Have you ever had a sister or a friend say something like, “We never see your husband/man. Does he think he’s better than us? ” And if you have a snappy-impulsive-playful side like me, you want to reply right back! “Because he’s my business and not yours!” but you check that impulse and say, “Well, he’s not mahram (not lawful to marry) to you. You’re considered non-mahram (one lawful to marry) for him.” Then, she gives you that look that says you may be living in ancient times or that she doesn’t understand what you mean. A bit offended if she sees you as archaic, you try not to let it show, you keep your cool by trying to put your feet in her shoes, you brush it off, and explain to her what they mean and why you believe in the system. Then, she either gets it or categorizes you and your ways as outdated. But, it’s okay. It’s a free country, and she is entitled to her opinion.
So, who are your mahram? See picture below for details.
Now, why does mahram matter so much that today many Muslims still observe it even though it can be very inconvenient and hard to do at times? It’s because our Prophet (sallalahu aleihi wa salam), “This world is a prison to believers and a paradise to disbelievers.” I shall explain.
Mahram can be very useful if used properly and like intended. Useful because with every system in place, there is always an exception and a loop-hole. For starters, following mahram rules can prevent your family from starring on the Jerry Springer show, Maury, etc. You get the picture by me just mentioning two words; Jerry Springer. The show is no longer airing but many other shows follow the legacy of what he started and not following mahram rules can you make end up there. Furthermore, it is a sunnah practice. Having said that, I won’t judge you or your family if you don’t see the use in observing these rules. It works for me so I do it.
Another reason what mahram matters is that it can be used to prevent the ramping issues of children molestation and incest in the ummah. Now, earlier I mentioned that they are exceptions to every rule. By that I meant, your relatives who are mahram to you also need to be people of morals. If they have no morals, it defeats the purpose of mahram rules. It’s a grave sin to touch a mahram. That’s why the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu aleihi wa salam) said, “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.” It’s not only in the case of women. It’s also very messed up if an uncle molests his direct nephews or nieces, if a father-in-law forces himself on his daughter-in-law, or if a mother sexually abuses her children. That should never happen but some people are sick in the head. Applying mahram rules with them won’t change that. However, if they have self-control, know their weaknesses, they will stay away from their tainted love with the use of their faith.
The last reason you would want to set mahram boundaries around you is if you have shady friends who envy your love life and will do anything to be in your shoes. If you open the door to free mixing in this case, you will end up either with no fiance or no spouse. Trust me, I have seem such cases leaving behind dumbfounded and distraught partners wondering how it got to the point of no return.
So in conclusion, mahram rules can help you avoid the traps of promiscuity, cheating, zina, incest, molestation, temptation, jealousy, heartbreak and many more sick and twisted ‘headaches’.
Jazak’Allah khair for reading,