A woman's paternal and maternal uncles

Fatwa no. 16068 I would like you to inform me about the frame of my relationship with maternal and paternal uncles, especially those who abandon Salah (Prayer) among them, and those who are alcoholic. Is it permissible to stay in seclusion with one of them who is alcoholic and who abandons Salah? Is it permissible for me to kiss them on meeting them and shake hands with them (if permissible)?

A: Paternal and maternal uncles are Mahrams (unmarriageable relatives) in the presence of whom a woman may uncover her face, hands and other body parts as may be customarily uncovered and as may not cause temptation. Moreover, she may stay in seclusion with any of them unless misconduct is expected such as if he is a dissolute who may not abstain from committing incest, in which case, it will not be permissible to stay with him in seclusion. The questioner should give advise those whom she knows commit sins. Furthermore, a woman may shake hands and (Part No. 17; Page No. 302) kiss the head of Mahrams unless misconduct is expected. Allah (Exalted be He) said: ...And to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. It is also permissible for you to abandon them in case you are sure they do not perform Salah, for, in fact, abandoning Salah is a major disbelief. In this regard, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: That which differentiates us from the disbelievers and hypocrites is our performance of Salat. He who abandons it, becomes a disbeliever. Likewise, if you are sure that a person drinks alcoholic beverages, he deserves to be abandoned till he repents. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.