Saturday, 26 November 2016

Alone in an Elevator

A translation of this fatwa from Naseem al-Sham

I have sent this question before and I urgently need an answer. I work in a hospital and I need to use an elevator several times a day. If I get in the elevator and there is only one man inside, or vice versa, is that considered khalwah?[1] Please provide me with an answer and may Allah reward you with every goodness. I apologise if I am pestering you.

Answer (Sheikh Muammad Tawfīq Ramaān):

I do not consider that to be khalwah as long as the elevator works, it ascends and descends, and the man is known to have good manners.

If you come across an individual who is known to have bad manners, in that case you must avoid any situation that would expose you to his evil behaviour.

And if you are in a country in which the electric grid shuts down on a regular basis, you should not get into an elevator with a foreign man.

[1] i.e. a man and woman being alone in a place in which no one can gain access to them, such as a room whose doors and windows are locked and the curtains are lowered (Muʿjam Lughat al-Fuqahāʾ)

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