My husband's friend (who is a Muslim) has been separated from his American non-Muslim wife for the last two years or so. They have two daughters: one of them is a student in Florida and the other one is almost four years old. The agreement that they had regarding the second daughter, who is still a minor, is that she spends one week with her father and one week with her mother. Both parents work, which means that the little one spends the whole day with an American non-Muslim babysitter. My question concerns the separated parents. Is it permissible for them to go shopping together, to travel together (from Chicago to Florida) and to spend a week or so together, even though they are separated and they live in separate houses?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
If the term 'seperation' means divorce, then if a person divorces his wife and her waiting period expires, she becomes an alien woman for him and it is not permissible for him to be in seclusion with her or to travel with her.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "A woman should not travel except with a Mahram ( a non-marriageable male relative) and a man should not enter her home except if there is a Mahram with her" reported by Al Bukhari.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) also said: "A man should not be in seclusion with a woman except if one of her Mahrams is present", reported by Al Bukhari as well.
Anyway, it is not permissible for this woman to travel with this man if he has divorced her because he is alien to her and it is not permissible for him to be in seclusion with her or shop with her and so on, as this causes temptation.
However, if by separation is meant a misunderstanding that exists between the couple, and which results in the husband living in a separate house from the wife, without him divorcing her, then this kind of separation is not considered divorce in Shariah, and what is halah between a husband and his wife applies to them.
We draw the attention of the questioner that it is very serious for the small girl to be with a non-Muslim baby sitter, because the educator has a great influence on the child. Many Ahadith were mentioned in this regard.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said:" Every child is born on Fitrah (human disposition to be a Muslim since Islam is the religion of Fitrah). His parents make him/her a Jew, a Christian or a Maji" reported by Al Bukhari.
Allah says: "O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitânah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. "(Aali Imran 3:118)
Imam Al Qurtubi said regarding the interpretation of the above verse:" By the above verse, Allah forbade the Mu'mins to take the Kuffar (non-Muslims), the Jews and the people of desires, as helpers and advisors consulting them concerning their matters, or put their matters in their hands"
The saying of Allah "…. Since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you" i.e. they are doing their best and spare no effort to corrupt you and harm you"
By experience people have discovered the danger of non-Muslim baby sitters on Muslim children.
Therefore, one should not be tolerant and lenient in these matters, by causing the child to acquire unlawful matters in his education and being sinful by letting this happen, and then regret when it is too late.
Our advice to this husband is to take his children and educate them himself if possible; otherwise he has to travel with them out of
Allah knows best.
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