Purdah at the In-Laws Home


Correspondence of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahimahullah)


Assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Moulana

I live with my in-laws and there is free intermingling amongst the brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. I come from a conservative home and am very uncomfortable in this situation. How do I live in such a home without getting involved in an informal relationship with the men in the home?

Is there any proof in respect to keeping one’s distance from one’s brother-in-law? How should I dress before my father-in-law?

What does sharee‘ah say about having male servants, because my in-laws keep male servants to do housework?


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Respected Sister 

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

1. Sadly, we live in a time, where people are far too lax in respect to the laws of sharee‘ah. As a result, innumerable problems abound – more especially on the home-front, with marital disputes, infidelity, disobedience of children and so forth. It seems as if a fire is burning in almost every home due to indulgence in sins. Intermingling with the opposite sex is a sin, but is no longer frowned upon by the majority. It is rather considered a norm.

2. It is not permissible to associate with one’s brother-in-law (or sisters-in-law for males) in an informal or intimate manner. You should associate with the ladies, but if you are living in such a home as described in your letter, then observe the following:

- Keep the scarf low over the forehead.

- Wear a loose modest dress or cloak.

- Lower your gaze when crossing any non-mahram persons.

- Do not engage in chit-chat with brothers-in-law and non-mahrams.

- Talk only what is essential with male servants, in a straightforward manner.

3. Your father-in-law is a mahram, but if he is young or he is of low morals, some degree of purdah must be maintained, although the face can remain uncovered.

4. Proof is in the Quraan Majeed and hadeeth shareef. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said that the brother-in-law is like death. This is because if there is an informal and close relationship, it can easily lead to an illicit relationship and break-down in marriage. There is no shortage of proof of the same, in many, many families – where sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law have fallen into adulterous relationships, etc.

Was salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Yunus Patel (Moulana)