Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)
Prohibition of Meeting a non-Mahram Woman in Seclusion
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen.'' (33:53)
1628. `Uqbah bin `Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Avoid (entering a place) in which are women (uncovered or simply to mix with them in seclusion).'' A man from the Ansar said, "Tell me about the brother of a woman's husband.'' He replied, "The brother of a woman's husband is death.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith tells us an extremely important point in respect of the veil about which the majority of Muslims are unaware or negligent. The point that it tells us that a woman must observe the veil from the real brothers, cousins etc., of her husband because their visits in her home are very frequent and there may occur several occasions when they come across each other alone. For this reason, there are greater chances of mischief with them. This explains why the husband's male relatives have been regarded as "death'', that is from the religious point of view they are fatal. In other words, if they commit the mischief, it will prove fatal because in an Islamic state this crime is punishable by Rajm (stoning to death). This can also be fatal in another way. If the husband begins to suspect that his wife has illicit relations with someone else, he might kill her or divorce her out of his sense of honour. Even in case of divorce, her life will become desolate. Another meaning of it can be that one should be as much afraid of meeting such women in seclusion with whom any kind of contact is not permissible as one is afraid of death.
When a woman is required to observe the veil from the real brothers of her husband, why would it not be essential to observe the veil from the husband's friends. Slackness in this matter is also very common nowadays. Although the dangerous consequences of this fashion come to our notice everyday through newspapers, people do not learn any lesson from them, and the fashion of non-observance of the veil is spreading fast like an epidemic. May Allah save us from this evil!
1629. Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "No one of you should meet a woman in privacy unless she is accompanied by a Mahram (i.e., a relative within the prohibited degrees).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith strictly prohibits Muslims from meeting a non-Mahram woman in seclusion without her Mahram, in order to avoid the temptation to commit the sin of adultery and fornication.
1630. Buraidah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The sanctity of the wives of Mujahidun (i.e., those who strive hard and fight in the way of Allah) for those who remain at home (i.e., those who do not go to the battlefield to fight Jihad) is like the sanctity of their own mothers. Anyone who remains behind to look after the family of a Mujahid and betrays his trust, will be made to stand on the Day of Resurrection before the Mujahid who will take away from his meritorious deeds whatever he likes till he is satisfied.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) turned toward us and said, "Now, what do you think (i.e., will he leave anything with him)?''
Commentary: The protection and supervision of the families of those Mujahidun who go to Jihad, is an act of high merit, and if someone violates the trust reposed in him, he will be committing a grave sin indeed. Such breach of trust shakes the very structure of mutual cooperation which has a singular importance in Islam. This Hadith considers the act of those who violate the Mujahidun's trust by molesting their wives in any way, taking advantage of their absence, as a very grave sin, because Mujahidun defend the Faith and strive hard to raise the flag of Islam high. Those who commit such a grave sin will be deprived of their virtuous deeds on the Day of Judgement.