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Is It Permissible For A Muslim Man To Give Accommodation To A Man Who Is A Stranger Or To Host Him In The Marital Home?

Nigeria Student Forum / Books/Literature/Writing / Muslim's Forum / Is It Permissible For A Muslim Man To Give Accommodation To A Man Who Is A Stranger Or To Host Him In The Marital Home?

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

As a husband, in Islam is it allowed
to stay with a Muslim man in my
marital house under one roof
,without my wife's consent and
what is the ruling regarding that?


Praise be to Allah.
The husband is obliged to provide
his wife with separate
accommodation that will shield her
from people’s view and protect her
from cold and heat, in which she
can take care of her private affairs
without anyone disturbing her. The
husband does not have the right to
force his wife to live with anyone,
because that is harmful to her and
impinges upon her right to private
accommodation which is guaranteed
to her by Islam.
Al-Kasani (may Allah have mercy on
him) said: if the husband wants her
to live with her co-wives or with one
of her in-laws such as the
husband’s mother, sister, daughter
from another wife or other
relatives, and she refuses to do so,
then he has to provide her with
separate accommodation, because
living with others may cause her
annoyance and harm, and her
refusal is indicative of annoyance
and harm. Moreover, he needs to be
able to be intimate with her at any
time, and that is not possible if
there is a third person present with
them. But if there are several
rooms in the house and he allocates
one room to her and puts a lock on
the door, they said: She does not
have the right to ask him for
separate accommodation.
End quote from Badai‘ as-Sanai‘,
We have previously discussed the
wife’s right to separate
accommodation and the opinions of
the scholars concerning that. Please
see fatwas no. and .
With regard to this question, the
answer to that depends according to
the nature of this man’s stay in the
If his stay is temporary, such as if
he is a guest for example, then this
is the husband’s right and the wife
has no right to object to that, so
long as she has a place in the house
where she can sleep and her privacy
is assured, without the guest being
able to see her. A woman’s living
with a man who is a stranger (non-
mahram) to her is permissible
subject to two conditions:
1. That there be a mahram or
husband present with her
2. That there be several rooms
and enough space so that the
stranger cannot see the woman.
It says in al-Ghurar al-Bahiyyah fi
Sharh al-Bahjah al-Wardiyyah by
Shaykh Zakariya al-Ansari (4/364):
From this the issues of living in the
same accommodation and khalwah
become clear; it is known that it is
permissible for a man to be alone
with a non-mahram woman if a
mahram (of hers) is present, and
that it is not allowed for him to live
in the same accommodation as her
unless there are a number of rooms
or the house is spacious enough so
that they cannot see one another.
End quote.

One of the indications that it is
permissible for a man to host a
guest in his house is the report
narrated by al-Imam Muslim in his
Saheeh, no. 2084, from Jabir ibn
‘Abdillah (may Allah be pleased with
him), according to which the
Messenger of Allah (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A
bed for the man, a bed for his wife,
a third for the guest, and the fourth
is for the shaytan.”
This hadeeth indicates that there is
nothing wrong with a man having a
bed ready for one who comes to
stay with him as a guest. In Fayd
al-Qadeer Sharh al-Jami‘ as-Sagheer
(4/424) it says: With regard to the
bed for the guest, that is something
that should be prepared by the host,
because that is part of honouring
him and giving him his due, and
because he cannot sleep with him
and his family in the same bed.
What the hadeeth means is that if a
man wants to have more than one
bed, then the limit is three and the
fourth is unnecessary, so it is an
extravagance. End quote.
In fatwa no. we explained
that the wife does not have the
right to object to her husband
hosting a guest in his house so long
as that does not cause her direct
But if this man is going to stay in
the house permanently or long-
term, then in that case it is
permissible for the wife to object to
that, and it is not permissible for
the husband to force her to accept
it, because she will be harmed by
the presence of a non-mahram in
the house. It is also contrary to her
right to separate accommodation.
With regard to the rulings on this
matter, khalwah between the guest
or lodger and the wife should be
avoided (i.e., they should not be
alone together), and lowering the
gaze and other matters of Islamic
etiquette should be adhered to. For
information on the ruling on
khalwah or being alone with a non-
mahram woman, please see fatwa
With regard to the wife serving her
husband’s guests, this is a matter
concerning which there is a
difference of opinion among the
scholars. The Malikis and those who
agreed with them are of the view
that the wife is not obliged to serve
her husband’s guests even in
situations where she is obliged to
serve her husband.
It says in ash-Sharh al-Kabeer by
ash-Shaykh al-Dardeer and Hashiyat
ad-Dasooqi (2/511): If the wife is
not able to do housework or she is
able, and the husband is poor, then
she must do basic housework such
as making dough, sweeping, tidying
up and cooking for him, but not for
his guest.
End quote.
Some scholars think that it is
obligatory for the wife to serve the
guests on a reasonable basis.
Al-‘Ayni (may Allah have mercy on
him) said:
The child and wife are obliged to
serve the guest as the head of the
household is obliged.
End quote from ‘Umdat al-Qari
Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, 5/101
The more correct view is that the
wife is obliged to serve her
husband’s guests on a reasonable
basis. ash-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
(may Allah have mercy on him) was
asked about a woman whose
husband asked her on some nights
of Ramadan to make food for his
guests, but when she did that she
felt very exhausted and was not
able to pray qiyam on those nights
– is she obliged to obey him in that
regard, if that goes on for most of
the nights of Ramadan? He said:
What is required is for the wife to
treat her husband in a fair and kind
manner and for the man to treat
his wife in a fair and kind manner.
Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Live with them in accordance with
what is fair and kind” [an-Nisa
‘4:19]. It is not part of being fair or
kind for the man to make his wife
exhausted with serving him at such
times and in such situations. But if
he insists then what his wife should
do is obey him, and if she is too
tired to pray qiyam, or it is too
difficult for her, then Allah, may He
be exalted, will record for her what
she intended and wanted to do,
because she only failed to do it
because of the excuse of doing what
she was obliged to do of obeying her
End quote.
And Allah knows best.


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