Relation with adopted brother.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Asalamualaikum
madam, please help me regarding my situation, as follows when my parents got maried they had no child then after 4 years of marriage they adobted a boy from my mother's brother. they took him straight from hospital to my fathers home. my mother has not breastfed him nor his own mother has breastfed him. .then after about 11 years  I, a girl ,was born. now I am 18 years old. but my mother has breastfed me ,my question is that is my brother a mahram for me or not? moreover my father has also died and my mother's brothers are also not here in UAE. My brother is only one man to support me kindly guide me what to do. if he is not a mahram for me should i totally cover my face from him or what to do as there is only 4 people in my home my mother ,I, my brother and his wife. And there is also a confusion in my mind regarding this hadeeth,  Narrated 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her): Sahlah bint Suhail came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: "O Messengerof Allah, I see on the face of Aboo Hudhayfah when Saalim enters upon me."


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:


"Breastfeed him."


She said: "How can I suckle him as he is a grown-up man?"


Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) smiled and said: "I already know that he is a grown up man."


So she did that, then she came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "I have never seen any sign of displeassure on the face of Aboo Hudhayfah after that." And he was present at the Battle of Badr."


[Sunan Ibn Maajah [English Translation], Vol. 3, Chapter 36, p. 113, Number 1943, Darussalam Publishers, 2007]


How can we know that it is a special case for saalim ?Why other umahat al momineen and different scholars have differed with it? could'nt it be applied in extreme cases? not by actually feeding like a baby but through some other means? if is possible do suggest..... As you know my situation at home having a brother who is na mehram for me. If however, at any cost it is permissible please guide, if not then suggest how should be my behaviour and things like having meal and talking with him at home ?May Allah bless you happiness and health.may Allah give you a good reward of all your good deeds.


Jazak Allahu khair.

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Relation with adopted brother

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: ….my question is that is my brother a mahram for me or not?

Respected sister in Islam, your adopted brother will not be considered your ‘mehram’ relative in Shariah.

 

Your Question: …..if he is not a mahram for me should i totally cover my face from him or what to do as there is only 4 people in my home my mother ,I, my brother and his wife.

Because your adopted brother is not your ‘mehram’ relative, all the restrictions which apply to a non-mehram member of the opposite sex in Shariah would be applicable in your interaction with your adopted brother.

 

Your Question: …..And there is also a confusion in my mind regarding this hadeeth,  Narrated 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her): Sahlah bint Suhail came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: "O Messengerof Allah, I see on the face of Aboo Hudhayfah when Saalim enters upon me." …………. So she did that, then she came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "I have never seen any sign of displeassure on the face of Aboo Hudhayfah after that." And he was present at the Battle of Badr." [Sunan Ibn Maajah [English Translation], Vol. 3, Chapter 36, p. 113, Number 1943, Darussalam Publishers, 2007]

Al-Muwatta Hadith 30.4

Yahya related from Malik from Thawr ibn Zayd ad-Dili that Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (r.a.) said, "The milk which a child under two years old sucks, even if it is only one suck, makes the foster relatives haram."

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.815         Narrated by Aisha

Once the Prophet (saws) came to me while a man was in my house. He (saws) said, "O 'Aisha! Who is this (man)?"  I replied, "My foster brother."  He (saws) said, "O 'Aisha! Be sure about your foster brothers, as fostership is only valid if it takes place in the suckling period (before two years of age)."

 

Respected sister in Islam, the absolute majority of the scholars and the jurists in Islam are of the opinion that a foster-relationship is only established in Shariah if the woman gives suck to a child during its age of infancy (which is below two years).

 

The incident where the Messenger of Allah (saws) guided Sahla bint Suhayl, the wife of Abu Hudayfah to suckle her adopted son Salim, who was an adult is indeed recorded in several narrations and is considered authentic by the scholars of hadith.  

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 3427     Narrated by Aisha

Umm Salamah said to Aisha: A young boy who is at the threshold of puberty comes to you. I, however, do not like that he should come to me, whereupon Aisha said: ‘Don't you see in Allah's Messenger (saws) a model for you?’ She also said: ‘The wife of Abu Hudhayfah (Sahla bint Suhayl) came to the Prophet (saws) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (saws), (our adopted son) Salim comes to me and now he is a (grown-up) person, and there is something that (rankles) in the mind of Abu Hudhayfah (her husband) about him,’ whereupon Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Suckle him (so that he may become your mehram), and thus he may be able to come to you (freely).’

 

Al-Muwatta Hadith 30.12

Sahla bint Suhayl who was the wife of Abu Hudhayfa, and one of the tribe of Amr ibn Luayy, came to the Messenger of Allah (saws) and said, 'O Messenger of Allah (saws)! We think of Salim (our adopted son) as a son and he comes in to see me while I am uncovered. We only have one room, so what do you think about the situation?' The Messenger of Allah (saws) 'Give him five drinks of your milk and he will be ‘mahram’ by it.' She then saw him as a foster son.  Hadrat Aisha took that (the case of Salim, the adopted son of Abu Hujhayfa) as a precedent for whatever men she wanted to be able to come to see her. She ordered her sister, Umm Kulthum bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq and the daughters of her brother to give milk to whichever men she wanted to be able to come in to see her. The rest of the wives of the Prophet (saws) refused to let anyone come in to them by such nursing. They said, 'No! By Allah! We think that what the Messenger of Allah (saws) ordered Sahla bint Suhayl to do was only an indulgence concerning the nursing of Salim alone. No! By Allah! No one will come in upon us by such nursing!'

 

The absolute majority of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), including all his noble and chaste wives (except Hadrat Aisha (r.a.)), and the absolute majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that a mehram foster-relationship is only formed when the nursing is done to a child in its infancy. They opine that the allowance for the nursing of Salim, the adopted son of Abu Hudayfah and Sahla bint Suhayl at an adult age was a specific allowance only for Salim and not a general allowance…..Hadrat Aisha (r.a.) on the other hand was of the opinion that the allowance was general and not specific to the case of Salim.  There exists a difference of opinion on this subject; and Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

Your Question: ……If however, at any cost it is permissible please guide, if not then suggest how should be my behaviour and things like having meal and talking with him at home ?

Respected sister in Islam, because almost every scholar and jurist in Islam, including all the other wives of the Prophet (saws) opposed the view of Hadrat Aisha (r.a.) on this matter…..and because there are several other authentic narrations related to the subject whereby the Messenger of Allah (saws) has clearly declared that a foster-relationship is only established when the nursing is done during the age of infancy…..it would be safest to align one’s opinion on this subject matter with the opinion of the majority of the scholars; ie. a foster-relationship is only established if the child is nursed during its age of infancy.  And Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

Your Question: …..if not then suggest how should be my behaviour and things like having meal and talking with him at home ?

Respected sister in Islam, the truth remains that your adopted brother is not your ‘mehram’ and thus all the restrictions which would apply to any non-mehram member of the opposite sex in Shariah would be applicable in your interaction with him.

 

As long as none of the tenets of Shariah are violated, there is no harm if a believing woman happens to live in a house amongst non-mehram males, or having a meal with them, or talking or interacting with them, etc.  What one should be extremely careful of and honor at all costs is never to sit or meet alone and/or engage in casual or vain talk with a non-mehram member of the opposite sex. 

 

But if the believers take their appropriate precautions as guided by Shariah, cover themselves appropriately as guided when in the presence of non-mehrams, and avoid meeting them alone or engaging in casual or vain talk with them…..one is at liberty in Islam to live amongst them.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

 

 

 



 

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