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HADEETH TWO: The Prohibition of Men Entering the Gatherings of Unrelated (Non-Mahram) Women
عَنْ عُقْبَةَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ” إِيَّاكُمْ وَالدُّخُولَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ ”. فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَرَأَيْتَ الْحَمْوَ. قَالَ ” الْحَمْوُ الْمَوْتُ ”
‘Uqbah bin ‘Āmir narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Beware of entering upon [the gatherings of] women.” A man from the Ansar said, “Allah’s Messenger! What about the brother-in-law of a woman (and his uncles and nephews)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied: “The brothers-in-law of a woman (and his uncles and nephews) are death!” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 5232, Muslim, no. 2172) In a narration of Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:
لاَ يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ
“No man should be alone secluded with a woman except in the presence of her Mahram.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 5233)
1. Shaikh Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh) said: “The hamwu (in-law) in the narration refers to the brother of the husband and the uncle of the husband.”
2. An-Nawawee said: “The intent in the hadeeth are the male relatives of her husband other than his father, his grandfather (and ascending lineage), and other than her husband’s sons (and his grandsons and descending lineage)―because these are mahrams for the woman. It is allowed for her be alone with them―and they are not described as death. Rather, the intent is her husband’s brothers, and his nephews and his uncles – because these are all individuals that she is able to marry were she not married already.” (Sharh Saheeh Muslim 14/154) As for the fathers and sons of a woman’s husband, then they are prohibited for her to marry even after a divorce or the death of her husband.
3. The Messenger (salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) compared the male in-laws to death due to the fact that people tend to be easy-going with the affair of a woman’s male in-laws. In many communities, they are encouraged to mix and socialise, and they let down their guard and Shaytān can enter, and lead people to major sins that destroy families and marriages.
4. The prohibition of entering the gatherings of women or freely-mixing with them, or being in seclusion with a woman is to block the paths that lead to touching, harām courtship and fornication.
5. Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullāh) said: “We hold the view that there is no problem in the gathering of the family for food, but it should not be on the same table or dining mat – rather the women should be on one side, and the men on another side, even if it is in one location. As for them sitting at one table or one dining mat then we hold that not to be correct at all because it is not possible for a woman to eat without uncovering her face. And if she uncovers her face in front of her brother-in-law or in front of his uncle, etc., it will lead to fitnah – and one should not take any evil for granted…” (Al-Liqā Ash-Shahri, no. 40)
6. The importance of keeping away from places that lead to one falling into evil.
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