Purdah From A Brother-In-Law

Question

Should a woman observe purdah with her brother-in-law (the brother of her husband)?

Answer

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has said in a Hadith;

“Prevent yourselves from entering a place where (strange) women are.” Someone then asked Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, “What about the brother-in-law?” (i.e. can he go to his sister-in-law?) The Messenger of Allah Ta’aala replied by saying that
“The brother-in-law is death.”

In this Hadith, the brother-in-law has been likened to “death.” In other words, if a woman does not observe purdah from her brother-in-law and is lax and informal with him, that could spell the death-knell for her spiritual progress and for her well-being in the Aakhirah. She should thus avoid being alone with her brother-in-law like she avoids death.

In fact, in a situation such as this, the laws of Purdah in terms of avoiding informal contact with the brother-in-law would be even more stringent, because of the fact that Shaytaan dupes the woman into believing that this man is “only” my sister’s husband, so there is no need for me to make Purdah from him and no need for me to live separately from him. The end result is that barriers are then broken between the woman and her brother-in-law and they start joking with each other, being in privacy with each other, until such a stage that matters become more grave and serious as one thing eventually leads to another.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

تكملة فتح الملهم ١٦٠/٤ 

فتاوی محمودیه ۲۸ / ۱۳۴

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