The Husband's Children Are Mahrams For Their Father's Wife
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
sister married a brother who had two children from a
previous marriage. They were babies when she married
him and she has raised them as if they were her own. I
don't even know if they know that she isn't their
natural mother. I do not know for sure, however I
believe they were never breast fed by her. All of my
wife's family including my wife treat them as my
wife's sister's natural children. They are both
reaching puberty now. I wish to know will my wife have
wear hijab in front of the boy and will the girl have
to wear hijab in front of me?
Praise be to Allaah.
Your wife has
no connection to the children of her sister's husband,
because they are not her sister's children, either by
descent or through breastfeeding. Based on this, you
wife has to observe hijab in front of this boy because
he is a "stranger" (non-mahram) to her.
By the same token you are a non-mahram to this girl,
so it is not permissible for you to be alone with her
or to travel with her, and it is not permissible for
her to uncover her face in front of you.
With regard to the wife of the children's father, she
does not have to observe hijab in front of them
because they are among her mahrams. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"And marry not women whom your fathers married, except
what has already passed"
This aayah means that it is not permissible for a man
to marry a woman whom his father or grandfather had
married, no matter how far along the line of ascent,
regardless of whether the father or grandfather is
through his mother's line or his father's, and
regardless of whether the marriage was consummated or
If a man has entered into a valid marriage contact
with a woman, she becomes a mahram for his sons and
grandsons through his sons and daughters, no matter
how far the line of descent extends.
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him),
al-Fataawa al-Jaami'ah, 2/591
See also question no. 20750, 5538
And Allaah knows best.