Fatwa ID: 02298
Answered by Mufti Muhammad Adnan
I have a friend in Canada who has married a Christian women, and was curious to learn how purdah is applicable to her. As a Christian lady, she refuses to do purdah as the shariah commands which, in one sense is understandable. However. does he still need to make sure that his fellow male relatives/family members who are non-mahrams to her avoid her, don’t look at her, and speak to her as per the laws of hijab.
And, is she allowed to enter Makkah/Madinah as the wife of a Muslim man?
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts. This is more purer for them. Indeed Allah is Well-Aware of what they do.” (Surah Nur: 30)
The verse above has no restrictions and is general, therefore it applies to looking at women in general and not just Muslim women. All the men folk should control their gaze and not take a second glimpse of her otherwise they are sinful.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan, ‘O who who believe! Verily, the Mushrikeen (idolaters) are impure, so let them not come near Musjidul Haraam after this year.’ (Surah Tawbah Aayat28)
According to the Hanafi Madhab, this verse refers to Hajj and Umrah only, i.e. they are prevented from performing Hajj and Umrah. From prior to Islam, the idolators used to perform Tawaaf, etc. After Islam and in the 9th year of the Hijrah, Allah Ta’ala commands that after this year no idolator may be allowed to perform Hajj or Umrah. The Aayat does not prevent the Kuffaar from entering the Haram or any one Musjid. (Tafseer Mazhari vol.5 pg.232; HM Saeed)
She can go to visit but cannot take part in any rituals.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Muhammad Adnan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham