Living with My In laws



I’d like to know what I should do about this. I’ve been living with my in laws (brother in law too) for the past 2 plus years after marriage. I’d like to know if I must cover myself in the presence of my brother in law (he is always at home) and also sometimes I’m alone with him at home with my child. Is this permissible? Also my mother in law has this habit of not knocking on my door before coming in. She just opens it as she likes and when my husband asks her, she says oh my son is in there I can do what I want. I really hate it as right now I don’t have a house of my own yet and my room in my only privacy. What should I do?


wa `alaykum salam,

It is obligatory upon a Muslim lady to observe hijab in the presence of her brother-in-law. He is not your mahram and cannot be alone with you at home.

You have the right to live separately in order to attain privacy with your husband and children, and at the same time your husband cannot disobey his mother. It is your husband’s duty to resolve this situation wisely.

Here is the list of the MAHRAM in whose presence HIJAB is not required:


1.  Father.                                     1. Mother.

2.  Grandfather.                             2. Grandmother.

3.  Brother.                                    3. Sister.

4.  Father-in-law.                           4. Mother-in-law.

5.  Husband.                                  5. Wife.

6.  Son.                                         6. Daughter.

7.  Step-son.                                 7. Step-daughter.

8.  Son-in-law.                              8. Daughter-in-law.

9.  Nephew.                                  9. Niece.

10. Uncle (paternal).                      10. Aunt (paternal).

11. Uncle (maternal).                     11. Aunt (maternal).

12. Minor boy.                              12. Minor girl.

13. Women.                                  13. Men.

Imam Senad Agic
Head Imam (IABNA)
The Islamic Association of Bosniaks in North America
American Islamic Center – Chicago

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