Going for Umrah with “Uncle”

Question and Answer:

Q. I am a female and I would like to go for Umrah. My aunt (mother’s sister) is going with her husband. Can I go with them and can my aunt’s husband be my Mahram? I have heard that he is a Mahram because it is not permissible for a niece to marry her aunt’s husband. Is this true?

A. It is true that a niece cannot be married to her aunt’s husband as long as he is married to the aunt. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said:

“A woman and her paternal aunt cannot be in one and the same marriage and a woman and her maternal aunt cannot be in one and the same marriage”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith: 5901, Narrated by Abu Hurayrah)

The fact that you cannot currently marry your aunt’s husband does not make him a Mahram to you as you can be married to him in the event of your aunt passing away or being divorced. A Mahram is someone who you cannot marry forever. Like your father, brother, maternal and paternal uncles etc. Since your aunt’s husband is not a Mahram, you have to observe the rules of Hijab in his presence and you cannot go for Umrah with him. If you wish to go for Umrah, you must be accompanied by a Mahram as defined in the Qur’an and Hadith.

And Allah Knows Best

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport, Durban
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
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