What are the rulings of living with a brother in law? Is this allowed in Islam?

Bearing in mind that there are other, more sensible alternatives available to the brother in law, he has moved in with us instead of staying in his own home with his parents, for no particular reason.

Are there any duties of a husband towards his wife, with reference to the Quraan and hadeeth, in terms of providing her with her privacy and comfort in her home etc?

I struggle with not having any privacy and freedom in my home, along with many other inconveniences that arise with being in such a situation.



Bismihi Ta‘ala

Respected Sister

Assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “When a strange man and woman (non-mahrams) are in seclusion, the third one present is Shaitaan.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2165)

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked about the brother-in-law, he replied: “The brother-in-law is death.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5232) This means that just as one fears death, one should fear fitnah from the brother-in-law in a similar manner. This does not mean that one should harbour any suspicion. However, there should be no casual contact with the brother-in-law and a woman must NEVER be in seclusion with him. It is therefore haraam for you to be alone in the home with him.

In matters that infringe the law of Allah Ta‘ala, there is no obedience to the creation; whether it be ones parents or husband. However do not do or say anything in a disrespectful manner. Calmly explain to your husband that you will be sinning if you remain in the home alone with your brother-in-law. Therefore when he leaves home in the morning you will also have to leave. The option is that his brother leaves and does not enter until your husband arrives.

May Allah Ta‘ala grant us all the correct understanding and enable us to obey Him at all times. Aameen

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama