Eating with the sister-in-law

Q 1: I live with my parents, two older sisters, and one younger brother. Our elder brother, who is married and has a child, also lives with us. We sometimes eat together. Is this permissible? What is the ruling on this?

A: It is not permissible for a woman to mix with non-Mahrams (not a spouse or unmarriageable relatives) and sit with them at one table to eat, because this may cause Fitnah (temptation) (Part No. 17; Page No. 402) among them and lead to immoral acts. Thus, the woman must screen herself, not mix with non-Mahrams, and eat either alone, with other women, or with her Mahrams (spouse or unmarriageable relative). Allah (Exalted be He) says: And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) Allah (Exalted be He) also says: And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has ordered Muslims to make women's rows behind men's rows in Salah (Prayer) - and definitely elsewhere - in order to prevent Fitnah. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.