Bathing and Touching Her 11-Year-Old Step-Son’s Private Parts
Fatwa No: 424054

Question

Assalamu Alaikum. In regards to details mentioned in question_2759376, am I sinful for making my 11 year old son naked in front of me unintentionally and does this action lies in committing adultery? What is the punishment in Islam when one touches other’s private parts except husband and wife and also the punishment when one is naked in front of whom they should not?

Answer

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Based on what you mentioned in your question to which you referred, namely that this boy is your step-son and not your own son, we would like to underline that the step-son is considered one of the Mahaarim (non-marriageable male relatives). Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And do not marry those [women] whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and hateful [to Allah] and was evil as a way.} [Quran 4:22] However, it is impermissible for him, at such an age, to undress or be naked in front of his step-mother, and it is impermissible for her to touch his private parts. Although this action is denounced, it is not considered Zina (adultery) that necessitates the application of the Hadd (corporal punishment prescribed by the Sharee‘ah). It is referred to as Zina metaphorically as in the Hadeeth: “And the hand commits Zina, and its Zina is (unlawful) touching.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] There is no specific punishment prescribed by the Sharee‘ah for this sin.

We would like to point out here that a Muslim who is ignorant of the religious ruling on a given act bears no sin for committing it, especially if he is a new convert to Islam. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And Allah would not let a people stray after He has guided them until He makes clear to them what they should avoid. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.} [Quran 9:115] It is also important that the spouses should keenly lock the door to their room so that the children would not be able to enter their bedroom at a time or in a situation that may cause embarrassment to them. In addition, the children should be taught the Sharee‘ah rulings and etiquette with regard to seeking permission upon entering their parents’ room and the like.

Allah Knows best.

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