Purdah with the In-Laws

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Correspondence of  Hazrat Moulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahimahullah)

Condition:

On the occasion of my marriage, I wrote to you asking you how I should observe purdah at my in-laws’ house. You instructed me to wear a veil and to abstain from sitting at the same dining-table with non-mahrams. Initially, I tried to wear a veil, but my husband’s elder and younger brothers did not let me and would deliberately come in front of me so that I would have to look at them. Although my husband is an ‘Aalim, he told me that I should merely wear a scarf and observe purdah in this way. Despite the people of the home being religiously inclined, there is an environment of intermingling between mahrams and non-mahrams. Due to this, I have to eat at the same dining-table.

Answer:

If your husband’s brothers come in front of you deliberately, they will be sinning, but you must not abandon purdah. Cover your face immediately. Remind your husband of the importance of purdah and say to him, “How can you tell me to expose my face when you are an ‘Aalim? It is against a man’s self respect for his wife’s face to be exposed!” Similarly, do not sit and eat with non-mahrams at the same table. (Solutions to Spiritual Maladies for the Lovers of Allah Ta‘ala, pg. 546)