are very important, as they are the conditions or
the basis of several Islamic rules as shown above, hence all the more reason to
know and understand who is a ‘Mahram’ and who is not.
 

 

Overall Purpose of Mahram & Ghayr Mahram

 

As mentioned above, the terms ‘Mahram’ and ‘Ghayr Mahram’ play an
important role within Islam under different Islamic topics but regardless of
this its purposes within these different topics are similar. In other words the
purposes of this separation of ‘Mahrams’ and ‘Ghayr Mahrams’ whether it be
during matters of ‘Hijaab’, an Islamic journey, marriage or even ‘Hajj’, are
similar.
 

 

There are many purposes and wisdom behind this separation, a few of which will be mentioned.

 

Firstly, one of the main purposes of this separation is to safeguard
people from immoral acts that occur because of unnecessary interacting and
intermingling of certain males and females. Allah the All-knowing, the Most
wise, knows the causes of corruption and shameless acts and helps people
safeguard themselves from these by setting rules in place. Society struggles to
deal with corruption, immoral acts and problems such as arguments, affairs,
trust between husband and wife, attacks on women and so on. Whereas Islam
tackles these problems from their root i.e. unnecessary interacting and
intermingling of certain males and females, which without doubt is the cause of
many problems in society. For example, many arguments are caused through
unnecessary interacting and intermingling of certain males and females.
Likewise affairs occur due to unnecessary interacting and intermingling of certain
males and females. Also, often a lack of trust between husband and wife is
created because of things that happen during unnecessary interacting and
intermingling of certain males and females. Then later on, a lack of trust
leads to arguments.
 

Similarly, attacks that are carried out on women are mostly brought
about through unnecessary interacting and intermingling with males. People
constantly search themselves for a way or system that they think will solve
these problems and fail to follow the system given by Allah that actually deals
with these problems since he is All-knowing, Most wise.

 

Another purpose and wisdom behind separating ‘Mahrams’ and ‘Ghayr
Mahrams’ is that it protects the honour and chastity of women. Through
unnecessary interacting or intermingling of women and men, if a woman falls
prey to corruption and commits a shameless act, then this will be the cause of
her losing her real honour and chastity. In this modern day and age, society
wishes to grant women freedom, honour and rank but fail to realise that real
honour is not achieved by granting women freedom but rather by protecting them
from the corruption and shameless acts of life, which Islam does, if followed.
Even women themselves have fallen for this false idea of honour and try to
fight for more freedom and rights, thinking that this will give them honour and
rank. Islam is often criticized for its degrading and lack of honour of women,
but as shown above, this could not be any further from the truth. Women want
honour and rank and it is what Allah wants for them also but their idea of how
to achieve it is different from that of Allah’s. If women wish for honour and
rank, then remember that honour lies in the obedience of the laws of Allah, who
himself is the one who gives honour.

 

“…and you (Allah) grant honour to whom you will and you disgrace whom you will.”

(Surah: 3 Al-Imraan, Verse: 26)
 

Lastly, another wisdom behind this separation is that it serves as a
boundary to maintain a balanced and pure society and religious life, which in
turn will help a person focus on his or her sole purpose in life i.e. the
obedience and worship of Allah. Wherever the unnecessary interacting and
intermingling of genders is found, then one will clearly see that without
doubt, this is something that diverts a person’s attention from the purpose of
life and the fulfilment of one’s Islamic duties as well as from the remembrance
of Allah. Hence, by creating these restrictions, Allah aims to help us focus on
the reality of life and bring this to our attention. Once a person understands
this then these restrictions no longer seem like restrictions but rather a
mercy from Allah.
 

 

Will One Then Not Take Heed?

 

Allah the All-knowing, the Most wise, out of his mercy has given us
these laws to follow only for our benefit and success and so that we do not
stray from the straight path and fall into corruption as people before us have
done. Should we then not be truly grateful? If so, then we should show our
gratitude through our actions by obeying Allah. Whether we take heed and become
obedient to him by following the laws set by him or not, Allah will not be
affected the slightest. He does not need nor depend on our obedience nor does
he benefit from it. The only ones who will benefit will be ourselves with
success in this world and the hereafter…if only we knew.
 

“Indeed, this is no less than a reminder to mankind, for whomsoever wishes to walk straight.”

(Surah: 81 At-Takweer, Verse: 27-28)

 

Who is more merciful to mankind than one who continues to help those who are obedient to
him as well as those who are disobedient to him but gains nothing from it?

