Interaction with ex-spouses.
Assalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatulla Wabarakatahu
I am a Muslim Sister that recently got Nikkah, my Husband has been practising Islam for about a year. However, he’s not and myself including acquainted with the rules and laws regarding interaction with ex spouses, bearing in mind there’s one child 8 years of age.
The Mother and Child are non muslims, when my Husband has to see the child he goes to the home…which would be where he previously resided at his in laws, and sometimes they would go out together with the child.
I do not wish to make unreasonable restrictions of my own, so I will like to know in regards to ex spouses what are the permissible means of interaction and what is not permissible and possibly disliked.
I would greatly appreciate your feedback.
Your Sister in Islam
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Your efforts to enhance your and your husband’s Deen is commendable. We make du’ā Allah preserve your faith and increase your commitment to Deen. Allah Ta’ala will indeed help the person who strives to become closer to Him.
As you queried, Shari’ah has forbidden a non-mahram male and female to be alone in such a place in which there is no third person that can prevent them from doing anything unlawful or such a room which is closed. This is regardless of their intentions. One cannot trust his or her Nafs (desires) which is also very vulnerable to the mischief of Shaitaan.
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)
Ex-spouses will be regarded according to Shari’ah as a non-mahram and a stranger. Hence, it would not be permissible for your husband to enter the house of the ex-spouse without a Mahram being present. It would also be impermissible for them to go out together with the child. Any unnecessary interaction should also be avoided.
NB: A woman’s Mahram is a person whom she is never permitted to marry because of their close blood relationship (such as her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc., and her son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., her paternal and maternal uncles, her brother, brother’s son and sister’s son), or because of breastfeeding (such as the brother and husband of the woman who breastfed her), or because they are related by marriage (such as the mother’s husband, the husband’s father, grandfather, etc., and the husband’s son, grandson, etc.).
If necessary, he may explain to the ex-spouse that a Muslim is bound by the laws of Shari’ah and he is not permitted to be alone with her. The approach and attitude should be a dignified one reflecting the sublime conduct of Islam.
Also, all efforts must be made that the child 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)