Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I am temporarily staying in a house where a maid, her husband, and their child are living along with my grandparents. When we eat, the maid refills the food, and her husband also walks past the dinner. The maid does not wear a hijab, but she wears full sleeves and wraps a cloth around her head which does not cover 100% of what she should at least cover. I try my best not to look at her while she is serving food. My female Mahrams (permanently unmarriageable kin) at the dinner table only throw a cloth over their hair when her husband passes by, although they may be showing their arms etc. I am the youngest in this house; am I sinful if I eat at this table? Should I refuse to eat at this table?
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
There is no doubt that it is necessary to observe the Islamic conditions regarding the presence of domestic servants; we have already mentioned a number of these conditions in fatwa 92230.
It is very serious to behave around the servants as if they were Mahrams (permanently unmarriageable) and reveal some of one’s adornment in front of them. A Muslim woman must adhere to the hijab in front of non-Mahrams, whether she is a maid or otherwise.
For more benefit on the requirements of an Islamic dress for Muslim women, please refer to fatwa 83702.
Our advice to you is that you give advice to those whom you find to be negligent in this matter; you should do so in a wise, gentle manner with good admonition.
There is no harm on you to sit with your relatives and eat from this food, and you do not have to refuse to eat at that table with them.
Allah knows best.
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