Question # 191: Is the daughter from my wife’s previous marriage non-mahram to me?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The daughter of one’s wife from previous marriage is mahram (forbidden for marriage) for the husband only after the consummation of marriage. Hence, she does not have to wear hijab in front of her mother’s husband, even if no relationship is established through breastfeeding (al-radaa’). However, if the husband simply makes a marriage contract with the wife, but did not consummate the marriage, then such daughter is not a mahram.

Long Answer: The women who become mahrams through marriage (al-mahaarim bi’l-musaaharah) are of four types:

  1. Women married by one’s father (i.e., father’s wife and also grandfathers’ wives). Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And marry not women whom your fathers married” (an-Nisaa’, 4:22)
  2. One’s wife’s mother or grandmother: “Forbidden to you (for marriage) are… your wives’ mothers…” (an-Nisaa’, 4:23)
  3. One’s stepdaughter (a wife’s daughter by a previous husband). The stepdaughter is not a mahram unless the man has consummated the marriage with her mother. If he simply made a marriage contract with her but did not consummate the marriage, then she is not a mahram, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in — but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them” (an-Nisaa’, 4:23)
  4. One’s son’s wife and one’s grandsons’ wives, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins” (an-Nisaa’, 4:23)

(Jaami’ Ahkaam al-Nisa’ by al-‘Adawi) 

Hence, a step-daughter (wife’s daughter from a previous marriage) … does not have to wear hijab in front of her mother’s husband, even if no relationship is established through breastfeeding (al-radaa’).

(The above reply is based on various answers by Islamqa.info on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam