I am a practising Muslim, who has recently separated from her husband. The father sees his daughter, she is severely disabled and cannot speak. Has no awareness of danger, needs to be cared for 24/7. Goes to a specialist school where they are supervised to look after children like my daughter, with special needs and special care.
She is going through puberty and is fully developed. Her father wants to do intimate care, changing her underwear, clothes, showering and changing her nappy. He also wants to have her at night time, which will mean he has to sleep with her as she self harms in the genital area.
My Islamic belief and view is that, the same sex should do this and not the opposite sex. The Social Worker and carers are available to do this. I would appreciate if you could provide written evidence or resources to show that this is forbidden in Islam.
So my question is can a father do the following for his disabled daughter. Can he sleep with her on a night? Can he bath her? Can he shower her? Can he take her nappy off and change her?
It is prohibited for a person to look at, and touch those parts of another mature person’s body which are required to be covered. This is based on the narration of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) in which he mentions:
“A man should not see the private parts of another man, and a woman should not see the private parts of another woman, and a man should not lie with another man under one covering, and a woman should not lie with another woman under one covering.”
In certain cases of need it may become permissible to look or touch those parts of the body, however, the interaction must be restricted to the bare minimum required.
In the case of caring for a patient if they require care whereby the private parts of their body need to be exposed, then to minimise the violation of shar’i principles, a carer of the same sex must carry out the care. Only if a person of the same sex is not available, will it be permissible for a carer of the opposite sex to carry out the care. In both scenarios the carer should avoid looking at those parts of the body as much as possible. This ruling would apply to bathing, showering and also changing as they require the body to be exposed.
As for sleeping in the same bed, this will not be permissible. You should arrange for a carer or relative of the same sex to sleep in your daughters room to ensure that she does not harm herself.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel
صحيح مسلم (1/ 266)
عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «لَا يَنْظُرُ الرَّجُلُ إِلَى عَوْرَةِ الرَّجُلِ، وَلَا الْمَرْأَةُ إِلَى عَوْرَةِ الْمَرْأَةِ، وَلَا يُفْضِي الرَّجُلُ إِلَى الرَّجُلِ فِي ثَوْبٍ وَاحِدٍ، وَلَا تُفْضِي الْمَرْأَةُ إِلَى الْمَرْأَةِ فِي الثَّوْبِ الْوَاحِدِ»