Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My mother doesn’t want me to have a relationship with my foster brother

I feel he's my foster brother, but my mother won't accept our relationship.

I feel he's my foster brother, but my mother won't accept our relationship.

As-salamu alaykum,

I’m new here & I'm not sure how to start this but here goes. I’ve been going through a situation for some time now and I want some advice on how to resolve it. English is not my 1st or even 2nd language so please bear with me when I make an inevitable mistake, and it’s a wee bit long so I apologize in advance.

I'm a 19 years old Muslim girl and I live in France with my family. I'm the only child of my parents so I have always felt a little alone throughout my childhood. Growing up watching all the other kids enjoying and even fighting with their siblings always made me feel like I missed out on something great. And it doesn't help that I've always been a shy person and have never had many friends. I usually like to keep my head down and mind my own business. Also, there are very few Muslims in this area of the country. The only proper mosque that I know of is at least more than a couple of hours drive away. I think telling a bit about this background is necessary to understand the issue better.

There's this guy at the university that I attend whose family used to live in our neighborhood when I was an infant. We’re roughly of the same age. I personally don’t remember him from my childhood because I was too little back then, but my mom identified him by his name when I told her that there was another Muslim in my class. I later confirmed this from him as well, his family used to live in our neighborhood at that time. They left the place after his father was arrested for human trafficking.

Anyway, the important thing is that my mother breastfed him intermittently for almost a couple of weeks back then. That’s what she herself told me when his name was brought up and she told me their story. Nevertheless, she strictly told me to stay away from him because of his family’s background.

Despite this, unbeknownst to her, ever since then I’ve gone out of my way and against my own nature to develop a very close relationship with him because I can’t help but feel like he’s my long lost brother, a sibling that I always wanted. I believe, from my understanding of Islam, that a foster relation developed between us in childhood when he was suckled by my mother which makes him my brother, my mahram, the only one that I know of.

I’ve told him the reason of my unvarnished fascination with him & he too has responded to my advances very warmly & considers me a sister that he never had. In just a few months’ time things have developed such that I greet him every day in university with a hug and kiss to the cheek & spend most of my off time in between classes with him at his apartment which is near the University, unlike my house. We have so much fun playing games, studying & even arguing on silly topics together. He’s such a knowledgeable guy mashAllah that talking with him on any topic is always a learning experience for me. We go out to the movies and restaurants together a lot and every once or twice a week I also cook for him because I just love doing it for him.

When I’m at his place I do take off my head scarf and relax like I’m in my own home because he’s my mahram, and I trust him. I’ve even taken naps in his bed many times during my off time between classes & have started keeping some of my stuff like clothes, hygiene products etc. at his place because I’m there so often.

I just want to point out how much of a positive influence we’ve both had on each other.

He is such a consummate gentleman with me. For example, he’s always opening doors for me, pulls chairs out, stands up when I enter or leave a room, is very protective, takes time out for me even when very busy etc. etc. I’ve never felt safer than when I am with him. He taught me how to drive and didn’t even say word when I trashed his car! My grades have gone up considerably because he’s been a great support to me; and all this has helped boost my self-confidence a lot.

On my part, alhamdulillah, I take pride in the fact that because of me his haram relationships ended. His “girlfriend” thought we were too close & told him to choose between me and her, he said to her “Va voir ailleurs si j'y suis” i.e. “Go take a royal hike” Ha!

And I’ve at least managed to convince him to lead me in our own little two party congregational prayers whenever I’m with him and time for a prayer comes. And this is a guy who only used to offer Eid prayers before! I’ve come to a realization that I’ve become addicted to his considerations for me.

As you can well imagine, these things get out one way or the other. News of my close association with him reached my mother and she went ballistic & almost beat me up! She thinks either I’m having some kind of a sordid affair with him and/or he’s grooming me for some ulterior motive! She also doesn’t believe that there is any kind of foster relationship between us because she did not intend for it regardless of what happened, and even if she did, in her eyes, it only changes the charges on me from zina to incest, astaghfirullah; And irrespective of all the above, he’s going to traffic me out soon enough! Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t care what his father did or didn’t do, he’s not his father. I know him & I trust him.

So basically she doesn’t believe me when I say that I’m safe & haven’t committed any sin at all. Now she’s threatening me to break off all contact with him otherwise she’s going cut off my university funding and send me to my aunt on the other side of the continent! And also call police on him for no reason whatsoever.

I’m at a loss on how to deal with this. I don’t want her to be so upset and mad at me and think that I’ve become some kind of a harlot because I’ve not! It makes me cry to know that she doesn’t believe in me. But at the same time, I don't want to lose the relationship that I’ve developed with him. I don’t want to go anywhere. The only thing that I could think of was if I could get him to meet & talk to my mother then maybe she wouldn’t be so mad but she has totally rejected this proposal. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Please advise.


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16 Responses »

  1. As-salamu alaykum sister,

    Based on the information you've given, this young man is indeed your foster brother, and he is mahrem for you. However, you have gone way, way too far in your behavior with him. You are behaving with him like a girlfriend or even a wife in all respects except sex. It's quite obvious that you are in love with him. You are only fooling yourself by claiming that you see him as a brother.

