Non-mahram entering the house. What should I do?

Question:

Asalamualikum W.R.W.B. 
I pray my question finds you in good health.

In my past, before understanding the religion of Islam I was one who committed zina (adultery), and from that I became pregnant and had my now 2 year old son who now lives with me full time and visits his father’s family once a week. His father was never a muslim and is in fact an atheist. I know that my future holds a lot of struggles with trying to get full custody and well as trying to raise my son muslim while his father may contradict all that I tell him, which causes me great fear. 
My question is regarding the relationship between his father and I. My son’s father comes to pick up his son once a week and we don’t have any problems in getting along. He seems to be a good dad to our son and we’ve been able to remain friendly for my son’s sake considering we’re going to be in each others lives as long as Allah wills. Regarding the laws of islam, what am I commanded to do when the father comes to pick up his son? He welcomes himself in the house and stands by the door, and sometimes if my son isn’t all ready to go, he will sit on the couch with his son until all his things are packed. Am I earning great sin for allowing him to enter my home while we do not sit together? I fear that if I come off very harsh on him he may start fighting back in ways like withholding support for my son. Please advise me on how to handle this situation for the future. JazzakAllah Khair

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Your efforts to correct your life and your Deen especially under such difficulties is commendable. We make du’ā Allah preserve your faith and your commitment to Deen and grant you ease. Allah Ta’ala will indeed help the person who strives to become closer to Him.

It is stated in a Hadith,

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: ” قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، وَأَنَا مَعَهُ حَيْثُ يَذْكُرُنِي، وَاللهِ لَلَّهُ أَفْرَحُ بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ يَجِدُ ضَالَّتَهُ بِالْفَلَاةِ، وَمَنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ شِبْرًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ ذِرَاعًا، وَمَنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ ذِرَاعًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ بَاعًا، وَإِذَا أَقْبَلَ إِلَيَّ يَمْشِي، أَقْبَلْتُ إِلَيْهِ أُهَرْوِلُ “

Abu Huraira( Radhiallahu Anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: I am just as My slave believes me to be and I am with him as he remembers Me. (The Holy Prophet) further said: By Allah, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than what one of you would do on finding his lost camel in the waterless desert. When he draws near Me by the span of his hand. I draw near him by the length of a cubit and when he draws near Me by the length of a cubit. I draw near him by the length of a fathom and when he draws near Me walking I draw close to him hurriedly.(Muslim)

As you queried, Shari’ah has forbidden a non-mahram male and female to be alone in such a room in which there is no third person that can prevent them from doing anything unlawful or such a room which is closed.

Consider the following Hadith,

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «لاَ يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلَّا مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ»

“No man should be alone with a (non-mahram) woman except with the presence of a mahram.”(Bukhari 5233)

Hence, it would not be permissible for the child’s father to enter your house without a Mahram.

You mentioned that your son’s father comes in the house and sits if your sons is not ready to leave. This may be avoided if all efforts are made to have your son ready before his father arrives, so there would not be a need for him to enter the house.

Alternatively, have another adult family person in the house when he comes in. As a Muslim and based on your past experiences, you are aware of the underlying reasons of Shari’ah and the wisdom behind such restrictions. In brief, one cannot trust his or her Nafs which is also very vulnerable to the mischief of the Shaitaan.

If necessary, you may explain to him that you are bound by Shari’ah and you are not permitted to be alone with him. Your approach and attitude to him should be a dignified one reflecting the sublime conduct of Islam.

Also, all efforts must be made that your son is brought up in a Deeni and Islam conscious environment, so he may overpower the obstacles and contradictions he may face.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net

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