Hijab and Cousins

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 11 Safar 1424, 13 April 2003

Q.) I want to know what the Shariah says about the relationship with the daughter of one's mother's sister. Is it required by the Shariah that she should observe hijab from her cousins? [Saqib Akram]

A.) It is necessary to observe hijab from one's paternal and maternal cousins. The cousins are not Mahrams and Nikah with them is permissible.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.

Albalagh Note: This is one area where laxity is even more common, leading to an impression that cousins and other close relatives (like brother-in-law) are exempt from the requirements of hijab. It is here that one has to distinguish between cultural practices and the Shariah, although it is rare to find those most vocal about the issue to mention such examples.