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Are Cousins Mahram?

07 February, 2022
Q As-Salamu alaykum. I am really depressed! My husband's first cousins (both girls) came from overseas for a visit! One is a 11 year old and the other 15. The 15 year old wears heaps of makeup, dresses inappropriately and looks like a grown up woman! My husband took them out one day alone and came a bit late at night when it was dark! I got upset and told him that I do not like him taking them out alone to which he replied they are like his daughters and they are children! He did not address my feelings and continued to ignore me in their presence! One time we were at a place and he was sitting beside me, he wanted to get up and go sit with his cousins! He doesn't realize how hurt I was! I kept telling him they will go away to their old life and we will be left behind to pick up the pieces (and that is exactly what happened)! I said according to the Shariah, you should not be alone with the 15 year old (she looks 22). He also made inappropriate jokes to his uncle (the girls' father) that he feels 17 again and when they go back, he will be back to being 30! Please help! Was I right to get upset?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- Your husband does not have any right to go out or to sit alone with his female cousins. One’s cousins are not mahrams for him.

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2- He also cannot do the same with your female relatives.

Responding to your question, Dr. Mohammad S. Alrahawan, Associate Professor at the department of Islamic Studies in English, Al-Azhar University, Egypt, states:

Your husband does not have any right to go out or to sit alone with his female cousins. They are not mahrams for him.

Uqbah ibn Amir reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: Beware of getting into the houses and meeting women (in seclusion). A person from the Ansar said: Allah’s Messenger, what about husband’s brother, whereupon he (peace be upon him) said: Husband’s brother is like death.” (Al-Bukhari)

The same is applicable for husband with regard to the female relatives of his wives.

Moreover, Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “No one of you should meet a woman in privacy unless she is accompanied by a mahram (i.e., a relative within the prohibited degrees).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Most of our social problems come through uncontrolled mingling between male and female relatives. May Allah guide your husband to the straight path.

Allah Almighty knows best.