The mother's cousin

Q: I have an aunt who is not my mother's sister; she is her cousin. Here in Sudan we consider cousins as siblings, so she is considered my mother's sister, (Part No. 17; Page No. 439) and my aunt accordingly. This does not mean she is a Mahram (unmarriageable relative) to me. However, regardless of the nominations, I consider her my aunt and my second mother. I love and respect her so much, and so does she. We have made a pledge that she is going to be my mother and treat me accordingly. I wish that she could really be my second mother and my aunt. However, some people claim that it is impermissible for her to reveal her hair or her face in front of me, as she is not a Mahram to me. As I have already told you, we have made a pledge that she is going to be my second mother and my aunt. Is she really considered my mother and a Mahram to me after this pledge? If not, what should we do so that we can reach this status? I remember the tale of Um Ayman Al-Habashiyyah who brought up the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He used to say to her, "You are my second mother."

A: Your mother's cousin is not considered your maternal aunt; she is a non-Mahram (not an unmarriageable relative) to you; and she should wear Hijab (veil) in front of you. This tradition is not taken into account, because it is corrupt as it contradicts the Purified Shar` (Law). The pledge you took on your self is meaningless, but there is no harm on you. The Hadith you quoted, which is the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Um Ayman Al-Habashiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her), "You are my second mother" , is not Sahih (authentic), because its Sanad (chain of narrators) is Da`if (weak). (Part No. 17; Page No. 440) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.