    You spend your free time with this man, have light physical contact, play games, cook for him, keep your things in his home and even sleep in his bed. This is not the behavior of a sister with a brother. I have never heard of an adult sister who behaves this way with her brother. What sister sleeps in her brother's bed?

    Furthermore, you say that he is a "gentleman" with you, pulling out your chair, etc. These are romantic gestures that a man would do for his girlfriend or wife. This is not mere brotherly behavior.

    Here are some of the serious problems this relationship will create:

    1. It could lead to haram. It would not surprise me if the two of you one day gave in to natural human urges and became intimate. Then, not only would you be committing zinaa, but with your foster brother as well, astaghfirullah.

    2. It will ruin your reputation (and has already done so with your mother). You might protest that it's wrong for people to make assumptions, and you are right, but I'm talking about real life. In real life, most people will assume that you are boyfriend and girlfriend.

    3. It will be an obstacle in finding a spouse. What this young man really needs is a wife, and what you need is a husband; instead you have created this artificial marriage that is taking you down a path to nowhere. Furthermore, the two of you will likely avoid or delay marriage because you already have the companionship you need, and because you're afraid of losing the other person or making them jealous.

    4. Prospective marriage partners might avoid you because of the appearance of impropriety in your relationship with this man.

    5. If one day this young man finds a woman for marriage, and gets married, how will you handle that? It's quite likely that his wife will not appreciate or want you hanging around every day. The young man will be occupied with his wife and will not have time for you the way he does now. Will you be okay with that? Or will you be jealous and upset? If the latter, then that's a big clue that you are fooling yourself about this relationship.

    It's fine for you to consider him your foster brother. However, you need to back way, way off the level of contact. Do not be alone with him in his home, stop having physical contact with him, and seek female friends for the companionship and friendship you need.

    Wael Editor

    • Salam sister
      I do believe brother Wael is right and that everything he has written is correct, you need to go away from this relationship,or at least keep your distance, because in the long run it will ruin you.
      A man and a woman who are this close will eventually do zina, you are getting too too close and you can't even see that you are wrong.
      Your dear mother must be going mad with worry, your the only child and you have your mothers trust as yet so I suggest you end this ongoing friendship/relationship please.
      I know your feeling this connection but it's wrong,your connection is a way too advanced,I don't see me doing that to my brother although we are real brother and sister and his always is there for me, I only have my brother who has been there for me all my life, I love my brother so much and do anything for him, but not jump into his bed.
      This type of behaviour is going to lead to ghunna/zina.
      Make friends with other girls and if you can't then get married soon and still stay in education.
      Anyway hope you realise that this behaviour is inappropriate and will lead to nothing but wrong doings.
      Duas are for you that you make real friends and also succeed in life, your mother is right so please follow her wishes,good luck and may God bless.

    • Mr. wael i would like to make it clear here :by sleeping in brother's bed is not a bad thing but sleeping with him on one bed is a bad thing.
      i used to sleep on my brother's bed when he was a college going student coz i liked his blanket was very good lol.

      except this i totally agree with you.

    • Mashallah what great advice brother

  2. W.Salaam wrw-sister

    I agree completely with brother Wael. Nothing to add EXCEPT ---you should know your self and YOU have to look on your future WHICH is completely IMPOSSIBLE to be with this man.

    Goodluck----respect your self AND your mother.

  3. Okay sister, if his ex girl friend had a problem with both of ur relationship and closeness then that should make you think..
    Your right ur mother doesn't know what u get up to and is accusing the worst but this girlfriend did know and she even thought it was wrong. I really do believe u are in love with the idea of a companion. So yeah it may be difficult for u, but u do need to back off for the sake of Allah

  4. OP: On my part, alhamdulillah, I take pride in the fact that because of me his haram relationships ended. His “girlfriend” thought we were too close & told him to choose between me and her, he said to her “Va voir ailleurs si j'y suis” i.e. “Go take a royal hike” Ha!

    Islam did not stop, your so called brother from doing haram with a girl, what makes you think he will not do it with you.

    He may do the same to you after he had used you sexually. You have already given him a reason to break off, that he was breastfed by your mom that means he can't marry you. Why did your mother breastfed him?
    Does his mother and your mother know you are spending time alone with your new found brother?

    I have a feeling you just started this relationship. Your mom knows this relationship will lead to SEX..
    Boys father was involved in human trafficking. Was his father trafficking women for sex?

  5. Sister,
    Your Mother is right. Every right thinking people will support her.
    Don't let Shaitan spoil your life and akhara.
    Wael's advise is sound, please follow it to dot.

    Abdul Sattar

  6. Well dear sister if your mum thinks of something g bad then show her and yes I do also think that you are a bit to close to your foster brother. You should keep your headscarf on even if you are at his house and please do t always go to his house this way people will only believe what they see and judge you you should treat him like a brother like any other sisters would do.