 

List Of Mahrams & Ghayr Mahrams

 

From a male’s perspective:

 

Mahrams:   [Women he is permanently forbidden to marry Mahrams and with whom Islamic restrictions do not apply are]:

 

  • Father’s wives

 

  • Mothers and above (i.e. grandmothers, great
    grandmothers etc, maternal or paternal)

 

  • Daughters and below (i.e. granddaughters, great
    granddaughters etc)

 

  • Sisters (regardless of whether it be one’s real
    sister, sister with whom your mothers are the same but fathers different or
    whether it be a sister with whom your fathers are the same but mothers
    different)
     

 

  • Aunts (i.e. one’s mother’s/father’s sister,
    again regardless of whether it be their real sister, sister with whom their
    mothers are the same but fathers different or whether it be their sister with
    whom their fathers are the same but mothers different)

 

  • Nieces (i.e. daughters of brother/sister
    regardless of whether they be one’s real brother/sister, brother/sister with
    whom your mothers are the same but fathers different or brother/sister with
    whom your fathers are the same but mothers different)

 

  • Foster Mother (i.e. lady by whom one was
    breast fed before the age of two)

 

  • Foster Sister (i.e. a female who was breast
    fed by the same lady as one was)

 

  • Mother-in-law and above (i.e.
    grandmother-in-law, great grandmother-in-law etc, maternal or paternal)

 

  • Daughter of wife from another marriage (with
    the condition that both husband and wife have been alone together)

 

  • Daughter-in-law and below (i.e. son’s wife,
    grandson’s wife etc)

 

  • Wife (not forbidden in marriage but is an
    exception therefore no restrictions apply with one’s wife)

 

Ghayr Mahrams:
 

[From a male’s perspective, women he is permitted to marry or who are temporarily forbidden and with whom Islamic restrictions apply are]:
 

  • These include all those not listed above
     

(The list above and below is a summary of Surah: 4 An-Nisaa, Verse: 22-23 & Surah: 24 An-Noor, Verse: 31)

 

 

Please note
that regards to one’s foster mother, there is a narration of the Prophet, which
mentions that whoever is made forbidden through genealogical relation is
forbidden through fosterage. In simple terms, one’s foster mother is like one’s
mother and her children become one’s foster brothers and sisters and her father
becomes one’s foster grandfather and similarly all those types of people
normally forbidden are also forbidden in fosterage (i.e. foster father/mother,
foster brother/sister, foster uncle/aunt, foster daughter/son etc)
 

Please note
there are a few more detailed rules regards the above and below but have not
been mentioned in an attempt to keep this article simple. Where detail has been
given, then it is in order to answer common and important queries.

 

 

From a female’s perspective:

 

Men she is permanently forbidden to marry are the opposite of the above since if marriage is forbidden, then it is forbidden both ways i.e. if a female is forbidden for a certain man then that man is forbidden for her also. You can never say that a certain female is forbidden for me but I am not forbidden for her! Also, those with whom Islamic restrictions do not apply are:

 

Mahrams (i.e. forbidden to marry permanently forever at anytime):

 

  • Step father (with the condition that both  step father and one’s mother have been alone together)
     

 

  • Fathers and above (i.e. grandfathers, great
    grandfathers etc, maternal or paternal)

 

  • Sons and below (i.e. grandsons, great grandsons etc)

 

  • Brothers (regardless of whether it be one’s real
    brother, brother with whom your mothers are the same but fathers different or
    whether it be a brother with whom your fathers are the same but mothers
    different)

 

  • Uncles (i.e. one’s mother’s/father’s brother,
    again regardless of whether it be their real brother, brother with whom their
    mothers are the same but fathers different or whether it be their brother with
    whom their fathers are the same but mothers different)

 

  • Nephews (i.e. sons of brother/sister regardless of
    whether they be one’s real brother/sister, brother/sister with whom your
    mothers are the same but fathers different or brother/sister with whom your
    fathers are the same but mothers different

 

  • Foster son (i.e. a boy who a lady has
    breast fed before the age of two)
     

 

  • Foster Brother (i.e. a male who was breast
    fed by the same lady as one was)

 

  • Father-in-law and above (i.e.
    grandfather-in-law, great grandfather-in-law etc, maternal or paternal)

 

  • Husband’s sons

 

  • Son-in-law and below (i.e. daughter’s husband,
    granddaughter’s husband etc

 

  • Husband (not forbidden in marriage but as an
    exception is classified as a ‘Mahram’ and therefore no restrictions apply with
    one’s husband)

 

  • From a female’s perspective, men she is permitted to marry or who are
    temporarily forbidden and are those with whom Islamic restrictions apply
     

 

Ghayr Mahrams (i.e. permitted to marry or temporarily forbidden):

 

These include all those not listed above.

 

[Note: Temporarily forbidden in marraige are-

 

-All the married women.

-Combining
in marriage at the same time a woman with her sister or her paternal aunt or her maternal aunt
or the maternal aunt of her father or the maternal aunt of her mother, or the
paternal aunt of her father, or the paternal aunt of her mother is forbidden.]

