Fatwa ID: 05323
Answered by: Maulana Muqtaur Rahman
I am a stepmom to my husband’s children who are grown-up girls one is 25 and the other one is 17. Those children when they meet their cousin brother they behave with them very closely like hugging lying on laps and so on I told them it’s not the right way to behave and u need to maintain distance with non-mahram please let me know whether I have told them right or whether I am wrong please reply
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There are a few areas that need to be clarified in regard to the interactions with non-mahrams:
- The impermissibility of isolation:
Being alone with a non-Mahram of the opposite gender in a room or place where a third person cannot easily enter is impermissible and must be avoided at all times.
Umar narrates from the Prophet that he said: “A man is not alone with a woman except that the third amongst them is the Shatan.”
- Covering the body:
It is an obligation to cover the awrah and to clothe oneself modestly. A man’s awrah is from his navel to his knees, and a woman’s awrah her whole body except her hands, face, and feet.
- The impermissibility of non-essential interactions:
Non-essential interaction between those who are non-mahram, meaning talking casually, joking around, being flirty is also impermissible.
Allah says: “O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.”
- Lowering the gaze:
Allah says in the Quran: “Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests…”
It can be mentioned that, if a woman is old, then there is some flexibility. As for the woman, if she is convinced and has no doubt that she will not be attracted to the man, it is permitted for her to gaze at a non-mahrams.
Therefore, in your scenario, what you are doing is correct, and may Allah assist you in conveying his message to them. But please go about this with kindness and wisdom. As for the children they are of mature age and understanding.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Muqtaur Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti MohammedTosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Tirmidhi, Hadith No.906
 Surah Ahzab, Ayah 32
 Surah Noor, Ayah 31-32
 Raddul-Muhtar, v.9 pg.601, Darul-Marifah