  7. you must not kiss and hug your brother and a brother must not kiss or hug her sister.
    i dont mind if you go out to restaurants but at least your parents should know or his parents should know that you both meet.
    do you think a brother and sister has to do things secretly! secret meetings, going to restaurants, play .

    what kind of hygiene products you are talking about : pads? cotton? for menstrual process. its disgusting to know that and you are telling this like its nothing even christian women avoid this, the very open minded christian women avoid this and you are a muslim. where is your shame? dont bring shame to the family please what is their fault?

    *I take pride in the fact that because of me his haram relationships ended. His “girlfriend” thought we were too close & told him to choose between me and her, he said to her “Va voir ailleurs si j'y suis” i.e. “Go take a royal hike” Ha!
    let me take your pride down, come down on earth.
    he chose you wow, you did nt bother to guide your brother to propose this girl to nikkah or atleast you could have advised your brother to find a girl for nikkah instead of making gfs.

    because of you? who do you think you are? he left gfs because of you? he has not! no he has not! he is still the same.

    you GO and take a hike. Ha ! sister dont act like a witch, you are a symptom a very bad symptom you will destroy his matrimonial life you may become the reason for his divorce . plus his father is a Pi*p type person involved in human trafficking, he sell human both male and female (the innocent ones) who are trapped by such evil persons they use them for prostitution and labour. you know what is prostitution.

    • Assalamo alaikum.

      1) Keeping this case aside, why can't a brother and sister hug and kiss each other? I'd like to know, with proper references from Quran and Hadith.
      2) She never said she was specifically talking about those kind of hygiene products.Hygiene products include a vast variety of things.
      3) Sister, I'm sure you mean well, but I'm sure if you ever posted here, you wouldn't want people to respond to you, in the way you've responded to the OP. We all have problems, we all make mistakes in one way or the other. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

      • no they should avoid touching each other they are adult, i have not heard any kind of thing in islam if Quran has not explain anything about it it does nt mean you can touch your brother and sister anywhere it doesn't mean you can slap his butt coz he is only brother and you people are just kidding. off course all adults have feelings which can be aroused anytime while touching. when you hug, your breast will touch your brother .
        what type of that vast variety things: do you mean wiper, dusting clothes, harpic toilet cleaner. do you think he does nt have these basic things in his apartment and she briought it especially to clean the washroom and dust the room furniture.
        she is not admitting her mistake, she doesn't want to understand her mother either instead she is feeling proud that she has broken the relation of his brother with the gf , as i said above about nikkah. i know its haram but its ringing the siren for the future, her intentions and thinking

        secondly i will not encourage her in this matter it may mislead her, thats why i am harsh here and last thing if she do anything wrong that it will be her sin not mine so i should not be bothered: you are right but i just want to show her how bad it looks to others. thanks

        • Loool

          You can embrace your brother and other Mehram males in your family, there is no sin in doing that, as long as their is no fear of temptation,

          obviously there is a line between appropriate and inappropriate as you have highlighted 😉

          In this instance, its obvious its a no no, both need to stay faarrrr away from one another.....

  8. OP: Anyway, the important thing is that my mother breastfed him intermittently for almost a couple of weeks back then.......Despite this, unbeknownst to her, ever since then I’ve gone out of my way and against my own nature to develop a very close relationship with him.

    I guess your mom told you breastfeeding to keep you away from that guy, but you used this information to get closer. Do you still consider him your brother?

  9. As-salamu Alaykum,
    Besides the excellent advice you've already been given above (which I agree with), I would like to add that your mother has your best interests in mind. While it is true that we are not responsible for the sins of our fathers, your mother almost certainly knows the background of this family more intimately than you do, and human trafficking is not a minor issue. Just because we "can" do something doesn't always mean that we should, and a parent has the right to ask a child not to befriend people when legitimate concerns are present.

  10. Strange and incorrect replies here. One is saying "you must not kiss and hug your brother and a brother must not kiss or hug her sister". It is totally permissible for a sister to kiss and hug any of her mahram (including her milk-mahrams). What scholars have forbidden or discouraged (depending upon the scholar), is kiss on the mouth. Reference

    Another one is saying: "What sister sleeps in her brother's bed?". She is not saying that she is sleeping together with him on the bed. She uses her bed in his absence. Islam permits a woman to be in seclusion with her brother, whether biological or milk-brother, and in fact both can live in the same room, provided they sleep on different beds. Reference

    Milk-mahramiat is as strong and sacred as blood ties. If it was not, then Islam would not have made it impermissible for someone to marry his/her milk-mahram and would not have allowed a woman to show her zeenah/charms (hair, ornaments etc) to her milk-mahram. Yes, lust might get involved in the relation but that's also true for biological mahrams, even fathers and brothers. Muftis receive lot of queries in which men say that they developed sexual desire for their blood-mahrams like sisters or daughters or aunts. Thats why Scholars of Islam do not differentiate between blood-mahrams and milk-mahrams in the matters of fear of sin and fitna.

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