What is the Sharee’ah (Islamic law) ruling on intermixing between the sexes in family meetings while girls adhere to the Sharee’ah-approved Hijaab (Islamic covering)? It happens that male and female cousins meet together in family gatherings. Please advise us. May Allaah reward you.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
It is well-known that male cousins are non-Mahram (marriageable) to their female cousins. Consequently, as it is with any other non-Mahram members of the opposite sex, a Muslim is required to observe the Sharee’ah regulations in dealing with his female cousins. It is impermissible to be alone with them, shake hands with them, or speak to them needlessly or with softness in one’s speech. When there is a necessity to meet them, the presence of a man who is Mahram (non-marriageable) to the women, and adhering to the Sharee’ah-approved Hijab are pre-conditions. Both parties are also required to lower their gaze from each other.
When the Sharee’ah regulations are observed in such gatherings, they are permitted; otherwise, they are not.
In our point of view, it is better that men meet together and women meet together in order to eliminate any means that could lead to violating the Sharee’ah regulations during such gatherings. This has to be particularly observed among young men and women.
Allaah Knows best.
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