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The Wife Of Your Wife's Father (Your Wife's Stepmother) Is Not A Mahram For You

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers


Is my wifes stepmother my mahrem .

Praise be to Allaah.

The wife of your wife's father is not considered to be a mahram for you, so it would be permissible for you to marry her, because whether or not a person is a mahram can only be proven by a text of sharee'ah, and there is no text to state that this person is a mahram. Rather, when Allaah listed the women who are mahrams, He stated that all others are permissible for marriage. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"All others are lawful" [al-Nisa' 4:24]

Not only that, it is also permissible to be married to a woman and her father's ex-wife at the same time, according to the majority of scholars.

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: Being married to a man's ex-wife and his daughter from another wife at the same time is permissible according to the majority but is makrooh according to some of the salaf.
Jaami' al-‘Uloom wa'l-Hukam, p. 411

Imam al-Shaafa'i said: If a man is married to the daughter of a man and the ex-wife of her father (at the same time), Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that this is permissible, and we heard that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ja'far did that.

Al-Shaafa'i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There is nothing wrong with being married to a man's ex-wife and his daughter from another wife.
Al-Umm, 7/155

Imam Ibn Hazm said: It is permissible for a man to be married to a woman and to the ex-wife of her father and the ex-wife of her son and the daughter of her paternal uncle at the same time, because there is no text which states that this is haraam. This is the view of Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa'i and Abu Sulaymaan.
Al-Muhalla, 9/532.

Ibn Qudaamah said: There is nothing wrong with being married to a woman who was the wife of a man and his daughter from another wife.

Most of the scholars say that it is permissible to be married to a woman and her stepdaughter at the same time. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ja'far and Safwaan ibn Umayyah did that. This is the view of all the fuqaha' apart from al-Hasan, ‘Ikrimah and Ibn Abi Layla; it was narrated that they regarded it as makrooh.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"All others are lawful" [al-Nisa' 4:24]

And because they are not related, they are like two strangers. And because marrying two closely-related women at the same time is forbidden lest there be a severing of family ties between those who are closely related. There is no such relationship between these two, so their case is different from what has been mentioned.
Al-Mughni, 7/98

Based on this, then the wife of your wife's father is not counted as one of your mahrams, rather she is a "stranger" to you, so you may not shake hands with her or be alone with her or travel with her.
And Allaah knows best.

Is the father of one's ex-husband a mahram?

As a woman of Islaam what should my relationship with my ex father-in-law be? Is it necessary for me to cover in his presence?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The husband's father is considered to be a woman's mahram even if her husband divorces her, because Allaah says, stating who a one's mahrams are (interpretation of the meaning):
"the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins" [al-Nisa' 4:23]

In this case, the father-in-law becomes a mahram simply as soon as the marriage contract is completed; if a man makes a marriage contract with a woman, then the man's father becomes a mahram for his son's wife, even if the marriage is not consummated.

This is what the scholars called al-mahaarim bi'l-musaaharah (mahrams by marriage).

The women who become mahrams through marriage are of four types:

1 – Women married by one's father (i.e., father's wife and also grandfathers' wives). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And marry not women whom your fathers married" [al-Nisa' 4:22]

2 – One's wife's mother or grandmother: "Forbidden to you (for marriage) are… your wives' mothers…" [al-Nisa' 4:23 – interpretation of the meaning]

3 – One's stepdaughter (a wife's daughter by a previous husband). The stepdaughter is not a mahram unless the man has consummated the marriage with her mother. If he simply made a marriage contract with her but did not consummate the marriage, then she is not a mahram, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in — but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them" [al-Nisa' 4:23 – interpretation of the meaning]

4 – One's son's wife and one's grandsons' wives, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins" [al-Nisa' 4:23 – interpretation of the meaning]
From Jaami' Ahkaam al-Nisa' by al-‘Adawi, 5/302
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "… your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in — but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), — the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins …" [al-Nisa' 4:23]

These three are mahrams by marriage. The phrase "your wives' mothers" means that it is haraam for a man to marry the mother or grandmother of his wife, no matter how far the line of ascent reaches (i.e., great-grandmother, etc), whether that is through the mother's line or the father's. She becomes his mahram as soon as the marriage contract is done.

If a man makes a marriage contract with a woman, it becomes haraam for him to marry her mother and she becomes one of his mahrams even if the marriage with her daughter is not consummated. If it so happens that the daughter dies or he divorces her, then he is still a mahram for her mother. If it so happens that consummation of the marriage is delayed, then he is still a mahram to her mother; she may uncover her face in front of him and he may travel with her and be alone with her, and there is no sin on him, because the mother and grandmother of the woman become mahrams as soon as the marriage contract is done, because Allaah says "your wives' mothers", and a woman becomes a man's wife as soon as the marriage contract is done.

The phrase "the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins" means that it becomes haraam for a man to marry the wife of his son or grandson, no matter how far the line of descent extends, as soon as the marriage contract is done. The wife of one's son's son (grandson) becomes a mahram to the grandfather as soon as the marriage contract is done. Hence if a man makes a valid marriage contract with a woman, then he divorces her immediately thereafter, she becomes a mahram for his father and grandfather, no matter how far the line of ascent reaches, because of the general meaning of the phrase, "the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins". The woman becomes permissible for her husband as soon as the marriage contract is done.

From al-Fataawa al-Jaami'ah li'l-Mar'ah al-Muslimah, 2/591.

 

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