Are Step Siblings Mahram?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My children are in a blended family situation. Their father and I are divorced. He recently re-married a woman who has two daughters 16 and 18. My children are 8 (boy) and 6 (girl). Is my son mahram to his teenage step sisters?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, stepbrothers and stepsisters aren’t considered to be unmarriageable kin (mahram) to one another.

This is because the generality of the verse 4:23 applies to siblings who minimally have a shared parent. Stepchildren don’t have this relationship, and therefore, when the boy gets a little older, his teenage stepsisters need to cover up in front of him.

[Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i fi Tartib al-Shara`i]

Please also see: Is My Half-Brother From My Unmarriageable Kin (Mahram)? and: Who is Mahram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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