Khalwa with Women in work related issues

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Q:) I work alone at an office where computer consulting services are advertised. People call to bring in their computers for service or for on-site group and private instruction in software applications, as well as for house-calls (with similar services requested).

If a woman calls for a house call, what should I do? And/or, if a woman comes to the office requesting private instruction or that her computer be repaired, what should I do? Should I:

a. Stop advertising the service of making house calls altogether? Or

b. Continue making house calls but ignore requests made by women who call?

C. is the possibility that someone else would be present when visiting - but
Can/should I even make such an assumption?). And should I:

a. Stop offering on-site services such as the ones described above until/unless I have a second person working with me or

b. Continue offering such on-site services but making sure to keep the front door of the office open if a woman walks in so as not to be in an enclosed atmosphere / in a situation of khalwa?

A:) In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Being alone and privacy (khalwa) with a non-Mahram is unlawful (haram) or at the least prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) and must be avoided.

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A man must not remain alone in the company of a woman, and a woman must not travel except that her Mahram is accompanying her.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2488)

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “'A woman must not travel except with a Mahram and a man must not enter upon her except if she has a Mahram.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1763)

Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A man and woman do not remain alone in privacy except that the third amongst them Shaytan.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)

The meaning of being alone (khalwa) is when a man and a woman who are not immediate family (mahram) remain alone in a room or place in a way that a third person is not easily able to enter upon them, or it is not usually accessible to others.

Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains in his renowned Radd al-Muhtar that Khalwa, which is unlawful (haram), will no longer remain if:

a) There is a barrier between the man and woman:

b) A Mahram (like a brother) of the woman (or her husband) is present;

c) An upright old woman from whom desire and sexual passion is not (typically) acquired, and who is capable of protecting herself and the other woman, is present. This is according to one opinion in the school. According to another opinion (such as in Munyat al-Mufti), khalwa is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) even in the presence of another woman;

d) If another non-Mahram man is present. (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/368, fasl fi al-nazr wa al-lubs).

In light of the above, you may choose any of the options mentioned by you in order to avoid Khalwa. If a woman comes to your office, then ensure that the door of the office is open and that you are not alone in an enclosed area.

With regards to house-calls, you must ensure that you don’t go to a woman’s house where you may be alone with her. You may avoid going to women’s homes altogether, or ensure that a third person would be there before actually going there. If the third person is a man, then this would not be considered Khalwa, and if it is a woman, then it would be better to avoid.

And Allah Knows Best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK .

Article Taken (with Thanks) from


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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .