Ruling On Kissing One's Wife In Front Of The Children
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
What amount of affection can a husband and
wife display in front of their children . Can they
hug, kiss lightly, hold hands in front of their
Praise be to Allaah.
The Islamic ruling on this matter is as follows:
Firstly: If this hugging and kissing is of the type
that takes place between husband and wife when they
are alone, then it is not permissible to do it in
front of the children whether they are little or big.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"O you who believe! Let your slaves and slave-girls,
and those among you who have not come to the age of
puberty ask your permission (before they come to your
presence) on three occasions: before Fajr (morning)
Salaah (prayer), and while you put off your clothes
for the noonday (rest), and after the ‘Isha' (night)
Salaah (prayer). (These) three times are of privacy
for you; other than these times there is no sin on you
or on them to move about, attending to each other.
Thus Allaah makes clear the Ayaat (the Verses of this
Qur'aan, showing proofs for the legal aspects of
permission for visits) to you. And Allaah is
59. And when the children among you come to puberty,
then let them (also) ask for permission, as those
senior to them (in age). Thus Allaah makes clear His
Ayaat (Commandments and legal obligations) for you.
And Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Wise"
Ibn Katheer said: Here servants and children are
commanded not to intrude upon the adults of the
household at these times, lest the man be in a
position of intimacy with his wife and so on. (3/401).
If children are obliged to seek permission lest they
see something of that which takes place between
husband and wife, then what about doing such things
openly in a deliberate manner? Look at the etiquette
that was observed in the household of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and how
the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them)
transmitted the details of his life.
The following was narrated from the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning that:
It was narrated from Kurayb the freed slave of
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas
told him that he stayed overnight with Maymoonah, the
wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him), who was his maternal aunt. He said: I lay
my head on the end of the pillow and the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and
his wife placed their heads on its side. The Messenger
of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
slept until midnight, or shortly before or after, then
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) woke and started to rub the sleep from
his eyes with his hands. Then he recited the last ten
verses of Aal ‘Imraan…
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4571; Muslim, 763.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This
indicates that it is permissible for a man to sleep
alongside his wife without being intimate with her in
the presence of one of her mahrams, even if he has
reached the age of discernment. Al-Qaadi said: In some
versions of this hadeeth it says: Ibn ‘Abbaas said: I
stayed overnight with my maternal aunt one night when
she was menstruating. Even though the isnaad of this
version is not saheeh, it contains a very interesting
idea, because Ibn ‘Abbaas would not have asked to stay
overnight on a night when the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) may have wanted to be
intimate with his wife, and his father would not have
sent him there unless he knew that the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have no
need to be intimate with his wife – because it is well
known that he would not have been intimate with her
when Ibn ‘Abbaas was there sharing the same pillow
with them and he was watching to see what the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, and
he did not sleep or he only slept a little.
Sharh Muslim, 6/46
In addition, doing such things openly is an action
that is contrary to honour and decency.
Al-Maawardi said: Honour and decency means making sure
that one's deeds befit the circumstances so that no
deeds may appear abhorrent or blameworthy.
Adab al-Dunya wa'l-Deen, 392.
The negative effects that such behaviour has on the
children's upbringing is sufficient reason not to do
it, for children are created with the natural instinct
to imitate their parents in all their affairs. So
there is the fear that one of them may try to do that
out of ignorance and a lack of understanding of what
he is doing, and this is bad enough. Moreover there is
no guarantee that small children talk to others about
what they have seen, and it is obvious that this will
cause embarrassment and loss of geerah (protective
Secondly: If the affection that the husband and wife
show in front of the children is of the kind that is
usually shown, namely compassion, kindness and care,
which will fill the house with peace and respect and
happiness, especially on occasions such as Eid etc,
that is permissible.
Showing that kind of affection will have an effect on
the children's peace of mind and will make them sense
that there is mutual understanding and harmony in
their family. There is nothing wrong with showing that
kind of affection, but only as much as is necessary
and without doing anything that is forbidden. And
Allaah knows best.