 

http://theislamicreality.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/mahram-ghayr-mahram-relations.html

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Please Note: where it says "Foster" in the chart, it means someone who has been breast fed by the same lady i.e

  • Foster Brother (i.e. a male who was breast fed by the same lady as one was)

 

 

 

mahramsforaboysw0.jpg

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Stepfather-in-law a Mahram?

 

Q. I am a Muslim female. My father in law passed away and my mother-in-law remarried another man? Is my mother in laws new husband a Mahram to me or not?
 
(Question published as received)
 
A. Your mother-in-law’s new husband i.e. your husbands stepfather, is not a Mahram to you. (Verse 23 Suratun Nisaa). Hence, it is necessary for you to observe Hijaab from him at all times.
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
 
Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Stepfather a Mahram to his stepdaughters?
 
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 stepdaughters. This ruling is conditional on the stepfather consummating his marriage with the mother of his stepchildren. If the marriage was not consummated, then he will not be a Mahram to his stepdaughters as per the Law of the Quran.
 
Allah Ta’ala states:“Prohibited (in marriage) for you are…your step-daughters from women with whom you have had intercourse. 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]
 
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
 

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Foster Nephew as Mahram
 
Q. As Salaamu alaikum w w A lady in my community wishes to leave for Umrah with her foster-sister's son. Both sisters were breastfed by one woman. Is it permissible for her to go for Umrah taking her foster nephew as her Mahram? Jazakallah Khair.Was Salaam
 
(Question published as received)
 
A.Your foster-sister's son is considered to be your foster-nephew. Accordingly, your foster-nephew is a Mahram to you and hence, he can accompany you as your Mahram for the purpose of Umrah. (Mahmoodiyyah 17/40)
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
 
Confirmation:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
 
(Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh) 
 

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Observing Hijaab in the presence of granduncles

 

Q. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh I recently went into niqaab. 1) Am I allowed to show my face to my mother's aunt's husband? (My mother's aunt is my grandmother's sister) Or in other words, my mum's maternal aunt's husband.*2) Am i allowed to show my face to my mother's blood uncle?*My mother's blood uncle is Her mother's brother. (I.e My grandmother's brother) Both of them are old and are  60-70 Jazakallahu khair
 
(Question published as received)
 
 
A. 1. Your grandmother’s sister’s husband is considered a non-Mahram (stranger) to you. Hence, you will have to observe Hijaab from him.
 
2. Your grandmother’s brother is considered a Mahram (non-stranger) to you. Hence, it will not be necessary for you to observe Hijaab from him. (Al-Lubaab-Fi Sharhil-Kitaab 3/4)
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 
(Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh) 
 

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Are step grandchildren Mahrams?

 

Q. Salaams I wanted some clarity on the validity of a mahram. My father remarried a woman after the death of my mother. He has since passed away. Can my nephews (my brother's sons) be valid mahrams to my step mother?  She wishes to make umrah soon. There exists no blood ties between her and us despite her being married to my father for 30 years. Please advise. Shukran
 
A. Your nephews (brother's sons) are considered to be Mahrams (non-strangers) to your step mother. They are her step grandsons and may travel as a Mahram for her for Umrah.
 
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Ismaeel Desai
Confirmation:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 
(Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh) 
 

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Breastfeeding the adopted child with milk produced through tablets

 

Q: If a woman breastfeeds her adopted daughter through taking tablets to produce the milk, will the mahrams of the woman (father, brother, paternal uncles, maternal uncles) and the relatives of the woman's husband (father, brother, paternal uncles, maternal uncles) all become mahram to the adopted girl child?

 

b.jpg

A: Only the woman's mahrams will be a mahram for th​e child.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

يثبت ( أبوة زوج مرضعة ) إذا كان ( لبنها منه له ) وإلا لا كما سيجيء ( فيحرم منه ) أي بسببه

قال الشامي في رد المحتار : قوله ( وأبوة زوج مرضعة لبنها منه ) المراد به اللبن الذي نزل منها بسبب ولادتها من رجل زوج أو سيد فليس الزوج قيدا بل خرج مخرج الغالب بحر وأما إذا كان اللبن من زنى ففيه خلاف سيذكره الشارح ويأتي الكلام فيه قوله له أي للرضيع وهو متعلق بالأبوة ح أي لأنه مصدر معناه كونه أبا ط قوله ( كما سيجيء ) أي في قوله طلق ذات لبن ح قوله ( أي بسببه ) أشار إلى أن من بمعنى باء السببية ط (رد المحتار 3/ 213)

رجل تزوج امرأة ولم تلد منه قط ثم نزل لها لبن فأرضعت صبيا كان الرضاع من المرأة دون زوجها حتى لا يحرم على الصبي أولاد هذا الرجل من غير هذه المرأة (الفتاوى الهندية 1/ 343)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

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Assalamualaikum..can you tell me if my grandmother's brother and step brother are mehram to me? They are going to perform umrah together..they are same age with my father.. My father grown with them since small..tell me if i am a mehram to them! I call them uncle not grandfather.

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