Asy-Syirāzī, may Allāh have mercy upon him said:

It is offensive for a man to pray with an ajnabīah (non-maĥram) lady due to the narration that the Prophet, Salutations of Allāh and His Peace upon him said: {A man should not be alone with a lady for surely the third of the two of them is Satan}

Commentary

An-Nawāwī, may Allāh have mercy upon him, in the commentary of the above said:

What is meant by “offensive” is that of prohibition (ĥarām).

Our aśĥāb said: As for a man who becomes imām to his wife or his maĥram, and they become alone by doing so, it is permissible without any offensiveness therein. This is because it is mubāĥ (permissible) for them to be alone in other than prayer. If he becomes imām to an ajnabīah and they became alone by it, this is ĥarām upon him and upon her due to the śaĥīĥ ĥadīths which we will mention insyāAllāhu ta’āla.

If he becomes imām to many ajnabīahs, and became alone with them, there are two ţarīqahs: the jumhūr affirmed its permissibility as cited by ar-Rāfi’ī in Kitāb al-‘Idad from our aśĥāb. It’s dalīl is a ĥadīth which I will mention insyāAllāhu ta’āla, and because usually, when there is a gathering of women, a man is not capable of mafsadah (sinful acts) with any of them in their presence. al-Qādhī Abu al-Futuĥ transmitted two wajhs in his book, with regard to the khunthās (hermaphrodites). The author of al-Bayān transmitted from him (1) It is permissible (2) It is not permissible out of fear of mafsadah. Imām al-Ĥaramayn and the author of al-‘Uddah, in the beginning of the Book of Haj whilst discussing the issue of the ability to perform hajj cited that asy-Syāfi’ī stipulated that it is ĥarām for a man to pray with munfarīd ladies (several ladies) unless amongst them are his maĥram or his wife. He established this considering the fact that it is ĥarām for a man to be alone with ladies unless amongst them is his maĥram. The maźhab (relied upon view) is the opinion that preceded earlier.

If two or more men becomes alone with a lady, the masyhūr view is that it is considered ĥarām. This is because the agreement of the men upon fāĥisyah (sinful acts) might occur. It is said: if they are amongst those who are distant from such concurrence to perform fāĥisyah, it is permissible. This is the opinion with which the ĥadīth of Ibnu ‘Amr Bin al-‘Āś is interpreted which will follow.

A khunthā with a lady is treated as per the case of a man, similarly with ladies. A khunthā with a man is treated as per the case of a lady, similarly with men. Al-Qādhī Abū Futūĥ and the author of al-Bayān mentioned this on the basis of iĥtiyāţ (caution), and as an analogy of what is said by the aśĥāb with regard to the issue of nažar (looking) of a khunthā which we will elucidate at the beginning of the Book of Nikāĥ, insyāAllāhu ta’ālā.

As for the amrad (youth or young man who is beardless) who is ĥasan (good looking), I do not come across any kalām attributed to our aśĥāb with regard to khalwah (being alone) with one. Making qiyās of the maźhab: khalwah with him is ĥarām. This is as per the saying of the author and the jumhur, as well as the stipulation (naś) of asy-Syāfi’ī, which we will elaborate in the Book of Nikāĥ insyaAllāhu ta’āla, that it is ĥarām to look at him. If it is ĥarām to look at him, then khalwah is awlā (with greater reason) for there is more fuĥsy (indecency) and qurb (proximity) to mafsadah in it. Meaning, what is feared with regard to the case with a lady exists.

As for the wārid (transmitted) ĥadīths, with regard to this issue, then amongst them is the narration of ‘Uqbah bin ‘Āmir, may Allāh be pleased with him, that the Prophet, Salutations of Allāh and His Peace upon him, said {Beware of dukhūl (entering a space) after a lady. A man from the Anśār then said: Do you consider the ĥamw as well? The ĥamw is mawt (death).} narrated by al-Bukhārī and Muslim. The ĥamw is the husband’s male relations, and what is meant here is a relative who is a non-maĥram such as the husband’s brother including his son, paternal uncle including his son, maternal uncles and others. As for his father, his son, and his grandfather, they are her maĥrams whom khalwāh with them is permissible, even though they are from the ħamws.

From Ibnu ‘Amr Bin al-‘Āś, may Allāh pleased with them both, who said { Amongst us (fīnā) is a lady (imra’ah) – and in a narration With us (lanā) is an ‘ajūz (a woman) – who would put beet root in a pot and add to it some ground barley. She used to cook them together. On returning from the Friday Prayer, we would greet her and she would offer it to us } narrated by al-Bukhārī. This is likely to be excluded as a dalīl in this issue, because it is implied that amongst them is her maĥram. And it is not evident that khalwah with her took place. Allāh knows best.

Know that there is a condition for the maĥram, whom sitting with the ajnabī becomes permissible by his presence. It is that he must be one whom others has ĥayā’ (shame) of. If he does not fulfill this condition due to his young age, such as a two or three year old boy, then it is treated as if he is not present, without khilāf.

Exceptions

There is not difference, with regard to the prohibition (i.e. ĥarām) of khalwah during prayer and in other situations as mentioned earlier. It is the same with regard to this issue, for both the blind and seeing.

The exception is in cases where there is dharūrah, such as when one found an ajnabī lady, disconnected from people. It is permissible for him to accompany her, in fact it is obligatory for him to do so if he fears for her in leaving her. There is no khilāf with regard to this. The dalīl for this is the ĥadīth of ‘Āisyah, may Allah be pleased with her in the Ifk Incident.

Know that the maĥram, whom sitting with the lady becomes permissible by his presence, may be either his or her maĥram. By this, it also means his or her spouse. Allāh knows best.

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