Q: What are
the limits with a woman's brother-in-law?
Please clarify the Islamic lawful way of dealing with him. I have a very close relationship with my brother-in-law, he is like a big brother and mentor to me, and we consider him as a trusted person who is keen to do what is in our best interests. I hope that you will clarify whether it is it permissible for me to sit with him in the presence of my family members; my mother, sisters, or husband for example? What are the limits of Hijab (veil) in his presence and are there any permitted or required matters, or any precautions? Please advise me and may Allah reward you with the best.
A brother-in-law is not among a woman’s Mahrams (spouse or unmarriageable relatives); he is considered as an Ajnaby (a man other than a husband or unmarriageable male relatives) to her. It is not Halal (lawful) for her to uncover her face in front of him, shake hands with him, be in Khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex) with him, or travel with him; he is just like any other Ajnaby. However, there is no harm if a woman sits with her brother-in-law in the presence of one of her Mahrams, as long as she is wearing Hijab, dressed modestly, and observing the appropriate manners. (Part No. 17; Page No. 421) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.